Saturday, December 29, 2012

Heart Breaks

"That I have intense sorrow and continual anguish in my heart."
Romans 9:2

Sometimes your heart breaks. 

Today in my time alone with God I prayed "Lord, my heart is deceitful. It is desperately wicked. Give me your heart. Give me your eyes. Show me how to love like you."

Now before you start patting me on the back, let me stop you. James 1:17 says that every good and perfect gift is from God. That string of thoughts I prayed was a good and perfect gift from the Holy Spirit. My selfish mind would have never thought that on it's own. It's not the first time I've been led to pray this and I PRAY it is not the last. 

Back to prayer... Aren't we funny things? Human beings? Christians? We read the bible and do our best to follow what it says. We read how it says to pray. So we pray with confidence and faith. Then when God answers our prayers we are floored. At least that's how I am. Every time. Especially when I pray for God's heart. 

Today, like he is so faithful to do time and time again, God answered. He gave me a tiny glimpse into his heart. 

1 & 2 Chronicles are books about kings. Kings whose attention God tried to get and hold. Every once in awhile you will see, "He did what was right in the Lord's sight..." but more often you get "He did what was evil in the Lord's sight." Can you imagine doing evil in the sight of the Lord and not asking for forgiveness? What are the implications of this?! You can read "He did evil in the Lord's sight" for months and think stupid kings. 

But... sometimes your heart breaks. 

There are countless kids who have broken home lives. Literally. Countless. They go home from school to broken moms and dads. They go home to distracted moms and dads. They go home to alcoholic moms and dads. They go home to drug addicted moms and dads. They go home to only moms. They go home to no moms or dads at all. God can put them on  your heart to pray for, to love.

But... sometimes your heart breaks.

Too many families have lost ones they loved in an instant unexpectedly. You can be made aware of, pray for, and feel sorry for the fact they still cry every day... Or the fact that a mom won't be there for graduation... Or the fact that a mom and dad outlived their child... Or the fact that a child watched a parent kill someone... Or the fact that the cancer is still there... Most of the time you say a quick prayer for them.

But... sometimes your heart breaks.

You can watch someone get publicly humiliated 100 times.

But... sometimes your heart breaks. 
Sometimes your heart breaks and you want the cheers to stop. Sometimes God lets you see through his eyes. He lets you see someone whose pride is wounded. And it breaks your heart.

You can go to the same place and see the same people your whole life. You can grow up with these people. These 'good' people. These people that mean well. These people that love their kids. These people that work hard. These people that have good morals. You can pray for their salvation. 

But ...sometimes your heart breaks.
Sometimes  your heart breaks for these people that you love who have stored up so many earthly treasures and no heavenly ones. These people who have not accepted Christ as their Savior. These people who refuse to humble themselves before a loving, but just God. 

I can think you need to do a better job of being a city on a hill. I can pray God makes me a light. I can tell myself I'm doing pretty good at living for Jesus. 

But... most of the time I forget to humble myself before an Awesome, Holy God. 

And my heart breaks. 

Please know that the only way you will spend eternity with God is by His grace through your faith. You have confess that you are sinful and that with out Christ death and resurrection you would have no hope. You have to die to your sinful self and give your life to Christ. From time to time your heart will break. Just absolutely break. But all the time your God will never forsake you. All the time you will have the 
Hope of Jesus Christ.   

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dress to Impress

". . . Instead make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way."
Romans 14:13b

Setting: Weekend outing
Action: Girl walks down in to the living room. Dad says she isn't wearing that. Girl whines. Dad puts foot down. Girl changes.
This is a universal movie scene that almost every girl in America is familiar with.

My favorite scene comes from one of the great classic movies, Clueless. Cher walks down stairs in a tiny white dress and her dad says, "What the heck is that?" She responds by saying, "A dress!" Cher's dad fires back with, "Says who??" Cher confidently tells him, "Calvin Klein." Cher ends up keeping the dress on. I usually wasn't as fortunate. 

I remember even back in my early teens going shopping with my mom and getting so upset with her when I couldn't get the cute outfit from Limited Too because it "looked to old for me." Duh, mom. That's the whole point. Look like an 18 year old at 12. Get with the program.

