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. 



Sunday, February 14, 2016

Where is God? Sunday Glimpses

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor


Lord, Thank You for the touch of Your sweet Presence today. I love that You are glorious in majesty, mighty in power and yet when I'm struggling or feel weary You come to me in tenderness. You really are the Great I AM - the God who meets our every need at the moment we need it. Thank You. Thank You for filling my broken places with Your love. Thank You for giving me wisdom when there is none. Thank You for giving me strength and laughter in place of the weakness and sorrow. Yes! It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to remember Your faithfulness O God! Your love never ever fails. I appreciate that truth so very much.

I ask that You show Yourself strong on behalf of those who are overwhelmed by life's difficulties. You are Jehovah Rapha - God our Healer. You are Jehova-jireh - God our Provider. And You are El Roi - the God who sees us and knows all about us. You go before us leading the way into the troubled waters, lifting us up when the turbulence is too strong. Always leading. Always protecting. And always carrying us when our strength fails. Bless You Lord. May we be a blessing to You and bring You joy. Thank You for loving us with the everlasting love of a Father. You are wonderful. Tender. Mighty. You are our God.

A Tweetable to Encourage Others

Where is God when life overwhelms me? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet)



Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Finding God's Presence ~ Why Do the Sparrows Sing in Winter?

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

The thicket bristled with thorns and brown tangled vines. It was thick. Chaotic in appearance. Lying dormant as its brown cloak waited for the greens of spring.

But then I noticed something extraordinary. 

A small flock of sparrows took delight in hopping from one fruitless stem to another. Their tiny wings spread as they made giant leaps across the barren domain. Their chatter delighted me and filled the air with songs of praise.

Faithful. My God is faithful, I thought.

I thought of the sparrow, seemingly so insignificant and yet cared for by our heavenly Father. He knows when the sparrow falls. The sparrows neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet the Lord feeds them, meeting their most urgent needs.

They flit from barren branch to barren branch and still they sing, for they know the One who loves them and Who will never cease to care for them.

Can't I do the same? Can you? Can we learn to trust Him with total abandon? How much more value do we have to our Father than the sparrow? How much more are we loved?

In the seasons of barrenness or dormancy, those seasons when the sun refuses to shine, think on the sparrows. For just as His eye is on the sparrow, I know He watches over you and me.

"Look at the birds of the air, 
for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; 
yet your heavenly Father feeds them. 
Are you not of more value than they?...

"Therefore do not worry, saying, 
'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' 
or 'What shall we wear?' 
for after all these things the Gentiles seek. 
For your heavenly Father knows 
that you need all these things. 
But seek first the kingdom of God 
and His righteousness, 
and all these things shall be added unto you.

 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, 
for tomorrow will worry about its own things. 
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." 
~ Matthew 6:26,31-34 

A Tweetable to Encourage Others



Sunday, February 7, 2016

Where is God? Sunday Glimpses

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Father, I want to be transformed by Your love. I want others to see You in me - in my life - and be drawn to Your redemptive power. I need You so much. I realize more and more just how weak I really am when I depend on myself instead of You. Speak into my life Lord and fulfill Your purposes in me for Your glory. Melt me. Mold me. Fill me and use me. I want Your love to overflow in me and wash away the tears of struggle found in others. You are faithful and true. You are my Righteousness, my Deliverer, my strength. I love You Lord.

It seems that so many of Your children are hurting. Many of us feel overwhelmed and stressed to the max. You didn't come to bring us stress. You came to bring us peace, but we must accept Your gift of peace and choose to walk in it. Enlighten the eyes of our heart to understand this. 

You've taught me that finding Your peace begins with thinking on those things that are noble and true, things that are worthy of praise. I ask that You bring our thoughts captive to You. Be Lord over our thoughts, our words, our actions. We submit to Your authority. 

And when we fail and fall back on our own ideas and strength, I ask that You be merciful and lift up our heads once again that we might see Your lovely face. Thank You Lord. You alone are worthy of our praise.

A Tweetable to Encourage Others

Where is God when I feel weak? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet)

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



Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Finding God's Presence ~ When the Lord Rolls Up His Sleeves

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

My dad was a he-man. Strong. Powerful. He took delight in providing for his family and protecting us as only a father can.

I can still see him sitting at his desk working hard to solve business problems. He would rear back in his chair, unbutton the cuffs of his shirt, and roll up his sleeves when the task at hand was important and needed his full attention.

When dad rolled up his sleeves, he meant business.

I have come to realize the Lord does the same!

Isaiah 52 is a chapter about Jerusalem's redemption after an extended period of captivity in Babylon. God is working in their hearts, restoring worship and once again drawing His children to Himself.

"Break forth into joy, sing together, you waste places of Jerusalem! For the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; And all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God" (Isaiah 52:9-10).

The Lord has made bare His holy arm ... Translated, this means He has revealed His power or He has rolled up His sleeves to redeem His people in the sight of all the nations. I love that imagery because not only is He Almighty God; He is Abba Father and He means business when it comes to His children.

Have you been in a difficult season? Do you feel that you've been held captive by fear? Sorrow? Disappointment? I have. I feel as though my life has been stationary as the chains of depression kept me bound. But God has heard my cry, and He has heard yours as well. He would say to us, "Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! ... Shake yourself from the dust, arise; ... Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!" (Isaiah 52:1-2).

If God be for us - and He is - then who can dare to be against us? Nothing can separate us from His love.

And when our Daddy God rolls up His sleeves, the enemy had better watch out. 

A Tweetable to Encourage Others

Where is God when I feel defeated? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet)