Tuesday, August 30, 2005

All Threes

Three things you like about yourself:
- my smile
- my handwriting
- my teaching ability

Three physical things you don't like about yourself:
- untoned legs
- untoned stomach
- oliy skin

Three things that scare you:
- garbage disposal
- the death of my family
- my weaknesses

Three of your everyday essentials:
- time with my Jesus
- food
- family time

Three things you are wearing now:
- clothes
- my "something blue" bracelet
- rings

Three of your favorite bands or musical artists:
- Chris Tomlin
- Caedmon's Call
- Watermark

Three things you want in a relationship:
- love
- forgiveness
- understanding

Two truths and a lie: (in any order)
- I went out to dinner last night
- I used to live in Nebraska
- I wear a size 7 shoe

Three physical things that turn you on:
- eyes
- smile/ laugh
- hands

Three of your favorite hobbies:
- reading
- being with my family
- scrapbooking

Three things you really want to do right now:
- lose fat, gain muscle
- be a wife
- be a mommy

Three careers you'd consider:
- Teaching
- Midwifery
- Counseling

Three places you want to go on vacation:
- Australia/ New Zealand
- Africa
- India

Three things you want to do before you die:
- Be married
- Have children
- Know, see and believe as much of God as a human is able to handle

Monday, August 29, 2005

Believing God- Part 1

"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after Me." Isaiah 43:10
It has been almost one year since this verse spawned an incredible journey for me.

The day was cold and dark. Silence illuminated every thought that coursed through my mind. The burden pressing on my shoulders was unbearable. “Jaclyn,” whispered the soft voice. The call was so real and personal that my eyes grew wide. I knew the voice. I loved the voice. He was calling to me. So tender. So compassionate. So inviting. The tears flowed.

Tears of pain. Tears of sadness. Tears of joy. Tears of surrender. Every kind of tear that you can imagine spilled onto my face. The year had been full of pain. But it had also been full of freedom. Freedom from bondage I had willingly subjected myself to. I had idolized something and God had destroyed it. For that I praised Him.

The new burden I was feeling was different. It was not bondage… but a call. A call to another quest. The next level of freedom. The pleading came from the Lover of My Soul to do something that would alter my life- FOREVER.

“Jaclyn,” God appealed earnestly,” are you ready? Are you ready to set aside your plans for your life? Are you ready to embark on a journey that will leave you breathless?”

“Oh, God,” I barely sighed, “yes.”

“Believe me, Child.”

“I do believe in You,” I ignorantly responded.

“No, I said, believe Me. Believe Me like You have never believed me before. Believe with all Your soul that I AM. Believe Me that I know what I am doing. Believe Me for all I have ever been in history. Believe me that I know everything about everything. Believe Me that I am who I say I am and no other. Believe Me that I can do what I say I can do. Believe Me that You are who I say you are. Believe that I am sovereign over all, in all, through all and to all. I AM the Great I AM.”

Stunned I sat. “YES!!! I want to believe You. I want to know You.”

Stunned I would continue to be for the next month, six months and year. Little did I know what God was truly going to do to me! And I have enjoyed every moment.

Believing God has taken on a whole new meaning. It goes beyond the saving faith that says “Jesus is my Savior. I’m going to heaven.” Believing God is so much more. More exciting. More daring. More fulfilling. More dangerous. More satisfying. More. Whatever I “experience” and know of God… He is MORE.

The Church of America is stifled by unbelief. Most Christians are content with going to church and maybe cracking open their Bibles once in a while. We continue sinning with the label of “grace” or “weakness”. We either worship miracles or believe they do not exist anymore. We hesitate to tell others about Jesus because we are scared or use the excuse that we “have not been called” to missions. We are raising children that are rebellious, disinterested in God, atheists and relativists. What has gone wrong? Where did the passionate, bold, enthusiastic and faith-defenders go?

We believe little because we see little and we see little because we believe little.

Mediocrity is not my heritage. Christ is. I want to know Him. I want to believe Him. I want to take Him at His Word. I want to live a life unashamed of the gospel. I will.

