Saturday, May 27, 2017

I'm at CAMP!!!!

I haven't really gotten any pictures yet, but it's been a GREAT week getting the camp ready for the people who will be coming!!!! Already, God has been teaching me a lot about flexibility and other things crucial to serving Him. I would appreciate continued prayer as I work here!!! Looking forward to a GREAT summer!!!!!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Coffee-Brownie-Cheescake bars!


They might not look amazing, but they taste AMAZING!!!!! It's a layer of coffee brownies, with cheesecake on top! I really wanted to do some more baking before I left for camp, and these sounded good to me so I made them!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Miracle Mom . . .

        Every mother makes sacrifices. But some mother’s go through more than others. This is the story of one of those mothers.

      The young woman lying on the hospital bed couldn’t suppress her concern. The baby’s heart rate began dropping and the memories came back. Only eleven months before, she had given birth to a son. During that birth, her son had died. Now, as she lay in the hospital, the doctors and nurses rushed around her.
       The young woman’s doctor knew something had to be done. At the rate it was going, the baby would die. She couldn’t let that happen again.
       The doctors did a Caesarean section, and the baby was born, strong and healthy. But it wasn’t over for the young mother. During the Caesarean section, the young mother’s heart rate began going up. At one point it went as high as 180, but her blood pressure was dropping. Her blood pressure continued to drop until at one point it was so low it didn’t even register.
        The young mother had a condition known as Disseminated Intervascular Coagulation. In other words, her blood wouldn’t clot and even the tiny IV holes were bleeding profusely.
One of the doctors said it was the worst night of doctoring she had ever had. She spent the entire night with her patient, (something she had never done before,) and fought for the woman’s life. Not only did this woman have a new baby to care for, she had six other children at home, and a young husband. What would he do if she died and he was left alone with seven kids ages nine years old to newborn?
       They rushed the woman by air to a bigger hospital. Using pressure pants, medication, and whatever they could think of, they fought for her life. But it wasn’t enough. The young mother was dying.
         Her husband took the newborn baby girl from the local hospital and drove down to the larger hospital. After losing a son eleven months before, having his wife on her death bed made this young father pray like never before. He called his parents, and his in-laws, and they passed the word along.
Before long, even a radio had announced it, and churches all over the county and neighboring state were praying for the young family. Praying that the mother would live. Praying for a miracle.
The woman should have died. But God heard the prayers of the people that night, and the young mother lived.
          Yet, unknown too many, the young mother’s problems didn’t end that day. The stress of that day in the hospital caused lifelong problems. During the delivery, the blood supply to her pituitary gland, was cut off, and her pituitary gland, disintegrated. You may not even know what your pituitary gland is, but it controls several very important functions, including the thyroid gland, which in turn controls the salt concentration in the kidneys. For years, she struggled with dehydration, even though she drank plenty. She also struggled with muscle cramps, and fatigue. Things that aren’t easy to deal with when you have seven small children.
           As her children grew, her side effects didn’t improve. On a few different occasions, she was in the hospital severally dehydrated, and at the point of death, but the doctors didn’t know what was wrong with her. So, every time she ended up in the hospital, they stabilized her, and then let her go home.

           That woman is my mom. I am the baby that nearly cost her life. I obviously don’t remember the day I was born, but I do remember the problems that resulted from that. I don’t remember every hospital visit, but there is one, that I will never forget.
           I was lying in bed one morning. I could hear Mom downstairs. I didn’t want to get out of bed because I thought it must be a really bad muscle cramp, but then I heard my oldest sister telling one of my brothers to get my dad. When I came downstairs, my mom was sitting in her chair staring blankly into space. She was delirious. I will never forget the fear that went through me as I saw my mom, the woman that was supposed to be strong for me, sitting there in delirium.
           Dad took her to the hospital, and once more, I was scared that she would die.
          They finally got her in contact with a doctor who specialized in her problem. They discovered the missing pituitary gland, and we all realized what a miracle it was that she was still alive. They got her on medication to control the functions of her pituitary gland and thyroid, but it didn’t make her magically better. She still struggles with side effects of her medicine. She still has blood drawn multiple times a year and her medications adjusted, but through it all, she pointed us to God.
She could have blamed God for the pain, for the problems, and for the fact that she wasn’t able to do as much as she wanted too. She could have blamed me. After all, if I had never been born, she wouldn’t have gone through that. But she didn’t. She did what she could, to show us kids, that a full life DOESN’T mean you have full health.
         Despite the medications, the symptoms that still crop up occasionally, and the challenge of raising us kids, she never let her health be an excuse. She knew that she was exactly the way God wanted her, and she took advantage of what she had.
         She taught us to love God. She taught us that God doesn’t make mistakes, and that God is good. When I look back at Mom’s life, I see pain, but through it all, God has been there. God is good. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The God of the Bible is the God that allowed the challenges in Mom’s life. He did it for a reason. Even if we may not understand why, we know that God is good.

