Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Life's Unexpectations...

it was the perfect "girl scenario. there i was on a warm vegas night, sitting in my pjs, indulging in mint chocolate chip ice cream (which is my absolute fave, by the way), hair pulled back, watching my fave show, One Tree Hill. am i lame? haha. i don't think so. just being myself, i guess. doesn't matter anyway. i was enjoying myself, and this experience got me thinkin', which is now leading me to write yet again...

tonight's episode was about tragedy, grief. the star basketball player funeral taking place and watching how others coped with this unexpected event after this guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was shot to death. also, watching other characters deal with their own inner turmoil that is just bottling up inside, and it makes you wonder what day, minute, second that they just can't take it anymore and will eventually explode.

for those who don't know this, and believe it or not, this show has had a major impact on my life. yes, i am newly 27 years of age, and i am deeply inspired by a teeny bopper's TV show. does it matter? i think not. OTH is in its 6th season, and it still affects me. granted, i missed most of season 5 due to living in Holland, but it doesn't matter. what i have seen of this show is enough to make me think. and i guess that's what i love about it.

so many things happen in our lives that are unexpected. i could name...oh let's say like a thousand right off the bat just in my own life, and i am sure you could too. not all of these life's unexpectations are bad, some are good, and others are even great. no matter what they are, they impact us in a way that we are changed...molded and shaped into the men and women we are today.

i guess the main "surrealities" in my life at the moment might be somehting like...i never expected to be back in the states again to live. i never expected to be divorced, and i am. i never expected to be a size 8 again after "getting lucky" and losing all of that weight to get into a size 2 right after my ex-husband left. i guess tragedy CAN be beneficial at times. haha. i never expected much of my life to take the turns that it has. some in my control, and others not. however, looking back, i guess i have to ask myself, if it was all worth it. those life's unexpectations. do even those make life worth living? that's quite a question, and maybe it cannot be answered in a simple "yes" or "no." everyone's opinion is different, i suppose.

i guess for me, it's been many of those life's unexpectations that have either propelled me into faith or shrunk me back into fear. but that's just it. we cannot control what happens or who happens in our lives. the only thing we can control is our reaction to them. i will be the first to admit that i haven't handled many situations in faith, but rather with fear. and it's been that fear that has and continues to plague my life. so this is where i am thankful for those life's unexpectations, whether they reveal the good, the bad, or the ugly side of life. why, you ask? because it's these twists and turns along the journey that give me another chance to do it right again. it's another chance for me to express my faith, and for God to express His faithfulness. and there is nothing more beautiful or more amazing than that.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Something Heavenly...

okay well, here goes nothin'. here i sit this fine evening, and i have this horrible chest cold, a headache, etc. lovely! however, the core of the issue has been spiritual and emotional in nature.
consider this song. it's amazing. here are the lyrics.

"Whatever You're Doing" by Sanctus Real

It's time for healing time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time to make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me
And all I can do is surrender

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something Heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Reevaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow Your will
Or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is You want from me
I give everything I surrender...

Time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to release all my held back tears

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something Heavenly

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see
This something bigger than me
Larger than life something Heavenly
Something Heavenly

It's time to face up
Clean this old house
Time breathe in and let everything out

so i have been feeling a bit stressed and run down the last few days. alot of stuff going on, and it's really exciting for the most part, but just so overwhelming. i guess i thought i would be handling it better than i am, or be more secure about the whole thing. well...yeah. it's been a time of some major seeking the Lord and just searching for His way, His will, and just...stuff. yeah.

anyway, i was chillin' tonight when the phone rang out of the blue. it was my friend, james. he called and asked me what's been going on in my life and how things are going. we exchanged stories of life's adventures, and during james' sharing time, he told me about the song from Sanctus Real. he explained how God was really speaking to his heart through this song. i was all excited, and so i told him i would definitely look it up on myspace after our talk. and so i did.
this phone conversation was so encouraging and such divine appointment. james spoke straight up to me about some things i needed to hear, and i knew God was speaking through him. it was major confirmation for me with some things i am dealing with at the moment. i just praise God for moments like these. i had been struggling with some things this week, and BAM! God comes through and speaks SO straight-forward and SO clearly. i just feel such peace and joy at this moment, and i am just so ever thankful for the Lord and His amazing love and grace in my life.

this song is amazing. i have listened to it probably 15 or 20 times in a row just to let the message sink deeply into my spirit. in the mist of the chaos and everything going on, healing is taking place, and something Heavenly IS happening in my life! it's okay to be honest about my feelings, it's okay to let go of the hurt and the pain, and it's okay to feel what i feel, but as long as i surrender it all to God and let Him make beauty out of my ashes.

someone once told me like a year ago that we empower what we believe. it's so true. i know that this season i am dealing head on with the spirit of fear, but even in the midst of this storm, i am confident that i will come out victorious. i am changing, and the best it yet to come. God is faithful.

so yeah....it's definitely time to let go of the past and embrace the present and the future. cuz lemme tell ya, the present and future holds GREAT things for me, and i am stoked. God is good. He really does restore all that the stupid enemy has stolen from me. what's happening in my life right now is evidence of that. He really IS in control. i truly AM on the journey of a lifetime so i better sit tight and just enjoy the ride. Wow...this is so cool. Thanks, God!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


well, here i am once again, and i actually have been wanting to write this blog since last saturday night, but things have happened, and i have just been so exhausted to think past like 8 pm. haha. so here goes nothin'....

saturday night at church was amazing. there was a guest speaker, and his name is dave roever. for those of you who don't know him, dave is an amazing evangelist, and he works alot with the military and the US gov't. you see, save is a vietnam vet who had a phospherous grenade blow up in his face, leaving him with scares over most of his body. i mean, this man was badly burned beyond recognition, and he should not have lived...according to human understanding. but my God is greater! yep. my God saved this man's life, and now he goes around the world sharing his heart and testimony with others and touching lives everywhere.

dave spoke alot saturday night about scars. he referred to his own scars, mostly the physical ones, but also the emotional and spiritual scars. his story touched my heart so much and i left that service with so much more joy, hope, and just thanksgiving in my heart for the Lord's mercy and grace. there were several times when dave mentioned about the scars of divorce. each time i heard the word, it felt like a pinched nerve in my body. i cringed, almost as though it seemed too surreal to me to think that i have actually gone through AND survived a divorce. by His grace and mercy, i made it through, and now i can live to tell about it.

