This day I take you!

Do you hear that beautiful ballad drifting through the air? It’s the sound of the morning rejoicing with me. The birds are singing a song about a young woman in love. I can’t help but dance inside, because I know they’re singing about me. I walk in the confidence that I belong to the love of my life! He is mine, and I am his! I am a proud bride to be!

I know what you’re thinking… Why are you telling us this? What do you mean by this declaration? I mean just that!… To make it a declaration!

Last night I had the honor of attending our Northeast Section Youth Rally with the MC team and our church youth group.  Pastor Matt Anderson brought a message the spoke straight to the heart, and my heart was listening. His Message was entitled “I take you”. As the title suggests; it was about marriage. But much more than an earthly marriage, It was about our vows to God! Our public declaration to Jesus, the lover of our soul. To have and to hold, For better, For worse, For richer, For poorer, In sickness and in health, To love and to cherish.

I look at these vows and I reflect on the significance of what they speak.  This week has been a week of reflection and deep searching out of my heart. It’s no secret we are nearing the end of our Master’s year. We have one more week to speak of and we will have completed our first year of Beyond Master’s Commission. Exciting as it may be, it is also a point that is bittersweet to come to. We have had many “last’s” this week. We had our last family dinner, our last MC workout, our last Senior Center visit, our last youth event. That’s too many “last’s” if you ask me! One thing I realized all of these “last’s” had in common is: We LOVE these people and we’ve poured into them and been poured into by them. These are people we have built lasting relationships with. I can’t describe how hard it was for me to pack all of my stuff up to move out of our host home. It is the turning of a page I’d hoped wouldn’t come so soon, yet here we are waiting on the doorstep of the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new one.

Reflecting on this year I see hard, painful, stretching, exciting, good, new and amazing things. But in all of these THINGS I see the whole reason and motivation behind it all! We desire God more than anything on this earth!

Psalm 73:25-26

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.

These past nine months in Beyond Master’s have not been about me, Jami, Andrea, Pastor David or Angeline. It’s been about our betrothal. Walking every day knowing we are preparing for the most amazing wedding in all of history.

As the bride of Christ- I have nothing, I have no one in Heaven, but Him. He is the desire of my heart! My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. And I am his! There is no “Till death do we part.” As long as I am here on earth I have his spirit in me and when I part from this earth my spirit will be with Him. So truly it is not- till death do we part, it is- till death do we meet face to face.

So, do you this day take HIM?

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Spiritual Gardening 101

This was a week that involved some yard work and weeding. Naturally, all of the weeding made me think about the characteristics of weeds.

What is a weed anyhow?

Well, when we were weeding we pulled out a ton of grassy plants. In the flower bed they would be considered weeds, but that isn’t the case for the lawn is it? In the lawn they’re considered completely at home and are cultivated.

In the past, I’ve helped my Mom with weeding and we’ve weeded out a ton of lily of the valley. Are those weeds? Not usually, but when they’ve taken over your garden they’re considered a bit weedy.

So then, what is a weed?  To quote Webster’s a weed is  “a plant that is not valued where it is growing… one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants.” In both the previous example, these plants aren’t’ intrinsically bad, but in those particular situations they’re weeds.

We also have to deal with weeds in our own lives.

There are things that are in our lives that shouldn’t be there. These weeds, may not be an issue for other people, but in our lives they’re keeping us from more important things.

For instance, for me, I would consider the games on Facebook to be a weed in my life. They’re not inherently bad, yet whenever I try playing one I tend to get sucked in and spend too much time playing the game and not enough on things like homework or other things I would like to try doing. Last winter, it came to the point that I decided enough was enough, and I haven’t played any of them since.

I’m not saying the games on Facebook are bad. I consider some of them to be quite fun. But for me they were time sucking weeds. For you, they may not be an issue and could be completely fine.

So what should we do about the weeds?  Well in Romans 12:3 Paul says “Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” The best way to find weeds is to measure ourselves against the standard God has set. Pray and ask him to reveal them to you if you can’t find any. It may be that you already know about those weeds and you just need God to confirm it.

