Friday, October 31, 2014


Dear Friends,

It has been a while since I last wrote, I know. This wasn’t the way I wanted it to end. I decided long ago that when the end came, I would not let it set and make everyone wonder. But, sadly, it turned out that way anyway.

I know you’ll be wondering “Why?” In a way, I am, too. The Lord has really blessed JOJ, and it’s hard to understand why a ministry like this has to come to an end. I have received a lot of encouragement from all of you, and it is hard to say goodbye. I’ve loved every moment of my work here—even when I was up late putting finishing touches on a post, or editing a long-overdue magazine. But now I know the Lord wants me to say goodbye.

It’s time for me to make new footprints in the sands of life. Time to head another direction.

When JOJ first started, I was thirteen years old. At that point, I was working for a few days per year at a local vineyard. My life was full, but I had enough time to work on JOJ. This year, I began my first part-time job. My family and I moved twice since last December. As I get older, my school load has gotten bigger. Just less than a month ago, I got another part-time job (and, Lord willing, I will be quitting the first one in less than two weeks). I’m also working on starting my own website.

My life has become fuller. I no longer have the time I used to. I’ve grown a lot through JOJ, but now I feel the Lord leading me to pass it on. To say goodbye. I’d love to keep writing—sharing my heart with you—but I now have other ways to reach out to people. I believe it’s important to follow Him, wherever He leads.

I don’t know what will happen to JOJ from here on out—we’ll just have to see. Andrea is in nursing school, and is too busy to write anymore. Rhoda has also moved on. Rachel and Bonnie are trying to decide what they want to do. Please pray that they will have clarity of vision, and know what the Lord would have them do.

I love you dearly, sisters. I’m finding it hard to say goodbye. And yet, I know the Lord is leading, and I don’t want to get in the way of His will. Keep seeking Him—even if this is the last post on the blog, I pray that you will still be encouraged by the archives. We’ve all grown a lot, and I know that the Lord has blessed this ministry.

Thank you for all the encouragement you’ve given us over the past years, sisters! Keep on the straight and narrow path.

Here are two encouraging verses as I close:

That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” —Acts 17:27-28 (emphasis mine)

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” —Proverbs 3:5-6 (emphasis mine)

Sisters, stand strong. The Lord is with you.

I’ll see you on the other side, if not before.

P.S. One more word of encouragement:

And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” —Deuteronomy 31:8

Friday, October 17, 2014

What is an Idol?

Anything that is more important to you than God is an idol. Idols are sin, because God has said “You shall not make for yourself an idol” and “You shall have no other gods before Me.” And a lot of things can be idols. Even something like trying to fit in with the latest perceived trends in the home education sub-culture. Or maybe it’s a blog you’re constantly checking for new posts. Or having a perfectly clean room. Anything you give more attention to than God can be called an idol.

Idols are a lot of work. You have to make them, work for them, make time for them, carry them. No matter what your idol is, it’s probably taking up a great deal of your time.

On the other hand, if Jehovah is your God, then He carries you, cares for you, upholds you and blesses you. He supplies all your needs. He Himself has no needs.

Jesus carried all our sins (including idols) on the cross. He bore the wrath of God for our sin. All our guilt was on Him, and now we are innocent before God.

So I would encourage you today, to be sure that you have no idols and no other gods in our God’s sight. Wait on Him to execute judgement, and He will give you rest.

Love, Rhoda

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Servant Attitude

It's so easy to be resentful when we are asked to serve others. It's so easy to complain and whinge and moan when we find it is necessary to be a servant. 

Yet shouldn't we be following in the footsteps of our Lord who himself washed the feet of his disciples as an example that we should serve each other? 

John 13:12-14
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.

Matthew 23:11-12
The greatest among you will be your servant.  For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

I think the following song just sums it all up beautifully.

The 'Servant Song'

Brother, let me be your servant.
Let me be as Christ to you.
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant, too.

We are pilgrims on a journey.
We are brothers on the road.
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the night time of your fear.
I will hold my hand out to you;
Speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping.
When you laugh, I'll laugh with you.
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we've seen this journey through.

When we sing to God in heaven,
We shall find such harmony
Born of all we've known together
Of Christ's love and agony.

Brother, let me be your servant.
Let me be as Christ to you.
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant, too.

Some other pertinent Bible verses are as follows:

Matthew 20:26-27
Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

1 Peter 4:10
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace (emphasis added)

Acts 20:35
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Proverbs 11:25
Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

Luke 6:38
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. (emphasis added)

Many blessings to you all!
Bonnie xx