Posted in discernment, eternal things, idols, random thoughts, the gospel, transformation by truth, ungodliness

Simply telling…

I subscribe to Real Simple magazine. Each month, I love getting the sleek magazine in the mail with beautiful colors and genius uses for everyday things. Filled with tips for one’s life including clothing, household tips, life articles, recipes which I never use, and decorating. I would say it is the agreed upon choice of magazine for many women.

The magazine is seemingly benign especially compared to all the other magazines I could be reading–i.e. gossip and celebrity mags (which are tempting to turn your mind away from real world stuff). Somehow, I think Real Simple and the like (watching HGTV, TLC, etc) are more dangerous for me. Why? It tells me–manage your world like this and you will be happy. I am enthralled with wonderful colors and ideas and wants (not bad in themselves).

Many times this does not add to my godliness. Ungodliness is living without thought or reverence of God. These benign things can turn my mind and heart away from the urgent to things that pass away. The desire for this becomes a cancer that devours my soul, and I forget why I am here. The road to hell is not as much sex, drugs and rock and roll as seemingly nice, moral people, taking care of their houses, building their 401Ks, raising their kids, going on yearly beach vacations, and planning for retirement with no regard that God is even there. They live with no regard that they are separated from Him by their hearts that rebel against Him worshipping other things. Things that they (we) treasure are like eating day old McDonalds when He has a feast that is fit for royalty. I can become drunk with colors and tips for my “happy life” instead of sober to the reality of the awesomeness of God and the truth of His word that so desperately needs to be shared. (At this point, you may be thinking, “she’s nuts”-that’s okay.)

I am not saying this magazine is evil or taking care of your household and family are evil–but they are not the end all. There is so much more. Anything can become evil when we turn our hearts and minds to think on hope in them and worship them before treasuring Jesus. I am called to help those around me treasure Christ more and more–sharing the Truth of the gospel to wake them from their slumber to the UNIMAGINABLE promise of life in Christ through His blood shed to take our punishment for sin. This is just a reminder that the seemingly benign can kill us with a hidden stealth if we do not examine our hearts and lives.

Posted in discipleship, God's sovereignty and goodness, grace, spiritual growth, the gospel, Uncategorized

blooming fruit

This past week I have been in Chicago with Greg and Rick and Teresa Dunn for the Gospel Coalition conference, and then I trecked over to Memphis for Tiffany and Chris Leuck’s wedding. It has been a FULL week, but it has been a blessing.
As I looked out at my backyard this morning, I noticed that growth exploded all over it–from an 8 ft poison ivy vine to new grass to old grass that is shaggy:). In one week’s time, everything has changed. What was once cold, brown and bare for months is now teeming with life and growth.

As I thought on that, I remembered the wedding this weekend. I began discipling Tiffany a little over a year and a half ago. She was extremely new in the faith not really understanding what all had happened to her. I was learning how to do this discipleship stuff, and in essence, we learned to walk together. As the last few months have passed, I have seen such wisdom and growth in Tiff. She began leading others in the fall, and is always reaching out to others. The word (the Bible) comes from her lips and is transforming her heart and relationships. Even on Easter, she was in a video which clearly articulated her testimony to the glory of God. This was your typical party girl who looked for life and meaning in everything but Jesus…dead in her transgressions. Our precious Savior, raised her to life and gave her a new heart, put his Spirit in her, gave her new eyes and ears, gave her new desires, and presented her with hope now and in eternity with Christ.

