Thursday, February 28, 2008

Your Very First Prize

Last Sunday night countless people stood on Hollywood's biggest stage and took home the prize of a lifetime. The Oscar is heralded as Hollywood's crowning achievement. Even those with top-notch careers covet one if it tends to elude them.


I skipped the Oscar's this year because I had other things on my schedule last weekend. But I've thought a lot about prizes and success lately because I've spent the last week or so as a judge for a nationwide writing contest for students in grades 4-12. With every single essay, short story or poem I poured over I hesistated to write my score in the little box at the bottom of the sheet. For me, the score at the bottom wasn't just a number. It was determining factor of whether or not some of these kids would be recognized for an outstanding achievement in writing. In some ways, it could be the first step in fueling a dream.

Even as a published author of nine titles, winning my very first writing contest at the age of 13 is still a precious memory for me. I remember vividly being told I was a great writer for the first time in the second grade. And I can still feel the butterflies I had in my stomach when I read my very first poem outloud in elementary school. The affirmation I received in each of those moments kept me going on a path God had divinely placed me on even back then. So it is with careful thought and precision that I write my final score in the box on each student's evaluation sheet.

However, affirmation isn't always a confirmation that we are on the right track. And opposition isn't always an indication that we are on the wrong one. My pastor taught a very compelling sermon this weekend using the four spiritual gifts lists in the Bible (1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12:6-8, Ephesians 4:11 and 1 Peter 4:10). He explained that these lists exist merely as guides--not every gift God gives is on one of those lists, and none of those four lists are the same. So they are, by no means, conclusive. But this principle holds fast, God has given gifts for the edification of the body. You have been given a gift by God to use for His glory. However, God reserves the right to change your ministry at any point in your journey. I may write books for the next fifty years of my life, or I may be done at nine titles. That's not for me to know until God reveals it.

But, what is up to me is how well I do the task at hand. Did I write all nine of my books in such a way that if God changes my ministry now I can honestly look back and say I finished well? I sure hope so. What about you? What gift has God placed in your heart? Are you applying yourself to that gift in a way that will allow you to someday say you finished well?

I'm sorry for not writing on this blog as regularly as I should.
I will be on here more frequently now. In the meantime you can visit my daily blog here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fat day

Camy here, having a fat day.

You know what I’m talking about. You get out the fat jeans and dress all scrubby because your good clothes don’t fit or make you look like a cajun sausage.

I ought to exercise but I don’t want to. I shouldn’t eat those cookies, but I’m so depressed that they’re the only light in my day. I kicked the scale across the bathroom, but only got a broken toe for it.

WHY DO GIRLS HAVE DAYS LIKE THIS???

God, couldn’t you have made me naturally skinny like Audrey Hepburn or Summer Glau (I just saw an episode of Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles) or the skinny-minny girl who lives down the street and walks around eating McDonald’s hamburgers?

Why does my husband lose weight easier than me? How can he just stop eating so much food and magically lose weight? Why don’t I have that kind of self-discipline? Why doesn’t he have chocolate cravings and potato chip cravings and double-shot-quadruple-pump-mochas-with-extra-whipped-cream-cravings?

I hate the fact that I jiggle. I hate the fact my pants are tight. I hate the skinny clothes still hanging in my closet for the magical day I’ll lose the weight I’ve gained in the past few years.

I hate the fact that I care so much about my weight.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, God made me the way I am. No offense, God, but it doesn’t make me feel any better right now.

This too shall pass, this too shall pass. That’s my mantra today. Tomorrow will be a better day. Tomorrow I will have a better attitude than the stinky one I have right now.

I’m going to go eat a truffle.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dubrovnik!

No, I didn't just stub my toe or hit my thumb with a hammer. Dubrovnik is the name of a city in Croatia, and I'm going there Wednesday to help staff two back-to-back retreats for 150 American missionary women serving all over the world! This is a photograph of where we'll be.


Isn't that gorgeous?

