Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Just Between Us Magazine Daily Quote

Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.
~ Charles Spurgeon

Insights: Busy, Busy

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Psalm 46: 8 – 11, NCV

Life can be a frenzied blur. The list of our duties as a wife and mom seems never-ending and never-finished, doesn’t it? Taking care of our homes, trying to stay on a budget, working in a job inside or outside our homes, volunteering at church and at our child’s school, staying fit, and striving to love our husbands well and raise our children to love the Lord are all important.

We try to keep them going, just like a juggler struggles to keep his plates spinning lest they fall and break. Here’s another assignment. Find time to be still.

Give yourself permission to be quiet.

Turn off the television and the computer.

Silence your cell phone.

Take a deep breath and listen to the quiet.

Remember that our God, who created the world, modeled this quiet rest for us (Genesis 2:2). And Jesus, knowing He needed time with the Father to complete His earthly mission, went early in the morning to a quiet place, alone, to pray (Mark 1:35).

What is the purpose for our stillness? A time of quiet reminds us who God is . . . and we can rest in that (Psalm 46: 10).

Excerpt taken from Mom’s Bible: God’s Wisdom for Mothers
General Editor Bobbie Wolgemuth
Published by Thomas Nelson

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Staying Healthy When You're Busy

Dear Friends,

One of the questions I am most often asked is, “How do you stay healthy when you are so busy?” I expect the question arises when the questioner has read my itinerary and learned I have just gotten back from speaking in Korea, or picked up my latest book, and now sits at the table next to me in McDonalds watching me corral a number of my grandkids.

I assure this person that I was not doing all of those things at the same time, and that I am no busier than he or she is. We are just busy doing different things. Perhaps my particular things are more visible than her things so it appears like I’m doing the impossible, but both of us have exactly the same amount of moments in each day to accomplish what God has called us to do.

We need to also keep in mind that we are all different, so we shouldn’t compare ourselves with each other. Some of us have larger capacities than others, and others flourish when they focus on one task at a time. By coming to understand how God has made us, we’ll come to better understand our own limitations?and that will make for a healthier life.

Especially as women, when it’s so easy to take care of everyone else, we can neglect our own health. But by doing only those things that God has assigned to us, we will become healthier overall.

There are wonderful promises for renewed and supernatural strength for those who weary themselves in kingdom work such as the prophet’s promise of rising like an eagle above life’s wearing challenges. “They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They shall rise up on wings like the eagle, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isa. 40:31).

Let’s focus for a moment on our spiritual health:

H The secret of good spiritual health is hope. An Arabian proverb says, “He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything.” The word, hope, means having confidence, looking to God for our everything. It involves trusting God to be God enough for all of our health needs in a life lived for Him.

E Keeping spiritually healthy involves exploring and finding the will of God - and doing it.

A Spiritual health also includes activity?serving, praying and knowing God’s Word.

L Above all else, being spiritually health means loving God and others better than yourself. Loving others is the healthiest thing you can do for your personal health, because as you give yourself away to others, God meets your own needs in the process.

T Thinking helps a person stay spiritually healthy by keeping interested in our world and all that is happening. Charles Spurgeon told a story about a little girl who, when asked what she thought her soul was, replied, “My soul is my think.” Spurgeon responded, “If that were the case then a lot of people do not have very much soul.” It’s hard to read and stay aware of what’s happening when the pressures of our ministry press in on us, but healthy, inquisitive minds help us to have healthy bodies and spirits.

H is for helping. If we are gloriously busy doing all these things, our soul will prosper, and a prosperous soul knows how to help others live long enough and stay well enough to honor and glorify Him.

Busy learning to love and depend on Him,

Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor

Just Between Us Magazine

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Walking in Joy: Luscious Fruit

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“I am the vine, and you are the branches. If any remain in me and I in them, they produce much fruit. But without me they can do nothing.” (John 15:5, NCV) Have you ever heard a growing plant grunt and moan as it’s producing the harvest? Of course not. What they produce is the result of a good farmer, good seed, good soil, and favorable weather conditions.

Jesus has some practical advice for moms who want to cultivate spiritual fruit—in their own lives and in their children’s lives. He calls Himself the vine and He calls God, our Father, the gardener.

Fruit describes what God does through us. It is impossible for us to be fruitful women—dripping with the richness of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control— unless we get our nourishment, our energy, our strength, and our productivity directly from Jesus Himself (Galatians 5:22–23).

