Jun 18, 2020

The Cure for Anxiety....

Life is strange these days. Difficult. Hard to understand and wrap our hearts and minds around.

Anger, hurt, violence, despair, hopelessness, fear, ANXIETY, doubt, confusion, chaos...

Just some of the few emotions and actions erupting around us and inside of us.

I remember when September 11th happened. My first bout with anxiety began, and lasted for a very long time.

The world seemed like it would never be back to normal. And, in many ways, it is not.

But, things did get better. Eventually getting on an airplane was easier. Fear subsided and life moved on.

The thing I have to keep in mind during these times is that we were not made to crave the comfort of the world. We were made to crave Heaven.

When we find ourselves restless and longing for what used to be, we need to look no further then this scripture...

"This world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come." Hebrews 13:14

When we begin to get to comfy with our surroundings, our faith fades. Our passion for spreading the Gospel wanes.

Think about your own life.

When things are very tough and hard, don't you find yourself clinging more to Jesus? Desperate for His Peace?

On the flip side, when things are going perfectly smooth...health is good, finances are good, relationships are good...

We tend to get comfortable. Lazy even.

We become lukewarm. Neither hot or cold.

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth." Revelation 3:15-16

Times like these wake us up to from our comfortable, lukewarm spot.

Friend, we will never ever be comfortable here on this earth. This earth will fade away. And all that we hold dear will as well.

Matthew 24:35 says, "Heaven and Earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear."

Instead of being afraid and fearful of these times, NOW is the time to draw near to Jesus. To know Him more. To see what He says. To learn what He teaches.

His Words are the only words that will remain.

Revival comes through times like these. Throughout history, it proves to be true.

The enemy would love to make us believe that things are hopeless, people are depraved, and our prayers are useless.

He lies. He is the father of lies.

What the enemy meant for evil, God will make good. (Genesis 50:20)

The enemy is not afraid of lukewarm Christians. He knows Revival will not be spurred from lukewarm.

We must have hearts on fire for spreading the Good News of Jesus.

What else does this world have to offer the hopeless during these times? Absolutely nothing.

Let's open our bibles. Turn our eyes to His Words.

Pray. And pray some more.

Then, ask for God to give us opportunities every day to share. To show love. To show hope. To point others to Jesus.

When we hate our brothers and sisters, Christ is mocked. We cannot truly be Christ followers unless we love like Him.

The best cure for anxiety, hopelessness and despair?

Jesus.

If you had a cure for cancer wouldn't you want the world to know? We surely would not hide it under a rock.

We must be bold in our love. In our actions.

How about instead of posting scriptures on instagram and facebook, we call someone, text someone, go and visit someone.

LOVE others right out of our comfort zones.

It is time for us to step out of our cozy houses lived behind screens.

The enemy is out there.

We must be too.

We must bring the Sword of The Spirit to battle...God's Word.

 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God. 1 John 3:10


no more lukewarm,


jill














Jun 11, 2020

Teaching our kids to pray...

When my children were little we would pray together in the car on the way to school. We would sing little songs to help us memorize scripture and talk about how wonderful God is. 

Those memories are precious to me. 

As they became teenagers, I have had to re-adjust my role a bit in their faith life. I have really tried to allow them to grow in their faith without me hovering over them constantly breathing scriptures down their necks. 

Teaching and pointing their hearts to Jesus has looked different from season to season. 

In the current season, with an 18 year old and a 15 year old, I definitely see an independence with their faith blossoming. 

One important thing I try to teach them in this particular season is the experience of prayer. 

My daughter keeps a prayer journal, and she will almost daily write in it. 

This has grown her trust and faith in Jesus. She looks back often to see the Hand of God especially in the really difficult seasons. 

I have tried to encourage them to stay in communication with The Father all day long. The little things, the big things...they are ALL important to Him. 

We tend to think that God is too Great to care about little things....We tend to think He is too Holy to bend down to hear our tiny requests. 

Oh, but He hears us. He cares. In the tiniest of details, He listens. He cares. 

Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! Psalm 116:2

You keep track of all my sorrows.You have collected all my tears in your bottle.You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8

As we read the book of Psalms in our bible reading plan, we see David pour his heart out to God. Over and over. All of the burdens, desires, dreams....He shares them with God. 

We can do this too. 

Our children need to know this. They need to know that God is Present with them at all times. He is their greatest Friend. Listener. Comforter. Provider. Protector. 

David is often scared and fearful in the book of Psalms. He runs to God for comfort and consoling. 

He is betrayed by close friends, chased in the wilderness, running from his enemies... and He takes all of his anger to God. 

Our children can do the same. 

One way to help them with this is to ask them each day how we can pray for them. Tell them to be specific. 

This opens the door for them to see the Hand of God in prayer. 

My daughter asked me to pray about something very specific recently. Some may have even thought it was trivial and silly. However, I prayed with her. 

The very same day that prayer was answered. 

Encouraging our kids to pray will deepen their faith. It will grow their dependence and trust in the Lord. 

