Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Thousand Years Like Yesterday

Just recently, my dad’s truck was washed away in a flooded river. Thankfully, Dad got out safely and the truck was headed for the scrap yard within a few months anyway, so it wasn’t a big loss.

Today, while doing memory verses, I came across an interesting passage.

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For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.” (Psalm 90:4-5)

After seeing that flooded river, this verse (verse five) especially jumped out at me. A thousand years…that’s a long time! Longer than most of us live! Methuselah got close at 969, but he didn’t quite get there!

That gets me thinking. Even if we did have that long to live, our lives would be pointless without Jesus. Man’s lifespan these days is very short—if you reach 100, you’re fortunate. With those 100 years, with Jesus, you could do a lot—if you choose to. It all depends on what we choose to do—how we choose to spend our precious few years here on earth. There are so many things we do that are pointless. They might be fun to do, but are the things you’re doing drawing people to the Lord? No matter what we do, we must consider this question: Is this something that will last for eternity, or is it just something that will be remembered in the present?

What’s one thing you’re doing that will last for eternity?

Keep shining!
- Esther

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Just a thought...

Wow...that's really convicting! And true!

What "everyday thing" are you grateful for today?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Guest Post: God Speaking

Originally posted on her blog, Bonnie agreed to do a guest post on this! Thanks, Bonnie!

This morning our sermon was the third in a series about God speaking. We have been exploring how God speaks to His people, with a special focus on how God spoke to His Church in the book of Acts.

Some things we have discovered so far are:
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- When the Holy Spirit is present EVERYTHING changes
- The Holy Spirit is for EVERYONE who believes in Christ
- The Holy Spirit is present with everyone, empowers everyone, gives gifts to everyone, and speaks to everyone.
- The consequence of this is that the community of Spirit-filled believers is also responsible to listen together, weigh up together and act together on what God says.

What we have learnt to apply so far is:

- Each individual in the church has the privilege of coming into God's presence and hearing from Him, which we all should do on a daily basis.
- The church as a community is to be dwelling in God's presence and hearing from God together. When they do, they are to act on what God has said.

In a nutshell: God's vision is an empowered community who dwell in His presence, listening to Him and outworking His purposes.

In the book of Acts we see this empowered community not only hearing from God as individuals and as a community for the benefit of the church, but also hearing how God wants to work through them in the marketplace. There are many examples of this in Acts.

Read Acts 8:9-25

Verses 9-14.... Sent to Samaria Luke the author is obviously linking what is going on in this passage to Jesus' promise in Acts 1:8. The point is that the gospel is for the world, not just the church. The church is the agent for the gospel, not the recipients of the gospel.

For the Jews in the church it would have been weird to think of God moving among the Samaritans. God is with the Jews not the Gentiles. Likewise we can often think that God moves in the church, not in the world around us, but God wanted to surprise the church then, as He does now, that God is working in the world as well as the church.

Do we have a bias as to where we think God is working?

Do we think God is involved in the world as He is in the church?

Verse 14..... Sent by the church... listening and obeying like Acts 13 Notice in this part the clarity that those ministering have. The Holy Spirit is revealing to them where to go, what to do and how to go about it.

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Verses 15-17.... Philip, Peter and John all need each other It takes a church to make disciples, not just an individual. We all have different gifts that we share, so that through our interdependence God does his work. We may often be called to build on what someone else has started.

Verses 18-25.... Peter has Godly insight and boldness We might think "I could never do that!". Peter is empowered with supernatural insight and boldness. However, when we go on a mission we may be surprised how the Holy Spirit uses us! It is exciting what God can do when we are listening and obeying.

The unusual thing that happens in this account is the actions of Simon. How come he returned to his old ways after believing in Christ? True repentance hadn't taken place. The point is, we need to truly repent and totally surrender to Christ before His Holy Spirit can fill us.

How does the clarity, boldness and effectiveness of Peter's actions inspire you and your situation?

God wants His people to take His presence and power into the world around them, where He is already at work. As we do so, we will see God move and grow in confidence and partnership with Him. The Church then becomes a place of empowerment, equipping and celebration.

A good way to remember the application to our lives is by using the acronym APP. Yes, think of this as the Holy Spirit APP for your life, rather than an app for your phone.
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A = AWARENESS of God's presence
Like the early church, let's get into the habit of coming into God's presence every day and inviting the Holy Spirit to be with us, guide us and speak to us throughout our day. Pray for opportunities to share what God has given you and expect God to be working around you.

P = Develop God's PERSPECTIVE
Like the book of Acts, let's see beyond the natural circumstances. Let's ask questions like "What would Jesus reigning in this situation look like?" Then be listening for an answer and be willing to act on God's leadings.

What is impressive about the book of Acts is that they gave it a go. There comes a point where you just have to take the risk and try something. We will never know exactly what is going to happen, but what we see in Acts in our experience is that often God surprises us.

About the Author: Bonnie is the second eldest in a homeschooling family of nine children. She plays the violin and piano, loves dancing and singing and dislikes being called ‘Bons’! Among other things, some of her hobbies include playing and umpiring netball, sewing, writing, climbing trees, crocheting and knitting, drawing pictures, taking photos and playing practical jokes on people. She blogs at Bonnie's Blessings. Feel free to check out her website…more followers of her blog are ever appreciated! (But don't bother unless you want to. :-))

Monday, June 24, 2013

Tempted like as we are…

I don’t know if this verse has been shared before or not, but this is an amazing reminder! Jesus was tempted just like we are, but he was still sinless! What an encouragement!


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Changes (part 1)

This last week has been full of challenges, tears, and thanksgiving. Among other things, there have been some changes to the Jewels of Jesus team. On Sunday, Tiffany sent an email to Rachel and me, telling us of her decision to leave the JOJ team. For me, it is heart-wrenching to see her go. She’s been an incredible encouragement to me, as well as a faithful writer for the JOJ Magazine and an ‘old faithful’—she’s been an editor ever since the magazine was born back in July 2011!

While it is sad to see her leave, I can understand where she’s coming from and why she decided to go. We’ll miss her as an editor (although she said that she is still willing to read over our articles and check for any problems!), supporter, and also as a pillar of the group. Even though she’ll be gone from this end of things for the most part, I’m still thankful for our friendship. Over the past few years, we’ve become good friends, and although our friendship has had some rough points (at least, from my perspective!) we’re still good friends and I’m really thankful to God for bringing us together.

After I got the email from her, and talked on the phone for an hour, I spent a lot of time in prayer, trying to decide what to do and where to go from here. We basically had two choices: Keep the magazine and blog going, or drop the magazine and just keep the blog. From the stats I heard from Tiffany, not many girls we know are reading the magazine when we give it to them. That was discouraging! I began to wonder if it’s really worth all the effort that goes into writing the articles, designing the magazine, editing it, and finally printing it?

Part 2 will be in the next issue which should come out in about 3 weeks.

What are your thoughts—do you read the magazine enough to make it worth keeping going? Or do you not bother, and just read the blog itself?


We’d like it if you could fill out the following form—reader support is very important in what we decide.

Thanks for your input!
- Esther

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Live for Eternity...We are called to glorify God!

A very powerful clip from Paul Washer.

"We are not called to build empires! We are not called to be accepted! We are called to glorify God!" 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I Talked To Him Today


This is a beautiful song! I’ve heard it many times, and each time it warmed my heart. Jesus is SO good!

Keep shining for Him; you’re a precious jewel in His eyes!


Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Most Precious Gift in the World...

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What an AMAZING Gift!!! :) I'm SO thankful for it!!

Have you received it?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

God’s Voice

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Are you listening to God’s voice?


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June Wallpaper!

Yes! It's finally here, 4 days late. I'm really sorry to those of you who have been waiting for it. 

So here's this months wallpaper!

(Click and save image to your desktop and enjoy all month long!)

Thanks to Esther for this month's wallpaper! :)

Please do not use these images for any other purpose other than personal enjoyment on the desktop of your computer!!!

If you have a picture that could make a nice wallpaper, please send it to us at this email. Whether if we use it or not, we'll love seeing your pictures! :)