Tag Archives: God

Easter Remembrance 

15 Apr

It’s that time of year again when all the little girls are  getting ready to be dolled up in brand new dresses and little boys will be running around scuffing up those brand new church shoes. Ladies have picked out their perfect outfit, some with the final touch of a perfect hat, as the men prepare to get suited up  a in their Sundays best. So many of us fixated with our eyes on our appearance, and I can’t take my eyes off the cross.

I always get super emotional around Easter and I just can’t help it. The idea; the thought; the emotion behind someone dying for me, is more than my heart can even handle at times. 

I find myself going through the gospel from time to time  in disbelief, because we all know how flaky human beings can be at times, and even when Jesus asked God to “take this cup from me” he didn’t allow temptation or fear to overwhelm him. He carried out what was set before him and if that isn’t love, I don’t know what is. 

Today, as we remember the power of the cross and the depth of his love, let us not forget what it means:

1. Jesus died for us because God loves us so much. (John 3:16) Sin was keeping us from the world, and Jesus’ death became the bridge back to our father and that bridge is ALWAYS open, which means nothing we can say or do will keep us from him. 

2. God isn’t asking us to be perfect, he doesn’t expect us to be perfect ( he is) so don’t put expectations on yourself that God doesn’t even have for you! (I will get into this point more a few lines down) 

3.  God loves everyone ( go back to point one). We aren’t here to justify what is right or wrong, we are here to love and point people to the word, let them see for themselves how much God loves them and discover truth. Don’t let a “view” or “mindset” distort who God is for others. He’s pretty awesome, and here for errybody (yes, I meant it like that).

4. God wants what is best for you. That doesn’t mean life will be easy. Everything works for the good of the Lord ( Romans 8:28) Not some things, sometimes, on occasion, EVERYTHING. So just hold on, he’ll pull you through.

5. God isn’t keeping score. He isn’t condemning  u for what you have done. ((Romans 8:1) There arent bonus love points for being a pastor and news flash, there are no GOOD christians.  There is no such thing. So stop beating yourself up and telling yourself you need to be a “better” Christian. Love him, follow him, and keep his commandments. (And guess what, if you don’t, he still loves you). 

Be encouraged, friends. Stop being so hard on yourself! Oh how he loves us and I’m so glad he does and on this Easter, I just want to remind you what that love means.  It means he loves us when we do good, when we do bad and when we are in the darkest places, his light is still shining, if you look for it. You are never too far from God, and on this Easter, I hope you feel the love our Good, Good, father has for us.

Until Next time, much Love,

Mrs.Spj:)

P.S.- I’m so in love with this shirt Lift Her Up Clothing

A $10 and an I love you

30 Sep

So after the initial interruption in my last post where I blessed a mom with a mere $10, I went to Bible Study last Wednesday and something remarkable happened.
At the end of Bible Study, a woman handed me $10 to bless someone else. REALLY!??!?
I sat there literally in shock, and called the Women’s Ministry Director, Shannon, over at Rock Creek.
We both just held our mouths open, and when I finally got home, I said to myself, “Okay God, I see where you are going with this. I will save this $10 and bless someone else with it.”
I let the hustle and bustle of life, being a mom, and the weekend, occupy me, but I never forgot that $10.
I knew from the minute I was given the $10 who I was going to bless with it.

Ms. Oliver.
She’s a 53 year old amazing woman who took in 6 kids in her house to give them a place called home.
She’s such an amazing person, and I can’t imagine how big her heart is to take on a task that huge.
She gives these kids love, gets them to school and church faithfully, and gives everything she has to these kids.
The thing is though, it takes a lot out of her, and she struggles to do so. I called her on Monday and asked her what she needed and she said whatever I could bring. She had just got out of the hospital after being there for a few days and she wanted the kids to have the food. I began asking her what kind of food the kids ate and I just started creating a list. When I got to the grocery store, I realized my $10 and her list didn’t add up, but I was determined that I was going to get what was on her list, and not be guided by this $10 although that’s what prompted it.

