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Enjoy your work…

24 Mar

I’ve been struggling lately.   I’ve been looking at things in a negative light and it makes it really hard for those closest to me to be around me.  I have been looking at homework, chores, and work as things that HAVE to be done and it becomes this huge pressure over me.  I thank God that this was brought to my attention.  There is no need for a bad attitude.  It will destroy everything that means something to you.  So, I am praying for God’s strength and a different mindset.  A mindset of gratitude and joy.  Why not sit down to do homework and enjoy it?! I tried it yesterday evening and guess what, I actually did enjoy it!  I pray for the Holy Spirit to help me to speak only positive words and to be still and listen.  I pray to think positive thoughts and to approach life with joy.  Here are the scriptures that really spoke to me this morning:

‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness,
and you will harvest a crop of love.
Plow up the hard ground of your hearts,
for now is the time to seek the LORD,
that he may come
and shower righteousness upon you.’ Hosea 10:12

As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God. Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few.
Too much activity gives you restless dreams; too many words make you a fool.
When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him. It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it. Don’t let your mouth make you sin. And don’t defend yourself by telling the Temple messenger that the promise you made was a mistake. That would make God angry, and he might wipe out everything you have achieved.
Talk is cheap, like daydreams and other useless activities. Fear God instead. Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past. Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

Amen!

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Birthday Presents

18 Mar

So amazingly, I turn 30 today.  I say amazingly because I don’t feel like what I imagined 30 would feel like.  I think back to when I was fifteen and how I pictured myself at 30… “a grown-up.”  Now in my mind at fifteen “grown-up” meant someone with kids and a house and lots of responsibilities… someone very different from who I thought of myself then.  But now that 30 is here, I find it kind of funny that I still don’t feel like a “grown-up.”  I mean, yes, I am married and I have a lot of responsibilities, but I still feel the same. I didn’t wake up this morning and the whole world had changed.  I am happy and I feel blessed and grateful.

There is one huge difference in my life from when I was 15; I now know Jesus. So, I guess I am a different person, but not in the “grown-up” sense, in the sense that I have been given a new life and hope.  I was 25 when I gave my life to Christ, now 5 years later my relationship with Him just keeps getting better.  Of course, I have stumbled and taken some backward steps, but once I felt his love, I don’t want to live without it.

It got me thinking about gifts that we give to each other on special occasions and sometimes for no reason at all.  Why do we? Out of obligation or out of love?  The presents given out of love are always the best ones.  It could be something that has little monetary value or is kind of ugly, but you love it anyway because it reminds you of the love that someone has for you.  My best birthday present is God’s unfailing love. His open arms for me even though I screw up all the time.  Nothing can compare to the gift of eternal life and hope that he has given me.  He even gave me my second best birthday present, my husband.  He poured out his love on us and he gave me my husband’s love. He blesses us to overcome the obstacles that we face in our marriage; that every couple faces in their marriage.  That is why the vow says “in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health,”  there are hard times in every marriage and I thank God that he helps us to get through them.

I thank God for all of my family and friends.  Those are the priceless birthday presents.  Of course it’s nice to get gifts, but they are never as valuable as the people who gave them.  It reminds me of the scripture that we had read at our wedding (and that lots of people have read at their weddings):

Love Is the Greatest
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13

Amen!

Love is the Greatest

18 Nov

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13

We had this scripture read at our wedding 4 years ago. This is how Jesus loves us and how we should strive to love one another.

I love this message. It is so true and so beautiful!

Love Poems

27 Oct

Young Man:

You are beautiful, my darling,
beautiful beyond words.
Your eyes are like doves
behind your veil.
Your hair falls in waves,
like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead.
Your teeth are as white as sheep,
recently shorn and freshly washed.
Your smile is flawless,
each tooth matched with its twin.
Your lips are like scarlet ribbon;
your mouth is inviting.
Your cheeks are like rosy pomegranates
behind your veil.
Your neck is as beautiful as the tower of David,
jeweled with the shields of a thousand heroes. Song of Songs 4:1-4

Young Woman:

My lover is dark and dazzling,
better than ten thousand others!
His head is finest gold,
his wavy hair is black as a raven.
His eyes sparkle like doves
beside springs of water;
they are set like jewels
washed in milk.
His cheeks are like gardens of spices
giving off fragrance.
His lips are like lilies,
perfumed with myrrh.

