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