Perils of a Pastor's Wife
Are you experiencing the pressures and loneliness that comes from ministry burnout, social isolation, frantic schedules, and unrealistic expectations? Nan Jones' new book,
The Perils of a Pastor's Wife
will meet you right where you are! No fluff. No sweet smelling roses. She inserts God's Word and the testimony of His faithfulness right into the middle of your raw emotional mess—the mess that she understands all too well.
Get your copy today!
Wrestling with God in the Wilderness
Might appear to be a strange title. But then, only strange to those who have not yet been there … in the wilderness, wrestling with God. Many of us can attest to our wilderness experience being a contest of wills.
My will versus God’s will.
Of course, in the beginning we do not see it that way at all. We are so sure that we are seeking to do only the will of God, and that our hearts are pure and right. God, in His infinite wisdom, surely shakes His head as He watches and listens to us. When He takes us at our word and places us into that place of refining, I’m sure He sighs heavily as He observes our kicking and screaming and doubting and pleading.
I spent seven years wrestling with God.
It was a miserable place. I was absolutely sure I was on track, following passions and desires that I was convinced were His as well. Why was it taking so long for God to understand me? Funny now, but definitely not at the time. There were layers of doubt, unbelief and control issues to be sifted out. Or, more accurately, grated off. It was painful. My Father, as a good Abba, continually whispered the object lesson into the ears of my heart. “Rest in Me.” Over and over again these words bombarded my soul, and yet I fought on to achieve my goals.
When at last I realized He was not going to silence His directive, I dug into His Word and studied what that meant---to REST in Him. It sounds simple, but it’s so complicated ... to a driven, achievement-oriented soul.
The world is spinning out of control every day. We watch news reports, listen to prophets, teachers and leaders comparing their predictions to our Bible lessons. No doubt about it, trouble is looming on the horizon for our country. That, in the midst of our own personal battles, sometimes seems overwhelming.
Where do we turn to find true peace?
There’s only one place.
You know where that is.
Resting in the arms of the Savior is the only place to run, to hide, to escape, to breathe. No human can provide that. No achievement, no government, no lover, nothing, except Jesus. Living in His rest means that no matter what whirlwind of pain spins around you, you have the express ability to relax, be at peace and walk through it with Him.
It’s a choice.
Don’t be like me and take seven years of battling to experience the joy of this valuable gift. If you find yourself exhausted from wrestling, stop---go to Him, and surrender your will totally and completely, so that resting in Him puts the brakes on the roller coaster and quiets your heart.
He longs to hold His children close and soothe their anxious souls. My life is different now. There is no comparison.
The wrestling match is over. He won! And I won!
"For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.'"
~ Isaiah 41:13
I Did It My Way
Today I am waking up to the realization that the world in front of me has gone insane. People are like little robots, programmed to speak whatever is repeated again and again ad nauseum. Already, from taking in my first sentences, some will yell, “judging!” No, or maybe yes. Judging what I see from my own viewpoint is between God and me. If I share it with you, so be it. How about thinking about what I’m saying instead of (haha) “judging” me? Frankly, I’m weary of the tired old accusation that anytime someone speaks out for what they believe, they’re labeled as “judging,” a “hater,” or “intolerant.” Give me a break.
I log onto facebook and see a dozen posts by Christians who are awed by a beautiful picture with a saying on it. The ‘saying’ is a complete distortion of scripture but it sure sounds nice. So four or five people comment “Amen” or “love this.” Interesting. Then I read a brief devotional which again sounds flowery and feel good, and the same responses follow. Just disregard the fact that it once again does not follow biblical truth, but rather, is man’s transformation of it. Then it gets “shared” a dozen times because it sounds so good. Popularity makes it become truth?
The next thing I see online, whether it’s one social networking site or another, is political statements that are ridiculous. Do people really believe that one political party or another is the savior of this country? It sure sounds like they do. They even love to bring Jesus’ name into it. I’m doubtful He’s grateful for that inclusion.
After years of seeing the hype and the distortions and how many sheeple blindly swallow deception, I feel deeply grieved. The Bible is a hard document. Do I have the perfect, 100% correct interpretation of every scripture? Of course not. But people, really, much of the Word is plain, simple and direct. It is being twisted to salve the consciences of those who simply don’t want to follow it. It’s being rewritten to feel better to those who choose sin, and who worship tolerance of sin. The new way is just more comfortable, it feels better, and it assures one can keep more friends. Why not be happy?
“I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.” Rev. 22:18-19
If we are allowed to rewrite God’s Word to make it more palatable, to make it easier, what point is there to even having it in the first place? God did not give us that option. He’s serious about how we study it, live it and defend it. We are the ones who are playing with fire, when we decide to do it our way. We have lost our awe and our fear of Almighty God.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” Isaiah 5:20
Woe defined: grievous distress, affliction, or trouble. We don’t need “woe” of this kind. We must stop playing with God’s Word and start living it as He inspired it, before it’s too late. If you blindly share some post online because it sounds good, you’d better be ready to answer to God, because you are influencing others. If your god is one that wants you to be comfortable, conflict-free, and buddies with evil, your god is not the God of the Bible...no matter how nice it sounded on facebook.
