Tag Archives: life

•Obtain•Remain•Sustain•

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.Deuteronomy 30. (Read)

The Lord put on my heart back in November to read through the Bible – cover to cover. My pastor encourages to “read scripture slowly” so I haven’t been following a “Read your Bible in a year plan” but instead 1-2 chapters sometimes 3 a day. One of the challenges I’ve had over the years is to f o c u s and dig deep into the Old Testemant. I was a skimmer of the OT before but WOW how God has been using it to speak to me and making it come alive and relatable to my today. 

Our Father desires us. ALL of us.

“Ex 34:14  Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”

He wants to prosper us and desires us to remain in Him. God is not pushy or a God of force. He wants us to want Him — above all else. As I was reading Deuteronomy 30 the Lord put three words on my heart. Obtain,Remain and Sustain. So I pulled up google and searched “define…” and typed in each word to dig a little deeper than Jessica’s definition of these words 🙂

Obtain. “to come into possession of; get, acquire, or procure, as through an effort or by a request”

Proverbs 8:35 “For those who find me find life and receive favor from the LORD.”

Remain. “to continue in the same state; continue to be as specified”
John 15:4 “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

Sustain. “to support, hold, or bear up from below; bear the weight of, as a structure.”

Psalm 54:4 Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul.

He is OURS. We GET to serve and live with Him FOR Him. We are priveldeged enough to obtain His salvation. In order to fulfil His plan we must remain in Him — not of this world or fleshly desires. When we remain in Him — He sustains us. He gives us the strength, love and support that we need to walk out His will.

Be encouraged today that HE is Emmanuel — the WITH us God. We don’t walk through mountains or valleys alone because God is the Constant One. 

If you didn’t have time to read Deuteronomy chapter 30 earlier — it’s talking about the ones who are -coming back- to His goodness. God has laid out the paths of life or death. They got to choose…so do we. I love how it mentions it’s not difficult to obtain His favor. We don’t have to ask someone to cross the sea and bring it back – it’s IN Him and He abides IN us now! The same God who provided for the Israelites and redeemed them time and time again is the same God who redeems us TODAY. He is restoration! I encourage you to read the whole chapter.

All He asks for is our heart — pure, deep, aching love for Him that continues so much so that He is the ONLY one who can sustain us because after all we were created for HIM by HIM.

Father,

Thank You for choosing to create me. Thank You for giving me grace and eternity when I deserve hell. Thank You for new mercies every day. Father forgive me for the times I haven’t remained in You. Forgive me for the times I chose my agenda over Yours. Help me to chase after You with all that I am. We all crave something more and God You put that crave there for a purpose on purpose — to continually remain IN You. Help me seek You more. Help me love louder — without demand or expectations — simply because You love me. Be my sustainer in the mountains and the valleys. I welcome You to lead, guide and direct — every area. Help me to keep pure intentions and focused on YOU. Your kingdom come – Your will be done. Amen.

Xoxo,

Jess Fox
PS. If you haven’t read the Bible through — today is the day to start! Transformation in your life starts with saturation of the WORD💛

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The very •words• we speak are more powerful than we will ever know. The tongue is actually responsible for life and death.

Proverbs 18:21 (msg) Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

I saw a meme on Facebook that really stood out to me – it said “if the words you speak frequently were tattooed on your body what would they say?” Wow. Would your body be – a reflection of Jesus or an imitation of the enemy. 

When we’ve asked our kids to do something for what seems the hundredth time – what words and tones do we use? When our husbands miss the laundry basket by a foot with their dirty socks (or just one and the other somewhere else lol) how do we respond? OR do we react? I’ve had my fair share of reactions but the more I draw near to Him the more I’m learning to respond and quietly! Someone once said, “If you want your children to listen – whisper it instead of screaming it” (Kudos to the hubby who now puts his socks IN the laundry room 🙂 newly weds…the day WILL come for you – keep a gentle spirit ha)

So not only are our words vital but the tones that go with them. If we want life to the FULL and desire to have “good days” we must learn to •zip it• (speaking to myself here) Build •others• UP and you’ll notice the Father will build you UP – with a deep down  satisfaction that -no one- else can bring.

1 Peter 3:10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.

When we meditate on Him and receive the words He has for us — it’s much easier to allow God words to flow out of our mouths.
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Father help my words be -God words- ones that reflect and extend YOU. To the stranger on the side of the street to the President of the United States and all in between help them see YOU in me. Help my heart and mouth be pure and in sync with You. Thank you for Your Spirit who helps to keep us in check. My prayer is for the Helper to convict me more and more of the words and tones I use – it’s not only a “me thing” but for those around me – those to whom I speak to. Help my words be holy as You are holy. 

In Christ,

Jessica Fox

•Fully Focus•

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•Fully Focus•

In a world full of distractions – it’s most difficult to f o c u s.

Our families deserve our “best” affection, our workplace deserves our ~excellence~, our churches deserve our *dedicated* service.

It can become overwhelming to say the least – and I just mentioned a few areas. A sweet chorus my mom used to sing me to sleep resonates in my heart this morning :

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.”