Mary Claire, Jen, Leah and Jenny
Mary Claire, Jen, Leah and Jenny

As I sat at the rehearsal dinner, I looked on Chris who had been saved from himself in Christ about a year before Tiffany. I heard their friends speak of how their relationships with Chris and Tiff–the conversations about Christ and their love had been used by the Spirit to awaken them to salvation. These were lives that had seen an about face in the last few years–I am sure it was confusing to those who had known them all their lives. The gospel was clearly proclaimed at the rehearsal dinner…I was a teary mess. I got to witness Chris’ dad speak about both of his boys who had repented and come to Christ in the last few years–we are talking miraculous, no hope situations. His parents had shown grace and prayed and trusted through some VERY dismal heartbreaking times with their sons. Of course, that led me to greater tears as I thought what joy was in his parent’s hearts as they thought about God’s faithfulness.
Now, as I think about the explosion of growth in my backyard, I think about the fruit God has brought in these lives–not just salvation but sanctification…discipleship of others, and the hope of glorification in the end with Christ forever. Sometimes in the Christian subculture you are innoculated to the desperate need for Christ. For some reason, we think it is something we have done instead of the sole work of Christ graciously bringing us to life. We forget the gospel, and we live a life of sanitized works. Yuck. Yet, there was urgency in the room with those who had come to Christ because they know the old life quite well…they delight in the opportunity to share the good news. That was the greatest gift to me this weekend–to see that.
The privilege of meeting good friends of theirs that I had heard of and maybe known to say hi was coupled with deep conversations and love in the body. I am physically exhausted this week, but I am full of joy that God has given me the privilege of walking with Tiff and Chris. May the Lord bless their ministry in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi.
I am reminded that there may be times that look dismal and dead and like the winter with no buds or growth. However, with God, nothing is impossible–that means no person is an impossibility for his grace to awaken. Months and years of pouring into someone and entrusting them to Christ when it looks like winter will one day possibly have the shoots of spring and the explosion of summer. I am sure Chris’ parents prayed and prayed and loved and spoke truth to their sons in many a winter. This is a picture of trusting God and not giving up. This is a picture of remembering his faithfulness.
Jesus said “I am the Vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5
“The One who calls us is faithful and he will do it!” 1 Thessalonians 5:24

Posted in discipleship, God's word, grace, marriage, prayer, spiritual growth, suffering in joy, the gospel, trusting God

Am I going to throw up, nope, I just have to speak in front of people.

      Last night, I had the opportunity to stand before over 300 young women and talk with them about walking with God in the midst of the curse (of sin in Genesis 3).  My heart is still beating hard as I think back on it…

      At Crossroad, our city-wide college/young adult service at Fellowship Church in Knoxville, Greg is doing a series on the curse for girls only and for guys only.  He asked me in the middle of this week to share what it is to walk faithfully in the midst of the hardness of life (marriage, etc).  At first, I panicked thinking about the deep well of emotion that I have built up by walking through some of the hardships in my life.  I have been known to boo-hoo in front of crowds while sharing, so the fear of that drove me to cautiously say…” maybe.”  However, by the end of the week, I had thought about it and stepped out to do it.  

      The last 3 1/2 years of life have definitely been the hardest but the most fruitful…and a lot of those hardships have hit from the curse of sin–struggles in marriage (which is the consequence of sin), the death of my father (illness and death in itself is the consequence of sin), job direction (toil and unfufillment–consequence of sin), and the theme of infertility (pain in childbearing, having, rearing, etc is the consequence of sin).  I had so much I could have said, and, of course, I am probably my worst critic (unless I get a scalding email today from an equally harsh critic:)).  

     Though the curse is quite evident in everyday life, the good news is the gospel is more powerful and is the ultimate reality.  The gospel reminds me that I am God’s by the blood of Christ…I am forgiven and in relationship with the creator, sustainer, redeemer, and gardener of my soul (and this world).  God is at work in my heart and my husband’s heart to make us more like Him.  The kicker with the curse is that we women want to be in charge and not wait on God or our husbands.  Greg said something last night that is so true:  “Women are much more spiritually sensitive.”  Time and time again, I talk to my girlfriends or women that I meet with, and they say “I wish my husband would step up and lead–he is so passive.”  We all begin to make assumptions about the hearts of men around us, and then we begin to trust ourselves instead of God.  We think, “well, since nobody else is standing up to lead, I guess I will.  I mean, am I the only one astute enough to get it done?”  This feeds into the curse–we want to devour or rule over our husbands and ignore God’s ways.  The truth of the matter is that we want what we want and do not trust God.  The truth of the matter is that we forget the very heart and grace of God toward us through the life, death and resurrection of Christ.

      A few practices I have learned in trusting God in the midst of living under the curse:

1)  His word changes my heart.  Being in His word–memorizing, reading, studying, meditating, turns my heart away from worshipping myself and my comfort to look into His life changing grace.  There are days when I want to tell Greg off or burrow in self-pity at whatever frustration or situation that I am in, and then, truth hits me in the heart and I am changed.  We cannot survive without His life-changing truth–and we certainly cannot grow without it!

