Tag Archives: Christian

A letter to the 22 year old me

A new post over at www.reallyjennifer.com

I’ve seen some blog posts lately that were the letters from the authors to themselves at a much younger age… The, “if I knew then, what I know now” wisdom posts.  So, to be a “follower”, and to impart some learned lessons, I thought I would have a go at it too…

At this ripe old age of 44, I can look back at myself at 22, and see a completely different person.  I’m actually amazed at the work God has done in my life thus far! If I could write a letter to myself at 22, I would say;

Dear Jennifer;

I know you feel like you have the world on your shoulders, and you can handle it.  I know that you think perfection is expected in this life of ours, and I see how you strive for it in almost everything you do. READ MORE

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Africa Update or Mama Smiles…Whichever you Prefer

new post over at www.reallyjennifer.com

If you’re familiar with my blog, then you know that my one and only daughter, Katie, is spending 2 months is Swaziland, South Africa this summer.  I posted about it HERE, when I was still nervous, and she was still fund raising.  Then I posted HERE when the fund raising was over… She has just passed the half way mark, so I thought it might be fitting to post about it…

I thought we would not be able to communicate with her, at least not often, but to my pleasant surprise, READ MORE


Old Habits Die hard on Really Jennifer

There’s a new post called Old Habits Die Hard on www.reallyjennifer.com

Check it out!

Today I had an OCD day squared.  I haven’t had one of those in a long time.  My day consisted of paying both company and personal bills, going to the bank, getting my car serviced, taking one son to baseball practice, and lunching with another.  Then I vacuumed my house, dusted, windexed, straightened, mopped, did all the laundry, shopped, and cooked.

I call that an OCD day because I was totally anal about all of it.  My ADD kicked in as I flitted from task to task and even re-did a few things that needed it. (in my mind, anyway)  I really got a lot done.  Now I’m all tucked in my corner of the sofa with my laptop and remote control, waiting for Alcatraz to start.  I was reflecting on my day, and I am surprised at how obsessively productive I was, since I haven’t had such a full day like this in a long time… READ MORE


An Award

The other day I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award.  I was very surprised, and blessed… Thank you Thriving Despite Us.  Part of the deal with this award is that I too, need to nominate 5 blogs that have 200 followers or less.  Well, all of the blogs I follow have more than that.    Sooo… I had to head to my blog server’s “freshly pressed” and start reading blogs that looked …little.   What a good time that was!  I am now a follower of a few new blogs and am all the better for it.  My quest is not over, but this one I read caused me to pause and I wanted to mention it…

One of the blogs had a post about the, “er-beauty of peacocks”.  They are beautiful, but their sound is not.  The post was sweet and simple, and connected to faith.  You can read it yourself here.  It got me thinking about my sound.  It’s not that beautiful either… It’s one of the few things I have left to embarrass my kids.  Once, a few years back, they even asked me to stop singing so loud in church!  Which also got me thinking.  Because I did stop singing.  I stopped singing in Church, at least loudly, because I didn’t want to offend anyone, or more to the point, I didn’t want anyone thinking I sounded bad.  Which made me think about how often we conform to the patterns of this world, because we’re worried what people will think?  (Rom 12:2) We never mind showing our beautiful feathers, which are, by all intent and purposes, our appearance.  What we sound like when we sing? Well, that’s personal.  That’s not something we do for everyone.  Especially if we stink.  How does that correlate? I was thinking…again,  I don’t share the most beautiful thing I got going for me very often.  It’s not my feathers, although I do have a decent wardrobe.  It’s not my voice, as I’ve already shared, I’m doing everyone a favor…  It’s my faith.  It’s my knowledge of Grace and the Spirit that changed my life.  It’s the most beautiful thing about me.  That’s the reason I wake each morning and smile.  I praise the Lord who made me at the beginning of everyday He gives me.  Some mornings I even sing… Really.

Reading some of those blogs reminded me of that and I’m glad.  I needed it.

I still have not found 5 little blogs to nominate, but I will still acknowledge this wonderful award, and start with nominating HearingnSeeing… thank you for making me think.