Will you? Will you be one that truly believes? Untold blessings await those who step into the threshold of believing God. Beware, it is not full of comfort. Beware, it is not predictable. Beware, it is not easy.
Beware, it is the most amazing life of all.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Things I am sure you wanted to know...

Dawn did it and I thought it fun as well...

1. If you were to choose a new name for yourself, what would it be?
When I was younger I would have said Rachel or Elizabeth. I thought Jaclyn was too plain and not romantic enough. Well, now I am a little older and realize that NO ONE is named Jaclyn. My poor daughters, though, may get the names that I once dreamed I bore.

2. If you were given an extra $10 in change at Walmart, what would you do with it and why?
If it was given to be by mistake I would return it.

3. What's the biggest lesson you've learned from your past relationships?
The biggest lesson I have learned from past AND present relationships is to listen. Not that I have perfected the skill, but I am working on it. Another key to healthy relationships is patience. Patience with faults, patience with slowness, patience with circumstances, patience with time... I am not perfect either.

4. What's one of your worst habits?
Picking at my fingernails. NOT chewing... that habit was broke years ago.

5. What was the best day of the past week for you - why?
Thursday- my birthday!!!

6. What are you wearing today which is most reflective of who you are?
Hummm... everything. I am wearing a brown skirt with soft mint green, pink and tan flowers; a pink shirt and tan light sweater. I love soft, natural colors that accent my dark hair and skin. I am also wearing my new earrings and necklace. It is not my signature jewelry, but fun to wear something new. Of everything I am wearing, though, my shoes and rings are most reflective of who I am. My shoes are from Africa... a contstant reminder of my heart for unreached people. My rings. My precious rings. On my middle finger of my right hand I wear a thin, simple, white gold band engraved with a delicate design. This ring was given to me by my dad's mother about 10 years ago. She told me that it was my great-grandmother's wedding band. I am honored to wear a part of the legacy of a godly woman. On my ring finger on my left hand I wear my purity ring. Made of white gold with a simple heart and tiny diamond, it is a reminder that is always with me of the commitment I have made to my future husband, future children and my family. It is a reminder to be pure in speech, thought, actions and lifestyle.

7. Choose a unique item from your wallet and explain why you carry it around.
Just a sec... I have to look. (I actually don't have a wallet, but built in pocket in my purse) Hahaha... My SAM's card? There is nothing that is really unique. Membership cards, debit card, checkbook, lotion, chapstick, etc.

8. If you could change one thing about your physical appearance what would it be and why?
The allergy dark cirlces under my eyes in the spring!

9. Share one of your most embarrassing moments.
Fainting in front of my friends... Read all about it here!

10. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to go back in time and fix all your mistakes which would you choose?
I would take the money. My mistakes are a part of who I am and who God WANTS me to be! If I take away the mistakes, I also have to take away the personal growth, the glory God has received because of my weakness and people I have been able to help in similar situations. If you take all of those things away, I am no longer Jaclyn. I cannot even imagine who I would be or what fire I would have. Pain produces passion. Weakness encourages growth.

11. If you were given a million dollars and 24 hours to spend it in, (no depositing it in the bank or investing it) what would you buy?
I would pay off my parents house, buy mom a new car, buy a little cabin in the mountains, build a house in the country, muy dad a camp to manage, buy me a house (to use as a rental until I am ready to live in it with my husbadnd and15 kids), buy airplane tickets that never expire to every corner of the earth, donate money to World Vision, Gospel for Asia, Voice of the Martyrs and Compassion International, give Ben money to start his dream conference (maybe a TAYLOR guitar too)... are my 24 hours up yet??? I think my money is gone too...

12. When you look at yourself in the mirror, what's the first thing you look at?
Ummm... I have no idea. It depends why I was going to look in the mirror in the first place...

13. How much cash do you have on you?
I think a nickel.

14. What's a word that rhymes with "TEST"?

15. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?

16. What is your main ring tone on your phone?
I don't know what it is called... it is pretty... almost time for a change, though!

17. Do you prefer a bright or dark room?
Well, not black dark, but I do not mind a wall painted a darker color for dramatic effect. Overall, I like brighter colors like blue, yellow and green.

18. What did you have for breakfast?
Raisin Bran.

19. What were you doing at midnight last night?

20. What did your last text message you received on your cell phone say?
I do not have text capabilities.

21. Do you ever click on "Pop Ups" or Banners?

22. Who told you they loved you last?
My momma.

23. Last furry thing you touched?
Furry? Katie's cat, Madison.

24. How many hours a week do you work?
16- 20

25. How many rolls of film do you need to get developed?
One or two. I have 5 to pick up.

26. Favorite age you have been so far?
Oh my... 22 is good so far!

27. Your worst enemy?
Satan. My own sinful flesh.

28. What is your current desk top picture?
Some kind of pretty yellow flower off of a wallpaper website.

29. What was the last thing you said to someone?
"We have enough to spare!"

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Another year gone by...

Well, it has happened again. Another year has been added to my life today. A year full of joy, trials, growth and experiences. What a blessing to have had another year to breathe, laugh, cry, sleep, walk, eat, play, learn and love. It has been a good year.

I wonder what twenty-two will hold for me? I look to the future and to my Savior with anticipation knowing that He is in control. Of this I am confident... as long as I have my Jesus everything will be just fine.

So here is to a new year, to the mother who gave birth to me and to the King of Kings that I will follow all the days of my life!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

"Let him who boasts...

...boast in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 1:31

The passage including this summary verse was my focus this morning in my time with The Almighty. The entire passage says: (bold are my thoughts)

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

*What is the message of the cross? Hope. Forgiveness. Eternity. Peace. Joy. Love. For those who are perishing is seems stupid and unbelievable. It is a message hard to believe. It seems crazy. God sent His Son to die for me??? Scandalous. BUT to those who do believe it is the power of God. God's ultimate power is displayed in the life, death and resurrection of, well, Himself. The message of the cross is the power of God! Soak it in. Praise His name. The greatest paradox is found in the message of Jesus. Lion of Judah slain on the cross as the Lamb of God. King of the Universe murdered by His own creation through a plot by the King's own pen. It is no wonder that the next verse (19) says what it does. In the act of the cross God completely destroyed the wisdom of the "wise" and all human intelligence is frustrated when it ponders Jesus Christ.

I LOVE the next section of questions... Remember who wrote them- Paul. Someone who used to think of himself as wise, a scholar and a philosopher!

20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

*So, where is the wise man? Scholar? Philosopher? Attention, attention anyone who can solve the mystery of the cross! God answers and says He made foolish the wisdom of the world. He crushed all of our "wisdom" under the weight of the cross. The world, through whatever wisdom it thinks it has, cannot understand God. The next phrase is so funny... it pleased God to have a plan so crazy to preach to those being saved! I can just imagine God sitting on the throne of heaven smiling. The mighty little humans think they are so smart, so He used something WE would think was foolish to show HIS greatest wisdom and power! This reminds me of a beloved song by Michael Card which says, "So we follow God's own Fool, for only the foolish can tell. Believe the unbelievable and come be a fool as well." Sure, call Jesus and the plan of the cross foolish, I'll believe it and you can call me a fool too!

22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

*I am squirming in my seat with excitement! We are getting to the climax of what Paul is writing here!!! Jews look for miracles. That is what they see from the Old Testament. They see a Miraculous and Judging God. Therefore,that is how they expect the Messiah to come. Greeks, on the other hand, rely on intelligence, philosophy and whatever other "wisdom" they can understand. Christ was a stumbling block to both. Jesus did not come as the Jews expected and wanted. Jesus was foolish to the Greeks. Those that did see... both Jews and Greeks... they saw what each of them needed to see. The Jews saw the power of God, the answer to their desire for miracles. The Greeks saw the wisdom of God in the unbelievable. "For the foolishness of God (if He had any) is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God (if He had any) is stronger than man's strength." One of the deepest philosophical verses ever. God has no foolishness nor weakness. So why does Paul say this? If God has no foolishness and that foolishness (or lack of) is WISER than man's wisdom... and if God has no weakness and that weakness (or lack of) is STRONGER than man's strength... the only conclusion I can draw is that we have no wisdom or strength at all. Whatever abilities, smarts or strength we have comes from Him alone. Period. End of story.

