A Father’s Faithfulness

It’s crazy what can change in just a year. One year ago it was placed on my heart to leave the comfort of my the life I had worked so hard at building in South Carolina. It didn’t make sense to me or my family. I had accomplished so much at my age and had the life I always thought I wanted. Then Jesus came into my life and turned it completely upside down (in a good but sometimes scary way). I’d been in church and I loved the Lord with all my heart but I felt compelled to do more. So, I begin looking into missions. There are many missions to choose from, but I was drawn to Youth with a Misson, Discipleship Training School. It is a 12 week mission located in Louisville, Kentucky. We will be working hands on within the community and learning discipleship and evangelism in the classroom. Everything we do is driven by the desire to grow closer to God. The mission will end with a 10 week outreach phase to spread the gospel overseas. I am so excited to have this opportunity to not only serve the Lord but the community as well.

I am two weeks out from the start date for youth with a mission! I am excited and scared all at the same time, and looking forward to sharing the ups and downs of this adventure with you guys! Right now, I am in awe of Gods faithfulness. If you are in a place where you need encouragement, listen to Reckless love by Cory Ashbury…it’s my go to!

And oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah
There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me

When he placed this on my heart to do missions. It took patience which is something I am not really good at and holding on with hope, when I didn’t think I would get to this moment. Faith in myself and God was wavering, but holding on to a promise this last year has brought me joy along with trails and sometimes faith the size of a mustard seed. God never fails and I am filled with joy he has trusted me with this adventure to go overseas spreading the gospel. My wallpaper for my phone this last year has been-“Everything you have spoken, will come to pass, let it be done.”Everything that happens will come to pass and will be used for good, I don’t want anything that isn’t Gods plan for my life. I am most looking forward to growing in a more intimate relationship with God, to be able to serve the needs to those around me and overseas! I ask for your prayers during this time to live in the moment, don’t let self doubt get in the way of seeking God and opportunities to grow deeper in faith, praying for wisdom, humility and radical bold faith. Thank you, for the supporting my blog and I am looking forward to posting more often, this is a huge change for me and I am sure there will be lots of stories!

Link below any donation or share I am extremely grateful for! Prafully consider supporting me in this next step in life, at Ywam six month program. I want to be praying for you also, go to the contact page message me or leave a comment!

https://www.youcaring.com/jessicabender10weekoverseasoutreachphase-1128401

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Mirror Mirror On The Wall, Is God Really Real After All?

God is REAL and he desires a relationship with all of us! These are my lessons learned in 2017, during my first year of seeking an intimate relationship with God.

Lessons learned in 2017 about God, in no particular order:
Share yours in the Comments!

1. Say YES! Last year I made a decision to do Youth with a Mission which is a 5 month Discipleship Training Program, it begins this year in March- 12weeks bible study and 10 weeks overseas. Many times I have gotten the comment that’s great do you feel like its your calling/were you called? Or that’s great God has a strong calling on your life etc. It wasn’t a grand thing, and I don’t want anyone to get discouraged about doing missions or looking into what it would be like to be a missionary. My decision came from a place of really desiring a intimate relationship with God, starting to read my bible and one day I read Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father in the name of the Son and in the name of the Holy Spirit.” Then I said Okay and began researching missions, simple. I have no idea what’s to come or what’s going to happen after, this is really the first time in my life I don’t have everything planned out, but I am really excited. I was also reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan which is a must read.

2. Heart Conditions- like envy, jealous, greed, selfish, anger, cheating, addiction etc. and if someone upsets your not fighting flesh against flesh look at yourself, your spirit your walking in, and your heart condition. For me I had to give up Tv, facebook, instagram, YouTube, and snapchat. Not that I think any of these things are bad, but for me I needed a break. I need to work on my heart condition of priorities, controlling thoughts while using social media and seeking God first not the last 5min of the day when I am about to fall asleep after playing on my phone for 5 hours.

3. Serving One Master- For me as a young adult, trying to build my life and be successful living in a world where more is better. This last year was about learning the true value of time and money. Your either serving God or the Devil and I was serving the devil when it came to making money, keeping it to myself, and choosing work over family time in order to make more money. Killing myself for what? To make more money for myself to store up for…one day. I am a fleeting vapor, nothing is mine because it all belongs to God. Seeking God even when I don’t feel like it.

4. The Bible- 2017 is the first time I have picked up a bible and read it, and I am so blown away by all the truth, wisdom, and Gods love poured out on each page. It was also a time of enjoying church for the first time and learning how vital it is for me to attend when it comes to accountability, staying focused on God and not getting blown off track. That being said I also began watching sermons at home at least two times a week which is when I really feel intimate with God. This has helped the most because sometimes in church its hard for me to be in the moment and connect.

5. Live Light- God loves me and wants to know everything. There is no reason to walk around with the weight of the world regrets, shame, guilt, worry, anxieties etc. Sometimes it is hard to let go but God is always there, ready to take the load.

6. Spiritual Warfare is real- 2017 has had its ups and downs of insomnia, sleep paralysis, nightmares, and to many to count almost car wrecks. It has shown me the importance of a Mentor someone to guide you, pray for you, be there to come pray over house and just be a good friend in Faith.

7. God is worthy of everything- 2017 was a learning year, trying everything to try and make myself feel something- worthy, successful, alive. Trying new jobs, school, apartment, dating apps etc. To being embraced by God who calls me daughter, picked me up, turned my life around, gave me purpose and joy. God is worthy!

8. Prayer- Is the most important thing when it comes to seeking and maintaining a relationship with God. This is something I struggled with in the beginning, and you might be in the same boat, my advice would be to start by just being conscious of God throughout the day in your thoughts. Maybe starting off just talking to him all day long,  even if its just a few words at a time, like Thank you God. It doesn’t have to be a scheduled time and when it comes to talking to God,  sharing your thoughts and feelings there is no wrong way to do it, God loves and wants YOU ALWAYS.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall
Have I Learned Anything at all
Past predicts your future
Things you think become your habits
Unless you let God have it

Mirror Mirror on the wall
I thought you were the only friend, I could count on
But you are flawed
You tell me lies, you don’t see me for what’s on the inside
I have learned to find truth
In my saviors eyes

Mirror mirror on the wall
I have to go there’s people in need
I don’t have time to stand around, just looking at me
With greed, envy, jealousy
There’s so much more than me, me, me

Mirror Mirror on the wall
This is the year, I surrender all
The year GOD gets it all
Reflection of self seeking ways, with only me in mind
This is where I leave you behind
Goodbye

Sacrifice is my meditation word for 2018. The Hebrew word for Sacrifice is Korban which means “coming closer”. It derives from the root word Karev which means to “Draw near” to gain intimacy with God. Thoughts behind this word is God has given me everything and I struggle somedays to give him anything. This year is about giving God my time, heart, thoughts, not only tithe but offering, and being a servant to the kingdom of God.

Mark 1:43-45
Whoever wants to become great among you must serve the rest of you like a servant. 44 Whoever wants to become the first among you must serve all of you like a slave. 45 In the same way, the Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people.”

Philippians 3:7-10
Those things were important to me, but now I think they are worth nothing because of Christ. 8 Not only those things, but I think that all things are worth nothing compared with the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him, I have lost all those things, and now I know they are worthless trash. This allows me to have Christ 9 and to belong to him. Now I am right with God, not because I followed the law, but because I believed in Christ. God uses my faith to make me right with him. 10 I want to know Christ and the power that raised him from the dead. I want to share in his
sufferings and become like him in his death. 11 Then I have hope that I myself will be raised from the dead.

Luke 9:24
For whoever wishes to gain his life will loses it. And whoever loses his life for my-sake, he is the one who will gain it.

 

 

Where’s The Evidence?

Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

It is by faith we understand that the whole world was made by God’s command so what we see was made by something that cannot be seen.