It didn't stop there it continued on to my high school career and, I'm embarrassed to say, even college. The saying she says has evolved some, though. Instead of "that's too old for you" it's now more along the lines of "that's too short" or "that's too low." At that point I proceed to defend myself and explain it's really not that bad because it could be much worse.

Then about a year or so ago she told me something with so much pure love that I was so humbled I couldn't even be mad or upset with her nagging. I'm probably not quoting this verbatim, but I can get pretty close. "Jackie, I know you try really hard to reflect Christ in your life and lead others in how to live for Him but sometimes that is not evident in the way you dress."

Geez. It still stings. 

After that I tried to focus more on my clothing choice, but I have to admit all I really did was focus on who I would be seeing me in those clothes. If I was going to be around adults I knew personally I would make an effort to dress more conservatively. However, if I knew I would most be around people my age I wouldn't be as concerned with whether or not my shorts were close to to my fingers. 

Recently, though,  God has really been working on my heart. 

Before you read any farther I want to make one thing clear. This is not secretly directed to anyone I know personally. So if you are feeling that way - don't. These are my convictions and something that I want to get better at. 

So let's get to scripture. We've all heard the story (and laughed uncomfortably in kid's church) about when God first created Adam and Eve they didn't have to wear clothes. They walked around naked. (ha!) But I want to focus on two verses that come after the fall of man.

Genesis 3:7 "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves."

Upon noticing that they were naked they didn't just go about their day. This realization was a big enough deal that it spurred action. They made something to cover their nakedness.

Genesis 3:10 "He (Adam) answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

So now we see a little bit of what Adam and Eve's thought process was. Once they realized they were naked, it scared them. They were so afraid that they hid. I'm sure we can all agree our society has a little bit of a different view of nakedness then the first man and woman did.

Flipping over a few books to Proverbs let's look at a verse dealing with men looking at women. Proverbs chapter 6 verse 25 says,

"Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes." 

OK, I know what you are thinking. That verse is talking about guys looking lustfully at women so what does that do with me? A lot. 

In his song "Praying For You" Lecrae says, "can't even hit up the mall cuz every lady's half-dressed temptin' him to lust and fall." . . . Get it now? Later on in the song we find out that Lecrae is really praying for himself. 

Now am I saying that we should take all the credit for men lusting and they shouldn't shoulder              any of the responsibility? Not. At. All. What I am saying is that we have done a pretty poor job  of helping them out.

Romans 14:13b ". . . Instead make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way." 

This can look like a lot of different things, but in this instance it means stop dressing with the intent of making them stumble!! And remember I am talking to myself most of all! 

I am not saying to wear long sleeves and sweat pants every day. I am saying we have to have a mentality shift. Instead of dressing to impress guys and look sexy (consider the root of that word. . .) dress to impress your Creator. 

God made us beautiful! Each of us! Know the difference. 

I need to start considering who I have in mind when I dress to impress.

Love y'all! Really!

Jackie J

Thursday, September 6, 2012


"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."
Philippians 2:3

Football is finally here!! Praise the Lord! Hogs won. Hillbillies won. Cowboys won. My football season is off to a great start! Those of you that don't know me that well may be a little confused by the middle team. I am from Ozark, Arkansas and our mascot is a Hillbilly. 

When I moved to Ozark in the second grade I literally thought I would die of embarrassment. Who cares about the fact everything I had known since birth was going to be uprooted and turned upside down and the fact that my precious grandparents would now be one hour away instead of one minute. I was about to be a Hillbilly.

I mean, seriously. I had BIG dreams. At this point my life goal was to be a high school cheerleader. Now I was going to have to say "Go Hillbillies!" Like.... what? 

Luckily, upon moving to Ozark my view changed. I realized that being a Hillbilly was actually pretty cool. And even though I now get some strange looks when I play the "Name, Major, and High School Mascot" game on the first day of classes, I wouldn't change my mascot for anything. Instead of being devastating, cheering for the Hillbillies throughout jr. high and high school became my favorite thing to do. In fact one of my favorite chants to call was "HPRD."

