Isaiah 6

This song and scripture, Isaiah 6, peirced my heart today. It’s often easy to think that everyone knows about Jesus. I often fall blind to the reality of those who are lost. It’s not as black and white as my small mortal mind would like to make it, placing the notions of soul salvation into two rote categories of those who’s Eternity are secured (like me) and those who have heard and just for some reason have chosen not to be. I often (sadly) think of the lost as  souls who are purposefully living outside of God’s love and friendship. As if everyone has had the chance for choosing Christ and they know the consequences of their choice for not choosing him. 


Even the word envokes a thought of some ancient thing that tends to not be common today. It’s something my husband is deeply called to and lives to share hope to those who are lost. 

I’m hearing this word in my spirit that there are more hearts to be gathered for Gods Kingdom. And it’s time to go out and tell them. Who else will go?

“There are roads that are still untouched

That have have yet to receive your love.

All creation is crying out, to receive your cross.

There are hearts that have yet to see

The power of Christ that has set them free

For such a love you have sent your Son to save what’s lost.

…So who will go?”


Hugs. For Life.


Let’s talk hugs.

I visited a church one weekend with my husband, and met this beautiful gal who greeted me at the door with the sweetest smiling face. Her skin was the color of Africa, and that may be why I liked her all the more, but her smile and warmth could be felt as equally as far away as her country of origin. “Thank you,” were the only two words I spoke to her as she gave me that rich warm greeting and held my door open. I turned back and added, “You are so pretty!” Which is about the only thing I know to say when my heart is feeling full, and I want to tell someone that I appreciate them more than this fleeting moment. She stopped and did something entirely unexpected from this rich-smile-warm-heart door greeting lady, she hugged me. She pulled me in and gave me a precious, loving-kindness kind of hug. Her hug was this melting embrace, that pulled me in like a milkshake on a hot Sunday afternoon. It was a rare moment, one that I’ve never felt with a complete door-lady stranger before. I felt God’s embrace. I felt His love. I felt his face upon my face, his hands upon my shoulders. I’ve never been “given” a hug quite like this before. Especially from someone whom I had only spent a few seconds with. That was a tender GIFT that she freely GAVE. And now I understand what it means, “my cup runneth over.” When you find your gift, it spills over, from a place of overflow, not a place of I have to or need to, but I’d Love to!

I’m a hugger. An unrelenting, unashamed, unabashed…hugger. Yes, if you know me, you know you are going to “get” a hug. My friends, my work-mates, my church-mates, the little kids down the street, the ones I meet in the grocery store, even my bosses…”Oh You’re Getting a hug!” Cause ya’ll, I love hugs!

But there are those who are the “others” of huggers.

awkard hug

You know the ones… Like, you go low and I’ll go high, yet some how one of us ends up kissing the other in the eyeball! Awkward! Or that one guy who lingers a little to long with the ladies, who really needs to learn the Jon Acuff method. They are like the “getters” who love to get hugged, and their mission is to find you and squeeze your neck off. And you have to sleep on a heating pad to recover from the encounter. It’s all just so awkward. And draining.

I realized when I met the gal with the “gift of hugging” that it’s truly a gift. I felt like I had “received” a hug, nothing in return, nothing expected. No sorrow left on my shoulder. No tears for me to ponder as I walked away. I left feeling like my burdens had been exchanged for joy. My encounter shifted something away from my shoulders and onto the Lords, in some kind of great hug-exchange. As I drove home later that night, for the first time in my life I realized the true difference, and that some are “hug givers” and some are “hug getters.”

I want to be a life-giver, not a life-getter! “Lord, help me to be more like you to console those in my circle, to be life to those in need, to give Hope, and to leave an exchange of your goodness on every shoulder that I meet.”


Finding My Worth.

true beauty

True worth is determined not by what is seen,
but rather by what is unseen

But there are times when I feel worthless, when I hear the powerful voices, They don’t want you. They don’t even like you. It’s not even worth trying. No one will ever see you for what you really are, or what you were made for.”

Yes. Those voices.

Being liked. Being perfect. These are some of the driving desires that can saturate a mind. I continually battle those voices from the evil one, who would try to paint the scope of my life with something other than truth. Somedays when I let those thoughts linger, I’m effected in ways that beckon me to correct and perfect my flesh with human efforts like shopping for new clothes, eating lots and lots of chocolate, or filling my calendar with distracted obligations which never satisfy.

But the Great Voice has spoken. He has a plan for me. He has designed a destiny inside of me. He created value in my inmost being. He built worth inside of me, before time began. (Jer.
1:5) So why, oh why, do I listen to these fleeting voices, both from man and the Author of all Lies? Why do I partner with this lying spirit in my ears that would dare compare me with anything less than God’s perfect plan?

James 4:14 says, Life is a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow. – KJV
The Message version says, You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.

These are the truths I’m tuning my ear to. Life is fleeting. Eternity is what matters.

One of my all time favorite worshippers, Rita Springer penned a song that pierces my heart when I don’t understand the hurts and pains of life, and I need to be reminded of the truth and promise of my tomorrow.

Worth it All.

“I don’t understand your ways,
oh but I will give you my song.
Give you all of my praise.
You hold on to all to my pain
With it you are pulling me closer
And pulling me into your way….
Now, around every corner,
and up every mountain
I’m not looking for crowns
Or the water from fountains
I’m desperate in seeking, frantic believing
That the sight of your face
is all that I needed I will say to you… It’s gonna be worth it
Gonna be worth it
It’s gonna be worth it all.”

Ask. Seek. Knock.

door knock
“Ask, Seek & Knock” this was my word study this week. I could not pull myself away from this scripture this week. I kept meditating on these three words.

I had the revelation that this passage is speaking to three uniquely different levels of pursuit: spiritual (heart) emotional (soul) and physical (body).

The Lord says, “When you seek me with all your heart…you shall find me.”

I began to think about this concept of knocking! How do you knock, when you are told no? Keep knocking.

Knocking requires a physical encounter…it’s done with the hand in the air, and also an open ear close to the door, so you can hear someone say, “Who’s there??” You can’t just keep knocking. Listen and be ready to answer, “It’s me!”

“What do you want” – the owner says

“I’m hear to ask and seek from you.” – the heart replies

Be ready with your asking, be ready with your seeking. God always prepares us in perfect sequential order with what we need. You’ve already been asking, you’ve already been seeking. Now when you knock, the door will be opened. Because you will know how to ask and seek from the Owner, as your petition is ever present on your lips.

Physical knocking of the hand to the door can mean physically placing a fist in the air, making a phone call, or even monetary exchange. Whatever is it that you are spiritually seeking, make your request complete by a “knocking” encounter in the physical.

reCreate – ladies night

recreate jenn
Last night I had the awesome privilege of spending time with our church ladies group. Good food, good fellowship, means good fun! Our ladies have been going to the reCreate Conference, at Church of the Highlands each year, and since so many of our ladies were not able to go, I wanted to carry a piece of that annual, life-changing weekend back to my church girls. So we rallied up the troops and hosted a little local “reCreate Ladies night” of our very own.

What does it mean to reCreate? I’m sure COTH, has a clear vision for the women’s conference, but here’s what I shared with our ladies last night of my own version,

“reCreate” – to reshape, to refresh, to restructure, to reconnect. The word “create” means to fashion or to make something. ReCreate is as similar to the rearrangement of one’s living room furniture three times a month, as it is to the ongoing reshaping of her heart and life. I can’t explain to my husband, Why I have to reshape the furniture – I just do. When we experience the power of this recreating together, we reshape, refresh and renew one another into stronger, more powerful, more Godly women. I can’t really tell you WHY we need each other – we just do!

We tossed a ball around the room, like a hot potato, and laughed together until I nearly peed my pants! It was then my turn to bring the devotional (more on that to come..), and I began by sharing a story from when my husband and I were first stepping out onto the Dave Ramsey debt-snowball life, and how a sweet church friend became my Secret Jesus (because apparently, having a quality deep conditioning treatment IS vital to survival, it’s food-clothing-shelter-conditioner, people!) Sometimes, having someone simply notice what we are going through, by sending a card, sharing a hug, giving a gift or treating us to Starbucks, makes all the difference in the world.

I can’t really tell you WHY we need each other – we just do!

Last night was the start of something really amazing for the ladies that I church and do life with. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us this year!

Bedding in Bedlam

“If I go up to the heavens, you are there.
If I make my bed in the depths, you are there”
Psalm 139:8

The Psalms have been my sweet place of refuge and healing ointment to my soul these past few years. There is just so much goodness, madness, grief, messiness and all out drama among those pages, I can’t help but soak up its everyday reality. King David was about as real as it gets. His best friend turned his back on him. He rose to incredible position and purpose, yet failed morally and miserably. He tried to cover his crimes with more crime, became desperate and destitute. Through it all, this man held on to that place in his heart for his Father in heaven. Like a current running through the ocean, his pure of heart love for God ran deep. So deep that he threw off high society and his rich wardrobe, and danced before the Lord like nobody’s business.

What Will People Think?

I believe there are three main thoughts that flood the mind of mankind:
1. Worry
2. Self Doubt
3. Confusion

Those three working in conjunction together can destroy families, careers, finances, and futures. How do I know that most thoughts consist of those exact three? Because those are the three themes I consistently hear threaded in daily conversations. If you listen, you will hear them, too.

“I’m so worried…”
“But, I’m just not..”
“Why? I don’t understand…”

Lately, I’ve partnered into conversations that have taken the path of worry, diverged onto the dirt road of self-doubt, and started bush hogging the road to confusion. It’s like taking a trip with no map. You think your destination is just a little bit further, you’re sure you are getting close. And yet, you get further and further deeper into the woods, or more miles away from your true destination.

Worry gets in the car with you and smells a little foul. Doubt coaxes the keys away from you and convinces you to sit in the back. Confusion takes the keys, cranks the car and recklessly speeds away leaving you hopelessly lost, helpless and car sick in the back seat.

The sad truth is people forget that they own the car! Their Father gave it to them. The keys actually belong to them! And they have the power and keen ability to drive their car. Because their Father taught them how.

Even sadder is that once confusion has driven them to the place called Bedlam, where all confusion lives and dwells, they take up residence with them. They make there bed there and remain trapped as slaves for the rest of their life.

King David knew about confusion. He asked God many questions. But he also made many life observations that are true and full of faith and facts. No matter how confusing life gets, no matter how lost we find ourselves, or how low the grave is we feel we have dug. Even if we make our beds and camp out in that deep dark place, where we truly don’t belong, He is there. He is always there.

Psalm 139 is framed with the author’s notes – “for the director of music.” Leading worship in my church each week, this one is for me…

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me…”

elevation decision

This moved my world tonight. Elevation Church has moved incredible mountains for Christ, and this is evidence of their passion and relentless pursuit of following and making followers of Christ. I’m speechless. No words – just tears.


Follow from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

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It’s an under stated function.

Breathing regulates our hearts, and restores our bodies. Oxygen repairs our cells, and is a natural aid in times of pain, stress or exhaustion.

As a chronic night owl, the repetitive yawns repeatedly beacon me goodnight.

I’m lover of all things southern fried, and will plunge past the first and second full-belly warning breath at our Paula Dean style family dinners.

Pilates is my favorite form of exercise.  Simply for the fact that there is no excessive cardio or heavy lifting, and un poquito sweating!  It’s mostly deep breathing and stretching, and it works!

Before worship on Sunday, I prayed specifically for people to experience the presence of God. That we would not just have the knowledge of him, but the presence of him as well.   The band began to play, and the thoughts in my head turned to the conversation I might have with the new believer, “Jenn, what in the world do you mean…”feel the presence of God, and experience him?” How does that happen!?”  I’ve just asked these people to do something I’m not quite sure I can explain.  So my heart turns to God and I question, “Yeah! How does it happen?”

As the band plays, I’m standing there simply “breathing in.” As I’m pondering, that great question, “how do we experience God,” I become keenly aware of the fact that I was beginning to experience Him, to feel His presence, encountering His Spirit of Love, Joy, Peace…simply by breathing Him in.  That’s simply how we encounter His presence.

In 1 Kings 19, Elijah wanted to experience God’s presence. While hiding in a cave, God revealed that he was not in a fire, or a storm, or a wind, but in a still small whisper.  God’s presence was in the quiet voice, and breath.

