Month: October 2018

Facing Giants

I Samuel 17:34-37

34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

John Wesley just reminded me that in our early days of marriage restoration, God had revealed to me our marriage trouble wasn’t the giant…
The giant was coming…
I still remember the surprise of that revelation then…6 years ago now. “God, what do You mean this isn’t a giant? Something bigger is coming?” As panic tried to creep in, the Holy Spirit came in like a flood to comfort me and let me know quickly that David was able to face that giant, because he had already fought the bear and the lion. So, I was able to forget about it, and not worry.
Then two years later, the Holy Spirit woke me up with the words, “smooth stone.”
It was when Ian had his eye surgery, and I was wondering why God didn’t just heal him. Why did we have to go through this? Why did his eyes cross to begin with? Why did we have to go through surgery? Why? Why? Why? The Holy Spirit’s words led me to study David’s five smooth stones. After studying them, He again reminded me a giant was coming!
There’s been many speculations of why David picked up 5 stones to face Goliath when it only took one to defeat him. I don’t believe David knew that it would only take a single stone. David just knew what he needed to go into battle. I believe our smooth stones are what we know we need for battle. Just like David, we must take up ammunition against the enemy…
I believe our smooth stones include prayer, fasting, saturating ourselves in God’s word, and the faith that comes from experience with what we’ve already seen God do in our lives. 
Those are at least my smooth stones. 
So here we are. Facing a giant. He’s really big and scary, but he defies what we know about God. God says that we will be the head and not the tail. God says that no weapon formed against us shall prosper. God says no one can pluck us out of His hand. And God says a bunch more stuff that Satan doesn’t want us to believe. So, that’s what we stand on (faith in Who God is), just like David. 
We may be numb to the emotions of the story, since we’ve heard it so many times, but just because David talked big doesn’t mean he wasn’t apprehensive or have a tiny bit of trepidation. It was no small thing to swim against the current and stand up against the experienced warrior when absolutely no one else would!
His king doubted him. His brothers mocked him. And the giant laughed at him.
I imagine it was hard for him that day, as it is hard for me now. Not for lack of support, but simply facing a foe of this magnitude.
Yet, I cling to every shred of truth God has shown me: GOD IS GREATER!!
God bless,
Jenn
I Samuel 17:45-47
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

Bad Things…Good People?

Some people have asked us the age-old question: Why do bad things happen to good people? First, let’s set aside the fact that Jesus (perfect-Son-of-God, J-E-S-U-S) said there was none good but the Father…Ok, why do bad things happen to seemingly good people? God let me know early on that He wasn’t the One to cause Ariel’s sickness. That’s the enemy. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Sin entered the world, because we let it, and Satan tries to destroy all God has created. So the true question remains, “Why would God allow these things, even if He doesn’t orchestrate them? This admits God’s sovereignty over all things, and then asks why. And the answer many don’t like: It’s for God to know. We just have to trust that A) He’s sovereign. B) He’s good. C) He’s got plans.
In Genesis 50:20, Joseph recognizes that all the bad things he suffered for years in his life was a plan God allowed to place him precisely where he could save his family and people. God took the evil and designed an extravagant plan for good. It takes faith to see that. God doesn’t have to share His plans with us and actually hardly ever does, because we must have the faith in Him to believe He is working all things out for our good (Romans 8:28). Job 42:2 says that no purpose of God’s can be thwarted. That tells me that whatever devious scheme Satan attempts, God’s sovereignty remains untouched. So He weaves around the schemes to design a beautiful story.
In 2012, Satan attacked our marriage. God called me to stand for my husband and our marriage. At the time, it was the hardest thing I’d ever experienced. It was brutal trusting God to restore a marriage that in the natural was dead. But God made promises, and he made every single one come to pass. He promised my husband would return. He did. He promised me children after 10 years of infertility. A month after our marriage was restored, we were pregnant! What Satan had meant to destroy, God made into the most amazing story! God blessed our marriage into this beautiful testimony with 3 wonderful miracles in each of our children. 
For the past 6 years we’ve had struggles, but it has been a blessed time together as our family has grown. Now, we are facing a great trial – Satan again, is trying to destroy us, but God has made more promises, and because of everything we’ve already been through, we KNOW how good a God He truly is. I encourage anyone following our story to just expectantly wait for God to demonstrate His greatness…that’s what we’re doing. I admit, this is a dark valley (the shadow of death) that we are traveling, but He goes before us. He comforts us, and He uses so many people to show us kindness and love. We are so grateful and blessed. I know, superficially, that sounds like a contradiction to what we are facing, but it’s truth.
I pray God pulls back the veil to let others see the deeper picture of the beauty He’s currently weaving in our daughter’s life, as well as our own!
God bless you all,
Jenn

Urgent Prayer Request

We are calling all prayer warriors to please pray for our middle child, Ariel. Doctors diagnosed her with leukemia. We are praying for strength, wisdom, and healing.

I was reading John 9 this morning where the disciples ask Jesus why the guy was born blind. Jesus simply says to show the works of God in him. The why’s don’t matter, but giving all for the glory of God is what truly matters.

I know life is hard…and sometimes it gets harder than we think possible, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t a good God.

Y’all, God is a great God! I see that in the incredible strength of my little girl and the infinite kindnesses shown by so many friends, family, and strangers. This is all for His glory!!!

Genesis 50:20-21 (NKJV) 20 “But as for you, you meant evil against me; [but] God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as [it is] this day, to save many people alive. 21 “Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

Unconditional Respect

Ephesians 5:33 (NLT) So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

I remember reading Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and learning some valuable truths. The author pointed out that everyone thinks love must be unconditional, but respect must be earned, yet God’s Word tells us otherwise. Notice the verse doesn’t say that the wife respect her husband IF he loves her or IF he deserves it. It says the wife MUST love her husband…period! It was very eye opening to say the least. Men are commanded to love their wives whether they deserve it or not, and women are commanded to respect their husbands in the same way. Yikes!

That was something I didn’t know how to do when all my life I’d been taught/shown otherwise. However, the great news is that God can change our hearts to align to His Word. Boy, I’m so glad! Sometimes it’s in leaps and bounds, but other times it’s baby steps. We just have to succumb our will to God’s. In that way, it’s really not about our husbands at all (what they do right or wrong), but looking to God to do what’s right when we give it to Him. I remember crying and screaming to God it wasn’t fair to respect him after all he’d done to me and our marriage, but after my fit throwing, I chose to do it His way. After that, it wasn’t an issue anymore! God took all the struggle away and replaced it with His love for my husband! Wow!!

I have found, when we respect unconditionally the way God commands, God changes our husbands into someone worthy of that respect. That’s why it became a non-issue for me. Not only did I see God change me, but my husband too!

So, life lesson learned: Unconditional love for my husband is great, but unconditional respect for my husband is commanded by God, because, truly, it’s what men require!