His arms are like rounded bars of gold,
set with beryl.
His body is like bright ivory,
glowing with lapis lazuli.
His legs are like marble pillars
set in sockets of finest gold.
His posture is stately,
like the noble cedars of Lebanon.
His mouth is sweetness itself;
he is desirable in every way.
Such, O women of Jerusalem,
is my lover, my friend. Song of Songs 5:10-16

Love is in the air 😉

 

A Precious Gift

4 Oct

Looking into your eyes

Seeing all of my dreams reflected back in yours

Knowing that with you I have found what I was looking for

My heart beats with yours

My heart is your heart

Overflowing with gratitude

For this God given gift

A love so great can only be from above

Thank you God for this most precious gift

Attitude Adjustment

27 Sep

This weekend it became clear that I had a bad attitude.  A major case of the cup is half empty.  As I thought about things, my mind would focus on negative aspects and outcomes.  An outing that should have been fun, I turned into a disaster because of my attitude.  I was trying to keep my thoughts to myself and not let it be known that I was worrying unnecessarily about trivial things, but when you are around people who know you well it is an impossible feat.  The thing is about a bad attitude is that it is contagious like a virus.  When it takes a hold of one person, it spreads like an uncontrollable outbreak. It’s like your bad attitude needs company and it sets out to ruin everyone else’s attitude too.

I realized that I was always thinking of things that I “should” be doing (which I really didn’t need to be doing or worrying about) and it kept me from being the wife and friend that my husband, family, and friends deserve to have.  A bad attitude can destroy what matters most: relationships.   I see that I need an attitude adjustment; I need to see the cup as half full, to not worry about trivial things, and not whine and complain.

When the Israelites sent out scouts to the Holy Land, those scouts came back to camp to tell the others that they had found a land flowing with milk and honey, an abundant and prosperous land, but they also said “But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there!” Numbers 13:28

They interpreted what they had seen as negative, they saw an “impossible feat” even though God has promised them otherwise.  The scouts’ bad attitude spread throughout the people and the Israelites cried, complained, and plotted.

There was an exception, though, two of the scouts Caleb and Joshua, had different attitudes, from the beginning they urged the others to not listen to the words of despair from the other scouts. Caleb proclaimed, “Let’s go at once to take the land. We can certainly conquer it!” Numbers 13:30

They trusted in God completely and it showed in their actions.

The others succumbed to bad attitudes that cost them greatly. This display of negativity and distrust in God’s promise to give them the Holy Land is why God had them turn around and go back into the desert that they had walked through as they left Egypt.  They spent 40 more years wandering around that desert because of their reaction to the scouts with negative mindsets.

I don’t want to wander through a desert.

I want to be like Caleb and Joshua; they are examples of people with positive attitudes.  I can’t be the person that God wants me to be with a bad attitude, this story clearly shows that.

What about you; is your cup half full or half empty?

4 Year Wedding Anniversary!

16 Sep

Today makes 4 years that Emmanuel and I have been married! What a blessing it is to have such a wonderful partner and best friend.  It’s funny how time can go by so fast and at the same time be wonderfully slow.  It was 5 years ago that we met each other when neither of us would have expected it…working as extras on the show “Beyond the Break.”  It still makes me smile when I think about the first time we talked and how they put us together in the background for one of the scenes and had him hug me as we looked out at the ocean, “wow!”  I followed him around like a puppy and gave him my number at the end of the day.

Funny thing was he didn’t call me until 5 months later!  I was thinking about him though and I later found out that he had been thinking about me too.  His mom had come to visit him from Brazil during that 5 months and had asked him if he was dating anybody.  He had told her “no, but there is a girl I like, but I am waiting to call her.”  He was waiting because he wanted to have a better living situation before he called me cause he didn’t think I was going to like him if he was still living at the surf camp!  Well, I was so happy when he did call me and we have been together since the first day that I drove up to North Shore to go on a date.  It was crazy that on our first date we found ourselves talking about what we wanted our house to be like in the future!

I thank God that he brought us together and that he used Emmanuel to bring me to himself.  In the past 4 years my relationship with God has gotten so much closer and as I get closer to God, he brings Emmanuel and I closer too.  We were baptized together during our first year of marriage and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Mark 10:6-10, “But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”

I love you Emmauel!!!

Jessica