2)  Prayer is essential.  I have learned that I do not change situations or hearts.  I used to think a poignant speech or manipulative actions would bring about change in someone, but that is not true.  The only changer of hearts is the Holy Spirit.  Also, it is tempting to pray merely for things for Greg or others that would change their actions or hearts to bring me comfort.  I think what that is termed is manipulation of God.  I’m pretty sure that is despicable.  The Spirit is always teaching me and correcting me to pray for the hearts of others–that they may repent and cling to Jesus, that they may stop striving by running after other things and trust God fully and know Him fully.  The reality is when others are changed in that way, I may not get my “way,” but the ultimate good and the ultimate fulfillment comes.   I also pray that I find everything in Jesus–resting in Him, trusting Him and being transformed by Him (1 Thessalonians 4:3–His will is for us to become more like Him–and He rested, trusted, loved and worshipped God with everything–John 15).   When I deal with people that I disciple or counsel, this is essential–prayer for their hearts and God’s work in them.  Otherwise, I am wasting my time and theirs.

3)  Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing.  There are times in my life that I just cannot keep my mouth shut.  I think I can solve things by telling people what to do.  I think, again, that I can manipulate.  And, I probably like the sound of my own voice:).  I have learned that even though I may be right that my motives may be far from right.  My heart may long to be served and worshipped by that other person (many times Greg) instead of bringing God love and glory.  There are definite times to push in and talk about issues, but more often than not, I need to drop to my knees and relinquish control to the One who is in control.

4)  Act in the Grace of the Gospel.  In remembering daily who I am in Christ, how can I hold things against Greg or others.  His grace toward me is unmerited favor, and His Spirit resides in me with power to walk in righteousness.  When I rest in that fact and see my own sin toward God and his abundant grace, I look at others differently.  Their offense towards me does not seem so monumental.  The fact that Greg ignored my needs or hurt my feelings or the fact that life seems overwhelmingly unfair, seems to fade in the light of the gospel.  In the truth of the gospel and the power of the Spirit, I learn to die to self and love others in grace and forgiveness.  This short paragraph makes it seems so neat and tied with a bow–but there is wrestling in my heart in this.  This is a choice that I have to make at every offense, and it is a choice that I ignore at times.

5)  Surround yourself with friends who sharpen and be a friend who sharpens.  We can all find friends who complain and who do not share truth, but look for the jewel and be the jewel that sharpens others toward the gospel, love and good deeds.

6)  Perservere!  Do not just fill up with these steps once…we need this daily!  Let not the things of this earth ever sway me–I’ll run til I finish the race by the grace of Jesus Christ.

Posted in discipleship, grace, New year, prayer, spiritual growth, the gospel, transformation by truth

I’m back…

     Well, I am not back in the exact frame of mind I was hoping for.  When I took the “break” for December I imagined coming back invigorated and refreshed to hit the ground running in 2009.  Funny how the best laid plans come up short.  I had slated a break from all things WDC for December, but because of some things with my lawyer, that did not happen.  I did give my brain a rest from study specifically for WDC for a few weeks, and we did have a good week in Texas with Greg’s family.  I tried to relax last week.  This past month has been challenging in a few ways with the consequence being loss of sleep.  For a stretch of days, I saw many more infomercials than I ever cared to see:).   (I am strangely drawn to the Sham-wow, for those of you who have seen that one.)

       As I was praying this morning, I was reminded that in literally EVERY area of my life, I desperately need to rely on and remain in God.  I know God is sovereign over all things…including my last month.  He has taught me and disciplined me with his love in the midst of sadness, frustration, bad moods, joys, traffic jams, consumerism, laughter, laziness, worry, and glory in his birth and death and resurrection.  I have to relearn his glorious gospel of grace everyday.  I also have to relearn that He is gracious on a scale that I cannot comprehend.  Always, I come to Him trying to make it up to him…pay penance or something, and always, I am reminded that he does not work that way because of the blood of Jesus Christ.  So, I start this day as I start this year…weak, needy, frustrated, and desperately seeking my Father.  Though painful at times, this is the best place to be.  For when I feel on top of things, I inevitably forget the very One for which I am made and redeemed to bring glory.  

      On a much lighter note, I have made one New Year’s resolution:  making my bed everyday.  I know that fits in with the developmental scale for a 3rd grader, but I missed that goal a long time ago.  I have done it 5 for 5, and I am proud.

Posted in infertility, Rheumatoid Arthritis, spiritual growth, the gospel, trusting God, Women's Discipleship Concepts

Top 5 Most Impactful Things of 2008

This has been an interesting year to say the least…lots of unexpecteds–some good, some hard, all purposed.  

