Sunday, March 27, 2011

Recap of My Weekend

I was given the opportunity this past weekend (Friday night & Saturday) to attend the Extraordinary Women Conference at the Bi Lo Center.  It was awesome!!!  Something I have never experienced before.  I was able to go with 2 friends and enjoyed experiencing this with the both of them.  There were several speakers and dynamic music by Casting Crowns and Michael O'Brien (who led worship).  I guess I would have to say my 2 favorite speakers were Lysa Terkeurst and Candace Cameron (Bure).  (I know lots of links, just in case you want to check them out.)  Lysa spoke about trusting the MESSiah to take your MESS so He can give you a MESSage to share with others.  That really spoke to my heart as life lately has seemed just a bit "messy" and I don't want to stray from the opportunity I have to share Christ's message with others.  Candace Cameron gave her testimony about "being good is not good enough."  She shared how Christ convicted her of her trying to be "good" and of her need of a Savior.  You can find her testimony on her website and probably on You Tube-very powerful the way God is using her in Hollywood.

In light of my wonderful experience at the Ewomens conference, my parents left today to head to Charleston/MUSC (Medical University of South Carolina) where my dad will have a feeding tube placed tomorrow around lunch time.  This is a surgical procedure and he will stay in the hospital one night for observation, and for my mom to learn to "feed him."  They also will have various doctor appointments to prepare for his upcoming surgery (that has still not been scheduled).  Please continue to pray for my dad, as he is experiencing lots of things physically that are hard to bear at times.  Also, continue to pray for my mom who is his main caregiver, that God would give her the grace and strength to help him as needed.  They will Lord willing be back home on Thursday or Friday.

On Friday before heading to the conference Sam and I were able to have dinner with Kevin & Beth White, who are missionaries in Bolivia, South America and also dear friends of ours.  They were in town for the day and it was a blessing to spend a couple hours catching up with them.  They have been home on furlough and heading back to the field in June.  Always a great time of fellowship with them and sharing what God is doing in our lives.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Bit Overwhelmed

So I just realized tonight that 4 whole days have past and I haven't posted.  I could tell you everything that has happened in the last 4 days of my life.....unemployed husband, living with my parents, helping care for my dad who has cancer, 5 children the age of 7 and under, van in the shop....where would I begin?
Actually, this is my normal life...I have begun to accept life as it is.  Some days I really just have to sit back and laugh and I catch myself saying, "what next Lord?"  I don't say that in a sarcastic, disrespectful way, but knowing that God will not give me more than I can bare.  I really have to remind myself of that pretty often these days.  Sometimes there seems to be no hope in site or no way to fix the problem at hand.  Then, I am reminded that is exactly where God wants me to be...humble and open to what he is trying to teach me.  So, rather than be upset in my circumstances I can rejoice knowing that God is working in my life.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Our Responsibility in the Resurrection

Heard a great message this morning from I Corinthians 15:1-11 on the Resurrection.  I have heard this passage before, but wow, it brought new meaning this morning as I heard it taught again.  Do you realize that without the Resurrection we have no hope.  As a Christian that is the one thing that is different from all the other religions in the world is that our Savior is alive, not dead!  We have proof in the scripture.
The application in this passage was so good. First, Paul takes time in the first few verses to first give proof that Christ rose from the dead.  All of a sudden, Paul takes a detour and starts telling his life story. He talks about how broken he was and how he was the least to be called an apostle.  Think about Paul's life...he was a murderer, hater of the Christians and Christ saved him and used him in a mighty way.  We can't let our past point us toward feeling like God can't use us or we are defeated.  We also can't be swelled up with pride like we have arrived and we are the best Christian that has arrived.  Paul gives us a practical reminder that no matter who we are talking with we should be able to tell our story of how the gospel has changed our lives.  The problem is that most of the time we give excuses to why (we are shy, don't know what to say) when in reality without Christ we are nothing!  Why would we not want to share that with everyone we come into contact with?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Grace in Action

So we heard news yesterday about my dads cancer-it is still there!  Not really the news we were hoping for, but I know that ultimately God is the one in control.  The only option he really has is surgery, which is not really what he wanted to do.  More than likely they will have to cut out his whole tongue which isn't something pretty or fun to think about.  I think I am a bit selfish because I want my dad to be the strong pillar he once was and now I see him weak and frail.  With all that in mind, I look over the last 9 months (since his diagnosis) and see how God has given us such grace to deal with what He has placed in our path concerning my dad's cancer.  Even though at times it seems very overwhelming to take in what the doctors say and what they want to do, I know that that ultimately God is in control and that is the only thing that gives me any kind of hope.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."  Jeremiah 29:11
"The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."  Lamentations 3:24
"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."  Romans 12:12

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Personal Testimony

As a part of becoming a member at Grace Church we have to do 3 things:
  1. write our personal testimony
  2. sign a covenant
  3. fill out a personal ministry profile (how we can serve)
I struggled with what to include in my personal testimony because I could of included lots of extra details, but tried to keep it short and simple.  I thought I would post it as a reminder of God's grace to save me and continue to work in my heart.  I am a work in progress and love what God is doing in my life!

I was born in Santa Barbara, California on May 12, 1978.  My parents were both fairly new Christians.  At the age of 5 my dad made the decision to move our family to Springfield, MO for him to pursue a degree in Elementary Education at Baptist Bible College.  He finally graduated after I finished 7th grade and accepted a teaching position at a Christian school in Mission, TX.  We moved that summer and I started attending a Christian school from 8th grade until graduation from High school in 1996.  I grew up being in church every time the doors were open (Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, any church activities).  We were always involved in good, solid churches with excellent and solid teaching.
My mom always told me that I had made a profession of faith as a younger child, but I didn’t really remember it and spent years doubting whether or not I was really saved or not.  When we moved to TX, I became actively involved in a youth group there.  I developed a pretty close relationship with the youth pastor and his wife and really respected how they spoke truth into my life.  During my 10th grade year of school I was really struggling with my faith and doubt and really felt convicted that I was lost.  Since I attended a Christian school, we began each class period with prayer and it seemed on this particular day all the teachers were mentioning salvation.  By the time I got home from school that day, I knew I needed to pray and tell God that I believed in Him and wanted Him as a part of my life.   I called my youth pastor to discuss the struggle going on in my heart and he told me to come over (we were neighbors) and him and his wife prayed with me and I accepted Christ that afternoon.  I put my will on the back burner and accepted whatever He had for me that day.  I know without a doubt that I will spend eternity in heaven, not based on anything I have done, but based on what He did on the cross for me.
Having grown up in a Christian home my whole life, I didn’t make such a dramatic decision, but it was my personal decision none the less.  I had to decide for myself that I was going to choose Christ, because He had done so much for me.  I guess it didn’t mean as much to me then as it does now.  I can’t imagine after all the many things God has brought me through how I would have made it through life without Him.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Fresh Start...

I have been praying for over six months about blogging.  I started a blog a couple years ago to share about happenings in our family with the kiddos etc, but after joining the world of Facebook it seemed easier to share that way.  I still have a lot to share that is on my heart besides the everyday what is going on in the Jones household.  I hope this blog will be a source of strength and encouragement for others.