Friday, December 1, 2017

Calm the storm

Mark 4:35-41
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Don't we all do this sometimes, when the storms in our life hit. We at times get all caught up in it, panic, anxiety, fear anger, depression, sorrow..., you name it, we get stuck in it. The disciples did and they had the Creator of Life in the boat! Fact is we look at the things we see and get driven by them, then we loose sight of the unseen which are the eternal things. The very things that can give or peace in our storms. They had Him in the boat, which we have Him in our heart, (even closer than the boat). We have to train ourselves where to turn when it hits.
Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us that through the endurance and the encouragement taught in the Scriptures we might have hope.
Turn to the Scripture, same as turning to Jesus, as John 1:14 says "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us." Look if Jesus conquered the biggest enemy in our lives, death, he can and will most certainly take care of the small stuff, (which at the time we are in it seems bigger than life). His way is rarely to fix the problem, but to calm the storm in our hearts and minds to give us peace even while it is storming on the outside. Doesn't He tell us not to fear, don't be anxious, don't worry, etc...? He tells us to give it to Him and carry His load, for His yoke is easy and burden is light. Giving it to Him, is calling out to Him every time it starts to pop up in your head, and do not dwell on it. It take endurance and dedication to keep on doing it, but in time, (His time) you will find yourself in the midst of His peace. Trust Him, He came to give us His life! Stay Blessed, PJ

Monday, October 2, 2017

A New Normal

It was 1 year ago today Kathy Jansen took Jacob Jansen to the ER and we found out at 3 am the next morning he had a tumor. A couple days later on the 5th after the biopsy the Dr's were pretty sure it was cancer. Hard to believe its been a year, it has gone by so fast. But here we are a year later and almost finished, but nothing is back to normal. Actually its a new normal, our lives have been changed for the better. We are all closer together, and more importantly closer to God. Cancer is a whole new world and I've been around lots of people going through it, but you dont even know until it hits home. We all have a whole new empathy for people going through it, and the nurses/doctors who care for them. It takes a special kind of person to do the work they do day after day caring for cancer patients. God put a bunch of them in care of Jacob and we are blessed because of it.
In these troubled times we are living in God is still in control.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
We just have to stop focusing on the bad, and look to the maker and author of our salvation. Focus on the eternal life we have and start living it now. We dont have to fear any of the stuff happening all around us. Even the cancer and all the other afflictions. The bible says "perfect love drives out all fear."
If you dont have a certainty of an eternal life with Him, why not make today the day. Again in 2 Corinthians verse 2:6
For he says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
Romans 10:9 "If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
All it takes is a wholehearted desire. Say this simple prayer;
Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner, and i'm asking you to forgive me of all of my sins. Come into my heart, be my Lord, my Savior and my friend and I will follow you all of my days. In Jesus name Amen.
If you said that prayer and meant it, its done. It is really that easy, its living thats hard. But in Christ I can do all things. To rob a friends' saying, this life in Christ "Is a life worth living."
Stay Blessed, PJ