1.  The truth and the focus of the gospel EVERYDAY as our hope and purpose.  This has been the greatest theme of the year through readings, sermons, conversations, ministry, etc.  My life continues to be transformed daily as I learn to preach the gospel to myself daily instead of thinking God has saved me and now I have to prove myself to him.  It is all by the grace of his gospel–the righteous life and death of Christ and the forgiveness and freedom that I LIVE in in him.  His cross and the truth of God’s word have been elevated as I am learning to fall on his mercies everyday.  Worship has been more rich and hope continues to be fresh as he is glorified mightily.

2.  Greg’s diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis in March.  Who knew that in our 30’s we would be given a diagnosis that is life-long, life changing, and challenging?  The rest of this year has been filled with learning to pace life, draw boundaries,love in new ways, and readjust our expectations.  We have seen God’s provision and faithfulness so much in the midst of this (from medicine to strength to communication to emotional strength and spiritual rest), and we know that he continues to be faithful.  Forever Greg will make the joke that he has the “woman’s disease.”  You cannot get through hard times with Greg without a joke.

3.   Jen’s starting a non-profit ministry–Women’s Discipleship Concepts.   God is always stretching and growing us, and this is definitely that.   The whole start-up has been a faith journey that was unexpected, and it continues.  Again, God has shown his faithfulness in bringing a board, finances, legal help, women with hearts for growing, learning and serving, and  opportunities for service.  What  I looked at and thought was impossible is growing to fruition.

4.  Dealing with fertility issues.  Millions of couples deal with some issue of fertility in life.  The most common question that we get asked (or rather is asked about us) right now is about children.  “Why don’t you/they  have any?”  “Are they selfish or having issues?” I have always kind of been different, but it is kind of weird for everyone around us our age (33, 38) to have started or completed their families.  We, as humans, naturally identify with people in similar circumstances or situations in life, so having no children is something that tends to isolate you from peers naturally.  Because of the medicine Greg had to take at first, we were told that it might be impossible to try to conceive (we had been trying prior).  A few months into treatment, the medicine was changed and miraculously God provided a very expensive medicine for a year.  We then went to the infertility specialist to try to conceive during the window of time we were provided with this medicine.  In the midst, we found out that I have some fertility issues.  So, we continue to be on a faith journey.  All of life is for our molding to be more like Christ (sanctification), and I am learning to trust God in the disappointment of the moment and in the temptation to compare to others.  He is good, and I am reminded (when in the truth) that this is all in his love for our good.  Our hope is found in him and not children or perfect health or circumstance.

5.  The sickness and death of my college friend, Daniel Smith.  In April, I heard that one of my favorite people from college (and let’s face it–life), was diagnosed with cancer.  In the course of the summer, through  communication over the internet on his blog, facebook, and email, we reconnected in his journey of this horrible disease.  At the end of October, Daniel was healed as he entered the courts of his Eternal Father.  The depth of emotion and thought and prayer that went through all those months for him, his family, his dear friends, aquaintances, and even strangers on the internet cannot be calculated.  He recorded his thoughts, praise and encouragement to all through his blog, and it continues to bless people and point them toward Jesus.  To say that all of his life was impactful might be an understatement.  Please pray for his family and friends in this holiday season.

(Bonus # 6 for Greg—the shafting of the Longhorns:))

Posted in discipline, spiritual growth, thankfulness, the gospel, trusting God

The practice of thanksgiving

       Here we are again, Thanksgiving week.  And, here I am again, a little bitter that the consumerism of Christmas is overshadowing the reflection work that is needed in our hearts as we learn to practice thankfulness.  

       My dream this year?  To sit with those I love and reflect out loud on myriad things in which we are thankful.  To talk about the things of the heart and the things of life that really matter.  

       Last week I got the opportunity to share holiday memories and traditions with our women’s ministry.  I reflected and shared about worshipping as a family on Christmas Eve.  Christmas music and times with family always bring me back to missing my dad and celebrating the many rich memories we had together.  So, of course, in true Jen fashion, I cried from the beginning.  Never fails–add a big group of people and sharing, and I lose it.  

