The Dreaded Talk

In Bronnie Ware’s book, “Top Five Regrets of the Dying”, regret #3 regret was “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.” She said many people suppressed their feelings to keep peace with others. As a result, several had developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried. Continue Reading

Step Right Up, No Waiting!

By a show of hands, who loves waiting?

For anything?

Hand Writing Don't Wait With Marker

Sometimes my husband and I wait 30-45 minutes for a table at our favorite restaurant. We wait in line at the gas pumps. At grocery stores and doctor’s offices.  And don’t even get me started about how long the line is at Target’s return counter?

Seriously Target, if you’re reading this, PLEASE add more staff!! Continue Reading

Sifted and Agitated

To say I’ve taken a break from this BLOG would be an understatement. It has been months since I have sat at this desk. I have missed it. But I just couldn’t get there. Why?  

Because like Simon Peter, I have been sifted and agitated. Tested and tried. Confused and in need of help. In short, I have been stuck in my story. In my head. In my worries. And I didn’t have the strength and, at times, lacked all desire to get unstuck. As Dr. Phil would say, “the misery seemed to be working for me”.

Maybe you’ve been there too. With me, it was my health. Too many details to share, but suffice it to say, I had many doctors and practitioners scratching their heads and wondering about the answers themselves.

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. ~Luke 22:31-32

In Barnes’ Notes and Commentaries, Barnes states that in Biblical times, grain was agitated or shaken in a kind of fan or sieve. The grain remained in the fan, and the chaff and dust were thrown off. So Christ says that Satan desired to try Peter; to place trials and temptations before him; “to agitate him” to see whether anything of faith would remain.

I am thrilled that Peter won his battles with Satan. And I am happy to report that Satan didn’t take me down either!

Yes, my faith was tested, but thank goodness for faithful friends and family! When I couldn’t or wouldn’t bother to pray for myself, they stood in the gap and prayed for me.

Today, I am healthier than I have been in years. And I thank God and my faith-filled friends for their love and support. And so my journey is onward and upward, serving the Lord of Lords and the King of all Kings!

Are you stuck? Unable or unwilling to pray for yourself? If so, don’t beat yourself up. Reach out to someone close to you, a friend or church member. Ask them to pray for you. If you don’t want to disclose the details, that’s OK. God knows everything that is going on in your life.

The power of prayer is mighty! And Jesus, who lives to intercede for us, is waiting for us to call on Him.

Why wait? Begin your restoration today. All we have to do is ask.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  ~Hebrews 4:15-16
Be sure to stop by www.womenofthewayministries.org to connect with other Christian women

Do You Know God’s Plan For Your Life?

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  ~Jeremiah 29:11  

According to a study by BibleStudyTools.com, Jeremiah 29:11 is the most popular verse in the Bible!  And why wouldn’t we love it?

God has a plan for our life. Check.

Plans to prosper us and not harm us. Check.

Plans to give us hope and a future. Check. 

But I have to say what I love most is that God didn’t just say He has plans for our lives, He declares it! Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘declare’ as an official announcement, a proclamation, to make known or state clearly. God doesn’t just know His plans for us, He is pumped up about ’em and can’t wait to tell us all about it!

We have all seen the words of Jeremiah 29:11 beautifully displayed as a colorful graphic on greeting cards, painted on plaques and embroidered on pillows. You may have included the verse in an e-mail to a friend struggling with life’s messy issues. It’s easy to share with anyone dealing with the heartache of a bad diagnosis, a lost job, a failed marriage or a lousy score on the SAT. It’s comforting, so of course it is our “go to” verse when someone is struggling and desperately needing confirmation that God loves them. 

There’s just one problem….. Plans A and B failed we need plan C Handwritten phrases PLAN A and B crossed out with red pencil PLAN C phrase written below

If we stop at verse 11, we only know that He has a plan for us. If we stop at verse 11, we won’t know the plan until we do our part

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  ~Jeremiah 29:12-13

Yes, He has a plan for us. And as we read in Ephesians 3:20, He is able to do more than we could ever imagine, according to His power that is at work in us. But are we plugged into that power source? Daily? Hourly? And when we share those comforting words with our friend, do we stop at verse 11 or do we emphasize the need to go to our Lord in prayer?

It is great to love Scripture and memorize our favorite Bible verses, but it’s even more important that we know and love the Writer. Verses 12 and 13 tell us, plain and simply, that He is more than willing to reveal His plan for our lives but we have to do our part. We must call on Him. Pray to Him. Seek Him. And when we do that, He promises to listen to us when we seek Him with all of our heart.

If you are struggling to know what God has planned for your life, I pray that you start each day with the author and perfecter of your faith, Jesus Christ. Call on Him.  Talk with Him. Sit with Him. Love Him. And the next time you share this comforting verse with a friend in need, don’t forget to include verses 12 and 13.

 

Ephesians 3:20, Hebrews 12:2, Psalm 90:14

 

Go to Women of the Way Ministries to check out BLOGS written by some of my faith-filled girlfriends!

The Greatest Love

Two red heart, symbol of love, excellent vector element for your design on Valentine's Day

For God…the greatest lover

so loved…the greatest degree

the world…the greatest company

that he gave…the greatest act

his one and only Son…the greatest gift

that whoever…the greatest opportunity

believes in him…the greatest simplicity

shall not perish…the greatest promise

but…the greatest difference

have…the greatest certainty

eternal life…the greatest possession

~Anonymous

 

Happy Valentine’s Day,

Jean-Ann

The Breakfast of Champions

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.  ~Psalm 5:3

Young woman at home sitting on modern chair in front of window relaxing in her living room reading book and drinking coffee or tea

My favorite time of the day is just before daybreak. It’s still, cool and quiet. I pour a cup of coffee, feed my 4-leggeds and crawl into my Big Butt Prayer Chair for my time with Jesus. That is where my day begins. With Him. And it is magical. I read scripture, a few devotionals, I pray for friends, loved ones and a few strangers on my prayer list. I repent of my failings and shortcomings and I lay both my prayer requests and my pride at His feet. There are days I spend 10-15 minutes in that chair, other days longer.

It is during our time together that God reminds me that my life belongs to Him and not to all the lovely folks on my jam-packed calendar. He loves my ministry, of course, but He loves the time I spend with Him even more. And I have learned the hard way that if my day doesn’t start with Him at the center of it, things typically do not go well. I tend to be more critical of myself, a bit short-tempered, kind of cranky, and all-in-all, pretty unlovable! But with my eyes fixed on Him, I feel grounded and have confidence that I can weather any storm.

One of my prayers this morning was for you to find that same joy in Him. I prayed that you would make it a priority to find a special spot to share with Jesus. Maybe it is while you’re cozied up in bed at the end of a long day, during your commute to work or waiting in the carpool line. Whatever works. The time you spend with your Lord will serve you well and honor Him in a big way.

Jesus, our Lord and Savior, desperately wants a relationship with us, but He is the ultimate gentleman and will not barge into our world without an invitation.  Instead, He gently and generously offers us the opportunity to unplug from the craziness of the world and plug into our true power source, the Lord of All Creation.

How could anyone turn down an offer like that?

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.  ~Matthew 11:28-30