In John 13, during the last supper with His disciples, Jesus surprised them all by kneeling in front of them and washing their feet. He explained that true leadership involves humbling oneself and serving others. He also provided a very basic physical need--cool, refreshing water for their hot, dusty feet.

Missionaries spend a lot of their time serving others, both physically and spiritually. These retreats provide an opportunity for them to come away for a few days to rest and be on the receiving end of ministry. They will be spiritually refreshed as they hear Bible teaching and sing worship songs (both in English--a welcome change if they're still trying to learn a new language). They'll also have daily opportunities to share and pray together in small groups, encouraging each other not to lose heart as they battle loneliness or culture shock or disappointment in ministry--all struggles common in cross-cultural missions.

Staff members will provide physical refreshment in the form of pedicures, manicures, massages, make-overs, hair cuts, or even image consulting. Hopefully every missionary will go back to her work renewed in spirit, mind, heart, and body.

My main jobs will be leading worship and taking pictures, and I LOVE to do both. I'll also co-lead a small group and spend a lot of time just hanging out with these amazing women. I may teach some line dancing, too. Can you think of a more delightful way to spend the first two weeks of March?

Please pray for safe travel for everyone attending, for God to meet with us in our times of worship, and for friendships to form that will continue to grow after the retreats are over.

Thanks for praying!
Jeanne

Friday, February 22, 2008

Let There Be Light ...


Have you ever wondered what it meant that God's Word is Light? I used to wonder that. For many years I believed in God ... or rather I liked the idea of God. I'd pray ... at basketball games when we were down by two points and I wanted our team to win. I'd think about God, at Christmas time. But the rest of the time I pretty much did what I wanted to do. And the truth is, that what I wanted to do wasn't always pretty. In fact, I made a lot of stupid choices.

Looking back now, I can see they were stupid. Mostly because I've had many years to live with the consequences. I've had to deal with emotions tied to old boyfriends. (Yes, the connections you made will stick around for YEARS.) I've had to deal with regret over having an abortion at age 15. It's a choice that I can never take back ... a choice I regret every day. But what does this have to do with light/darkness?

Psalm 119:105 says, "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."

If you've accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, then God's Word will guide you. It will help you make good decisions. It will lead you on a path heading in the right direction. And because of that you hopefully won't have huge regrets to deal with.

What if you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus? Or if you don't use God's Word to help you guide your way? Then you're in darkness ... and most of the time you WON'T make right decisions.

For many years I lived in this darkness. In high school, I was like a blind person in a dark room. I had my hands outstretched and I was desperately seeking love, acceptance, and happiness. In the darkness I'd bump into things. I'd run into walls. I'd grasp onto anything (or anyone) that seemed to fit my need. Do you know anyone like that?

Looking back, I realize that I was grasping and coming up wanting. Now that I'm in the light, I see so much more. Mostly, I SEE. I see hope found in God. I see a good future. I see God active around me. I see how God's Word applies to everything I do. I SEE.

If you're still stumbling in darkness, it's not too late to pray and ask Jesus to come into your life ... to be your light.

If you know someone who is stumbling in darkness, then pray. Pray that their hearts will want Jesus and seek Him.

If you have done stupid things in the past, realize your bad choices were a result of grasping--trying to find love, acceptance, and happiness. Ask God forgiveness for those things, and seek Jesus and His Word to help you in the future.

And no matter what, realize that Jesus wants you to walk in the light. It is no coincidence that you're reading this. Maybe these works are the spark that will grow into something bright in your life!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Stillness


I recently joined a girls group where we challenge each other to focus on a particular Bible verse or an idea like “patience” for a week. During that time, we each study on our own, read the Bible, read other sources, pray, and just watch how God applies the concept to our daily lives. We journal the insights we receive, then we get together and share what we’ve experienced and learned. This last week’s topic verse has been, “Be still and know that I am God,” from Psalm 46:10.