you see, what i took home with me that night is the message that every scar tells a story, whether it is visible or not. God can use our every scar for our good and His glory. how amazing is that?? it hit me like a ton of bricks. well, it was something i have always said and always knew, but to be reaffirmed in this was so refreshing for me. God is such a good God!

i'm still going through alot of healing, and many times, it is not easy. heck, when is it ever easy? but God is faithful. when i fall, He picks me right back up again, takes me by the hand, and leads me. sometimes i feel like i have to apologize for who i am or what i have been through, but i know i don't. my scars reveal a major part of who i am, and i am proud of them, in a way, because it's those very scars that give others hope. yep, it's true. our scars are proof to others that we have made it through the storms that have raged around us, and if we can do it, so can they. and this is such an amazing opportunity to express to them how much we needed God's love, mercy, and forgiveness to get through those trials and tribulations in our lives. what an amazing thing. God really does turn everything out for good.

that night at church, dave also made another good point. he said that it's so much more valuable to a person when we share what Jesus Christ has done in our own lives than if we just bash them over the head with a Bible and preach to them. so simple, so known, so misunderstood. you see, people want proof of our scars. they need that message of hope. the hope being Jesus Christ. however, they want to know what He has done personally in my life and in yours. people aren't as interested in what He has done in the apostle Paul's life or whoever. they want OUR story. they want a glimpse or OUR scars so they can be reassured that they are not the only ones in the world that knows what it's like to have these scars.

so yeah, i am jess, and i have scars. i have hurt. i have pain. i could go on and on and on. what i will say is that i am thankful to the Lord for every single thing i have gone through and continue to go through in my life. it has taught me SO much and molded and shaped me into the woman i am today. suffering for the cause of Christ is the most amazing and humbling experience in the life of a believer. no matter how strong life hits us with fears, worries, trials, tribulations, insecurities, and so on....He is there in our midst. and God is faithful. amen and glory to His name.

Friday, September 05, 2008

It’s Past My Bedtime....

and i am not in bed yet. and i feel like being grammatically incorrect for this blog so bear with me. haha. i just feel this urge to write blogs lately. i don't know, maybe it's more of my passion oozing out of me or something. at any rate, i am pretty sure that krysten will appreciate this, and i hope the rest of you will too.

i spoke to my good dear ol' friend, special k, mummy k, domi k, kwyten bug, etc...krysten....on the phone today. we killed about an hour and a half on the phone, which, for us, is not hard to do. i miss her. it was so cool to go to her about advice about some girly stuff. this disproves her theory that i don't love her anymore. she has a brain (for the most part), and she knows (somewhat) how to use it, and this benefits me...so the whole world is a better place. yay! hahaha. i so need to be in bed right now.

it's just good to know that she didn't forget about me and my crazy life adventures the past few years. i mean, we have not seen each other in over 2 and a half years, and we can still joke around and be ourselves as if we were still roommates in college (university for the europeans reading this). i really consider her my best friend whether or not she feels the same about me...(no pressure, K). haha. no matter what's going on, we understand each other. heck, we even have our own language, our own myspace profile, and we SHOULD have our own talk show. hahaha. people would hate us though. lol.

we discussed becoming 30 in 3 years. the whole thought makes us both wanna vomit profusely. i could have slapped my mother with a raw fish in the face when she reminded me of that horrible truth. i am reaching 30, and its going much faster than i anticipated. this sucks. haha. however, i hear from people that their 30's are better than their 20's, their 40's better than their 30's. and so on. i am sorry but i just feel old at the moment. everyone in my group of friends lately seems to be younger. "jess, how old are you? 27. i would have NEVER guessed THAT. i would have said MAYBE 18." GRR?? haha. well, at least when i am 50, i will look 25, so praise God for that!

right now at this very moment, i feel like a time bomb waiting to go off. what a strange feeling. now you all know why i have anxiety issues. maybe its a bit more ADHD though. haha. i am just getting so restless. i am excited to be borrowing a good book from a friend which will hopefully help me to better understand men and also myself. and yes, i admit that i am one of the ONLY women out there who does NOT understand men...well besides the fact that they want simplicity, which in and of itself seems too complicated to me. does it ever end? haha. i just feel on edge and unsettled. i hate that feeling. i swear its not me though. as im typing right now, i can see a picture of myself and there is a rocket strapped to my butt, and it goes off, and i am launched into somewhere. ouch!

maybe i am just overly excited? i mean, i have reason to be. God is good, and He is giving me lots of presents lately. lots of gifts, surprises, blessings...it's all comin'. i am loving it. truly. i just....wanna go....scream at a wild monkey and hope he doesn't talk back to me or something. dude, i saw this video recently of a monkey or baboon peeing in its own mouth. so gross but very funny. why am i sharing this with you? because i am lame, and i need to be in bed, and i cannot sleep...yet. haha.

i am beginning to think alot more about my dreams and gifts and stuff lately. gosh, i need a laptop so badly so i can work on my writing! everyone tells me that i have a gift of writing, and God has confirmed this so many times. i just need the right tools to accomplish the job. i mean, it runs in the family. my uncle's first book was published a couple of years ago, i think....so yeah, i got connections. i also have this big desire to paint, do pottery, take voice lessons, maybe even dance lessons, and set up my own prayer room. yes, i have many plans, and i know it will all come together in time. oh, and i badly wanna take a photography class! i am such a visual person, and i really need a new camera. my good one was stolen last year, and now i am just praying for a new one at some point so i can become better and better at what i love. i guess i would LOVE to be a photojournalist who travels all over the world writing about different tribes and cultures, about the sick and needy, about war and terror, about all of the amazing things God is doing throughout the earth...and to be able to put some pictures with it...wow. i should start a magazine! haha.

sometimes i feel like figuring out my life would be easier if it were all just written out on one of those pieces of paper that you find in a fortune cookie. but you can't just have ANY fortune cookie....it has to be the good tasting kind or else the fortune is fake, and you leave feeling like a real loser. its true. seriously. i just wanna DO something or BE someone that matters. I mean...i AM those things now...but i just have a heart to run out there and say..."here i am, God....just send me to do whatever....i wanna so crazy things for You...crazy things in the world...and i dont care...i wanna be free in You and thats that!" i can actually see myself running in a field in Zeeland or something and yelling this up to the sky...as if I need to yell so God can hear me. hahaha. I have done that by the dyke though. its such a freeing feeling with your hair blowing in the wind as you cry out to God for whatever He lays on your heart to pray. So so cool.

anyway, i think i have a point to this blog, but then again...i probably don't. i just have this need to let out some ADHD energy and write it in a blog cuz i cannot sleep cuz im restless and really need to stop typing run-on sentences. but yeah. people, go after your dreams. the main reason why our dreams aren't accomplished is because we do nothing to chase after them. its once we take that step of faith and run after them that God equips us with the tools we need along the way to make all of our dreams come true. and never forget His rainbows....they are His promises, and His promises are sure...they never fail. God never fails. hallelujah for that!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Blender of Emotions.

