I want to be sure you know I will be stopping posts on this blog site soon, but have started posting on my new Word Press blog at brokennesstobeauty.wordpress.com . Click that link and move to that address! Become a Follower there and get my posts, which will be blogging my book: Brokenness to Beauty: Transforming Your Brokenness into a Beautiful Life.
Leave me a comment on the new site. I'll definitely respond!
Thursday, September 4, 2014
So this is the big day! For me anyway. I am nervous. Am I ready for this? Am I prepared for the commitment of blogging a book? There is so much more to it than I ever dreamed. But I do believe God wants me to do this, so I cannot just ignore it. I must press on, one shaky footstep following another.
And not only am I about to blog my book, named “Brokenness to Beauty,” but I’m doing it on a new blog site, my new “address.” I’ve spent untold hours setting up this new blog, also named “Brokenness to Beauty,” and though it is still not finessed the way I’d like (and I’m still looking for someone to help me do that), I’m going to take the plunge and start directing people to it.
So, to start reading my blogged book, and any future posts I write, here is my new address: brokennesstobeauty.wordpress.com . Once there, please become a Follower or contact me on one of the contact or comment forms. If you are on my email list to notify you of new postings and want to remain on that list, or be removed from it, let me know that too!
If you have trouble getting to the other blog, please leave a comment for me on this blog site and I’ll try to help out!
See you over there at my new blog, Brokenness to Beauty, http://brokennesstobeauty.wordpress.com/ . (For some reason the links won't work so please cut and paste the URL into your browser ... I hope I said that right!)
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Moving is never easy. But sometimes it is necessary. Or, at least, it seems the wiser choice over staying put, though it would be easier not to have to move.
Moving from one house to another is time consuming. It takes time to pack on the front end, and time to unpack and resettle stuff on the destination end. I spent a good bit of time just today unpacking more boxes, ones that have been sitting idle for almost two years. I told myself if the stuff in these boxes hadn’t been needed for two years, it has to go. Oh, I am going to have a yard sale next month. But the stuff I unpacked today, well, how can I get rid of things my son made in high school, or stones collected from the Cheat River in West Virginia the time Randy and I took the scenic train ride through the mountains, or stones and shells collected from the beach on the Atlantic Ocean the wonderful, restful week we stayed at a friend’s home on the Intracoastal waterway in North Carolina, or a memento of friendship from, well, a friend? Tell me. How?
Randy has no such problem. He’s not a sentimental as I am.
So I swear (in nice words) that the next time we move I will have the kids and grandkids over to pick out things they want and the rest goes into another yard sale! I promise!
I’m slowly getting settled into our new house, making it home. But there is another move I am about to make and I’ve been waiting to get things settled here with the house move before I launch fully into this other move, which I am now ready to make (I think). It will be a change of address but not a street address. This move I am about to make is from my old blog site to my new blog site. New and hopefully improved blog site.
I am hoping the blog move will go as smoothly as our house move went. Without the breakage though. Sadly, we did lose some things in this last move. I don’t want to lose anything in my blog move, especially you, my readers! It should be easy to transfer over to the new blog site and become a follower there.
At my new blog “home” I will begin blogging my book. I will talk more about that on my new blog.
For now, have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Expectations. You can really get into a pickle with expectations. Emotions can run you ragged with expectations. That was my experience a couple of weeks ago. Setting and trusting in expectations can frustrate!
Our recent experience of buying a house was a huge learning experience … in not setting expectations. Even though you may be told one thing (to expect a certain thing to happen within a certain time frame) by those “in the know,” we learned that those things don’t go as we were told they would. I likened it to setting a due date for baby to be born. Well, by golly, that baby is going to come when he is ready, regardless of one’s due date!
I’m not a “laid back” kind of person. However, I think I’ve come to understand (hopefully it will stick) that it is best not to get one’s hopes up, ie: set expectations, when it comes to dealing with things in life. Relax; take things in stride. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts …!” Literally or figuratively, that “baby” is going to come when he is ready!
Our “baby”, that is, the closing on our new house, came “in the fullness of time”, so to speak! We are in the house now and slowly getting settled. Soon—sooner than we realize—this strange place will become “home” to us. We are already enjoying it
Tonight Randy and I will have a special dedication of this house. We will take a bottle of wine and make a drink offering to the Lord, pouring the wine out, dedicating this place to God. Thanking Him for His great kindnesses to us and praying for His protection and blessing on us and our children and grandchildren. Dedicating ourselves to the Lord, to loving and serving Him. To using what He gives us to do His work, furthering His Kingdom. Not ours. His. For what we have in material possessions is not for us, though we benefit from and enjoy it; it is given to us to be stewards of God’s possessions, to do with as He determines. May we never forget that truth.
Expectations. Only one thing can we stake our lives on; only one thing can we base expectations on and not be disappointed: the Word of God. The words of man may fail, but the Word of God will never fail.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Green. Trees. Lots of trees. Refreshment to the eyes, and soul and spirit. At least for me it is. For almost twenty years I lived in green refreshment. Well, I grew up in it and then moved away from it for many years, back to it when we lived in Georgia and especially our many years in West Virginia.
Randy and I arrived back in the “Wild, Wonderful” state this week (in case you are unclear about what state that is, it’s not a state of mind, it’s West Virginia!). In the morning when I carried my mug of coffee onto the big, wide, wrap-around porch of the Manse and took in the stunning view, my eyes misted and I choked up.
“How many times, Lord, have I met with you on our front porch, coffee and Bible in hand, marveling at your greatness and creative handiwork?” What a blessing to have lived here in “Almost Heaven, West Virginia,” for nearly twenty years.
West Virginia is Almost Heaven in two ways, to my thinking. First, the sheer beauty of it, as I’ve just described, feeds the soul and refreshes the spirit. But the second is the great, crying human need. West Virginia may be “Almost,” but it is not, Heaven, therefore the strong call of God to speak forth and demonstrate by our works of mercy and kindness, the truth of God in the Good News of Jesus Christ.
It was the second Almost Heaven reality that sent Randy and me to establish Mustard Seeds and Mountains in the mountains of West Virginia over twenty years ago. And guess what, it is still Almost, but not yet, Heaven, here in West Virginia. The great human need to know Jesus Christ is ongoing. Therefore, the reaching-out,-proclaiming-the-Good-News-of-Jesus-Christ-by-word-and-deed ministry of Mustard Seeds and Mountains is ongoing as well.
Randy and I are here in West Virginia again for a short time, meeting with our WV staff and touching base with other friends in the area. We moved away over a year and a half ago, to both step-through and open new doors of ministry in central California.
God has wonderfully answered many prayers in the last two years, one of which is bringing our new WV Director, Nate Bertram, and his family, to Mustard Seeds to take over the day to day operations here in West Virginia. Even though the Bertram’s have stepped into existing ministries at Mustard Seeds, they, too, are opening new doors of ministry in the community. It is exciting to see God continuing to reach out to the people of McDowell County through His servants in Mustard Seeds and Mountains.
On this trip to Mustard Seeds “East” Randy and I will also visit with friends and ministry partners in the greater Atlanta area. This will be a time of sharing what God has been doing in our lives over the past two years, how He has answered prayer for the ministry and opened new avenues of service through Mustard Seeds “West.”
Randy and I continue to marvel at the goodness of God and daily recommit our lives to loving and serving Him through Mustard Seeds East, Mustard Seeds West and the other avenues He has opened to us. We thank Him for the opportunity to be “back east” again to see and visit with many friends and family.
If you are interested in following the ministries of Mustard Seeds and Mountains, East and West, email me at Jacque@mustardseeds.org and you will be added to the mailing list to receive the Seeds of Hope newsletter.
There is no greater adventure than the adventure of Faith and Obedience to King Jesus.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
From Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ.
To those who received a faith equal to ours through the justice of our God and savior Jesus Christ.
May you have more and more grace and peace through the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.
By his divine power the Lord has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of the one who called us by his own honor and glory. Through his honor and glory he has given us his precious and wonderful promises, that you may share the divine nature and escape from the world’s immorality that sinful craving produces.
This is why you must make every effort to add moral excellence to your faith; and to moral excellence, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, endurance; and to endurance, godliness; and to godliness, affection for others; and to affection for others, love. If all these are yours and they are growing in you, they’ll keep you from becoming inactive and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Whoever lacks these things is shortsighted and blind, forgetting that they were cleansed from their past sins.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, be eager to confirm your call and election. Do this and you will never ever be lost. In this way you will receive a rich welcome into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
So I’ll keep reminding you about these things, although you already know them and stand secure in the truth you have. I think it’s right that I keep stirring up your memory, as long as I’m alive. After all, our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I am about to depart from this life. I’m eager for you always to remember these things after my death. (II Peter 1: 1-15, Common English Bible)
Peter is doing here what I remember I longed for and looked for as a hungry young believer (and still do): Don’t coddle and baby me; I wanted the truth of God that would make me alive, propel me in the direction of the pursuit of God. I wanted to be challenged. I was tired of sleepwalking in church services, going through the motions without missing a beat.
The Word of God is full of challenge. The more familiar we become with God’s words, the more He can teach us the things we need to know and do. It hasn’t stopped after 40+ years for me! By God’s grace we will never stop pursuing the Lord, learning and growing, like Peter talks about.
Part of encouraging one another is this idea of spurring one another on to greater commitment to God and His words, challenging one another, like Peter did when he was still alive, to determinedly continue doing those things which cause us to grow up in Jesus. Because Peter saw to it that his words were written down, you and I can be challenged and encouraged to do what he says. And we can in turn challenge others to join with us in hot pursuit of God and the only life worth living.
May we live up to who we are, “… a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession,” not for the purpose of elevating our individual self-esteem to feel good about ourselves, but to fulfill our calling as a group of people with the same faith in Jesus Christ, “that (we) may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (I Peter 2: 9)
’Til the whole world knows.
Saturday, May 31, 2014
The forward movement continues, but at a snail’s pace. Because I have a life with many different things going on all at once, just like your life I’m sure, I must prioritize activities. There are some things which simply must be done (laundry, doctor’s appointments, etc.) and the other things, like writing, fitted in around them. Writing is a discipline for those who have always had the inner urge to write; much more so for people like me who are new to the craft and never was one to naturally journal. At least that’s what I tell myself.
Over the past weeks, necessities like business and medical travel for doctor’s appointments, the ones which call for me to drive 3 hours to keep the appointment (I have three specialists in southern Cal for very good reasons), have kept me away from home. But I was still posting, for the most part. But though I am a person of words, ie: words are important to me, and as a writer, the right words are important to me, I am not a person of a lot of words in conversation. Though I have had my times of wordy conversation since gaining strength for talking (and I always feel a bit guilty for talking so much), I am not like some who can talk non-stop for long stretches of time. I run out of words.
Since I don’t like to fill the air with word noise—words that have no use to the hearers—sometimes I just don’t post on my blog. I figure if your life is like mine, it is full enough; you don’t need to add blather to it when there are more important things to do with your time. So I do try to say things that have significance to me, hoping it will also be significant to you.
So, having said that, I hope you will continue to tune in whenever I post. I am working toward getting my book “blogged”, though I am cheating a bit since I have already written much of it. I will not be writing it (as in creating it) as I post, rather I will post small chunks each week of what I have already written. (I got this fantastic idea of blogging my book from author Nina Amir who wrote, what else, “How to Blog a Book”. She was one of the presenters at our book club’s annual spring workshop.) I won’t post all the parts of my book, but enough to hopefully whet readers' appetites for more.
When I’ve blogged as much of it as I think appropriate, I will be publishing it in book form. I’ve been looking into various publishing options and talking with publishing representatives. I am hoping by this fall to make my final decision and get published! Prayers for guidance and all that good stuff are certainly welcome.
Now go have a good weekend.