“Being still” is not something I do very well, so this was a great topic for me. My journal pages have filled with verses, quotes, thoughts, questions, prayers, and poems as I’ve begun to wrestle through what it means in my life right now to be still and know that God is God.

I’ll share one of my thoughts from my journal with you. This actually was prompted by an old journal entry that I wrote when I was researching fragrance for a devotional:

In Elizabethan times, the woman of the house might have a “still room.” It was a place where she prepared items for the cleanliness and health of the body and the home. Flowers and herbs would be hung from the rafters. A table top would include a mortar and pestle for preparing fragrant mixes.

I like the idea of a still room, but one of a different kind. What I think of is a place where I can find quiet and stillness, where I can get away from the fast pace and demands of the day and be still before God. I need that in my life—a time or place where I can find Him and allow Him to renew me, change me, teach me.


In my journal I also wrote about other analogies of the Elizabethan still room. You might see those in the above description too . . . but back to stillness.

I have a “still room” now—a place where I can go deeper with the One who calls me to stillness; where I can listen and wait and see if he has something to say to me; or where I can just be in his presence enjoying who he is and who he has created me to be. Yep, God and I have had some pretty amazing times together in my still room.

I’m wondering what your experiences and challenges with stillness have been. In this fast-paced world, do you sense a need to slow down and be quiet before God? What has worked for you in trying to intentionally make that a part of your week? What would your still room look like? Please share!

Jan
www.choose2livefree.com/
www.jankern.com/

Introductions


It has been awhile since I last blogged because I took some time to finish my masters degree. Since it's been awhile, I feel the need to re-introduce myself.

I have worked with young women for more than 10 years. These roles have included being a small group leader to working full-time at a church in student ministry to writing and speaking to young women. I have a heart for you because there is so much stuff that I wish I had learned when I was your age that would have saved me some heartache. My book is called "Body. Beauty. Boys. The Truth About Girls and How We See Ourselves." I really struggled with seeing myself for who I really was all throughout high school and college. I think this is a struggle that most women face their entire life. I wonder what would it be like if we began the process of seeing ourselves through God's eyes at a younger age? What difference would it make in your life and relationships? That is my passion and why I work with young women.

Currently, I write and create a student strategy and curriculum called XP3 by The reThink Group outside Atlanta, GA. I got life changing news back in September that I was going to have a baby! My husband, Scott, and I are so excited. I can't believe that I will be somebody's mom! We are having a little girl, and she is due to arrive May 27.

So that is a little snapshot of who I am and why I want to write to you.
Sarah Bragg

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tips from the Dog Trainer


Our new dog, Belle, just started obedience training. When we took her out of the car for her first session she immediately started lunging forwarding, trying to run off and play. Other dogs barked, squealed, jumped on their owners, or found other ways to reveal why they needed to attend doggie charm school. Every quirk in every dog came out during that first embarrassing class.

One lady showed up with a Chihuahua who had a terrible case of little man syndrome. When he saw his classmates—all larger dogs—he made it clear that he planned to bite the toes off any lab, sheep dog, or pit bull that got in his way. I expected Guy, the trainer, to instruct the rest of us to protect the poor little lamb from our mean hulks. Instead, when he had the class form a circle, he put the yipping Chihuahua in the middle.

“I’m doing this for a reason,” he explained. “Little dogs have a habit of getting in big dog’s faces and occasionally need to be cut down to size.” He gently told the owner about the importance of teaching small breeds to leave big dogs alone. “The truth is a Chihuahua is about the size of a large squirrel. You know what big dogs like to do with squirrels.” That pint-sized pooch needed to be humbled, disciplined, and trained for his own protection.

This morning, when Belle managed to escape our back yard through a damaged section of fence, I realized that she needs training for the same reason. Seeing her run toward me the first time I called, “Come, Belle,” proved that she has already learned a little. But she has a ways to go. We had to purchase a special collar to train her not to lunge forward when we walk her. We were ordered to go through daily rounds of “Come, Belle. Good girl. Sit. Good girl! Stay . . . ” We’re still working on “stay.” But all of this will keep her from running into the street, leaping on a small child, and dislocating my shoulder (or my husband’s or my son’s).

Belle and that vocal Chihuahua are not the only creatures that need training. We do too. Sometimes it might seem like God is trying to spoil our fun with a list of don’ts. In reality, His limits are for our protection. Think of some of the training that you’ve received from God on how to live, not just the Christian life, but life in general. How have His limits protected you?

Thank God, today, for loving you enough to put you through His obedience program. I know I have many reasons to thank Him for it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

It's the Little Things

Do you know what an impact you make on your teachers? You totally do.
Every act of thoughtfulness I see in my classroom, I store it up with pride like it's a designer purse or something.

Teaching has it's moments, it really does. One of my favorite birthdays was made special because a group of my drama kids took it upon themselves to throw me a party in class complete with a sash, crown, beautifully tacky jewelry, Jones Soda, and my own director's chair.

Last week two students shared some Valentine's Day cookies with me. We all have this mandatory study hall at our school 2x a week. It's 90 minutes of torture (er, homework) for everyone. So even though Karly and Kenslee are not in my study hall, they have adopted my room as the place to have their "craft club." Or more specifically the Karly Kenslee Kraft Klub. (Translation: Ms. Jones lets us avoid our homework under the disguise of knitting, Valentine making, cookie icing and any other random thing they can pull out of their ninth grade ears.)

Anyway, they decorated their cookies during KKKK time, and I thought I'd display them on the blog.


Aren't they cute? Some of their designs are rather, um...clever?
Here's what I teach. Also known as Speech.


This one is an artistic representation of my hair. Or what they found in their cafeteria burrito. Not sure which.


Know what this one is?

It's the Love Boat.

And the U + the blob?
Yep, it's "You Rock." They were going to write, "Thank you for getting us out of an hour and a half of pretending to do homework" but it wouldn't fit.

Here's one I like to call Barack and Hillary.

Or if you squeeze your left eye shut and only look with your right it's George and Laura Bush. (Actually to me it looks more like George and Lindsay Lohan, but that would just be silly.)

And it's cookies like this that will get them a pass to come back next week.



So just know when you do these random acts of kindness for a teacher, a parent, an adult at church--anywhere--it totally blesses us, and we eat it up.
Literally.

Have a great week.
Jenny B. Jones
jennybjones.com

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Knick Knack Patty Whack


We signed off on our remodel of my hobbit hole last week. Passed the last inspection after three tries. We moved to this house last summer and although the basement space was twice as big (four windows instead of two) it just wasn't my style. For one thing it was mushroom gray. Now if you are going to live below ground, why paint the walls a dull, dirty gray? I had a huge storage room, but no closet. For months my clothes were in those cardboard wardrobe boxes you get for moving. And the cabinet space in kitchenette and bathroom were nil.
I am such a happy camper now. I not only have a walk-in closet, but a walk-through closet. It joins my own little laundry room. I am the envy of every female who tours the place.
But my blog to day is about my knick knacks. They are out of boxes and on the shelvs.
What you collect really reflects who you are, doesn't it?
I was afraid you'd say yes.
I collect animals reading books. I have small statues, paintings, and prints of frogs, turtles, bunnies, dogs, cows, etc. reading books. A few are children reading books to animals, but the main focus is anthromorphized animals enjoying literature.
What does that say about me?
I'm afraid to ask.
What do you collect? What covers your walls and shelves? My mom collected elephants and roadrunners. Odd combination, right?
I collecting things as an odd expression of worshipping God. I see it as natural. Books and animals touch me someplace deep where I don't often go to analyze, but just to enjoy. There's a parallel there.
God created me and my interests. When I enjoy His creation, I enjoy Him.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Carnations

Camy here, talking about flowers. Carnations in particular.

I think most schools still do this, but you can buy a carnation valentine for a buck and have it sent to someone on Valentine’s Day.

I hate it.

Every year, I’d sit while my classmates got flowers and I got zip. Zilch. Nada. Nothing.

I was such a loser.

Then I got older, got a boyfriend, and finally got flowers for Valentine’s Day. Beautiful, expensive red roses delivered to my workplace. My coworkers were envious, although they all told me, “Just wait until you get married.”

And you know what? They were right.

Because once I married above-mentioned boyfriend, I realized that part of my paycheck paid for those expensive, lovely, expensive, imported, expensive roses. Especially since they’re marked up like 500% on Valentine’s Day.

So I bit the bullet and said, “Honey, you don’t have to buy me flowers for Valentine’s Day.”

He looked shocked. And a little worried that this was a trick questions. “Huh?”

“I don’t need flowers for Valentine’s Day this year.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. They die, anyway.”

“Are yousure?” (He’s well-trained—he remembers to ask twice to make sure I mean what I say.)

“Yes.”

So I got no roses. (Want to know what I got instead? Click here!)

But now that it’s been a few years, I’ve changed a lot from the girl envying the carnations my classmates got. And not just because I don’t want to pay for roses to myself.

God sends me carnations every day. (Yeah, I know it’s a bit cheesy, but stay with me, here.) If He gives me flowers every day, then I start to take them for granted. He’s not like the people who only give flowers on Valentine’s Day and their anniversary. He gives them all the time.

Don’t believe me? How about when you got a better grade on that test than you were anticipating (or deserved)? How about when your parents didn’t punish you as much as you thought they would? How about when your brother was actually nice to you last week?

God is in all the little things. All those small gifts are like carnations He buys for you every day.

I got several of them today. I got up early this morning without problems. I was actually motivated to exercise. My dog didn’t lunge at a couple dogs on our walk (although she did lunge at one that was just lying on its lawn, not bothering anybody—she’s such a butthead). I said “I love you” to my husband this morning. My dog came to me and put her head in my lap (and looked so cute I just had to pet her). I got a lot of work done today.

No, it probably won’t make you feel much better to think about God’s version of carnations in your life when you’re sitting at your desk, valentine-less today. But one day of misery out of 365 isn’t that bad, is it? And those other days when girls sit carnation-less, you’ve got a ton you collected even before you came to school.

Doesn’t make you feel better? That’s okay. Have some chocolate.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Show Must Go On


Two weeks ago I awoke, sat up in bed, and immediately began to cough. A deep, painful chest cough. By noon, I felt a little light headed and dizzy, and I knew I was running a fever.

My preference would have been to crawl back in bed, pull the covers over my head, and sleep it off--no matter how long "it" lasted. But that wasn't an option, because the day I woke up coughing happened to be the first day of dance rehearsals for a Broadway Musical Revue I choreographed. I had exactly ten days to work with more than a hundred performers, teaching the steps for seven dance numbers (a few of which were actually medleys, making the song total more like eleven or twelve).

So I'd pop a couple of Tylenol and haul my puny self up to the auditorium for four hours a day. Then I'd come home, collapse on the couch or bed, get up the next day and do it again.

Why am I telling you this? Certainly not so you'll pat me on the back for heroism in the face of hardship. I'm telling you, because I want to brag on the teens who performed in this show. Many of them were also battling the bug, but they came to rehearsals anyway and worked hard to perfect their steps. They listened well and showed me the utmost respect and consideration, making my job so much easier to accomplish. Then they threw their whole selves into performing three shows in one weekend for delighted audiences.

Some people accuse today's teens of being apathetic, self-centered, or lazy. All I can say is those people haven't been around the same teens I know.

Sure, there are teens messing up. But there are plenty more making great choices and applying themselves to develop skills they will enjoy using for the rest of their lives.

Yesterday was the final performance of the show. It was fabulous! I couldn't be more proud of those kids and more thankful for the chance to work with them. We all wake up every morning with choices to make. The eyes of the Lord roam to and fro seeking those whose hearts are perfect toward Him. When He finds a willing heart, He blesses that person with opportunities. With us or without us, God's show will go on. Let's grab our top hats and canes and be a part of it.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Ever been tempted?



Yeah, not me either. JUST KIDDING!!!

All of us are tempted. In fact, it's something that should be expected. We live in a world that promotes "you deserve it, go ahead." Our mind and body likes this idea. In fact, it's a fight not to listen.

Matthew 19:7 says, "Temptation to do wrong is inevitable, but how terrible it will be for the person who does the tempting."

I don't know about you, but I don't like to think about the other side of the coin. It's easy to fight against temptation in our lives. It's harder to realize that some of the time I'M the one doing the tempting--maybe by how I dress, or how I talk, or simple kindness that leans toward the flirting side ... that can lead places it shouldn't go. Anything I do that could cause another person to stumble is not cool. Knowing that helps me to watch myself--to see if I'm doing something that could lead someone else down the wrong path.

What about you ... what things tempt you most?

What things do you do that might tempt others?

What do you do about both?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Self-Injury—Raising Awareness




Last week I read an article that said that 1 in 6 teens are involved in self-harming behavior. Anytime I read a statistic, on self-injury or anything to do with teens who are hurting and broken, I want to ask, “How many never give their voice to those numbers?”

An article from July, 2007 gave another perspective. 633 students from five high schools, average age 16, anonymously participated in a survey. 46% admitted they had been involved in some form of self-injury within the prior year. 60% of those described their self-injury as moderate to severe.

If those numbers are anywhere closer to representative, then the numbers are much higher than 1 in 6 teens.

March 1st is National Self-Injury Awareness Day. Do you know the signs that someone may be self-harming? Do you know how to begin to help? It’s okay if you don’t, and it's not something you should feel you have to do alone. Here are some ways to raise your awareness or help others do so:

Visit my site where I’m blogging about this topic, including how teens help teens. Also, click on “self-injury resources” in the side column for links and resource suggestions.

Consider reading Jackie’s true story in Scars That Wound, Scars That Heal—A Journey Out of Self-Injury. Not only will this book help you understand self-injury and how to help, it’s a book that can be given to any teen or young adult who may be struggling. It is written for them.

(Read an excerpt.)

I interviewed both guys and girls for that book. Suzy was one of those who shared her story. At one point she told me, “Though I had been cutting, really the main way I was self-harming was through my promiscuous lifestyle.” I told Suzy’s story in the second of the Live Free series. Hers is an amazing love story. Seduced by Sex, Saved by Love—A Journey Out of False Intimacy will release March 3rd (available to preorder).

Jackie, Suzy, and others have shared their stories. Their voices mattered. Remember, real stories are behind the statistics you read about. Some of those could belong to people you know. It could be yours.


There is help and there is hope for healing. Feel free to contact me through my website if you need more information.


(The LORD) heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds . . . Great is our Lord and abundant in strength. His understanding is infinite. Psalm 147:3,5 NAS


On my knees for you.

Jan

http://choose2livefree.com/
http://www.jankern.com/

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Holidays Not Found on Your Calendar


Yesterday my son Nathan’s school had a celebration that they’ve been counting down to all year—100th Day. They make a huge deal about the 100th day of school every year. For the 2 weeks leading up to it every student at King’s Academy works to collect 100 hugs (Here is the method: the student asks his/her friend/parent/teacher/relative/pastor/anyone at church/etc., “May I please give you a hug?” then asks the hugger to sign his/her Hug paper). On 100th Day everyone brings 100 of something to school, such as 100 pennies, 100 jelly beans or 100 Lagos. Nathan brought 100 pieces of leftover Halloween candy and passed it out. Upper grades have to build something with their hundred items. They play games, have special snacks, and treat the whole day like a holiday. He even came home with glasses shaped like the number 100 (made of paper—the kids got to decorate them). As a kindergartener Nathan did 100th Day for the first time. You’d think he had just returned home from a Christmas party!

Nathan’s cousin Kai’s school is also celebrating this week. They are observing National No Name-Calling Week. Each student is treated like Star of the Week and they even have an assembly to honor them all. Kai, as well as every other child, got to fill out a paper about himself, telling what his name means and why his mom or dad chose it (FYI: Kai means ocean in Hawaiian; his parents chose it because they love Hawaii, the ocean, and anything tropical). The poster includes information about grandparents, cousins, and other fun stuff. The whole idea is to help the kids appreciate what makes each of them unique. I suggested it to one of my friends who teaches at Nathan’s school.

Other holidays on Nathan’s school calendar include Johnny Appleseed’s birthday (a day to dress in jeans and plaid shirts and eat foods made from apples—it’s a very big deal; even the 6th-graders think it’s cool) and Dr. Seuss week, when the teachers dress like the Grinch or Thing One and Thing Two, Dr. Seuss books are read in every class, they learn Seuss trivia, and green eggs and ham is served on Friday.

Of course they have the usual Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Harvest Parties (it’s a Christian school). They make quite a spectacle on Grandparents’ Day. But I think the holidays that the teachers created just for the sake of giving the kids another reason to celebrate while learning are my favorite. It reminds me to look for reasons to have fun—to celebrate life.

If you could make up a holiday, what would you choose? How about if we make today National Girls, God and the Good Life Day, celebrating how God has blessed each of His girls as unique creations. So what’s yours? I’d love to hear about it.

Celebrate today!
Jeanette

Monday, February 04, 2008

Zip The Lip

Cussing is everywhere. Seriously, it is. Words that used to be bleeped out are now so commonplace you hear them everywhere. And it's hard for a girl to keep it clean. We repeat what we hear. That's not just something babies do.

Ephesians 4:29 says this:
“No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear.”

Know that a clean mouth is something we all struggle with, but God tells us to take the high road. People are watching. People are listening.

So this week make sure your words are not something that helps you blend in--but do truly set you apart. And if you need a little help with some choice word substitutions, I offer up my current favorite commercial.


Have a great week, Cootie Queens.
Jenny B. Jones

Sunday, February 03, 2008

great book



We got back from a church retreat yesterday afternoon. I was too tired to even unpack our suitcases. (I still haven't.)

I took a bath, crawled in the flannel sheets, and decided to read the cover of Suzie's new book, The Woman I Am Becoming. I got to the 3/4 mark last night and knew I'd blog about it today. I want to help her spread the word.

I'm telling you what. It's that good.

It's real.

It's relevant.

It's powerful.

It's honest.

I have two daughters in their twenties. They're gonna love this.

Thank you, Suzie. From one writer to another--you blessed me and will bless so many others through your words (and work). Well done. :-) Very well done. :-)

P.S. I'll finish it tonight during the Super Bowl.

Love,
Julie
www.juliegarmon.com

Friday, February 01, 2008

A Love Affair


I know of a lady writer whom I admire greatly but have never had the privilege of meeting. She belongs to ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). But I knew of her before this organization even began because we wrote for the same publisher.
In November, she was handed the devastating news of Brain Cancer. I liked this woman before, but reading her blogs as she has gone through this trauma, I've grown to love her as a sister in Christ.
Now the reason I titled this "A Love Affair" is that the blog reveals a relationship with her husband that all of us long for. If you want to see in action the kind of marriage that honors God and still sizzles go to www.christianlovestories.blogspot.com Start back in mid-November and read this as a diary of a wonderful couple. You will be inspired. And it's proof that even in this modern day, there can be marriages that last, relationships that exude faithfulness, and something to aspire to www.christianlovestories.blogspot.com. With God's help, a couple focused on Christ will bless each other and those around them a hundredfold.

Girls, God, and the Good Life

 
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