Through Every Season

Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 37)

Ways I am Kind to My Grieving Heart

Our youngest son, Joel, will turn 29 on Saturday. It will be his 9th birthday in Heaven. We are so proud of how he has lived his life for the Lord and can’t wait to see his beaming face again in Heaven and to hear about all the adventures and people he is now enjoying.

I have a long list of authors, artist and musicians to meet and thank in Heaven. I can see Joel walking arm in arm with me, showing me off to all his new friends, introducing me to saints who have helped me see Jesus with eyes of faith and telling them, “This is my mom, for whom we prayed. She persevered until the end.” 

My hope in Jesus, His work on the cross for us, His presence with me and His imminent return is what helps me through each day. It takes perseverance to hold on to faith on this fallen planet. In the midst of hard as I have turned to God, I have found  Jesus’ presence with me to be sweet. He is patient and kind and my daily prayer is to see, love and imitate Him more. Before I can be kind to others, I must receive His kindness and be kind to myself. 

I wrote this list of “Ways I am Kind to My Heart” hoping that it would give someone permission to be kind to theirs as well. 

☐ I guard my thoughts. (Philippians 4:6-8)
☐ I guard my heart. (Proverbs 4:23)
☐ I turn my heart towards Jesus, the Source of all Light and Love.
☐ I pour out all my thoughts and heart in lament to God in a journal.
      ➭ Lament held in my heart can quickly turn to bitterness. Pouring it out makes room for God’s love to flow into my bitter cup.
☐ I allow Jesus, Man of Sorrows, into my grief to sit with and spend time being sad with me.

☐ I ask Holy Spirit to lead me into all Truth.
      ➭ I don’t want to spend a second grieving because I have believed a lie. I have plenty of grieving to do without believing a lie. The devil is a liar. I am his enemy. I put on God’s full armor and stand in faith. I submit myself to the God of all truth and shun all darkness and lies.
☐ I spend LOTS of time reading, meditating on and visualizing God’s Word.
☐ I surrender my will (fears, struggles, etc.) and choose to turn to God with trust.
     ○ James 4:7 So submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you.

☐ I pray all the time: often without words, with tears, groans and wailing. (Romans 8:26)
☐ I LEAN into Jesus. He carries me. (Isaiah 63:9)
☐ I remind myself who God is: Faithful, True, Light, Love, The Lamb Slain, My Hiding Place…
☐ I remember that things others intend for evil God intends for good. (Gen. 50:20, Ro. 8:28)
☐ I remember that all my pain and suffering is temporary because God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for me. (John 16:33)
☐ I remember that all my suffering is creating a future glory. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
☐ I create an atmosphere of worship in my home and car by sending worshipers ahead of me into battle. (2 Chronicles 20:21)

☐ I give myself lots of GRACE by abiding in God’s love and receiving His grace.
      ➭ I cannot love others unless I have first allowed God to fill up my cup with His love.
☐ I refuse to condemn myself. (Romans 8:1)
☐ I quickly repent when convicted of sin then I receive God’s forgiveness and grace. (1 John 1:9)
☐ I give myself lots of time.
     ○ I honor the way God created me by taking time to grieve and process.
     ○ I take time to honor my son in Heaven.
     ○ Time to look at photos and remember.
     ○ Time for Sabbath. ○ Time to rest and recover.
     ○ Time to be creative. ○ Time to relax.
     ○ Time allowing God to restore my soul.
     ○ And time enjoying the joy God gives me.

☐ I remember that suffering is to be expected in this fallen world and ask God to use me to help alleviate the suffering of others.
☐ I tell myself the truth.
☐ I affirm who I am in Christ leaning on His great and precious promises.
☐ I have prepared mantras of truth that I use when battling doubt, fear, loneliness, etc.
☐ I practice gratitude. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
     ➭ I am thankful for little and big things.
         ○ I am thankful for my loved ones.
         ○ I am thankful that they are in God’s hands.
         ○ I am thankful that I have eternity to look forward to with my loved ones in Heaven.

☐ I think on good things. (Philippians 4:6-8)
☐ I walk every day. Fresh air, sunshine, movement; so many benefits.
☐ I spend time in nature.
☐ I cuddle with my dogs.
☐ I stop and smell the roses.
☐ I fellowship with believers.
☐ I spend time in solitude.
☐ I eagerly look forward to Jesus’ return and going Home to Heaven.
☐ I do all these things with intention to be kind to my grieving heart.

