Walking On Glass

I wanted to write this down the day I awoke from this dream but it’s been very busy for me the past month and I haven’t been able to write anything I’ve wanted to! Apologies on that.

So here we go.

I haven’t had a recognizable “God dream” in a while. But I definitely think that this was one of them.

On one Monday night in March I had a very short dream. I was walking barefoot outside and sort of..taking in my surroundings and enjoying the fresh air and scenery. I was alone but in the distance I saw a small group of people I knew and sat down on a rock. I put my one leg, or rather ankle, on top of my knee, somewhat cross-legged, and saw something shimmering on the sole of my right foot. I began to inspect and realized it was a shard of glass. I pulled it out. I realized there were lots of them, some big and small, some made me bleed, some hurt, some didn’t. And then I woke up.

I reflected on a few things in the Bible and random thoughts and this is what I came up with:

  • Feet shod with the gospel
  • Pilgrimage
  • Exodus 3 barefoot because standing on Holy Ground

 

Here are some random links Google discovered for me:

I still can’t figure out exactly what I think of it, and was waiting so long to post it, but I don’t want to wait any longer. Would be cool if you had any thoughts on it. If you do, post below!

12:00 pm Prayer: 2/15/16

Hi Jesus,

Thank you for delivering me from a weekend funeral. Thank you that you used me to comfort my extended family.

I lift up my father and my ex to you in this moment.

God I pray that in this moment you will swell their hearts. That unexpectedly they will turn their attention to you and talk to you. It might not feel like a prayer but it will cause a layer of their heart to fall down and take a small step towards you.

God they were yours before they were their parent’s, their friend’s or mine.

Show them that a life is only worth living if it as you in it.

Amen.

12:00 pm Prayer: 2/2/16

Jesus, I lift up my ex and my dad to you. They both need to return to you. I know both of them believed in you at one time, or God in general, but they need your daily presence and power in their lives.

I pray that you will overwhelm their dreams with visions of you. I pray that you will flood their hearts with your love and affection for them. I pray that they will become so hungry and thirsty for you that they reach out to friends, neighbors, co-workers, or me, to talk about you. To ask questions. To request prayer. To ask for a book or Bible that will spark a fire in their life that will never burn out. I pray that you will bless them in their work. Bless them in their lives. Bless them in their journey towards you.

May they never be the same because of the prayers I pray on their behalf.

Collect your sons Jesus.

Amen.

Jesscbnyc Announcement

Hey guys,

I’ve been keeping a secret since November and now it’s official! I will be contributing content for Horacio Printing !!!

For those of you who might now know, Horacio Printing makes awesome planners that help you organize your life. Sometimes life can deteriorate your plans and dreams and this planner is crucial to make sure that you are cultivating the calling and dreams in your life.

The good news is I will be blogging here and there so nothing is changing. Feel free to subscribe or keep an eye on on the Horacio Blog here.

horacio

 

Also the planner has been such a huge success that the 2016 version has already sold out!!! But I have some news. There will be a limited re-release of planners for those who missed out on the first run.

Simply go to this link and enter the promo code “preorder” for a 20% off savings!

xoxo,

Jess

More than a number

Today was pretty discouraging. A few of my co-workers are banding together to help one another…get this…acquire more Instagram followers.

 

Wow.

 

Haha. I almost couldn’t believe it. So often people compare their own and other people’s popularity and if you have a low following, it’s almost laughable to today’s generation.

 

I have to admit a small part of me felt small during this conversation. Whether it’s a personal page or a professional page, you can often feel like no one notices you, values what you are doing, or listens to what you have to say. But ultimately our society values a lot of things that are fleeting or unhealthy and do not reflect true value and importance.

 

Let us remember that we have access to a God who knows the number of hairs on our head and does not care about the number of likes on our latest picture.

Acts 9

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I work in NYC and last night I got a group text that I didn’t want to see. It was a warning from a friend of a friend who works at the Pentagon, telling us to stay away from the subways because they had gotten a threat that the subways were being targeted for a terrorist attack.

 

Now obviously no one wants to get that news. But as someone who has suffered from anxiety I didn’t want to hear that.

 

The cool thing about the Holy Spirit and time, is that I was not afraid. For once I was not afraid. Now granted I take medicine for anxiety. And granted I have walked a journey with God where I was in the midst of the worst bout of anxiety two years ago. But I was happy that my spirit kicked in instead of my flesh.

 

This is not to praise me. This is to praise God.

 

You see in the seasons where you are suffering you are planting seeds that you will harvest later on. Meaning I learned in a dark season what it means to pray and rely so fully and completely on God in the midst of feeling like your world and your mind and your body are falling apart.

 

But in the moment. In the group text. People were saying thanks and preparing to avoid the subways and something in me, I believe the Holy Spirit, prompted me to reply: “No weapon formed. I pray against the attack, for a change of heart. For the perpetrators to encounter Jesus instead.”

 

I typed it so fast and without thinking that after I looked at my words I was like…wow. I’ve changed.

 

It’s so easy to panic. To let the work of terrorism do it’s worst and cripple us. To make us afraid to commute or to go out in public or see a movie or a concert or go to school. But I think ultimately, we need to remember to pray. I don’t want to be killed, no one does. But as Christians we know where we are going. And that is enough. And beyond that we know we can call on the name of Jesus and pray for the atmosphere to change and for people to have a revelation of God that will alter the course they are on.

 

I was prompted this morning to look up the salvation of Saul. You can look this up for yourself in Acts 9. Here is a portion from the Message:

Acts 9 (MSG)

The Blinding of Saul

1-2 All this time Saul was breathing down the necks of the Master’s disciples, out for the kill. He went to the Chief Priest and got arrest warrants to take to the meeting places in Damascus so that if he found anyone there belonging to the Way, whether men or women, he could arrest them and bring them to Jerusalem.

3-4 He set off. When he got to the outskirts of Damascus, he was suddenly dazed by a blinding flash of light. As he fell to the ground, he heard a voice: “Saul, Saul, why are you out to get me?”

5-6 He said, “Who are you, Master?”

“I am Jesus, the One you’re hunting down. I want you to get up and enter the city. In the city you’ll be told what to do next.”

7-9 His companions stood there dumbstruck—they could hear the sound, but couldn’t see anyone—while Saul, picking himself up off the ground, found himself stone-blind. They had to take him by the hand and lead him into Damascus. He continued blind for three days. He ate nothing, drank nothing.

10 There was a disciple in Damascus by the name of Ananias. The Master spoke to him in a vision: “Ananias.”

“Yes, Master?” he answered.

11-12 “Get up and go over to Straight Avenue. Ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus. His name is Saul. He’s there praying. He has just had a dream in which he saw a man named Ananias enter the house and lay hands on him so he could see again.”

13-14 Ananias protested, “Master, you can’t be serious. Everybody’s talking about this man and the terrible things he’s been doing, his reign of terror against your people in Jerusalem! And now he’s shown up here with papers from the Chief Priest that give him license to do the same to us.”

15-16 But the Master said, “Don’t argue. Go! I have picked him as my personal representative to non-Jews and kings and Jews. And now I’m about to show him what he’s in for—the hard suffering that goes with this job.”

17-19 So Ananias went and found the house, placed his hands on blind Saul, and said, “Brother Saul, the Master sent me, the same Jesus you saw on your way here. He sent me so you could see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” No sooner were the words out of his mouth than something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes—he could see again! He got to his feet, was baptized, and sat down with them to a hearty meal.

I find this so comforting. Terrorism was in the Bible. As it said “Saul” or “ISIS” or any terrorism group was “breathing down the necks of the Master’s disciples, out for the kill.” We see this today with beheadings or the random killings of any of God’s children, Christian or not we are all God’s children. And despite his rage and history, God stopped him in his tracks and changed His life.

 

Luckily nothing happened in the city today. I worshipped the entire ride to my Hillsong music as I normally do. I refused to worry. I prayed. And I don’t think it was just me who “stopped” the terror threat. I think it is all of us, praying diligently who can change the game. Who can advocate for people who are lost and thinking that what they are doing to people in the world is appeasing God and is the right thing to do.

