Jul 302014
 

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2

My oldest daughter has had a “go to” book since she was old enough to sit up and flip pages.  This book is currently, and has for years sat on her nightstand.  We call the book, “The Dog Book”.  (Probably fairly self explanatory.)  You have a dog temperament question, you want to know what breed just walked past you, my daughter most likely will be there for you.

This next statement may sound strange to you so gear up.   I feel like I am a dog-A Bloodhound.  To be exact.  When I run.

As I train for this marathon, I feel compelled to do it without the help of an I-Pod or audio books.  Which makes some serious time left to my own thoughts, along with spending time with God.  In this journey there is one truth I have found:  Because my senses are not tuned in to music, a book, or talking to someone, they are perked up elsewhere; Making me and the Bloodhound more alike than I would like to admit.

For all of you dog lover’s and my daughter Lucy, this may be a recap for you, but for the rest of us, here is a little Bloodhound synopsis from “The Dog Breed Information Center”:

“The Bloodhound thrives on the hunt rather than the kill. It takes great pleasure in tracking and has been used to hunt animals, criminals, runaway slaves and lost children. Today this slow mannered, rich sounding breed is both tracker and companion. Although it has a pleasant temperament, it is not easy to obedience train, most likely largely due to the fact that it gets distracted from human command, more interested in all of the exciting strong smells around him.”

The ways the Bloodhound and I are alike:

  • Heightened senses of smell, sight, and sound.
  • Easily distracted by surroundings.
  • Doesn’t follow human commands.
  • Wired to find lost people.

It is crazy to notice what I am tuning into on my “free of noise” runs instead of tuning out like I normally am in the mode of doing in my day to day routine.

Eyes-I am taken back by a field of brilliant magenta flowers on my left.  A prestine, manicured lawn on my right.  A pop can where it shouldn’t be.

Ears-  The city sounds of cars whizzing by.  The “out of the city” sounds of bird songs.  The “Good job” from another runner not “tuned in”.

Nose-The city smells equalling the gaustly combination of car exhaust, Burger King, garbage and chinese food, with a hint of freshly made donuts.  The “out of the city” smells of lilacs, cow manure, and hay.

Just as the Bloodhound has difficulty following human commands and is honed in to finding the lost, so should we, as Daughter’s of The King, display these personality traits.  We follow Jesus’ commands, and not people’s commands.  Following Jesus means following Jesus.  And not other’s.  Following Jesus means doing life different.  From the typical American woman, mother, wife, employee.  From the way we respond to difficulty and trials.  From the way we interact with others.  From the way we show unconditional love.  Forgiveness.  And Compassion.

When we become too engrossed in distractions around us and forget to use our “Bloodhound” makeup, we can become tuned out to the Kingdom mindset and life.  When we have some time to be without-The noise of music, tv shows, technology, phones, Apps, Ipods/pads, facebook, Pinterest, email, online shopping/games-we remember our true selves within.  Our true identity, our true mission, our true makeup in Christ.  And our “Bloodhound”/Kingdom/Heaven focused heightened senses come out strong.  And we find ourselves in a strange place of rest.  Refreshment.  And Rejoicing.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jul 252014
 

“And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it;  if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ’s body and individually member’s of it.”  1 Corinthians 12:26-27

First off I want to say “thank you”.  

You have been the support and motivation I needed to finish the Sing Over Me:  A Women’s Devotional Through the Psalms, book.  Your emails have encouraged me to persevere in the writing even when trials and laziness overwhelmed me.  God used you to encourage me to fulfill this call He placed on my heart.  I feel so humbled and blessed to be able to journey with you all as the Lord continues to work on me.

As I await more comments to come in on Amazon for my book in order to have the book do well, I have contemplated this balance of relying on God and relying on the body of Christ as we go through life.  And I have come down to this bottom line:  We need God.  But we also need each other.

We were not meant to “do life” alone.  We were meant for community.  And the body of Christ is just that.  A group of imperfect, forgiven, Jesus following folks who are doing their best to “work out their salvation”.  A group who will “rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn” Romans 12:15.  A group using their God given gifts to inspire one another on in this race of life.