That's it. HPRD. Just chant that over and over again and you can get a small town real pumped up! It stands for Hillbilly Pride Runs Deep. So that's where the title of this message comes from - with a slight altercation. Mine version SHOULD stand for Jesus Pride Runs Deep, right? I mean that would be ideal. 

Unfortunately, recently in my life it has stood for Jackie's Pride Runs Deep. In fact, I probably should have put an extra 'R' in there for REALLY Deep. And let me tell you, nothing is more humbling then realizing just how prideful you are. 

My first red flag should have been when my pastor stood up at church this past Sunday and said we were talking about Pride. I was so prideful that I wasn't even immediately convicted. I thought, "Oh, I need to take good notes so I can help others struggling with pride!" ...... Like really? Bless my heart.

God was quick to set me straight, though. Point after point kept hitting home. By 'hitting home' I don't mean "yeah, I struggle with that." By 'hitting home' I mean "I SUCK." I actually at one point during the sermon leaned over and wrote that on my boyfriends notes. Every single point described me.

1)Pride says my agenda is more important than unity (check)
2)Pride tells me I am more important than I really am (check)
3)Pride is all about me (check)
4)Pride tells me I must continually compare myself to others (double check)

FYI the (check)'s above mean they apply to me. Not good. Especially number 4. 

Philippians 2:4 says, "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Translation: Help others. Don't compare yourself to others in any way to try to make yourself look better. Ouch. I know. Stings a little. 

Verse 5 says "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus," then goes on to list what exactly that looks like in the following verses.

So to apply this to my life and your life.... Am I saying that wanting to look good, be in shape, eat healthy, do well in school, grow in your walk with Christ are all bad things? NO. Am I saying if you should reevaluate stuff if you are only concerned with how YOU can achieve all of these things and are only interested in being better than others as opposed to helping others? YES. Join the crowd. 

I'm praying that you and I both can make an effort to live out JPRD with the J standing for the One and Only Savior of this fallen world.

Love you all!
Jackie J 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Read it. Pray it. Live it.

Sometimes you just need to get back to the basics....

If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you.   If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:18-19

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:43-45

And find out what pleases the Lord. Ephesians 5:10

Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16

In the same way let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Am I perfect? No. Is the owner of Chick-Fil-A perfect? No. Are you perfect? No.

Do I strive to live biblically, support others that do, and love like Jesus? Yes.

Is there a difference between sinning and living in sin? Yes.

Am I the one to judge someone's heart? No. Is anyone else? No.

Do I love sinners? Yes. Do I hate sin? Yes. 

I encourage you to seek out God. Draw closer to him and He will draw closer to you. Pray God will give you clarity on any issue you are confused about. Pray God will reveal the sin in your life so that you may continue to grow closer to him. 

This world is so broken. Don't forget when it comes down to it, we are sinners. All of us. God sent his Son to die for us that we may go to Heaven. He gave us the bible to learn about what Jesus said so that we may live for Him and give Him glory before we meet with him.

Praying for redemption stories. 

Jackie J

Monday, July 2, 2012

Soakin' up the Son

"But only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better,
 and it will not be taken away from her."
- Luke 10:42

Hello to the faithful five that always read my blogs! Sorry it has been so long since I have written, but life has been a little crazy lately with school ending, the death of my beloved uncle, starting an internship at Cross Church Fayetteville, and cheering on my sweet boyfriend in the College World Series! Over the past couple months God has been chiseling away at me to make me better equipped to share His Love and Promise. It hasn't been the most pleasant experience at times, but I hope to soon share with y'all what I have learned. 

Today, though, I'm not going to get quite that deep. Instead I want to share what I feel like God has been putting on my heart the past couple of weeks. Therefore, I want to look at a short bible story that is one of my favorites found in Luke 10:38-42. In case you don't have a bible nearby I'll type it out here:

(38)As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. (39) She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. (40)But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" (41)"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, (42) but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

So this story has three main characters: Martha, Mary, and Jesus. Let's start with Martha. I'm sure many of us girls, or women I should say since I will be 21 this October (wow!!), can be both sympathetic and empathetic towards her. In fact, some may have had to read it twice. Did Jesus really tell Martha that she was wrong for preparing, cleaning, cooking, and serving? Are those not characteristics that make up a majority of the Proverbs 31 woman?! Next we have Mary. She didn't really do much. At all. She sat and listened. Last we have Jesus, who we know is perfect, so there must be a reason he praised the listener rather than the server in this scenario.

