Saturday, December 14, 2013

Garden of Flowers

Garden of Flowers

She was upset, Jo March for years she had to be company for her aunt she very much disliked!  So when her younger sister Amy took over the duties, Jo was glad! More time to write and read, she said.  She didn't realized that Amy would actually form a bond with the cranky old woman.  So when Aunt March decide to go abroad to Europe and asked for Amy to come along and not Jo, Jo was upset.  Jo easy temper flared up, jealousy took over and she expressed loudly to her parents.  But  they would have none of it.

There was something that Jo said that I never forgot. She told her parents that she will pick a bouquet of flowers out of Amy's garden of happiness.  She wouldn't just act happy, she would BE Happy!!!

That simple concept stuck with me for years, and came to mind when I would become jealous or envious or upset at another's happiness.  It wasn't fair for them if I came in and tore up their garden, ruined their flowers and steal their happiness.  But I began to pick a small bouquet of flowers, I'd fake happiness till I got, I felt it. Gathering bits of happiness from others.  Over time as the flowers faded I was left with seeds.

While my family, got to travel, I had to stay home to work. While friends got married, I kept searching for my own love.  While other held bundles of joy, my arms dreamed of the days of the future.  I tried not to complain, prayed through my jealous, wiped away my tears, smiled through the pain and hid my loneliness.  Not one thing was missed by by God.

One Sunday, I sat alone on the pew, the evangelist was in town. He did not know me, the pastor did not say anything to him.  While he was preaching he walked the aisle, stopping near me, he locked eyes. "Your trial is almost over, I can see it.  It's right there. God was showing me during service. It's almost over!!! It's so close, I can see it! I rejoice with you, I can see it! I can see it."

I was going through a lot right then, the words were powerful.  I rejoiced, theses were words from God, no one in that service could deny it.  But I didn't realize the full meaning, while alter call was going on I received another message from the man of God.

"Do you understand what I said?" Before I could answer he went on, "no you don't. God has seen your faithfulness, He has seen your tears, He knows your loneliness.  You honored him with contentment, He hasn't forgotten you." I couldn't contain the tears that rolled down my cheeks when he said the next part. "You have sat on the pew alone for years, you never complained. God has seen you and hasn't forgotten. You will never sit alone again. He is sending you someone, He is coming, you won't be alone. He is sending you a great joy, and one day the pew will be also filled with little joys too. Do you understand?"  I could only nod and cry, "I could see it, I could see it! And I rejoice with you!"

The tears I shed that day was like April Showers to May Flowers. All the seed I had collected from others were blooming now for me.  The following week, I was to have a visitor from a far, someone I cared for deeply. That was in October, his arrival was a ray of sunshine to me. By end of November, my garden was in full bloom.

On November 27th, 2013, Ryan got down on one knee and proposed.  I of course said yes!  My heart is bursting with happiness!!! I had full approval of my pastor, his pastor, his family and many other dear in my life.  As others congratulate us in our upcoming marriage, I was overwhelm with happiness!!!

Don't worry about picking a bouquet, I will freely give you the flowers!  I'm so blessed I will share it with all!  Today I felt like I was throwing flowers to everyone, "Here, be happy not for me but WITH me!" For those that shared their flowers here flowers to thank you for allowing me to share with you before. For others, hold onto the flowers, plant the seeds, water them with prayer, be patient and God will honor you!!!

Never stop sewing seeds, because one day there will be a garden of flowers!

Jacqueline Suzanne

Sunday, December 1, 2013

30 Days of Thanksgiving

Last Sunday we had a night of Thanks, with a dinner, fellowship and time to testify of God's goodness. I had so much to be thankful for so I wrote this poem to cover everything I'm thankful for!  Inspired by the 30 days of thankfulness people often post online during the month of November.

 30 days of Thanksgiving 

It’s 30 days of Thanksgiving, but I did it all at once
Cause I never can remember to post them one by one

#1 is the most important my Jesus, a friend to me
He is my Redeemer & Savior, who set my soul free

2 would be my family, 3 my old time friends
4 would be my new ones, my friendship I extend

5 would be my job even if I work all night
6 would be Arizona and all its pretty sights

7 is the number of birthday I’ve had, I was told I’d never see
But 2 years ago, I was finally told that I was Cancer Free

The Next 6, call me Auntie, that is a greatest honor
Aurora, Gregg  & Aubrey, Lexi, Ashtyn and little Conner

14 for clothes to wear, 15 is my spoiled cats,
16 for a place to live, 17 food that makes me fat

18 would be my church, where the truth of God is preached
Excited for the New Year and all the souls we’ll reach

19 would be my minivan which is pushing 300k
20 is sunrises and sunsets of every single day

I better start to hurry; I’m taking up too much time
Besides I’m having trouble finding words that will rhyme

There are Simple things I find that make my life complete
Good Books, Good Music & Lily who is my puppet chimpanzee

There also are my crazy cousins, my uncles and my aunts
Also the Greatest Grandma, Oh by the way, nice pants!

Let us quickly count, that was 7, so we’re now at twenty eight
I’m thankful for this dinner and all the food we ate

29 is the years I’ve waited to meet that special one,
My sweetheart, Ryan Murphy, you better not run!