 

Jude 1:20-21 But you beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith, pray in Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God while waiting expectantly for the compassion of our Lord Jesus to bring you eternal life.

James 1:4 So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

1 Peter 1: 13 Therefore prepare your minds for action. Be sober-minded. Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 3:13 But in keeping with God’s promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

How are you kind to your grieving heart? Please, share 💕

In His Love,

Jenny Coleman
RHC GriefShare facilitator

GriefShare is a 13 week video seminar and support group offering help and encouragement for those grieving the death of a friend or loved one.

Learn more about our groups at: http://www.redlandhills.org/griefshare/ 

or by following our social media pages:

https://www.facebook.com/griefshare.redlandhills

https://www.instagram.com/griefshare.redlandhills

How to Experience More Life and Light and Peace in a Broken World

Did you have an imaginary friend when you were little?

Our imaginations are always active and continually influenced by things around us. As we grow older, we can forget how powerful they can be.

We learn in Romans 8:6,

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”

In our broken world, it is easy to imagine that we are alone when we are afraid or angry or sad. It is easy to imagine that no one sees or understands or even cares about us. It’s easy to think dark thoughts in a dark world and to lose our peace.

Believers in Jesus live not only in a broken world, but also “in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). Asking God to help us to set our minds on the Spirit and to “see” and be influenced by the realms of Heaven can be life changing.

I was meditating on these verses last week:

Ephesians 5:8 For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true, 10 as you try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord… 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that is illuminated becomes a light itself. 14 This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

I thought about the words over and over and asked God to make them come alive in me. He opened my imagination and I saw myself “full of darkness” before I knew Jesus. I was like the little girl in the Bible who died. Jesus came into my room where I laid dead in my bed, gently held my hand and said, “Wake up.” I sat up in my bed, awakened from the dead, and looked at Jesus smiling warmly at me. The light from His smile filled me with a light that was so bright that it shined right through me in all directions and filled the room with light.

Can you see yourself in that story? Ask Jesus to enlighten the eyes of your imagination. 

“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!” – Ephesians 5:8

Each day I have a choice to make. Will I walk in the darkness of the world with my mind set on fleshly things or will I live as someone filled with God’s light and presence? Will I imagine that I am alone, that no one sees me, understands, or cares about me; or will I see Jesus tenderly holding my hand, lovingly waking me from my dark death, and filling me with the bright light of His smile? Will I let that light fill me and produce “only what is good and right and true” as I try to learn “what is pleasing to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:9-10)?

From these verses in Ephesians, we learn that it pleases the Lord to fill us with light and what is good and right and true.

I learned in GriefShare that we can use our imaginations to facilitate healing from the flashbacks and nightmares caused by the trauma of losing a loved one by changing the ending of the story in our minds.

When our son, Joel, was attacked with an assault rifle, his life in this broken world came to an end, but his life “in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” continues forever.

Jesus said,

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me will live, even though he dies. And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

Do you believe this?

One day, I asked Holy Spirit to help heal my mind by filling my imagination with more of Joel’s story. He opened my eyes to a vision of the incredible joy on Jesus’ face as He welcomed Joel Home.

Hebrews 12:2 says,

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Welcoming Joel Home was part of the joy that helped Jesus to endure the cross. Fixing my eyes on the vision of that incredible joy on Jesus’ face helps me to endure my cross as well.

Do you desire life and peace? Which realm will you allow to influence your imagination? Where will you set your mind? Do you hear Jesus asking you to awake and rise up from the dead? Will you live as a child of the light? Will you invite God to fill you with light and what is good and right and true? Will you invite Holy Spirit to fill you with visions of Jesus as you meditate on God’s Word?

The next five verses in Ephesians 5 reveal more secrets to obtaining light and life and peace:

15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.

16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.

17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.

18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life.

Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.

20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

These practices can make a huge difference in your life.

