Sunday, November 24, 2013

Warrior Princess

Aiiieeeeeee!!! Yi-yi-yi-yi!!

That's my Warrior Princess yell. Impressive, huh?

Maybe not.

It's not that I'm trying to impress anyone, or even to scare or intimidate anyone for that matter. But after a bit of study, a couple of sermons, and one speaking engagement, I've come to realize that my life has taken on a completely new meaning. I have so much clarity lately and a new sense of direction. God's healing hand in your life does that to ya.

But you are a chosen generation, royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light... ~1 Peter 2:9, NKJV (emphasis added)

Do you realize that each one of us are chosen by God? CHOSEN! That means that He picked you! You are a "royal priesthood." That means that you are royalty! You are God's "special people."


And as God's chosen people, you and I should be telling others about what God has done in our lives. We should be helping others to find the freedom in Christ that we have found.

Yet, there is an enemy who doesn't want us to do that. So he sends obstacles, often other people, to trip us up and make us doubt ourselves so that we won't do what it is that God is calling us to do. To that, I say, "Ohh, Nuh-UH!" Not anymore!

Because of our "royal priesthood" that makes you and me a princess. Because of our calling, that makes us warriors. Therefore, I am a warrior princess! So are you, my sisters. So...are...you!


For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. ~Romans 8:16-17, NLT (emphasis added)
Pic ©mvscreen.com; Text shelleywilburn.org

There is an army rising as we speak. An army of Warrior Princesses, women who have experienced the healing hand of God.* These warriors are standing in the gap for their sisters in oppression. These are Warrior Princesses who are bringing a message of hope to the multitudes, building the ranks of women warriors. These are also women who are tired of the oppression, intimidation, exploitation**, and abuse of other women.

God's favor is upon us, dear warrior princess sisters! He is calling us into the ranks and raising us up to be leaders, examples, and mentors to those who are still in the pit; to those who are still in the black hole.


The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be releasedthat the blind will seethat the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come. ~Luke 4:18-19, NLT (emphasis added)

We are called. We must live brave! We have to keep our armor on at all times; be girded in Truth, wear your Breastplate of Righteousness, put on your feet the Gospel of Peace, make sure you take your Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, and above all, do NOT forget your Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (Ephesians 6:14-17)!

We all have different gifts that can encourage others and give hope to those who think that this is just the way life is. It is NOT! There is so much more! Warrior Princesses unite! Put on your armor and let's go to battle for our sisters in bondage. Let's fight the good fight of faith to free those who are oppressed, controlled, manipulated, intimidated, those who have no self-esteem, or self-worth; for those who have no hope. Let us band together and bring that hope to them. Be the Warrior Princess that you are!




*Has God done something miraculous in your life? Tell your story! Encourage others!

**If you want to get involved in helping to free exploited women from human trafficking, contact the A21 Campaign (Christine Caine, founder) at the link below:





Friday, November 22, 2013

Reckless

Sometimes I say things and my son, Logan says, "Thank you, Captain Obvious!" (He loves giving his momma a hard time.) But as I sit here thinking about what my son says to me about being obvious, I am reminded that the obvious is often overlooked when serving God. Many times, He puts things out there for us, and we are so caught up in our everyday lives that we MISS the obvious. We need to be reckless. I want to be reckless!


What does it mean to be reckless where God is concerned? To me, it means jumping in with both feet and running with whatever it is that He has given to you. For me, that would be the healing that He did in my life. God gave me an outlet, using my love of writing, my goofiness, my silliness at times, and the new found boldness and courage to step out with purple hair and mismatched socks and GO FOR IT!


Being reckless means stepping out in faith and recklessly following God in whatever He has commissioned you to do! There is no reason to be afraid. No reason to get anxious, apprehensive, or worried. Because if God called you to do something, you can be confident that He is going to be right with you to see it through. If He is for you, then no one or nothing can stand in your way!


What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? ~Romans 8:31, NLT

For many, many years...TOO MANY years, I was afraid to step out because I was so intimidated and controlled by my emotions and the opinions of others that to be reckless in my faith was just too much for me. The tongue lashing I would get from those around me, family, friends, church people, kept me frozen in place, wishing with all that was within me that I could just DO something reckless! I wanted so badly to step out like I saw others doing. People like Joyce Meyer, Patsy Clairmont, Beth Moore, Anne Graham-Lotz, and women who were stepping out and speaking up inspired me. Yet, I could only wish.


And then a beautiful thing happened... God healed me from the inside out and all of a sudden, I became RECKLESS! I had always loved writing, but could never channel it, or find an outlet. 

Just a short time before God healed me, I began building a website. This website. Though I didn't know why. The night I was healed, I heard, "NOW...write." And the words were there! Not only that, but driving down the road one day, after writing that I loved wearing mismatched socks, I heard, "Use those socks to encourage and tell others that I still love them and I can use them. I have a purpose for them, like they have for the socks."

So, the mismatched sock ministry started and people went crazy for them! But it's not about the socks. It's a reckless and outgoing way of telling people, "Hey, we are ALL different. And just like these socks still have a purpose, God has a purpose for you!"


"For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. ~Jeremiah 29:11, NLT

But how can I segue into telling someone that without just blurting it out? I needed something to get people to talk to me without scaring them off before I can tell them how much Jesus loves them, wants to heal them, and has a purpose for them. Do you know, He gave me that, too?

My daughter Katie, came in one day with hot pink highlights in her bangs. They were beautiful! But a week later, she colored them back to her natural hair color because she felt that she just couldn't pull it off. It really bothered her. And that's when I heard, "So YOU get PURPLE in your hair!"



WHAT?! Purple! Really? That is REALLY reckless! Hey wait a minute... if I have purple hair, that would be really obvious, and people will see that and maybe say something. And I heard, "There is your segue." So, I did it. And it worked! Talk about reckless! What grandmother do you know who wears mismatched socks and colors her hair purple?

That would be me. RecklessSince God healed me, He gave me a writing outlet. He gave me a voice. He gave me mismatched socks. And yes, He even gave me purple hair (although I have to have someone put it in there for me). But it is all part of the reckless way that I follow Him.

How are YOU being reckless for God? What obvious thing has He given you that makes you stand out and be a sold-out, reckless, child of the King? I'd love to hear your reckless story!


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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Holiday Traditions

It's a Holly Jolly "Christmas" Blog Hop! That sounds like a kind of dance, doesn't it? Christmas Blog Hop? What is that anyway? According to my friend, Patty Wysong, the queen of all things meme, and reiterated by my sister/friend, Karla Akins (the author and creator of the Holly Jolly Blog Hop):

“What’s a meme? A meme is when a group of people get together and post on a similar topic or theme. It’s the blogger’s version of a progressive dinner…or a potluck dinner. Full of variety and fun.”

Having "said" that... on with this week's version of our Holly Jolly "Christmas" Blog Hop!




Holiday Traditions

Even though Thanksgiving is right around the corner...in just a few days...Christmas season usually begins when Thanksgiving is coming up. I don't know why. It seems to get earlier and earlier every year.

And while people begin hustling and bustling around, buying Christmas presents and hiding them from little "Nosy Nelson's," who want to snoop, I usually sit back and smile. I know, I'm not normal when it comes to the holidays.


When my kids were small, we always put our Christmas tree up on Thanksgiving night, after a day spent cooking tons of food, turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and all the fun stuff that goes into a good Thanksgiving dinner. 


We had so much fun putting up that tree. At least, I did. My husband and I would put the tree up, then the lights, and then let the kids have at it. Of course, I did do some decorating, but watching the kids argue over which ornaments they were going to put on always made me giggle...and referee. It was fun finding a clump of ornaments way down low where the youngest (or shortest) child felt compelled to "decorate." 


After that, we would begin our wait for the Christmas holiday by listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies. Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, then The Santa Clause, White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, all great movies to usher in the Christmas season. But one most important "tradition" we have, began when our oldest daughter was only 5 months old. Her first Christmas...about the First Christmas.


My husband and I were very young when we got married. A year later, Rachel came along. We were 19 and 20 at the time. D.A. decided that he wanted to read Rachel the "Christmas Story" out of the Bible. We weren't very active in church at the time, so he called one of the deacons of our church (who happened to be his uncle), and asked. Uncle Paul told him, "Go to Luke chapter two and start reading. You'll find it." So he did.


And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered... Joseph went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem... ~Luke 2:1, 4a, NKJV

That Christmas, he read the story of Jesus' birth to our baby girl. Then a couple years later, to our two little girls. Then a few years later, to our two girls, and little boy. All through the years he read every Christmas Eve. Even after our kids got married. They always made sure they were present at our house on Christmas Eve for dinner, presents, and then... The Christmas Story.