Friends with older kids--even adult kids--it is NEVER too late to start this. 

Do not let them enemy tell you that it is too late, the enemy is a big fat LIAR. 

Today, begin by asking your kids how you can pray for them. 

Then, mid day, send them a little text or tell them you are still praying. 

By evening, remind them that you are continuing to pray. 

I have never had anyone turn down praying for them. EVER. 

If you do not have children, do the same with nieces, nephews, spouses,  friends, and family. 

Our world is in desperate need of praying Christians. 

We have become so busy and distracted that we have put prayer on the back burner and our children may have as well. 

Start small today. God will do the rest. 



never too late, 


jill











Jun 3, 2020

We can do hard things...

I sat down at my computer to write but I have no words. I stared at the blank screen. Nothing.

Often when I have so much on my heart, it takes a while to resonate and let the Lord help me to process.

I scrolled through old posts and almost immediately I came across this one from exactly 5 years ago today. Tears filled my eyes as I was reading...so much has happened since I wrote this. Yet, so much has remained the same. "There is nothing new under the sun.." Ecclesiastes 1:9

My spirit is groaning and praying that these words from 5 years ago will minister to you in some way.

I love you all so much. I am grateful for every single one of you. I do not take you for granted. I pray for you every single day.

We can do hard things...
posted 6/3/15


Hi.

It's been a while, I know.

Are you still reading along with me on our reading plan? It's okay if you are not. You can jump in at any time.

Actually, now is a great time to jump in! We are reading some of my favorite scriptures right now in 1 Samuel. King David is the star of this story. Swoon.

I love David. I mean, I LOVE him. [Lem knows, he's cool with it]

So, Summer is here. Schedules can be kind of crazy. I get it.

My kids are home and we are having a blast. Well, I think we are anyway. If you ask them today if we are having fun, I am not sure what they will say.

Yesterday, I had them make homemade ice cream--without an ice cream maker. They googled the instructions and spent an hour in the kitchen learning about what rock salt does and how thankful we are for new technology--like ice cream makers and electricity.

I thought it was fun and a scientific learning experience. I don't think they have the same perspective.
/
Okay, so back to SHINE girls.

It's been hard for me to sit down and write. Not because I don't have a lot to write about. I could go on for years about God's Word. Decades even.

However, my heart has just been in a hurting place. When my heart hurts, it's hard to find the motivation to motivate. Know what I mean?

My friend, Erin, is going through the trial of a lifetime. I hurt for her. So badly. Please pray for The Spinks family. Please pray for healing. Please pray for peace. Please pray for Erin and Chuck.

Another friend lost her brother to suicide. Oh the loss. Oh the pain. Oh the sadness. Please pray for the Hudgins Family.

Another precious friend's husband was diagnosed with a large tumor in his brain recently, and his surgery is today. Please pray for Shane Beam. Please pray for healing. Please pray for peace.

Heaviness.

Such heaviness.

When I pray these days, I don't even know what to say. I literally, just beg Him for mercy on my people. I have run out of words to say. Groans, tears, and more tears as I pray.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26

There hasn't been just heaviness though.

There have been HUGE moments of Joy.

There have been HUGE moments of Peace.

Somehow, even in the dirtiest, messiest, ugliest, of situations, God gives us Hope.

Hope that He holds today and tomorrow.

Hope that this too shall pass.

Hope that He works all things out for our good.

Hope that He is the Beginning, and He is the End.

Hope that He never leaves us and never forsakes us.

Hope that our hurts and sorrows will soon be no more.

When things happen to us that bring us to our knees, something happens in Heaven that cannot happen otherwise. God's Power is made Perfect in our weakness. [ 2 Corinthians 12:9]

When we lose our strength in the battle and surrender, the Greatest Power on Earth fills us.

Surrender=Power.

Only in God's economy can this make sense.

Only in God's economy can JOY come out of pain.

Only in God's economy can Strength be birthed from weakness.

Only in God's economy can Peace come from the chaos.

As I am groaning through this post, I open my Bible.

It falls open to this passage in Isaiah. This passage that He has shown me time and time again in the midst of my own trials. When I was on my face before Him begging Him for direction and peace.

He shows me this again. To share with you. To remind me. To remind you. To remind us.

This is what the Lord says—
    he who made a way through the sea,
    a path through the mighty waters,
  who drew out the chariots and horses,
    the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
    extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
 “Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
   See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland
Isaiah 43:16-19


Just this very week, I was praying about something in particular. I told him, "Lord, it is SO HARD. Why does it have to be SO HARD?"

He breathed the answer into my soul almost immediately.

"Because your surrender to Me comes only in the hard, Jill."

If it never would have gotten hard, I never would have called on Him so fervently. So desperately.

So, back to this Summer.

Back to our Bible reading.

Stick to it. Even when it gets hard.

Hard is where the growth comes .
Hard is where the fruit is produced.
Hard is where we begin to be molded into His image, because we surrender.

We can do hard things.

Who's up for some growth this Summer?


Let's do this,
jill



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