 I’m still looking, so, If you know of a blog that’s worthy of an award that gives happy little blogs some recognition, tell me about it, so I can check it out!  And if you happen to see me in Church, don’t sit in front of me…cause I’m over that not singing thing…

Psalm 98

Sing a new song to the LORD,
for he has done wonderful deeds.
His right hand has won a mighty victory;
his holy arm has shown his saving power!
2 The LORD has announced his victory
and has revealed his righteousness to every nation!
3 He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel.
The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

4 Shout to the LORD, all the earth;
break out in praise and sing for joy!
5 Sing your praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song,
6 with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn.
Make a joyful symphony before the LORD, the King!

7 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
Let the earth and all living things join in.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands in glee!
Let the hills sing out their songs of joy
9 before the LORD.
For the LORD is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice,
and the nations with fairness.


I’ve Done Some Reading…

I have had a herniated disc.  It’s really painful and no fun at all, and I’ve spent over 2 weeks laying down.  One of the things I could do while suffering is read. You would think I could have blogged, but the discomfort and bad attitude messed with my flow… The pain meds might have been part of the problem too…  So, I read.  After finishing 6 books in about 6 weeks, I thought I would do a mini book review blog and see how it goes…

I spent the end of November and beginning of December devouring Ted Dekker Circle series.  Black, Red, White and finally to my frustration, Green.  I really enjoyed the characters and the descriptions of every detail.  The contrast between two realities, and the allegory of good and evil in the world and in our hearts, held my attention through all 4 books…

The intensity was hard on me at times, and I found myself thinking about the story line even when I was not reading.  I hadn’t done that with a series since I read the Hunger Games trilogy. (yes, I read it… and I read the Twilight series too..) Mr. Dekker made a valiant execution in making the books come full circle, and I can see the connection, but it didn’t ease my mind.  Coming to the end of Green and thinking that the cycle would repeat, left me with a sadness for the main character.  Bummer.  Besides the frustration of the actual circle of the series, I did find it well written, engaging, exciting and seriously thought provoking.  I was left with some unanswered questions, but it was definitely worth the hours it took me to read.  I do highly recommend this series.  I enjoyed it so much, I went and purchased the “younger generation” set and plan to read it soon as well…

The next book is one many have read.  My daughter recommended it, so how could I not  pick up this small, easy to read book called The Alchemist.  I was almost disturbed by the simplicity of it, yet it was as deep a book as any self-help book you could ever find.  I was completely caught up in The Boy’s quest, and taken in by his adventures.  I was truly surprised at the ending, and it make me smile so big, my husband asked me what was going on.  I loved it.  It was one of those books, that makes you think and then…smile.  I personally think everyone should read it, and with it being so short and simple, there is no excuse not to.  Trust me.  Really.

The last book I read is The Last Sin Eater, by Francine Rivers.  This book also falls within the allegory category.  I’ve always been a huge Rivers fan, ever since I read Redeeming Love and A Lineage of Grace.  Both of those were life changing and are on my all time favorite list…My personal belief is that everyone should read those too… but I digress… The Last Sin Eater is an engaging tale of a young girl named Cadi,  in a southern settlement, around the mid 1850’s.  The settlement in which she lives has taken on the practices of their Scottish fore-fathers, and has assigned a “sin eater” to take the sins of someone when they died.  The story is also loosely based on Leviticus 16:8-10.  It was another engaging story from Rivers, although I did not love it as much as the other two I mentioned.  Maybe it’s just me, but I did have a hard time putting this one down as well.  Rivers does a fabulous job getting you to start the next chapter, which got me through this book in just a couple of days.  The story was sweet, and thought provoking, and even a little intense at times.  This book does carry the Gold Medallion Award for good reason.  Another winner from Mrs. Rivers, just not a #1 for me.

So there you have it.  If you are planning on reading any of the books I have mentioned, I would start with Redeeming Love… which I didn’t even tell you about.  Really.

Here is my reading list from 2011; (If you would like a more in depth opinion on any of them, just ask!)

