Wednesday, July 8, 2015

God's Promises

Last week, one of the members of my church stopped and took this picture.



It hasn’t been altered at all! No photoshop. Nothing.

It made me wonder—is God trying to tell us something? I mean, it's right over our church building! Rather than allow my imagination to take over or to assume I remembered exactly what God had already said, I went back to His Word.

“And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.’” – Genesis 9:12-16 

God sees His rainbow and remembers us! I love the thought of being on God's mind. I love that I have a God who would bother to make promises to us at all. He doesn't need to. It's all for our benefit, not His. And due to the nature of who He is, He can’t lie or break a promise. Paul said this: 

“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began;” – Titus 1:1-2 

God keeps His promises.

Did you know the Bible is full of promises He’s made with us? Here’s one for those who haven’t been saved:

“Peter replied, ‘Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.’” – Acts 2:38-39

And there are many more for believers:

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19

“And because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share His divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” – 2 Peter 1:4

Did you know the Bible is full of promises to you? When is the last time you studied God’s word to know what He’s promised you? I challenge you to find out what His promises are. Don't make the mistake of turning away from God because He failed to follow through with something He never promised. Find out what He has promised. Then claim them. Stand on those promises! It's so powerful. As it states in my favorite verse in the hymn:

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God. 

I'm going to stand on His promises. And when I see a rainbow in the sky, I will know that God is thinking of us, remembering His promise to us. And I’ll remember that I have an awesome Father who loves us enough to make so many amazing promises to us … and keep them.

His servant,

J.F. Rogers

Monday, June 29, 2015

War Room


If you read my last blog, Don't Hang Up, you know God has been working on me to pray more. Since then, I've joined a Mom's In Prayer Group and I'm looking to start a group with moms in my community. My prayer life seemed pretty solid, right? I thought so.

Then I saw War Room.

Despite the seeming perfection of Elizabeth's life, she is struggling. Her family is beginning to unravel. She nearly allows her bitterness to take root, furthering the destruction. Then she meets Miss Clara. Desperate, she caves and follows Miss Clara's lead. She converts her closet into a war room to strategically pray for her family, then sit back and trust God to fight the battles for her.

The results, though not entirely unrealistic, were fiction. It's not easy to cast your cares on God, or to pray in a way that builds a relationship with Him rather than simply reciting a list of demands. Nor is it easy to take time out of crazy schedules.

But we must.

War Room illustrates just how God can show up when you give him your resentments, forgive those who've hurt you, confess your sin, dig into God's word, and develop a prayer strategy. If that's seems like too much or if any part of that is difficult, ask Him to help you. Then sit back. Trust and wait for God to act. Big things will happen in ways you wouldn't expect. Hearts are transformed. Lives are changed. It's a ripple effect ... starting with one, sweeping through the family, then out into the community. Imagine how different things could be!

I was so inspired, I transformed my own closet. I couldn't empty it entirely, but it does the trick. My prayers for my family, friends, and church are written and taped to the wall along with scriptures of praise, pictures or mementos from people going on mission trips and the child we sponsor. I try to make time every day to spend with God in earnest prayer. He's already answered some. I look forward to seeing how He responds to others. I know He will. Here's why:

"If you abide in me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." -John 15:7

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." -Philippians 4:6

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." -Mark 11:24

"But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." -Matthew 6:6

"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known." -Jeremiah 33:3

War Room hits theaters August 28th. Go. Invite others. Let it inspire and motivate you to deepen your prayer life, and perhaps build a war room. I pray God will bring revival, starting with individuals, then the family and beyond through War Room.

His servant,

J.F. Rogers





Saturday, April 25, 2015

Don't Hang Up

The other day, when I was driving to work, I went to turn on my ipod to listen to music. Just before I hit play, I heard, “Talk to me.” When I say I heard, I didn’t really hear the words audibly. Still, the message was received. I put the iPod away.
I wasn’t entirely sure what to talk about. My heart had been heavy with so much going on lately. My head was swimming with sensory overload. But one by one I began unpacking the clutter in my mind and my heart. After getting these things off my chest to the One Person I should be discussing them with, I felt much better. Then I wrapped it up. The moment I was about to say Amen I stopped.
To me … that was like hanging up.
I couldn’t hang up. It’s like saying, “Well, it was nice talking with you, but I’m going now. See you later.” But He’s still there. But am I really still there if I dismiss Him like that? Do I dismiss my family members as we come and go through the house? Why should I do that with God? I not only want Him to be there, I want to feel His presence. I don’t want to disconnect from that.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
How are we to pray without ceasing if we hang up?
So I didn’t hang up. Instead, I told Him I loved Him and felt the comfort of His presence knowing He was still there. He’s always there. But this time I was too. I hadn’t hung up.
Does this resonate with you? I encourage you to talk to God … and don’t hang up.
His servant,

~Jenn

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Book Review: Vanquished

Vanquished, reminiscent of The Giver by Lois Lowery, takes place in a seemingly perfect futuristic society where people are separated into three classes: the Greaters, the Middles, and the Lessers. But is it perfect? The three classes live in different communities. If a citizen of a higher status steps out of line, the government will pull them from their family, demote them to a Lesser status, and move them to a Lesser city—never to be seen again.
Hana is a solid Middle citizen with dreams of working for the government to help the Lessers. But her mother is deathly ill due to a mutation. Hana discovers that there is medicine that can help, but it is reserved for the Greaters. With her mother dying and Hana powerless to help her, she learns through Fischer that there is an even Greater power.
Bibles have been banned for so long that Hannah has no idea what one is. She’s never heard of God. Religion is outlawed. In her desperation to learn more about God and save her mother, Hana puts her future, and her friends, at risk of being demoted to Lesser status.
Vanquished was such a treat—a clean, compelling story set in a fascinating environment with the Gospel perfectly interwoven. The author cleverly illustrates that the word of God can’t be squelched, even under government threat.
The only complaint I have about Vanquished was the ending. The storyline wasn’t tied up in a nice little bow. Rather, it ended with a hook. So be warned—if you get as into Vanquished as I did, you’ll want the sequel on hand.

His servant,
~Jenn

More about the author:

KATIE CLARK writes young adult speculative fiction, including her dystopian Enslaved Series, made up of Vanquished, Deliverance, and Redeemer. You can connect with her at her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Do You Believe?



http://doyoubelieve.com/

A year ago, Pure Flix Entertainment came out with the movie, God’s Not Dead. The way that movie came to the local theater and shocked them with unexpected ticket sales was amazing. Check out my blog about it here.

It looks like Pure Flix is about to do it again with their newest movie, Do You Believe. This time, I wanted to see what we could do to help get it into more theaters. Due to some unusual circumstances, I happened to get connected with an Executive Producer for Pure Flix. So I contacted him and asked what we could do. He invited me to attend a prescreening of the film.
 

What a powerful movie.
 

Do You Believe centers around twelve people. Their lives are interconnected in a way that only God could possibly see. A preacher’s belief in the power of the cross is rekindled and he brings that fire into a sermon. The flames spread to some of those in his congregation, then out into the community. Do You Believe beautifully illustrates how God, the Master planner and multi-tasker, orchestrates events in our lives to reveal Himself and draw us to Him. He gives us opportunities to make the right choice. He loves us. He never gives up on us. None of us are too far for Him to reach.

A few things I absolutely loved about the movie:

  • Do You Believe shows the reality of our messed up lives. Even in the midst of that mess, God can transform us when we accept His offer. But that doesn’t change the circumstances. The messes we’ve made still exist. This is still a messed up world. Although circumstances sometimes miraculously improve, they typically don’t. What changes is our hearts and how we react.
  • Do You Believe illustrates child-like faith through one little girl … an amazing little actress.
  • Do You Believe shows us what sacrificial love looks like.
  • Do You Believe reveals how people can wind up in certain situations, reminding us that we can't judge people. We don't know how they got where they are. We're simply called to love everyone despite who or where they are.
  • Do You Believe demonstrates that, if we’re following God’s will, our pain isn’t wasted. He uses it to help others in pain. We need one another. We are not islands unto ourselves.
  • Do You Believe sparks thoughts and conversation. My family couldn’t help but talk about all that we’d just seen. The movie is so packed with nuggets of truth, and it’s so emotional, that it takes some conversation to process it all. I need to see it again to absorb the events I could barely register because I was still trying to absorb something I’d seen a moment earlier.
I absolutely loved God’s Not Dead and didn’t think Pure Flix could top it. But I don’t know … its close.
 

Do You Believe opens in theaters on March 20th. Prayerfully consider getting your church involved. Prayerfully consider inviting someone who doesn’t know God … or someone who may need to deepen their faith. Ask that He would show you who to invite, that He would prepare their heart to accept the invitation and be moved by the message. I pray that Do You Believe will further God’s Kingdom by bringing more lost souls to Him, by helping some get off the fence, and by encouraging others to do more for Him.
 

Last year I blogged about watching God show up on the back end. This year, I hope more people will see Him move in advance. I’m so sure about the message in this movie that I believe God is going to show up once again and I can’t wait to see Him at work. I believe. The question is … do you?

His servant,
~Jenn


What to learn more about Pure Flix? Visit their website: pureflix.com

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Kayndo by Terri Luckey



Kayndo transported me into a post-apocalyptic world in which animals can communicate with humans. To avoid the destruction humankind had caused in the past, the future generations of those who survived form a bond with an animal. Together they work to protect the Vita. But each person can only communicate with one animal. That is, everyone except the Kayndo.
The Kayndo is called whenever the Vita is threatened. And, since the Prince who will rule doesn’t seem particularly loyal to the Vita, it may be time for the next Kayndo to rise.
Dayvee is training to be a Calupi. As the pack-leader’s son, there are some who seek to destroy him. Dayvee willingly subjects himself the wrath of Nero to protect those he loves. In his struggles to survive, Dayvee finds he has the ability to speak with more animals than the wolf he’s training for the Prince. It looks like Kun (God) is preparing the next Kayndo.
If you’re seeking a clean, other-worldly adventure with a Native American feel, run with Kayndo.

His servant,
~Jenn


About the Author:
My writing experience includes working for newspapers, radio, and television as a reporter, commercial script writer, in promotions, and editing. I currently reside in Illinois with my husband and our border collie, who loves to play soccer and Frisbee. I've lived in several other states including Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, Florida, and Arizona. Wherever I go, I love to take a good book. My favorite stories are those that allow me to escape reality into a beloved world of fantasy. My driving passion is to give my readers that same enjoyment.

Learn more about Kayndo and Terri Luckey here
Pick up a copy of Kayndo here