Men know about God. He has made it plain to them. Men cannot say they do not know about God. From the beginning of the world, men could see what God is like through the things He has made. This shows His power that lasts forever. It shows that He is God. Romans 1:19-20

By The heavens declare the glory of God, and the skies announce what his hands have made. Day after day they tell the story; night after night they tell it again.They have no speech or words; they have no voice to be heard.But their message goes out through all the world; their words go everywhere on earth. Psalms 19:1-4

By Faith Abel…
By Faith Enoch…
By Faith Noah…
By Faith Abraham…
By Faith Sarah…
By Faith Abraham…
By Faith Jacob…
By Faith Isaac…
By Faith Jacob…
By Faith Joseph…
By Faith Moses…
By Faith passed through the Red Sea….
By Faith walls of Jericho…
By Faith the prostitute of Rahab…
By Faith (YOUR NAME)…

By faith what are you going to do with your life? Change the course of what people think you are capable of, change the course of history, change the lives of many with your story of your faith in God. Have faith and let God be the author of your story, guide your steps, and let go of things holding you back. I Pray that from this day forward you start to renew your faith and refresh your mind, body, and soul. Spending time with God in the word, mediation, prayer, and going out into the world giving your heart to the broken. By Faith (YOUR NAME)…

What I do to prioritize my mind in the morning:
By Faith today and forever, I (Jessica) am going to live my life for my Creator, Savior, Christ My King, My Heavenly Father who has given me everything, love is greater than all things, I surrender myself to Gods will.

And what more shall I say? Through their faith they defeated kingdoms. They did what was right, received God’s promises, and shut the mouths of lions.They stopped great fires and were saved from being killed with swords. They were weak, and yet were made strong. They were powerful in battle and defeated other armies.Women received their dead relatives raised back to life. Others were tortured and refused to accept their freedom so they could be raised from the dead to a better life.

Post Based on Hebrews 11

 

What Is Your Life?

Come now, you who say “Today or tomorrow we will go into this city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit.”

Where as you do not know what will happen tomorrow.

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE?

It is just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. James 4:13-14

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of having stressful Mondays. Join me today and giving it to the Lord. Praying for a new perspective, for opportunities to show faith and love on people like Jesus.

 

Don’t Leave Me

Poem: Don’t Leave Me

I have tasted and seen
The great love you have for me
That’s when I make everything
Complicating
And even though you say every promise you keep
And your love
Is greater than all things
I just have a few things to say
Daughter to father
Daughter to father

Don’t leave me like everyone else
Don’ leave me I know I have my doubts
Don’t leave I am begging please
Don’ t leave me I know I’m overwhelming
Don’ t leave me I know Ive made mistakes
Don’t leave me when the battles hard to face
Don’t leave me when I don’t make sense
Don’t leave me when I fall to sin
Don’t leave me in my brokenness
Don’ t leave me
Daughter to father
Daughter to father

Everything I say to you
Is a promise to help carry you through
I am not going anywhere
I love you
Together we can conquer anything
My love is greater than all things
I just have a few thing to say
Father to daughter
Father to daughter

Don’t leave me I have plans for you
Don’ t leave me I consecrated you
Don’t leave me I am never leaving you
Don’t leave me heaven wants you
Don’t leave me I can give you hope
Don’t leave me when there’s so much to say
Don’t leave me I am begging you to stay
Don’t leave me there nothing you can do,
To make me not want you
Don’t leave me
Father to daughter
Father to daughter

I am running
I am running
I am running
I am running
I am running straight to you

I am never leaving your light
I am never leaving your peace
I am never leaving your joy
I am never leaving your kindness
I am never leaving your faithfulness
I am never leaving your goodness
I am never leaving your strengthen
I am never leaving your love
You gave me when you died on the cross
I am never leaving
I love you
I love you
I am never going to walk away from you

Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Don’t Leave Me

This season has been interesting, I woke up one day thinking what happened. I was so on track with God worshipping, journaling, praying, reading, and watching sermons. Waking up one day a couple of weeks ago and thinking what in the world happened I wasn’t praying, daily schedule was a mess, not working out, and really bad insomnia. Not really doing anything to connect with God throughout the day. When before that’s all I thought about, it was a constant awareness throughout the day and conversation with him. To thinking God where are you, when really it was me, slowly trying to take things back into my own hands and control without even realizing it. I wasn’t letting God control my day and actions, instead doing what I felt with my time, schedule and finances. To waking up one day and praying “God I am lost and it crept in. I need you stay with me” Receiving an overwhelming peace that God isn’t going anywhere, he is waiting for me.

Luke 15:20-24
20 “The son got up and went to his father. While he was yet a long way off, his father saw him. The father was full of compassion for him. He ran and threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am not good enough to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to the workmen he owned, ‘Hurry! Get the best coat and put it on him. Put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet. 23 Bring the calf that is fat and kill it. Let us eat and be glad. 24 For my son was dead and now he is alive again. He was lost and now he is found. Let us eat and have a good time.’