       So to my mom on Mother’s Day. THANK YOU! Thank you for allowing God to use you. Thank you for not being bitter at God, but for using what God gave you to teach us. THANK YOU!!!!!


I'm SOOOO Grateful to my parents for accepting all of us kids as a gift from God!!!


I LOVE you, MOM!!!!
 


Sunday, May 7, 2017

"I Hear You're Leaving!!!!"

     That is TRUE! In a couple of weeks, one of my sisters and I are heading for Northland Camp in WI, where we're going to be counselors for the summer! Now, you may be wondering how I'm going to go about posting on my blog every week . . . DON'T worry!!! There will continue to be posts on here at least once a week. I don't know if I'll get the chance to post from camp, but I've written up enough posts to cover the summer and one will be posted every week.

      Since I won't be returning till August, I will be gone over the release date for MISSION OF A LIFETIME. However, July 1st will STILL be the book release date, and on that day, you can purchase your copies of the book online from Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, or the Ambassador International website. If you wish to purchase a book directly from me, you'll have to wait until my book signing which will take place after I return home.

        I would REALLY appreciate prayer over the summer. Although I've been a camper several times, I've never been a counselor, so you can pray that things will go great, and that God will use me however He sees fit. I would LOVE to see some campers come to Christ, and grow in their walk with the Lord!!!


This is me, signing my contract for the summer!

I'm so THRILLED with this opportunity, and how God worked things out for me to go!!!!! 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Working Women?

"I heard you're working now!"

Several people have been asking me about this and, first off, that's a flawed questions!!!! I've been working all my life! I'm employed by the farm, the corn maze, my parents, and my writing. At this point, writing is my job. However, yes, I did just get a job outside of the home if that's what you mean by working. We're friends with the owners of a local store, and they were in need of some help. So, I decided to help.
    Since I got the job, several people have asked me about it. I mean after all, I've always had a list of reasons why I don't think that women should work outside the home. What changed my mind? Nothing. I still have those same convictions. Yet, when I talked about the job with my parents, we discussed my list, and not one thing on my list applied to this situation. What is on my list? Well, as a family, we've seen a lot of young women get jobs and lose some of their convictions, so as a family, we have a list of concerns/convictions in regards to women working.

    Number One - Working with ungodly people. Yes, we should be strong enough to stand alone in the midst of ungodliness, but when a lot of young women get jobs, they aren't firm enough in their convictions to stand alone. They get surrounded by bad language, bad influences, and bad men, and they don't know how to stand. One time, I saw a Christian young lady who wanted to do the right thing, but she got a job in a secular work place, and ended up marrying the wrong man because of it. We women in general, but specifically young women, are designed by God, to need protection. Some girls hate this idea and think it makes them less important. But the truth of the matter is, that this need for protection does NOT make us less important! People protect what is important to them. The very fact that God wanted us women to need protection means that we ARE important!!! So my parents and I agreed that I should not get a job working in a place that could damage me spiritually, but after discussing it, we agreed that there's no concern of that at this local store because it's a Christian store, and the other workers aren't an issue! Even if they were, I work by myself most of the time, so it still wouldn't be an issue.

     Number Two - Leaving  the home. According to Proverbs 31, a godly woman should work hard at home. To care for the household to serve, and to raise godly children. Many women now days spend so much time away from home, that they don't get to mold their children as much as they should. The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world, but so many women these days revolt against having to change the world from the home and they want to go out and be seen making a difference, when God intended for us women to change the world from our home. After discussing this with my parents, we agreed that at this point in my life, I'm in a different category. No longer am I a young child that needs parental supervision at all times, and I'm not a mother who needs to be there for her family. In the Bible, young people stayed home serving and helping their parents with their ministries, and sometimes, those parents would send their young people off to help others. My parents wanted me to be able to help their friends, and since the job is only temporary, I don't have to worry about getting so in-trenched into it that I can't quit if something were to come up where I was needed more at home. So by helping out in town like this, I'm helping my parents fulfill their desire to be a blessing and a help to others.

     Number Three - Having to sell ungodly things. Many work places where you could get a job, whether it's at a gas station, or grocery store, you may have to sell cigarettes, alcohol, trashy magazines, or gambling tickets. No Christian should ever be in a position where they have to sell such things. In the book of Habakkuk in the Bible, it pronounces a woe on those who give things to others that can make them drunk. Again, this didn't apply with the job I took because they don't sell any of those things!

    Number Four - Music. A lot of places you can work have ungodly music blaring all day long. Music that can cause serious problems for a Christian with convictions against it. This is where we had a bit more of a problem. The store only plays Christian music. However due to some of my convictions in the area, some of the Christian music is not something I would listen to at home. Is this an issue? Yes, it could be and probably would be for a lot of people in my position, however for me, it's not. All my life, I've had practice at tuning things out. When I'm writing and someone's talking in the next room, I have to learn to tune them out. Honestly, I can walk into a store with hard rock music playing, and hardly notice it, if I'm focused on what I'm supposed to be doing. So yes, this would be a problem for many, but at this point, it's not an issue for me.

     Number Five - T.V.s. Many business establishments have T.V.s running all day. If you're not controlling the remote, you can't control what comes across that screen. So many sinful, immoral, ungodly and wrong things can come across that screen. Things that should not be in a Christian's mind. Things that if you see, you won't be able to forget.  Again, at my workplace, there isn't a t.v. running.

     Number Six - Parents. Many young people want a job because everyone else has one, and they disregard parents wishes, or they beg and plead until their parents give in. This ought not to be. God commands us multiple times throughout the Bible to honor our parents. That doesn't mean we have to agree, but we have to honor them. In this case, my parents were in favor of me getting the job. Almost more than I was! So my recommendation to you, if you're considering a job or not, is talk it over with your parents. They've been around a lot longer than you, and they may have a list of their own convictions/concerns about you working. Discuss it with your parents, find out what they think, and honor them in whatever you do.

    So that's my take on women working. I realize that many of you will disagree with me, and that's fine. These are my convictions, not yours. The question is, do you have convictions? Do you ever discuss things with your parents? And most importantly, are you praying about the decisions you're making? If you're considering a job or working a job, ask yourself if it will hinder your ministry or enhance it? Could you do more for God staying home?


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Writing Workshop Photos

      THANK YOU, Everyone who made it out to the workshop today!!! I realize the weather wasn't perfect, but I'm glad you all made it! For those of you who couldn't make it, we missed you!!!! For five hours, we studied the art of writing fiction, and everyone of the students wrote at least part of a story while they were there! We went through the INCH BY INCH - WRITING'S A CINCH Workbook and although we didn't cover everything, we had fun!!!




We had some fun slides to help learn the things we were talking about.




As I said above, everyone wrote part of a story, and they all did a GREAT job! I REALLY enjoyed hearing them read their stories and how they all have such great imaginations!!!!


Sunday, April 23, 2017

R.S.C.





In case you're wondering what R.S.C. stands for, it stands for Regional Student Convention. Every year, there's an AMAZING convention for students using A.C.E. (Accelerated Christian Education) full of GREAT preaching, fun competition, and LOTS of FELLOWSHIP!! Although I'm too old to compete, I had the opportunity to attend with a few students and was able to help serve at the convention! Unfortunately, I didn't have a great camera, so I only got a few pictures, but I hope you enjoy them!!

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That's me helping serve lunch. You may also recognize the other people facing the camera. That's Evangelist Steve Piggot (who was the convention speaker,) and Dad.


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As I mentioned above, Evangelist Steve Piggot was the speaker and he preached some GREAT sermons that were challenging, encouraging, and convicting. I was so blessed to be able to be there! This is him with two of our students!!



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I mentioned the fellowship!! This is me visiting with one of the MANY people I was blessed to visit with!!!

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At one of the churches we used, there was a man who carved this watermelon for us!!!!!