Grr! Yeah, that's right. I said "Grr!" I am feeling a number of crazy emotions. If you could throw your emotions in a blender and press "start", how would they look after the blend? I have always wondered that. Haha. Okay, maybe that's a bit of an overexaggeration, which I am good at sometimes, but it would make for an interesting view.

So why am I "slightly" annoyed right now? Pretty much because people who are near and dear to my heart are being beaten up, bruised, and just hurt by very selfish and proud people. I just keep finding more and more pieces of this dysfunctional puzzle, and it just makes me wanna go hang out behind a dumpster and break dishes, as my one good friend, Kari, offered to do with me shortly after my ex-husband left. Haha. Okay, this reaction is delayed like 4 years, but it would feel oh so good right about now! I'm just sick of people hurting people. I've had it, and I have kept quiet long enough about it. I haven't wanted to take side at all, but this is just getting ridiculous. I have forgiven, and I am learning to forgive even more, which is a process, but how the heck can you forgive someone who keeps hurting you and the ones you love over and over and over again? Only Jesus holds the key to that mystery, I suppose. All I can do is surrender my anger and other emotions to the Lord and pray for Him to intervene in this situation...some way, somehow. The comfort in it all is that I know at least that God IS intervening despite how hopeless and horrible the situation looks right now.

Besides that crap, I am feelin' pretty good. God is just full of surprises this week, and it's not even Wednesday yet (well, here it's not, at least). I am learning so much more about just trusting Him. My faith is soaring because I have doubted some things that I have heard from the Lord for the past few months and even years, and now it's beginning to come to pass, and I am just like..."WHOA!" This stuff is coming out of nowhere, but it's great because it is yet another clear reminder that God is in control, and I am not. He is the One Who shapes the time and the events in our lives, and lately He seems to be doing some things in my life much sooner than I expected, but yeah, I am sooo not complaining. It's awesome, and God just rocks my socks.

I miss my long hair. There. I said it. Maybe I said it before, but I don't remember, but I have a tendency to repeat myself alot anyway, and this is the most ridiculous run-on sentence I have probably ever written. Ha! I thank God that my hair grows fast. I just want it to be a little longer. I want to be able to put it in a nice ponytail or just let it wave around in the wind that I wish existed in the desert called Las Vegas. Haha. I've felt a little tug to possibly color it too, but I have decided that I actually love my natural hair color! My hair is becoming more and more healthy, and I want to keep it that way. Gosh, it's so dang thick though. Oh well. That's life. At least I'm not bald, and maybe I can donate my extra hair to Locks of Love or something like that. I think it would be a noble gesture. :)

So I totally got all girly last night and watched Gossip Girl AND One Tree Hill. Both were good, but I am royally annoyed that I missed pretty much ALL of Season 5 of One Tree Hill because they don't show it in Holland...just re-runs of Seasons 1-4. Well, NOW they are probably showing Season 5, but it's just too late now. I know already that Lucas chose Peyton to fly to Vegas with and get married. Dan is still a psycho it seems, but the nanny lady is one sick bizzatch! Wow, I am lame. I love this show! What can I say? I seriously can relate to Lucas alot. He comes from a crazy family, and so do I. He is a writer, and so am I. He is hot, and so am I. Hahaha. Okay, I shall shuddup now.

I did it, folks. I watched the Republican Convention on TV this evening. Now, for the pure sake of watching my ass from Europeans who are in love with no matter who he is as long as he is a Democrat, I shall refrain from commenting. The only thing that I WILL say is that I have sorta been swayed from not wanting to vote at all to actually considering casting my ballot come November. We shall see when the time comes. Hehe. God Bless America. :)
I'm actually quite tired at the moment, and that's probably why this blog probably makes absolutely no sense right now. I haven't slept much the past couple of nights, and I have no idea why. Maybe it's because I am excited about everything God is doing in my life. Who knows. I have been having some pretty crazy dreams lately. I like dreaming. It fascinates me. I am such a visual person so these type of things definitely draw my attention. It's cool.

I am feeling....thankful. I am. Thankful for friends, for a roof over my head, for food in my tummy, for the simplest of things in life. I really am trying to aim towards being more simple. I am not sure how well it's going, but I am trying to make a sincere effort here. If I could only think like a man....oh wait, I don't have the proper tools for that. Haha. Shutting up now....LOL.
It's so cool to have this love affair with God. I am just falling so madly in love with Him. I can't help myself! Oh, and it affects my other relationships too. I am just loving people. People drive me nuts sometimes, especially the guy who cut us off in traffic today when we were coming back home from the bank and post office. The road rage mentality rose up in me, but then I backed down. Haha. But seriously, it's all about the love, man. I am just loving being loved. I feel SO incredibly loved! Love sets people free. His love is setting me free. That's a fact. It's good stuff.

Okay, that's about enough for now. I am losing my ability to type clearly at the moment, and I am turning into Kwyten. Now that just can't be good. Hehe.

It's off to dreamland for me....

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Birthday, Random Thoughts, and More.

I really don't have anything witty or inspiring to say tonight. It's moreso that I am restless, and it's too early to go to bed while the whole rest of the house is silent, sweetly nestled in their beds, resting and awaiting for a new day to begin. I'm so not there....yet. Haha.

So I am now 27 years old. I cannot believe I am closer to 30 than I am to 20. I remember on my 18th birthday when someone jokingly said to me how I could "be an adult now" and purchase a pack of cigarettes or a lottery ticket. Dang, how time flies. Don't you hate it how you simply cannot control time? What I mean is...for me anyway, sometimes I just want my life to slow down, while other times I just want to speed it up to the next big and amazing event...or whatever. Yeah, I am pretty much glad that God controls the whole time thing, and not me. Otherwise, it might turn out to be some sort of "Red light, Green light" game, and that gets old really fast.

