Monday, June 27, 2016

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

I'm so happy you've stopped by Morning Glory. I want to inform my visitors that I HAVE MOVED to my new website and blog at I'm so excited and so thankful for the Lord's goodness. Please take a moment to come on over and check out my new home. I look forward to helping you find the nearness of God when you need Him the most. 

On the 30th of each month I will be giving away a free autographed copy of my book, The Perils of a Pastor's Wife, to one of my subscribers. Perils was selected as a 2016 Selah finalist. If you'd like to be entered in the monthly drawing, please subscribe at

You are loved by an awesome God -- the One who created you, the One who holds you in the palm of His hand, the One who longs to draw you closer to Him. Please join me at and we'll share His faithfulness together.

                                                              Sweet blessings to you,

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Where is God? Sunday Glimpses

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Oh Lord, I lift up my voice in praise to You for You alone are worthy of our praise. You are the One True God, Maker of heaven and earth. You are mighty, wonderful, faithful, merciful, and good. Your love astounds me. Your grace washes over me like a cool stream of refreshing water in a parched and weary land. 

And Your Presence comforts me when I am afraid or unsettled. Thank You Lord. Yes, Your Presence is my sure place in the storm.

I pray for those who are hurting today - for those who are discouraged and overwhelmed with anxiety. Life is hard, Lord. You know this well. But You also promised us that You would deliver us out of ALL our afflictions as we trust in You and take You at Your word. We choose to believe You, Lord. We choose a thankful heart in spite of our circumstances. 

Come, Lord. Come and inhabit the praises of Your people. Set us free to worship You in Spirit and in Truth. Grant Your children the wings of eagles to rise above the storms and soar with You on heavenly heights. Thank You. Thank You for Your Word that sets us free - if we will only believe. 

We love You Lord. We magnify Your Name and rest in the beauty of Your holiness.

A Tweetable to Encourage Others
Where is God when I have no hope? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet)

Please don't carry your burdens alone. Many prayer warriors read my blog and would be honored to pray with you, if you'd like to share your need. You may also contact me directly at


Are you in need of a quiet place to rest your thoughts from this crazy world? Do you feel the need to be reminded of how faithful and merciful the Lord is? That's why I created my facebook page, Seeing Beyond the Veil. It's like an oasis in the desert filled with scripture, worship songs, inspirational quotes ... things that will remind you that you belong to an awesome God. I'd love for you to stop by for a visit. Seeing Beyond the Veil.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Finding God's Presence ~ The Battle Between Faith and Sight

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

"And the child grew. Now it happened one day that he went out to his father, to the reapers, and he said to his father, 'My head, my head!' So the father said to a servant, 'Carry him to his mother.' When the servant had taken the child and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died" (2 Kings 4:18-20).

The Shunammite woman.


A miracle son now dead.

This promised child - promised like Isaac to Sara, and Joseph to Rachel, and Samuel to Hanna - this child died. Unexpectedly. Without reason. Faith and sight began its wrestling match in the broken heart of a mother.

The Shunammite woman carried her son to the upper room she had prepared for Elisha when he passed through Shunem. She gently lay her son with his blanket of death upon the prophet's bed, shut the door and went out to find her husband. Desperation fought to strangle her, but determination of faith kept her sane. She asked her husband for a donkey and a young male servant that she "may run to the man of God and come back."

Upon saddling the donkey, the woman said to the servant, "Drive, and go forward; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you."

From the heights of Mount Carmel, Elisha recognized the woman. He sent his servant, Gehazi, to run and meet her because he sensed something was wrong. Following Elisha's instructions, the servant reached the woman and said, "Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?"

And she answered, "It is well."

Although in the darkest corners of her mind, she knew her child was dead, her answer remained, "It is well."

The servant helped her ascend the heights to Elisha. As soon as she saw the man of God she fell to his feet and grabbed hold of his ankles, perhaps clutching to her faith. Her desperation was winning the battle, yet her faith, just moments earlier had declared that all is well.

