Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My wisdom or the Spirit?

 "To submit and give up everything truly is radical and terrifying. However... walking in my own wisdom, contrary to the Spirit's leading, is even more frightful."- Francis Chan 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Squanto/Thanksgiving

Another Repost: How I learned about Squanto!!!

As Jimmy and I were reading through our favorite Thanksgiving book, he asked how Squanto knew English. I had no clue. He clearly thinks through things at a deeper level than I do. So I looked online and Justin Taylor (a blog I highly recommend) did know! He recommended a biography of Squanto written by Eric Metaxas.

Did you know that Squanto was sold into slavery to a Spanish Monk? Or that Squanto was a professing Christian (I never heard that in school)? Or how it took 10 years, but God used an Englishman to help Squanto come back (hence his knowledge of the English language) to his homeland only to find that his entire tribe had died? His story is such an incredible example of how God is always present in our lives and there is such good, even in hardship and trials, as HE draws us to Himself and uses us to impact others to His glory. Squanto genuinely loved and cared for the pilgrims and we’re so thankful to know more about him!



Our Thanksgiving books:
 1) The Story of Thanksgiving,  Nancy Skarmeas
-This is the book we read every year. Someone gave us years ago and Jimmy has it memorized. I love that he now knows terms and places we’ll use later in depth (ex.- England, Massachusetts, Pilgrims, the Mayflower, etc.)

-This is our new book. Here’s the product description from Amazon:
“This entertaining and historical story shows that the actual hero of the Thanksgiving was neither white nor Indian, but God. In 1608, English traders came to Massachusetts and captured a 12-year old Indian, Squanto, and sold him into slavery. He was raised by Christians and taught faith in God. Ten years later he was sent home to America. Upon arrival, he learned an epidemic had wiped out his entire village. But God had plans for Squanto. God delivered a Thanksgiving miracle: an English-speaking Indian living in the exact place where the Pilgrims land in a strange new world.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful That God Gives... and Takes Away

Some thoughts on Job 1:20-22 as I read it:

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head- Job just received the heartbreaking news that all his animals and even his children are dead. All of them. And he responds by mourning. I'm thankful his pretty words of faith are accompanied by pain and sorrow. What a reminder to me that grief is right and good and it is ok to mourn loss.

...and fell on the ground and worshiped.- Wow. In His grief, He immediately seeks God and worships. What  an example. This has not always been my first response, yet I pray God may give me the grace in seasons of great loss to remember His goodness and worship Him, the TRUE gift and Giver.

And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” - I'm SO thankful for this chunk and learning from Job. He got it. He knew that everything not only came from God but was STILL His to take away as He pleased.

This is timely for me because Andy and I had a chance to visit our old home for an entire month. That trip was a precious gift from our loving God. We reconnected with friends, experienced fall weather again, slept in the bedroom we shared for the first 9 years of our marriage, and ate the foods I've grown up enjoying. I unexpectedly felt overwhelmed by loss on that trip. I was sad for the things we have given up to be in full time ministry and I missed home. As I met with friends who missed me and shared how hard life without me has been, I felt such deep sadness that our obedience had cost them as well. But God took me here and reminded through Job that NJ was a sweet gift from God for a long season of my life and now full time ministry is the new gift from Him. And what am I supposed to do with a gift? Enjoy it and BE THANKFUL. Isn't that what we set aside this month to remember? Thankfulness? What a timely reminder for me.

Job helped me remember that grieving is right but staying there is missing an opportunity to be grateful for the sweet gifts God gives. My heart is so full with thankfulness to God for how deeply He loves me and how He continually gives more and more to me. As if salvation isn't already a mind blowing gift, He piles on daily life gifts, like an entire month in a place I love, with people I love, eating really good food. What a sweet Savior and Giver God is. :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

consumed

A friend posted a facebook status that has just SO amped me up to live for Jesus fully. I wanted to share her wisdom with you (bold/underlines are added to highlight my favorite parts):


‎"Self-love, self-acceptance & self-promotion. Love yourself. Be true to yourself. Live to yourself..."...we live in a culture that so lacks balance...we preach this message to thousands of women who are starving themselves, surgically enhancing themselves and desperately trying to fit the far-from-realistic model of altered "feminine beauty" our culture promotes. 


This message brings only momentary solution to their intense sense of insecurity... because it is not how the Bible tells us to view ourselves. We are precious to God, and adored by Him...But we are not him... 


We are called to deny ourselves (Mark 8:34) Die to self (Gal. 2:20) to do everything not for our own recognition but to bring praise and glory to God! (Phil 3:4-10)


You want to know the secret to becoming a 'beautiful, radiant princess'?...FORGET ALL ABOUT YOURSELF!...and become COMPLETLEY CONSUMED WITH JESUS CHRIST!!
#My Goal"
- Lauren Greeley




Amen, sweet friend. Such truth and wisdom. Thank you for sharing and spurring me on. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pray with depth

God is so good to answer when we seek Him. I'm learning that even in my time alone with Him I tend to hold back or do some things traditionally. He's so gently opening my heart to experience Him in new ways through His Word and prayer. This quote just fit so perfectly with where I'm longing for my heart towards Him to stay always:
Grant that I may not pray alone with the mouth; help me that I may pray from the depths of my heart.- Luther
Praying for you as you seek Him as well. May He open our hearts to Him and radically change our lives to live fully in Him, excitedly meeting with Him and sharing Him with all as we look forward to seeing Him face to face for eternity!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Repost: Thankful Tree

Just a repost from last year as a reminder of a fun tradition we have as we set our hearts in thankfulness towards God this month:

Here are some pictures of our  "Thankful Tree". This fun and easy tradition carries through the entire month of November. We know many families who do it, but we adapted it from a family we used to work under (thanks Jeff and Lisa Highfield).


It’s a paper tree on wall decorated with paper leaves (Jimmy helped cut this year). We write a specific thing we are thankful for on each leaf. Every morning we lift our hands and say “Praise the Lord for…” and share one leaf to add to the tree. We also include a few of them in our Jacobson Journal prayer letter sent to our supporters.


 Everyone who visits our house during the month gets to participate. It's fun to see what everyone is thankful for. And really neat as a Mom to watch Jimmy write his own and get excited to praise God for who He is and how He provides. These pictures were from the first week of the month, but by the end of the month it's completely filled!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Why Did This Happen?

Have you ever read a passage and suddenly it makes SO much sense? I'm pretty positive I've heard sermons on John 9 that brought out the same things, but as I read through the story of the blind man's healing, I was struck by God's purpose in His blindness.

Here's the aha verse:
"Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."-John 9:2-3

He did nothing wrong, yet he was blind. It reminded me of Job, who was actually praised for his fear of God and upright lifestyle and then chosen to suffer deep loss to show faithfulness to God (Job1-2). I'm reminded that God is purposeful. I'm not saying I think God chooses to harm us and punish. I'm saying that I believe the truth that God is purposeful in all He does. He is glorified in our suffering and it is for our good (Romans 8:28). 

So, I'm encouraged by this blind man and how God's glory was shown through him. I'm thankful for Job's example and Christ's full suffering for my freedom. And I'm learning that God's ways are best. Always. I'm praying God will give me grace in suffering so that instead of asking "Why?" I'll remember to look for His glory. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tears

‎"Don't worry about crying in front of me, and don't be afraid that you'll make me cry.Your tears tell me you care, and my tears tell you that you've touched me in a place that is meaningful to me- and I will never forget your willingness to share my grief."- Nancy Guthrie, Holding On To Hope
 Sometimes I'm baffled at how we miss opportunities to care for each other. I love reading in the Bible how friends would come and mourn and grieve with friends who experienced great loss. Yet we seem to rush each other through pain or fear bringing up obvious hard trials friends are going through because we don't want to "make them cry".

Nancy Guthrie shared that in her deep hurt and loss, the friends who cried with her were such a gift that it felt like they actually carried the burden with her of her grief and tears. Jesus himself is a beautiful example of that (John 11).

I saw both in my darker days. Friends who sat with me or heard my stories again and again about the people I loved and missed dearly and people who said I had grieved too long and needed to move on. How sad that some people didn't realize the beauty and necessity of my sadness. I loved deeply and so the loss was real and felt painful. In some cases, life after death was no comfort- It is very likely that some I've loved willingly chose to reject Christ and heaven. There is an enormous grief and pain that comes when they die that is hard, but yet so good to go through. I'm thankful for my grief. It was in those times that I came to know the Holy Spirit as Comforter and in that darkness I saw Jesus as the "Light of the World". My heart is fuller and more confident in Christ today because of those seasons. 

I'm reminded today that we have an opportunity to live differently from the world that says "move on". We have a chance to weep with those who weep and pray for God's nearness as they grieve. Oh may I be a friend that draws near to the hurting to cry with them.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How is He 6 years old already?

Spending today looking back and thanking God for the incredible gift of our firstborn son. He waited two extra weeks beyond my due date and only came because the doctors went in after him. He cried continuously for weeks. He was a projectile vomiter. And yet the JOY he brought into our lives is indescribable.
How was this 6 years ago?
I'm so very thankful for our solid helper. Our always smiling, incredibly tall, son with gorgeous eyes. The kind hearted big brother who leaves his friends to be sure his little brother has a playmate. The quality time guy who thanks us for playing games and reading books with him and tells us he knows we love him because we do. Our silly, funny kid. The boy who asks hard questions and does not jump quickly as he seeks for himself to see if he believes that God is the loving, true Savior that we've taught him He is. Oh what a joy and privilege to be his Mommy. Thank you Lord for this good and perfect gift from you to our family.