      I took pleasure in hearing the other pastor’s wives and ministry leaders share their traditions and memories.  In fact, there were several that I would like to put into practice in our family–many of which had to do with the act of thanksgiving.  Many shared that they sat around the table and shared what they were thankful for from the past year.  I have made place cards in the past telling those there what I appreciate and am thankful for about them.  The idea that stuck with me was a thanksgiving jar.  This family has a jar in their home where they place sentences of thankfulness throughout the year.  As God works, they write it down.  They, then, dump the jar on the table after their Thanksgiving meal and one by one read what God has done and praise him for it.  We are all so quick to forget his faithfulness.  I loved this idea.  What I also loved about this is that it is about sharing the heart, but it may be less intimidating for an introverted person to read out a slip of paper than have pressure to share from their memory or something “profound.”

     We are commanded in scripture to give thanks in all circumstances–to rejoice and be thankful.  This is a conscious decision and practice.  Thankfulness breeds joy and encouragement.  It forces our eyes upward to God instead of on ourselves in self-worship (even if that self-worship involves negativity and feeling overcome with circumstances).  So, I choose to share what I am thankful for in this year, and I invited you to share as well…Not necessarily in order.

  • First and foremost, I am thankful that God has taught me so much about beholding and living in the truth of the Gospel daily–That I am declared righteous in Christ because of his perfectly obedient life and death that bore the wrath for my sins…That I am set free from the bondage of sin to walk with him and in him and that I can obey him…That God has no more wrath for me–only the love and direction of a Father.
  • I am thankful for His grace toward me daily. I do not live in religion and a set of rules but in his gracious work and character! ( and a reminder so faithfully to share that with others)
  • The gift of my husband, Greg…that God is making us more like Christ in the pleasurable times together and in the hard.  That we can laugh together and be silly.
  • Family and friends that are in relationship with Christ spurring me on toward love and good deeds and showing me the grace of Christ when I fall flat on my face.
  • Dear old friends that knew me when and know me now and ask the hard questions…Cindy and Amber.  The fact that we semi-regularly get together and regularly chat on the phone.
  • My “mentor” friend, Beth, who listens and helps from recycling to issues of infertility.  God is so gracious to put people in our lives who understand the heart and function of things at just the right time.  I am thankful that she is there now and has been there.
  • I am thankful that God has stretched me and is stretching me to “do hard things” like form a non-profit, Women’s Discipleship Concepts,  providing a board, and people who are praying and giving, and new friends to minister with and to.  Hard work and faith and hard work and trust–he is faithful.
  • I am thankful for the small group that God had us in for 7 1/2 years…and the friendships that have come out of that even when though the group has ended.
  • I am thankful for the opportunity to minister and be ministered to as a small group leader for 5 years to a group of young women whom I miss meeting with weekly.  I thank God that he is faithful in their lives and is growing them.
  • I am thankful for my dog, Bailey, whose presence teaches me to care beyond myself and whose warm snuggles are a joy.  I am thankful that her presence is there even when she makes my backyard look like a nuclear bomb has gone off…Even more special, we got her on my dad’s birthday 2 years ago.  I know he would have gotten a lot of joy from playing with her.
  • I am thankful for Melba, my mentor, who ministers such love, grace, truth and encouragement to me.  I am thankful that she faithfully points me to God’s word.
  • I am thankful for a warm bed to sleep in and a warm home to open to share with others.  I am ashamed when I compare to others and think I have less–because we are richly provided with all we need.
  • I am immensely thankful for our church body, Fellowship Church.  I am thankful for the heart of the elders and pastors and the body which seek to honor Christ and hold tightly to his gospel and nothing else!  I am thankful that my husband has a boss there that ministers to him and encourages him.  
  • I am thankful for deep questions to ask of myself and others—and I am thankful for dry answers from myself and others which continue to teach me that I need Christ every moment!
  • I am thankful for the opportunity to work with college students and young adults–the life and energy and challenge they provide.
  • I am thankful for all my nieces and nephews and how different and uniquely special they all are–in order of Age-youngest to oldest…Kale, Hunter, Joel, Sarah, Stephen, Andrew and Brittany.  (From 3 months to 22 years!)  I cannot wait to meet little Kale at Christmas.  I could not imagine at 11 years old, when Brittany was born, how much these precious ones would be a part of my life.  
  • I am thankful that I get to stand with Brittany and have the honor of being her Matron of Honor next May as she marries Ben.
  • I am thankful for God’s provision of timing and a doctor to help diagnose and treat Greg this year as this is the beginning of our battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  God has been faithful to provide from doctor to medicine to energy…to joy in the midst of hardship.
  • I am thankful for a mother who has wisdom to support in very special ways and not put pressure–I think about dating and marriage and now looking toward children.  She never pushes or puts pressure in those areas.  I only hope I can be wise in those things with others.
  • I am thankful that God is the one in charge of bringing life into our family…I echo my trust in him.
  • I am thankful for new friends this year…
  • I am thankful for music.
  • I am thankful for the opportunity to exercise.
  • I am thankful for the talent of painting and art and creativity.  It is a way to enjoy life fully.
  • I am thankful for times of quiet–at my sister’s lakehouse, in the hammock, in the bathtub, driving in silence, hiking, at my aunt’s beach house…
  • I am thankful for the diversity of all our family.
  • I am thankful that God is Sovereign…a beautiful comfort for a worrier like me.  I am thankful he is teaching me to rest in his sovereignty in all things…salvation, finances, marriage, children, future, friendships, etc.
  • I am thankful for the things that are yet to come in this year as we celebrate together Thursday and beyond.
Posted in eternal things, spiritual growth, the gospel, transformation by truth, trusting God