The Shunammite woman poured out her heart to Elisha, "Did I ask a son of my lord? Did I not say, 'Do not deceive me'?" Her frustration, fear, and disillusionment oozed out of the broken places as she pictured her beloved son lying dead back home. 

But her faith believed her son could and would live again.

As I read this story I thought about my dire circumstances. I thought about how many times I've run to the Lord, my robe of righteousness flapping about my ankles until I fell before Him, desperately clinging to His promises, desperately reaching for my faith that says, "It is well."

Like the Shulammite woman I've learned to say it is well because the Lord is who He says He is - my Redeemer, my Refuge, my Provider. In the midst of sorrow and fear and confusion and devastating loss - those things that will suffocate us when walking by sight - I can say, "It is well," because I know He is who He says He is.

And what about for you? Yes, you can say with me it is well because He is who He says He is to you - your Hope, your Peace, your God.

But that battle between faith and sight is real, isn't it?

When the Shulammite woman and Elisha arrived back at her home, Elisha went to the boy, praying, obeying, and effectively raising him from the dead. Elisha called for the woman to come and see for herself that the son she adored was alive.

Before the woman picked up her son, she fell at Elisha's feet and bowed to the ground in thanksgiving. The scripture doesn't tell us, but I can imagine this was a very emotional moment for her. 

The battle between faith and sight had been fierce. 

Faith had won.

But you know what else? In my heart of hearts I believe this woman could say, "It is well," no matter the outcome. When we come face to face with the Sovereign Lord, trust swells, faith deepens, and regardless of our circumstances we can say, "It is well."

A Tweetable to Encourage Others
Where is God when I can't see past the battle? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet)


If God be for us, who can be against us? Riveting question, isn't it? My book, The Perils of a Pastor's Wife, will remind you of this truth and take you on a journey of healing from wounds inflicted in the lonely fires of ministry.

Available on Amazon


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Where is God? Sunday Glimpses

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Father, I've thought a lot about the comfort of Your Presence today. The fact that You are always with us is such a miracle. May I never take You for granted. I find solace when I rest in You. I find strength when I walk with You. I find courage when I sit still with You and remember that You are God. That's amazing Lord. 

My humanness wants to reject the thought that the Most High God walks with me everyday, but my faith knows that I know that You are faithful to allow me to live within Your love every moment of every day, surrounded and protected by You. Thank You Lord. Thank You for the gift and privilege of knowing this Truth.

I pray for those who feel abandoned by You. I pray for those whose light has dimmed and faith has waned because life is so hard at times and the battles are so fierce. I ask that You would open their eyes to see You, to know that You are near to the brokenhearted just like You promised. Open their ears to hear Your sweet whispers of love and comfort and reassurance. Touch them in a tangible way Lord - in a way that nothing else can explain except that You, the Lord, are with them through it all. Open their hearts to receive Your love and to take hold of Your promises once again. Thank You Father. 

Thank You for Your faithfulness, Your mercy, and Your grace that rains down upon Your children. We love You Lord, and we give You praise.

A Tweetable to Encourage Others
Where is God when life is hard? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet)

Please don't carry your burdens alone. If you need prayer, feel free to share in the comments below so others can pray for you. Or, if you prefer, you may contact me directly at

Has life been coming at you hard? Do you want to step away from the chaos and focus on the Lord for just a few moments. I've created a facebook page for that purpose. Seeing Beyond the Veil will remind you of God's faithfulness through scripture, prayers, inspirational quotes and worship. I would love for you to visit Seeing Beyond the Veil. To join the community just "like" the page. Hope it will be a blessing to you.  

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Finding God's Presence ~ He Chose the Cross

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

The sun began its descent as the shadows of the cross stretched across those who watched. To hasten death, soldiers swung iron rods against the legs of those being crucified, shattering bones that could no longer support a body pushing up against the cross to breathe. With stench of breath, and flinging sweat, the soldiers pummeled the legs of those hanging beside Jesus.

But Jesus had already died. With His exclamation of, "It is finished," He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. He would remain whole - His legs would not be broken, fulfilling the Old Testament ordinances surrounding the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:46) and prophetic words from Psalm 34:20.

Perhaps in frustration, perhaps to further mock the King of the Jews, one of the soldiers drew his sword and thrust it into Jesus' side. I've always pictured this penetrating blow being down around Jesus' waist, but Easter Sunday my preacher said something that grabbed my attention. He said to picture Jesus on the Cross, elevated above the earth. Because of the height, the sword would be thrust upward into Jesus' body, not from a level angle. Preacher Johnny said, "I believe the sword went through His rib cage and pierced His heart." 

And even though we have no way of actually knowing where the sword did its deed, what an incredible thought! His heart was pierced as the soldier made sure it was finished. His heart was pierced. For you. For me.

I think of the magnificent love the Father has for each of us. Our humanness cannot fathom its depth. I think of Him weeping as His son bled upon the cross. I think of His grief as our sin separated our Father God from His Son. And then to remember that Jesus did this willingly. 

He could have called down legions of angels to free Him. 

But He didn't.

He could have smote the soldiers with just one word as they nailed Him to the cross.

But He didn't. 

He chose, instead, to complete the sacrificial work of Redemption. 

He chose the cross. 

And in that moment of history, Jesus' heart was pierced because of His love.

A Tweetable to Encourage Others
Where is God when I feel separated from Him? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Where is God? Sunday Glimpses

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Father, was it a morning like this when a burst of resurrection power - power beyond our imagination - surged through Your Son, awakening Him to life eternal? Was it a morning like this that You rolled back the stone covering Jesus' tomb so that we could behold our miracle? Was it Lord? 

I can  imagine Your strong voice speaking, "Son, come forth!" I can imagine You tenderly wiping the sleep from His eyes as His lids fluttered open. Immersed in radiant light surging with power, I imagine You lifting Him to His feet and watching Him fold the cloth that covered His face. And then I can see Jesus stepping over the shroud cloth, placing His hands on either side of the tomb opening, and waiting as You roll the stone away that held Him captive in death's tomb. What a glorious morning! 

Thank You Lord. Thank You for Your amazing love played out in Your perfect plan for us. You are wonderful, Lord. Thank You for pursuing us with Your love.

I pray for those who need You today. Many are discouraged, hopeless, hurting. Many feel abandoned by You. But, Lord, You promised to never leave us. For these, Your children, I ask that You show Yourself strong in their lives. Let them see Your hand of provision, let them know Your touch of healing. Let them know that You are for them, and if You be for them, who can dare to be against them. 

You, Lord, are faithful. You are kind, compassionate, merciful, and true. You are mighty in power. You are tender in love. We love You Lord. Thank You for the gift of eternal life. Thank You for making a way for us to know You. We bless Your holy Name!

A Tweetable to Encourage Others
Where is God on this Easter morning when I need Him so much? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet) 

Please don't carry your burdens alone. I would be honored to pray with you. You may contact me directly at

Do you want to step away from the chaos for a few minutes and focus on the Presence and faithfulness of God? I've created a facebook page just for that. Seeing Beyond the Veil will refresh you and give you strength for the journey. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Finding God's Presence ~ How I Found My Pearl Of Great Price

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

I stepped onto the porch. Chilly morning air whooshed around me, rippling the small puddle at the edge of the steps. Rimming the perimeter of the porch were dozens of daylilies bursting through the fallow ground, daring the lingering winter chill to stifle their new beginning.

Rain showers the night before left the earth moist. Morning sun lit up the tiny droplets like a sprinkling of diamond dust scattered across my yard. Taking notice of the brave young daylilies challenging the cold morning, I gasped. A clump of the newborns appeared to be laden with pearls. It was so odd. The water droplets on the fragile leaves were large, and rather than glistening clear like diamonds, they appeared milky white in their reflection of the sun. Milky white like pearls.

I recognized a stirring in my spirit.

This was a God-moment. 

In Matthew 13:45-46, Jesus said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it" (NIV).

I have been seeking the Lord with all my heart lately - even more than usual. I've been asking for clear direction, abundant grace to heal my broken heart, and miraculous provision as I take a step of faith into full-time ministry through my writing and speaking. When the Lord shone His heavenly light on these pearls of raindrops I knew that I knew I had listened to His direction in my life. I had found a pearl of great value - Jesus, Himself. I knew that He was confirming my faith-walk to pick up my cross and follow Him wherever that may lead and regardless of how frightened I might feel at times. I knew I had blessed the Lord with my decisions. 

A pearl is formed of an irritant - a tiny sandstone that finds its way under the oyster shell.To avoid irritation, the oyster produces a protective coating called nacre. Nacre is the same substance as the mantle, or part of the shell that covers the oyster's organs. 

I thought of my own shell. My own irritants. 

As I looked closely at the white "pearl" drops on the daylilies I realized that  what Satan meant for evil, the Lord promised to use for good. The irritant - the brokenness and betrayal and utter loss of life as I knew it was becoming a pearl. Layer upon layer of God's grace smoothed out the rough edges. Layer upon layer of my walls of self-preservation were beginning to take on an iridescent glow as my life began to reflect Jesus once again.

A pearl of great price. 

I've given everything I have to purchase it and follow Jesus.

A Tweetable to Encourage Others
Where is God when my life as I know it is changing? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet)

Are you looking for a speaker for your next ladies' event? I would love to chat with you about it. My website is where you can find out more. Feel free to contact me at Here's a glimpse at how I can help your ladies find the nearness of God when they need Him the most:

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Where is God? Sunday Glimpses

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

I love You Lord. You are my Constant, my Anchor. You keep me stable when my world is rocking like a boat on a storm-tossed sea. You are who You say You are! I appreciate that and I depend on it. You have proven to be the strength of my heart, the light for my path. You have proven to be my Strong Tower and my Refuge. You have proven to be my Comfort, my Peace, and my Joy. Thank You Lord. I bless Your holy Name!

I pray for those who are overwhelmed today. I ask that You replace their despair with Your hope, their fear with Your peace. You, Lord, are our peace. You are our hope. The world cannot provide these essentials for life - only You can. Teach us to press into You, to be aware of Your Presence always. Enlighten the eyes of our hearts to understand the essence of who You are. And help us let down the walls that we unknowingly erect to protect our hearts against more hurt, more disappointment, and more disillusionment. Set us free to worship You, for You alone are worthy of our praise.

It is You that we love. It is You we adore. It is You, our Lord and King - You who heal our brokenness and meet all our needs. Thank You Lord. 

A Tweetable to Encourage Others

Where is God when my world is rocking like a storm-tossed sea? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet)

Please do not carry your burdens alone. I would be honored to pray for you. You may contact me directly at 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Finding God's Presence ~ Where is God When I Need to Find Home?

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

A swoosh of black and gray feathers darted from the apple tree to the birdhouse nailed to my grape arbor. The chickadee twitched with excitement as she crawled through the circular opening and back out again. From the perch she flew to another branch, hopped across two or three others and swooped back to the birdhouse, again twitching with hyperactivity.

And ... repeat. 

In and out. Chattering incessantly. If I didn't know better, I would have thought she was doing her happy dance.

I had provided a dwelling place - one that perfectly delighted her. 

I wondered if I still delighted in the dwelling place the Lord provided for me - not just the one in heaven that awaits, but the one here and now. He is my dwelling place. My Refuge. Beneath the shadow of His wings I find His rest. His peace. His comfort ... anything that I need.