I praise God for such an amazing birthday. I turned 27 on the 27th of August, and this was such a chill but fun birthday. Because of different things going on in my life, I wasn't so sure that it would be a good birthday, but I was determined to make the best of it regardless of how things in everyday life have been looking lately. The night before my birthday, I got on my knees before the Lord, and like a child, I asked God for a birthday miracle. I didn't specify what I wanted, expected, or hoped for. I figured I might as well leave it up to Him since He knows what I need and desire way more than I do. Let me just tell you that God completely exceeded what I even thought was possible or probable. I was and still am just amazed by His love for me....His mercy, His goodness...it just never fails. Hallelujah for that. Thank you again to everyone who helped to make my birthday such an amazing and special day....thank you for the phone calls, the fun night out, the special secret gifts, the birthday wishes, and so on. It made me feel like such a queen for a day...well, moreso than I have been feeling for a while now...thank God for changing my perspective on myself.

That's right. He is actually showing me how to love myself, to call myself beautiful, lovely, and so much full or worth to Him and to others. Hallelujah. This evening, I was speaking with a few women in this group, and two of them had the same word for me. God gave them both a picture of a pearl, and I was this pearl. The Lord said that I am just so lovely and precious to Him, like this pearl. Also, the one picture was of a pearl set in a gold ring setting. So the Lord was saying how He is setting me in the right places, and at times, it doesn't seem that I may fit, but He is molding me and shaping me to fit perfectly. This really ministered to me, especially where I am at in my life. It seems so many times that, no matter where I go, I don't exactly "fit" in the surroundings. Praise be to my Daddy God that He sees that care of mine, and He loves me so much that He spoke to me about this situation this evening. Such an amazing blessing for me.
I didn't realize just how much God was teaching me about love and trust until a couple of days ago. It's just amazing. As some of you know, I am probably one of the biggest "scaredy cats" I know. I can't even watch a show like 24 or Prisonbreak without freaking out and being on edge because of something horrible happening. Shows like that make me just wanna cry lately. This whole mercy and sensitivity thing is seriously kicking my butt sometimes. Praise be to God, though, that I have this sensitivity because God has used this gift and others to show me how to minister to His people. Okay, call me a sissy if ya want to. Haha. Anyway, I struggle and have struggled for many years with fear and anxiety, and I see how these things have taken a toll on my life in many different areas. A couple of weeks ago, I was at this amazing healing service, and this woman, Carina, and her husband, Christian, prayed over me, and the Lord spoke through them about this fear that has invaded my life, and this is the season that He is going to walk me through to victory and deliver me from this horrible stronghold. Just hearing those words was like a breath of fresh air. To know that God cares for me so much, and He more than patient and loving enough to heal me from this. Wow. All I can say is "wow."

Some people have made comments to me about my writing. Sometimes I am too blunt maybe, and other times I may share too much about me. I guess that's not always a bad thing. For me, it actually breaks this mindset of being told all of my life to be hush hush secretive about everything. I consider it a blessing and a gift from God to be transparent...within reason, of course. I am learning, however, what it means to not cast my pearls before swine, and that's been a difficult and painful thing, but a very very good lesson for me. Gosh, if I could, I would save the world. But ya know, that's not needed cuz Jesus already did that so I just need to sit back and relax a bit, even if I am semi-convinced that it might kill me. Haha. There's that drama in me rising up again.

Seriously though, I cannot just sit and do nothing. I have to be doing something for someone....helping someone, something. This whole "rest" thing is making me go a little crazy, as if I'm not already, as 99.9% of you are thinking as you are reading this sentence. Whateva! I attribute part of this struggle to my belief that I have undiagnosed ADHD. I know I shouldn't say that about myself because many believe I am speaking a curse into my life, but seriously....I cannot sit still for very long or else it might just kill me. Haha. Yet again. I guess it's safe to say that I feel like I am in "time out" right now. Daddy God is not punishing me, but He is just gently placing me in the corner for however long, and He is not letting me out until I have "learned my lesson." I guess that lesson, at least one of them, is to let Him love on me, to trust Him, to let Him heal me, restore me, and make me whole, among a bunch of other things along the way.

So, I guess it's not about the destination all of the time, is it? In fact, I don't think it hardly ever is. Why, then, are we so driven to get THERE....to arrive? Wherever "there" even is. The climb up the mountain kicks my ass for real, but I learn so much on my way up so that when I get there, I look back and realize it was worth every drip of blood, sweat, and tears. That's right. It's about time I stop looking back at the past and start pressing on towards the here and now and the future. I cannot change what's happened, but rather, I can only learn from it and move on. This is also why I praise God for new beginnings. I praise Him for His mercies being new every morning. He is such a great God.

I find myself praising God more and more....like never before....simply saying that He is good. Sometimes I don't even know why I said that He is good, but do I always need a specific reason? No. I don't think so. God is not good because of what He does. God is good sinply because He is. That's right. God is good because God is God. It's in His nature to be good. That's His love for us. Gosh, how cool.

Lately, I have had this massive drive to write lots and lots more, maybe also because I have alot more time on my hands than I would like to have right now. I also have this drive to sing more and get into painting and artsy fartsy stuff. I really pray that the creative juices start to flow at deeper and higher levels in this time in my life. I know that God is preparing me for amazing things. However, I have to remember that everyday should be amazing, even if it's sucky, it's still amazing. Why? Because God gave us breath for everyday, not just some days. That in and of itself is a miracle.

I was so messed up the other night. I consider myself more of a casual, chillin' with the guys kinda girl. I never did so well with a group of girls. However, put a chick flick in front of me, and it's all over, dude. Seriously, I am lame. I was watching "What Women Want" of all movies to watch the other night on TV. It was kinda late, so I was up alone, and I just began crying! Then, that movie gets over, and I watch "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"!! What the heck! I start crying again! I seriously will never admit to being a hopeless romantic, but lately I am beginning to wonder.