If you are not sure that your loved one who died was a believer and went to Heaven, I have been praying for you and created this PDF explaining how you can have life and peace when facing uncertainty: tiny.cc/peace_when_I_do_not_know

This video by one of GriefShare’s hosts may also help: https://youtu.be/1MdPHuPjGnQ

In His Love,

Jenny Coleman
RHC GriefShare facilitator

GriefShare is a 13 week video seminar and support group offering help and encouragement for those grieving the death of a friend or loved one. Learn more about our groups at: http://www.redlandhills.org/griefshare/

Where is Your Hope?

I have a few confessions to make.

I loved this Facebook meme for the end of 2020.

The general consensus that this has been a bad year and that everyone just wants it over has been hard on me. Not that I thought that this was a particularly good year or that many of the changes that this year brought haven’t been hard on me or that I don’t want to see this year end. 

IT’S THAT THE EAGERNESS IS MISPLACED.

The hype at the end of last year about how great 2020 was going to be really bothered me as well.

You see, in December 2012, when Joel died, I learned not to put my hope in a year. 

Many years earlier, God gave me a verse for my kids that became my prayer and hope:

All your children shall be taught by the LORD Himself, and great shall be the peace of your children. – Isaiah 54:13

I prayed that they would be taught by the LORD Himself. I prayed daily that they would love the Lord and serve Him with all their hearts. My goal in homeschooling them was to teach them to be led by Holy Spirit. They are really great kids, hard workers. Ages 26-32 now. They love the Lord, are incredibly smart. The Lord Himself has truly been their teacher.

On a Wednesday night in November of 2012, someone in our church had our oldest and youngest sons stand up and spoke Jeremiah 29:11 over them: 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.”

The promise felt a little out of place. I thought, “Of course, God’s plans are good.” We were overflowing with hope. All three boys were living at home while working their way through college. My daughter was preparing to graduate from homeschooling. Everything was good. 

Then that awful day in December came. Joel died. My hope was shattered and I lost all sense of what hope was. No one can live without hope. I needed a different kind of hope, a more trustworthy hope.

I had never thought about how that wonderful verse in Jeremiah 29:11 was spoken to a people also promised 70 years of captivity. They would never see their kids graduate from college and live a long prosperous life this side of Heaven either. 

How did they live? What was their hope? I had to search the scriptures diligently with all my heart to learn what biblical hope really is. 

I learned to love verses that I had skipped over before. I held onto them for dear life. Job and Joseph and Paul and Jesus became my best friends. They had suffered long and hard. They understood.

Our hope was never meant to be in a year. It’s not meant to be placed in the things or people of this world. Yes, God has good plans for us. Yes, He wants to prosper us. But our treasures are not earthly treasures where moth and rust corrupt. They are Heavenly. They are eternal.

I had to learn to live this way:

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things above, not the things on the earth. For you have died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life may be revealed, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4

I had to learn perseverance: 

So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you will become mature and well developed, not deficient in any way. – James 1:4

For a long time, I had to trust that perseverance would produce the hope I’d lost:

Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. Romans 5:3-5

I had to believe that my suffering was temporary and achieving a greater glory:

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  – 2 Corinthians 4:17  

I had to learn to trust that God’s grace would be sufficient for whatever the new year would bring:

Each time He said, “My grace is sufficient for you: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

I had to learn to aline my hope with our heroes of faith: 

All these people died in faith, without having received the things they were promised. However, they saw them and welcomed them from afar. And they acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

Now those who say such things show that they are seeking a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13- 16

I had to learn to think soberly about this life and rest my hope FULLY on Christ and His return: 

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, rest all your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. – 1 Peter 1:13

My hope has grown eager and secure because it is no longer in temporary things.  

But you, beloved, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, eagerly waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you eternal life. Jude 1:20-21 

How is your hope?
Is it misplaced?
Or is it only in our eternal hope in Jesus?

In His love,

Jenny Coleman
GriefShare facilitator at Redland Hills Church

We are starting two GriefShare groups this Spring.

Anyone grieving a death of a friend or loved one:
Sundays at 3 PM starting January 17th

Bereaved parents:
Wednesdays at 6 PM starting January 13th

Ask for details or find one by zip code near you at GriefShare.org

Struggling with Suffering

My favorite verses have become the ones where Jesus struggled with suffering… because through them I know I am not alone, I am not abandoned, I am chosen, I am loved.

He took with Him Peter, James, and John, and began to be deeply troubled and distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is consumed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch.” – Mark 14:33-34

Jesus gave into the sorrow.. He allowed it to consume Him to the point of death. And turned to “Abba, Father,” to Him who “all things are possible for.”

His friends… fell asleep.

He prayed the same thing again.. and again. – God never tires of hearing our prayers.

Until a few weeks ago, I believed this was the only time Jesus gave into His sorrow. However I recently realized that the trouble Jesus felt and tears He cried at Lazarus’ tomb are connected to the trouble and deep sorrow at the garden of Gethsemane. In the chapter following Lazarus’ resurrection Jesus told Philip and Andrew:

“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? No, it is for this purpose that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify Your name!’ … After Jesus had spoken these things, He went away and was hidden from them.” – John 12:27-28, 36

It’s okay to struggle… to be troubled… again and again… as you face your sorrow and turn to the Father, submitted to His will and longing for Him to be glorified. And it’s okay to disappear from the crowds. Jesus did more than once. 

It’s also okay not to feel all better even when the comfort comes directly from Heaven:

Then an angel from Heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. And in His anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. – Luke 22:43-44 

His sweat became like drops of blood while earnestly praying in anguish AFTER an angel from Heaven appeared and strengthened Him. Heaven’s comfort didn’t make everything okay. It didn’t take away the suffering. It appeared and strengthened Him in the midst of it.

During the days of Jesus’ earthly life, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. – Hebrews 5:7 

We are heard because of our reverence. Loud cries and tears do not disqualify us. They are not a sign of a lack of faith. We pray to the One who is able but not always willing to save us and our loved ones from physical death. Suffering and being separated from those we love causes anguish. Even Jesus asked why:

“My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”

We are not alone. We are not abandoned. We are chosen. We are loved.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. – Colossians 3:12 

You’re Invited

I was pouring out some pent up emotions (and tears) in prayer on my walk the other day. I noticed I’d been trying to live bootstraps pulled up, marching forward right over my heart. I know that is not the Father’s heart towards me, so I decided to declare the truth to my heart by praying through Psalm 23. When I came to “my cup runs over,” I “looked” inside my cup. It was empty. A tear plopped into my empty cup..

How are you? Are you taking your cares to the Shepherd of your soul? Are you speaking truth to your heart? Are you seeing Jesus rightly? Are you taking time to sit at the table He has prepared for you in the presence of your enemies? Are you allowing Him to fill your cup?

I asked the Lord, what had He prepared for me? What was at the table? Why was my cup dry? These verses came to mind:

And He took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body, given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you. – Luke 22:19-20

Jesus humbled Himself, suffered and died that we might eat and drink of Him. He is the sacrifice prepared for us in the midst of our enemies.

“I am the living bread that came down from Heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And this bread, which I will give for the life of the world, is My flesh.” – John 6:51

On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood up and called out in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said: ‘Streams of living water will flow from within him.” – John 7:37-38

Jesus is our Spring of Salvation; a flowing source of salvation that the thirsty can return to again and again.

Isaiah 12:2-3
Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
For the LORD GOD is my strength and my song,
and He also has become my salvation.
With joy you will draw water from the springs of salvation.

Jesus’ sacrifice and invitation to come eat and drink of Him is very good news to those who are thirsty and willing to come. Will you draw water with joy from our Spring of Salvation with me?

May you feel His loving embrace this Christmas,

Jenny

Choosing Where My Triggered Thoughts Take Me

I drove by a yard decorated with plastic tombstones for Halloween this week. It was hard on my heart.

It triggered thoughts of death, darkness, and the deep pain of losing someone you dearly love.

Innocent pastimes like Clue, the Mafia party game, and Murder Mystery Dinners are no longer innocent or mysterious for me. I do still really enjoy seeing kids’ creativity and joy in dressing up in some of the nicer Halloween costumes and I’ve already bought glow bracelets, temporary monster tattoos, candy and tracks to pass out to the neighborhood kids.

I dreaded the drive back home past the play cemetery the other night. Then flenched when I saw it a second time and I prayed for those I know who are hurting this season. I acknowledged in my heart that the decorations aren’t going to get any brighter as the years go by and determined that I needed change what seeing death celebrated triggers in me.