Oh that I would remain in Him, delighting in His Word, resting in His love.

Oh that I would do a happy dance every chance I get, just because I take delight in Him.

How lovely are Your dwelling places,
O Lord of hosts! 
My soul (my life, my inner self) longs for and greatly desires the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

The bird has found a house,
And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God. 
Blessed and greatly favored are those who dwell in Your house and Your presence;
They will be singing Your praises all the day long. 
~ Psalm 84:1-4, AMP 

A Tweetable to Encourage Others

Have you been hurt by the church? Are you suffering burnout in the lonely fires of ministry? I believe my book, The Perils of a Pastor's Wife, will minister to the deepest wounds of your heart. It's available on Amazon.



Sunday, March 13, 2016

Where is God? Sunday Glimpses

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Almighty, Infinite Father, Spirit we long to embrace ... O Lord, how I love to sing Your praise. Even when I can't praise You for my circumstances, I can always praise You for who You are. And when I praise You, You are faithful to inhabit those praises. Thank You, for in Your Presence is fullness of joy. In Your Presence is comfort and healing. In Your Presence is peace that floods over my weary spirit and strengthens me. Bless You Lord for Your tender care.

I know so many who are overwhelmed with what has come their way. Life can be hard. But You teach us to focus our eyes on You, and You alone, and we will find peace that will guard our hearts. You teach us to think on those things that are lovely and pure and worthy of praise, and we will find peace that passes all understanding. You teach us to not be anxious about anything, but to give You thanks always so that we might live in Your peace. Lord, You are our peace. 

I ask that You reveal Yourself as the Prince of Peace to those who are hurting or overwhelmed or consumed by sorrow. Be their peace. Be their joy. Hide them beneath the shadow of Your wings until the calamities have passed them by. I ask that You heal their broken places, give them hope in place of despair, and Your perfect peace in place of alarm.

You are a good God - so good, so faithful, and so true. Thank You Lord. We stand amazed by Your love.

A Tweetable to Encourage Others

Where is God when I can't find peace? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet) 

Please do not carry your burdens alone. I would be honored to pray for you. You may contact me directly at  



Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Finding God's Presence ~ Why Must We Endure Seasons of Darkness?

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

"I've come to realize that the seeds of faith begin their journey to the light, in the dark." ~ Edie Melson

The image these words evoke resonate deep within me. My faith has been on a perilous journey of late, often encased in darkness as I waited on the Lord to raise me up into the light of His understanding and healing. In darkness I sat. Dormant. Cold. Wanting to burst forth with new beginnings, but like the seed, needing to die to self first.

I didn't want to die to self.

I questioned God, as I suppose you have too. Why was it necessary for me to undergo this painful, lonely, damp with tears and dark with confusion, transformation? In the dark, moments turn into days, and days turn into months. 

While darkness continues, tears moisten the soil of my heart where God's Word resides along with His promises, His purpose and His plan. In the darkness, my tears mingle with the living water of His grace and mercy causing the seeds of hope to begin their germination, causing faith to begin its journey to the light.

But it's so hard to wait for resurrection power to come.

It's so hard to step into a new beginning when the shell of my past clings and jabs in the dark.

Yet, I'm a child of God. His Spirit dwells within me and He promises to fulfill His purposes in me. He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. Sound familiar?

So why must we endure seasons of darkness? Why must we lie dormant in the chill of night?

Because our God is a creative God. 

Just as He hovered over the darkness of the earth in the beginning of Creation, I believe He hovers over us speaking life and resurrection to His promises within - those dreams planted as seeds by His very own hand.

And if we'll wait, fully trusting in our magnificent God, we will come forth from the darkness into His marvelous light, no longer just a seed, but the fulfillment of who He created us to be.

