Saturday, August 28, 2010

Author God

The other day we were driving by Dairy Queen and my niece said to her mom, “Are we going to Drama Queen?”

It made us laugh.

Girl, we have been camping out at Drama Queen for way too long.

I have found myself wrestling and fearful, yet I keep calling on Jesus knowing He is the only thing that satisfies my soul. Instead of giving way to fear and anxiety, I am searching the pages of God’s word. He is the author and the finisher of our faith.

Instead of inviting the world of worries and camping out at Drama Queen, I’m letting God write my story. He alone knows our beginning and our end.

Author God,

Pen me my purpose.

Write it with wonder.

Write me with praise that fills my lips.

Joy that overflows spilling onto those around me,

A heart filled with gratitude and love without limits.

I’m wide-eyed with wonder as I find God in the pages of His word. Oh, how real He is. Our very present help in time of need.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God.” (Ps 46:1-4)

Have your waters been a little troubled lately, does it feel like the mountain you have been standing on is about to crumble beneath you?

What can we fear when God is in our midst?

If God is for us, who is dumb enough to mess with us and try to be against us?

He is our peace and the One who holds our story in His hands.

“The God of Jacob is our refuge.” (Ps 46:7)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

When God Waits

Often I find myself in a place so familiar, I used to linger here unwillingly, restlessly kicking against the invisible holding pattern that somehow encircled me.

Waiting on a promise.

Waiting on dreams that only God could place in my heart to unfold.

Waiting for doors to swing wide open, instead of pushing on a door that clearly said, “pull.”

Who are we to question His perfect timing, even when it feels so delayed?

I stumbled upon a word for you and me. We are not the only ones waiting, my sweet friend.

In fact, it’s the God of all creation waiting on us. Seeking to lavish upon us His divine favor. He alone knows we are not ready, and so we must wait.

We must wait knowing that God is good to those who wait on Him and to the soul who seeks Him. (Lam 3:25)

We must wait knowing that He will strengthen our hearts. (Ps 27:14)

How patient He must be watching us take two steps forward and one giant step back. Longing to dance with us as we take the lead stepping on the feet of the one who orders our steps.

“Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you,
For the Lord is a God of justice;
Blessed are all those who wait for Him. (Is 30:18 NKJV)

When God waits His desires overflow with graciousness towards you.

When God waits He opens His hands and provides nourishment to our soul in due season.

When God waits it’s because His ways are so much higher.

And when we are no longer in waiting we can rest assured that God will be exalted in our lives!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Peace Speaker

Can you imagine this? It’s the darkest night; all is peaceful and calm as you soak in the feeling of being perfectly safe. The waters are still around you. You’re headed somewhere, but you can’t see the shoreline in the distance. You just know that it’s there. And in the vastness of the night not the slightest hint of fear lingers inside of you because you know Jesus is in the boat.

Maybe you can hear Him breathing in and out, your mind races to the miracles He has done just hours before. He cleansed the leper with the touch of His mighty hand. You witnessed the need of the paralyzed servant and a centurion who pleaded his case, “Just speak the word and my servant will be healed.” And Jesus marveled at a faith like his.

He spoke and indeed the servant was healed that very hour.

In need of rest Jesus slumbers as you set sail. And suddenly a great tempest from out of nowhere covers the boat and overtakes you. As the wind beats against your frame you taste the salty air. In a matter of minutes your peaceful state of existence is no more and you are overwhelmed with fearfulness while the One you follow remains asleep.

You cry out, “Save us!” In great distress for your life, you shake the God of all creation and point to the waves that are about to overtake you.

“Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?”

Do you not remember what I can do?

He speaks. He rebukes the winds that woke Him, He speaks to the sea…and there was a great calm.

You marvel at the God that speaks and the wind and wave obey… and then you remember the man whose faith caused Jesus to marvel just hours before.

Oh, God give me faith like that. Faith that says, “Just speak and it’s a done deal.”

He is the God that will speak to your storm and release the sweetest calm. Jesus is still in your boat. His eyes are watching the tempest and He sees you. God does not slumber or feel threatened by your raging sea. The winds might be blowing forcefully, but they will not overtake you.

Take comfort, my friend, may God give you perfect peace!

(Inspired by Matthew 8. How cool is God’s word?!!!)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Beggar and The Bride

If I could paint a picture with my words and capture it fully on paper my life would look like so many things.

At times I’m the embrace you never want to let go of and the contagious laugh that makes you smile.

Sometimes I’m the empty cup in the beggar’s hands just waiting to be filled up. With trembling hands and a worn out sign I receive His bread of life and I’m satisfied.

I’m the funny story and the woman walking away with her skirt tucked into her undies. I’m the funniest home video that makes the top three, but never walks home with cash prize.

I’m the unscripted mystery my husband can’t figure out. I’m the hormonal hurricane with tears and hysteria that makes absolutely no sense at all.

Sometimes I’m the “keep out” and “closed for business” sign. Retreating within as God sifts out the areas of pride. He causes my defenses to crumble and becomes the wall of fire around me. He sweeps the floor of my heart and gives me in abundance everything that I have need of.

I’m the reinvented Martha busy in the kitchen just to prove a point to my mother-in-law that I’m not a total disgrace to housewives.

I’m the frozen noodles and a smirk as I fake my way to a delicious, edible meal. I’m the shrug of my shoulders giving up every idea of false perfection as I embrace the freedom of letting go.

I’m Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus taking up some carpet space as I sit wide-eyed and hopeful, hanging on every word.

I’m the woman wrapped up in infirmity stretching out my hand to reach the hem of Jesus’ garment with desperate faith knowing fully that if I touch the Master I will be healed.

I’m the lady in waiting with my lamp full of oil eagerly awaiting my bridegroom so much in love.

I’m the dried up tears and the joyful dance that just can’t be stopped!

“Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come…” (Song of Solomon 2: 10-11 NKJV)

Much love,

Jennifer Renee

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Put it on Mute

I have been wordless for a little while. It’s not that I have nothing of value to say. I just want to be in the right frame of mind when I say it. I have my moments when I embrace the silence soaking in the moment, taking it deep within I acknowledge it, and then surrender it to God.

Lord, help me to be slow to speak.

Help me to speak Your words and remove the things that are steeped in matters of opinion.

May my words bring life, not death.

May they lift others up instead of tearing them down.

Help me to know the difference between the “truth” as I see it and the truth that is absolute and founded in Your word.

And with Your help, my Lord, may I be quick to forgive.


“If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight reign on his tongue, he deceives himself and is religion is worthless.” (James 1:26)

We’ve all had those moments and wasted words. If only we could rewind and put it on mute…

“When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (James 3:3-6)

I’m surrounded by intelligent people that would be better served if they said less and beheld the pure wisdom that flows when we select our words carefully or just say nothing at all. I believe in honesty, I believe in speaking up when it’s right, but I also know that words cut like a knife. They can never be taken back.

I have been affected deeply by the power of words. And heaven knows I have said things recklessly. Some words have taken me decades to get over. Some replay over and over as I purposely acknowledge God’s truth and reject the lies of the enemy.

If your words were the mold in which to shape a person, what kind of monster would you be creating?

Look, I would much rather embrace my role as “the encourager.” I truly believe in the beauty of who you are because you are God’s. Created in His likeness, you are His baby. Nothing can touch that, no mistake or reckless words, no sin can separate you from His love and your rightful place as His beloved.

I just have to ask you one question:

What have you been saying about God’s baby?

You are His beloved, He sings over you. Before for you beat yourself up and sell yourself short, or rip someone to shreds to make yourself feel better…put it on mute.