- When was the last time you wrestled with God about whether you are fulfilling your purpose or correctly hearing His call? Perhaps you’re making it too complicated when God has actually put a wide open door right in front of you.
- Do you ever look around at what others are doing and feel guilty or envious? Consider that God doesn’t want you to experience pressure. He wants to give you joy in knowing He has appointed you for something unique and He wants you to experience the kind of spiritual rest that comes from simply embracing the doors He is opening right in front of you every day.
- Is this the time of year when you will begin wondering about how to invest yourself in 2017? We’re praying for you to have eyes to see and ears to hear when new doors open.
- What obstacles or opponents are you facing that may be tempting you to change directions when, in fact, God wants you to run straight ahead and trust Him to do a great work despite those challenges? If there is repentance to be done, do it. If there is forgiveness to be offered or reconciliation to be sought, extend it and seek it (whether it is received or not). To what extent might the very things that are challenging you right now (e.g., health crisis, stretched finances, strained relationships, job dissatisfaction) are actually part of what God is using to make your effectiveness more significant?
- Does this Thanksgiving and Christmas season bring any “open doors” to your mind? What opportunities may be right in front of you where your involvement could produce a great effect?
Parenting Special SiblingsThis interactive session opens a dialogue about the challenges, disappointments, advantages and opportunities of being a sibling in a family affected by disability. It is led by Lisa Jamieson, the mother of three adult children and author of Finding Glory in the Thorns. Lisa is joined by her adult daughters Alex and Erin who share candid perspectives about growing up with a sibling who has Angelman Syndrome which involves chronic health issues and severe developmental disabilities. Discussion topics will include sibling conflict, balancing attention, grief processing, dealing with social stigmas and misunderstanding, family vacations and managing stress. Participants will leave encouraged with basic principles and numerous practical ideas about how to enjoy more victories and deeper graces despite the reality of weaknesses in every family.Presenters: Lisa Jamieson, Erin Jamieson, Alex Jamieson
Theme Verse: 2 CORINTHIANS 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Jammin’ Pie Fest 2016 was another grand success. The sweet tastes, sounds and community spirit were a smash hit again this year. Over 200 people and 75 different families experienced a colorful fall afternoon out on the lawn with friends, family, live music and 53 delicious homemade pies!
Walk Right In Ministries is tremendously grateful for the fun memories and encouraging stories coming out of Jammin’ Pie Fest 2016. Hours of volunteer effort, donations and prayers make a powerful difference for festival guests. We want to extend deep gratitude to our music artists Regie Hamm and Family Three as well as our generous sponsors Cub Foods, Schuler Shoes and Degree of Honor Insurance. Special thanks also goes to our many many gift card and service donors including AMG Photography who captured the heart of this special day so well. All of this collaboration keeps the event FREE while making support and encouragement accessible to many.
Jammin’ Pie Fest is always a beautiful community experience. A diverse group of individuals and families are refreshed and that is especially true for those who are stretched, sometimes isolated and needing hope amidst life challenges.
We hope Jammin’ Pie Fest serves as an inspiration and model for what all communities can look like. Let’s consider how, throughout the year, we can continue embracing each other, growing in faith and experiencing the adventure of life together!
It’s December and, once again, Christians all over the world are celebrating Jesus’ first coming. I’ve been thinking about when I first experienced Jesus’ coming into my own heart and life in a way that I knew was real and deeply personal. I recall a sense of wonder and intrigue in my worship that year which was very different than years before.
I want my current worship to reflect at least the same vigor and curiosity as it had in those early months when I knew my life and passions had been profoundly changed forever. That was a time when others noticed my new priorities and sometimes wondered about them too. I hope my life compels others to turn and look where I’m looking — toward the treasure of Jesus.
I’ve been studying Revelation this fall. Three things are striking and inspiring to me about John’s vision of Jesus. First, it is while John was worshipping “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” that Jesus revealed Himself to John. Next, John “turned to see the voice that was speaking” to him. He paid attention and had an opportunity to see the manifest presence of Jesus for Himself! When John saw Jesus, he “fell at his feet as though dead.” And do you know what Jesus did then?
Jesus touched John.
I wonder. Will my life and faith reflect the kind of zealous and attentive worship that leads to such an intimate encounter with God? Will yours?
How might the world around us be different if our Christmas worship reflects the kind of wonder and enthusiasm we had the first time we encountered Jesus in an intimate way?
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. Luke 2:9-17 (NLT)
When 2015 ends, I want to look back and see a woman that was stretched and nurtured into someone even more beautiful than I was when the year started. I already have a few Bible verses, themes and ideas running around in my mind about how God may be trying to shape and refine me for a new year. I hope you do also.
Today I’m sharing one of those themes rattling around in my busy brain. Writing it down gives me a greater sense of accountability but I also hope it spurs you on to see how someone else is wrestling with and enjoying the process of discovering God and relationship with Him in deepening ways. I know this kind of conversation is one way God uses community to encourage and inspire us all.
The word CONSECRATED has been sticking out to me (along with ANOINTED) in scriptures since late fall. I’ve been planning to sit down early in the new year and prayerfully consider how the Lord would want me to consecrate my life in fresh ways. I’ve been thinking about my roles as wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend and servant of God but also looking at my lifestyle and disciplines to see how God might be prompting me to new and better ways.
I believe it’s a good thing to be both content and aspiring as a Christian. I am content and confident that I am a child of God who is adored by Him just as I already am. I am also aspiring to be changed — to be more like Jesus. The older I get, the more aware I am of by brokenness, my sinful nature and my utter dependence on God. I find greater delight being in His presence than ever before.
Here are three passages that are inspiring me:
Leviticus 8:10 “Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them.”
Joshua 3:5 “Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.’”
1 Timothy 4:4-6 “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.”
SO HOW ABOUT YOU? Any themes, words or verses popping out for you lately or inspiring you into 2015?
Let’s encourage one another in how we’re feeling prompted by the Lord to keep GROWING UP IN HIM.
This is the final installment in a series of posts meditating on Immanuel — God with us. Let’s continue worshipping together by thanking God for revealing Himself to us and by remembering how very near and accessible He is.
I have loved re-reading the experiences of the Israelites as the Christmas season comes around again. Not only does it fascinate and reassure me to “connect the dots” of covenant love and the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies, but I personally relate to the Israelite’s situation on a few levels.
It is encouraging to me remembering that just as God’s presence led those freed slaves through a desert to the Promised Land, He is with me through times when I feel trapped in my circumstances or stuck in a wilderness. While God is moving me toward my Promised Land, the Holy Spirit dwells within me to guide me, inspire me, empower me, comfort me, advocate for me, equip me, protect me, reassure me when I’m discouraged, forgive me when I doubt Him, give me grace when I grow impatient and give me a restful peace when I feel frantic and overwhelmed.
I appreciate that the same promises God made to the Israelites remain true for me. And I understand those promises even more clearly now because Jesus’ presence brings new layers of enlightenment to what is happening then and now from the broader Kingdom perspective.
Hebrews 10:19-24 19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
Colossians 2:9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.
Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jsus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.
What are learning or embracing about the wonder and fullness of Jesus’ presence as the Christmas season arrives?
Encourage someone this weekend by sharing an answer to this question. Also, consider encouraging me and others here by telling about your experience in the comments below or by writing to me at email@example.com.