And that's all the pictures I have for you today! If you're interested in more pictures from other years, you can check out this post from last year with my take on the awards ceremony, or this post on my mom's blog from two years ago!!!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Writing Class Deadline!

The deadline for registration for the Inch by Inch - Writing's a Cinch workshop closes in one week! Make sure to get your registrations in before then!!!


Monday, April 17, 2017

When God Asked Me To Quit Writing

       I became serious about my writing when I was thirteen. I knew it was something that God wanted me to do, and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me.
     
        I began spending so much time at my laptop doing research and writing, that I was spending less time reading the Bible. Days would go by where I didn’t read at all. Sitting in church, all I could think about was my books, and I was starting to not care about spiritual things.
     
       Then one night, God had a talk with me. Now obviously, God wasn’t verbally speaking to me, but as I lay in bed that night, unable to sleep, I felt as if God whispered in my heart. “Do you love me more than your writing?”
     
        I didn’t want God to think that I wasn’t spiritual, so I quickly responded with a “Yes! Of course I love you more than my writing!”
     
       “Then why can’t you spend even ten minutes a day with me? Why are you always at your laptop?” The still small voice asked.
     
        I tossed and turned. This was not the kind of conversation that I wanted to have late Saturday night. “You know that I love you,” I insisted.
     
       “If you really love me, then stop writing.”

        “No! I’m not giving up my writing!” I argued back. “You’re the one that called me to write! You’re the one that gave me my dreams and allowed me to get my laptop.” I promised to make more time to read the Bible and pray, but God ignored my pathetic arguments. He just held out his hand and asked for my laptop.

        I promised not to write for at least a week, but that didn’t work. God wanted me to quit writing forever.

        Tears streamed down my cheeks. “I can’t give you my writing!”

        In that moment, I realized that if I didn’t let go, my writing would mean nothing. If God wasn’t blessing me, I would never have a chance at fulfilling my dreams of being published.

        I was confused. Why would God take this away from me when He was the one that gave it to me? Despite all my arguing, God still held out His hand.

        I began to physically tremble as I realized who I was arguing with. God Almighty, who was giving me my every breath, was asking me to yield one area of my life to Him, and I was saying no.

        Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. “Okay, God, you can have my writing.” A wave of peace washed over me. Here I had been so worried that God would make me miserable, and I hadn’t even realized that I was the one making myself miserable.

        First thing the next morning, I grabbed my laptop, and all of my USB flash drives, and headed downstairs. I knew that if I didn’t get rid of my USB flash drives with my books, then I could go back to them even without the laptop.

        I set my laptop and the flash drives on the entryway floor, and started looking for a sledge hammer. That’s when Mom came in and asked me what I was doing.

       “I’m going to smash my laptop,” I said. 

       “Why? Is there something wrong with it?” she asked.

       “It’s too important to me,” was all I could say without breaking down in tears.

       My wise mother told me to put my laptop in her room and go get ready for church.

       At first, I was mad. Here I was trying to give it to God and Mom stepped in and stopped me.
I had another small argument with God but, like always, He won. I felt genuinely happy for the first time in weeks.

       I don’t remember what the sermon was about that morning but it caused another fight in my heart.

      “When you get home, I want you to write.

      I felt sure that I had misheard the still small voice. God couldn’t possibly have changed His mind so fast! But the thought kept coming back. I fought it. “God, I gave it to you! I don’t want to ever touch my laptop again!”

      But God just repeated the command. I was reminded of the verse in 2 Corinthians 5:15 “And that he died for all, that they which live should NOT henceforth live unto themselves, BUT UNTO HIM which died for them, and rose again.” It was as if God was saying. “You were writing for yourself, and so I stopped you, but now that you’ve given it to me, I want you to write for me.”

       I went home and started writing again but, this time, it wasn’t for me. I still struggle with making sure that my writing doesn’t become too important to me. It’s a struggle because I REALLY love writing! But I’ve learned that no matter how much I love writing, or how much it means to me, it can never become more important than my daily devotions. I can write hard, but I have to pray harder.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Romanian Missions Trip!

  A very dear friend of mine just returned from an AWESOME missions trip to Romania with her Grandpa! I asked her to share with us all about that trip, so here's the post from her. THANK YOU, JESSICA FOR WRITING THIS!!!!


Hello everyone!

        This is Jessica Jeffery. Priscilla asked me to do a post about a recent missions trip I was on. It has been incredibly difficult to put the entire story into one blog post. :)

        Every year, my Grandpa takes a trip to Romania to give some Bible classes to a church, and visit the places where he and my Grandma used to be missionaries. After many months of praying, God worked it out that I would go with him.

        So it was settled, I was going to Romania on a missions trip with my Grandpa. My Grandma decided to make the trip too, as well as Doctor McNeilly, a friend of my Grandpa's. Doctor McNeilly would be helping teach the classes. Many Romanian Pastors attend the classes, as well as members of the church. Adam was also a member of our group. Adam is Romanian born, and plans on being a missionary in Romania.

         One Romanian family over there have a ministry of teaching Bible classes to the children in the schools. From an early age this couple Zoli and Ema felt burdened for the children of their country. After they got married they established a non-profit mission name in order to go to the schools. Zoli and Ema now teach Bible lessons in many schools as well as doing crafts, and handing out food and clothing in occasion.

        So the jobs Adam and I had on this trip would be to accompany Zoli and Ema to the schools and give a Bible lesson and do crafts for the kids. We also did some special music a few times at the church.

        Teaching lessons to these kids was really great. Of course there was the little nerves of will they like me? How is my lesson going to go? What if I mess up? But, as soon as I walked into the first classroom and saw their shy smiling faces my heart just melted. You couldn't help but love them. I was wondering to myself, how did that happen? How could I just love them as soon as I saw them? And it occured to me that as soon as I decided to come, I knew I was coming for them. Choosing a lesson, praying over it, praying for the kids, that's when you choose to love them. So seeing them and getting to know them was amazing. There were still times where it was slightly awkward as we met each other, got past the shy hellos, stumbled over words during a lesson, or interrupted your translator. But, all in all, God really helped us get past ourselves, and focus on pleasing Him.

        I was scared before going because I was afraid I wouldn't be good enough. Why me? What could I possibly do to make a difference? But, God was really working on me that I would just learn to trust him. To stop worrying about being good enough, to not worry about doing everything right for my church, but just focus on pleasing God.

       Well, I thank God for an amazing trip! My Grandpa and Doctor McNeilly each gave hours of lessons daily. I was glad to play the piano for the people there. My Grandma was able to visit many of the people there, and be a blessing to all of us. Three mornings, Zoli and Ema took Adam and I out to the village schools to give lessons and crafts.

        Everyone stepped away feeling like it was a very blessed trip. We thank God for the health, safety, ministry, and overall good memories, from this trip. We were able to spend a day and a half in Budapest Hungary as well. Zoli, Ema, and their son Brian, accompanied us. They were such a huge blessing to us!

      I really don't know who encouraged who on this trip. We had gone to be a blessing to the people of Romania and yet, they were able to encourage us. I didn't know their language, I didn't know them, and yet they treated me as a daughter and sister.

       I don't know why God wanted me to go, but, I'm glad He allowed it. I don't know if I'll ever go back, but I will always remember it.

       There is nothing like meeting fellow believers in other countries! Seeing the differences in each of our lives and yet knowing that we all serve the same God is awesome.

       So if I just want to encourage you all to trust God. I don't know what he has planned for all of us but I do know it's better than anything we can come up with. You don't have to go on a missions trip to serve God. He wants us to be pleasing Him everyday. In the normal stuff like doing the dishes or going to work. Are you easy to use? Is your attitude pleasing to God? These are the questions I've been asking myself and trying to work on. So what has he been teaching you?

     I hope this post can be an encouragement to somebody! Thanks for taking the time to read it.

~Jess 

Deuteronomy 12:18b And thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God in all that thou putest thine hands unto.


(Jessica also shared some pictures with us! I added the captions on my own, so I hope I get all the of them right, but if you have a question, feel free to ask in the comments!)


This is the whole team from left to right - Adam, Dr. McNeilly, Jessica's Grandpa and Grandma, and Jessica in the front.


Jessica had the opportunity to bless them with her skill on the piano.


Teaching with an interpreter.



The people there LOVED meeting Jessica!


Here's Jessica with one of the classes that she was able to teach, as you can see, she made them all balloon animals!

THANK YOU, AGAIN, JESSICA for sharing with us, and for allowing God to use you!!!! I'm so blessed and encouraged by your example.