I began placing in my cart, chicken nuggets, cereal, Crystal Light, Sandwich Meat, Cheese, etc. I was determined to get everything on her list regardless of the cost. I added quite a bit to the $10 and was thankful for the seed placed in my heart but was more happy that I’d be able to put a dent in what this family needed.

When I got to their home, Ms. Oliver was so thankful, and so was the youngest! I captured this cute photo of him in the kitchen while I put away the groceries!
20150928_134611She was so grateful, and as I filled her refrigerator I was completely humbled. She barely had anything in her refrigerator and in her pantry. I still think we can do more!!!

I share this with you, not for the “go stephs” or “bless your heart”, but I share this with you so that you can be encouraged to be a vessel, help others, and see people around you who may be struggling. Last night, as I left a work dinner, I met a homeless man in the middle of the street. He could barely be seen, but there he was just standing, looking for food, money, etc.After giving him some money I asked him his name. His name was Johnny and he was just really trying to find something eat. I assumed by the looks of it, he wasn’t a stranger to the streets and had been just wandering around downtown. I told Johnny I had to get home, but that I’d be praying for him and that I loved him. He looked at me rather shocked, and said well I appreciate that, I love you back, and you don’t know how much your smile alone, means to me.

This is what Jesus was about people! It’s not about doing good a few times of year and then going back to your cozy homes and lifestyles! It’s about loving on people, sharing with people, and being a friend to those, that others may turn the cheek to. It’s about loving people regardless of their past, their political party, their failures, and their horrible decisions. Last night I stopped in the middle of the street, and the light was green. Some people may call that crazy, I call it trusting God and KNOWING that he puts people in my path and me in places for a reason.

So I encourage you today, do something nice for someone else. Really SEE people, instead of just passing them by like so many other people in this world do. A great message from one of my favorite people (although he probably doesn’t know it), Greg Kirskey, encourages us to get back to the place where we see people as opportunities other than opponents. To hear the full message you can go here,


I’m still learning and growing, and trying to live my life more like Jesus!
Don’t worry, I’m always safe. I go with God.  I want you to just look around you and really SEE people and
the difference you can make.
To think, this week I’ve simple done it with a $10 and I love you.

Let’s make our lives missional people, instead of simply going on missions.

Until Next time, Much Love,

Mrs. Spj 🙂

P.S.- If you aren’t ready to make a difference, or you aren’t sure how to begin, please pick my brain for ideas! At my job we work with over 3200 children and youth in poverty so I’m pretty sure I can find a way for you to give back and help. 🙂

Getting Interrupted

22 Sep

God has been interrupting me a lot lately, & I love it.

Let me explain.
The wonderful Shannon that is over Rock Creek’s Women’s Ministry selected “Interrupted: When Jesus WRECKS your comfortable Christianity” by Jen Hatmaker as our Fall study. While we are still in the middle of this study, Jen talks a lot about people who are far too busy “doing church” instead of “being church”. It’s been quite a profound study so far, and I’m so thankful for being a part of something so wonderful. Jen talks a lot about moving when God asks you to move, even if it’s out of what normally happens or what is done.

This morning a mother of 4 came in our office, who had no money, and was simply trying to get to her child’s school where she was desperately needed. Our office doesn’t typically handle situations in this manner, but if we can help we try too. However this morning, all the people who can make those decisions or help were out. She simply asked for 10 bucks. She was desperate and she needed it. I began telling her that everyone who could help wasn’t in the office yet, and that I hated we couldn’t help her (silly, me). Literally I was thinking like the Staff person I was,  but then I remembered something:

I stopped by Tropical smoothie earlier to get my classic Island Green Smoothie. When the guy gave me my total, I remember looking at the 10 dollar bill in my wallet, and something said, “don’t use the 10″. Although It didn’t make sense at the time, I decided to just save my cash and use my card.

