by Jill Perry
And now out of his FULLNESS we are fulfilled! And from him we receive grace heaped upon more grace! Moses gave us the Law, but Jesus, the Anointed One, unveils truth wrapped in tender mercy. No one has ever gazed upon the FULLNESS of God’s splendor except the uniquely beloved Son, who is cherished by the Father and held close to his heart. Now he has unfolded to us the FULL explanation of who God truly is! John 1:16-18 TPT
I am a visual learner who served as a children's ministry leader and writer of children's Bible lessons for many years, so perhaps that's why this Scripture brings so many visual aids to my imagination. I picture a big bag being filled with beautifully wrapped gifts, so many, that they won't all fit inside and have no choice but to overflow out of the bag.
How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the FULLNESS of God! Eph 3:19
May the Lord increase your love until it overflows toward one another and for ALL people. 1 Thess 3:12
By Jill Perry
"I'm really struggling. Please pray for me..."
"I could really use prayer today..."
"Something you could pray for..."
On a recent morning I received at least 6 texts and calls that began this way. It is
such an honor to intercede for the people I love. But sometimes it's a challenge to
do so without taking on their emotions as my own. On this particular day the bad
news seemed to far outweigh the good, and I found myself agreeing with Anne
Murray who sang a song when I was a kid that said, "We sure could use a little
good news today."
GOOD NEWS of GREAT JOY! Isn't that what the angel
heralded on that holy night? The long-awaited Messiah was born in a time &
place with a paranoid king on the throne and a power-hungry government in the
land. Political, cultural, and personal tension was high. Sound familiar? Our
world is frought with political polarization, cultural confusion, and personal pain.
Some GOOD NEWS is definitely needed!
As I prayed for each situation, I began to cry out to God for some GOOD NEWS, and one by one, over the next few days, I began to receive praise reports. Some were BIG and some were so small, they might have been overlooked if one hadn't been expecting God to move.
The GOOD is ALWAYS there. We just have to look for it, and thank God for it,
regardless of how big or how small it may seem. I asked God to keep the GOOD
NEWS coming and that the GOOD NEWS would FAR OUTWEIGH the bad
news! I told Him that I wanted my praises for answered prayers to FAR
OUTWEIGH my prayers for answers!
The shepherds’ response to the GOOD NEWS was to hurry to see for themselves and to praise God. In other words, they went LOOKING FOR the GOOD NEWS! And when they found it (Him), they responded in praise. Even the wise men, who likely did not worship the One True God, followed the star to find this GOOD NEWS.
Their response? They were so ecstatic that they shouted & celebrated with unrestrained joy, fell to the ground, and worshiped Him!
They didn't just happen upon this newborn King. They went looking for Him.
Are you weary from the bad news as you scroll social media, listen to the news, or experience it in your own life? Me too!
Won't you join me in asking God to make the GOOD NEWS far outweigh the bad news
as we close out 2019 and move into 2020?
Let's make a point to intentionally LOOK FOR the GOOD NEWS, and better yet, let's be the ones who herald the GOOD NEWS to others!
How can you share GOOD NEWS of GREAT JOY with someone else in the midst of their own bad news?
Since we are receiving our rights to an unshakeable kingdom
we should be EXTREMELY thankful and offer God the PUREST worship
that delights his heart as we lay down our lives in ABSOLUTE surrender, FILLED with awe. Hebrews 12:28 TPT
EVERY dimension of your life will overflow with blessings
from an UNCONTAINABLE source of inner joy! Proverbs 3:10 TPT
Your barns will BURST! Proverbs 3:10 MSG
This time of year it’s easy to think of what we are thankful for, but when was the last time you felt like your heart might BURST because of the uncontainable inner joy you had as you counted your blessings? What does EXTREME thank-FULL-ness look like? How can we give God the purest worship He’s so worthy of? When was the last time you felt so filled with awe of Him that your only response was absolute surrender? I want to be more than thankful. I want to be thank-FULL!
Look at what Harvard Medical School has to say on the subject: In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
In Ephesians 5:20, we are instructed to ALWAYS give thanks for ALL things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, more often than the month of November!
Are you feeling empty? Perhaps it’s time to fill up again on more than just turkey and dressing. Perhaps it’s time to get thank-FULL, and see what happens…
Recently someone shared a prophetic picture God gave them for our ministry.
She saw red cords going out from our place and into many places across the US and then into all the world. This resonated with my spirit as we desire to create a network of like-minded people who love sent ones as much as we do…
people who love hosting them in their homes; trained counselors, therapists, and inner healing ministers who understand the unique emotional needs of these sent ones; financial partners; prayer partners; volunteers who serve in various ways…
She affirmed that those were part of it, but sensed there was more to it than that, so we pressed in and asked God for more revelation. She sensed that we will be a hub where people come to be mentored and then go out and duplicate various aspects of our ministry. We do feel we are called to be a Mama and Papa in the Kingdom, so perhaps this is part of the bigger picture, long-term plan.
We have been amazed at the ways God has connected us with people so far. It’s so fun to have get-to-know-you conversations and realize we know the same people or attended the same event at the same time or had a similar life experience that instantly binds our hearts on a deeper level. This is what I love about Kingdom family. I’m someone who finds small talk challenging. I prefer to really get to know someone, to build real relationship, to be authentic and genuine, to have conversations that are mutually uplifting and encouraging.
I believe these are ways we can put this Scripture into practice: By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped. Ecclesiastes 4:12 MSG
The thing about rope (cord) is that it may only be three pieces braided together, but each of those pieces is made up of lots of individual threads.
Who are the threads that make up your rope?
How can you strengthen your connection with them this week?
