Pressing On

“Pressing on to the higher calling of my Lord”

The service today at Highland Park Church, really struck a chord with me…it’s ALWAYS meaningful, some days the music and message just seem specifically targeted for me. Isn’t it amazing how God works?

First the music – “Pressing On”, a Bob Dylan song and “Power of Love”…WOW! I was rocking in my seat – probably annoying the people around me…it was all I could do to stay seated and not fully rock out with the band!!

Then the message, delivered by Dale Robble…bottom line…we all have a purpose here. If you are going to follow God’s plan, you WILL have naysayers.  We need to learn to listen to the RIGHT voices  in our lives. You’ve got to learn to ignore what “they” say…practice selective hearing, selective reading and learn to tune out doubt.

Jesus doesn’t see a death, He sees an opportunity for a resurrection. Jesus doesn’t see your situation the way YOU see your situation.

God’s not panicking about your situation. Why are you mourning over a situation that God has the ability to resurrect?

Why bother? Because the impossible it JUST around the corner.

Just keep on PRESSING ON!

HPC Band

Blessings to you!

YOLO!

Jan

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Because of you…

I’ve been reflecting this weekend on the true meaning of Memorial Day. It was NOT created just so we’d have a long holiday weekend to kick off the summer season. I grew up as an Army brat and spent many Memorial Day’s on parade fields with military celebrations and picnics. I ran across this poem which says it well:

Because of you we can get up every morning and go to work run errands at lunch time drive through McDonald’s fill up our gas tanks and make it back to work just in time

Because of you we don’t have houses we have homes where we walk through the door the dog jumps on us as do our children we hug our spouses and smell dinner cooking

Because of you we have artwork from Kindergarten and shopping lists hanging on the refrigerator along with pictures held up with tape or magnets school pictures, pictures of gramma and grampa pictures of babies, kittens, and teenagers dressed for the prom

Because of you we gather around the dinner table play in the backyard with our kids feed the cat, walk the dog splash water on our children in the tub then tuck them into bed with hugs and kisses and reassurance there are no monsters in closets or under beds

Because of you with the children asleep and the dishes all done men make love to their wives wives make love to their husbands and drift off to sleep intertwined feeling life is good, all is well and we are safe

Because of you we are safe we can sit in fields watching our kids play soccer or in the stands watching our kids play hockey we can grill hamburgers and hot dogs eat potato salad and cole slaw drink ice cold beer and play pool while the kids run through sprinklers

Because of you we must remember to have a moment of silence on Memorial Day to remember your sacrifice and your family’s and to thank you that we get to live these lives sometimes eventful, sometimes uneventful but always full of possibilities

Because of you
This poem is by Lisa Milligan, a writer that lives in Fairfax, VA.

http://www.uso.org/About-Us/News-and-Stories/USO-News-Archive/-The-Ultimate-Sacrifice-.aspx

While you’re at it…consider joining the USO – a private organization, recognized by our government with the mission of “lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families”.

May God bless America and the troops who keep us free.

YOLO!

Jan

8th Snow Event in Nashville?

It’s snowing…again.

I may have lost count but I think this is the 8th snow event for Nashville this winter season. I’ve lived here since 1986 and we’ve never before had this many winter events!

I really feel for the TDOT, Metro Police and Fire & Rescue workers. God bless them all…they must be exhausted!

I think I’m beginning to firmly grasp why some people become “snow birds” and move south for the winter. I do NOT think that historically this has been a trend from our area to move further south…but I’m willing to bet after THIS winter some people will begin considering it.

Somewhere in the Caribbean is calling my name…I may need to start visiting some locations to scout out a potential future winter home base. Suggestions?

Stay safe and warm Nashville!

YOLO!

Jan

With much gratitude for my parents…

Because without them there would be no ME!

Happy Birthday to ME today!! I’m so grateful for this day and for each and every one yet to come.

Honestly, I used to struggle with my own birthdays. They just didn’t feel special…they didn’t feel “bad”…I just didn’t see the point in celebrating them. I didn’t like the attention. I guess I felt I didn’t deserve it. Hmm…something to ponder there.

Once I had children myself, my focus shifted towards my parents. You see…my children’s birthdays are very special to me…afterall…those specific days changed my life FOREVER! I spend the entire week up to their birthday reminiscing about the events leading up to their BIRTH day. I like to think my parents have their own fond memories about MY birth day…

On my 50th birthday, I was a little blue. I’ll admit it. My very insightful and wise aunt reminded me that any day I wake up on the “right” side of the dirt is a GREAT day! And as usual…she is exactly right. It was selfish for me to think about my birthday in any way but as a celebration of this gift I’ve been given called LIFE!

Thank you, Mom and Dad for this gift you’ve given me. I love you more than you’ll ever know! I hope I honor you by passing the unconditional love you give me to my own children. And I hope they pass it to their children…for generations yet to come! May God bless you both richly!!

This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.  ~Psalm 118:24

Peace, blessings and

YOLO!
Jan

PS…we DO have some celebrating scheduled this year!! I deserve it!!

Still learning…

Lots of people limit their possibilities by giving up easily. Never tell yourself this is too much for me. It’s no use. I can’t go on. If you do you’re licked, and by your own thinking to. Keep believing and keep on keeping on.     ~Norman Vincent Peale

Seems I’ve still got some learning to do. Today has been a continued lesson in trust, faith and holding on to hope…never, ever give up.

When I have days like today, when I feel like giving up, giving up hope…I have to consciously hold myself aware of staying in “this” moment. Not worrying or fretting over what MIGHT happen. Stay in “this” moment and do what is necessary. I don’t know why I “borrow trouble” at times…I know better! And yet…I still fall prey…

I guess it just shows that we all have our weak moments. Our vulnerable moments. Our HUMAN moments.