Let’s give glory to the Lord for doing an impossible work in us.  May the name of the Lord be praised because He is a “Finisher” God.  When I felt inadequate, without gifting, and without knowledge in this whole writing world, He equipped me.  When I had nothing to say, He gave me something to say.  When the criticism of other’s seemed to overwhelming to continue on, He gave me courage.  And when I seemed to be working in vain, His peace and a renewed sense of purpose and joy flooded my soul.  Following Jesus is beyond.  Our own strength.  Giftings.  Ways.  But it is in our “beyond”-where we find abundant life.

He has called each of us to know Him and make Him known to others.  But within this larger call, He has specific Kingdom work for us as individuals (Jer 29:11).  And the work WILL involve reliance on Him-His strength and Spirit (Jo 15:5, Zech 4:6).  But those who trust in Him through the questions, trials, and troubles, He will never put to shame (Prov 3:5, Ro. 10:11).  He never starts something in us and then does not equip, strengthen and help us see it through to the end.

So be encouraged to today my Sister’s!  Step out in faith and be obedient to God and His Word.  Rely on Him.  Rely on others in the body of Christ to help you.  Persevere.  Gain knowledge.  Motivate you towards courage in Christ.  For your work is not in vain!  Enjoy resting in God’s plan for you.  Because it is beyond.  Good.
P.S.  (Does anyone actually use this anymore?  I guess I do!)  For the next two weeks starting today if you follow this link and purchase Sing Over Me:  A Women’s Devotional Through the Psalms, and then post a comment on Amazon about it, I will enter you name in a drawing to win a gift card to the Cheesecake Factory!  Email me at jillian@standingonpeace.com to let me know you commented!  Thanks again for your support friends!

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jul 212014
 

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Phil 1:6

Well my Sister’s, it’s out there.  The Sing Over Me; Women’s Devotional through the Psalms you all journeyed with me on last summer is in Kindle (and soon to be paperback) form on Amazon.  I am pretty sure when I saw the book for the first time on the Amazon site I peed in my pants a little.  Due to nerves.  (Due to quite possibly from a lack of bladder control due to having children.)  Due to pure excitement in God’s faithfulness.

I NEED YOUR HELP!!  (This is not something I love to do by the way.  It is humbling.)

For the next two weeks starting today through August 4th, if you follow this link and purchase Sing Over Me:  A Women’s Devotional Through the Psalms, and then post a comment on Amazon about it, I will enter you name in a drawing to win a gift card to the Cheesecake Factory!  Email me at jillian@standingonpeace.com to let me know you commented!  I also can send you email updates when the future devotionals are up on Amazon.  Thanks again for your support friends-I truly thank God for you.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jul 142014
 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Prov 3:5-6

Okay, so I was minding my own business on my typical 45 min training run. All beauty of God’s tree’s, birds singing, slight wind with a hint of sun surrounded me. And then it happened.

I heard a vehicle approaching and so I did my typical move over on the edge of the road as far as possible. As I am awkwardly running on half grass, half hard dirt and rocks, the loud roar of the engine seems right next to me. I turned to look and this monster truck zooms past like he was in a Nascar race. And he didn’t even have the courtesy to give a runner some space by moving over to the middle of the road. He sure nestled that white line right beside me. The nerve I tell ya!

But this was not the worst of it. Oh no. Not only was a freaked by the speed and proximity, because it was a gravel road, the air all around became dust. It was as if Tinkerbell had paid me a little visit. Except being able to fly was in no way part of the deal. Dirty dust literally filled all crevices in my body. I couldn’t see a thing in front of me, and I coughed to reject some of what I had already taken in. I was left in the dust. Literally.

Not fun. But as I took time to recover, I noticed my feet never stopped moving. In the mess of it all. Even when I couldn’t see where I was going. And I continued to rub my eyes to get the particles out. One foot went after the other. My feet kept doing what they knew to do in midst of this all consuming, unforeseen circumstance.

