p.s. about Job’s friends…. :)

If you didn’t read last week’s blog post, better catch up HERE 🙂 Come right back after you read it! Thank you, friend!

I hope I didn’t present Job’s friends as the picture of godly friendships – they made some mistakes, but Job did keep them around.  That’s a lesson in itself, isn’t it?  We don’t get “done” with people, even though seasons may change.


Job’s friends get a bad rap, but I honestly think that they meant well, and there are even words they say that are true –

“God is famous for great and unexpected acts; there’s no end to His surprises” 5:9

“what a blessing when God steps in and corrects you” 5:17

Does God mess up? Does God Almighty ever get things backward?” 8:2

“God will set everything right again, reestablish your fortunes” 8:6

“God is far higher than you can imagine, far deeper than you can comprehend” 11:7

Isn’t God full of surprises? Yes! Isn’t it a blessing when God offers His correction? Surely, it is motivated by His love and care for us. Does He ever gets things wrong?  No, never! Will He set everything right again when His children are hurt?  Every single time!

I do think they mean well, but it is almost as if they are speaking without the experience of deep pain.  They want to point out God’s goodness, but then immediately connect Job’s troubles to Job’s behavior. They cannot seem to understand why these things would happen when a God whom they know as good is on the throne.  They’ve got to explain it away by calling Job’s test a punishment. It’s as if they want to plug God into a “if you’ll do this, He’ll do that” formula, but life isn’t that simple.

Sometimes friends are trying to help, and don’t know how to do it – forgive them.  Sometimes friends don’t know how to help, so they ignore the situation (and possibly you) altogether – forgive them. Don’t shy away from relationship, using past hurts as an excuse.  Trust that the relationship will give you the opportunity to grow, and the Lord will fill in the blanks.  Even when there must be a loss of relationship (sometimes it must be), trust Jesus to give you the continuity of community that you desire.

Godly friendships are a treasure – praying you and yours stick together through thick and thin ❤

Jennifer 🙂

the wounds of a friend are faithful :)

Right now, I’m reading the book of Job, so friendship is on my mind quite a bit.  I know it’s strange to say, but Job really is one of my favorites. 🙂 I was thinking this morning about how LONG the dialogue between Job and his friends continued.  Maybe I should rephrase: Job allowed his friends’ diatribe against him to go on for a really long time (chapters and chapters and chapters!).  Not sure I would have sat there for that (I would have struggled, I’m sorry to admit!). However, Job didn’t end the relationship with his friends.  Since he allowed them a front row seat to his troubles, they also had a front row seat to his restoration.  What a gift it must have been, to be able to see that season come full circle.

Job could have left his friends at their first criticism and no one would have blamed him. But he stayed.  Because we often don’t know how to handle confrontation, we often run at the first cross word.  However, this is oftentimes a wrong response.  Here’s my balancing comment: for the next little bit, please understand that I am talking about close friendships with like-minded people.


A true friend is someone who should have the earned privilege of speaking truth into your life – and you should have the earned privilege of speaking truth into theirs.  Relationship gives you the opportunity to let “iron sharpen iron” (Proverbs 27:17), a mutual benefit to godly relationship.  King David insists that correction from a friend is a kindness: “Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. Let him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it” (Psalm 141:5).  There are times when correction is necessary, even helpful.  David even considered correction an act of loyalty. There are times when friends disagree – and that’s okay.  As the pastor’s wife in our church, I watch it happen time and again: friends disagree, and rather than hanging in there together, they allow a difference of opinion to drive a wedge.  Couldn’t you have a difference of opinion, discuss, continue to respect each other, and continue to move forward? Most of the time we can; but most of the time we don’t.

Grace is required to give godly correction – even more grace is required to receive godly correction. By allowing a wedge form over a correction, you are also cutting yourself off from the wisdom and opportunities for growth that the Lord means for your godly friendship.  The Bible says that “the wounds of a friend are faithful” (Proverbs 27:6), meaning that truth from a friend is to be desired, even if it hurts at first.

You cannot be EFFECTIVE in relationships without being AFFECTED. Feel all the feels – but don’t let a godly relationship (and the growth that can come from it) end unnecessarily. Don’t shy away from relationships, using confrontation as an excuse.

Learning that you can go through it and grow through it together is a treasure, I’m praying that you have and maintain these kind of blessing friendships in your life ❤

p.s. Job’s friends are a whole ‘nother story – let’s visit about them next week and get a little balance to this conversation! See you next Monday!