Now Paul gets personal to the group he is writing to, but it also applies to us!

26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.

*Gee, thanks Paul.

27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things and the things that are not to nullify the things that are,

*God CHOSE it to be that way to shame the wise and the strong. Why? Why did He do that? Why would He choose the smelly fisherman, the cheating tax collector, the shamed prostitute, the filthy beggar, the helpless blind, the outcast leper, the wandering homeless, the Jesus-follower persecutor and the crucified thief? Why did He choose you? ME?

29 so that no one may boast before Him.

*That's why.

30 It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God, that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

*It is because of Him that I am in Christ Jesus. He is FOR us the wisdom of God. When we could not understand, He became our Understanding. He is our Righteousness. When we could not be right, He became our Covering. He is our Holiness. When we could not be perfect, He became our Answer. He is our Redemption. When we were slaves to sin, He paid the ransom for our deliverance with His life.

31 Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."

*Enough said.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Who am I?

There are gobs of quizzes at Quiz Farm. I took two yesterday to see what kind of a person I am. Hahaha... like I did not know already.

The first quiz was to see what kind of worldview I have. Guess what it said? I am a fundamentalist. Duh.

You scored as Fundamentalist. (Emphasis mine for laughs!)

Fundamentalism represents a movement in opposition to Modernism, stressing the highest importance on foundational religious tradition. Science has brought on corruption of society. God is real and is watching. Scripture leaves little room for interpretation; man is God's creation. About a quarter of the population in the U.S. is classified as Fundamentalist.

My final results:

Fundamentalist- 63%
Cultural Creative- 56%
Romanticist- 44%
Postmodernist- 25%
Modernist- 0%
Materialist- 0%
Idealist- 0%
Existentialist- 0%

The second quiz I took was titled, "What is the right religion for you?" I knew the answer already of course, but was curious to see the questions. The quiz told me that Christianity would be the best religion for me. Duh again.

You scored as Christianity. Your views are most similar to those of Christianity. Consider being baptized, if you aren't already Christian.

My final results:

Christian- 100%
Islam- 60%
Judaism- 30%
Paganism- 10%
Satanism- 0%
Atheism- 0%
Hinduism- 0%

I am not sure where the 10% Paganism comes from, but even pagans agree to love others and not hurt animals (questions on the quiz).

Monday, August 01, 2005

Home Again Home Again

Good morning to all! We returned home safe and sound!

God did amazing things through us and with us. He continually blew me away with His presence, guidance and strength. I learned so much about our team. I learned so much about leadership. I learned to overcome fears and to be bold.

We talked to many people one on one about their "spiritual lives". We saw one person accept the message of Jesus and one person come very close. We were amazed at responses like, "I have never thought about heaven and hell." "I believe in Jesus, but think I still have to do good works to get into heaven." "I don't care if I go to hell." I knew these would be some of the answers, but it never ceases to amaze me that people say them. We all walked away from various conversations shaking our head. Several of us broke into tears during our evening devotion over the souls that are still blind.

It breaks my heart. We touched so few lives in the scope of the world. We were overwhellmed, saddened, burdened and hit full in the face with the reality of people's beliefs. YET, we all came home knowing God better and having a renewed boldness to share the love of God with others. Therefore, the trip was a "success". We did not see gobs of people bend the knee toward heaven. We did not speak to thousands. We came home changed. We touched as many people as we could and now we pray that God will use us to draw the people to Him.

Very sad news... I forgot to take pictures of me as a clown. I am serious. We have a group picture of us clowns. But not on the digital camera. I am sooooo sorry! I am going to try to scan the group pic and upload it!

Thank you for your prayers! I am excited to see what the future holds for our team!