Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I need YOUR help!

Hello readers!!

I would love to do something new on JOJ...but in order to do it, I need your help! :)

I'd like to interview different Christian young ladies + older women, asking them questions and formulating them into different posts for this blog! 

Here's where you come in - what are some questions you've wanted to ask a godly woman, younger or older? would it be about life, the future, the past, God, the Bible, relationships...what would you ask? :) Please post YOUR questions (any and all!) in the comments below, and I will use some of them in my interviews! 

Thank you so much! Looking forward to what you come up with. :)

{ Rachel }

Thursday, March 19, 2015

God's Workmanship

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” —Ephesians 2:10 

You are so often disillusioned by the terrifying heat in your life. You feel so heated inside by struggles and hurdles that, let’s face it, make you melt. You don’t understand. All you see before you is fire, and you become intensely aware of the ripping and tearing inside yourself, and you start to lose confidence and sink. You question if your Creator is really strengthening you or even cares about you. The heat rises to excruciating temperatures as the flames devour you. You cannot see an escape. 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

He has turned on the furnace. As he gently places the impure gold in the burning flames. He prepares His tools to purify the precious metal. The gold begins to melt, sinking to the bottom of the pot as the impurities separate and rise to the top. He removes the sludge from the gold, purifying and strengthening it. He carefully raises the temperature until the gold reflects his face, and he lifts the now purified gold out of the fire to cool. 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

In the corner of a shadow, she clutches her face in her hands. She’s crying. She’s confused; she feels utterly abandoned. The things she is going through don’t make sense; her life seems to be falling apart. She cries out, “Why, God, why?” And a whisper brushes by her heart. She is calmed, for she knows that He knows the way she takes, and that when she is tried, she shall come forth as gold. 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” —Job 23:10 

P. S. Reread the top and bottom paragraphs, keeping the last verse in your mind. Since we are God’s workmanship, He is going to work on us. In the end, God will be able to see his reflection perfectly in us. But until that wonderful day in glory, let us strive to be moldable and trust that the Goldsmith knows what He’s doing! 

Written by Cosette, who blogs at - This article was published in the JOJ magazine, Issue 8. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Preparing to: set the world on fire

I first read this post on a friend's blog: Alisha in Progress. She graciously gave me permission to re-post it here. Thanks Alisha! :) Hope y'all are blessed. ~Rachel

~ * ~ * ~

Since April 3rd, 2013 my life has belonged to God! I'm truly set free from all the past sin in my life {praise God Almighty}, but is it only about being saved? Is that what life as we know it all about? Does our Maker want us to only pray, “God forgive my sins, and come into my heart”? This is what most Christians today think! God wants to us to draw close to Him, so He can draw ever more close to us. If the Christian's life isn't about only being saved then what is it about? What does our Father desire?

At 19 I have finally found out for myself what my Father desires...the One who gives us life, desires for His children to be close to Him. It's not just about praying the “prayer of Salvation” and then attending church every time the doors are open. If that's not what it is all about, then how do you become close to our Father?

You start by prayer! Prayer is one important key element in the devout Christian's life. This is a way to communicate with the Lord. Talking to Him on a daily basis ... two times at least is a good start in order to become closer to Him. “Two times a day, when am I supposed to pray to the Lord two times a day?” How about the first time you pray, is when you get up! The first few things you should grab in the morning are your Bible, prayer journal, and any devotional you use. You shouldn't grab your Ipod Touch, cell phone, lap-top, etc. right when you wake up (I constantly struggle with this =/), and leave your Heavenly Father on the back burner of your life! And the second time is...can you guess? How about the second time is right before you go to sleep?

The next step to be ever more closer to Him is Bible reading! This step is crucial in your walk with God. How else is God supposed to speak to you if you aren't in the Word and aren't spending time in prayer? You don't need to read the entire Bible in one sitting {it has been done}, you just need to start your day out in the inspired Word of God. Start by reading a Psalm & Proverb correlating to what the date is. For instance, recently I read Psalms 13 and Proverbs 13 because the date was March 13. Then little by little add in a book of the Bible that isn't too long, for example Micah {if you read a chapter a day, you'll finish it within the week}. Or Jude {you'll be able to read that in one sitting}. Bible reading is a crucial element in the life of a believer!

The last step is application! This is the key element in the Christian faith, and will help your faith blossom like you can't imagine. Our Father doesn't want you to read something and then forget it...He wants you to apply what you read to your life. Whenever you read a verse, and you are able to apply it the same day you read it...take the challenge and try doing what the verse says! Not only is this the best way to grow in your faith, but it is also a wonderful way to be an example to others, and being set-apart for His glory!!

This very last step correlates to the step of application...a willing heart! God can't use you if you aren't willing to change the way you live your life. This is another common problem in most “Christians” today. They aren't willing to die to the flesh, and flee the youthful lusts {1 Tim. 5:22}

 Sweet young ladies, be willing to change for the Good! Allow God to make you, who He wants you to be!

In HIS grace, Alisha

Friday, March 6, 2015

A Second Chance

Today I'd like to tell you a story about a chap called Gerry Ponson.
Gerry was one of those guys who burned the candle at both ends. And if you asked him what he believed in, he'd say Wine, Women and Song. His sister once tried to talk to him abut God but he'd have none of it. He kicked her out of the house, called her a fruitcake.
Gerry wasn't all bad. He had a good heart. For instance, he had this old friend, Mac, whom he'd take duck hunting every year. He'd pick up Mac and his black lab Booga, about five in the morning, and they'd shove off from New Orleans in a small boat, heading to a favorite spot across the Bay.
But the last time they did that, it was almost the end of them. They got a mile off shore and were hit with a sudden, freak storm - a Nor'wester. The waves came up and started tossing their little boat like a toy.
In minutes the boat flipped, then sank in about eight feet of water.
By standing on the sunken boat, and holding onto a pole he jammed into the mud, Gerry could just keep his head above water.
Mac was not in very good health, so Gerry had to keep propping him up. "Hold on Mac," he kept shouting, trying to encourage the older man, while trying to figure out what they were going to do.
Booga the dog was swimming in circles. When he got tired, Gerry would hold him by the collar for a few minutes.
Then, finally, he said, "Mac... I can save you, but I can't save your dog."
So he shouted, "Git, Booga, Git." The dog swam away, but Gerry knew there was no way he'd make it back to shore.
There they were. It wasn't even sunrise yet and there was a heavy mist; he couldn't leave Mac behind and swim for shore - it was too far - and the likelihood of a boat coming along was slim to none.
"I'm cold, Gerry. I can't hold on," moaned Mac.
"Yes, you can," said Gerry, not at all convinced.
Gerry realised the options were bad. Real bad. Their only hope was for a boat to come down that channel - see two people out in the mist where two people are not supposed to be - and rescue them. That was a tall order and he sure wasn't a believer in miracles.
He thought about his sister and that day he called her a fruitcake. Then he looked at Mac, who was getting weaker and weaker. If they didn't get help, they were going to die for sure.
So, out of utter desperation Gerry looked up and screamed: "If you're there God... PLEASE...PLEASE GIVE ME A SECOND CHANCE."
"I'm tired, Gerry."
"Hold on, Mac."
Then, as if his eyes were deceiving him, he saw something in the mist! It looked like a cross! But it wasn't. It was the mast of a big boat!
He took his shirt off, stuck it on the pole, and waved it around, hoping and hoping that someone would see them.
They did!
The next thing he knew a man was swimming toward them... then dragging Mac back to the boat. Gerry swam alongside, amazed; he couldn't believe they were being rescued!
Then, he had the biggest surprise of his life. He saw the name on the boat. It was... SECOND CHANCE!
That day, Mac and Gerry both got a second chance. And so did Booga. When they got to shore, he was there to greet them, wagging his tail as if to say Hey, where you guys been?
It turned out that Gerry Ponson's worst day of his life was also his best day. That was the day he learned to believe in someone up there bigger than himself, the Maker of all miracles.
Ever since Gerry cried out for a second chance and a boat by that name showed up, he's been telling others his incredible story as a street preacher in New Orleans.
-Squire Rushnell, The Homecoming Magazine

Isn't that such an awesome story!
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