Monday, January 30, 2012

Apply it to Me Monday

We had an extremely busy but blessed weekend!  Friday night we had a bowling night with our youth group, and it turned out to be a blast for the girls!  Sometimes they get thrown into things they just have to endure, so it was good for this mama's heart to watch them have a good time with their buddies.  With the bumpers and slide, they outscored me! (For what that's worth!) 

This morning I have been thinking about the fact that our blog is named "On Assignment."  I woke up with a prayer in my heart to live this day "On Assignment" for the Kingdom of God. My heart cry is to hear His voice when He speaks and to have the strength and will to obey.  I walk past hurting people every day, and I know at times I'm so busy with my own agenda, I do not even listen to what God may be speaking.  I think we have to be willing to allow God to interrupt our agenda for His higher purpose.  What may make us a few minutes late to work or an appointment could be a matter of Heaven or Hell for someone who is lost, or a matter of hope for someone who has lost all reason to live.

Matthew 28:19-20 says:
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commnaded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Those were Jesus' final words before He ascended to Heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.  He must have felt that was the most important thing for us as believers to remember.  The thought of going into all the world can be overwhelming, so what if we just began with "our" world?  The workplace, the grocery store, the neighbor, the man holding a cardboard sign on the street corner, maybe even the thirsty kid at church who can't reach the water fountain.  What if we just became INTENTIONAL about our FAITH in every little detail of our day?  I think "our" world would change.

Something I have learned is this:  I only become INTENTIONAL when I ask God to give me focus, to give me His eyes, and to make me sensitive to His voice.  Out of all the nagging responsibilities I have to fulfill today, He has SOMETHING on His Kingdom agenda for me to do.  He has SOMETHING for YOU as well!

So my challenge to you is simply to ask God to make you sensitive to His voice so you can be the very hands and feet of Jesus to someone today, and every day! 

If you get that opportunity to be intentional about being the hands and feet of Jesus to someone, we'd love to hear about it in a comment!  That encourages us and other believers as well!  So let us hear from you!

Live On Assignment!
~Josh and Jill

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Apply it to Me... Tuesday

 I told you I'd post pics of our new bunny on here (aka Lord Fluffy) and I have realized that I have only taken a couple of vidoes, not actual pictures.  After hours of trying to get the videos to download I finally gave up, and now I am very late getting this post up. 

In one of the videos, little Aubrey gets bitten by the bunny.  Poor thing.  I didn't think it was that big of a deal, until I saw the blood on her hands.  Bunnies have some sharp little teeth apparently.  She walked around nursing her little finger all day.  And oh, if you dared to mention the bunny she got the most downtrodden little look on her face.  I was afraid she may not recover from the tragedy, but she has gotten back out there to feed the bunny and has done great with that!  I suppose one of the greatest lessons we can teach our kids is to overcome their fear, and get back out there to try again!

Hopefully I will remember to take some cute pictures to share!

I am going to share a verse with you today that expresses the hunger we have in our hearts for God.  I long to know Him more in 2012 and to go deeper in prayer and in the study of His Word. This is a prayer I am sending out to my Heavenly Father today.  Perhaps it is yours as well.

"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water."  Psalm 63:1

I love 1 Chronicles 28:9.  It says:
"And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your Father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.  If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever."

Is there a longing deep inside you for a sense of God's nearness?  He is just a prayer away.  He is a relational God who does not demand from us.  Oh, but the moment we cry out to Him, He hears our plea and we FIND HIM!  Like the caring father that He is, He meets our every need.  Our only part is really to seek Him out.

Live On Assignment,
~Josh and Jill

Monday, January 16, 2012

Apply it to Me Monday

So, I wish I had taken pictures but I know some others did, so maybe they'll share so I can share with you later!  Last night we had the privilege of watching our teens minister in the service through worship, drama, as well as sharing short sermons.  We are proud of everyone of them.  My husband said it so well last night, he called them a 1 Timothy 4:12 generation.  It says this:

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." 

What a word for our teens, but let's not overlook that it's a word for us as well.  No matter how old I get, there is still a little part of me that feels insecure, inadequate, not good enough to do what this scripture says to do.  I love the way the message puts it:

"And don't let anyone put you down because you're young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. 13 Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. 14 And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed — keep that dusted off and in use."

This convinces me that this scripture is not age-specific but a message to all of us.  Can you remember a time when you had an experience such as this scripture describes?  Was there a time in your life when you received a call of some sort?  Not everyone is called to a full-time ministry position, but God has something for all of us to do for His Kingdom.  Do you remember that experience from your teen years when someone laid hands on you and prayed over God's purpose in your life? Do you remember the passion you had to impact earth for God's Kingdom?  I love the way the message puts it, KEEP THAT DUSTED OFF AND IN USE!  If it were only for the young, we would not have to keep it dusted off.  When living "On Assignment" for God there will always be somewhat of a feeling of being young because God has a way of continually taking us down roads we've never gone before.  We are in a state of constant growth.  It's scary, yet exhilirating.  When we see how inadequate we are, we see just how capable He is and realize it's Him working through us!

So, have you held back?  Have you completely relinquished the gifts God once gave you because you feel your time is over or it's someone else's turn now?  You couldn't be further from the truth!  What gifts or ministries do you need to dust off today and get busy with again?  I can guarantee, if you'll go for it,God will pour out such a blessing on your life that you can't contain, and you'll find that living in His purpose and for His Kingdom is the only way to truly live!

That scripture challenges me.  I am praying and asking God to show me some areas of ministry that need "dusting off!"

In others news, we got a bunny this weekend for the girls.  Yes, we are crazy and yes, he will live outside.  They named him "Lord Fluffy" after a cat in the Lifeway Gigi movies for girls.  I am about to go get us all a Dr. Pepper and plan to let them sit and play with him on the trampoline while I immerse myself in my newest Beth Moore study!  I'll have to take some pics of our newest family member and post later this week!

We don't know everyone who reads this blog.  Sometimes we wonder if anyone does LOL!  We pray God's richest blessings on you and pray you are challenged this week to walk in that abundant life He has for you!  Nothing less.

Live On Assignment!
Josh and Jill

Monday, January 9, 2012

Apply it to Me Monday

It's a brand new year and with that often come new joys and excitements, and sometimes a new year can bring unexpected hardships.  We all go through seasons.  Some wonderful, full of joy and peace.  Other seasons can leave us heartbroken and devastated, while still others simply require much longsuffering and patience.  Whatever season 2012 finds you in, we pray that God blesses you and strengthens you beyond measure.

We are starting our BRAND NEW Bible Study today at Gateway Church on the book of James.  I've been excited about this one for a LONG time, and by the grace of God I will do all 5 levels of this study!  Those are: watching the video segments, doing the homework, writing out the book of James, doing the extra study, and memorizing the entire book of James!  Wow!  That's a lot, but I'm excited to see how God wants to use that to bring spiritual growth and change in me.

I thought it would be fitting to read a little in James since, after all, I do have my work cut out, and I read a scripture that I knew would speak to those of you in a difficult season, so I think I'll just share it:

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finsih its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."  James 1:2-5

Are you facing a trial today?  I wish I had all the answers to life's problems, but I'm so thankful I know the one who does and I can go to Him for wisdom.  Above that, I can simply trust His plan when life doesn't quite make sense to me.

Love you all!  Check the past few posts for pictures of the girls at Christmas!

~Josh and Jill

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Christmas Recap #4

A few last pictures of the girls at Christmas.  It's just a portion of what we have, but you'll get the idea!

Kylee was wide awake and excited for presents!
Aubrey seemed a bit sleepy.  They are usually the exact opposite
in the mornings!  Kylee doesn't do mornings so much and Aubrey
is usually our early bird!

I love the smocked dresses my mom gave them.
I'll be tempted to let them wear them every Sunday!
A sweet smile!
New appliances for the kitchen... oh yes!
Our fam... We need to take more family pictures.
New Year's Resolution!  LOL!
Kylee and Aubrey in the bed they share at Grammy and Pawpaw's house.
They each get to sleep with a gi-normous doll.  They love it!
Fun pic of Kylee and me.
Hope you all had a very blessed Christmas!  I can honestly say that what made Christmas special to me this year was not all the trappings, rather it was the very closeness of Christ in my heart!  I'm so thankful He gives us a reason to live and celebrate life!

~Josh and Jill

Christmas Recap #3

The day Kylee had her party at preschool and sang songs with the group was just precious and priceless to us!  She LOVES preschool and was so PROUD that her family was there.  We soaked that in, and prayed that she would stay that way! 

Here she is on stage in the very center.
They had a book exchange with their classes after the program.
This is Kylee waiting patiently smiling!
The book Kylee brought.
We found it on sale, and let me say, I would highly recommend it.
It teaches children the true spirit of giving and I would have cried
the first time I read it had I not been standing in the book aisle of Lifeway.
I had to choke back tears... it's that good!
They drew Kylee's name very last, and she was so patient through the whole thing.
Finally opening her book:
We love it!
Icing a brownie..
Little Aubrey was a little lost for a while, until she found something to do..

Our children are our heritage from the Lord!   These are moments we cherish!

~Josh and Jill

Christmas Recap #2

Okay Folks!  I know Christmas is long over now, but I'm still living in the memory of it I suppose!  When we wanted to send out a Christmas card to our prayer partners, we had not taken any Christmas pics, so I had to get a quick one myself.  These are some pics of the fun the girls had taking pictures.

They felt this was the best pose!
They were full of energy and silly as could be.

I loved this shot of Kylee!

And I loved this shot of Aubrey!
This one too..
They are the best of friends.  Their kisses are too sweet!
Singin' a song...

So silly!
Love these girls!

New Year's Resolution:  Blog More.  Seriously!  We want to do better! 
Much love to you and more posts to come!
~Josh and Jill