Similarly, as we venture into each day with God as our Shepherd to lead us, we are faced with “messy” situations. Troubles. Trials. Fears. And this circumstance or fear has surrounded us, as the dust surrounded me. Challenging and impacting our mind, heart, and spirit. We are left unable to see-What is in store for the future. The reason for it. How we are to continue on in freedom and peace.

But thankfully our feet know what to do. They keep moving one step at a time. Forward. In trust. In faith. In hope. In Jesus. When we are “left in the dust” by the world, we keep running with Jesus. We do not stop. Because we know He will get us through the dust cloud. We are never alone in it. And we can trust He will use it for good if we let Him.

Maybe you are in a troubling dust storm right now and you can’t see anything up ahead and you are overwhelmed. Cling to Jesus. He helps us when we don’t know which way to go. We do not have to be afraid. We do not have to live in anxiety. We do not have to go through trials alone.

May the God of peace settle us when the dust storms of life hit. May He strengthen us to continue moving forward in Him. May He clean us up in mind, heart and spirit, enabling us to bring Him glory and share our testimony. That He is faithful. Good. And provides for us in our times of need.

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jul 112014
 

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Col 3:23-24

I know we all get butterfly stomachs of exuberant joy when this word one word is on the books for the day. “Housekeeping”.

It is the inevitable job of making a home a home. But it was also biblical Martha’s downfall moment. Others give advice of “Let cobwebs lie and be with others”, but also to “practice hospitality regularly”. A conflict of my soul.

On a run my mind was flooded with how this “housekeeping” word has recently bombarded my life. #1-The looming laundry which seems to accumulate with every soccer camp, swimming lessons, and camping trip of the summer. #2-“Let’s get some housekeeping items taken care of”, says the administrator each morning and evening at my recent women’s retreat. #3-“Houskeeping”, calls a voice outside our hotel door, then a knock, knock as my husband and I call back “No, thanks” and roll over on our 1 night anniversary get away. #4-Writing on this blog to cover what seems to be only “housekeeping” items of the in’s and out’s of the Fast Run, and how to’s of participating in/training for a race.

I recognized I tend to run with a “housekeeping mindset”. Unfortunately, not only do I do the “housekeeping tasks”, but my mind is bound to them.   This “housekeeping mindset” puts me in a state of anxiousness. Frustration. Worn out. And resentful spirit.

Oh Lord, free my mind from housekeeping mindset of planning, bound to the task managing/productivity, and anxiousness to get it all done. This distracts me from You. And others. Give me Your balance of doing and being so I can be the homemaker, hospitable woman you have called me to be. I want to get good at the ministry of “housebeing”. Teach me how to sit and rest at your feet as Mary did, even while everything around me screams “clean me, and finish this project”. Because You alone usher me into a life of abundance, peace, and purpose.

The reality is certain items/jobs must be addressed in order to create safe, fun, peaceful surroundings for strangers and loved ones-but we don’t have to live here. We don’t have to live so focused on the “housekeeping” that we miss the “housebeing”.

I am ready to let the laundry lie for a moment, the “have to cover Fast Run details” to rest and be. Present. With my youngest daughter and “be the baby while she tucks me into bed”. With my husband on the phone as he is away, truly celebrating his highs and empathizing with the lows. With my writing and write out of my love for Jesus not out of the need to explain it all. With a crying woman who needs prayer, and a hug of tears.

I am in need of a re-setting of my mind to “housebeing” instead of “housekeeping”.  With an understanding that I am looking to my faithful God to determine when it is a “do the dishes time” and when it is a “let the dishes go” time.  I want to serve my God with joy no matter it be the spilled mess at hand or the park play time with my girls.  May we embark on our day today serving God and not man or our own agenda.

Because this, my Sister’s, is what we were made to do.

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jul 072014
 

I have two “A words” for this summer. To abstain from for the Run Fast. Anxiety and addiction.

I am practicing “in the moment 2 second prayers” by praying outloud, “Jesus, Your peace” when I the worry train is running through my mind and heart. I am choosing not to entertain thoughts of fears and worry.  I know the opposite of a life of worry is a life of peace.

This last year I have cut back on caffeine and sugar in my diet. Both of these were becoming a need in my life and I saw myself as grouchy and unavailable to God’s voice/others as I looked to them to satisfy. They brought me comfort. Short term happiness. But they had some sort of strange control on me.  I do not want any substance or activity to come before God’s voice. These had become addictions. I want a life free from these areas I can’t seem to overcome on my own. I need Jesus to help me with them. I know the opposite of life with addiction is life with freedom and hope.

What is the practical aspect of abstaining from anxiety and addiction? I am continuing to cut out caffeine in my regular routine and taking one day of the week as my “no sugar day”.

Whenever I am anxious about the past, present or future, I will pray “Jesus, Your peace” and I will instead think on-

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Phil 4:8b-9

I am praying for breakthrough for myself and three other loved ones on my runs during the week. I Run Fast for a life of freedom and hope in Jesus.

What the Run Fast IS:

Grounded in scripture, giving eternal focus and purpose in training for a race-“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus” Hebrews 12:1-2a (ESV)

A uniting of sister’s in Christ in prayer and purpose (Col 2:2).

An opportunity for consistent, specific prayer time (1 Thes 5:17).

A spiritual discipline to free yourself and others from the bondages of this world (Isaiah 58:6; Ro 7:20).

A chance to humble yourself before God, asking Him to examine the heart and mind and reveal any bondage/controlling areas (Ps. 139:23)

An opportunity to practice growing in, receiving love and grace from the Father (2 Peter 3:18).

An asking for God do a work in you and/or others with the purpose of deliverance. Sanctification of body, mind, and spirit. (Ps 3:8, 1 Thes 5:23-24)

An opportunity to grow in strength in places of weakness and be courageous. (2 Cor 12:10; Josh 1:9)

What the Run Fast is NOT:

A spiritual act with the motive to “show off”/gain approval before others (Pharisee’s did this and it didn’t bode well for them-Gal 1:10).

A necessity, a legalistic/“spiritual duty” in order to improve standing with God (we can’t earn our salvation, Jesus paid it already and all on the cross-Jn 3:16).

A magic spell to make all hindering issues disappear and all life to become a fairy tale of roses (Jn 16:33).

Time to feel condemned, guilty, shamed by God (Ps 34:4-5; Ro 8:1-When we are in Christ, we are never condemned by God for sin).

An unattainable goal, an impossible feat to overcome. (We are overcomer’s in Jesus! Nothing is impossible with Him! (But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Mt 19:26 ESV)

Something to fear or be anxious about (Mt 6:31-34).

Choose An Option that Fits-

The Run Fast can be done in an effort to break bondage within your own life, another’s life, or a combination of both. When choosing about what to abstain from, stop. Ask God. And listen. Allow God to reveal what to abstain from, and who and what to pray for.

Here are some options to choose from while participating in the Run Fast:

Option #1: Abstain from an attitude, activity or practice which hinders and physical comfort (discipline of training for a race)

· Sign up and train (for 3 months or so) to run in a race.

· Write down 1 or 2 areas of hindrance (attitudes, activities, or practices) you and/or a loved one is facing.

· Write out a plan to fully or partially abstain from this during the 3 months of training and commit to do it.

· Write down your purpose for running, specifically what you are petitioning God for: Example- “I Run Fast for freedom and peace for_________(your name and/or loved ones) as I abstain from anxiety, addiction of sugar and physical comfort.”

· Commit to run atleast 3 times a week and pray for breakthrough.

Option #2: Abstain from food and physical comfort (discipline of training for a race)

· Sign up and train (for 3 months or so) to run in a race.

· Write down 1 or 2 areas of hindrance (attitudes, activities, or practices) you and/or a loved one is facing.

· Write down your purpose for running, specifically what you are petitioning God for: Example- “I Run Fast for freedom and hope for_______(your name and/or specific loved ones) as I abstain from food and physical comfort.”

· Participate in a partial fast once a week of abstaining from food (have only liquids).

· Commit to run atleast 3 times a week and pray for breakthrough.

Option #3: Abstain from physical comfort (discipline of training for a race)

· Sign up and train (for 3 months or so) to run in a race.

· Write down 1 or 2 areas of hindrance (attitudes, activities, or practices) you and/or a loved one is facing.

· Write down your purpose for running, specifically what you are petitioning God for: Example- “I Run Fast for joy for_________(your name and/or specific loved ones) as I abstain from physical comfort in training for a race.”

· Commit to run atleast 3 times a week and pray for breakthrough.

Join me in doing the Run Fast this summer! It is an exercise for the heart, mind, body and spirit! Let’s pray for His Kingdom to come and His will to be done here on earth as it is in heaven. Let’s pray for the breaking of the chains that bind us. Freeing us to live in wholeness, joy and hope in our now. And giving God the glory by sharing our testimonies of the grace, love, power and light Jesus has displayed in us.

Oh shine your light on us, your daughter’s, oh Lord! Give us your courage to step out with you in these challenging areas. Help us not to be afraid. May we overcome in You, Jesus. Prepare the way, Your way, for us to fulfill the good plans you have for us in this season. We trust You. We love You. We need You.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jul 012014
 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus” Hebrews 12:1-2a (ESV)

It’s been almost 3 weeks of running with Jesus. Three 30 min runs each week plus the “big run” (or the “too long” run as I like to call it). That adds up to 25 hours and 40 minutes of talk time.

That’s right. No I pod of music to listen to. No books on cd. No running buddy to chat with. It’s some serious quality time of viewing creation and talking with God.

I won’t say it’s been easy breezy. Because I was pretty sure I was going to pass out on the 10th hill of my “too long” 8 mile run. Felt the regret of doing too many calf raises on a cross training day. Laid down my pride and walked when my strength was gone. And have wondered countless times how I am going to really pull this marathon off in the end.

But God has been good to me. I love that in all my doubt. Fears. Weak parts. He gives strength. Peace. And purpose.

In one of our many conversations within the 25 plus hours I asked God, “What am I running for? I feel I am running in vain. Sure, it will be cool to say I have completed a marathon, but because You laid this on my heart, I believe there is more to be gained.” I thought of all the “Run to fight diabetes”, “Run for cancer research”, and the list goes on and on. People are running. Overcoming. And finishing with purpose. “I want to run with purpose.” I said. “And not just any purpose, but Your purpose.”

The phrase “Run fast” came to mind. It was definitely not the word fast having to do with speed (getting one foot in front of the other in a bouncing rhythm is about all I shoot for.) It was a biblical fast.

Go with me for a minute to understand this challenging word fast. Unger’s Bible Dictionary explains the word fast is from the Greek word nesteuo, meaning “to abstain.” Like in the book of Esther, the Jews were called to abstain from food and drink in a time of spiritual trial (Esther:4:16).

The Bible gives examples of God’s people combining fasting and prayer. King David wrote that he “humbled [him]self with fasting” (Psalm:35:13). This spiritual discipline was used and is still used to draw God’s children into deeper communion and committment to Him. It reminds us we are not self sufficient. We can be pulled to other earthly things to satisfy instead of the true source of life. Jesus.

Through the course of multiple 30 minute runs, this “Run fast” phrase was on repeat in my mind. This seemed to be God’s answer to my question, “What is my purpose for running?” I could run to “abstain from”_____, praying for the purpose of________.

I began to contemplate what I would be abstaining from: A conversation came to mind. A was talking with an acquaintance about how it is difficult to live as a mother without going into stressing, worrying mode. She said, “I know, but that is the reality of life. There is no way to live without worry and anxiety.” My heart sank. Mainly because I believe so many of us women can fall into this trap of anxiety, thinking there is no other way. But I trust God and His Word and the truth is that we do not have to live with anxiety. He desires different for His daughter’s.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7 (NIV)

I wanted to live differently than the “reality” of the world’s ways. As I run, I am praying through any area of anxiety that comes to mind. I am abstaining from anxiety/worry, for the purpose of gaining peace. I am on a Run Fast. I am praying for myself and all of my sister’s in Christ as I train for and run this marathon, that there would be a breakthrough of the bondage of worry.

Join me in a Run Fast as you train for a race this summer!  More details to come my friends.

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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