Oct 22, 2020

Doing unto others...

 Over the past week some sad news has hit our small community. 

A parents worse nightmare. 

A 16 year old boy named Jacob diagnosed with cancer. 

As the days linger on waiting upon waiting on pins and needles for more updates-- I can only imagine how his parents feel.

Yesterday I sat on my back porch imagining the scenario with one of my own children. My throat closed, my eyes welled with tears and I just sobbed. 

How do you help someone in this situation? Your mind scurries for ways to help ease their pain, to help in some way be comfort to them. 

Instead of racking my brain on ways to help, I thought to myself, my own mother heart..."What would I want someone to do for me if my child was in the hospital?"

I knew immediately. 

I grabbed my Bible, opened it to the most worn pages in the Book....Psalm 91. 

I prayed it out loud  on my back porch. Inserting the boys name as I read, I pictured his face in each passage. 

My mother heart, more than anything else in the world, would be for my community to pray God's Word over my child. To put their name in the passage and lift those prayers of God's own Words right back up to Heaven to His ears. 

Peace came as I read. I pray this family felt God's Comforting Hand in that moment. 

"Do onto others as you would have them do unto you." The Golden Rule from Luke 6:31.

This. This is what I would want done if I were in their place. 

God's Word tells us over and over to pray without ceasing. To lift each other up in our times of need. 

Yes, we are also to be the Hands and the Feet of Jesus when we can, but so often what is needed most is our prayers over them. 

There is nothing greater than prayer. 

I am reminded of a story in the Bible. A boy and his father. The boy was unable to speak or hear. His body would convulse and be thrown to the ground in seizures by these awful spirits. 

The disciples were unable to heal him. They did all they knew to do...but still could not heal the boy. 

Jesus was able to heal him immediately. 

Amazed,  the disciples asked Jesus how He was able to heal the boy. 

Jesus responded, "This kind can only come out by prayer." Mark 9:29

Could this be the missing link in our lives?

Are we praying, are we really truly praying fervently and unceasingly?

I am convicted greatly with my own words. 

This morning I read about the persistent widow  in Luke 18 asking the judge for justice from her adversary. She begged, she pleaded, day after day. 

Finally, because he was so tired of hearing her and seeing her face every single day, the judge granted her what she asked for. 

How much more will God answer our prayers if we will only ask and keep asking? We are His children. He loves us so much. Yet, we give up on prayer so easily. We get tired. We relent instead of persist. 

Father, forgive us for our lack of faith. Help us to pray. Help us to pray without ceasing! Help us to lift others needs up as if we are the one needing what is being asked. 

When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles, When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devils shouts for joy. -Corrie Ten Boom

Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure. -Dwight L. Moody

Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.- St. Augustine

There is nothing to be valued more highly than to have people praying for us; God links up His power in answer to their prayers.-Oswald Chambers


Would you stop where you are and lift up Jacob and his family? God hears us.


headed back to the porch, 


jill






Oct 14, 2020

Zipping it...

 Listen twice, speak once. 

The preacher's words hit my heart hard and I felt them. 

I looked over at my kids as we were intently listening, and they too were struck with the message. 

One of my kids, I will not say which one, but SHE had a little bit of a rough patch with her tongue that entire weekend. 

She even admitted her cheeky comments and sassy tone. 

However, none of us were expecting the sermon to be on taming the tongue. 

It was hard not to look over at her, but as soon as I thought better of it I was reminded of my own tongue follies. 

Goodness gracious, I certainly had no place pointing a finger. 

My nephew was also with us as we listened to the sermon and I could see his eyes secretly glance over at the kid with the mouth folly all weekend just to see her reaction. I giggled a little, I admit. 

God was not just speaking to her, He was using a megaphone to get my attention as well. 

 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. James 3:5-6

Umm, wow. Read that little doozie again. 

Let's break it down..

-the tongue is small

-yet, it makes great boasts. hello, pride. 

-a forest fire begins with a small spark. see, notice the word small again. 

-the tongue is a fire, evil among all the parts of the body. eeeek!

-the tongue corrupts the whole body, in fact the whole course of our life can be set on fire by the tongue. 

-the tongue is set on fire by hell--the enemy, satan. double eeeeeeek!


Hold on for just a second while I grab a glass of water to gulp down. 

God is serious about this issue. 

Our tongues are dangerous. They are a small part of our body but a HUGE part of the course of our life. 

Life and death come from the tongue. 

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

Have you ever been criticized or made fun of or been looked down upon verbally?

Of course you have. We all have. 

We often remember those words like they were spoken yesterday. They still hurt. They still burn around the edges of the scars left on our hearts. 

I often hear words pop into my head that were spoken over me a long time ago...the enemy whispers these words into my unsuspecting ears. 

See how that works? Someone spoke that spark of words, and the enemy tries to fan that flame still today. 

Many therapists and counselors will tell you that verbal abuse (hence, the tongue), leaves an indelible mark on us. Those words can haunt us and destroy us if we do not replace those words with God's Word and His Truth over us. 

You can have a million affirmations but the statement that we remember most will be the one that daggered our hearts the deepest. 

The tongue. 

The small, narrow body part inside of our mouths has the power of life and death. 

How are we using our tongues these days? Oh my. Just flip on the news or social media and you will see the forest fire of words. 

Listen twice, speak once. 

Are we listening to others? Or are we just trying to get our point across. 

Are we praying before we respond or are we just spewing out flames?

Think about conversations you have had this week. With friends, with the spouse, with the kids, with a co-worker, with the clerk at the grocery store, even on social media...

Are  we speaking life or are we speaking death?

We are made in God's image. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, and you believe that He died for your sins...you have been made NEW in Him. 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17

We have this great commission....to reflect Jesus day in and day out. To take up our cross and follow Him...even when it's hard. And it will be!