The next day, after my traumatic and romantically whatever-you-wanna-call-it experience, I decided to ask Joe, my friend Barb's husband, what it is that MEN want. Gosh, I guess I asked the question of a century. Heck, I still don't even know what women, in general, want, but I figure I might as well get a heads up on the men part. Haha. His answer: simplicity. I was like, that's it?? Yep. So, after taking a few days to wipe the look of shock off of my face and let that whole conversation sink in, I began to think about it more in depth. This brought me to a great quote by Lou Engle..."Burn and stay simple." It made me think about how many times we, as human beings, (NOT just women, by the way), complicate life so much when God is just so simple. I really think that. He is so simple with us, as His kiddos, but we have these big intellectual ideas and theological perspectives that just get in the way of God's clear message to us. Sometimes I just get so sick of the power of the mind, so-to-speak. Yes, God is an amazing and mysterious God. However, just like He tells us to have faith like a child, He says it as our Daddy God, and how we would say it or do say it to our own kids. You know, with a toddler or a small child, you have to keep things simple for them so they can understand the message you are trying to convey. Well, I think it's the same for us and the Lord. The more we get to know Him, the more we trust Him, and the more familiar His voice becomes, and it makes our lives so much simpler. If we could just get THAT part of things, this whole stupid satan, devil, blah blah blah lies bullcrap would be a piece of cake!

So anyway, I think I am learning alot about myself, about my God, and about life. I know I am definitely learning about rest, and even though I don't like it so much, it's necessary. By the way, check out The Glorious Unseen. Their music just rocks me. I cannot get enough of it. The intimacy with the Lord that's spoken in the lyrics just rocks my world. I pray that it's a blessing to you as well. (Oh, and if you're feeling super guilty about not buying me a birthday present yet, this would make the PERFECT gift! Or also a $100 or more gift certificate to H&M or something would also do...hahaha. Message me for more details!) I am so lame. Haha.

One last thing....back when we were teenagers, my friend, Sarah, gave me a magnet from her grandparents' store, and this describes me to a "T"...."Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused." Seriously, that's pretty amazing. It's totally me. I still have that magnet somewhere in NY. Haha. I am so old.


Goodnight and God's zegen. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Click this link: http://www.myspace.com/unitedpursuit

Listen to the song, "Believe". Heck, listen to them all. They will all rock your socks. I'm serious.
I cannot begin to tell you how much I love music and how much more I love God. He has been speaking to me so much, and it's just so good. All of this stuff, in the midst of just...crap...gosh, it's cool.

I seriously never really knew the degree of what a divine appointment was until I arrived in Las Vegas. I also didn't know how fast God could answer prayers, even abou the silliest things. I'm blown away. Seriously.

Since being here in Las Vegas for just over 3 weeks now, I have met 3 Dutch women, and altogether like 7 women who have a heart and passion to minister in Holland. I am like, "Okay, God, are You kidding me?" I met this one Dutch woman, and she is a dynamic teacher. It's so cool. I could tell she was Dutch from her accent, and I later introduced myself to her and asked her if she was originally from Holland, and she said yes. So, I proceeded to share with her my story, and she was in tears. She has such a heart and burden to minister in Holland, but she hasn't had any connections...until now.

Prior to this, I happened to meet a woman named Annie who attends the same church as me, and she is the founder and director of a dynamic ministry called Hookers for Jesus. I felt led by the Lord to introduce myself to her and to talk with her more about the ministry with the prostitutes she has here in Vegas. I shared with her my experience in Amsterdam, and my heart for Holland, etc. She was estatic. She told me that she had been praying for over 2 years for the Lord to connect her with someone who has ties to Holland (Amsterdam). Well, now He has.

Annie has a real heart to minister to girls in prostitution and also in human trafficking...for example, the girls in the far eastern countries like Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, etc. It's funny, too, what a sense of humor God has. Just a couple of days before this unexpected meeting with Annie, Barbara's husband, Joe, had a word from the Lord for me that God is going to be sending me to nations like Thailand to minister to girls into human trafficking and also to do development work in places like Burma and stuff. I was floored. God confirms. He is awesome. What can I say? Wow.

The most ironic thing is that I prayed half jokingly that the Lord would bring Christians or SOMEONE in my path who can help me to learn Dutch...ya know, because I want to become fluent and all. Well, lo and behold, I meet 2 Dutch women at one church alone. Craziness. They were speaking Dutch to me, and I was so excited to hear it and be able to understand it. I'm so passionate about learning that I have accidentally been speaking some Dutch to people instead of English. How weird is THAT? Haha. They just give me weird looks, we giggle, and we move on to the next moment.

A week and a half ago or so, I was able to hang out with my awesome friend and brother in the faith, Ben, and his mom. We went to the "old strip" and also the current strip here in Vegas, and it was fun! We ate amazing $1.99 shrimp cocktails. Yummy. We also walked around and admired the architecture of these ridiculous buildings known as casinos and whatnot. It was fun, even in the midst of gamblers. Haha. Most importantly, I was encouraged. Ben's mom and I could relate to one another in alot ways, and it was just cool to talk with her. Of course, Ben was being his crazy ol' self, and it was kind of strange to hang out with him on the "homeland" considering our last time to hang out was in precious Heidelberg well over a year before.
Later that day, I went to a birthday party of my friend, Maurice's lady girl, Fancy. It was cool to meet new people, meet old Shelter peeps, etc. We had good talks, and I had more divine appts. God is just awesome, connecting me with people, and just opening up these crazy doors for me in various areas of my life.

So...why on earth am I telling you all of this? Maybe because the times and seasons haven't been easy, and they still aren't. However, just as it says in that song, "Believe," I believe that He loves me, and that's all I need to know. No matter what I'm going through or how hopeless or difficult the circumstances may seem, He loves me. God does everything He does and allows everything He allows out of His love for us. Whoa, Jess, what the flip did you just say? Haha. God doesn't allow anything in our lives to occur that do not serve a purpose in some way, shape, or form. It's true.

Man, I don't know what tomorrow holds. I don't know what is going to happen, where I will end up or whatever. Who knows! Maybe I'll end up in Sweet Home Alabama shootin' the poop with Forrest Gump or something. Maybe Vegas is my new hot spot until the fire gets lit again under my toosh, and God says, "Time to move on!" Again, I have not but a clue what the days, weeks, or even months may bring. However, I can say this one thing: It doesn't really matter. I know all I need to know. Period.

I have never learned so much about the love of God in as I am right now in my almost 12 years of knowing Jesus. I am learning to really love myself. I am learning that He loves me. I am learning that I don't have to be afraid. Everything is under control. It's in His hands. Heck, I am even learning to accept myself for who I am and also praise God for who He is making me to become. I am learning to look in the mirror everyday and see that I AM BEAUTIFUL! That's HUGE for me. I even had someone look them in the eye and say about myself that I am beautiful....not just once but like 3 times. I wanted to cry, actually I did cry. It was such breakthrough for me. This is the love of God.

