Today is my birthday and I was so blessed by my family and my friends to wish me “Happy Birthday,” and to give me encouraging Scriptures, pretty graphics and words on Facebook.
Would you as my reader and fan on my subscriber list, here at BethJones.net, and on social media please pray for me and my family as well? We desperately need them! Let me know how I can pray for you as well!
Every birthday and new year, I pray about the coming year. My prayer last night to God was private between Him and me for me and my family, but I cried many tears. But one prayer I’ll share publicly is this which comes from a little plaque I recently bought: “Let new adventures begin.” Amen!
A couple of friends on Facebook used that word adventure in wishing me well for the new year, so I took it as confirmation God will do just that! What adventures would you like to have in the coming year? Leave your comments below!
Today my husband Ray took me to lunch for my birthday–my requested choice was, of course, Mexican. My chips and salsa fix! After we ate our meal, I wanted more chips and salsa, but was embarrassed to ask for another bottle, so Ray did, saying it was my birthday. I laughed as he ordered not only the bottle, but a cup of salsa to go and he said, “Happy Salsa Day!” Yes, I’m addicted!
Ray gave me a pretty birthday card with flowers and butterflies on it.
On Ray’s next paycheck (next week), we’re planning to do something special for his “gift” to me. I’m excited and can’t wait.
Our three beautiful daughters wished me happy birthday today, and my sister Maria and my friend Shelley called me this afternoon, all which made me very happy! It was a good birthday!
I’m so thankful for another year. Each day is a gift.God is good and life is beautiful, even though there are hardships. I believe it’s important to count our blessings every day.
“The way I see it, you should live every day like it’s your birthday.” ~ Paris Hilton
I saw this picture on Pinterest today, saved it, and posted it on Facebook saying, “Then I must have fodder for lots of stories!”
Wreckage. The word sounds dangerously close to “carnage.” Let’s look at the definition of both.
The remains of something that has been badly damaged or destroyed.
The killing of a large number of people (slaughter, massacre, butchery, bloodbath).
Both mean ruination, obliteration, annihilation.
Recently someone I love very much deeply hurt me and I felt very rejected in the situation. My heart felt broken into a million pieces. Shattered. I’ve cried each night going to sleep, and then often awake in the middle of the night with insomnia.
In looking at the situation, I’ve realized my life is in wreckage. And that I have often caused the lives of those I love to be wrecked.
And that the only One who can fix me is God.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalms 147:3)
“We have a Healer. One who repairs. Who can fit the broken pieces that no longer seem to fit right into a perfect design. He works, often behind the scenes, mending, fitting together, creating a better work of art, more than we ever dreamed possible. He makes all things beautiful. Especially in the broken. All from His grace. It is real life. Jagged edges and all. They have such meaning.”
God can take the brokenness of our lives and turn it into something beautiful. We’re all broken.
Broken hearts. Broken lives. Broken marriages. Broken children. Broken families. Broken churches. We all desperately need Jesus.
Hurting people hurt others. We have to come to the foot of the Cross with our hurts and give them to Him.
Only God can heal us and make us whole. Only God can fix the wreckage of our lives.
He is Jehovah Rapha, the God that heals.
“Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them. He said, ‘If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”’ (Exodus 15:22-26, NIV)
I’m writing a new book now , which is the third and final book in The Cinderella Story series, called The Power of Names. It’s about the importance of your name and the many different names of God in the Bible, including Jehovah Rapha, the God that heals. Stay tuned for more details coming soon.
You can find my other books at my Amazon Author Page by clicking here.
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But as I sought my sister Maria’s counsel on an important matter at the end of 2016 (she’s my sister and a therapist!), she encouraged me about being intentional–doing things on purpose. Here below is what she emailed me:
“My word for the last few days is “on purpose.” We have to do things on purpose – get closer to God and family and friends. Make time to do things. Improve ourselves like health and money management. I guess my question is what can you do on purpose to make things even a littlebetter?”
She also wrote, “I so get feeling like things are stuck in a rut, an endless pit of crap. We can’t control other people, only ourselves. If this was a therapy session, lol, I would try to have you identify three things that have shown improvement in the last month (exercised more, prayed more, went to a workshop, etc), then three things you can do on purpose to improve things. And I am preaching to myself! I love you immensely. Praying God will fill your heart to overflowing!”
Then as I sat in church yesterday in my black dress, cloaked in an emerald-white sapphire necklace and bracelet and many questions about life, our pastor Jeff talked about being intentional in 2017. There’s that word again. When God says something once, I listen. When He says something twice, I sit up and pay much closer attention. Third time, I know He’s a-shoutin’ at me!
So my “one word” for 2017 is intentional.
I didn’t really want the word. It’s tired, overused, much like the word “purpose,” which I’m all over and about in my mission encouraging women to use their gifts for God and doing what they love.
But it’s a word I need in my life. Down to my writing bones. (This phrase came to mind, remembering author Natalie Goldberg’s excellent book, Writing Down the Bones.
The definition of intentional, according to theMerriam-Webster dictionary online is:
done by intention or design;
done in a way that is planned;
done in a deliberate way; not accidental.
Synonyms for intentional are:
Voluntary implies implies freedom and spontaneity of choice or action without external compulsion.
Willing implies a readiness and eagerness to accede to or anticipate the wishes of another.
The antonyms (opposite meaning) and near antonyms of intentional are even more intriguing:
As I look over and reflect on these lists of words, I ask myself: am I willing to do what God says to do in 2017? Will I obey Him?
Everyone who knows me knows that I’m stubborn as a mule. I like to think of it as “being my own person”–independent, a free spirit. But many times it’s just plain defiance and obstinance. No one is going to tell me what to do, by God! Not even God!
Control. Pride. “Stiff-necked” the Bible calls the Israelites. This trait cost many of them their lives in the wilderness.