Now we are finally at 30, I bet you thought it would not end
Lastly I’m thankful for you, and here's to being friends


Jacqueline Suzanne

Monday, October 14, 2013

Joy Unspeakable

At only 29, I have experienced many things that most people live a life time and never experience even half.  I have had great trials, great sadness, great pain and sorrow. I spent countless restless nights and cried tears never seen. I've sat in places so low, only darkness showed. I've felt great loneliness in crowded rooms, faked more smiles and said more "I'm fines". I've been mocked, ridiculed and had backs turned on me.  Depression, anxiety, hopelessness, despised, doubt you name I have faced in one aspect or another.

As of child of God, we are supposed to be happy right? Never have anything go wrong always have peace and tranquility? But that is wrong, God never promised us there would be no trials, in fact He promises we WILL have trials.  The difference is He promises He will be with you through it all and never leave you. He won't give you to much to handle and carry it when it gets to heavy. When a battle is raging He will give you the strength to fight, or take over and fight for you.  He never promised that we wouldn't face sickness or death, sorrow or grief. He said his grace is sufficient and He would send comfort and peace.

Often we go through trials for reasons. Why? God may be cleaning up the rough edges in our life, smoothing us out to make a better vessel He could use. We might need to learn a lesson on trusting Him, learn He is our strength and we need him.  We may need a cleansing to remove imperfections and we become purer and holier and more like Him.

So often we get caught up in the trial, talking on making it through, surviving the battle or facing the "giants" in our life.  It can consume us that we think our life will be one long trial and think there is no end.  We begin to forget there is more, the spoiled goods of the wars, the light and the morning after the night, the time after the storm passes. There are many treasures & promises I could mention but I want to speak on one: Joy.

The dictionary defines Joy as the following:

1. a deep feeling or condition of happiness or contentment
2. something causing such a feeling; a source of happiness
3. an outward show of pleasure or delight; rejoicing

True joy hits the core of your very soul and can't help but radiated out and be seen by all.  The Bible talks about Joy many times, it's in fact mentioned 102 times in the old and 63 in the new! Joy often comes after a trial.

"...Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." - Psalm 30:5

"And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness:" -Psalm 105:43

After a particular difficult trial in my own life,  I began to find peace, I was comforted and I was even healed from the pain. I thought my trial was over, but what I didn't have was happiness, or joy. How could I? After such a great loss, it almost seem unfair to be happy. But keeping that attitude can keep you in the trial God wants you to overcome. I'm not saying you won't be sad some days or have difficult times.  He wants to give you a joy that you can't explain.

"... ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:" 1 Peter 1:8

Joy unspeakable it can't be explained, it could only be shown. I don't remember the exact day or moment but it was like it exploded out of me over time. I started to really smile even if the reason was small.  I'd laugh, not a fake laugh or a half hearted one. It was a true deep laugh that bubbled up from my depth.  People saw the change,  they saw how happy I was, the spring in my step, some said even my laugh had changed. It was true, deep it could not be explained. A joy like that can only come from God, He may send others or things in your life that cause the joy but it all from God. It His gift to you and can also be a gift to others. In fact it's mentioned as one of the Fruits of the Spirit.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." - Gal 5:22-23

The Devil wants to steal your joy, he places seeds of doubt, try to discourage you or remind you of your faults. But no one can take it from you!

"And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." John 16:22

No matter what your going to go through or what your enduring or what you have faced, God promised you joy! No one can steal it, it can't be explained and it will be easily seen for those around you. The old hymn by Barney E. Warren in 1900 says it best.

I have found the joy no tongue can tell,
How its waves of glory roll;
It is like a great o’erflowing well,
Springing up within my soul.

It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Full of glory, full of glory;
It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Oh, the half has never yet been told.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Earning and Learning More