Lost in Life

    So, it has been awhile since I have written a post.  This last week and a half has been filled with struggles, thoughts, joys, exhaustion, friends, ministry, etc, etc.  

      Daniel’s funeral was very sobering for me.  It was surreal to see so many friends from college in such a hard setting.  We all loved Daniel, and many had the opportunity to do life with him in Nashville over these past years after college.   We celebrated his life and the hope of the gospel together.  Please continue to pray for his family and dear friends–pray that in the pain and rawness of loss that they cling to their hope, Christ.  

     Human emotions and processing are crazy.  At the funeral I was pretty calm and did not express much emotion, but the day after, I was numb and overcome at the same time.  That grief was also a catalyst for the other stressors and sadness in my life.  I hit a wall for several days, and I did not have words to post.  Sometimes I realize the craziness of the last eight months of life–Greg’s diagnosis of RA (learning to love him, care for him and cope with a different trajectory), starting a non-profit ministry (all the continued leading, fundraising, writing, meetings), struggling with getting pregnant, and trying to balance loving those well in my life, etc.  Many times, I do not have time to think about the realities of all of these things, but at times I see myself emotionally drained when I am running without fuel at times.  These are small things on the whole of what people deal with in life, but I have been rendered tired and ineffective for a few days.  

      Yet I am reminded of God’s sovereignty in all of these things…all of them are to bring good–making me more like Christ and knowing him more.   All of them are bigger than my comfort.  It is so easy to look to the left and right and compare with others instead of trusting God.  EVERYDAY I must bring my mind and heart under his truth–being transformed by the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2).  Otherwise, I live for much less than I was created and redeemed to live.  I trash the treasure that life in Christ is–and I have to be reminded that he died for my forgetting, for my treasuring other things over him.  He is SO good.  The fact he gives me life and relationship to call him Father is more than I can grasp, and I hate that I so easily forget the beauty of him while worshipping myself as the center of this universe.

    Around Daniel’s funeral, a thought was in my heart.  Daniel never married or had children…he was 34 years old when he died.  Yet, he touched so many people and left such a legacy.  I was thinking that he left a legacy that counted for the kingdom.  I will go out on a limb and say a greater legacy than having children.  He had many spiritual children.  Many people go through life about themselves–building their own kingdom.  I frame this by saying that there are believers that have children and spiritual children at the same time–some one in the same and some not.  The thoughts resonating in my head are to live life well for the gospel–sharing it, cultivating it in people’s lives, loving others in the truth of the gospel, investing well in others for the sake of the gospel.  God’s economy is so distinct from the economy of this world.  This world says marry, have children, climb the corporate ladder, live for status and comfort.  God’s economy rescues us from these lesser treasures to know Him, to live life treasuring Him, and to make Him known.  His mercy and love are greater treasures than we can comprehend.  I believe Daniel got that and shared it.  May my life be about the greatest treasures and not getting tripped up for the momentary “treasures” of this earth (Matthew 6).

   To add a random things to catch up…Women’s Discipleship Concepts first fundraiser is this weekend.  It is a baby-sitting fundraiser where young adults are volunteering their time to baby-sit for families who will then donate the baby-sitting fee to WDC.  Please pray.  Doing something for the first time is always a challenge!  I also got the privilege of being with my niece Saturday as she chose her wedding dress.  I am happy to be serving as her Matron of Honor in May.  That is exciting!  Oh yeah…and I hope that you take the opportunity to vote–it is a privilege.