"You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. Mark 13:13 (Spoken by Jesus Christ)
“Do not fear what you are about to suffer. …Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Rev. 2:10
What did God reveal to you about the weather?
What has the Lord revealed to you about all the tornadoes, flooding, earthquakes and shaking? Nothing? You say you never even asked Him? Hmm. That’s interesting. It’s the first thing I did when I watched all the news coverage in Texas and Oklahoma. I have family scattered all over Texas and my prayers are constantly going up. Yes, every spring Texas and Oklahoma (and other states as well) have tornadoes, hailstorms and so on. But, ask anyone who lives there if this is a typical spring deluge and you will hear them lament that it is definitely not the norm.
Seismologists are reporting an incredibly high instance of earthquakes all across the USA. Some are very light and they range all the way to pretty stout. Even volcanoes are waking from their dormant state. And, in the midst of all this chaos, what are people doing? Are they getting on their knees before God to ask for His mercy? Are they repenting of their sins and asking Him to draw near and instruct them for the day’s safety and provision? Unfortunately, I haven’t seen that. I feel sure that there are those who are doing just that, but most of what I see on facebook, twitter, etc., is people pretending nothing is changing and going on about their shopping, vacation planning and recreation without a thought for tomorrow. Or...mocking those who are hearing from God and preparing for more to come.
Dear people, please stop mocking, ignoring and pretending that everything will always be status quo. It will not. God’s judgments on our world are now beginning to fall. He has removed some of His protections where people have spit in His face and there will be consequences. You can ignore or even try to fight with God all day, but after all is said and done, He is God. He is in control. He loves us so much that He doesn’t want any to perish, but if some choose to perish, He will allow them that right. It is heartbreaking to watch people who have no understanding of who the real God is, or how He operates, make fools of themselves with their misguided opinions. There will be a price to pay.
Don’t call me a hater. I love you and that’s why I long to see you turn your eyes upon Jesus. When the tornado hits your home or you lose your loved one in a flood or earthquake, where will you turn? You can get angry at God, but when did you surrender your life to Him and follow His leading? No matter what the storm brings, we can rest in the arms of our God. He brings peace, encouragement and comfort that no human flesh can do. It’s a divine, supernatural work of the Lord that no mortal can replicate. Please stop and talk to Him now. He is ready and willing to minister to you in disasters, but if you don’t know how to hear His voice or if you don’t know how to turn to Him, you will be lost and broken.
My prayers continue. Our Father is waiting patiently for hearts to turn to Him. His mercy and grace are amazing. But...as the Bible teaches us, there will be a time of judgment for ignoring Him, and it is upon us now. Please stop and pray and think and be wise. Your entire eternity depends on it.
Write His Answer
I was blessed this past week to attend the Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference in Estes Park, Colorado. What a gloriously scenic place to spend four days! It was cold and we even experienced some light snow and icy rain off and on but it was all too lovely to complain. We had large, tame elk wandering around the buildings snacking on the grass, and they seemed to enjoy all the attention and photo shoots they were starring in. For me, a gathering of like- minded believers sharing God’s Word and worshipping together was beyond inspiring. The fact that we all are following His call to write brought us close---visiting as though we had known each other forever. The theme of the conference was “Write His Answer” from Habakkuk 2:2 "Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.” So many ideas and prayers developed out of that verse--even a song! How amazing that our God imparts words to write so that not only we, but others, can carry His message to the world.
I never take my writing nonchalantly. I consider it a big responsibility. You who follow my blogs and read my books need to know that I pray over every single piece I write and I am always aware that the Lord can use those words to reach hearts, which is extremely fulfilling to me. If I ever publish something that is not true or accurate, it is definitely an accident or oversight, and I invite you to hold me accountable. I take very seriously God’s call to share His Word and His leading in ministering to others.
Please lift my family in prayer when you think of it as I write and minister, and as my husband continues to endure chemotherapy. It is not an easy time for us, but then, most of you are also walking through difficult trials as well. Always know that you can send me your prayer requests and I will be honored to petition the Lord on your behalf. He sees our pain and hears every prayer….and He answers!
Lastly today, I’ve had some issues with your comments disappearing off my website. We’re working on that, but if you posted something and I didn’t respond, that is the reason. Please post again! I love hearing from you. And...please listen to our radio show on the HIA website (Hope is Alive). Pastor Ray Thomann and Jennifer are on Mon-Thurs and Ray and I on Fridays, but you can listen to any of the broadcasts through the website. www.hiaradio.com.
Have a blessed week!
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"Living in God's Rest...At Peace in a Chaotic World" and "Masked in Deceit," are both available now. Living in God's Rest can be purchased from any of your favorite booksellers online or in stores. Masked in Deceit, a novel, is available from Amazon. Both books are offered in ebook versions as well. I always appreciate reviews on the seller's sites. Just click the books below and you will find links to purchase.
Have a blessed day!