December 2, 2014

  • Dear Xanga friends,

    I have decided not to continue posting on Xanga anymore. I have never felt comfortable with the "new" Xanga, and lately I have been writing and using FB to post my devotionals. More people seem to be reading there, and for me, it is all about being an encouragement for people. If you would like to "friend" me there, I would be more than happy to meet you on that site. I am Mae Jones, living in Viborg Denmark. I am quite sure there is only ONE of them! :-) So, I should be easy to find.

    I will check in here for a day or two in case you have any comments.

    Thank you for the time we have had together.
    God bless you!
    Mae

October 21, 2014

  • Inspired or Changed?

    change 2

    I’ve been going to church for most of my life, and I have seen a lot of things, I have been in all kinds of services. I have witnessed some services that were so incredibly boring and powerless I have considered chewing off my arm just for some excitement. :-) I have been in services where the anointing of the Holy Spirit was so strong it felt like time stood still; like you never, ever wanted to leave that place. AND... I have been to everything in between those two examples.

    When you are in a good service, it is easy to be inspired. When you hear wonderful, Spirit-filled music, it is great to feel lifted up and encouraged. I do hope the church you attend provides you with these things.

    A problem, I find, is that many in the western world are very accepting and even EXPECTING to be inspired, but they are not so good at being changed.

    (Eze 33:30-32 NLT) "Son of man, your people talk about you in their houses and whisper about you at the doors. They say to each other, 'Come on, let's go hear the prophet tell us what the LORD is saying!'
    31 So My people come pretending to be sincere and sit before you. They listen to your words, but they have no intention of doing what you say. Their mouths are full of lustful words, and their hearts seek only after money.
    32 You are very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don't act on it!

    I think these verses are so sad. Do you? These people came and heard the word of the Lord. They enjoyed it very much, but they never let it change them. The last verse says they heard, but they didn’t act on it. Trust me. God judged them for this.

    See, it isn’t enough to just enjoy something. It isn’t enough just to be inspired, if you never DO ANYTHING. We can’t keep taking stuff in without giving anything out.

    You can go to a Weight Watcher meeting and hear all the testimonies of what the program has done for others, but if you never decide to DO SOMETHING about what you heard, you will not change. You have to act. You have to choose to change. You have to let what you hear produce a result in your life.

    We love to be entertained. We love to watch movies, listen to music, see funny stuff on YouTube, or go to amusement parks. We have lots and lots of great experiences. We enjoy many, many things. But, honestly, what have you seen/heard lately that actually CHANGED you?

October 1, 2014

  • Royalty

    royalty

    Denmark, where I live, is a very socialistic society. A lot of emphasis and value are placed on everyone being the same. We have the same rights and opportunities, the same taxes, etc. Living in this society can start to feel stifling. There is this "spirit of sameness" thing that pervades everything. There are strict rules about things, too. It's kind of funny really. When I was a teen, I never felt like I fit in, and now here I am, a ----er--- mature woman, feeling that way again. The good thing now is that I don't care. I don't see "fitting in" as a plus, especially if it means I have to compromise what I believe.

    God never, EVER asks us to fit in. His people are the people swimming upstream when everyone else is just drifting down. We are the people who refuse to surrender our morals and our values for the sake of society. We are different. Different is GOOD.

    (Gal, 5:16 NLT) So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves.

    If the Holy Spirit is truly in charge of my life, there are a LOT of things I am not going to say, do, wear, play. listen to and look at. I make the choice not to be a part of many things society offers --- not because God MAKES me, or because I am a prude, but because I am a a much-loved princess, and in my kingdom, we have different rules! :-)

    In the kingdom where I live, people are kind, even when others are not kind to them. In my kingdom, I do not need THINGS to make me happy. I find my joy in knowing the King, and when I need anything, I know He will provide. I depend on Him for strength, peace, joy, wisdom and love. These and more He gladly gives me from His endless supply. Knowing Him is the sweetest thing I can think of.