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Too Late

As I waited patiently for a little over 8 months for my first pineapple to be ready, the day came that I cut it off. It might have been a bit late as it was, but I wanted to be certain it was ready. After it sat a few days, I popped the top off and prepared the top for replanting. I looked at the pineapple sitting there and almost cut into it a few times. I didn’t because I wanted to share it, so continued to wait for the right moment. Finally the day came which I thought to be right day to cut it up and eat it. My Pastor was over and he shares in my fondness for pineapple. So I cut it and started to trim it, and bit into a piece and all the air was let outta my balloon. He says to me, “seems a bit fermented.” Hoping maybe it was just because it was close to the end, I took a deeper piece. It was worse and I promptly spit it out, it was completely spoiled, I had waited too long.
We tend to do that a lot in our lives, we wait for the right time and find we missed it. Not speaking up, or rectifying a situation right away. Thinking and sometimes even praying, “Thank you God for taking care of this,” when it all actuality to find out it didn’t correct itself, instead it became a mountain, when it could have been dealt with easy, (although maybe uncomfortable). Causing sometimes very long lasting damage in peoples lives. It’s important to act on things when God reveals them us, but doing so seeking Him in it. If done in love, in a Godly manner it can be a beautiful thing. While letting it be, it can become a nasty, rotten pineapple, good for nothing but fertilizer.
Even in our daily activities we are receiving promptings, talk to that person, help this person, share a verse with him/her over there, opportunities that we miss for one reason or another. I don’t have time right now, they might ask for money, I’m just not that confident in the word yet, etc. the reasons go on and on. Even Moses tried that one saying “I’m not an eloquent speaker.” God still used Him despite his reluctance. Have you ever tried going back after the prompting? I have and most every time the person was no longer there. Once the moment is passed it’s usually too late, we’ve missed a moment to experience God through obedience to Him tugging at your heart
Same way with our eternity, we gotta act when the prompting comes, not waiting because I still have a lot of life to live, or things to do that don’t agree with a Christian lifestyle. Too many things to do or try before I start following God. Just remind yourself, He didn’t wait until you were ready to die for your sins. The bible says, “God demonstrated His love for us in this, “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us” Romans 5:8. Fact is nobody is promised tomorrow. As Greg Laurie said about this life, “nobody gets out alive”. Call on Him while it is still “today”, cause tomorrow may not come. Even if tomorrow does come, wouldn’t you want to live it in the freedom that only comes from Christ? You may say, “Well now I am free to do the things that the bible says not to do.” Truth is we become in bondage to whatever we get caught up in. Whether it be computer games, social media, drugs, alcohol, pornography, smoking, eating, tv, (the list goes on), we keep an eye out for our next opportunity to dive back into those things we are held captive to. Christ died to give us a freedom from all of it. “Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom” 2 Corinthians 3:17. Truth be told, my life in Christ is way better, not even comparable, to my BC days. I think one of the biggest regrets for the believer, (at least for me anyway), is that I didn’t say yes to Him sooner.
Don’t wait until it’s too late, God is calling us all to something, and once we become “fertilizer” it’s too late. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10. I know I have missed a lot of opportunities to serve Him and others, and I don’t want to add to that list. I’m certain that when we are before Him, we will all want to hear those words, “Well done my good and faithful servant”. Stay Blessed, PJ

Monday, September 18, 2017

Trials of Testing

James 1:12 
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, 
having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life 
that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
 Consider that our trials are merely tests for those who believe. While I don't believe that God brings things on us, I do believe that He allows them. So we can look at them as allowed testing. Those things are molding us and making us into something that God can better use for His purpose. So instead of asking "Why Me Lord?" Why not better seek Him and what purpose is this is going to accomplish in my life and for the lives of the people around me that He places in my path. I don't believe in chance or luck, I believe in an omnipotent God who is in control of all things. When we asked Him to be our Lord, we gave Him the authority to do His will in our lives. The bible says "You are not your own; you were bought at a price." So when you go through it, Thank God for it, though He didn't cause it He allowed it for a reason. Stand up and say "I've got this, or better yet God has got this" The reason is He isnt finished with you! Stay Blessed, PJ

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Seek Him in His Temple

One thing I ask from the Lord,
 this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
 all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord...
 and to seek him in his temple. 

  Psalm 27:4 
 First we gotta ask ourselves, Is this only what we seek?
Is it our hearts desire to draw closer to Him? I love Proverbs 3:5-6 
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. 

 When He is our hearts desire and first in our lives then we dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our lives. This isn't a promise just for after we leave this life here, its for the here and now. We can and should be living in the house of the Lord all of our days, gazing on the beauty of the Lord, this life He has given and the beauty of His creation around us. Looking at life through new glasses, ones that are able to see through all of the crap around us, and embrace what really matters. This world is falling apart all around us, but that doesn't mean we have to! Seek Him in His temple. Do you know that when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savoiur, when you repent and ask Him in, that He comes and lives in your heart. He is in you and that's were you seek Him in His temple, your heart. Paul said "don't you know that your bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit which lives in you". Look life isn't easy and nobody said it would be, but we have a "burden bearer" who wants to carry those things for us. Especially when it gets really tough and hard to walk through, He is there. Seek Him with all your heart and look to His beauty. Spend time with Him, its all about the relationship!. Stay Blessed, PJ