Stay close to Him. Connect. Spend time thinking about Jesus in His Word. The Father also looks at His “plants”—us—and prunes us to become more fruitful. When we’re in the middle of His sometimes painful pruning, the right question to ask is “Lord, what are You teaching me here?”

God looks at us lovingly and sees areas that are not pleasing to Him, where sin resides. His purpose is always to make us fruitful and able to feed the hungry hearts of our children. There’s a powerful reward for living constantly connected to the Father “. . . so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy” (John 15:11, NCV).

Excerpt taken from Mom’s Bible: God’s Wisdom for Mothers

General Editor Bobbie Wolgemuth

Published by Thomas Nelson

Visit Just Between Us Magazine

Monday, April 19, 2010

Have You Lost Your Joy?

Dear Friends,

Years ago, a young man we met on the streets of Europe found Christ. A few months later he stood up to testify to his newfound faith. “I’ve been running away from God for years,” he said, “but I’ve discovered he has longer legs than I have!” I ‘married’ the thought to these words:

Sorrow would bury us
Because sorrow is the undertaker.
Joy is Jesus - Jesus is the overtaker
Who overtakes the undertaker
And dresses our spirit in a garment of praise!

Joy is Jesus -
God in Galilean cloth
Touching our lives—
Offering us life!
And making our hearts smile.
Don’t try to run away

From the Lord—

Remember He has longer legs than you have!

If joy is Jesus, then it follows that the better you know Him the more joy you will experience! Joy is, as someone has said, “The infallible evidence of the presence of God.”

So when the wind blows and the dark night begins, joy never stops being joy. Stay close, make sure there is nothing between you and your Savior, and your soul will survive the thunderclouds.

I thought an acrostic might help us further think about joy in our own lives.

J is for justification. That means God makes me “Just as if I’d never sinned!” Now there’s a cause for joy!

O is for ordinary. Ordinary people can experience joy. It is not just for the super shiny saints we see around the Christian scene. He wants everyone’s soul to tap dance!

Y is for young. Joy keeps our souls young. It doesn’t matter how old we are in years, joy is the secret to happiness. When heaven comes down and invades our souls in the shape of Jesus, joy will not be denied.

I remember sitting alone by a fire in a small cottage in England. My husband had just left for three month’s work, and my Dad had been diagnosed with cancer. Our daughter had fallen off a donkey and broken her arm, and I’d gotten the mumps from our kids! I was trying to feel sorry for myself, but I couldn’t. There was far too much joy enlightening my heart. Jesus was there. He came near, and promised “never to leave me nor forsake me.” Oh Joy!

May you know Him in all His fullness of joy!

Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine

Monday, April 12, 2010

Are You Having Fun Yet?

Dear Friends,
I am not known for relaxing! In fact, I’ve often wondered if it’s even right for those of us in the “helping professions” to take time for ourselves, or even smile, while people around us are in such trouble?

How can we stop our hectic schedule when we have a family member in trouble, there are hospital visits to make, the homeless to feed, or a mission project on hand? And what is fun anyway? Is it the same as joy?

The Word of God tells me that “The joy of the Lord is my strength,” and that is true. It’s His joy that helps me to relax and have pure fun!

Joy is found first in God. In reveling in Him: in being in the Throne Room and hearing the seraph sing. But then I must go out into my ‘rush and bustle daily day’ and practice that “present presence” of the Lord till I come to a screeching halt at night and fall into bed beside my perfectly relaxed husband who has been just as busy as I have!( How does he do that?!)

I find I need to relax on the run, replenish whatever part of me needs it while in headlong flight, and enjoy the people that God sends to make my heart smile along the way. Sometimes, a change of activity helps, like gardening, or walking, or reading an Agatha Christie mystery, or painting a picture, or watching a Pink Panther classic video, or squeezing in a class of some interest! To each his own.

And I know as my doctor told me years ago, and my sweet husband tells me regularly, that my heart is bigger than my body and I need to let down and have some fun to preserve what’s left of me as a 70-year-old. So in fact I do “work at having fun.” I have to put it on my calendar - “have fun, Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.” - or I won’t do it! For me, it’s a matter of sheer obedience and discipline to take care of those parts of me that are falling apart at my stage of life. Then I have to find out what works for me!