...because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. ~Luke 2:4b-6, NKJV

In 2006, our first grandson, Radley, was born. Christmas Eve, we did our traditional dinner and presents. We hadn't said a lot about the traditional reading, because by now, we figured that the kids were old enough to carry on the tradition. But a very wonderful thing happened that night: While we were lounging on the bed with the baby, our youngest daughter, Katie came into our room, carrying her daddy's Bible. She was followed by the rest of the kids, Rachel, and Logan, and our "new kids," the sons-in-love, Jake, and Brett.


"Here, Dad. It's time to read." She handed D.A. his Bible and then all the kids piled on the bed like it was the first Christmas all over again. The baby lying in the middle between all of them. D.A. said to them, "Oh, you need to start your own tradition of reading to him." But they wouldn't have it. Something about, "It's not the same." So... "Paw Paw" opened up his Bible and began reading, while a precious little 5-month-old baby boy kept reaching up, touching his face.


And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. ~Luke 2:7, NKJV

All our kids are now married. The girls each have a son, Radley and Abe. And this year, Rachel, Jake, and Abraham, have moved to Louisiana. We aren't sure about Christmas Eve this year. But just a few days ago, Rachel and Abe (he's 2) were here for a few days to visit, and make a Thanksgiving dinner. While we were talking, Rachel pulled a book out of her bag and handed it to her daddy.

"Here. I got this for you to record for Abe since we probably won't be here for Christmas Eve. At least you can still read the Christmas Story to him." It was a recordable book of the first Christmas.

This year, it will be the 30th year for reading the Christmas Story. 

Holiday Traditions. Start early. When your kids grow up, they'll make traditions of their own. However... they will still incorporate the ones you taught them into theirs as well. For that I say, Thank You, Jesus.


Christmas Eve 2012
LtoR back: Brett & Katie, Logan & Rhiannon, with Emmie, Jake & Rachel
Front: Radley, PawPaw (D.A.) Abe, Nonney (me), and Buster





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Friday, November 15, 2013

Quiet Time... NOT!

My house has been a very active, lively place for the past few days. Our daughter, Rachel and 2-year-old grandson, Abe came in from Louisiana on Tuesday, and have been staying with us for a visit before returning home on Sunday. Since they have been here, our other daughter, Katie and 7-year-old grandson, Radley have been coming out daily, our son, Logan has been stopping in, and all their friends have been coming in and out to see them before they leave again. Quiet time? It does not exist in my home this week.

Abe & Logan (aka "Unc")
Below: Abe & Radley


Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining one iota. Because what the kids don't realize is that, while Nonney and Paw Paw are exhausted, we are loving every minute of this chaos, noise, and activity that is going on in our home. We have laughed more, talked more, and spent more time at the dinner table in the last few days than we have in the last six months. And at every meal, we make sure we pray, because it is very important to us to teach our grandkids, the same way we taught our kids.

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. ~Proverbs 22:6, NLT

Jesus was surrounded by activity during his ministry. He was always on the go. He was always involved in some type of preaching, teaching, or healing. There were always people vying for His attention... and He was always too happy to give it to them, especially the children.



Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children." ~Luke 18:16, NLT

I left home for a short while, and came back to Christmas ornament making!
Above right pic, L to R: Radley, Rachel, Abe
Lower left Pic L-R;  Katie,  Rachel

Right now, I'm listening to a tiny little voice talking to his daddy on the phone. It is absolutely precious! "I yuv yoo, Daddy. You my favit boy. I see you to-my-yow (tomorrow). Goo night alligator." How can that not be precious! Children are definitely not quiet. If they are... please go check on them!


Quiet is, in my opinion, overrated. Sure, we like a little quiet now and then. I especially like the quiet when I am reading. Because if there is noise, I can't hear what I'm reading (don't ask). And quiet is also good for hearing that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. But when it comes to the kids, quiet is definitely NOT a good thing, unless they're sleeping.


This past week, there have been many activities going on in my home...none of them quiet. We have watched many Thomas the Train videos, Mickey Mouse, Veggie Tales, Disney movies... We have played with trains. We have run through the house hooting and hollering. We have had pillow fights. And the only time we have stopped is when our heads hit the pillow and we literally fall asleep on contact with said pillow.

Abe & Paw paw got quiet...

Friday night we will gather together and celebrate our family Thanksgiving while all the kids are present. That will most assuredly NOT be QUIET. But that's okay. I am loving every minute of it.

Quite time is nice. But I think I would rather have the chaos.






Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans... A True Blessing

Back in May, I posted the following article on The Barn Door, after a visit with my aunt and uncle. It worked perfectly for the upcoming Memorial Day, so I thought how appropriate for Veteran's Day as well. I have modified it just a little bit, and added one more "thank you" to the end of this post. Regardless,  recognizing our veterans any time of year is most important. You will see in the first half of this post, a most precious conversation. I hope you enjoy it, as well as the pictures and memories...

Good Company, Conversation, Memories, and Blessings

I love good company. Getting to sit and visit, laugh, talk about the Lord and all He has done for you, it's just good stuff. I got to do just that not too long ago when my Aunt Jylonda and Uncle Mark came for a visit. Having house guests is fun. Not only do we get to visit, but we also get to go out to eat. It was while out for breakfast on their last day with me that our morning took a small turn. A turn that would give us all a warm heart, but also some precious memories.

It was as we sat finishing our breakfast, the plates cleared from the table, and we were just chatting and drinking coffee, that he came walking past and took a table behind us. His gait was slow. He was older and frail looking. Large, dark glasses on his weathered face, to protect his eyesight. Over-sized jacket worn to protect against the chill. And perched on his head of white, thinning hair was a cap that read, "World War II Veteran."

Mark, sitting with me, is a Disabled American Veteran (that's what his hat says). He served in the Army and is very astute at making sure to thank other veterans, regardless of age, for serving our country. Having had both of my grandfathers serve in WWII, my cousin serve in Afghanistan, and a friend of my son also serve and to come back with many injuries as well, I know how important it is to make sure these Vets know that their service is greatly appreciated. However, the knot in my throat had constricted my voice other than to whisper to Mark, "Did you see the hat on the man behind us?"

"Yes. I'm very aware of him."

Then Jylonda says, "I wonder if he knew Grandpa?" So she grabbed her coffee mug, stood up and turned around. The ensuing conversation was priceless:

(L) Mark, (C) Jylonda, (R) Mr. Mosley

Jylonda: "Excuse me. I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I noticed your hat. You served in World War Two?"

Instantly his face lit up. "Yes, I did."

Jylonda: "Are you from West Frankfort?"

Veteran: "Yes, I am."

Jylonda: "Maybe you knew my father. His name was Roy Gardner. He had a heating and air business here in town."

Again, recognition lit his weathered face. "Yes I did! My name is Mosley. I had a plumbing business here for many years."

Jylonda: "Oh, okay! I remember that. Well, my father also served in World War Two. He was in the Army Air Force. I noticed your hat and I wanted to tell you thank you for your service and what you did for our country."

In an instant the atmosphere changed. Surprise, wonder, and humbleness crossed his weathered features. Then Mr. Mosley spoke very quietly, "Well... I appreciate you stopping to tell me that. I really do."

Notice the untouched breakfast.

By this time his breakfast had arrived, yet it remained untouched as he continued to talk with Jylonda. Mark had turned in his chair and was listening intently to the conversation, too. I decided to get up and capture this moment in time.

Jylonda: "If you don't mind my asking, where did you serve?"

Mr. Mosley: "Well, I was in the Philippines when "The Bomb" dropped, you see. Then I served in the Special Forces in Japan..."

He spoke so softly that it was difficult to understand him at times and some of the conversation was lost on my part, but not the importance. Here we were in the presence of a special individual. There is no amount of guessing that could possibly render even a minute imagining of what this man saw. Yet, he served. And were he to be asked to serve again, I'm sure that he would do it with his whole heart.

I had a previous encounter a couple of weeks prior, with a Veteran of Viet Nam. Listening to him tell as much as he was willing to divulge, including "Everyone came back changed. In more ways than you know." I knew that there were secrets that not even his closest relative would ever be privy to. Just as with our present WWII veteran. Just as with my two grandfathers, Roy Gardner and John Volanski, who both almost never spoke of their service. 


Pvt. Roy Gardner
My grandpa Roy, whom my aunt was speaking about, served in the Army Air Corp in WWII. He was in the 445th bomb group. (This group was begun by the Army and later became the US Air Force in 1949.) Grandpa's unit participated in many major battles, including Battle of the Bulge. He was a mechanic, but also a waistgunner. But what I always thought was very cool was that Grandpa's Commanding Officer was none other than actor Jimmy Stewart! I heard him tell a few stories about Jimmy Stewart in my childhood days, but whenever we would ask him questions about his service, his entire demeanor would change. The smile would leave his face and his eyes would take a faraway look. Then sadness would replace the sparkle that was usually always present.



Pvt John "Farmer" Volanski

My grandpa Johnny (known as "Farmer" to his buddies) served in the Marines. He was a private. He ,too, had been in the Philippines, but he also did something with a "big gun" as I used to call it. Pictures of him standing with ribbons of massive bullets draped to his chest make me wonder exactly what he did and saw. I found his address on a photo album with all his war pictures and this is what it says: "Pvt John Volanski, Btry. "A" 2nd Spl Wea BN, Camp Elliott, San Diego Calif." This grandpa would not divulge any information to his grandchildren when asked about what he did. All we could get out of him was, "The Marines are the toughest branch of the military! They're hard on you and they make you hard!" Then he would remind us to "take care of your feet!" I think I have a pretty good idea why he was the way he was.

Now, many years later, here we were in a restaurant speaking with a Veteran who also gave just a tiny bit of information. I don't think it was because he "forgot." Because I really don't think one can forget something as life-changing as serving in times of war. But the fact that mere strangers took notice and took the time to say thank you was life-changing all in itself.


Grandpa Roy (far R), with 2 buddies 1944
(We didn't have names for the buddies)

We left our precious Veteran to finish his breakfast, to which he made sure that our interruption was "no bother" to him whatsoever. What a blessing we got that day!


Grandpa Johnny (far L) with his buddies
Myslajek (center), and Millis (far R)
(I believe the year was 1942)
Whether a Veteran, or even just a stranger on the street, the importance of stopping and taking the time to speak to someone is more important sometimes than you may realize. You brighten someones day. You give someone hope. You help someone find their purpose in life. Whether they are young and just beginning their journey, or are older and coming to the end of theirs, the attention and love you show someone could just let them know that they have not been forgotten.










*Addition to this post*
Butch with his older sister, Erin
I mentioned above that my cousin, Eric (I call him Butch), also served in Afghanistan. He was with the Army-Missouri National Guard, 1141st Engineer Company (Sapper). Fortunately, he returned home unharmed physically. But just as my grandfathers never spoke of the things they saw in combat, neither does Eric speak much of the things he experienced.



He lost a few friends during his deployment in Afghanistan. I cannot imagine the things he saw, felt, or experienced. Nor can I imagine what my grandfathers experienced. But my respect for them, along with my sense of awe only grows.

Handsome guy

We celebrate Veteran's Day only once a year... officially. However, I believe it should be Veteran's Day year-round. They gave up a lot to make sure that our freedom is secure. Freedom is definitely NOT free. Someone had to sacrifice. Our veterans did. Whether in the past or present, our men and women in the military are sacrificing to serve those of us here at home. 

So...Grandpa Johnny, Grandpa Roy, "Butch,"...and all my friends who are veterans... Thank You.








Friday, November 8, 2013

Perspective


I have been doing a lot of pondering lately (could be the source of my headaches as of late - LOL), and after listening to a particularly powerful sermon one evening, I came to the conclusion that we need to change our perspective.

I watch, see, and listen to many people I know get farther and farther into a negative and hateful attitude. Much of it is at life in general, but a lot of it is directed at God and the things happening in and around the world today.

For instance, one cannot live a positive life while maintaining a negative attitude. Therefore, if you are continually talking negative things it would seem that negative things are going to happen to you. However, if you speak positive things, then positive things will happen. Now, don't misunderstand me...I am not saying that things are always going to be sunshine and roses, or that nothing bad is ever going to happen. What I AM saying is that if you will change your perspective instead of focusing on the negative things, they won't seem, or get as bad as what you initially thought they were.

It all boils down to whether you are blaming God or praising God. Because let me tell you from experience that as long as you blame God, or anyone else for that matter, things just aren't going to get any better than your right now. You will not look forward to tomorrow. You will not see the good in anybody, or anything. You will not even enjoy getting up in the morning because you will dread it.

Change your perspective and all of a sudden, you will see that God is working in, around, and through you to create something wonderfully beautiful. When you change your perspective, you will also notice that the very thing you thought was something bad has turned into an opportunity for you to share Jesus with someone else; to let them see Him working in your life. It might even be the difference between someone coming to know Him, or even coming BACK to Him.