Flash forward to me standing here talking to this woman and telling her my job could not help her, and she looked so defeated. However in a split second I remembered something: that I COULD. (Stephanie could). I told her to hold on. I went to my desk  and pulled out that 10 dollar bill folded nicely inside my purse. I remember looking at it, smiling, and laughing at myself. It always amazes me how strategic God is, and how he works. She asked for 10, and I had 10. I handed it to her, and she said” I promise I will try and pay you back”. I looked at her and said, “don’t even worry about it.” She was in shock, I said, “You are fine. Go take care of what you need too.” She just kept saying, really? Are you sure? “Yes I’m sure”, I said. Go ahead. My coworker said,  Are you sure Stephanie? I said, yep I’m sure. God intended that 10 for her, so she should have it.

I walked back to my desk and smiled. I thanked God. I’m grateful I was paying attention. I thanked God for the Bible Study I’m in, for Jen Hatmaker, for the women of rock creek and the blessing they’ve been in my life. For a woman sharing her story last week at Bible Study about doing “for the least of these”. I thank God for showing me in the last years who he really is and what he’s really all about. He’s about US”being the church”.

If you are my friend on any Social Media,  you may notice I’ve been posting a lot of nontraditional (some may call it unorthodox thoughts on Christianity and Religion, and it’s because God has been Interrupting me a lot lately.

When I moved to AR, I felt alone. I felt like I had no one. Then one night, God met me in the middle of my living room floor. All these years I had been going to church, following the “how to be good” rules, doing good for others when I wasn’t consumed with church activities, but always within my own comfortable boundaries, However God met me in the one place I least expected. From then, he started pulling me in directions where I was working in service areas. I attended several different churches, but I still felt him pulling me and leading me to see things on a different level.

I’m  at a point in my life where I just want to be used. I want to be the person God has called me to be, and I want to serve even more of my fellow brothers and sisters the way he sees fit. We each have a part to play, and something to give. I’m not comfortable with just going to church on Sundays, singing in the choir, going to conference, or revival. It’s not for me anymore (I don’t think it ever has been. ) I’m thankful for my home church and my family who instilled in me the desire to follow the cross and introduced me to Christianity, but we are called to do and be so much more! God met me in an unexpected place, and he’s calling us to the unexpected and unnoticed places to do his supernatural will. Although this morning’s interruption was a simple 10 bucks (nothing great about that), it reminded me that we are called to be different. We are called to the “Yes”es in life that Bob Goff so graciously discusses in his book. We are called to help and not turn our heads when others say NO.  I’m sure if you look and listen real close, you will feel God telling you to take a closer look at the people and the places around you, and try to interrupt you the same.

As Brandon Hatmaker stated God told him, “What you have is not yours. You have a lot to learn. The first is this: You can trust me when I call.

My question is, Are we REALLY Listening?

Love you. Hope this blesses you as it so blessed me today.

I leave you with a video from Jen Hatmaker:

Until Next Time, Much Love

Mrs. Spj 🙂

The Roof is On Fire!

23 Oct

The past few days have been hectic at my job because we are finally getting some work done on this old house we call our office.
Today, I looked up to see the beautiful roof the men worked so hard on. It’s beautiful. A pretty light gray color, and it lays so perfectly.
Then I looked at our old building. Our office building is pretty tattered, and we could use a new building altogether. It was then,
God spoke to me. He said, “You can’t put a new roof on an old building“.

It was such a profound message, I had to stop and appreciate it!

It reminded me of all the passages in the Bible that talk about the importance of a Strong foundation.
I  also reminded me  of Matthew 9:16, “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment,
for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse”.

It was such a special message, I went and shared it with a co worker. She reminded me that sometimes, you have to get your roof fixed. My belief, is that by starting over, building a new, SOLID ROCK foundation, it will make us new all over! I believe that is what God wants for us. He wants to make us new, rebuild our foundation, and change us all over. God can fix ANYTHING! He can restore us, renew us, and ultimately set our roof on FIRE! God loves us, and he wants so much for us!

Let us pray that God will fix us from the inside out! That he can strengthen our hearts, our foundation, our lives and make us new! Afterall, if anyone can, he can!

Until Next Time, Much Love, mrsspj
P.S.- This post will be featured on Sprinkle Of Jesus soon!
www.sprinkleofjesus.com

Music Moves Me

21 Aug

Music makes me want to move.
It makes me want to throw my hands in the air!
(And yes, wave them around like I just don’t care, lol)

Hence, my addiction to ZUMBA!