I picture it happening like this:
Jesus walks in the door. Mary stands there wide-eyed, with her mouth wide open (hopefully free of drool because nothing would be more embarrassing then drooling in front of our Lord!! ha!). Martha runs to greet Jesus and ushers him in apologizing for "the mess" and then rushes off to the kitchen to finish preparing food. Jesus props himself on a table and Mary follows him and sits right in front of him still wide-eyed soaking in everything he had to say. It's not every day the Savior of the world is within arms length. The rest of the story  needs no explanation. Martha does a pretty good job of expressing her annoyance with her sister. 

Now I don't attend a Christian University and have not taken any bible classes, but I believe the issue here that Jesus was concerned with was the issue of the heart. When we are in Jesus presence and he is trying to teach us are we too busy preparing and trying to make everything perfect, like Martha? Or do we take time to stop and spend time with Jesus and soak in his glory like Mary did? Are we taking time to sit at Jesus feet gain something much more precious and valuable then a spotless house or perfect meal will ever be?

If this story were written today, I wonder if there would be added characters to the scene. I've noticed recently that sometimes I catch myself not necessarily being a Martha or a Mary but a ... Jackie. I love people and I love the Christian companionship and social gatherings that a church family provides. The bible HEAVILY  encourages fellowship among believers. But it is also important to not get caught up in the "social responsibilities" of being at a church gathering and miss the whole point. I wonder if the story were in today's time we would read about a separate room full of Jesus loving women that were too busy talking with one another to sit at the feet of the Son of God and soak up his wisdom and love?

So let's make a conscious effort to avoid being a Martha (or Jackie) when entering the presence of God. Let's strive to be Mary's!

God bless! 
Jackie J

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Did she say Hell?!

"And anyone not written in the book of life was
 thrown into the lake of fire."
Revelation 20:15

Let's address the elephant on the page: my blog address is "JOYfromJackie" and the title and verse suggest a very different connotation. I'm aware. Please, though, stay with me. Out of all of my blogs so far -- yes, a whopping four of them-- this one weighs on my heart the heaviest. 

Growing up in the South I have learned a thing or two about what it takes to a Southern Belle. I don't feel like I have earned that level of status, but I do know (and fit) some of the qualifications:
   *say "bless their heart" --- check  
   *love sweet tea --- check
   *grew up listening to country music --- check
   *have the ability to drive a truck --- check (not debatable!!)
   *refuse to believe anyone's cookin' is better than mamma's or grandma's --- check
   *dream about a perfect wedding --- not a check yet.... but we'll see
   *go to church on Sunday --- check
   *love Jesus --- check
   *never hurt people's feelings (especially never bring up Hell) --- unchecked

I'm not exactly sure when being a "sweet, southern girl" took precedence over admitting you are a sinner and surrendering your life to Christ, but I'd say it's time we get a priorities in order. I hope you are wearing some thick boots while reading this, because I'm afraid I'm about to step on some toes. 

You know when the preacher on says, "coming to church on Sunday doesn't make you a Christian"? 
He means it.
No, really.

1Corinthians 15:2 says, "By this gospel you are saved, if you should firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain."

This verse (and multiple other verses) says through the gospel you are saved. It does NOT say going to church saves you. It does not say giving money to the church saves you. It does not say repeating ritualistic prayers saves you. It does not say acts of kindness or of service save you. Are these bad things? No. These are all great way for a Christian to obey and honor God. But  SO many people have missed the first step. In fact some people quit reading because this hit too close to home. Others reading this have started skimming trying to get to the "juicy" part. SURPRISE!!! This IS the juicy part. You can not go to Heaven without being saved. 

Recently I watched "The Avengers" and noticed a parallel between the "Loki" character and Satan. There is one scene where one of the good guys tells Loki that he is going to lose because it is in his nature. They argue and the good guy tells him he will lose because he has no conviction. The more I think about it, the more I get a sinking feeling in my stomach and realize Loki resembles more than just Satan. He also reflects to an extent what will happen to every single unbeliever. They will lose in a BIG way.