    I do not spend money the same way others do. There are a lot of things people think they need to make them happy, but I know where true happiness comes from, and it is not shopping! :-) I have to feel God's peace in my heart before I lay my money down. I do not have the same goals as those who live outside of my Father's kingdom have. My main goal is to please the King, (my Dad) and to invite other people to be a part of the Kingdom of God. I am an ambassador. I am a representative of the Kingdom of Light. His own princess.

    (Col 1:12-14 NLT) ...thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that He has for us. God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He's set us up in the kingdom of the Son He loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating.

    Once I lived in the dark kingdom. It was depressing and sad. It was empty and dirty. It never fulfilled. I never felt good enough or pretty enough or smart enough or loved enough. In that kingdom, there is NEVER enough. No matter how much people have, they want more. I am so glad I don't live in that mess now.

    (Rom. 12:2 NLT) Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

    We all make choices. We can live where we like. We can serve whom we will. I don't mind being different. I like living in God's kingdom. I like being His child. If your life gives you no joy or satisfaction, maybe it is time to choose a new kind of life. If your days are filled with worry and frustration, maybe it's time to serve a different King.

September 15, 2014

  • Meet Your Coach

    exercise coach

    If your body has what you might call a "problem area" you can go to the gym and ask for a coach. This person will observe those areas of your body and develop and exercise program which targets the problem. Let's just say, if you are carrying a bit more in the .....er.... derriere area than you would like, your coach might have you doing lunges and other such exercises that will tighten up the muscles in your buttocks. There seems to be specific exercises for certain parts of your body.

    It is also so in the spiritual world. The Holy Spirit is our coach. If He observes that you are having trouble with a certain area of your spiritual life, He may well provide some "exercises" to work on those areas. For instance, if you have a problem with submission, you better believe God is going to put you in situations time and time again where you will be required to submit! I have had some personal experience with this one, trust me!

    If your problem is being selfish and stingy, you may find yourself faced with areas of need over and over again where you will be given an opportunity to open up your wallet and give. You see, God is working in our lives to make us like HIM! He wants His image to be reflected in our lives, and He has a "exercise program" specifically designed for each of us.

    Maybe your problem is telling lies. If so, God is getting ready to call you to accountability. He is going to reveal things that you have hidden and give you a chance to make things right.

    When you invite God's presence into your life, you need to be prepared for change. Why does He do this? Because He loved you too much to leave you the way you are. He believes the best of you, and He wants you to reach your highest potential. Maybe you weren't all that serious about it when you prayed and ask God to take control. But, GOD is serious about it. He will never force you, but if you have agreed to let Him be Lord, than He is going to take you up on that.

    (Col 3:10 MSG) Now you're dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with His label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete.

    My husband likes to work with wood, and sometimes I have been handed a piece of sandpaper and ask to help smooth off rough places. It is hard work, and I am sure if the wood could talk, it would be screaming, but the finished result is beautiful!

    So.... are you ready to let the Holy Spirit go to work in your life? Are you willing to begin the process of being refined and "toned up" in your spiritual life? I promise you, although it may be a bit painful, the end result will be beautiful! :-)

    (2Cor. 3:18 NLT) So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.

September 5, 2014

  • On My Soapbox

    soapbox

    How can we ever think, as Christians that the message of the gospel only requires that we INVITE people? How can we possibly think we can get by living for God without becoming INVOLVED?

    How thankful I am that Christ was willing to get INVOLVED for me. Nails through your hands? That's getting involved. Beaten until your back is raw and oozing? That is involvement! Thank you Jesus!

    The Good Samaritan got involved, didn't he? He took time to help someone. He spent his own money to do it. What a great example of someone who did what a Christian should do.

    But most of us stop with the invitation. There is not risk to inviting someone to church. "I invited them, but they didn't come. Not my fault." Oh COME ON! If we are not willing to involve ourselves in the lives of the lost, we are never going to do what God asks His church to do! Don't just INVITE people to church -- offer to pick them up! And, while you're at it, let them know they are coming to your house for dinner after the service is over. How many of us are willing to go that extra step from invitation to involvement? Or, are we too worried about something messing up our plans and putting too many demands on our time? Last time I checked, it isn't about US anymore. If you gave your life to God, it becomes God's life.

