Jesscbnyc Recommends: Unshattered

Last Saturday I attended the NJ Human Trafficking Summit. I attended various breakout sessions and gathered information about efforts being made in the NJ area and the US at large to fight Human Trafficking as well as to hear a few survivor’s speak about their experience.

 

One organization works directly with survivors to help assist in their healing and also gives them the ability to learn a skill, making handbags.

 

If you would like to learn more visit their website: Unshattered

 

If you would like to purchase an item from their shop: Etsy

 

If you would like more information about Human Trafficking efforts in NJ: NJ Coalition

Monday Inspiration 1.12.15

I backslid yesterday. It’s been a while since I allowed the actions of others to make me question myself and after confiding in my mom about how I was feeling I actually felt sick afterwards. I think this is why Philippians 4:8 instructs us to think good thoughts and positive things:

8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Without going into a whole bunch of detail I was reminded of something that is actually still a bit painful–which is that while I am very involved in church that I still find myself not having any “real” friends. What I mean is..it’s easy to be included on a Sunday but from Mon-Sat it’s very rare that I’ll be texted or asked to hang out. I’ve often felt a little…unwanted in church and when I was of school age–in school. To feel like you’re liked but you’re not an integral part of a group. That’s all I want to say about that so I don’t stir up bad feelings again. But most of us feel that way at one point or another–or even worse you feel that way the majority of the time.

I’ve been content over the years to just hang out with my mom, or cat, or Jesus. And while these are all good things–there’s still that “community” aspect that a lot of us are looking for. It can be difficult to feel that you are in a church, volunteering, in a Bible study, part of an extracurricular sport, whatever it is and still feel disconnected.

I think it’s important to remember that most of the time these feelings of rejection or loneliness are straight from the Devil. He wants us to feel bad and alone. If anything in those times I try to realign myself by listening to a worship album or reading the Bible or blogging about it. Ultimately if I never made another friend in the world, God can and will supply all my needs. But God is good, all the time, and sometimes you need to just accept for whatever reason you are in this season alone just you and God. Maybe He is sparing you from toxic relationships, maybe He wants you all to Himself to speak private personal things that only you need to hear on your journey with Him. It’s not a blanket statement–and we are all on unique journeys.

But I liked this quote, which I’ve heard is actually from George MacDonald not CS Lewis, because it reminds us all that we are more glorious than we think. We were “born in God’s thought and then made by God”. That is who we are. We are not defined by human praise or relationships or our past or our human weaknesses, we are defined by God and God alone. If God thought we were a good idea–then we are a good idea. If God thought we were important to bring into this time on Earth then we were.

You are a precious thing. I am a precious thing. And I’m inspired to meditate on these facts always.

Found on prettyprovidence.com

Thursday Inspiration 10.9.14

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Today was far too busy to start with a positive thought but I can end with one before bed. The Lord is with me and His words are everlasting in hope, truth and love.

Matthew 24:35-44 (MSG)

32-35 “Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner. So it is with you: When you see all these things, you’ll know he’s at the door. Don’t take this lightly. I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for all of you. This age continues until all these things take place. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out.

Thursday Inspiration 9.18.14

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I love this quote that I found online today. It reminds every one of us that we are unique. No one is quite like us. While we might have similar talents or interests or stories we are all hand crafted by God and made entirely different.

Before God created you, he decided what role he wanted you to play on earth. He planned exactly how he wanted you to serve him, and then he shaped you for those tasks. You are the way you are because you were made for a specific ministry.

The Bible says, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV). Our English word “poem” comes from this Greek word translated “workmanship.” You’re God’s handcrafted work of art. You’re not an assembly-line product, mass-produced without thought. You’re a custom designed, one-of-a-kind, original masterpiece.

God deliberately shaped and formed you to serve him in a way that makes your ministry unique. He carefully mixed the DNA recipe that created you. David praised God for this incredible personal attention to detail God gave in designing each of us: “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous” (Psalm 139:13-14 NLT).

Not only did God shape you before your birth, he planned every day of your life to support his shaping process. David continues, “Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” (Psalm 139:16 NLT).

This means nothing that happens in your life is insignificant. God uses all of it to mold you for your ministry to others and shape you for your service to him.

God never wastes anything. He would not give you abilities, interests, talents, gifts, personality, and life experiences unless he intended to use them for his glory.

-http://rickwarren.org/devotional/english/god-made-you-for-a-specific-ministry


GOD IS into wild variety. Have you ever thought about God’s creativity? Every spe­cies of plants and animals is unique. Among the countless varieties of fish, for exam­ple, he designed some with spectacular coloring, some huge, others tiny. Marlin and manta ray, swordfish, shark, eel, and anglerfish all contribute to God’s rich, colorful world of water life.

If God and Jesus, his Son, find variety and contrast appealing, and if we crave variety ourselves, then there’s no way we should expect that God would make all of us alike. And all those stereotypes we create of who is “beautiful” or who is “better” they’re a lie!

You are unique. Of the six billion people alive right now on this planet, there’s no one just like you. If there’s only one you-out of all those billions and billions of people-why would you want to be like someone else? Multitudes go through life en­vying the build, hair, talents, or abilities of other people. So start fixing your thoughts on the fact that God made you one of a kind and, as one child put it, “God don’t make no junk.”

-http://www.josh.org/after-god-made-you-he-broke-the-mold-2/


You are God’s own masterpiece. That means, you are not ordinary or average; you are one-of-a-kind original! When God created you, He went to great length to make you exactly the way He wanted you. You’re not meant to be like everyone else; God designed you the way you are for a purpose. Everything about you is unique and everything about you matters. You may feel like your life looks ordinary today, but when you understand your value-not only who you are, but also, whose you are-then you will love yourself more, and you will also love those people around you in a greater way. Realize that because you belong to Him, you are extremely valuable.

I read a story one time about a man who lived in a tiny apartment and died in extreme poverty. At one point in his life, he had even been homeless, living on the streets. This man never had any successes to speak of, nor any noted victories. He lived and died as just another face in the crowd.

After the funeral, some family members went to his little run-down apartment to clear out his belongings. They found a painting hanging on the wall, so they decided to sell it at a garage sale. The woman who bought the it from the garage sale took it to a local art gallery for an appraisal and was shocked to discover that the painting was extremely valuable. The piece of art that hung for so many years in a little run-down apartment was painted by a famous artist who lived in the early 1800s. The woman decided to auction off that painting and ended up selling it for several million dollars!

Just think how that poor man’s life might have changed if he had known the value of what he possessed. He was a multimillionaire and didn’t even know it! So many people today are living with priceless treasure inside, and they don’t even know it. Sometimes we have to explore what’s on the inside of us to really understand what we have. Don’t settle for living a mediocre existence. You are a masterpiece, created by the most famous Artist of all, but if you don’t understand your value, you’ll go on thinking, I’m just average; I’m not that talented; I’ve made so many mistakes. Don’t allow those negative thoughts to play in your memory box. Instead, every morning when you get out of bed, remind yourself, I am important. I am handpicked by God, and I am a person of extreme value and significance.

Remember, You are God’s special treasure, selected by Him and for Him. You are created in the image of Almighty God. He made you exactly the way He intended, and He equipped you with everything you need. You have the strength to stand strong in the midst of difficult situations, and the wisdom it takes to make good decisions. Understanding exactly whose you are, and how you fit-in God’s plan, creates such purpose, confidence and such identity. You are a person of destiny. You have an assignment and you are full of gifts, talents, encouragement and love. You have rich treasure inside you that people need. You have more in you that you realize, and you can accomplish more than you ever though possible. Dare to be bold and believe that you are a person of destiny because you can leave your mark on this generation. Understand you are important, and out of your importance, know that you are called to add value to the world around you. No matter where you are in life today, you have potential to increase, grow, to be strengthened, and to move forward. God created you for His good purpose, and know that beyond the shadow of a doubt, you are His masterpiece!

-http://www.victoriaosteen.com/Pages/You.aspx

So in the times where we feel like we’re not enough, uncertain of our value, feeling overlooked by others, or feeling frustrated about why we are here in the first place, we need to sternly tell ourselves that God saw a deficit in His creation and saw fit to make us to fill it. We all have our place in His plan. If He saw our value in this life, so should we.

Photo credit: http://www.hplyrikz.com/