Feeling convicted about something does not mean you simply know something is wrong yet you do it anyway. Conviction is not feeling bad for a split second yet you never change your ways. Feeling convicted means you realize you have sinned against a holy, perfect God and whom will send you to Hell if you don't turn away from your sins and believe in His Son Jesus Christ and commit you're life to him.

We've heard you can't go to Heaven if you are not saved. But rarely is the alternative verbalized. 

If you aren't going to Heaven, you are going to HELL
If you lack conviction you aren't saved.
Again, if you aren't saved you are going to HELL
It's biblical.

A little tough today, but it is only because I LOVE YOU! I do not want you to spend eternity in a miserable pit of fire (HELL). I want you to experience the love of Jesus Christ for the rest of your earthly life and all throughout eternity!!!

God Bless,

Jackie J 

Friday, April 20, 2012

"And find out what pleases the Lord."
- Ephesians 5:10

I have been having a lot of self-esteem issues lately which I feel like is common among girls today. So, I went out on a limb and made a video blog about it. Even though my major is Communications and I should be good at this kind of thing, my heart was pounding the whole time and I struggle through basically the whole video. But Christ's glory is made stronger in our weakness, right?? I hope so! I know it's long, unorganized, and slow, but please watch it when you have time! 

Praying for each person that watches it! 

God Bless 


Monday, March 26, 2012

San Francisco: Part 1

"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whome they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?"
---Romans 10:14---

San Francisco. A city that is 7 miles by 7 miles and has a population of above 800,000. A city that is passionate about many things such as the environment and individual rights on controversial issues. A city that is synonymous with the Golden Gate Bridge. A city that has a high homeless population. A city that needs Jesus. A city where I got to spend my break serving God.

Melissa Thomas and myself got the amazing  privilege of spending Spring Break 2012 in San Francisco with Ryan and Rachel Blackwell and there adorable son Brady. Ryan is the pastor at First Baptist in SF and his wife is a gifted photographer and both of these people opened up their home for a week to two college girls who didn't really have much planned except that they were in love with this city and what God was doing there. 

I went on a mission trip to San Francisco last Spring Break and it absolutely stole my heart- which is weird for a girl that is not a huge fan of rain or of the temperature being below 70. This year since there was not a group going, I decided to invent my own mission trip. Best decision I have ever made. I could go on forever, but I want to hit a few of the high points. 

For starters, I am very confident in the fact that God answers prayers. This happens daily in my life but there I want to give you an example that happened in San Francisco. 1 Corinthians 1:5-6 says, " For in  him you have been enriched in every way-in all your speaking and in all your knowledge- because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you." On Wednesday I prayed I would live that day so that this verse would describe me. I prayed specifically that people wouldn't see me, they would see Jesus. Well we get to  YWAM where we were hanging out with some homeless people and about 3 minutes in to a conversation about the weather with a homeless man he held up his hand to stop me and said, " I know what you got. You got Jesus. He lives in you , doesn't He?" On the outside of course I smiled and said "Yes, He definitely does," and then continued to share he gospel with him along with parts of my testimony. BUT on the INSIDE I was absolutely floored by what God had just done. I knew when I prayed that morning that God would answer it, but He way exceeded my expectations!! How encouraging is it that as a Christian we can ask God for something and He not only answers it- He makes sure to go above and beyond.

Another event that floored me was that when we were serving at a dinner for homeless people, besides the fact that I got asked if I had ever been in playboy and the fact that I received a very unexpected kiss on the cheek while hugging a homeless man, I was able to help give someone hope. Standing there I was thinking, "Man, I wish I knew each one of their stories. You don't just decide one day you want to be homeless, do you?" Then I met James. James is a 50 year old man with a mischievous smile and always ready to answer you with a joke so he can get you laughing. While talking about various things with James and laughing he stopped and said, "This is not me. This is not who I am. I raised two boys that live in Florida. I had a good job. I had a beautiful wife that I loved so much. She died in 2009. That's when I started drinking. That's when I became an alcoholic." As he was talking tears started streaming down his face. This man's addiction had ruined his life completely. He didn't even have a place to rest his head because all he could think about was getting his fix. I was able to tell him about the Celebrate Recovery program FBCSF has but I also went a step farther. I wrote on a piece of paper - "James, Jesus loves you. He cares about you. I care about you. Jesus wants you to over come this. I am praying for you every day."  By the grace of God, I was able to give James hope.

Like I said, I could go on for pages with story after story of how God revealed himself, but what I got out of this trip (and what I want you to get out of it also) is prayer is so powerful and that it is really just all about Jesus. Jesus has died so that ALL people may know him. Not just the ones who get get saved young. Not just ones who grew up going to church. Not just ones that kinda messed around with alcohol or drugs a little but got smart and quit that. He died for ALL. Even people that have no hope. So why, then, as Christians are we not trying to be Christ like and reach ALL people for Him?

Because most of  it's hard work and it means a long term commitment to building a relationship with a person that needs hope. And we just simply don't have time to help someone that doesn't instantly grasp the idea that Jesus died for them and saved them, do we? Well maybe it's time we remember how much time and effort and time God spent (and still has to spend) getting our attention.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

 Heart of a Hillbilly

"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with His joy."
---Psalm 126:3---

This verse sums up my past few days so well I am going to say it again; The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with His joy. For those of you that know what's going on and think I'm crazy- Hear me out. For those of you that don't know what's going on and are curious- Hear me out. 

I'll start from the beginning to avoid any confusion. 

During Thanksgiving 2011 my dad suffered from a severe heart attack. He was in the hospital for about a week after that recovering and regaining his strength. It was ridiculous how much support we had from our friends and family by visits, prayers, and helping hands. The cheerleader in me came out to help cope, so I made a sign. :) No, it didn't say "Go, Fight, Win," although now that I think about it, that would have been fitting as well. I put Jer. 29:12 on it and then wrote down all the names of people that had contacted us telling us they were praying.

After leaving the hospital, Dad started eating healthier and exercising. He wasn't happy about the new foods he was trying and trying to get him to eat it was sometimes like eating with a picky five year old. . . Waaaiiittt, maybe I don't have any room talk? ha! At one point during my Mom's loving and caring attempts to make him a heart healthy, yet still slightly taste-bud appealing meal, she figured out how to bake fries. That night my dad got to eat a whopping FIVE french fries. He said it was the best meal he had ever eaten. The tone in which he said it left it's credibility up to interpretation.

Fast-forward to a week ago: Dad started having chest pains again. He scheduled a stress test to hopefully find a quick fix to what ever was giving him problems. What started as a simple test soon turned into immediate hospitalization and the news that he would have to have bypass surgery. After many schedule changes, surgery finally happened this morning at 7:00am. He is out now and doing well. Prayers are still GREATLY APPRECIATED!!! The surgery went smoothly, but the recovery process is a long, painful one. Please be praying specifically that the pain will be tolerable or completely erased and that he (and my family) can stay positive and joyful throughout the whole process.

Now that everyone is up to date on his situation it is time to give credit where credit is due: Jesus. The entire bible points to Jesus. I have recently decided to go rogue and live my life biblical in every aspect of it. Do I mess up every day? No, more like every hour. But the bible is my playbook as a Christian. So I want my life to point to Him. Philippians 4:4-6 COMMANDS us to rejoice always through everything. Then, verse 7 says: 

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I can tell you first hand after this weekend that this verse is true. Seriously not ONE time since we learned about surgery have I been worried about it. God has a plan that was written way before I was born. For a split second I thought, "Should I be worried, I'm not worried? Am I heartless?" Then God whispered, "No, you are my daughter. Your dad is my son. I will take care of both of you."

Waaaaiiiitttt, WHAAATT?? The God of the universe is taking care of me? The perfect Lamb, Jesus, died for me? The Holy Spirit prays for me when I don't know what to say? Mind. Blown.

I am SOOOOOOOOO unbelievably grateful that we live in a country that could fix my dad's heart and that God made sure it went through without any complications. I am SOOOOOOO extremely thankful for everyone that prayed. The source of my joy, though, is Jesus. Had he not saved me, my dad, my brother, my mom, YOU from dying forever, none of this other stuff would matter. 

Jackie :)