Ya know what's even crazier? We can choose to love God, but He can't help but love us! We can say love is a choice, love is a feeling, love is an action, or whatever. Phooey. God is the pure definition of what love really is. I am learning that as I love and accept myself more, I love God more. The more time I spend with God, I just love Him! The more I love God, the more intimate I become with Him, and the more His love just builds up in me more and more and more until it just overflows, and I am just leaking with His love all over the place! Whew. I am learning to love people beyond myself, and there is no way that would be possible without first getting the revelation of God's love for me. I believe that because God just can't help but love us because He is the definition of love, and so it is His very nature to love, He couldn't help it when He made the decision to send His Only Son to die on a cross so He could continue to love us and have relationship with us. He is really a God of love, man. Wow.

I was praying the other day with a lady I know who is such a prayer warrior, and just a spunky one for Jesus. She and I were crying out to the Lord, and all of the sudden something relatively new happened in her life....she began to prophesy over me. It was just more and more confirmation, and it was accurate too. I was like, WHOA! Then, she prophesied that I know what love IS NOT, but also something about me knowing what love IS. It was so sharp, so simple, yet so profound, and it made such a love dent in my heart. I couldn't believe that God saw me that way. That I know what love is and is not, and that He is going to use me to love love love people, all kinds of people. This rocked me.

So yes, I believe that God loves me, and I believe that His love for me is all I need to know because it is the basis of everything God says and does in our lives. It should also be the basis of everything we say and do in our lives because THAT very thing is what is beautiful and pleasing to God...when we walk in His love. You know those commandments..."Love the Lord Your God...Love your neighbor as yourself..." You get it. It's all about the love. Just believe it. Believe that He loves you, and it's all you need to know, cuz that's just the way it is. Just believe. Just love. Amen.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Here is probably one of the most amazing songs I have ever heard during my almost 12 years of walking with the Lord.
"Healer" by Planetshakers
You hold my every momentYou calm my raging seasYou walk with me through fireAnd heal all my diseaseI trust in YouI trust in YouI believeYou're my HealerI believeYou are all I needI believe You're my PortionI believeYou're more than enough for meJesus, You're all I needNothing is impossible for YouNothing is impossibleNothing is impossible for YouYou hold my world in Your hands
So far I have been to church 3 times this week, and it has been awesome! Just by walking into the building, I feel such a strong presence of the Lord. Wednesday night, I went to the youth group. My friend, Barb, and I were going to attend the Adults' meeting, but we looked in, got a little shy, and decided to sit in with the youth instead. It was really good. Three teenagers gave their lives to Christ that night. The glory of God was all around, and miracles were happening in that place, one after another.
Friday night, I attended the young adults' service. It is basically for people ages 18 to 30 or so...so if you're over 30, you're TOO OLD! Haha, just kidding. :) It was so rad, too, because I was reconnected with this girl, Cathryn, whom I had met last year at the church when Samgar and I visited. Her grandparents are from Holland as well, and she has a burning passion for Europe, and her heart is really stirred to go to Holland. I told her it would be cool to go and minister together, so when we introduced me to her husband, she said, "This is Jess. She and I might go to Holland together." Haha. I love her faith!
Anyway, worship was amazing. They played this song, Healer, and it just broke me apart...in a good way. It was making a confession before Heaven, Hell, and all of creation that God IS MY HEALER. He is more than enough for me. He is all I need. As I sang, this song just became more and more my prayer. Why? Because He IS my Healer. He IS my Portion. Nothing is impossible for Him! Wow!
After worship, the childrens' pastor preachd on Purity. It was so good, and it really ministered to me. So many times we get stuck on purity just being something like avoiding sexual temptation or whatever, but it is so much more than that. One thing he said that struck me was this: stress = fear. Okay, I of all people have known this, but MAN! It was quite the epiphany at that moment when I heard it. Am I under stress? Yes. Do I need to be? No. Why? Because the most amazing, lovely, and beautiful God of the universe is in complete control of my life, and I don't have to go it alone...ever.
So...moving onto last night. I get to church, and the worship begins, and this song is being played AGAIN. God just ushers me in. I felt His presence so strongly, and it was like the bricks of despair, fear, doubt, and anything and everything else that was hanging on me just began to fall off. I know there has been a transformation in my life. God is just too loving, too caring, and too good to let me go like that. He cares about my every trouble, every worry, every hardship, and every circumstance. If He will do this for me, He will do it for you. God is a God of freedom. He has come to set the captives (like you and me) free! It's time for us to embrace His freedom!
The message last night was about mercy. One of the pastors, Mitch, was preaching, and it was just so good! He filled us all up with the Word of God, referencing His Truth about how God sees us and that His mercy is truly for us. At the end of the service, he did an altar call. He invited people to come up for prayer who have struggled with receiving the mercy of God, who have struggled with being people pleasers, or who have had some kind of hurt and pain from a natural father or other man in their lives. I believe almost all women made their way to the front as the music began to play. I hesitated to go up, mostly our of fear and maybe even pride, but the Holy Spirit was nudging me the whole time, so I figured I had better wise up and obey!
As I made my way up there, pastor Mitch gave a word that he said he had been given by the Lord on Wednesday for someone already, and this person is standing in the front now. As soon as the word was delivered, I KNEW it was for me. It was so clear and so encouraging. It made me laugh considering if I had gone to the adults' meeting on Wednesday, I would have received the word THEN. What a merciful God! He acted in mercy to still deliver that word to me because He knew I needed to hear it.
I just stood up there, hands raised, praying and praising the Lord and just receiving. A woman came to pray with me, and I don't even know what she prayed for, but it doesn't matter. Barb also came and laid hands on me. It was so good. When the glory of God ushers into a room and touches a person, not even the powers of hell can stop it. As I stood, I received so much from God. Now I didn't have some amazing vision or anything, but the heaviness....it was just dropping away...off of my shoulders, bit by bit. I hadn't experienced something like this in over 2 and a half years, that I can remember.
Later, pastor Mitch came to pray over me, and Barb and I told him that word was for me, so he told me to come next Wednesday to the group. So yes, I am going to go. It is sort of an intercessory prayer group, which is totally my thing.
I left church so encouraged. I couldn't wait to get home so I could see who this song was by. I just listened to it over and over again. It was awesome. Just me and God enjoying each other's company. Just hangin' with Jesus is like the very best thing in the world. I desire nothing more than this. ever.
God is my Healer. He is my Portion. He is all I need. When I am hurting, He is there. When I am broken, He is there. When I have fallen, He picks me up again. You see? What we confess with our mouths becomes our reality. We begin to believe what we speak. I know I have quite a journey ahead of me, but thank God I don't have to go it alone. He is with me every step of the way, allowing His healing balm to get right deep into those wounds and heal them. Will I cry some tears? Sure! Been there, done that. Will it easy hunky dorey easy all of the time? No way. It was never meant to be that way. However, I can tell you that something I have learned throughout my healing process, which has ben going on since I first got saved, is that the sooner we surrender, trust and obey, the quicker and less painful the process is. It's letting go of the past and running towards the goal. It's submitting all of who we are and all that we have to the Lord and allowing Him to put back together the broken pieces of our lives again and again.
And just so you know, you will mess up at times, it's inevitable. But don't worry, God is a God of mercy and grace. God is a God Who LOVES to lavish His love on you. For me, last night was being reminded that I am Daddy's little girl. That I am loved. That I am a beautiful woman of God who has so much to offer to a broken world. Thank You, Jesus, for that much needed reminder. He is showing me how to become comfortable in my own skin. He is showing me that I am lovely and I do have so much worth and value. I am not a mistake. You are not a mistake. We were divinely put together by the Father of Heaven and Earth many eons ago, and He cares about EVERY detail of our lives. Every single one!
So Lord, I just pray today that You would usher us all into Your presence and heal our broken hearts. Father, enter in with Your wonderful healing balm and cleanse out and cover those hurting and wounded areas of our innermost being. You along are worthy to be praised. You alone can heal. You alone are all we need. We praise You for Your promises. We thank You that nothing is impossible for You. You truly do hold my world in Your hands. Lord Jesus, we just wanna bless Your name for Your mercy, Your goodness, Your faithfulness, and Your love. Your grace is sufficient for us. Thank You for being our Lover, our Healer, our Daddy God, and our very Best Friend. We lift Your name on high with thanksgiving and praise. In Jesus' mighty name, AMEN!