    It is so easy and safe to say, "I will pray for you." It's much harder to say, "Let me come over and watch your kids for you so you can get a break. Let me stop at the store and do your shopping. Let me help. Here's my phone number. Call if you need me, and I promise I will come." Most do not want that level of commitment. Most of us are too busy. Most of us think of OUR time, and OUR space and OUR comfort and OUR needs and pretty much forget about the needs of others. And, we have all these reasons lined up why we SHOULDN'T get involved. Yeah.....

    But Jesus stopped. He got involved. He saw needs and He did something about them. He didn't just speak a quick word to Zacchaeus, He said, "Come on, let's have dinner together." He didn't just promise to "remember the lepers in prayer," He TOUCHED them, and He made them whole. Honestly, I can't find anywhere in the Bible where Jesus just invited people to church.

    Whether we feel comfortable about it or not, the "Great Commission" is for the whole church; ALL of us, not just a few missionaries. All around you there is a world that doesn't know Jesus. All around you are those who are hurting, lost and alone.

    (Mark 16:15 MSG) Then he said, "Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God's good news to one and all."

    GO is an action word. GO requires us to get ourselves out there and become involved with other people. How do we think they are going to hear the Good News? How are they ever going to understand the love of God if we do not demonstrate it to them?

    (Matthew 7:12-14 MSG) "Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God's Law and Prophets and this is what you get. Don't look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don't fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life--to God!--is vigorous and requires total attention.

    Thank you. I just had to get that out there! Now, can someone please help me down? :-)

August 27, 2014

  • I AM NOT NORMAL

    not normal

    One of the young folks at church Sunday was wearing a T shirt that said, “I’M NOT NORMAL.” I can relate. There are so many times and situations when I feel the same way. What IS normal, anyway? It is defined as: “conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected. the usual, average, or typical state or condition.”

    If the condition I am to be compared to is the world, than I am quite sure I am not normal. I am quite sure I do not WANT to be normal. The world's standards are not the ones I wish to conform to. The only standard I want to conform to is that of the Lord Jesus.

    It seems OK for many these days to complain a lot. I have not found that to be very helpful. I try to be positive and count my blessings. So, another strike against me for “normalcy!” It seems normal these days to use a lot of bad language – especially the “F” word. I do not do that. I consider it to be rude, un-Christlike and vulgar. It seems that many people struggle with fear. They worry constantly about the job, the kids, finances, neighbors, appearance, health, the future, you name it. Nothing constructive or useful comes from worrying. I used to be really good at it, but it wasn’t worth it, so I try to avoid it and trust God instead. WOW! I keep sounding more and more weird, don’t I? :-)

    Perhaps the biggest reason I am not normal is because I passionately, sincerely want what Jesus wants. I do. Oh sure, I have my moments of wishing this or that could be different, but my highest desire is that my life would be glorifying to God, and that His will should be done in my life and the world. I am convinced that knowing Jesus is the cure for the ills of mankind. Loving Him is my purpose. Sharing Him with others is my delight. I pray for God’s Kingdom to come, and for His will to be done.

    Because of this, when others hurt me, I forgive. I choose not to be offended. I choose not to get even. I choose to live simply. I do not need possessions to make me happy. I appreciate what I have, of course, and God is good to supply all my needs and also to spoil me with His goodness! That’s good enough for me.

    I value peace. I value joy. I value God’s goodness and wisdom in my life more than anything money could buy. I know I am not perfect, but I want to be as close to Him as I can.

    So, it is OK if I am not normal, as the world sees normal. Are you with me?

    (1Peter 2:9 NLT) “ ...You are royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light.

August 19, 2014

  • Spiritual Dehydration

    water 2

    The experts say most of us do not drink enough water. Some say that by the time you start to feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Water is important to maintain life. It cleanses and balances the body. It boosts the immune system. It helps relieve fatigue, and can prevent headaches. It's just a good idea to make sure you get enough water. My husband always gets a headache when he gets dehydrated, so we always have water with us when we travel. Did you know that in really severe cases of dehydration you can even experience delirium? You can imagine things are there which are not there at all. You lose touch with reality and your mind can go all wonky!