However, there are times when music just moves me to tears…                                 I wanted to share with you some of my favorite songs lately..

Thanks to a few Facebook friends, I’ve tracked down another song I love!

These songs move me, and just remind me how great God is…

What songs move you?

Please comment below and let me know! I’d love to hear them!

Until Next Time, Mrs SPJ…

 

 

So Strategic

19 Apr

I swear,  this has been my word this year in reference to the most high.
I mean just think about it.

1. The world is saddened at the loss of “The Voice”, Whitney Houston, in February 2012.  Millions of viewers  tuned in to watch, but I believe some of them got more than they bargained for. They didn’t just have a home going for Whitney,  everyone who watched (including myself), went to church. God was ever-present and I believe touching people all over the place. I cried, I laughed, and I truly remember the words of Tyler Perry. You can hear his words below:

2. Let’s look at Jeremy Lin.
He has been the New York Knick’s main attraction lately.He received no athletic scholarships from high school, he was undrafted in college, and was assigned to the NBA Development League 3 times. He was known as a player who played sparingly and then out of nowhere he becomes a star player since he led the losing Knicks to a seven-game winning streak and scored at least 20 points in six games straight. Then he starts sharing his faith with the world and crediting God for his success.

3. Then there’s Tim Tebow.  While his mom was pregnant with him, she suffered a life-threatening infection and experienced a severe placental abruption. The doctors expected her to have a stillbirth and recommended abortion, but she decided against it, and Tim was born.  He grew up homeschooled and rooted in faith. He has been noted as one of the greatest college football quarterbacks of all time, a 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, a national champion , and a current Denver Broncos first round draft pick. During college Tebow would always wear biblical verses in his eye paint. During a championship game in 2009, he wore John 3:16 on his face under his eye. When that occurred, that verse was searched in Google for the next 24 hours 90 million times. Every time he would put a verse under his eye, the same occurred.  He even started a trend that people have called “Tebowing” (I call it praying), and it’s been defined as when you start praying even when everyone else around you is doing something different. Although I thought it strange at first, I said whatever it takes to get folks to pray and closer to God, works for me.

4. God is also strategic in placing people at the right time. Many of you who read my blog, I’m sure remember the “tire incident” where a man just came out of nowhere and fixed my tire 🙂 If that isn’t strategy I don’t know what is!

5. Then there’s today. I got in  to work this morning, and I thought hmm what should my status be today? In my spirit, I sensed “Leave him”. I thought, okay those words are definitely not for me, so what does that mean? Then the thought or feeling came to me again. I thought, okay I don’t understand this, I don’t know why I’m getting the urge to post this , but okay I’m going to do it.

Leave him. Sometimes things come in your spirit, and you don’t know why they do, but I had the strong urge to tell someone to leave him. You know it’s not right, so now you’ve just gotta let it go. There, I shared it.

A few minutes passed and I thought, well maybe its just something I should have said, then I received a pop-up message from a girl I know, and this was our conversation:

CCM: Wow! I needed that status right now. I was just praying about it and your status just popped up!

MRSSPJ: It just came in my spirit. God works like that

CCM: That was incredible and a fast answer to a prayer:)

MRSSPJ: I was sitting here and it was like a thought, a whisper, “Leave him” and I’m like okay that’s not for me. It came right as I was updating my status and I was like what should i put this morning… and I thought, okay I know this isn’t for me, and it came again, so I shared it…Thought it was a bit different, but decided to share it anyways. Well I hope whatever it is, it all works out. God knows you are too beautiful and sweet to have to deal with someone’s mess.

CCM:Well thank you for that! Sometimes I need to actually see the ”sign” right in front of me.

MRSSPJ: I understand. Sometimes we all need that 🙂

So my status was for a reason. It touched someone. Someone needed to hear that. I even had someone send me a “thanks for this” message as well.  It just goes to show you, that not only is God strategic, but that he uses people to ultimately share his love, get his message out, and save people from this crazy world. He will use you as a vessel to touch others and to spread his love.  He may be trying to tell you or show you something, but are you hearing him? Are you listening to him? It’s something to think about. So be open to being used by him, and pay close attention to what he’s doing. He has been moving and shaking things for years, we just have to open our eyes and take notice of it.

