My Own Personal “Dazed and Confused”


I love the book of Isaiah, it’s a favorite.  I’m thinking of one short verse in particular today, 21:11-12. To skip the history lesson (oh how I dearly love a history lesson – but I’m sparing you today!), these people were in great fear and darkness.  They call out to the night watchman. They say in Isaiah 21:11, “Watchman, what about the night?”  They actually say it twice, that’s how desperate they were to find some relief from the darkness surrounding them: “Watchman, what about the night?  Watchman, what about the night?”  The watchman answers them, and the answer brought relief and dread at the same time.  He replies in 21:12, “The morning comes, and also the night.”  Happily, the morning (light, knowledge, peace) was coming – sadly, the night (darkness, lawlessness, confusion) was coming too.  These two things were not coming hand-in-hand, they were not coming together – but they were coming simultaneously.  It was going to be absolutely vital that these frightened people be able to differentiate between the light and the darkness.

It’s absolutely vital for us too. We HAVE to be able to differentiate between light and darkness, good and evil, right and wrong…. Let’s come back to this thought in a minute 🙂

I used to travel to California every January with my mom, to visit her mother.  Fun trip each year! However, one year I got air-sickness on the plane.  Not fun at all!  I was sick on the plane, the continued motion didn’t help, and I just couldn’t recover.  I didn’t realize it, but I was dehydrated by the time we deboarded.  I barely made it to the baggage claim, and that was as far as I could go.  I’m embarrassed to tell you: I LAID DOWN in the middle of the FLOOR at Los Angeles International.  Lord help, people had to step over or around me to get where they were going.  My mother didn’t know what to do.  She decided to get me a drink from one of the little shops there in the airport. When she tried to come back to the terminal where I was sprawled out like a vagrant of some sort, she wasn’t allowed back in.  She had already passed the security checkpoint.  Some kind stranger had brought me a trashcan from the ladies room, which (putting this as gently as possible) I took advantage of right there.  Blocked 20 feet away from me, Mom had no choice but to leave me on the floor and take the shuttle to pick up our rental car.  When she returned, she talked a police officer into coming to get me (the description made me easy to recognize: I was the one with my head in a trashcan, lying on the floor in the middle of the LAX baggage claim). The police officer walked up to me, said my name and I got up and went with him (a stranger says “Jennifer” and here I go?  Not usually.).  He took me to my mom and our rental car, where I promptly rolled down the window and hung my head out the side like a dog (first a vagrant, now an animal. I ask you).  Mom found a local urgent care, and once the IV got fluids back in my system, it was like coming to life again.  A man walked in to check on me, cheerfully indicated that I was looking better and he would be back in a few minutes.  I smiled and thanked him, but had no idea who he was.  When the door closed behind him, I asked my mom – she was surprised as she told me, “Jennifer, that’s your doctor!  We’ve been here for hours, you’ve seen him several times already.”    I didn’t even remember getting out of the car and into this small white room. The whole afternoon had been a blur.  Now that I was returning to myself, I was remembering how disoriented I had been all afternoon, acting in a manner that was a complete contradiction to my usual character.  My body just needed water – it was vital.

Being dehydrated as I was brought the usual symptoms: sleepiness, sluggishness, confusion, disorientation.  To put it plainly: I just wasn’t myself!  Once I got fluids back into my system, I was back to my usual self: my feet on the floor instead of my face on the floor, trashcan in the corner where it belongs, my head INSIDE the car and the AC up.  I knew who I was and where I belonged, and I behaved accordingly.  Life was good!

Many times, when the Bible references water, it is a symbol or type of the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is to our spirit as water is to our physical bodies, it’s not hard to make the connection: THE HOLY SPIRIT IS VITAL to us as believers in this dark age.  The Holy Spirit is the part of the Trinity that Jesus left here with us when He returned to Heaven.  I like the Message translation here – remember He said, “I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth…. you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!” (John 14:16 MSG).  I know what I am like without water – trust me, not my best day.  I also know what I am like without the benefit of the Holy Spirit and the gift of salvation, too – not my best day.  Not yours either, my sweet friend.  I have a sinful nature, and my natural tendency is not toward grace or sinlessness – I need the Lord’s help for that. The Bible says that all have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), that we all have gone astray like sheep without a shepherd (Isaiah 53:6).  We need the Lord.  Without Him, what are we?  We are disoriented, irritable, sluggish, sleepy, confused.  We can’t tell right from wrong (as unpopular as it is, there is right and wrong).  We forget we who are. We are unaware of proper behavior.  Like I didn’t recognize the good doctor, we don’t recognize the people around us.

The Bible says:

“Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive” (John 7:37-39)

“but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14)


Without water, we become dehydrated.  Being dehydrated brings physical symptoms: sleepiness, sluggishness, confusion, disorientation. Without the Holy Spirit, we become confused, disoriented…. Can you think of an example of right and wrong being confused in our society?  Sure you can.  I can, too. Can you feel assured in your spirit that Jesus is coming back soon?  Me too!  Can you see that the darkness is closing in, and times are harder now than ever before?  Yes, me too.