 

Instead of worrying I want to pray for a radical salvation within terrorist groups. I want Jesus’s name to be lifted above all.

 

As my Colour Invitation for this year says I want love to be the last great thing to shock the world.

 

I know Jesus isn’t worried about the state of things. I always want to remember that. And I want to pray for radical conversion and miracles to occur in the hearts of the people who are committing these heinous acts of terrorism.

 

Jesus can stop anyone in their tracks and set them on the right path.

 

Let’s believe for it.

Porte Ouverte

I love all the humanity and bravery that has been happening within Paris in the wake of the tragedy. I prayed a really awesome prayer the other day, that of course had to have been the Holy Spirit, because I can’t remember it.

But I remember praying that while ISIS waits for fame, Jesus will be the one to get all the glory during this time.

When I saw the Buzzfeed article about the hashtag #PorteOuverte it blew me away.

In so many ways an open door is a blessing. An opportunity to advance yourself, a leg up financially, or in this case a free place to crash.

So much of what Jesus promises has to do with safety and rest.

I think we can all understand why tourists, or residents of Paris have needed shelter and a place to feel at home.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to witness the violence first hand, but in my simple way, I know what it’s like to be overwhelmed. Or depressed. Or tired. To need a place to unwind. To need to take a nap. To need to feel safe.

John 10:9 says “I am the door. If anyone enters by me he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.”

I think what people are doing for each other in Paris is amazing. When so many outsiders would expect them to feel fear and to shut themselves off, they have reached out to strangers to welcome them home.

In the face of tragedy I am glad Paris hasn’t forgotten their humanity.

 

My Child

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Matthew 18 (MSG)

Whoever Becomes Simple Again

18 At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?”

2-5 For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.

I love the heart of my “adopted” Compassion child. Her name is Etsegenet and she is 6 years old. I send her one letter every month and I look forward to the letters I get from her.

I saw in my pile of mail yesterday that I had a new letter from her and was so excited to see what new information she had sent.

Let me tell you, man. Reading her letter cracked me up.

Last time she wrote to me she told me how she was praying for me to meet a handsome husband. PREACH child. Preach.

This time she reminded me that her family and her are both praying for my soulmate. Which is totally humbling. She lives in a village in Ethiopia and she is praying for ME. Still wild to think about.

She also surprised me by saying she is praying that one day I will have a beautiful daughter of my own. Wow. For now I am content to have her as my daughter.

She also wanted me to know she’s going to church and studying very hard and that her friends also send me their regards.

At this point I’m like “okay, my heart is full”. This little sweet girl is praying for me, and my future family, and that is more than enough.

BUT the funniest part is still to come.

If you have been following me for a while I’ve mentioned how I still struggle with my appearance. I think that’s partially just being a woman, partially because I struggled for some time with self-esteem after being cheated on, and partially because I’ve felt this way since I was a small girl. The last part is still hard for me to identify. Why have I always disliked my legs or my teeth for example. Why did this start so young? Did someone say something? You know? It’s hard to figure out.

Anyway, I don’t think I even mentioned that to my sponsored child. I’ll have to go through my online letters and see. But I literally laughed out loud, a literal LOL, when I reached the bottom of her letter.

Despite the fact that I don’t enjoy “selfies” or taking photos of myself, I’m trying to get more comfortable. And so, on occasion, I have shared from pictures of me at church with friends in my letters to my child.

Now brace yourself. If you look at the bottom of the picture I posted she said “I’ve not seen a beautiful lady like you on Earth.”

SAY WHAT?

I literally laughed. And as I’m writing this I still laugh. Because this is so funny! On one hand you can struggle with what you wish was more beautiful in yourself or how others see you and yet this cute little girl from halfway around the world is like, “hey lady, you’re the prettiest princess in all of the land.”

Am I right?

I’ve been the babysitter and nanny in my life, and let me tell you, children will tell you if you look like a mess that day. They are brutally honest. And yet this sweet girl is the apple of my eye. And for some odd reason thinks I’m the most beautiful woman in the Earth.

I share this because:

  1. It’s a funny story.
  2. I recommend adopting a child through Compassion.
  3. You can often feel like you don’t believe something about yourself but God has a funny way of using a child in the middle of nowhere around the world to bring you joy and compliments and love.
  4. God sees you and loves you and wants you to be a Matthew 18 child.

I pray that you speak love and words of life to someone in your world this week and if you are in need of that, I hope it comes to you from an unexpected place.

Closer Than You Know

The other day I was on my commute to work and I noticed some solar panels on the roof of someone’s home. I thought, does that even work in the winter?

You know what I mean?

Winter can be depressing. Trees are bare. The air is cold. It’s even harder to get out of your warm blankets in the morning. And, it seems as though the sun itself is hiding.

The winter sky looks grey. It always seems cloudy. It’s almost never bright and sunny.

Naturally, being the Google fanatic that I am, I decided to look it up. Would these panels actually get any energy at all? I was thrilled by the article I found here.

This line really caught my eye: “It’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere and we’re at our closest point to the Sun. Closest? Yes, you read that right. Closest.”

That smacked me in the face.

I’m in a good season. It might be winter in season, but in my soul it is summer.

Hallelujah for that.

I love my job, I love my church, I love some fun things that are developing in my life. But I’ve been in the “sunless” seasons too. I’ve been in winter.

This article encouraged me because it pointed to a universal fact that while it might be winter in our lives we are actually at our closest to the Son. How cool is that? I truly believe everything points to the nature of God and this was just a simple reminder of that.

As the temperatures continue to drop and winter is in full force, I hope I can remember as I look out the window that it might look cloudy and grey but the Son is still shining just as bright.

The light is closer than you know.

My Heart’s Playlist

Last week or so I was thinking about music. Like, as a teenager if I was emo I would list to sad music. If I was happy I would listen to pop music. If I was angry I would listen to rock music.

I still love certain music, but it is not my heart’s playlist. If that makes sense.

I commute about an hour to and from work on the bus and that is my time to listen to a Hillsong album. I love my church and I love their music and I can usually listen to a whole album or most of it twice a day.

I was thinking a bit about my favorite songs on the album and I thought it might be a fun exercise to look into why my Spirit is enjoying these three songs. Because the Holy Spirit lives inside of us and instructs and encourages us it might be a cool way to see what God might be talking to you about.

  1. Transfiguration
  2. Here with you
  3. Pursue

So to kick off I love Transfiguration. Taya Smith sings like how I imagine I can sing in my dreams. Like literally I sing in my dreams sometimes and I’m like wow Jesus are you going to drop this mega vocal gift on me one day or is this how you actually hear me singing with your heavenly earbuds on? Ha. Am I right?

Transfiguration is beautiful. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjeE1wzLfjI

I love the idea of a burning heart. Sometimes your heart swells and you feel warm when you are happy and worshipping and I love the way the lyrics express that. It reminds me of my journey over the past few years. So many times you can go through darkness and trial and feel like your entire existence and faith is questionable as a result. But God is more real and lovely to me than ever. I want to ever be in awe of Him. The definition if you Google “transfigured” is: transform into something more beautiful or elevated. That’s obviously in reference most obviously in God being made flesh in the person of Jesus but it also speaks to our lives and how we through Jesus are changed but changing still.

Here With You is equally beautiful. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsyBCIy-eDk

“I’ll follow you til the day You call me home” is simple, familiar and amazing. I want to be with Jesus. Some days the world is too much and I long for Heaven. This song reminds me that I was made for that and I will experience eternity with my perfect Father in Heaven. I also quite like the line “Heaven is in me”. That’s a powerful visual to remind yourself of.

Pursue is absolutely wow vocally. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNhqdKbTFp4

“Show me what I don’t know, more of You”–is a wonderful prayer. I want more of God. As I have lost things in life I have gotten even closer to God and I value that more than what I lost. I want this song to be my portion and my prayer. I want it to be my future and promise of what is to come:

Open my eyes
Let me see more of your love
More of your love
Here I will wait
Just for a glimpse of you, God
I’ll wait for you, God