Be blessed!

Until Next Time, Much Love, Mrs. SPJ 🙂

It’s V day 2012!

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day Friends!!! I hope you all are having a wonderful day! I feel so Valentine-ish with my Red sweater and pink cami, mixed with black slacks and my BCBG Leopard Print Flats! I guess you could say I’m feeling all lovey dovey and maybe the Leopard Print is to throw in a hint of sexiness? HA HA! Who knows! I actually just think they are really cute with this outfit, but anywho!! Check out my V Day Look Today:

I decided to use that brilliantly bright red (Creole Tomato) from Magnolia Makeup, Spring Fling from Spectrum Cosmetics, and a deep slate color from Victoria’s Secret! Combine it with Some Victoria Secrets Sheer Cherry Gelato Lipgloss! I think the look turned out great despite the fact I’m missing my beloved Mascara! I completely forgot to put it on but oh well! It still looks great! Anywho, I won’t be celebrating Valentine’s Day today. My husband and I celebrated yesterday. He took me to the Bonefish Grill where we had the incredible Bang Bang Shrimp and two great entrees. We even exchanged gifts! I
think my gift was a hit!

J's Brigg Bowtie by Apple & Ivy

J's Lundy Bowtie by Apple & Ivy

I picked them out without ANY of his help or him even finding out! 🙂 Apple & Ivy  so graciously created them and sent them to me by V- Day! I’m so thankful and will be purchasing again from them! In return, this is what I got:

First of all, I thought, husband, why in the world are you giving me a card I can barely read for Valentine’s Day. I mean, geez, I took Spanish in College, but I wasn’t that great at it! He proceeds to tell me, it’s the greatest card ever, and he had to get it for me. Then I open my gifts, and I see Breaking Dawn Part 1. I laughed because I know he gave the movie to me because every time the commercial comes on tv my heart jumps a lil out of my chest! (LOVE that movie!) I still haven’t debated if  I’m going to return it though, because the chances of me watching it again or frequently are probably rare. I know your thinking, well if you like the movie that much, why not watch it over and over again? Why? Because that’s not me. I think I might keep it though simply because my hubby gave it to me. I just hate the idea of his money maybe going to waste? But the thought was kinda cute. Oh and I got a Nook Gift Card which is great, being that I was just thinking I needed to buy some new apps for my Nook Color.  He told me last week, that I could get a new handbag for V day if I could find one I liked, so I’m out on a mission looking for one 🙂 I then said, hey what about a new phone (because my evo shift phone is getting the best of me, and I practically hate it right now) I know, I’m pushing the button a little bit, but I mean, I NEED a working phone right? Doesn’t that classify as a need and not a want? (LOL)

Anywho, what are your plans for V day? Did you already celebrate? Are you planning to celebrate?  If not, don’t be sad. Remember, V Day is retail driven, and you really want someone who is going to show you love 365 and not just on V day. They say Valentine’s Day can be a lonely holiday for a lot of people but you just have to remember these things. Look around at all the love that surrounds you. The love from family and friends. Last but not least, when all others fail, God loves you.  I mean, he sent his son to die for you. If that’s not Love, I honestly don’t know what love is. I’m thankful he has blessed me with family and friends, but I know in my heart, that he loves me more than I can ever imagine or even hope for. That in itself, makes my heart jump out of its chest. Remember, if you don’t have that special someone yet, God is probably working on writing the greatest love story of all time, just for you. If your in a relationship that isn’t going right, and you aren’t being treated right, you have to remember that NO ONE can love you like you can LOVE yourself, or like God can love you. I know it’s easier said than done, but something to think about. With that being said, I love ya, and I thank you for allowing me to share my life with you:)

Happy Valentine’s Day Friends..

Until Next Time, Mrs. SPJ 🙂

P.S.
My Card actually translates to:

“This Valentine’s Day I want you to know exactly what I feel for you.. More than you can imagine, more than words can say… I love you”

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