Friday, August 08, 2008

New Beginnings...

Well, today is 8/8/08, and for those of you who don't know, the number "8" signifies "new beginnings."
I woke up this morning before 6 am, yes, I said 6 am...haha. I just laid in the bed for a while, and I just pondered for a moment what this whole concept even means. Then Lamentations came to mind, and I felt so encouraged just remembering the promises from the Lord.
"The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, "The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!" Lamentations 3:22-24
What a promise! In my opinion, it's not about a day or a season or whatever because the Bible says that the mercies of God are new every single morning! I remember listening to this song by Israel Houghton, and I remember him saying this very thing, but he also said that the "morning" doesn't necessarily have to have an "am" next to it. It's not just when we physically wake up that we receive His new mercies, it is moreso when we WAKE UP...when we open our eyes and realize WHO God is, WHO He created us to be, and HOW He sees us, and HOW He wants us to see ourselves! This here is such a beautiful thing. God is certainly a God of beauty, and just how He shines and radiates just blows my mind. I am so thankful to the Lord that we shine and radiate like this because His Holy Spirit lives within us.
For me personally, I have experienced many new beginnings recently. It's not always easy to do this because this also means letting go of the old so God has the room to create the new in our lives. It is letting go of old mindsets, situations, etc. so we can embrace all that He has for us with completion and fullness of joy. This is my heart. It is difficult, but thank God that we do not trek on this new journey alone.
I find myself in Las Vegas at the moment...far from where I thought I would be at this time in my life. God knows best. The great thing about it, too, is that God has shown me why many of the changes in my life have had to take place. God never has bad things in store for us. His plans are for our good. They are amazing because His love for us is simply amazing!
Experiencing new beginnings is a good thing even though it can be scary, especially at first. If you're anything like me, you might not adapt s well to change. I know that I have undergone SO many changes in my life in the past 4 years or so, and it doesn't seem like it will let up soon. However, there is ONE thing I know that will never change, and that is the love of my Heavenly Father for me. God has taught me and continues to teach me alot through these changes. He is showing me that I cannot rely on people, situations, or circumstances because these things always change, but HE remains constant. My stability is in Christ alone.
Yeah sure, it is hard to trust in the One Whom you cannot see. This is what the concept of faith is all about. I am learning something right now very much so that I like to call the STO Factor. Surrender, Trust, and Obey. Is it difficult? Absolutely. Is it necessary? More than you will ever know. This is where we lay everything we are and everything we have at the foot of the cross KNOWING that God is a faithful God. He will never leave us nor forsake us. No change or new beginning do we ever walk through on our own. He is there every step of the way.
So, praise the Lord for new beginnings! Thank God for His faithfulness! Let go of your mistakes, failures, and troubles of yesterday, and embrace the love and new tender mercies of your Heavenly Father TODAY! This is the day that the Lord has made so let's get off our butts and rejoice in it!
Dear Lord,
I just want to praise Your Holy Name for new beginnings. Lord, You are such a loving and amazing God, and I thank You that Your mercies are new every morning. Help me to let go of the old things, the things from yesterday, my mistakes, bad mindsets, and failures, and help me press forward and to embrace and receive Your new mercies today! Jesus, I rejoice in Who You are. You are just such a good God. I want to bless Your name for never leaving me nor forsaking me. Thank You that You walk with me through this new beginning even though it may seem scary and things may not make sense right now. Lord, You know what's best for Your children, so help us to surrender, trust, and obey You each moment of every day. I ask these things with faith and confidence in You and thank You so much for all You have done and continue to do for us. In Jesus' name, AMEN!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I'm Lost...


Yes, it's another amazing song. Listen to "Your Love Is Like" by Rick Pino.

Here are the lyrics:

Your love is like the rain falling on my soul
Covering every place, making gardens grow
Sweetness overflows pouring from Your lips
Kisses from above, let the heavens drip

Your love is like the ocean
I'm drowning in Your presence

I'm getting lost in the gaze of Your eyes
I'm getting lost in the warmth of Your smile

Your love is like a room full of precious jewels
It takes my breath away, there's riches beyond words
When it's just me and You I can't remember storms
All I can do is melt into Your arms

I have been listening to this song repeatedly and just worshipping God. Man, it is SO good to be in His presence. It is my heart's desire to get lost in the presence of the Lord Almighty. Why? Because there is no place I would rather be. When we enter into His presence, something in the atmosphere changes. All of the heaviness, the problems, the bad circumstances, the junk from everyday life just....fades away. HE is all that matters in those moments. Why is it, then, that this stops? Can you imagine if we truly lived a lifestyle of never-ending worship of the living God, how amazing it would be? I think we make our lives more complicated than they need to be. Wow! I just admitted that! You could make money on that statement. Yes, I should receive the Emmy or Oscar for "Miss Drama Queen." I know...I know.