What are the weeds in your life? It’s time to ask God to help you label them; then you can begin the process of weeding them out.

Spring has sprung, summer is practically here and it’s time to start gardening.

Juggernaut

Ello all in the great wide world.

This week has been Jam PACKED full of wonderful things!

So in light of these things, I want to also mention…June 10th…seems to be sneaking up on me. I’m not sure where our time went, seems like just yesterday Pastor David was telling me, oh by the way, you’re blogging today. At the same time, I feel like that girl back there had no idea what was ahead of her.She may have actually run for the hills had she known what was going to happen to her world.

So I guess I should explain my title. Juggernaut, is a character in x-men who basically, once started, doesn’t stop and so runs through things and just destroys them.

Hm, how does this apply you may ask? With June 10th rolling around I need to remind myself that I need that kind of momentum, that drive, that…passion.

Instead of coasting past these next couple weeks, I need to dig into the best resource I have for strength. Because if I am being honest with you, and I will be, going hard after Jesus is not easy, and you get tired if you don’t just give all the troubles of the day to God. So if i am to do this challenge God has placed in front of my correctly, I cannot just glide my way in, I need to not only run through with force, but have that force take down strongholds in my way.

Yeah, I have strongholds, things that try to keep me down. We all do but we need to decide what is bigger, our problems? or our God?

It’s easy to become weary in what you do. Pouring out and pouring out may seem like a never ending thing, which…heads up…you’re right-however we can’t just keep all God pours into us to ourselves

So I don’t care about what is in my way to try and slow me down, I need to Go hard after God with every last bit of me because he gave me his all, how can I do any less?

Plus…I will have more to be proud of if I strive after God fully, than if I half do it and just get by.

Am I perfect at this? um…NO. but I wanna challenge myself and you who read this…are you just doing enough to get by? or are you powerhousing your way into your destiny?

 

lots of love

 

Jami

Unlikely Heroes

I’ve had heroes on my mind this week, as I ended up watching two super hero films. One of those was Captain America.

The hero of the movie is Steve Rogers. Before he became Captain America he was a scrawny asthmatic from Brooklyn; the last person anyone would chose to be a hero let alone to become a super soldier.

Yet, he is chosen.

The thing is Steve Rogers has other qualities that are much more important. He’s determined, honorable and brave. He repeatably shows a willingness to sacrifice himself to protect others. It’s these qualities that make him a great hero. Which brings me to a thought.

It’s not what outside it’s what’s inside that counts.

Think about David. He was the scrawny younger brother who was relegated to sheep duty. Yet God chose him to be the next king of Israel and to become a great hero.

As God told Samuel “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

So often we forget that, I know I do. There are times I get bogged down thinking “I’m not as cool as so and so. I don’t think I’m really needed here.” We all think things like that.

We downplay ourselves, but the truth is. yes, we may seem weak, but God can use us. He sees the hidden gifts we have and he has chosen us to be his heroes. Like David and Captain America we are saving the world, spiritually speaking. Our quest as heroes is to save people from the ultimate enemy and save their souls.

So this week be thankful for what God has done and try talking to God about his plan and how he wants to use you in it.

Identify Yourself

Hello everyone in the great wide world.

Those near, and far, and everyone in-between who reads this.

I know it’s only been a couple weeks since I’ve last written anything, but I feel like a lifetime has passed.

Being in Masters Commission does that to you. I feel in a vortex where a day is like a year, but all at once 8 months have passed.

I guess in a way, I feel older. Sounds silly…”oh Jaime you’re 19…hush” yet some weeks, like these past two, I feel older.

Everything has come down to identity, in the last week as Andrea wrote, we asked people what our dreams were, and we all have some idea, but only a slight view. In some way thinking about what my dreams are, I needed to know who I was to know what those dreams looked like.

