Costa Rica, ministry, and many thanks

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Some years fly past with lightning speed. For me, a day last month marked the blink-of-an-eye passing of just such a year — a year of re-kindled delight in writing, of learning the ins and outs of blogging, and of hope that each new post would be used of God in the lives of those who’d read. I remember the day because, after weeks of prayer and lots of hesitation, I’d decided to start this blog. (Could I even write? How would I consistently write helpful words that might turn hearts toward Jesus? Could I bring God glory with each post?)

It was a scary leap day.

But here, more than a year later, I say a heart-felt thanks to each of you who’ve been a part! Thank you for reading. Thank you for following and liking and commenting — your feedback has so encouraged me. For those of you I know well — and also those I’ve never met — I pray each time I post, that the words would help in ways only the Holy Spirit knows you need. If even one person has been helped by even one post I’m honored beyond belief.

Three quick stories at this point:

First: My brother once took his kids to Costa Rica on a vacation, and I remember thinking it strange that he planned to travel camera-less.  He said he wanted to “fully enjoy each moment, and not stop the kids every few minutes to ‘pose here and pose there.'” He wanted to actually “live life and not just record it.”

Second: My pastor once warned a friend in college ministry to beware of “always studying scripture with an eye toward teaching the passage to others.” She could, in the rush of a semester, end up in a cycle of studying God’s Word to merely pass on truth. She might quit reading scripture with a desire for her own heart’s obedience, repentance, and softening. And in the process, she’d end up exhausted and depleted.

Third: I think it was Martyn Lloyd-Jones who said that when preaching about God he always wanted to have first personally worshiped through the studied passage. As a result, he’d be passionate about the section of scripture and pleading as he ministered the truth to those listening. Personal worship leads to a passionate and pleading desire that others know Christ. And the reciprocal is true: No personal study or worship = no passion or pleading.

Why the three random stories?

Because each has been part of my thought process as I’ve prayed about how often to continue posting. I always want to:

  • read scripture with a heart toward personal worship, and not only with an eye toward passing on truth via this blog.
  • enjoy God and the people around me without being on alert for possible photo-ops I could use in a post.

But no matter how often, my prayer will still be that we’d together turn our eyes upon Jesus, who is even more beautiful than anything or anyone we’ve ever desired on earth. He alone loves with love unimagined. To Him be the glory — in blogs and in all of life.

“To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13)

____________________

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About Jill

I'm a wife, mom to three beautiful children, and currently work at two jobs for which I'm very grateful -- part-time at my kids' school, and as children's ministry director at Redeemer PCA in Athens, GA, a place our family treasures as our church home. It's been thirty years since the Lord saved me, and to this day I'm astounded at His steadfast love shed upon unfaithful me. My hope would be that I might speak and write in ways God would use to soften hearts toward Him, that we would together be enamored by the glorious beauty of Jesus and awakened to His love unimagined. Thanks so much for reading!
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