Our hearts must change in order for our tongues to change. 

My kid with the tongue follies crawled into my bed last night. She curled up next to me and said, "Momma, I think my heart is changing. God is doing something in my heart."

I smiled, blinking back tears and whispered, "My heart is changing too."


taming this tongue & this heart day by day, 

jill




Oct 7, 2020

You are always on my mind...

Happy Wednesday and Happy Fall! Eek! This weather in Georgia is so refreshing lately! My 10,000 steps a day are suddenly so much more enjoyable! 

I love how God brings seasons. He is so creative, isn't He?

If you are reading along with us in the Daily Walk Bible, we have finally landed in the New Testament. And everyone said Amen! 

Don't get me wrong, I love the good O. T., but there is NOTHING like the Words of Jesus in the N.T.

I could soak in the book of Matthew for days and days and days and never get tired of it. 

If you are not following along, it is a good time to start reading with us! You can find our bible here. Guaranteed the best $12 you will ever spend!

On this beautiful Wednesday morning, I want you to know, I pray for you often. Yes, you. 

In the words of the late great Elvis Presley, You are always on my mind. (cheesy, i know)

God brings you to my heart so often on those daily steps I take and I am burdened with your burdens. I am overwhelmed by your circumstances. I grieve the things you are grieving. 

But, it doesn't stop there. I release those burdens to the Lord in prayer. I ask Him to be your Comforter, Your Peace. Your Compass. Your Hope. 

I have been forever changed by women in my life who pray. 

I know first hand the POWER of prayer. 

Years ago, I read the book of Job. The words that seared into my heart were:

"when Job prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes. In fact, the LORD gave him twice as much as before! Job 42:10

There is so much TRUTH in these words. 

Only in God's Kingdom can praying for others restore your own heart in the process. 

I will never ever understand how it works, but it does. 

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”
― Soren Kierkegaard

When we pray for others something shifts in the spiritual world. Strongholds are loosened. The enemy runs. Power is released from Heaven. God's perfect Will is done. 

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. -The Lord's Prayer

I challenge you, I challenge us...

Pray for someone today. 

Write their name on a piece of paper and put it somewhere you can see it. 

Pray for them throughout your entire day. Lift their name up to Jesus. Over and over. 

Prayer is a discipline. It takes intention. 

However, the more we pray, the easier and more natural it becomes. 

Paul tells us in the New Testament to pray about everything, and to never stop praying. 

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Are you in need of a miracle today? Do you need Hope? Do you need restoration?

Pray for someone. 

God will do a work in your heart as you pray. 


walking and praying, 


jill








Oct 5, 2020

Right where you are...

 As I listened to the sermon, my mind was racing. 

I haven't done enough. I need to do more

Our preacher was preaching from this scripture, "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. James 2:26

Suddenly, my mind was filled with thoughts of guilt. I wasn't doing enough good deeds. I needed to do more. 

The message was packed with goodness, however, I interpreted it wrong in my heart. 

Instead of praying and asking God to let the message speak to me, I quickly jumped into my own interpretation of it. 

Those thoughts lasted throughout the day. 

As I sat next to a sweet mother in the stands of watching our girls play volleyball, I was once again pounded with guilt. 

This mother has 3 adopted children. On top of the slew of biological children she is already raising. 

I listened to her as she talked about some hardships with one of her adopted children. Instead of listening intently to her pain, I was focused on my own guilt. My lack of deeds. My not doing enough pity party. 

Here she was raising an army of children, and here I was doing what?

This morning as I was in my Bible, God spoke to me. Words I needed to hear. Words I could have heard yesterday if I would have talked to Him, sought Him, prayed to Him. 

I know that guilt is never from Him. Ever. 

Conviction is good and healthy. Guilt is deadly and poisonous. 

I began to write in my prayer journal and this scripture just breathed right into my lungs...

"If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities. Luke 16:10

As I pondered those words, my heart began to see my life differently. I began to see my little home and my little family. I pictured Lem, my husband, and my two children. 

Was I being faithful in this area? Was I doing my best in being a faithful wife and mother?

Peace washed over me. 

God has called me to this place. Right here. 

He has not called me to be in a thousand other places. At least not right now. 

If I take my attention off of my family and the many needs here, I would not be faithful to my call here. 

God has me here. In this season. 

Seeing my life in this way takes the pressure off. It takes the guilt off and throws it into an ocean of mercy. 

God has many good deeds planned for me to do right here. In my home. On my little street. In our little town. Among the people right under my nose. 

These deeds will probably never get noticed publicly, with applaud and ringing affirmation...

But God sees. 

He sees the small and faithful things we do each day.

He sees us waking up early to get some time in with Him. Tiptoeing into the kitchen to pour that first cup of coffee and praying the little ones stay sleeping. 

Preparing lunches. Scrubbing the dishes. Emptying the dishwasher. Washing clothes. Folding clothes. Paying bills. Driving to work day in and day out. Helping with homework. Carpooling kids. Sitting on bleachers until your bottom is numb. Cheering on kids as they play sports. 

God sees. 

And, it matters. 

You may not realize it now, but some day you will. 

The impact you have on your family is bigger than you can ever imagine. 

Your presence means a whole lot to those people around you. 

Your faithfulness in your seemingly mundane tasks are important. 

These deeds that you do every single day are building a foundation for God's Kingdom. 

God's economy is different than the world's economy. Little things are big things. 

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew  19:14

He sees the heart. He sees what we do not see. 

Keep up your good deeds, sweet friend. 

Taking care of that sweet family of yours is making a difference. 

LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:5-6


back to the dishes, 


jill



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