The Facebook Status that Saddened Me at 9am

The rule reads as follows: No Facebook, email, Twitter, television, text replies, or the like until after the morning cup of tea and one-on-one time with the Lord.

I believe that is a great rule! I made it for myself. I made it to ensure that I would not allow the world to get to me before God got to me (or I got to Him). I made it because it’s the best way to begin my day. This morning, however, I broke the rule.

Timing my morning is key to not watching the water heat up in the microwave. Usually the timing is perfect; this morning it was not. While my yellow mug was in the microwave, I decided to look up a recipe for whole wheat protein pancakes. But when I opened my laptop, I got sidetracked – immediately. Out of habit, I opened Facebook first.

My heart was saddened immediately.

One of the first comments I read: I swear some “Christians” are the worst human beings ever! Claim to be holy but do the most evil things. There would be more saved people if these so called “Christians” would lead by example. Remember this phrase, “What would Jesus do?”

Oh no! This is what she had to say on Facebook at 9am?! It made me sad. It made me think. Was she missing something? Or were we? The chances are it’s a little bit of both, but I think it’s best to concentrate on ourselves first.

She has a point in saying to “lead by example.” We let our love show first. Then people will see our God. That is not to say never to speak. Jesus spoke to all kinds of people all the time. Remember that what you say can have a lasting affect on a person and how that person sees God. Are we representing a lie? Or are we representing the Truth? Are we claiming we love Christ then in every action and decision making it clear to the masses that it’s all talk? Or are we speaking the Truth in love and praying for our enemies?

I realize that our faith will upset and intimidate people. Either belief or fear will occur, but either way a response will come. We do not have any control over their responses, but we have control over our actions, words, and how we love.

This morning my quiet time was cut short, but my prayer time was lengthened as I prayed for my friend who think that Christians are the worst human beings ever. Please join me in praying for her today.

Brag On My Lord

I thought I’d take this time to brag on my Lord (as Trip Lee would say). A couple weeks ago I got the biggest reminder of His faithfulness ever. Maybe not ever, but definitely big. Unexpected. Slap me right in the face and make all the tears come down my face reminder.

I was in the car listening to K-Love (feel free to judge me, but sometimes it’s exactly what I need) and the song Bless the Lord, O My Soul came on the radio. I love this song! As I was driving, I thought, we should sing this at Westover more. I think that we sung it once before, but that’s about it.

The husband and I were having a less than perfect married weekend. I was stressed and went to church alone that morning. I sought out my mentor, Lara, and sat in front of her and her husband during the service (instead of sitting where I normally do). I don’t know what we sang first, but the next song I heard when I got there – late – was Bless the Lord, O My Soul.

Immediately, the tears began. I remembered my thoughts in the car. It was my reminder that my Father in Heaven not only hears me, but is listening. I raised my hands and worshiped Him with everything in me.

Every time I hear this song now, I am reminded. He loves me. He is listening. He is faithful – even when I am not. Even when I am being a whiny wife instead of a respectful one. Even when I am not prioritizing Him each morning. Even when I cry instead of pray. Even in a large church service where it’s easy to feel lost in the crowd.

He is there. He is faithful. He is worth being bragged on.

The Waiting Game

At this time last year (and for quite some time before that) I was playing the waiting game. This is how it looked in my life:

Step One – discouraged. “I want to be married.”

Step Two – impatient. “How long do I have to wait?”

Step Three – realization. “God is sovereign.”

Step Four – repentant. “Lord, forgive me for my discontentment.”

Step Five – content. “I will wait on the Lord. He will give us direction.”

Step Six – distraction. “Another one of my friends is engaged.”

Step Seven – begin again at step one.

It’s a vicious cycle. It’s a tiring cycle. It’s a sinful cycle. It was a chance for me to learn.

The longer that I stayed in my repentant and content cycles, the more full my life became. It wasn’t that suddenly I didn’t want to or didn’t care about getting married, it’s simply that the idea of marriage did not control me. That desire did not ruin my day, my thoughts, or my relationship when I was secure in my relationship with my Father.

Some of my girlfriends tell me that I don’t understand what it feels like to want to be married. Trust me – I do. It’s difficult. So, what will you do? How you react shows what you believe.

So, will you wait and believe that the Lord is sovereign? That He works all things out for the good of those who believe and trust Him? That He knows what is best for you and will ensure you are taken care of because you are His?

Or will you take things into your own hands? Will you allow worry to steal the joy you could have right now? Will you use not being married as an excuse to not be productive in ministry right now?

Really, it’s a choice that I had to make. Over and over and over I had to choose to believe what I know is true – regardless of how I felt at the time. If you’re having a difficult time with this, I would love to hear about it so that I can be praying for you.

A Song for Saturday

I used to be very pro-choice. Arguing a pro-lifer was no big deal. One day, I remember telling Darius, “I want to be pro-life, because I believe that it’s the right thing, but I’m really pro-choice!” I had put so much time and effort into believing that it was okay that even when I could see it clearly, I couldn’t see it clearly.

I prayed about this. I thanked God that I was never put into the position to make that tough decision (because I probably would have chosen wrong). People’s testimonies and the realness of God forming us in our mother’s wombs has changed my heart. He has revealed Truth to me on this subject and it pains me to think that I would argue against His will.

This song is a story of a woman put in a special situation and had a choice to make, but it’s from her son’s perspective. It changes everything. I hope you enjoy.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

Hello, 2013

Hello, 2013!

Welcome! It’s so nice to see you! Some people didn’t think that you’d make it, but I knew better. Not that tomorrow is promised, but because I couldn’t understand their reasons. I knew that if God wanted to gift me with you, that He would. Some people didn’t make it to you. So many reasons why they didn’t. So many reasons that I can’t understand. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know what to pray. Tears were shed. Ugly words were spoken. Giving in to fear was just easier sometimes. But God poured out His grace in the midst of it all. And here we are.

You know, 2012 wasn’t all that we had expected. We made resolutions that weren’t kept. We cried when we should have laughed. Words came out of our mouths that shouldn’t have even been in our heads. But it was not all bad. We laughed. We praised. We sang. We traveled. We got married. We looked fear in the face and we spoke Truth to it! We grew (and I shrank – over 20 lbs). It was a good time, but I’m glad to have you here.

2013, I’m interested to see what you hold. In the blessings that are in store, the lessons I’ll learn, the people I’ll meet. I’m trying not to consider the things that I fear. I’m leaving the fears at the foot of the cross and not giving them any control in my decision-making. I’m looking at 2013 as the year that I read. Sing. Dance. Praise. Worship. Learn. Obey. Obey. Trust. I’m certain there’s more. I’m certain that I’m not seeing the big picture, because it’s too early, but that’s okay. Today, I look forward. Not too far. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I want to enjoy right now, but I am filled with a hope that does not disappoint.

2013, let’s do this.

Sincerely,

JaQuinn