When we “fully focus” on Him – the hustle and bustle of things don’t seem nearly as demanding as they do when we are -fully focused- on “those things”. Our attitudes become like His, our words become life, our actions reflect His love. 

See, Matthew 6:33 says, 

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

All “these things” will be •given• to us once we are fully focused on Him. 

For me “these things” are characteristics of The Father in order to walk out His calling in my life. For example – raising children requires MUCH patience and grace. Eating clean requires self-control. Serving in various areas requires humility and God confidence. If I don’t start my day in Him I run out of those by 8 am. 

The point I’m hoping to pull out is this – seek HIM- trust HIM- be imitators of HIS Word- and you will radiate the characteristics of God. 

Ephesians 5:1-2

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

Father,

May I have the “God scent” you desire me to have- to You first and then to the world. Help my actions line up with my words. Help my life to be a reflection of Your love. Help me focus on You – above ALL else. Help me in the areas I lack for IN You – I lack nothing – I AM a new and whole creation in You. 

“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing”2 Corinthians 2:15

Much Love,

Jessica Fox

(Photo credit: http://www.influencechurchradio.com/uncategorized/women-of-influence-focus/)

Send me – I’ll go

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Send me – I’ll go

Let me start off by saying I’m so incredibly thankful for worldwide missionaries – ones that •go• where others do not. Ones that are -called- and sent out to share His love. They have my highest respect!

Believers who share God’s love with their nextdoor neighbor also have my highest respect. The Word does not say that someone is valued more by the Father by occupation. Thank the Lord that HIS grace and love is enough for us ALL.

I’ve been meeting with a group of young ladies weekly and I am so loving the friendships that are growing while our relationship with the Father is deepening. It’s definitely had a “deep & wide” effect on me. 

We’ve been talking about praying dangerous prayers and being more bold in our Faith.

The book we are going through is entitiled “Set my Heart on Fire” by Lee Grady and I highly recommend you reading it!

Very inspiring and eye opening to the Spiritual realm. Life with God is so much deeper than salvation. While that’s necessary to be in relationship with Him and receive His grace – it is the foundation of what it yet to come. 

Thankful that His Spirit empowers us to walk in Him to the full! For example, we can share our faith with gentle boldness, we can speak LIFE into others, we benefit from His discernment, we can have a prayer language and so much more!

Personal story…a few weeks ago I felt led to purchase the order of the car behind me at Starbucks. I got up to the window and paid for mine and then said I’d like to pay for the car behind me. The barista at the window said “Wow what a generous thing to do” my response? “Thank you” – THANK YOU- 

I drove off and the Holy Spirit began to speak to me – I had taken credit for the generous act. For all they know I could have been a generous atheist. I did not acknowledge Him at all. Now I do believe the Holy Spirit can work regardless of me BUT it was a fear issue. I had asked earlier “Send me – I’ll go” but I went in fear and didn’t acknowledge Him with boldness. I believe Fear is the enemy’s “rest” if you will. He loves for us to be crippled and paralyzed by it so much so that we choose fear over FAITH.

I heard this deep in my heart, as a teachable moment, “The Father is SO generous to me daily and I wanted to share His love”

^^^That will be my response the next time. Who knows what could come from that statement? The Lord could open the door for me to lead the barista to HIM. But I must obey and speak with God confidence – that can only be found in Him. 

In our study one chapter talks about “flowing in the Spirit” and how when we *attempt* to in our flesh – it’s exhausting and not effective. When we flow IN HIM it is edifying and not only effective but contagious. 

My challenge to you and to myself is to pray “God send me – I’ll go, with God confidence that only comes from You. Increase Your Spirit in me and decrease my selfish motives. Help me keep my heart and intentions pure.”

When you pray “dangerous prayers” like that – watch out because God WILL use you. You may be heading to Africa or buying meals at restaurants or leading people to the Lord in the middle of the grocery store. You may be playing basketball outside with the neighborhood kids – extending God’s love to them because their family may be going through a divorce, you may be smiling at strangers or leading a small group at your church. Don’t put God in a box and allow Him to flow •through• you as you seek more of Him.

Proverbs 3:6 In ALL your ways acknowledge Him, And He WILL make your paths straight.

Much love,

Jessica Fox

(Coffee mug picture from http://www.anqu.com/tu_543/22890_7/)

Be a source of JOY – wife version

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Dear soon to be wife or newly wed, I was you – exactly 7 1/2 years ago! You know, we have it all together – working, volunteering, taking care of the house, planning a wedding and maybe even taking college classes. At the time, I thought I knew quiet a bit – I’m not saying I did not know anything but acknowledging now that I did not know as much as I thought.

One thing I’ve learned over the past several years carrying the title “wife and mother” is – we are CALLED to BE a source of JOY to our husbands.

Let’s rewind 7 years ago to a morning in our bathroom where I was literally about to kill my new handsome perfect to me husband (ok not kill but pretty close lol)
– I fell into the toilet bc he had left the seat up
– The toothpaste lid was off
– His underwear and socks were literally in every corner

I remember getting SO upset over “these things.” I mean how could two humans clash so badly but yet love each other over the moon and back and be on the same page in life?

You see God uses even “these things” to teach, shape and mold us. Ok fast forward 7 1/2 years (we’ve been youth pastor’s, experienced a miscarriage, grown more knowledge in financial matters, experienced heartbreak from unfulfilled dreams, Hayden going back and graduating from college after Gabe was born, death of our grandfathers, have two beautiful children, moved a few times….etc) we’ve been through a lot together to say the least – BUT GOD. He is faithful through every season. So anyways I’ll stop rambling. Wives how do we become a “source of joy” to our husbands?

1. Acknowledge that we cannot meet his every need and vice versa. First we must fill ourselves FULL of the Father. Read His word daily – multiple times a day (you ALWAYS have time) I encourage you to journal as well. Not a happy, fluffy or fake journal but one where you are REAL with God – about everything. There was a season when I was a new mom and felt like I didn’t “have time” to read my Bible and I went through a slump – that’s why I always say…you HAVE time – make it.

2. SERVE your husband. We live in such a “me” world that it’s gotten SO far away from what our Creator envisioned us doing. The moment you are “too good” to be a helping hand or to pick up after him without being asked then I feel we need to “reconnect” and make sure our hearts are truly aligned with HIS. Trust me I’ve picked up a LOT of underwear, socks and clothes that pile up on “that chair” over the years and the earlier years when I complained about it – did NOTHING. He at least gets them “near” the laundry basket now but what harm does it really do for me to pick them up? A few of my friends have lost their husbands unexpectedly due to car accidents lately and let’s just say – a moment like that – puts things into perspective. I thought to myself – honey miss the basket every single day, leave your guitar case wide open and guitar laying in the corner – I’ll gladly pick it up. I now pray over his clothes when I’m folding, ironing and putting them away – something as simple as “God, protect him, keep him safe and bless him with his meetings today. God pour out your favor on his work day and let him be a light for you……” (Expressing your feelings and desires in a sweet and calm way go MUCH further than bickering and nagging) Our Father actually teaches us wives NOT to nag and bicker. Ugh that’s a hard one! Be a source of JOY. SERVE with a smile. This doesn’t mean to be a doormat and let a man treat you wrongly but it does mean position your heart with the Father and when your source of JOY is from Him then you will overflow.
3. Live simple! So often we get caught up in the materialist things we possess in our marriage instead of the moments. Moments > possessions we recently decided to sell quiet a bit of our things (some still pending) just to simplify. We’ve been eating at home much more and there’s something so unifying about “the table” at home with your little family around it. Eating out has become a “treat”. Life is beautiful and when we are constantly working to just dust our collection we miss out and our own joy is dampered. Nothing wrong with having nice things but when you both crave more and more – once again, reconnect and make sure your hearts are aligned with the Father not with the world.

I feel like all three of these points are daily processes – meaning – we never achieve all of these. We need to renew our minds and reconnect our hearts daily! I’m FAR from perfect and still gripe about things from time to time but – the beauty of attempting to *keep* and follow these three points are G R A C E. When God sees our heart and sees us truly striving HE will fill the gap. Where we are weak HE makes us strong. Where we are stubborn HE makes us humble. Where we are impatient HE makes us patient. Where we are grumpy HE makes us joyful. Our ultimate source is HIM.

I want to challenge you to continually “dine” with your Creator and HE will sustain you, HE will fill you to overflow.

Go be joyful wives and truly LOVE your husbands.

Rhythms of Life

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“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11: 28-30

Life throws us many, many different rhythms…just as a drum has many beats & tempos. The rhythms of life can depend on what we are yielding ourselves to and where we are letting our minds wonder. (“Set your minds on things above.” Colossians 3:2)

We all tend to get super busy and I know I’m guilty of this…letting the things that really matter slip. Like cleaning in the evenings whenever I should be resting or getting on Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest when I could be doing something productive. It’s wonderful to be involved and be “busy” but it’s important to have balance and not become burned out. So many times people miss the true concept of being a believer. Being a believer/follower of Christ does not mean slaving away at a church (although it’s GREAT & I encourage you to volunteer & be active in one)…it means having a relationship and walk with Christ, serving others, loving others, building the church (God’s Kingdom not the physical building) & having fellowship with one another. The enemy would love nothing more than to get you busy doing “STUFF” (religion) rather than having a RELATIONSHIP with the one who created you. It’s obvious that religion is not the answer. With religion it’s easy for things to just be a big “hype” & easily becomes “man-made” self gratification. And with that follows…burn out, competitive spirit, exhaustion, confusion…and those things are definitely not of God. But with a Relationship comes…rest, peace, comfort, joy, love, forgiveness. “Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

See the enemy tries to fill your mind with the “rhythms of the world”. In the world you have a chaotic beat/rhythm but in Christ there’s consistency. Although their are and will be trials to come…Christ will remain constant.

I feel so blessed to know that the Creator of the Universe is asking me to run to Him & cast all worries, fears, insecurities, burdens and so on to Him.

My challenge to myself & to others is to walk with HIM & keep your mind on things above. Don’t be tossed and turned with the rhythms of life but seek the constant beat with Christ.

xoxo,

Jess

Listen to this song below…Run to You by Kari Jobe!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twldmf8QEeY