Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, to the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
Hebrews 12:22-24

This is what I am thankful for today:
Jesus (my Savior)
Jesus' blood (that washes me clean)
My name is written in heaven (yes!)
The church (God's kingdom coming)
God the Judge (not me!)
Being made perfect in Jesus (none of my effort)
A new covenant (no longer under law)

I'm so thankful.

Amen and amen.
Jans

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

#90

Yes. This is post #90. I should have a party or something. Maybe I'll go eat some of that pumpkin crunch in the fridge. (Don't forget the whipped cream.)

Tuesday night. This is my usual night to practice the bass for Wednesday night youth group. I pull out my bass from underneath my bed and pluck away for about an hour. Ryan usually gives us the chord sheets and a CD on the Wednesday before. I certainly can't play the songs like they're meant to be played, but I'm enjoying the challenge of trying and I love worshipping along with the students.

Tuesday is also my usual night to prepare to meet with Lydia. We've been meeting for almost two months now, I think. Our study book about walking with Jesus by showing the fruits of the spirit is sure challenging me. I love discussing the chapters with her and hearing her perspective. Love you, Lydia! And I love how you're striving to follow Jesus!

This past weekend I went with the Unleashed Youth Group to Camp Crosley for the annual senior high retreat. (I haven't been there for a retreat since 2003! So many memories!) We used a study that I created my sophomore year of college - my Mom and I revamped it to work for 4 sessions. The theme was abandoned - let go. Abandoned became an acronym for the following phrases: adventure - be strong - allow - now - dream - "out of the wreck" - never - exhausted - discipleship. I taught one of the girls' sessions.

Bryce joined us for the weekend - he led worship and also one of the guys' sessions. It was great to serve together. And it was wonderful to be outside (even though it was freezing and raining at times). I loved the camp food, watching a crazy football game with some girls, playing redball, having my quiet time in the morning with tea, playing euchre (and winning), and listening to guys worship. At one point, I was just overwhelmed with a desire for these students to know Jesus - to really know Him. I pray the weekend served to spur them on into knowing Him.




In His grace.
Because only in His grace do I have true freedom.
And I can truly glorify Him.
Jana Alexis

Monday, November 10, 2008

Shadowfeet

when the world has fallen out
from under me
I'll be found in You,
still standing
when the sky rolls up
and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I'll be found in You
brooke fraser

All that matters is Jesus. Jesus is all that matters. The One Who Matters. The more I know Him, the more I want to know Him more. I want my life to count for His glory. That's all. That's all that matters to me.

- - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

So, what does a weekend look like in the life of Jana? Well, this past one was particularly busy, and yet relaxing at the same time. I spent Friday evening with my brothers. I sure felt proud sitting at Huntington University between Jordan and Jason. Lots of laughing. We watched HU's production of The Music Man and then went to Applebees afterwards with Justin. And Jordan and I talked the whole way home.

On Saturday morning I tried to get ready fast. But, it's just so hard to make myself do it on a day when I don't have to rush in the morning. (I usually only give myself about 20 minutes to get ready for work during the week.) I headed down to Indy (home #2) around 9am and met Liz for coffee + much-needed chat time.

The rest of the weekend was spent with Bryce and also his family. We visited his grandparents Saturday night and then spent Sunday at his parent's home. Chris Schenke even joined us for lunch and relaxing around the table after church. It was so nice not to have anything planned.

Back to church Sunday morning. Pastor Eric challenged me to consider what is on the inside, instead of the outside - like the story of David and his brothers in 1 Samuel. Especially for leaders, it's important to have a strong, sure foundation and a solid scaffolding of truth on the inside. Even strong leaders will fail - like David. Yet, these leaders will come back to Jesus because their hope is sure and they've allowed God to build within them and are not simply concerned about the appearance of the outside. I'm not conveying that very well, but it sure was good for me to hear.

Then I jumped into a Monday at work. And not a very fun Monday. Just a little overwhelming and frustrating. I almost burst into tears at one point this morning. Instead, I pushed my desk chair back a bit from the computer, calmly put my hands in my lap, and started praying. "Help!" It was one of those drowning feelings. Thank God - I made it through the day. Tomorrow is a new day and His mercies are new and I'll keep doing one thing at a time as He enables me.

Here's a "hello" to all of my blog readers. I'm not sure who you are, but I pray you are encouraged to keep following Jesus, if nothing else from my ramblings.
In Him.
Jans

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dedicated to Two People

I would like to dedicate this post to two people.

First, my wonderful sister, Jessica. It was her birthday on November 1st. Her 20th birthday. I'm so excited to see how God is working in her life - stretching her, growing her, bringing Dwight into her life, taking her on this adventure in Canada . . .

Jess--I'm praying for you. I'm so thankful for your friendship. I'm so happy to have a sister who is also a very good friend. I love you, Jessica Alaine.





The second person is Jesus. Yesterday I spent about three hours journaling/praying/processing at Starbucks. Jesus met me there. I realize He's always with me . . . but I'm not always with Him . . . and it was sure nice just to have some time to "chat." Thank you, Jesus.

From an out-of-print book, The Life and Letters of Janet Erskine Stuart. Says one who was her assistant for some years, "She delighted in seeing her plan upset by unexpected events, saying that it gave her great comfort, and that she looked on such things as an assurance that God was watching over her stewardship, was securing the accomplishment of His will, and working out His own designs. . . . she was joyfully and graciously ready to recognize the indication of God's ruling hand, and to allow herself to be guided by it." (found in an Elizabeth Elliot devotional)

Striving to follow Jesus . . . with all of me.
Jans