Breathing is an autonomic process. We don’t think about it, it just happens.  It’s just present. It helps us live, it relaxes our nerves, and if done strategically, can help us heal or even get in shape!  It’s the same with God’s presence (his spirit, the breath of God) working in us. When we are functioning in His Spirit, his presence is autonomic.  It just happens.  We don’t really know how we are feeling peace, we just are.  We’re just breathing.

It’s extremely simple.  And it’s extremely complicated.

How have you experienced God or encountered His presence?

the world changer

When I was in tenth grade we had to write a ten page report on a significant world leader. I chose Adolph Hitler. When the preacher’s kid chooses Hitler, the room stops and stares! Even the very strict Ms. Andrews pulled me aside and said I could have a topic redo if I wanted. I mean, I could have chosen Gandhi or even Jesus…but I chose to spend three months reading about genocide, concentration camps, and the Diary of Anne Frank.

I was sticking to my decision.

After only a few minutes of researching the Holocaust in the Dothan High library, I realized my decision might have been hasty. But I pressed on. I believe those moments may have shaped my world-changer-heart and secured my passion for breaking the back of injustice. (See the full story.)

My sweet friend, Tiffany hooks me up daily with Amazon Freebies via text. My iphone kindle app bookshelf is becoming quite full thanks to her saavy finds. (She’s a 3-ring-binder couponer and mom to toddler, hence her off-the-chain freebie skills.)

Yesterday her find led me to “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.” I have heard a little of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but look forward to reading of this man’s faith, through one of the most difficult times our world has ever seen. Reading this book description, and walking down tenth grade memory lane, I’m reminded that we have it so easy. Our life is so blessed.

Perspective is often the best form of clarity.

Keith’s mom was diagnosed with cancer last week. (More on that…). On the same day we heard of her news, Keith’s 4 year old nephew was having surgury. And, on my way to work that same day, our “Old Blackie” a 1998 Isuzu Rodeo broke down, leaving me stranded and sweating on the roadside for about an hour. This week, the refrigerator decided to fritz out, ruining most of our cold groceries.

Our life has been a little difficult recently.

When we heard the news of cancer, the song playing in the background was “Sing Hallelujah!” Our truck is in repair, and having to bum rides with friends has actually been kinda fun! Our fridge miraculously started working again (we really didn’t need those 3 ice cream sandwiches and the 2 year old deer steak anyway). Our nephew is doing great. And we are believing the same for Keith’s mom.

We know God is in control.

I can’t wait to dig into some of my new Kindle freebies, and cheapies. Do you have any favorite reads or lovely freebies?

the time to decide

20120822-204054.jpgThe timer is set for 10 minutes. The paper and pen are in front of you.

–You have 10 minutes to decide how you are going to spend the rest of your life.



Its scary! We’re more comfortable maintaining the day to day “dull-ities” than we are chasing our biggest life desire. So we dream, fantasize, drool and ponder the what if’s. We spend just about every free moment discussing what we long to be doing, while we give our life away to what we long NOT to be doing. Doesn’t make sense does it?

The Apostle Paul says it clear to the Romans, (7:19), “I do what I don’t want to do, but then I don’t do what I want to do.” Even the great apostle recognized his lack of decision-ability.

How many months and years drag on before actually deciding what your going to do “when you grow up?” I’ll confess, as of 33, my major in life is still “undecided.” Or rather, life has been much like my college days declaring a new major based on the cute boys or the potential career earnings. (My apologies to the Atlanta Braves, for never finishing that sports therapy degree, and to the Department of Education who could have hired me has a Kindergarten teacher, and to McDonalds Corporation who surely would have hired me as their Global Marketing Director). Lets face it, I have jumped more ships than Captain Sparrow.

My honey man and I recently evaluated the number of years we have been dreaming of the life we want to live. We quickly realized we have both spent a lifetime, as Paul says “doing what I don’t want to do.”

Maybe the deadline doesn’t need to be 10 minutes, or hours or days. Or maybe it only takes one single life altering moment, to be forever changed.  It’s time to decide.

Deadlines are to decisions as fuel is to fire…extremely flammable!

Armed with this truth what do you do?

The paper and pen are in front of you.

The timer is set.



  • Warning: this exercise may lead to heart palpitations, stomach ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, heartburn, nausea, dizziness, migraines, dry mouth, irritability, stress, chronic fatigue, depression & researching WebMD for signs of BiPolar disorder. Proceed with caution.