The lesson for me…reinforced by the actions of my husband and my daughter…are to never give up! Look for opportunities in the times of difficulty. Look for alternatives. You just might be amazed by what you discover!

Finally…late in the day…when honestly I had changed my focus because my daughter had discovered an acceptable alternative solution, I got the answer I’d been looking for. Once again, God “thumped me” on the head…I felt like I could almost hear him saying…’c’mon Jan…how many times to do we have to go through this lesson? I’ve got your back!’

I’m emotionally exhausted this evening, yet, so happy and peaceful to once again learn a good lesson. I’m figuring out that’s what life is all about…lessons!

Wonder what tomorrow holds?

YOLO!

Jan

 

 

 

 

My Awesome Adventure – Days 2 & 3

Well…I was so wrapped up in the events of my personal “awesome adventure” that I missed blogging yesterday. I am not focusing on that…rather I am focusing on what I was doing that caused me to miss the day of blogging.

We had another wonderous day of bible study led by the most awesome “Bible Babe” of all – Penny! She has such incredible insight and listening skills to hear and discern where she is being led. We all were in awe of how she lit the path we needed to be lit. When our needs demanded…yes, at times, we demanded…that she change her path…she did it graciously and met us where we needed to be. Lighting another path. Just an incredible gift she has.

I had planned to stay at the “noisy” cabin for the free time on Saturday evening. I ended up shaking my groove thing for hours in the game room with a wonderful group of new friends. We had an awesome DJ emerge from our group, a well stocked jukebox, pool table, air hockey table, a couple of favorite video games, card table and PLENTY of dancing space!!! There is nothing more refreshing after a couple days of intensive studying and digging into self than to let your hair down and DANCE!! Try it some time!

We also celebrated the announcement of one of our HPC sisters being cancer free at this retreat; she had announced her diagnosis last year during the retreat. It was a very special moment as she was presented with a beautiful princess cake created by another HPC sister, Nayeli of the Itty Bitty Cake Shop. What a special occasion it was!!!

This morning we wrapped up the session with Holy Communion, followed by a spontaneous session of signing each other’s journals – remember signing yearbooks in high school – well, yes, it was like that! It was beautiful to see all the women celebrating new friendships by making their loving mark in each other’s journals. It was a beautiful closing to a most incredible weekend. I definitely plan to attend next year!

Have you ever attended a spiritually focused retreat? I highly recommend the experience!

God bless!

YOLO!!

Jan

 

Cake by the Itty Bitty Cake Shop

Itty Bitty Cake Shop

Highland Park Church

The Awesome Adventure – Day 2

Today was the first full day of our Victorious Secret Retreat with 40 women from Highland Park Church. Penny is leading our bible study; she refers to opening your bible and diving in as the “awesome adventure”. I love the visual that it provides for me.

We spent 2 full hours in quiet “secret” (personal/private) study – one hour in the morning and one in the afternoon – each after an opening session with Penny and followed by a wrap-up session.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’ve been in a season of searching for understanding/direction and healing since losing my job a little over year ago.

This morning I had a personal and private breakdown and breakTHROUGH during my morning session…which then was reinforced by the message Penny gave in our wrap-up session. Her words were surely meant directly for me. God was clearly speaking through her.  Suffice it to say that God is indeed good…ALL the time.

I am right where I need to be.

I’ve been promising some pictures – enjoy this slideshow!

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YOLO!

Jan

Hosea 6:1-3 Oh that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn…

Victorious Secret Retreat 2011

I’m late…I’m late…I’m late for a very important date!

I MISSED getting my daily blog posted for January 20th by less than an hour!

I am in Gatlinburg, TN for the 2011 Victorious Secret Retreat; this is a spiritual retreat for the women of Highland Park Church. There are about 40 women here – we are occupying two beautiful and MASSIVE cabins. The retreat started this evening and I enjoyed spending the time I “reserved” for blogging during our “free time” by instead, visiting with and getting to know 2 new friends! It’s a big part of WHY I came on the retreat. Success already! Who doesn’t love new friends?

It’s late here now…I’m past my deadline AND my bedtime. I’ll check in again tomorrow….stay tuned…I’ve got pictures to post soon!

YOLO!

Jan

Hosea 6:1-3 Oh that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn

 

 

What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

I was inspired to ask this question after I saw my friend Beth post the very same question on her facebook wall. It was heartwarming to read all the responses.

Here’s mine:

About 10 years ago my father-in-law, who lived with us, suffered a massive heart attack and was not expected to survive overnight. All of my husband’s siblings (5 of them) lived in other states. We were able to get them mobilized and on flights quickly; unfortunately, Dad passed away before they got here.

Since we knew they were in flight, the hospital offered us the use of their chapel for the family to visit with Dad once they arrived. Rich and I were busy making phone calls and beginning arrangements waiting for them to arrive. We never left the hospital.

Two of my dearest friends, Lisa and Lucy, worked their magic and arranged for our family members to be picked up at the airport and brought to the hospital. Then, unbeknownst to us, these angels…went to our house…which trust me…was NOT company ready. They cleaned our house and stocked the kitchen with food for our guests.

I cannot begin to tell you what a blessing and comfort this was. Thank you doesn’t even begin to express our gratitude. Lisa and Lucy…Richard and I appreciate what you did for us more than you will ever know. May God bless you both richly!!

What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you? Comment below – I can’t wait to read your stories.

YOLO!

Jan