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

A Thursday Reminder

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Photo: https://proverbsmomma.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/what-does-the-bible-say-about-me-2/

Happy Thursday everyone. I wanted to share this picture because it is awesome to remember in the midst of what the world calls us, we can hold on to the truth of what God calls us.

I hope this blesses you. Which one are you reminding yourself of today?

This is mine:

Proverbs 8:35-36 (MSG)

32-36 “So, my dear friends, listen carefully;
    those who embrace these my ways are most blessed.
Mark a life of discipline and live wisely;
    don’t squander your precious life.
Blessed the man, blessed the woman, who listens to me,
    awake and ready for me each morning,
    alert and responsive as I start my day’s work.
When you find me, you find life, real life,
    to say nothing of God’s good pleasure.
But if you wrong me, you damage your very soul;
    when you reject me, you’re flirting with death.”

Growth

Photo credit: bohemianitkupilli.blogspot.com

Isaiah 53:5 (MSG)

2-6 The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
    a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
    nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
    a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
    We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
    our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
    that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
    that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
    Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
    We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
    on him, on him.

I love this quote. I often feel a little…out of place. Kind of stuck in that perpetual feeling of puberty where you just feel a mess. It’s like that age where you don’t know what to do with your hair because it’s greasy now, and your feet are bigger than the rest of your body, and you haven’t learned what styles of clothes actually flatter your body. Right? Well that feeling, exists. I’m 27 years old and that feeling exists. And I think as awful as it can feel at times, it’s part of being a Christian. We are continually being made new and learning to be more and more like Christ and less and less like ourselves. God has placed unique purpose and dreams within us and as we grow up in the faith it is normal to feel like they are too large, or we can also feel like we don’t know what they are and as a result feel loss in a sea of possible callings or purposes. It’s important to remember this is not a fast growth spurt. We will spend our entire lives learning. And I bet it won’t end here. I bet we’ll still be learning and growing in eternity.

I like this Bible verse because it reminds us that Jesus was the same way. The verse reminds us that he was “a scrawny seedling” and “a scrubby plant in a parched field.” The Merriam Webster dictionary refers to scrubby as “small and not growing well” and “inferior in size and quality”. God Himself in human form was referred to this way. It also goes on to say “there was nothing attractive about him”. I don’t know about you but I have felt all of these things. In fact I’m feeling these things today as I post this. I feel “inferior” “not growing well” and especially “nothing attractive”. But the great thing is even though Jesus Himself was thought to be all of these negative things, the truth is that He was so much more.

I encourage you that no matter how you are feeling, Christ felt it, but ultimately we know who we are. And if we don’t know who we are we need to remind ourselves who Christ makes us and who God thinks we are. Not what others see.

Tuesday Inspiration 2.3.15

1 John 2:15-17 (MSG)

15-17 Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.

Progress is important no matter how small you might feel like your steps are. This could be going on social media less to be able to read the Bible more, this could be talking to a new guy or girl at church that you are interested in getting to know even though your past experiences have made you feel unworthy, this could be applying for new jobs because you know you were created for more, really anything. I like this verse because it reminds us that it’s human nature to want lots of worldly things, but we should always strive to want what God wants and to see ourselves and life the way He does. We shouldn’t only desire what the world wants if we claim to be new creations in Christ. It’s a journey so it’ll take one step at a time, but it should still be a progression in the proper direction. Meaning, if the world wants you to be a swindler in order to gain success you shouldn’t pursue that at the expense of your integreity. God wants us to be successes but ultimately we get our success from who He is, not who we are. God is good and generous and He wants good things for His children:

Matthew 7-11 MSG “Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?

God wants us to have good relationships with Godly people and be kind and generous to those who don’t know Him. He also wants us to see ourselves the way that He sees us and not live in fear of how we have been treated in the past by people. We should also desire to live out the purposes He designed us for–whether we think we are capable of them or not.

Romans 8:15-17 MSG This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!

In short God wants us to live a step-by-step life alongside Him. He is our Father and He wants us to be His children–dependent on Him and under His protection and favor. We don’t need to be concerned with what the world thinks of us or who it says we are. We only need to keep pace alongside God.

Found on ahouseinthehills.com

Wednesday Inspiration 1.14.15

Psalm 111:1-10 MSG

Hallelujah! I give thanks to God with everything I’ve got— Wherever good people gather, and in the congregation. God’s works are so great, worth A lifetime of study—endless enjoyment! Splendor and beauty mark his craft; His generosity never gives out. His miracles are his memorial— This God of Grace, this God of Love. He gave food to those who fear him, He remembered to keep his ancient promise. He proved to his people that he could do what he said: Hand them the nations on a platter—a gift! He manufactures truth and justice; All his products are guaranteed to last— Never out-of-date, never obsolete, rust-proof. All that he makes and does is honest and true: He paid the ransom for his people, He ordered his Covenant kept forever. He’s so personal and holy, worthy of our respect. The good life begins in the fear of God— Do that and you’ll know the blessing of God. His Hallelujah lasts forever!

Today is a simple post–God is worthy to be praised and respected. He is a personal God, a truthful God, a faithful God. Let us worship and adore Him today for His goodness and grace.

Found on becourageousdearheart.tumblr.com