Sunsets at the Jumblaru farm are glorious, especially this time of year when the sunflowers are in bloom. Our 3 year old granddaughter, Charlotte, loves to run to the west side of the property to “chase the pink sky”! I love that her name means “freedom” and she has such an adventurous spirit! Her parents met on the mission field in Africa, so I suppose it’s in her DNA. Perhaps you’ve never thought of yourself as the adventurous or creative type. But guess what…that’s exactly how God sees you! It was HIS idea for US to GO into ALL the world with the Gospel! We can trust Him to equip us with everything we need in order to do so.
Today I attended the funeral of a friend’s grandmother. As I drove to the funeral home, a song about God's goodness and faithfulness came on my playlist, finishing just as I entered the parking lot. It talks about how God has been faithful for a lifetime. The sun had set on this 90-something year old woman's earthly life, but she chased her pink sky right into the very presence of Jesus, and is now fully experiencing His goodness in all His glory! I can’t help but wonder how my life would be different if I lived each day with the same sense of freedom and adventure as Charlotte and a keen awareness of His faithfulness and goodness. How about you? Will you chase the pink sky with us?
Some of you know that our 15 year old minivan died in April, so we’ve been praying for a replacement. God has answered those prayers! And He did so by upgrading what we thought we’d be able to get! Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory! Ephesians 3:20
In the days leading up to this find, God kept saying to not settle, that He had UPGRADE in mind for us. Now, we would have been totally fine with a bare basics van and wanted to be good stewards of resources, and we would have been thankful for it. But God had more in mind for His kids. Sometimes He likes to spoil us a bit! What’s something you’re believing God for? We want to encourage you to not settle for less than His very best for you. That’s going to look different for different people. For us, we didn’t need a brand new vehicle, but this 2013 model feels brand new to us, because it’s got more bells & whistles than we thought we’d be able to get. Watch for ways God upgrades you in the days to come. Humble yourselves [with an attitude of repentance and insignificance] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up, He will give you purpose]. James 4:10 AMP
What’s the purpose of this van? For us, it’s much more than a means to get from one place to another. It will also be used to transport our guests and grandkids, so I suppose you could say it’s another gathering place for our ministry to take place. Our prayer is that it will be used in a way that brings God much glory.
This summer has been a very wet one and our little garden is loving it! But it takes more than water to grow a garden and reap a harvest. It takes lots of TLC, which is includes weeding, pruning, controlling pests, amending the soil, etc. These are not tasks that can be done from afar. They require close scrutiny of the seedlings and maturing plants. John 15 tells us that Jesus is the Vine and His Father is the farmer who tends the vine. The Passion Translation words verse 2 this way: “He CARES for the branches connected to Me (We are the branches, Jesus is the vine) by lifting and propping up the fruitless branches and pruning every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest.” I just love the image of our kind Father tenderly lifting us up, even propping us up when we fall. Yes, the pruning is painful, but when we yield to His tender loving care, trusting that He will bring abundance out of it, oh my friends, it is so worth it! How is Abba Father demonstrating His TLC to you today?
By Jill Perry
Be enthusiastic to serve the Lord, keeping your passion toward him boiling hot! Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement as you serve him. Let this hope BURST forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times. Take a constant interest in the needs of God’s beloved people and respond by helping them. And eagerly welcome people as guests into your home. Romans 12:11-13 TPT
May has been a month of serving & helping others, but one thing we are learning is to receive service & help from others when it’s offered, and even more humbling, to ask for it when it’s needed. This gives others an opportunity to experience the joy we feel when we serve someone else. My personality type on the Enneagram https://www.yourenneagramcoach.com/ is #2, The Helper. I’m a Helper, therefore, I help! But I sometimes struggle with receiving help or asking for help, which - let’s face it - is pride. Ouch. I was recently forced to ask for help when I twisted my ankle and had to stay off it for awhile, but I had another wedding to help with and needed to be able to walk to accomplish the tasks before me, therefore, I had no choice but to rest it as much as possible. I often say, “You cannot pour from an empty cup”, so it was time to practice what I preach, and let others take care of me, so I would be able to take care of others. What’s interesting is that another title for the #2 personality type is the “Supportive Advisor”, and one of my goals for this year has been to learn as much as possible about the “pastoral care” portion of our ministry, which is basically all about support and counsel or advice! According to the Enneagram Coach, #2’s “are people who see the world through relationships and define themselves through their SERVICE to others.” Eddy is a #1 type. Guess how he’s described. “Healthy Ones live their life committed to SERVING the world and others with patience and integrity.” No wonder we love to SERVE! It’s how God wired us! How can you serve today? How can you receive service from others? Be enthusiastic about it!
Our Easter celebrations are over, so now what?
Jesus said it best. Love Him. Love yourself. Love other people. Love looks like something. Sometimes it looks like a simple text asking, “How are you?” Sometimes it looks like a hug. Sometimes it looks like preparing a meal, taking out the trash, or scrubbing a toilet, so the other person doesn’t have to. Sometimes it looks like spending time doing what the other person enjoys, when you’d prefer to do something else. Sometimes it looks like driving someone to an appointment and just waiting with them. Sometimes it’s spending money on something you think is dumb because you know it will put a smile on their face. Sometimes it’s listening to someone share their struggles, even if they use language you find offensive. Sometimes it’s agreeing to disagree for the sake of protecting your connection. Sometimes it’s sending someone a silly meme or gif just to let them know they’re seen, valued, and matter to you. It’s about putting the other person first, dying to self in order to lift up someone else, and in doing so, lifting up The One Who IS Love. After all, it’s what HE did for us.
Jill Perry, founder of Bursting Barns Ministries