Then this last week Pastor Derrek Sullivan from MCIN (Masters Commission International Network) came to visit us for a couple days. At first, I won’t lie I was on edge…like who is this guy, and why is he here…etc. Yet as time passed I was able to put my finger on all these…rather stupid feelings of caution. Pastor Derrek challenged me. Not individually, but all of us. That makes any rebellion rise up, but when you catch it and say…no…he’s right, I can’t stay comfortable, I need to grow and stretch…you begin to love the process.

He once again challenged us to dream…which I had already forgotten to do. I could tell you what my dream was, but I wasn’t praying on it like I should or acting on my dream. I was being a hypocrite to my own dream. Imagine that. I was the one things I never wanted to be, and about something that was just mine, well mine and Gods…

What in the world does this have to do with identity?

EVERYTHING. well…to me at least.

In James(5:16) the bible tells us that the prayers of a righteous man will be answered. I had to think about that for a minute…BUT…righteous…means right standing with God…and if we really believe that we are forgiven of our sins and washed in the blood of Christ, then we are righteous men…(and women).

So that is one aspect of our identity.

In Ephesians(1:5) it tells us that God has already made us his children.

WOW. we are children of God…Children of the king…that is our identity, and that is something that we need to hold onto.

When we pray we need to pray with the royal authority that has been given to us. We need to walk in faith as if the victory is won…because here is a little secret…it is.

 

So remember what to identify yourself with.

Or rather who.

 

I love you all with the Love given to me by God. Go and love the same. Until next time!

I Had a Dream Once…..

Greetings! This week revolved around the Ohio Fine Arts Festival. The beginning of the week was prep work ( like folding hundreds of flyers into containers for wristbands) and Friday and Saturday were the conference.

It was really neat at the conference. We had a booth with our flyer/wristband combos we were giving away and we had a dream board. Basically we wanted people to write down on scraps of fabric what their dreams were and then pin them on our dream board.

I mean we all have dreams right? Things we long for and want? Things we want that are beyond our expectations and what we are now. On the dream board was written three words; Look. Reach. Dare. That is part of what we are at Masters. We want to look reach and dare beyond ourselves…. isn’t that what we do when we dream?

So what kinds of dreams were shared? Well there were people who wanted to be Missionaries, who wanted to plant churches, to share God with people, wanted to be chefs, and wanted to go to heaven. There were small and big dreams.

And I think that’s part of the great thing about dreams. There is no limit. Dream big and impossible dreams, I mean nothing is impossible with God 🙂 At the same times have small dreams, things that may not seem impressive and grand, but they mean something to you.

Dreams are such connectors. On Saturday we had people who passed the board and were pointing “Hey there’s my dream!”

What’s your dream? Care to share it? I’m curious to see what other dreams are out there.

(By the bye, if you go to our Facebook page, you can find the pictures of people and their dreams form conference.)

Cut it Out!

Hello interneters? Internetees? those who surf the internet!

This week has been full of so much, that I can’t even express how much we’ve done or how much God has done. Things change as time goes on, not always in the ways that we want, but if we are growing things will change.

Part of growing? Is growing pains and getting pruned.

Cutting out the things that attach themselves to us. Those nasty gross things that we’ve always had so we’re comfortable with that we don’t want to get rid of.

Maybe we don’t want to get rid of it, but if we let it continue to grow, it will consume us.

I’ve cut out so much over a long period of time, and I know God will continue to cut things out and hone out certain characteristics in me, and this process will grow me, and change things in my life.

I realized that change is important in the way that if things always stayed the same that things would be insane.

For example, being a teenager is fun, sitting around watching movies and T.V is fun and all, but if you’re an adult and you’re still doing the same thing you did as a teenager, something is wrong. Don’t get me wrong I love a good movie. Yet I also know, if I don’t do my laundry, my clothes will be nasty, I’ll smell funky. It just happens. So if I need to grow up, things will change.

So grow! Change! Accept what God has for you. Don’t stay stinky and smelly because you don’t want to grow up and accept what God is trying to cut out of you life, if it’s friends or bad habits.

I know it sounds simple, but sometimes those things are so important.

so until next time, be willing to allow things to be cut out of your life.