It’s that time of year again… A summer for an apostolic is all about camps, conferences and well vacation (center around some church event)!  It’s the best time!  For some of us one camp may all we are able to go too, but for other it might be more than one.  We send our kids to Junior Camps, Senior Camp, Youth Conferences, and Family Camps.  You name it we are trying to go!  If it was up to some we just catch a train and attend one conference after another.   But for most of us, (adults) bills come and we need come home.  But for many teens and kids a couple extra conferences might be a ton of fun! 
Year round my youth group does fundraisers, snack bar at church, yard sales etc.  We earn money, to pay expenses to go to camp.  I can’t remember the last time as a youth, part of our fee was the cost of the transportation (gasoline).  Sometimes we haven’t even paid for our hotel because we earned enough.  Some of the money we earn is to pay for some of the under privilege youth that can’t afford to go otherwise.  I’m totally cool with this, but some church can’t do this.  Now, that I’m little bit older (almost 29 *GASP*)!  If I want to go to camp or conference, I pay my own way.  I have a job and can afford it, but even so I’ve learned I can either have a new dress and stay home or save my money and go to conference.
But I often think that if a kid has to “work” there way to a conference they get more out of it.  I want to honor a couple of them that strive for just that!  Parents even if you can afford to pay for camp, why not have your child earn it, chores around the house or saving though out the year.  Or some of the things mentioned here.
Little Miss Jocelyn, the Adorable!
She wants to go to Junior Camp and even though she pretty young (I’m not even sure she camper age yet), her parents decided to show her the value of earning her way to camp.  Stack with a couple boxes of candies determined to sell them to pay her way to camp.  How could you not resist that adorable smile and say no? I also heard that she might have gotten a little extra dough from her uncle, who said she could keep the change on a $20 bill.  Girl, keep it up, at that rate Junior Camp will be paid for the next couple years!
Miss Carina, the Heavenly Baker!
When I heard how Carina earned her way to Junior Camp, I said count me in!  In fact I dove right in and ate half of it on the way home.  Hands down and still the BEST Brownies I have EVER had!!!  Though I’m not certain if she going this year. I want to give a shout to her mom who has her earn her way every year.  But when her brownie reputation has gotten around that when her church and friends find out she is raising funds, they line up!  Don’t stop baking girl; I think you can earn your college funds in about a year if you do it all the time!
Miss Cara, the Determined!
I was chatting with this girl the other day (the inspiration for this post) and heard that she has been raising funds for a conference she was super excited to go too!  But due to car trouble she couldn’t go, but did that stop her!  NOPE!  She also is working on helping her youth raise funds for another conference in a couple weeks.  For now, to pay for her own way, she selling Banana Bread and anything she doesn’t need and isn’t screwed down!  She sold so many clothes, I wonder… will she have anything to wear at camp?  Just kidding!  She got plenty, its Cara after all!  Girl, you are a great inspiration!!!
On a Mission…
There is one last person I want to honor, the person I’m talking about hasn’t really sold too many things, I do recall a couple candy bar sells back in the day!  But he has to be one of the hardest working, people I know, hands down, Missionary Joe Ginty .  For many years he had a passion and heart for the people of the Philippines.  He even snatch up his sweet wife, Jewel from Manila, 5 years ago.  Missionary Ginty, has been to the Philippines about a dozen times.  His greatest desire is to go as a full time missionary and reach the people in their homeland.  In all the years and many times he went there, he paid most of his way from his own money.  Working three jobs at times, and working more hours in a week than most do in 2.  He will not give up, and do what it takes.  I know that God will honor him and his family for all his hard work.  Praying that full time missionary comes soon!

So if you want your kids to learn a valuable lesson appreciate that camp more and learn a lot of other lessons along the way.  Next time they ask to go to that youth conference or camp, tell them “Let see how you can help you earn your own way there!”  In several years they will thank you! 

Always yours,
Jacqueline Suzanne

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Simply Shinning

For those who know me, know that I am passionate about puppeteering. I have been for sometime but only recently persuade it regularly. Early on I sat down and made rules of what I would NOT do when it came to my puppet ministry.  It wasn't till recently that I realized I never established what I want my puppet ministry to accomplish.  

Recently I became aware of a contest that I could enter using my vent style puppet, Lily of the Valley, a child like monkey with a big personality & lots of dreams.  After evaluating & looking through former entries & winners I began to look for the best angle for my approach on the contest.  Now let me clarify something right now, I do not normally do these types of entries because of religious beliefs I don't record my performances often, unless certain circumstances.  But next year I am auditioning for a puppet team training camp that requires an audition tape.  So as long as my recordings are not during church services I have permission to do so. 

After my first attempt I was greatly disappointed at my results and nearly gave up.  I was clueless on how to put something like this together.  One day while playing random songs on my iPad, I came across a song that was placed on repeat for the next week. It's was my inspiration, became my theme song of sorts, the song was "This Little Light of Mine" by Addison Road.   It's a simple song, but my ministry is simple.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16 KJV)

I want my ministry be like this verse, when they see it I want them to glorify God & see God, not me! 

Though my ministry is still young, I have lots of dreams. One day I decided to write down what I would like to do with it.  Then after writing down, I had always been taught to know if your goals are right, to compare them to the Bible.  Always make sure you line up with the word of God. It only took me 5 minutes to write down scripture, I had memorized everyone of the scriptures in my youth.  The following are of the list of what I hope to accomplish in my ministry. 

1. Teach children about God - Proverbs 22:6
2. Visit the lonely - James 1:27
3. Inspire Teens, that they have a purpose - Jeremiah 29:11
4. Make the sad... Happy again! - Proverbs 17:22
5. Travel to foreign missions -Acts 1:8
6. Sing & Praise with all my heart - Ps 150
7. Share the Gospel - Matthew 28:19
8. Turn my world upside down - Acts 17:6
9. Shine - Matthew 5:16

Though I have a couple plans of what I can do, I know that God has many plans for me beyond anything I can imagine.  For now I will keep on going doing what I can, I'll let my little light shine.

Just Shinning,

PS: I know most that that most that follow my blog do not watch YouTube or clips.  But if you would like to see Lily's entry please check out the links below...

"Shine" by Lily of the Valley
"Friend in Me" with Lily of the Valley

Also check out the contest that Lily has entered...

Contest results will be on March 5th, 2013