I asked myself, “What thoughts can I connect to tombstones that would help heal my battered soul?” My heart answered, “The death of death! The day God swallows up death forever! The day we will celebrate Jesus’ victory over death, our last enemy! The day God will tenderly wipe away every tear from our eyes!” Oh, how I long for that day!

I compiled a list of “Death Swallowed in Victory” verses to help my heart in those triggered moments. Training my mind and renewing my heart will take a while, but I know Jesus gives beauty for ashes. I included a photo above showing how I use Google Keep to keep lists like it in my phone. Sharing it here for those like me who may need the brighter thoughts they inspire:

Revelation 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. For Yahweh has spoken.

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Isaiah 60:20 Your sun will no longer set, and your moon will not wane; for Yahweh will be your everlasting light, and the days of your sorrow will be over.

Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd. He will lead them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:1 Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is dismantled, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies; and every one who is living and is a believer in me will never, never die. Do you believe this?”

1 Corinthians 15:54-56 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come to pass: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

Psalm 16:7-11
I will bless Yahweh, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.

I have set Yahweh always before me.
Because He is at my right hand,
I will not be moved.

No wonder my heart is glad
and my glory rejoices;
my body also rests in safety.

For You will not abandon
my soul among the dead,
nor allow your faithful one to see decay.

You cause me to know the path to life;
fill me with joy in Your presence,
everlasting delight at Your right hand.

Much love and grace,

Jenny

Tears Answered in Jesus

My tears have been my food day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?” – Psalm 42:3 ESV

What do your tears say to you? What questions do they ask? What do you do with them? Do you swallow them down or pour them out?

We have cried many tears since the death of our 20 year old son. The first question our tears asked was, “Does God understand how much this hurts?”

Maybe your tears ask with the psalmist, “Where is God?” or maybe they ask:
“Does He hear our prayers?”
“Does God see?”
“Does He care?”
“Did I do something wrong?”

The psalmist turns from swallowing bitter tears to pouring them out before God while repeatedly encouraging himself to “Hope in God” (Psalms 42:5, 11).

Shortly after losing our son, Joel, a clear choice presented itself to us:

a) We could turn away from God, swallow our bitter tears and go to a very dark place or…
b) We could turn to God, pour out our bitter sorrow and encourage ourselves to hope in Him.

This was a choice we had to make many times over; often within a single day.

As we continued to turn to God with our bitter sorrow and place our hope in Him, our tears were answered with God’s love shown to us in Jesus.

In Jesus, we see the sacrificial love of the Father for us (John 3:16).
In Jesus, we see God’s care for the very hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7).
In Jesus, we see Him weeping alongside us at the grave of those we love (John 11:35).
In Jesus, we see Him carry all our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4).
In Jesus, we see Him providing forgiveness for our sins at the cross (Luke 23:34).
In Jesus, we see our Resurrection and Life (John 11:25).
In Jesus, we see our Eternal Salvation (Hebrews 5:9).

In Jesus, we have the promise, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3).

In Jesus, we have a “firm and secure” hope as an “anchor for our soul” (Hebrew 6:19).

We know that God understands how much this hurts because we see Jesus during the days of His earthly life offering “up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death” (Hebrews 5:7).

We know that God hears our prayers, because this same “Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Romans 8:34).

What will you do with your tears? Will you turn with us and pour out your bitter sorrow to God, commit to encourage yourself to hope in Him, and allow His lovingkindness in Jesus to answer your tears?

Much love,

Jenny

Reasons Not to Seek a Medium or Spiritists

When you are suffering or have lost someone you dearly love, there can be a temptation to desperately grasp at any means of comfort. God may feel distant, inaccessible, or we may honestly not be on speaking terms with Him. Seeking a medium or spiritists may sound like a good idea, but the reality is that it can be devastatingly dangerous. What we need when our hearts are broken is nothing short of a miracle. We need the comfort that only God can give.

God is not distant or inaccessible. Jesus died on the cross so that nothing can ever separate us from His love again. All we have to do is ask and He will come to our rescue.

I am not saying that our journey through suffering to comfort will be quick or easy, but if we will continually turn our hearts to God, He will be faithful to meet us and minister to us as only He can.

I was so blessed a few years ago when I read a Kim Nolywaika’s “Eight Reasons Why I Will Not See a Psychic Medium” that I wanted to write a similar post of my own. I hope this line of thought helps you as it has me. Kim’s post can be found on her blog at: https://youcantrusthim.com/2017/03/09/eight-reasons-why-i-will-not-see-a-psychic-medium/

Download my page of reasons below as a pdf here.

In His love,

Jenny Coleman

Trust the Engineer

It can get really dark on this fallen planet, but those who trust in Jesus are only traveling through.
The darkness is not our destination.
Eventually, if we trust our Heavenly Engineer and don’t jump off, we will find that He is the Everlasting Light at the end of our tunnel.

 

Your sun will no longer set, and your moon will not wane; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and the days of your sorrow will cease. – Isaiah 60:20

But those who wait upon the LORD will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, yet our inner self is being renewed day by day. – 2 Corinthians 4:16

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. – James 1:12

All these people died in faith, without having received the things they were promised. However, they saw them and welcomed them from afar. And they acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. – Hebrews 11:13

I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and the surpassing greatness of His power to us who believe. – Ephesians 1:18-19

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. -2 Corinthians 4:6

Love and grace,

Jenny

Heavenly Intercessors and Witnesses: Encouragement to Run and Pray

I recently learned that my friend, Donna, joined the great cloud of witnesses, who cheer for us. She promised to tell Joel funny stories from when we were little when she got there. Her friendship was such a gift.

Three precious women, who have prayed for and often encouraged me, have joined that cloud of witnesses in the last nine months. Their prayers and witness continue to encourage me now. I was praying this morning for their families and others who are grieving and leaning into these verses:

Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words. 27 And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God…

34 Who is there to condemn us? For Christ Jesus, who died, and more than that was raised to life, is at the right hand of God—and He is interceding for us.

I lean hard because I am weak and often don’t know how I ought to pray, but long to join Jesus and Holy Spirit in their intercession for us even when only groans too deep for words can suffice.

Jesus, consumed with zeal for His house, drove money changers out of the temple and declared:

“My house will be called a house of prayer.” (John 2, Matthew 21)

I imagine that He is consumed with that same zeal for His heavenly house and that intercession is a central part of what goes on in Heaven.

My dear friend, Terri, commented below, “Hebrews 7:25 He always lives to make intercession for us. I had to read that verse over and over to really believe I was reading it right! He lives to intercede for us. What a wonderful Truth in God’s word!”

Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.

Yes! He lives to intercede for us! Holy Spirit is interceding, Jesus, the Central Focus of Heaven, lives to intercede for us and is zealous that His house be called a house of prayer.

Our loved ones in Heaven have seen Jesus. They have seen His face, His great heart of love, His longing, His zeal, and have become like Him. I imagine that they are consumed with His zeal and His longing. I imagine that they have joined Jesus and Holy Spirit in interceding for us, asking that we would be strengthened in our faith, that we would know the width, length, height and depth of His love, be encouraged by their witness and His faithful promises to us.

In Luke 15:10, Jesus tells us,

“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

“There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels.”

Who is in the presence of the angels rejoicing?

In this chapter, Jesus tells us stories of a shepherd searching for a lost lamb, a woman scouring for a lost silver coin and a father running toward his returning prodigal son.

He is telling us how valuable we are in God’s eyes. He wants us to know how our Good Shepherd searches for us and how our Father in Heaven watches, waits and longs for our repentance. He is showing us how when we turn towards home, He runs towards us with hugs and kisses, joyfully puts us on His shoulders and calls His friends, neighbors, servants and sons together and says, “Rejoice with me!”

22b “‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”

“…there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels.”

Knowing that Jesus lives to intercede for us, and God longs for and rejoices with heavenly intercessors and witnesses over my repentance makes me want to run hard and well toward Home with my eyes fixed on Jesus for the joy set before me:

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I am so thankful that God so loved me that sent His Son, Jesus, to seek and save me. I am so thankful for the opportunity and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. I am so thankful for the prayers and witnesses of Jesus, Holy Spirit, friends and family, and of saints around the world and in Heaven. I am so thankful for our firm and secure Anchor of Hope and the encouragement to run. I am so thankful that the Spirit Himself intercedes for us when we don’t know how we ought to pray with groans too deep for words and according to the will of God.

Rejoice in hope, endure distress, devoted to prayer. Romans 12:12

With love and intercessory groans,

Jenny

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