  • The Power of a Praying Parent Stormie Omartian(I read this all the time, because I’m a mom, and all mom’s need to read this all the time…)
  • Heaven is for Real, Ted Burpo (enjoyable – I was already a Believer)
  • Mocking Jay, Suzanne Collins (loved it – but a little too disturbing at times..I did read the series as well)
  • Weird, Craig Groeschel (awesome – although it was freakily like something I would write)
  • Crazy Love, Francis Chan (this was a re-read…cause it’s worth it)
  • Ordering Your Private World, Gordon MacDonald (another re-read…happy sigh)
  • Already Gone, Ken Ham & Britt Beemer (Wow. Just Wow.)
  • Hearts & Minds, Kenneth Boa & John Alan Turner (hard to finish…)
  • Same Kind of Different As Me, Ron Hall & Denver Moore (a hard start, but worth finishing for sure)
  • Captured by Grace, David Jeremiah (LOVE…5 stars)
  • In An Instant, Lee & Bob Woodruff (enjoyable..)
  • Lord, Change my Attitude, James MacDonald (another re-read – 5 Star – everyone who is breathing should be reading this one)
  • How Good is Good Enough? Andy Stanley (worth it)
  • The Short Life of Bree Tanner, Stephenie Meyer (yea, I read it.  Wanna make somethin of it?  Oh, and I liked it…)
  • Ashamed of the Gospel, John MacArthur (Very good, but sometimes redundant)
  • The Reason for God, Timothy Keller (Thought provoking – 5 stars)
  • The Jesus You Can’t Ignore, John MacArthur (awesome.)
  • Just Do Something, Kevin DeYoung (very good)

I also participated in a few group  studies –

  • R12 (Romans 12)- Chip Ingram
  • When Godly People Do Un-Godly Things, Beth Moore
  • The Book of Mark – Navpress – The Navigators

All 3 are 5 star studies and I highly recommend all of them…

Did you read something amazing in 2011? Tell me!! 🙂  Happy new year and happy reading!


Africa…Really?

My college student, and only daughter, will not be coming home this summer.   She has applied, and has been accepted, into a program through Adventures in Missions.  She will leave the first of June, for a 2-month mission trip in Swaziland, Africa.  Really…

My kids are all service oriented, and have experienced missions on local and national levels, and one of them has served in Mexico for 2 weeks… but none have ever traveled so far and for so long.  It is giving new meaning to “letting go” for me.   I thought sending her to a dorm was hard!  I think my, “Top Ten Ways You Know You Have a Child Going to College” list applies here for the most part… just substitute “college” for “Africa”, although I would add just a few…You know you have a kid going to Africa when…

  1. You dream of fund raising techniques …
  2. You spend excessive amounts of time googling common illnesses of the region. (not recommended)
  3. You get your own passport…just in case.
  4. Praying for safety has taken on a whole new meaning.
  5. You have mixed emotions of pride, humbleness, fear, and faith churning in your heart.

We have had a few folks ask why?  Why Africa?  There is so much need right here!  Spending lots of money and time to travel to a place that has no hope seems crazy!  The governments are never going to allow for real change, so why bother?  Well, that’s all true, but the people suffering in those places with no hope are still people.  One person can make a difference.  One life can be changed and we believe that one life is worth it.  Our faith tells us that Christ instructed his followers to take His message to the ends of the earth, even to the places that seem hopeless.  So, those that are called, go… My daughter has been called, and wild horses couldn’t stop her.

I share this with you for a few reasons; first, I covet your prayers.  For her, and those she will be ministering to…  Then, for her step-dad, and me, but especially for her father.  He carries enough worry for everyone.  Secondly, I want to share this experience with you, because that’s what good bloggers do… and last, but not least, I want to give you the opportunity to support her financially. (Refer to item 1 of my list)

You can click here to donate through Adventures in Missions.  She is going on the “Passport” mission and be sure to put Katie Moberly in the “Participant Full Name” space.

If you would like to know more about her, before you support her, here is her story in her own words…

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you are all doing well.

 I am writing you this letter to share what has been going on in my life, and the new adventure that God has laid before me.

 Many of you know, two summers ago I went a mission trip to Charlotte, NC. I had several opportunities that summer to travel abroad, in which I was most excited, but as the time came for me to make my decision, I prayed that God would show me where He wanted me to go that summer and my friend invited me to spend a month in North Carolina. My heart was in Africa, so I wasn’t even worried about going to NC but God works in mysterious ways, and all of the doors leading me abroad shut, right in my face. So Charlotte was where I went. And that summer was the one that changed my life.

 Walking along side the children I helped there made me realize my passion is in showing the unloved, that they are loved, and not only by me, but by the Creator.

Now, I have started my first year in college and have been given the opportunity to, once again, go to Africa, and more specifically Swaziland.  And this time, the Lord as opened the door wider than ever. An organization called Adventures in Missions has welcomed me on a team traveling to South Africa, to help in an orphanage this summer for the months of June and July.

 I applied for the program, had an interview, was accepted, paid my commitment fee, and now I am in need of your help.

 First and foremost, your support in prayers is what I desire the most, but I am also in need of a little financial help. The total cost of my trip is $4,985. If you would like to support me, you can make a tax-deductible donation through the mail at: Adventures In Missions, PO Box 534470, Atlanta, GA  30353-447 and be sure put my name in the memo.               

 Thank you so much for your support, and I’m really excited to bring you along this new journey I’m stepping into!

 Swaziland Bound,

Katie Moberly

Acts 1:8

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (NIV)

Have you had a child go off to Africa?  How did you do?


Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays?

This seems to be an on going debate this time of year.   I’m a Merry Christmas person, because I am a Christian. This is the time of year designated for the celebration of the birth of Christ… for Christians.  But it wasn’t always that way…

Christmas, in it’s earliest days, was many different things.  It was a celebration of longer days for the Europeans, most commonly called the winter solstice.  It was a perfect time to celebrate  in Scandinavia because most cattle were slaughtered, so they would not have to be fed through the winter.  Folks had plenty of meat and, in addition, most wine and beer made during the year was finally ready for drinking.   The Germans were busy honoring their pagan god, Oden, during this time of year, huddling inside their homes in fear.  In Rome, a holiday called Saturnalla, in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture was underway.  They kept busy for a month with eating, drinking and turning the Roman social order upside down.  During this time they also celebrated Juvenalia, a feast honoring the children of Rome, as well as the birth of Mithra, the god of the unconquerable sun.

As far as Christianity had been concerned, the main holiday was Easter. Period.  It wasn’t until the 4th century that the church decided to celebrate the birth of Christ.  Even though it is most likely that Christ was born in the spring, Pope Julius I chose December 25th and it was first called the Feast of the Nativity. 

By the middle ages, Christmas celebrations were primarily drunken, carnival-like parties, much like Mardi Gras.  Finally, by the 17th century, religious reform moved in and changed the celebration drastically… temporarily.  It was even cancelled for a time.

With the beginning of America, in 1620, Christmas was boycotted once again.  It had gotten so bad, that the holiday was actually outlawed in Boston from 1659-1681.  Then in 1828, NYC police responded to the first Christmas riot, which many think was the catalyst to reform of the celebration.  It wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.  Over the next hundred years, Americans constructed their own Christmas traditions.  It was built with bits and pieces of many other customs from many different cultures and time periods.

The bottom line is this; Christmas is an invented holiday, that means many different things to many different people.  For the Christian, it is the chosen day to celebrate the birth of our Savior, as the story is told in the Holy Scriptures.  For the Hebrew, it is Hanukkah. For the pagan, it’s the winter solstice.  Greek and Russian cultures are celebrating the Epiphany or Three Kings Day, which is the day they believe the wise men found the manger.  There are many other types of celebrations all around the globe… and around your neighborhood.

If Christians really want to keep Christ in Christmas, I think we should stop worrying about the well wishes of others and look at ourselves.  Instead of rushing the stores at 3AM with ill intent to the person snatching the last Elmo, lets visibly practice patience, kindness, self control and gentleness.  Instead of stressing through long to-do lists, let’s count every minute as a gift from God, and visibly demonstrate peace and joy.  Giving should be 365 days a year, not just though the holidays.  We should be donating clothes, food, and gifts frequently.  Let’s invite friends, family, and neighbors, to dinner regularly.  Send cookies to people just for fun a few times a year.  Tip your service people well – all the time, whether they are good or not.  Seriously.

The Word says,  “All the believers were together and had everything in common.  They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:44-47

The Lord added to their numbers because of how they lived, which was different than everyone else.  Being mad and offended is not being different.  Being stressed and rushed and consumed with shopping and decorations, is not different.  Christian’s can keep Christ in Christmas by being different – Galatians 5:22-23… Against such things there is no law…

Whatever your traditions are, stop worrying about what others are doing and saying and be at peace this holiday season… that is something I think we can all agree on.  Really.

So, how do you celebrate on December 25th?

Merry Christmas.