Brokenness to Beauty

Transforming Your Brokenness into a Beautiful Life


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Goliaths and Greater Things

In my last post I pointed out that David was faithful in his everyday, ordinary life as a shepherd, guiding and guarding the sheep, and sometimes fighting lions and bears at great personal risk. It was there, in his everyday life, that he grew strong wielding the weapons of his trade—the staff and sling and stones—and he grew strong in faith in God. He knew God and could confidently say, “the LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear …”

We too live ordinary, everyday lives. We too face our lions and bears, those trials and difficulties that come into our lives, perhaps threatening our livelihood, our health, our families or even our very lives. These are the enemies that come to defeat us, enemies that threaten to destroy us.

Prayer

Are we being faithful to fight them with the weapons given us—prayer and praise and the Word of God? Are we becoming adept in their use and growing in strength, growing in our trust in God? Can we say as David did, “the LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear …”?

 

Praise

It is only in our ordinary, everyday lives, faithfully facing the enemies that would destroy us—our lions and bears—that we learn to fight, becoming skilled and strong to defeat the enemy.

Word of God

Ordinary life is where we learn to know and trust the LORD, bringing him glory as we fight our personal enemies.

This, too, is where we learn to recognize another kind of enemy: Goliath.

Goliath wasn’t David’s personal enemy and he isn’t ours, though most of us have heard the story in those terms.

Considering the biblical text (I Samuel 17), Goliath is a different sort of enemy. Goliath comes against and defies the armies of the living God; he defies the LORD of Hosts, the Lord Almighty.

Goliath is anything that is contrary to the person and purposes of God and he must be fought with weapons, not of this world, but weapons that have “divine power to demolish strongholds … and everything that sets itself up against the knowledge of God …” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). What are these weapons?

Prayer and praise and the Word of God. The same weapons we use in our everyday lives. Powerful weapons that we only become skilled at using by fighting our lions and bears, the trials that come to us in our ordinary, everyday lives.

The power of these weapons is spiritual, not of our flesh or the world, not originating with us but with God’s Spirit who lives in us.

Unlike David, who refused to wear the armor given him by King Saul because it didn’t fit and David hadn’t tried it to become skilled in its use, we do have full armor given us by God. It fits us; it is powerful and effective when we become used to using it in our everyday lives. Paul outlined this armor in Ephesians 6:10-18 (TLB):

10 “Last of all I want to remind you that your strength must come from the Lord’s mighty power within you11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all strategies and tricks of Satan. 12 For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies—the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world.

13 So use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will still be standing up.

14 But to do this, you will need the strong belt of truth and the breastplate of God’s approval15 Wear shoes that are able to speed you on as you preach the Good News of peace with God. 16 In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. 17 And you will need the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit—which is the Word of God.

18 Pray all the time. Ask God for anything in line with the Holy Spirit’s wishes. Plead with him, reminding him of your needs, and keep praying earnestly for all Christians everywhere.” (Emphases added.)

When Jesus was on earth he fought many Goliaths. When he was about to leave earth and return to his Father in heaven he said to his disciples, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. … And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. … For he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:12-17, emphasis added).

Jesus obviously expected that we too would fight, not only lions and bears, but Goliaths. All over the world. Else what did he mean by saying, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8)? (Notice the triple “and.” We as God’s people are to be witnesses  in Jerusalem, and …, and …, and ….)

Or this, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20)?

The Spirit was given for specific purposes. He gives us strength to combat our bears and lions in our ordinary lives. And he empowers us to bear witness to who Jesus is, what he has done, and teach others what he taught. Fighting Goliaths. The Spirit fighting for us for God’s glory.

The questions we must ask ourselves are:

  1. Do I recognize Goliath when I see him? He defies the armies of the living God. He mocks God to his face.
  2. When I do see him, do I have the spirit of David that says, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
  3. And do I have the chuztpah to reply to the naysayers as David did, drawing on his experience of trusting God and finding him faithful to deliver, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.  Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine (1 Samuel 17:34-37, emphasis added).”
  4. Do I have the jealousy for God’s Name that makes me willing to put “skin” in the game, my skin, for his Name and glory?

The greater works we are to do, that Jesus expects us to do, are waiting to be done. They are there waiting for us to step forward, as David did, in the Name of the Lord Almighty, that the Father may be glorified in the Son—through us.

“David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, … and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.  All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands’”(1 Samuel 17:45-47 NIV, emphasis added).

Let us get stronger every day wielding the weapons of our warfare—prayer and praise and the Word of God—fighting our everyday lions and bears so that we may be strong in the Spirit and fit to recognize and fight Goliath—doing those greater things—for the sake of his Name, for the glory of the Father.

Let us fear God more than men.

How have you fared with your lions and bears? Are you growing stronger and more confident in the Lord through your trials? Have you discerned the Goliath, who defies the living God, that you should be challenging him for the sake of God’s Name? How is it going?

Send me your questions and comments about this post. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Scriptures from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Living Bible (TLB) The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scriptures copied from https://www.biblegateway.com

Photo credits:

Photo of woman praying at a conference, Centerpoint Church, 2017

Photo of man (Praise) by Oleander IMG_5787

Photo of Bible by pt1wzi-by-jclk8888-img_7190_p.jpg

Adapted and reposted from original blog post of November 3, 2015.

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The 4 Essentials needed to Thrive in Life

The 4 Essentials needed to Survive Thrive in Life

Survival skills are important for everyone to know in case of emergencies. I need to nail down some myself. But beyond that there are four essential things we need to put into place to be able to thrive, not just survive, in every area of life.

I’m talking about four essentials we need to know, practice and develop to successfully get through the dark valley of struggles and suffering, because we all go through trials at some point in life.

I’d never given thought to how I navigate the tough times in life until I knew I needed to write about my own journey through trials. Trials like cancer. When I blogged during cancer treatment I wrote about my responses to what I encountered, tears and fears and all, and what I did with those tears and fears.

I prayed, through tears. I dumped my fears on God and he traded them for his peace. I found strength and hope to keep on for one more day as I read God’s Word. I was comforted and helped in every way imaginable by the people around me, family and friends both near and far away.

And when I felt like giving up, on those dark days when I didn’t feel like getting up, I remembered my reason for being. And I got up. And kept going. For one more day.

When I analyzed these realities of my life, how I navigated the storms that came my way, I found names for them, and a way to share these powerful truths so that others could be strengthened. For one more day.

And I wrote Brokenness to Beauty.  I found a way to share how to transform your brokenness into a beautiful life. How to thrive through the trials of life.

Now, not only can you buy Brokenness to Beauty online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, WestBow Press Bookstore and other outlets,

books to sell

you can buy direct from me.

Yes! Now you can order Brokenness to Beauty from me and save on the cost per book.  And I will personally sign your copy of Brokenness to Beauty!

To order Brokenness to Beauty directly from me, click here to go to my facebook Author page, and message me to open the conversation. Or leave a comment and we’ll talk. Help me get word out about how to thrive in life, not just survive.

 


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“Have you heard? Pass the word!”

The Accidental Author

When I first started blogging on my first blog, jacquesjourney.blogspot.com, I had just begun breast cancer treatment. I posted about my ups and downs week after week, simply sharing my feelings and experiences, fears, insights from the Word, and how I got through the difficult times. I didn’t know any blogging etiquette, I just wrote what came to me, from my heart.

It was from that blog that the book, Brokenness to Beauty: Transforming Your Brokenness into a Beautiful Life, was born. I never dreamed of writing a book, but I kept hearing from friends and readers of my blog that what I wrote was encouraging and that I should write for a broader audience. They began asking me when I was going to write a book, that I should tell my story.

After a few years of hearing these comments from near and far, family and friends, like a slow sunrise it began to dawn on me that maybe God was trying to tell me something through all these people.

He does that, you know. God uses others to speak into our lives. I already knew that, I believed that, but I still had the “Who, me write a book?” mindset.

Yes, me write a book. I became slowly convinced it was God trying to get through to me to write to encourage others in their life journey. So, okay, I got serious about writing a book that dealt with going through trials and still live in joy, with peace and purpose.

I had a lot to learn about writing in general, and about writing and publishing a book, specifically.

You know those graphs that show a steep upward curve? Well, I’ve been on that learning curve for some time and it never ceases to continue upward, to infinity! First it was learning about writing a book, then about publishing it, and now the learning curve is about marketing that book.

What good is writing a book if no one knows it is there to read? The point of writing a book is so others can read and benefit from it.

So the word has to get out, and get passed on from person to person.

Join the Tribe!

So the reality is, if you are one of those friends or family members who encouraged me to write a book, or if you were encouraged by something I wrote on my blog since I began it in 2008, or if you ever told a friend about one of my blog posts, or told them to follow my blog … take one step forward!

You have been duly recruited to my Tribe to promote Brokenness to Beauty among your friends and family and spheres of influence!

If you have already bought a book, thank you! Please write a review on Amazon and other sites! And tell your friends about the book.

If you haven’t already bought a copy, you can buy Brokenness to Beauty online, by clicking on the store name, to order on AmazonBarnes & Noble or from the publisher, WestBow Press. The Kindle, Nook and e-book, as they are respectively known, are available at these distributors. Reviews may be left at all these sites. Please do leave a review!

Pass the word!

Buy the book, read it, be sure to leave a (honest) review on Amazon and other book review sites, and tell a friend!

That is one of the most important things you, Tribe member, can do: tell a friend–or many friends–about Brokenness to Beauty. It has been said that the best form of advertising (aka marketing) is “word of mouth.” From one friend to another. They are waiting to hear!

By JPPI on Morguefile

By JPPI on Morguefile

Consider buying several copies to share with friends, give as gifts, promote at your church, small group or Bible study group. 

If Brokenness to Beauty was worth the effort to write, it is worth promoting so others can find out about it, read it and gain encouragement from what God has taught me about going through the hard times in life and coming out better for it.

Have you joined my Tribe? Thanks to those who already have! If you are joining up now, leave me a comment to let me know!

 


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Published!

My book, Brokenness to Beauty: Transforming Your Brokenness into a Beautiful Life, is now live on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, West Bow Press Bookstore and other outlets!

 

My book is live!

My book is live!

 

This book was written because I believe I have a message of encouragement for others going through difficult times in life. And we all go through them at some point. No one escapes.

Trials in life can be the building blocks of character development, the Scriptures say as much in Romans 5:1-5 (NIV). “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Knowing how to make that happen in our dark times is another story. Brokenness to Beauty shines a light on the pathway through the valley of suffering. It will encourage, strengthen and empower you on the way to wholeness, joy and peace in the midst of trials.

To make it easy for you to find my book, click on the Amazon site or the publisher’s, WestBow Press Bookstore (then click on the search button), and order the book, either soft or hard cover! It is also available on Barnes & Noble . On the B&N site, click on the book for more versions.

Yes, there is an ebook version! See the Kindle at Amazon Kindle Store.

By all means, please buy and read Brokenness to Beauty, pass the word to others and leave a review!

Have questions or comments? I’d love to hear from you!