"But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body will they come?” You fool! Every time you plant seed you sow something that does not come to life [germinating, springing up and growing] unless it first dies. The seed you sow is not the body (the plant) which it is going to become, but it is a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or some other grain. But God gives it a body just as He planned, and to each kind of seed a body of its own [is given]." ~ 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, AMP

A Tweetable to Encourage Others

Where is God when He asks us to die to self? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet) 

Have you been wanting to read my book, The Perils of a Pastor's Wife? Here's your chance for a free signed copy! I'm having a Goodreads Giveaway. Would love for you to enter.



Sunday, March 6, 2016

Where is God? Sunday Glimpses

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Lord, You clearly tell us that many are the afflictions of the righteous, but You promise to deliver us out of them all. And You do! Over and over again, I experience Your deliverance. Your faithfulness. Your grace and mercy. I still don't enjoy the trials - I don't know anyone who does - but I thoroughly enjoy the celebration once I've passed through the water and not drowned. Thank You for allowing me to see Your goodness in the land of the living. You are truly an awesome God. I am forever grateful for Your redemption, for Your adoption into the family of God. Help me to realize fully what it means to be a child of the Most High God.

I pray the same for others. What a privilege we have to be able to come before the Creator of the Universe who knows us by name. It's too great to wrap our brains around. But Lord, You have the ability to give us insight. I ask that You increase our understanding of who You are and help us begin to walk in that Truth. Oh, how different our lives would be. It would become natural to walk by faith rather than by sight. Our first reaction to a problem would be to soar with the wings of an eagle to rise above the fray rather than wallow in the storm below. 

I desire to know You more and I know that others do also. Draw us close Lord. Open our eyes to see and our ears to hear. Awaken our hearts to love You with every ounce of our being. Transform us into the image of Christ that we might be a light in the darkness of this hurting world. Thank You Lord. We praise You for You alone are worthy of our praise.

A Tweetable to Encourage Others

Where is God when my trial of faith is over? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet)

Please don't carry your burdens alone. I would be honored to pray with you. You may contact me at  



Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Finding God's Presence ~ Does God Still Set A Table Before Us?

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Traipsing beneath the old apple tree, I poured the tiny morsels into each birdfeeder. An abundance of seed overflowed to the ground below, expanding the table for the birds' feast. A winter storm crept toward the horizon like an ominous enemy that would threaten their food source and well-being. I wanted to make sure my feathered friends were cared for before the storm hit.

It wasn't long before the branches of the apple tree were filled with activity. Chattered proclamations of delight rang thru the air. Chickadees, nuthatches, sparrows - even an ornery blue jay filled the naked branches, hopping from limb to limb to view the scrumptious sight before perching on the feeder's ledge. I took joy watching the feast from my kitchen window.

How often has the Lord prepared a table for me in the presence of my enemies - enemies like heartache, fear, doubt? Was I delighted at His goodness? Was I thankful?  Did I proclaim His faithfulness in the midst of the storm?

Or did I take it for granted.

I can only hope that my reaction to the Lord's mercy blesses Him as much as I was blessed by the birds' reaction to the table I set for them - a table in the presence of a foreboding enemy lurking just over the ridge. 


God, my shepherd!
    I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
    you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
    you let me catch my breath
    and send me in the right direction.
 Even when the way goes through
    Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
    when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
    makes me feel secure.

 You serve me a six-course dinner
    right in front of my enemies.

You revive my drooping head;
    my cup brims with blessing.

 Your beauty and love chase after me
    every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
    for the rest of my life.
~ Psalm 23, MSG

A Tweetable to Encourage Others

Where is God when my enemies lurk around me? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet)


My publisher, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, is offering a kindle copy of my book, The Perils of a Pastor's Wife, for 99 cents through Thursday night, March 3rd. It's a perfect time to see why this book is helping so many people, but also, the Lord gave me a great idea: buy a couple of copies (purchase as gift copies), email them to yourself and then you'll have then on hand if a friend is going through a hard time. It would be like sending a greeting card of hope and encouragement, but so much more. Here's the link if you're interested: Amazon



Sunday, February 28, 2016

Where is God? Sunday Glimpses

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Lord, I stand in awe of You. Your greatness is beyond our comprehension. Your love and grace so undeserved. 

Forgive us for the times we pass nonchalantly through the beauty of Your holiness without so much as a nod in your direction. How is it that we surrender to the deceptions of the enemy so easily - the deceptions that would blind our hearts to the reality that we belong to You and the depth of love that Truth involves? It is too great to comprehend! 

Help us take You out of our beautiful boxes that keep You contained within our understanding. Open our eyes to behold Your majesty as our hearts melt in the radiance of Your light. 

You are Faithful; You are True. You are powerful, yet tender in Your love. I ask that You stir up a hunger within us to know You more. Give us an insatiable appetite for Your Word. Set our feet dancing to the melody of Your praise. You are beautiful Lord. Thank You for making a way for us to know You.

A Tweetable to Encourage Others

What does God look like when I gaze into His holiness? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet)



Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Finding God's Presence ~ How Does God Melt a Heart of Stone?

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Life moving at full throttle.

Even the cars traveling I-40 on that crisp February afternoon mirrored our chaotic lives.

Couple this frenzy with a depleted spirit, fragile emotions, and worn-out body and you will find me - a woman going through the motions trying desperately to follow the Lord and His plan.

Dependent solely on Him.

I lay my head against the headrest and, closing my eyes, I tried to relax. At last, Marcie and I exited I-40. Fighting for an opportunity to turn left in oncoming traffic echoed the chaos once again. But then ... THEN ...

We passed through the gates at The Cove, Billy Graham's Retreat Center in Asheville, NC. Without a doubt, we were on sacred ground - ground and facilities dedicated to the glory of God, ground and facilities prayed over and visited by thousands of children of God every year. There is no doubt the Spirit of God dwells richly at The Cove. His Presence is tangible. His peace attainable.

And oh how I needed His peace.

Marcie and I were there to attend The Asheville Christian Writers Conference/Boot Camp. But, like our Jewish brothers and sisters say, "Man makes plans and God just laughs!" Our plans were to study hard, network sincerely, and capture every moment of a delightful weekend with other writers.

But God's purpose was for me to capture Him once again - to let His living waters flow over and through my broken places, to offer my shattered heart to Him with thanksgiving for His faithfulness and promise to restore. 

After dinner we gathered for a keynote speaker and worship. The music began to soar and my heart began to melt. I've always loved worship - I've even led it during different seasons of my life. Little did I know that my Father in heaven was about to chisel away at the hard places that had formed over the past year. 

We sang:
Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend
Who would have thought that a Lamb
Could rescue the souls of men
Oh, You rescue the souls of men

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost our way
Oh, we've hopelessly lost our way

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for...

All I could see was His lovely face. My adoration lifted me up into His Presence as His love came down to meet my life that lay in shambles around me. His embrace was tender. Kind. I looked into His eyes that pierced through to my inner being, bringing magnificent light to the darkened corners carefully hidden from others. His consuming fire melted my heart of stone scarred by unbearable wounds. 

I began to feel as though I was living again. Do you know what I mean? The death knell cast upon me by the enemy had been eradicated by the One who loves me with an everlasting love. I could see a future and a hope - a hope that had once been cast aside as my heart lost its way.

Sweet friend, are you in pain today? Have life's heartaches stolen your joy? Your hope? I encourage you to praise Him. Allow the Lord to melt your heart of stone scarred by unbearable wounds. Look into His lovely face and let Him search you and know you that He might set you free.

I'm praying for you. I cherish your prayers also.

"Marvelous are Your works, 
and that my soul knows very well." 
~ Psalm 139:14

A Tweetable to Encourage Others

Where is God when my heart loses its way? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet)


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Finding God's Presence ~ Why Should I Go on a Bear Hunt?

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Like the frigid water tumbling over the polished stones, my thoughts tumbled and gurgled angrily against the obstacles in my mind. Distractions. Financial crisis. Heartbreak induced fibro flares. 

Real obstacles in a very real world. 

But we're not supposed to be of this world, even though we are in it.

I stood still on the creek bank and listened to the water as it moved along. A tall reed next to me swayed in the breeze. I could hear the birds of winter chattering in the Juniper tree behind me. Standing still is a good thing. Pondering the things of God is also a good thing. 

I knew I needed to pray. Right then. At that very moment.

Lord, I don't know how to get past this gigantic wall I've hit! Please, please help me.

I promise this is what dropped into my spirit:

You can't go over it. You can't go under it. You can't go around it. You have to go through it!

I laughed out loud at God's humor. Do you recall "Going on a Bear Hunt" from your childhood? That's exactly what the Lord was speaking in my spirit! Every single obstacle the kids had as they searched for the bear was met with a decision: "We can't go over it. We can't go under it. We can't go around it. We'll have to go through it!" Remember? Are you laughing now too? I used to love that little ditty. I didn't realize until now that it held such deep biblical truth.

When Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, Pharaoh sent his armies to hunt them down and bring the people back into slavery. God's people found themselves on the banks of the Red Sea with nowhere to go. Pharaoh's armies were within earshot, the hooves of a thousand horses pounding against the sand. What were they to do? Their journey to freedom was blocked by the Red Sea. 

They couldn't go over it. They couldn't go under it. They couldn't go around it. They had to go through it.

Moses stood on the Word of God, raised his staff, stretched out his hand over the sea and it parted. Because of God's faithfulness and Moses' obedience, the children of God crossed through the Red Sea on dry ground and their enemies were swallowed up by the angry waves.

Joshua did much the same. He was leading the children of Israel into their promised land. After leaving Jericho, they came as far as the banks of the Jordan River and could go no farther. The land of their dreams was in sight. A place to call home was just across the river. But what could they do? 

They couldn't go over it. They couldn't go under it. They couldn't go around it. They had to go right through the middle of the Jordan River.

And once again God was faithful. 

God told Joshua to tell the people, "When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, the Levites, carrying it, then you shall set out from your place and go for it" (Joshua 3:3). The ark of the covenant was God's dwelling place among the people as they journeyed through the wilderness. He would go before them to part the waters so they could reach their promised land.

Joshua said, "By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and [the distractions and your financial crisis and your heartbreak creating such a fierce fibro flare]" paraphrased.

I opened my eyes to see not the gurgling and upset caused by obstacles to the flowing water. Instead, I saw polished stones, stones with no rough places, stones that glimmered against the water's force.

I sensed the Lord stirring in my spirit again:

My Child, do you not know that I am with you? I am by your side to strengthen and guide. But you must take hold and trust Me. I have called you by your name - you are Mine. I have called you with wings of fire to melt the hearts of stone that have been wounded. But you must get over yourself. You must leave the past behind and move forward with Me, neither looking to the right nor the left. Listen for my directives and then do them. Do not hesitate. Do not make excuses. As you step out, strength and energy will meet you there. You will have all you need to accomplish the task I have given you. Trust Me, my child. Trust Me. Your hopes and dreams are unfolding before you, but you must trust and obey.

God's Word would say to those of us who face an uncertain future, who feel like they've hit a brick wall, who don't have the strength to take one more step:

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." ~ Isaiah 43:1-3

Sweet friend, we can't go over it, we can't go under it. We can't even go around it. We have to - yes, we must - go through it to the other side holding fast to the One who is faithful.

A Tweetable to Encourage Others

Where is God when my back is up against a wall? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet) 

Have you been hurt by the church? Have you ever felt abandoned by God in the lonely fires of ministry? My book, The Perils of a Pastor's Wife, will speak to your deepest wounds and help you find God's Presence through it all. To find out more, visit my Amazon page.