    (Jer. 2:13 NLT) "For My people have done two evil things: They have abandoned Me—the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!

    (John 7:37-38 AMP.) Now on the final and most important day of the Feast, Jesus stood, and He cried in a loud voice, If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water.

    I think some of you don't feel right in your spiritual life. Some of you have been living in confusion and distress. Some of you may even be imagining things that are not actually true. Your emotions are all over the place. Why is that? You have not been drinking enough of the LIVING water!

    Just like our physical body needs water every day to function well, our SPIRITUAL life need the living water. When did you last spend time with Jesus? When did you last sit with Him and tell Him how much you love Him? Sometimes after I pray a while, I just like to sit and be still. It is often then that God will speak to my heart, and it is such a blessing! Time with Him deal with spiritual dehydration! As spiritual beings, we NEED communion with Him every day!

    Are you spiritually dehydrated?

August 13, 2014

  • Rescued and Repurposed

    Hello, Folks!

    Sorry I have been AWOL for so long. Does it count that I was thinking of you? :-)

    Our church is having a flea market August 23 to raise money for our relief organization to Romania. (NTC) I have been sewing, painting, crocheting and crafting away to make stuff to sell. There will be other vendors there as well. Please pray the weather is perfect, and that we sell LOTS!

    Here are a few pics of some of the things I have made. The hats and rag rugs are all made from yarn and fabric I scored at the second hand shops. I also get thread, elastic, buttons, ribbon, seam binding and no end of other bargains there. The signs are made from old, wooden cutting boards, or the ends of little crates you buy fruit in. I have no idea what prices to put on things, so I have asked a few friends to help me with that. I have 24 rugs, beaded rag bracelets, pot holders, hair bows and headbands for little girls, circle skirts for girls with matching head bands, bow ties for men and boys, wreaths and signs. I also make play food sets for Barbie dolls from clay that you can bake and paint. The clay and paint are the only things I couldn't find at the second hand shops!

    Here are just a few pics of some of the stuff I make.

    Rugs - shades of blue, with pink, cream, mint

    sale 1

    sale 3

    sale 4

    sale 6

    sale 8

    sale 2

    sale 10

    I love crafting from second hand goods. I feel like I am rescuing them and giving them a new purpose ... kind of what God did with me! There's a song I like that says, "He saved me. Rescued me. Just a moment there set me free..." I celebrate His love and my freedom every day! He is so good.

    Once this sale is over, I will have a lot more free time! Of course, then it will be time to start making Christmas presents! :-)

    Here in Denmark, school has started, and the days are getting chilly. We had a lovely summer, though, and it had to end eventually. I hope all of you have had a nice summer. Did you make some lovely memories?

    Blessings!

July 25, 2014

  • Intimacy with God

    draw-near-to-god

    Many of us read the word “intimacy” and get embarrassed. But intimacy is not always about sex. The word is defined as: closeness, togetherness, rapport, attachment, familiarity, friendliness, friendship, affection, warmth, confidence. So, when I talk about intimacy with God, I am talking about coming closer to Him – knowing Him, sharing life with Him.

    So many of us hold God “at arm’s length.” I suppose there are plenty of reasons why we do that. Some of us may be afraid that if we come closer to God, we will be exposed. Yes. That is a part of intimacy, too. But, you have to understand, we are talking about GOD here! He already knows all your business, and He chooses to love you in spite of it.

    Often I observe the behavior of Christians, and I am amazed that they do some of the things they do. One conclusion I have come to about this is that they lack that closeness with God which would change how they act. How much do they honestly love Him?

    I know in many ways, you and I am free to act any old way we please. We are adults. We have a free will. We can make our own choices, right? Ah, yes, but my Lord has bound me to Him with cords of love. We are so close that anything I do or say, or even THINK is laid bare before Him. Knowing how much He loves me should influence the way I act. Knowing the price that was paid so I could have this sweet intimacy with Him helps me to make choices that I know will please Him. If there was no relationship, it would be different.