 

No More Tears

Song idea let me know your thoughts!

I’ll be the first to tell you, I am not perfect
I’ll be the first to tell you, when I look in the mirror I think I am worthless
I’ll be the first to tell you, I have made big mistakes

But let me tell you about someone
Who changed everything
Jesus came
With his grace
And he saved me
I was on my knees
Begging please
For just someone to hold me
He said
child wipe your eyes
Stand up tall
I got my light
It’s going to show you
I got a plan
Hold my hand
We are going to do this
Child of mine
Don’t you cry

I’ll be the first to tell you, I don’t understand the world
I’ll be the first to tell you, I am just a scared girl
I’ll be the first to tell you, I didn’t think God could love me

But Let me tell you about someone
Who changed everything
Jesus came
With his grace
He wanted me for me
I was on my knees
Begging please
For just someone to Notice me
He said
child wipe your eyes
Stand up tall
I got the light
It’s going to show you
I got a plan
Hold my hand
We are going to do this
Child of mine
Don’t you cry

I’ll be the first to tell you, he loves you even on the darkest days
I’ll be the first to tell you, you too can be saved
I’ll be the first to tell you, your whole life can change

Except the invitation
Someone has a message for you tonight
My name is Jesus
Let my grace
Fill this place and
Save you
Get up off your knees
Begging please
For just anyone to love you
Child Wipe your eyes
Stand up tall
I claim you as mine
I got the light
It’s going to show you
I got a plan
Hold my hand
We are going to do this
Child of mine
Don’t you cry

I’ll be the first to tell you, heaven is calling you home
I’ll be the first to tell you, if your sacred your not alone
I’ll be the first to tell you, God wants you as you are
All you have to do is open your heart
Beloved
Don’t you cry

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:4

And he also said “it is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all those who are thirsty I give freely from the springs of the water of life. All those who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my child.  Revelation 21:6-7

Thoughts behind this is, yes there will always be something in life that I hate, wish I had more of or wished I could have done better.  The thing is whatever is happening in life good or bad its the will of God and what’s best. Whether it’s being blessed or being taught “dont you cry” God always has a plan. Also taking the focus off me me me and helping someone else “let me tell you about someone who can change everything” Being able to see in life the goodness, faithfulness, and love of God.

 

UNACCEPTABLE

Almost everyday for two weeks I would get off work and drive around the mall close to my apartment, trying to decide what I wanted for dinner. Driving in circles thinking I am starving, but there’s so many choices. God reminded me of a statistic I read in Radical by David Platt “more than 26,000 children today will breathe their last breathe due to starvation or a preventable disease.” Static from Mercy Corps is “every 10 seconds a Child dies from hunger.”

“Complete starvation in adults leads to death within 8 to 12 weeks. In the final stages of starvation, adult humans experience a variety of neurological and psychiatric symptoms, including hallucinations and convulsions, as well as severe muscle pain and disturbances in heart rhythm.“ -Encyclopedia

8 to 12 weeks without food and thats for an adult! When I act like I am dying after 3 hours. “This year 36 million people will die of hunger.” -Theworldcounts.com To me this is unacceptable how can we let this happen. In American we have so much privilege with opportunities for our lives and to make a difference in the lives of others. Americas population makes up 4.4% of the worlds population, as a young adult who has never lacked anything, its hard to comprehend what the rest of the world goes through. It’s easy to read a statistic and go on with your day because you have never experienced it. This is one reason I really wanted to go overseas with YWAM to have a purpose in life, to help others, and to spread to gospel for there so many who are in need of a Savior.  “Little or no access to the gospel make up 42.2% of the worlds population and unevangelized make up 11% of the worlds population.”      -thetravelteam.org

Mark 16:15 He said to them “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

God has been stirring my heart to not settle for these statistics, to stop and truly think about it. Question myself and what really matters. I went to google and started researching a bunch of different topics that affect the world and its population such as: Orphan, human trafficking, suicide, hunger etc.

I want to share with you a Video God lead me to make that will hopefully stir your heart to not settle for the statistics, there is a victory and its in the name of Jesus.