“What about the night?  What about the night?”

“The morning is coming, and the also the night.”

Do not take the wisdom of the Lord and the benefit of the Holy Spirit for granted – you need it in your Christian walk as much as you need water in your physical body. Staying true to the Lord and oriented to His wisdom is necessary – and it’s harder than you think.  The Lord is generous, and I am praying that you depend on Him today to help you differentiate between the light and the darkness.  The ability to do so, and to recognize the Friend that you have with you always?  Now that is a treasure!

Jennifer ❤

EVERY sunday funday :)

This probably won’t be my most popular share 🙂 but I love this story today:


My son is home for the summer – hoping to answer God’s call and become a missionary one day, he is attending a ministry school/bible college out of state. We love having him home, and it does this mama’s heart good to see the twins under the same roof again! (It might have been harder seeing them separate from each other than seeing them separate from me, but we’ll keep that for another day!).

One thing I’ve been especially thankful for this summer is that fact that my children LOVE church. They come when we have service, they come to visit when we don’t have service. They are our best volunteers and biggest supporters. They are our biggest fans in ministry, and as they grow up, they are starting to minister themselves. Words cannot express what a joy that is – to serve the Lord alongside my sons and daughter!

Psalm 145:4 says, “One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts”. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 says, “these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates”. We’ve received these as mandates, not suggestions, as parents. Though we are far from perfect, we’ve tried to model a Christ-like lifestyle before our children, and a HUGE part of that is church attendance.

Faithful church attendance isn’t easy. We come when it is convenient, we come when it is inconvenient. We come when we feel like it, we come when we don’t feel like it (yep, me too ). We came when they were babies (Sundays were tough then – hard to get a nap in between two services and Sunday School!). We came when they were toddlers (yep, dragging a cranky 3 year old through the sanctuary wasn’t the best fun – much less 2 of them!). Thursdays were a tough day as well – we had kept them up past their bedtime for church on Wednesday evening. We determined that the Lord gave them to us for a purpose, and that they must adhere to our worship schedule – not the other way around. I wasn’t supposed to let my babies or small children dictate when we attended church – I was supposed to model faithfulness before them and get them accustomed to our family’s schedule of worship.

As we came into elementary school years, we had to be purposeful in choosing activities that did not interfere with church, keeping our “end game” in mind. Church was a non-negotiable in our schedule, and it was a non-negotiable in our children’s schedules. We didn’t choose sports or other activities that may present a conflict, because that didn’t propel us toward the goal, and it may have sent a message to our children that there was something more important than being in church on Sunday. That would have been a mixed message – Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is”. Church is important.

In the teen years, we had to be purposeful in looking for jobs. Teens need gas money and fun money for sure! It’s not easy to find a job that allows Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings off, especially when one doesn’t have a degree or special skill set. We turned down lots of jobs, and we budgeted allowance from mom and dad to make up the difference until we found jobs that fit our schedule. It was a sacrifice for sure (but the Lord even honored that and all three of our children are gainfully employed AND regular church attenders!).  Not only jobs, but still choosing activities: we stayed out late for prom on Saturday (fun!), but guess what?  We came sleepy-eyed to church the next day.  If we had to make a choice between two, we chose church.

I mentioned the “end game” earlier. Know what the “end game” was? It was to raise Christians. I wasn’t trying to raise a professional athlete or teacher or social worker or CEO (though there’s nothing wrong being any of those things at all – but I was determined that successful adults in any profession raised in my house would value church). The goal was to raise young men and a young lady who loved the Lord. The goal was to surround them with godly people, with a body of believers who prayed for them, supported them, encouraged them – and we find that IN CHURCH. IN CHURCH, they heard the Word of God, reinforced what we taught them through the week at home. IN CHURCH, they found godly relationships and Christ-like examples to follow outside of mom and dad. IN CHURCH, they learned outreach and found for themselves the value of coming to the Lord for “times of refreshing” (Acts 3:19) and then living out their faith in the world throughout the week.

Church is a big part of our life.  I love seeing my children worship and minister. I love seeing my children laugh over a good game of Risk or Monopoly around my table. I love seeing them go out with friends or hang out at the pool. I love the relationship they have with us, with each other, with the church, and with the world. Life is full and happy and fun! They are going to be successful people. They are going to contribute something great to their communities. They are going to be known by their love of others (John 13:35). I made lots of glad sacrifices and lots of decisions as a mother, but one important decision, made daily, was to have them IN CHURCH. I am thankful for the Body of Christ, and beyond thankful that my children value this as well.

Who are you raising? What is the “end game”? Determine what the goal is and be consistent! Today and every day, my children’s faithfulness to the Lord is one of life’s greatest treasures. I’m praying that you will determine your goal.  I know that the Lord will help you to achieve it, even if it means sacrifice or discomfort. Pushing through to the goal – that’s a treasure too!

❤ Jennifer