    If some stranger on the street came up to me and said I was a big jerk, I doubt it would bother me much. They don’t know me. We have no connection. What they think is not my concern. I don’t live to please them. It is easy to brush off their words. But, if someone I care about –someone I love – tells me I am a big jerk... well! That is a different story. Love changes everything.

    Yes. Love. Amazing love. Perfect love.

    Sometimes I hear Christians say that they feel God wants them to do this thing or that thing, but THEY JUST CAN’T. Hmmmm. Why? Could it be because they just don’t love Him enough? Could it be that there are other things in life that are more important to them than their relationship with God? Do they choose fear over Him? Do they choose the opinions of others over Him? Do they choose a comfortable, easy life? Does their pride come first?

    Lest you think I am some kind of “holier than thou” type, I have said no to God a time or two. But, the terrible feeling that weighs my heart down is not worth it. Usually, after a bit of struggle, I find myself running to Him and asking forgiveness and for another chance to obey.

    If you truly love someone, and they ask you to do something, no matter how hard it is, you will try to find a way. You will do everything in your power to grant the request of this one you love. Say, for instance, one of your children becomes ill and needs a kidney transplant, you would PRAY you were a match! Or, suppose your dearest friend is in a desperate situation and needs help. You will try your best to be there for them, right? You LOVE them.

    OK, so if you, as a believer who loves God, is asked by Him to do something – something hard and a little bit scary– will you do it? Will you step out and trust Him? Will you make excuses, or will you take a deep breath and say, “Yes, Lord”? I believe this is the true test of our love for Him.

    (1Jn 4:7-8 NLT) Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

July 18, 2014

  • What my Heart Desires

    balance 2

    To be honest, sometimes I struggle to find the balance, you know? I read the verse that talks about not piling up treasure here on earth, and while you could hardly call what I have treasure, I do like what I have.

    (Matthew 6:19 - 21NLT) "Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

    A lot of things I love are right here on earth. Well, not so much THINGS as PEOPLE. I do enjoy my life. I enjoy the beauty of nature, working hard, and laughing with my husband. I adore my grandchildren, and love all of my family and friends. I am happy to be used by God here in Denmark. I love seeing people grow and change. I think of these things as “treasures,” but I don’t think this is what the verse means, either.

    Is there some possession I have that I totally love and could not live without? Hmmm ... I do enjoy my possessions, such as they are, but they are just THINGS. I had a bottle of really nice perfume, and I dropped it on the floor. It broke. I felt bad. But — stuff happens. I like perfume. I don’t need it. As missionaries, we certainly do not have a lavish lifestyle. We rent an apartment in government subsidized housing. Our furniture and other furnishings (even most of our clothes) come from second hand shops. But life is good.

    Then sometimes, I look through those glossy magazines, you know? --- The ones that show lovely homes, perfect gardens and all that, and if I am not careful, I can feel dissatisfaction trying to rise up in my heart. It can happen so easily. You can find yourself coveting something and resenting where you are and what you have. It's a dangerous place. It's a place where you take your eyes of the Lord. When I feel that happening, I remind myself that "stuff” has no eternal value. Living to accumulate nice things is a shallow dream indeed. Owning all that may be nice, but the pleasure that comes with it is fleeting, because soon you find yourself discontented and needing MORE! It is knowing Christ, really knowing Him, that is the great reward! It is living in peace and contentment of His sweet presence that truly satisfies. My heart longs to know Him more. I want others to know Him, too.

    We do not need to feel guilty if we have nice things. We just need to be careful that the nice things to do have US! We need to be sure what matters above all else is the Kingdom of God. We need to remember that while this life is enjoyable, it is a mere eye blink compared to eternity. This is not all there is, but the choices we make here will prepare us for what comes after this life. We have a short time, really, to make a difference in this world.

    So, where is your treasure? What holds your heart? What do you long for?