Seriously, though. We complicated our lives. Better yet...we give the devil permission to do so. Why? Maybe it seems like the easier way out, and maybe even most times, we don't even realize we're doing. We cannot fathom just how much power and authority we give the enemy everyday. If we only would give all of that same power and authority over to the Lord Jesus over our lives, I truly believe we would be a change people.

I just want to get lost in God. When I am lost in Him, everything, even myself, fades away. But see, that's the beauty of true worship. The mean of worship is that there is less of me and more of Him. It is where I decrease, and He increases. Getting lost in His presence is such a powerful weapon of warfare. It truly is. The more intimate you become with God, the more of a stranger you become to the enemy. How? Why? Because when you draw closer to the Lord, He draws closer to you. Then, you become HIDDEN in Him, and so the devil cannot spot you anymore. When the enemy tries to seek you to steal from you, kill you, and destroy you, he simply cannot find you because he is actually blinded by the glory of God all around you because you are that close to your Heavenly Father. Isn't that rad? I think so. Better yet, I know so.

God is so much to us. He is so much more than we give Him credit for in our lives. He is our Healer, our Best Friend, our Deliverer, our Lover, our Protector, Our Father, and so, so much more! I wish we would just open our eyes more, our spiritual eyes, our eyes in into the unseen, we can truly embrace all God has for us. We can truly embrace HIM. There is nothing greater....nothing worth more than a glimpse of Him. A touch from on High. There's just nothing like getting lost in His presence.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

In The Middle...


Listen to the song, "In The Middle" by Jonathan David Helsner.

Why? Because this song will rock your world just as it is mine.

I cannot help but listen to this beautiful song of truth, especially at such a trying and difficult time in my life. I love the lyrics because they minister to me God's love, His promises, and so so much more.

"....in the middle of my mess....You never leave..."

How amazing is that?!? I believe it is Isaiah 41:10 that talks about God's promise to never leave us nor forsake us. God cannot lie, and He cannot go back on His Word, according to the book of Hebrews, so we have to trust that when He says He will never leave us nor forsake us, well by golly, He won't!

This is such a hard lesson for me to learn right now, though. I have been fighting so many lies and horrible and plain old demonic mindsets about myself and especially about God, His love, and about others and how they see me. A couple of weeks ago, I even came to this horrible "conclusion" that I am unloveable. My heart has and continues to cry out in desperation to be loved, respected, and not hurt and rejected all of the time. I praise God that He alone can meet this need and desire with 100% perfection. Why? Because He is a perfect and amazing God, and He IS the definition of love.

I struggle so much with seeing myself as beautiful, loved, wanted, needed, desired. I am learning that once again tough lesson to not put my confidence in man, but in the Lord, as I believe it says in Psalm 118. I mean, let's face it, I have gone through alot of hell in my 26+ years of life, but one thing I can say about each time, God never left me. Despite the fact that it has seemed like I was all alone, and I will admit, that's how I feel many times right now, it's simply a lie.

Despite the painful, but very very good healing process that I have been going through for such a long time, I have been walking through other trials and tribulations in my life in which it seems like I cannot "see the light at the end of the tunnel," as many would say. Ever since I returned to Europe, I have been battling physical health problems, which is not like me. It has scared me these past few months because I haven't had these type of problems for years...mostly since I was a teenager. I have been undergoing new things, new "problems" in which I had never dealt with before, and that is painful....in many ways. However, in the midst, I had a good friend tell me the other night that God's Word is true. If His Word says that By His stripes, we are healed (which it does!!), then we need to claim it!

For me, it comes down to a faith issue. I have been blown away by people coming up to me throughout my almost 12 year-walk with the Lord, and they have said, "Jess, you are really a woman of faith." My stomach turns everytime I hear this because I am thinking, "Are you on crack? WHAT faith?" There is so much in this life that I will never understand, and one of those things is the greatness, awesomeness, and sovereignty of God. All I can tell you is that He IS great. He IS amazing. He IS sovereign.

This week specifically, I have been battling many issues with rejection and hurt, especially in the area of relationships. I look down the road, and I do not see "the solution" in sight. So, I have gone to my entrusted friends and loved ones, and each other has said, "Jess, it is time to trust God." Me? Trust God? From this, I had some thoughts about God, and how I look to Him....may times as surreal. Sure I can read the Bible, I can pray, and I can encourage others in their faith, but what do I really believe? In the end, things in my life DO seem to fall into place, many times not in the way that I expected or hoped (which wasn't as good as God's plan and design anyway), but I just get so overwhelmed that this "invisible" God has orchestrated all of this on my behalf.

A good friend told me the other day that if I cannot love my brother or sister, how can I love an "invisible" God? This question (and challenge) blew my mind. What does it mean to love? What does it mean to forgive? Am I doing both? Am I exercising them enough? Maybe...maybe not. Either way, God is speaking to my heart to love. Even when I am hurt and rejected and "thrown to the curb", still....love.

So, in the middle of it all, He never leaves. Why? Because He loves, and He IS love. God cares for us so much that He gave His only Son for us. I cannot imagine doing this. It's hard for me to sacrifice little things sometimes, and to think that this amazing and incredible God gave His only Son so we could have communion and fellowship with Him just blows my mind.

Today, I am challenging myself (and you) to allow God's love flow through your heart onto others. There may be people in your life, close or not so close, who you just find it SO difficult to love and accept them. That's okay. If you're allowing HIS love to flow through you, then you cannot go wrong. From experience, however, I have learned that when we try to love and to give all of ourselves with our own strength, we get overwhelmed, we give up, and we fail. It happens everytime.

Make a choice to love today. Make a choice to let yourself BE loved today. Read 1 Corinthians 13 again and again and meditate on what love really is. Ask God for new and fresh revelation of His love for you. Meditate also on 1 John 4. You can't go wrong when you do this because by His Spirit, He will meet you where you are, and He will prove His love to you again and again....He actually already has. Look to the cross, and you will never be the same again.

And one more thing....(and this is VERY hard for me to say this)...

I love you...and so does God. Amen.