Look at Joseph. His brothers sold him into slavery. He went through a lot of bad things, but kept his  perspective through all of it.


I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. ~Genesis 45:4b-5, NLT

All because of perspective.

Look at Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus. She lost her perspective for just a bit. However, Jesus helped her to put her perspective where it belonged; on Him...

But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, "Lord, doesn't it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me." But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her." ~ Luke 10:40-41, NLT

We can't expect anything to change in our world, our homes, our families, and even our own lives until we change our words, actions, and our perspectives. When it comes right down to it, a lot of the misconceptions about God are due to perspective. All because we would rather see negative instead of positive.

God is Love. He is all about love. Everything He has done in our lives is because of that love. Why then, would we want to blame Him for the bad things in our lives? Perspective. It's all about how you look at things.

Today, instead of looking at the negative why not see the positive? Change your perspective and see what happens.





Saturday, November 2, 2013

Jonah.....GET OFF MY BOAT!

They were rowing to save their lives, but they were getting deeper and deeper in the water. The waves were crashing over the sides of the boat. It was taking on water. The harder they rowed, the worse it got. They had tried to lighten the load, hoping that would bring the boat up out of the water some. Supplies, food, you name it went over the side. It didn't help. They knew they were going to die if something didn't change. Run down below and wake the man who's sleeping. What was his name? Oh yes! Jonah.*

I was sitting in a women's conference, listening to a remarkable woman of God. She was showing us the flip side of the story of Jonah, from the point of view of the men in the boat whose lives were at stake because of Jonah's disobedience to the Lord. You know, when you put it that way, it kind of gives a whole new meaning to the story!

They knew they were going to die if something didn't change. Jonah had the answer; "Throw me into the sea." They had already tried everything else. Nothing worked. Why not try one more thing? So they did. Immediately, the sea went still.

In our storms of life, the same thing may apply. You have helped someone out countless times. You have forked over hundreds of dollars for someone who only gets themselves back into trouble. You have listened countless hours, trying to give good, sound advice, but it is always ignored. You have spent many sleepless nights crying over hurtful words spoken by someone who has never once thought how it would affect you. You have a Jonah. Maybe you have more than one. But if the people in your life are preventing you from moving forward into the ministry that God has called you, then it is time to get them off your boat. 


It may sound a little harsh. You may be thinking, I can't do that to them. But what you need to remember is that YOU DID NOT DIE FOR THEM.... Jesus did! You cannot save them. Jesus can. 

Keeping them in your boat, allowing them to make you miserable, make you tired and exhaust you, is only hurting both of you. It's time you took a deep breath and said, "Jonah... GET OFF MY BOAT!"  Kicking Jonah off your boat just means to stop allowing someone to influence you negatively, and to stop allowing them to drain you. 

I began to feel a little guilty at first when, while at a family event, I was made fun of and laughed at, and then ridiculed in what was called "joking" for wearing mismatched socks, and my hair being purple. When stating that I used these for ministry, I heard, not understanding, but a very sarcastic and patronizing, "Pshh, Ministry!" But I kept quiet. I kept calm. And I walked away. It was then that I realized that Jonah had to get off the boat.

You have a Jonah on your boat. You just thought of who that is while you were reading. It is time to kick him off your boat and move on. You don't have to do it in a mean way. You can do it very lovingly. I did. At my accusers, my mockers, I had just hugged one and kissed the other, then I smiled at them and walked away. By the time the event was over, they were approaching me and telling me they loved me. Of course I love them, too. But I cannot be around them. Their presence in my life is toxic. One day, they will understand why. Yours will, too.

The best thing you can do for your Jonah is to pray for them. Yes, you love them, but you have to get out of the way and let God handle them and take care of them. He will do a much better job than we can. In fact, when we get out of the way, God can do miraculous things with both of you! You AND your Jonah. Besides...it just might mean that your Jonah finally has that encounter with God that they needed to have.

As time goes on, you will discover that your Jonah will learn to stop depending on you to get them out of the messes they get themselves into. They will have to. And you will find the peace and rest that you need, and the opportunity you have to move into what God is calling you to do.

Stop lending God a hand today. Step back, take a deep breath, and get Jonah off your boat!


*You can find out more about Jonah's story in the Bible. The book of Jonah.

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