What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. You have to know yourself. Sometimes after joining in what others count as “fun,” I find myself quite spent. Other activities you might consider real hard work fill me up with such joy that I don’t know what to do with myself! For me, doing nothing creates more stress than doing everything! So I’ve learned to change my activity to something more relaxing. I’ve also learned to find joy in where I am at any given time - being creative with whatever I find at hand, and seeing the ways I can find or make fun in whatever environment I am in.

What thing are you going to do this week to have fun?

In His Joy,

Jill Briscoe

Executive Editor

Just Between Us Magazine

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Our God Is the Incomparable One


Who has known the mind of the Lord or been able to give him advice? (Isaiah 40:13, NCV)

As busy moms, when we struggle to balance all of our responsibilities, we can get lost in the frenzy and not see the big picture. A dose of verses 12–14 from Isaiah 40 will awaken our hearts to one certain and stabilizing thing—that God is big enough.
Our God measures the oceans in the cup of His hand; He weighs the mountains on His outstretched arms. Strong nations are like a thin wisp of air to Him. Compared to a sovereign God, we are insignificant. He is the Mighty Creator. He is All Powerful, All-Knowing, King of Kings, Lord of Lords. And yet He loves us with an everlasting love. Now, let’s see, what was it we were fretting about? But sometimes, in our weakness, we forget. We may even dare to give God counsel and try to help Him run things. Isaiah asks,
“Who has known His mind?
  Who can give Him advice?
  Who does He ask for help?”
Reading this, we are reminded of who God is. He has power and wisdom beyond our imagination; and when we truly see Him as He is, we have no choice but to say, “The Lord sits on his throne in heaven. He sees what people do; he keeps his eye on them” (Psalm 11:4, NCV). He’s in control and we can rest.

Excerpt taken from Mom’s Bible: God’s Wisdom for Mothers

General Editor Bobbie Wolgemuth
Published by Thomas Nelson

Please visit Just Between Us Magazine

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Do You Ever Feel SMALL?

Dear Friend,

Do you ever feel small? Really, really small? I do. Faced with huge challenges while on a ministry journey in Asia, Europe, and the former Soviet Union, I was overwhelmed with the task ahead. I had so many lectures to prepare and knew there would be so many people to counsel and such different languages to deal with, food to eat, and beds to sleep in... so many countries.

Then there were such different people groups waiting with different cultures. I felt consumed with the size of it all and the size of me! I was also not feeling very well. I didn’t know how I would get by.

One morning really, really early I asked the Lord about it.

“You know I’m not a morning person, Lord,” I began, “but I couldn’t sleep with so much on my mind so...”

“Even if you’re not a ‘morning person,’” He replied, “you need to be a ‘morning by morning’ person. It’s a choice. You need to remember what you’ve forgotten! Refocus and renew your mind.”

He knew I’d been getting some messages ready on the life of the prophet Jeremiah and that I’d been reading Lamentations 3. Being of a sober temperament myself, I feel really close to Jeremiah, like – like a sister or something. He was called “the weeping prophet” you know. I love His Lamentations too (of course!). I really believe a Lamentation a day keeps the doctor away!

I’d been memorizing the lovely verses of his lament in chapter 3:22-23, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning.”

“It says ‘Great is Your faithfulness’ Lord,” I said. “You are the great God. I believe! The problem is I’m so little! I’m such a small person and shrinking by the minute.”

“But I’m so BIG,” He said with a great laugh that sounded like a thousand waterfalls. “Now what can a small person do that has a great big God living inside her?”

“Be a BIG person?”

“By MY grace,” He replied. “My grace is sufficient for you. You’ll get by,” He added encouragingly. “Just as long as you focus your mind on Me!”

Then I remembered earlier in the chapter where Jeremiah says, “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.” Then he changes his mind about what he wants to think about. You can, you know! “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed”! he says. Ah! I was reminded about minding my mind! Then the Lord looked at me very seriously. “You mind your mind, Jill, and I’ll mind your heart. Great is My faithfulness!”

And it was so!

A morning by morning small person am I

That’s good ‘cause I often get in a jam

So I come to the Lord at the start of the day

Then I’m ready for what comes my way.

Then when ‘come what may’ happens in the course of my life

And I find myself facing such trouble and strife,

If I’ve met Him at dawn, and He’s strengthened my hand

I find His good grace to withstand.

So I’m ‘minding my mind’ and He’s minding my heart

And I’m trusting and praising and doing my part.

A ‘morning by morning,’ small person am I

And quite frankly that’s how I get by!

How do you get by?

May you find Him to be all that you need Him to be when you need Him to be all that you need.

In His Love,

Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine