Wow! It has been forever since I have blogged. I got married and now have a new last name--Hensley! I will try blogging more. But here are some pics of the wedding!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
My fiance and I run a small bible study (connect group) every week for 9th and 10th graders from Potential Church. It's pretty awesome and just about my favorite day of the week. We get to disciple young people and have some fun while teaching.
High school students never seize to amaze me. After group tonight, I felt a bit sad. It's the type of sadness that's difficult to explain. I just want to jump into these teenager's lives and show them that some decisions made by them are just not worth it. The temptations that they are attacked by on a daily basis are hard to overcome and hard to face. Yet, yielding to these temptations can be completely destructive. I struggle with control myself. Obviously, I have this need and want to control. I wish I can control their lives so they make the right decisions. I know this can't happen. All I can do is teach, direct, and pray. The most important thing for me now to be a living example and not to judge when mistakes are made. I make mistakes on a daily basis.
A great verse I found today was from Romans 8:26-27: "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God;s will."
The temptations teenagers face in high school and with relationships in their lives and with the temptations I face is something we can not deal with alone. It takes the mighty power of a big God. A God who has unfailing love and a deep sea of mercy. In nights like tonight when I feel this wave of sadness, the only thing to do is pray and give it to God. I have faith that he will take care of the situation.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Yes, I struggle with the very notion to want and desire to please others. This is not very healthy considering what it does to me. I have become a complete push over in my later years of these 20 somethings I am living through. It became so blatantly obvious what it created in me as soon as I moved away from family and friends...all loved ones. It showed me that this desire to want to please others made me never want to make a decision. For the very most simplest things, I could never make a decision! I always relied on the person I was with at the time, the person I was hanging out with, the person I was living with, to make the decision in order for them to be happy. That's all I cared about.
I used to think that was a good thing, at most a very positive thing. I was putting others before myself. But looking at the big picture, it doesn't seem like it is. My focus should be Christ centered. I should be focused on God and what He wants. Seeing people the way Jesus sees them, serving others like Jesus did, and caring about what others are doing with their lives.
I think I was off to a good start...serving others. I let it go too far though. I started letting others thoughts, needs, and desires before anything God was telling me. Almost like making them idols. This past weekend, I heard a sermon about Idols. It hasn't left my mind since then. God is trying to tell me something. The Pastor defined the word IDOL. He said that an idol is anything good that becomes something it shouldn't be. When we do things that reduce who God is, we reduce our worship and essentially what we are doing is making God a small God.
My God is a BIG God! He is powerful, merciful, awe-inspiring, BIG, majestic, fearful, omniscient, righteous, and everything good and beautiful!
I pray that this desire to please others can be converted towards God instead. A desire to be right with God by being obedient to Him and His law. I want the desire I have to please others to transfer to this desire to want to Honor God with everything I do. I want His decision to be the most important thing in my life. I want Him to be glorified in all I do.
Psalm 147:11: The Lord's delight is in those who honor him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
These are just some thoughts... they probably don't make that much sense.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
So, I had one of my most favorite peeps visit me this weekend.
I had an absolutely amazing time... let me just tell you. It was so much fun, that when she left, I felt this sense of emptiness inside me. I only get that feeling when people I really have this deep connection with come and visit and then leave (family... boyfriend... and now super tight friend).
As I was feeling this, I think in my head... why? It's so dumb... But I also had another feeling. God must feel the same way, probably much worse, when He loses one of His people... when we drift away from Him and put THIS WORLD first. That hit me hard. Wow.
My God is mighty to save. God, I love you!
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Talking to the future of this world... the youth, really gives me perspective sometimes.
I was sitting in a room with several high school teenagers in the middle of two church services for a youth group called tHERUSH. I love theRUSH by the way. It has become more noticeable that these kids were literally really mean to each other. I am sure most of you have been sarcastic during your lifetime. But have you ever wondered what effect it has on others?
Sure, the more you get involved with the same group of people, the more you can be sarcastic and joke around. This happened at the other church group in Jax that I was involved in. The more comfortable people got with me and the more comfortable I got with the leaders, the more sarcastic everyone was.
But when sitting in this room, it really got to me. This one kid was saying such sarcastic, mean things. Even though they were not directed at me, it bothered me. Being the leader of visitors to this youth group, I am becoming more and more aware of new people and how they feel when around the group of RUSH kids. It's almost impossible not to see a sarcastic or mean encounter/conversation.
I then asked this kid if he ever has anything nice to say. I know, very direct and to the point. He wasn't shocked that I asked and freely told me that he learned this type of behavior from a LEADER at this very church and youth group! I was shocked. I really shouldn't be though. I then asked, well, are you like that with new people. He said no. Ok, but new people hang around and see you like this. It certainly would make me feel uncomfortable and awkward.
This little minor incident will not leave my mind. I am sure God is teaching me something right here. I am a sarcastic person and love to joke around. I personally do not think there is anything wrong with a lil sarcasm or joke to lighten the mood or with peeps you are ultimately comfortable with. But I think we need to remember where we are and who is around us... we need to be extra conscientious of our surroundings.
We can't forget that our purpose during this life is to serve God. We serve God by doing His will. His will is loving His people and seeing them the way He does. And people in this world are watching us!
"We should please others. If we do what helps them, we build them up in the Lord." Romans 15:2.
People are in constant need of encouragement and we are called to build each other up and at the same time, hold each other accountable.
We are leaders. People, young and old, are watching our behavior and responses to situations and conversations.
As the famous Derrick would say, we are all leaders. The finger is pointing at you. So stand up and be a leader.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
I have entered the real world for real now, as a working woman. I thought I was entering the real world when I began my college years and left home. Little did I know that I was completely wrong.
A friend once told me during my law school years, "Jess, you will understand once you start your career what I am going through." I would always think, Na! I know how it is.
I guess my friend was right. I don't think I have ever felt so old in my life. It's probably because I surround myself around younger people, but it is becoming more apparent in my daily life. I couldn't even stay out till midnight on New Years Eve with my boyfriend who was visiting from nine hours away! Instead of craving going out on Fridays & Saturdays, I cherish and appreciate and crave time to spend relaxing at home! Seriously, how old am I? lol. I guess that just comes with being a working woman... or getting old :).
Anyway, this new world of Pensacola... I really can't complain. God has provided and answered many prayers. I have gotten extremely connected with Flamingo Road Church, now becoming a youth leader with the youth group called RUSH. I have met some amazing people and am amazed at the work God has done in such a short time.
Work, well, work is work. I feel a HUGE amount of feelings when I think of work. I am thankful for a job that provides me with the ability to live, pay bills, and maintain my wellbeing. It's just sometimes work can be TOO much. When I lose my focus, it is very easy to lose my hope. Focusing on God brings me right back to putting everything into my job like it depends on me.
I had a moment at work yesterday when I lost hope and didn't think I would be able to survive there. I literally had a person fall asleep on the phone with me, another person on the other side say I fight tooth and nail about everything, files missing, crucial witnesses not returning calls, phone ringing constantly, and so on. It was at one moment, unbearable! I put my head down on my desk and just said, God, please give me the strength to get through this because I want to do this for You but am having hard time getting anywhere. I did push through the day and made it home with a splitting headache... but all went away once I went to sleep.
Today, God showed me why He has me here. It's really about my gifts and talents he has blessed me with. Part of my position includes interacting with people. I interact and speak a lot with victims of crimes. I had a very weird/fascinating/creepy/strange case set on call today before a different Judge that is not the one I go before. I met with the victim and his wife before the hearing in order to get more information about the crime. Instead of going into the details with the victim and his wife, my role was more of a comforter and a person to help calm their fears. I spoke with them for 20 minutes or so before the hearing and afterwards for 15 more minutes. It was tough because of the circumstances of the crime and the amount of fear they had.
But when I left them, the wife thanked me several times for my kindness. Every time, I told her, no need to thank me, this is my job, this is what I am here for. And it was amazing to say that because it's a part of my job that I haven't experienced a lot... but I do work to serve my community, my people, my God. I work in order to protect the people! And my last words to this couple were, "You will be fine. You are protected." Seriously did not even think about what I was saying. But I prayed for them at that moment and know God will take care of them!
Anyway, moments like that make me love my job. Yes, work is tough. Work will be stressful. Work will be nerve wrecking and at times, I will not really like it. But if I am doing this for God's glory, than Praise Jesus, I will work for the content of my God.