Jennifer 🙂




our true source :)

Catherine Marshall is one of my favorites – if you haven’t read anything by her, go to a used bookstore or your favorite amazon seller and get something now!  Something More, The Healer, A Man Called Peter…. Sorry, I lost myself for a minute – this isn’t a sales pitch or a book report (but if it were, I’d talk about Catherine Marshall!).


“I hit bottom.  And there I met God at the place where He had been waiting for me all along; where I knew that I wanted Christ’s presence in my life more than I wanted health.  Never mind healing, I wanted to be certain that God wasn’t dead, that Jesus Christ lived, that He was real, and that I had been received by Him.” ~ Catherine Marshall

I love this quote. It’s made even more meaningful in context: Catherine Marshall wrote it during a period of time when she was confined to her bed with tuberculosis (nearly 3 years if you can imagine!).  Imagine getting to point where your first thought is to be received by God, to be convinced that He lives – and desiring His presence more than life and health.  Fill in this blank with anything on earth: I want the presence of the Lord more than I want ______________.”

The most important thing is the presence of the Lord.  Everything else will spring from it, but we have to want that most and we have to want that first.  When I think of things that are most important, I usually think about 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. It may not exactly follow our train of thought here, but we’ve been together long enough to give me a little leash, haven’t we?  Paul writes,

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures

When Paul says “of first importance”, he must mean the most important thing. If he was only going to say one thing, it would be this one thing.  As soon as he received this word, he passed it along first to the people in his sphere of influence.  If you don’t hear anything else, hear this one thing: Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again on the third day, exactly as He promised He would, exactly as Scriptures promised He would. That’s the most important thing.

And in this one thing, the most important thing, all other needs are met.  “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3).  Everything you need to live a godly life, a successful life, is in Christ….. and Christ is made accessible to us through the Cross and Resurrection – the most important thing.  It’s a big thought – maybe we’ll take a break here and think on it.  Receiving the power of the Cross, and giving it first place in your life – that’s a treasure! ❤

And what happened for Catherine Marshall? Her healing DID come, needs WERE met, compassion WAS given from a place of dependency on the Lord and gratitude for nothing more than His presence.  All met by honestly being thankful for the fact that God is alive and is willing to receive us.  The gateway, the opening, the beginning of blessing was and is thanksgiving to the Lord!

Praying you’ll be able to think on these things and let the blessings you need spring from from your true Source!

Jennifer 🙂

getting lost and found :)

My favorite tool is my Strong’s Concordance – and I don’t want the online one, I want the physical book one. I get lost in it – you know, how we can get lost in Facebook or Wikipedia?  I went to Wikipedia to find out what other movie that guy was in again, and then I click on that little blue link because I forgot about that person, and then there’s another little blue link, so I click on that and…. 3 hours later, I know everything there is to know about the 1964 television special “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, wondering why I was on in the first place and where the time went.  Or Facebook – I just went scroll my top 10 in the newsfeed and check messenger, but 2 hours later, I’m still wishing people who I haven’t seen since high school a happy birthday and taking a 65-question quiz to find out which Jane Austen character I am.  This is embarrassing to admit – but has that ever happened to you? Lost!


But my Strong’s, well, that’s different!  It’s like this huge dictionary with every single word that occurs in the Bible, and it translates everything back to the original greek or hebrew. Every word is related to another word, so I have to look that one up, and then I have to look up the next one, and 3 hours later…. well, I find that I’ve learned something I didn’t know, something valuable.  Found! 🙂

Want to follow one of my Strong’s trails with me?  Let’s try it out! I start with a verse:

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” Colossians 3:12

Then I look up key words (I just decide which words are key to me in the moment, no science to it) and get their Strong’s number, which corresponds to the original language of the Bible:

tenderhearted: Strong’s 4698 – strengthened from inward affliction I didn’t ever consider tenderheartedness as strength, especially not strength coming from an inward affliction.  This makes me think that the Lord can even use my hard times, my hurts, to make me tender toward the needs of others, makes me think that maybe the seasons of my life that I don’t consider a gift really were – because they were making me strong for the next person who may need my testimony

merciful: Strong’s 3628 – exercise compassion, pity Exercise indicates to me that there is action required on my part, that being merciful is not an inherent trait, it is something that must be practiced, therefore requiring discipline

kind: Strong’s 5544 – usefulness, excellence in character or demeanor, gentleness, goodness Being kind is also being useful – I like that! I also see a pattern developing, these words are in a specific order on purpose…. the result of strengthening and exercise would be usefulness, wouldn’t it?  Excellence in character wasn’t something that happened overnight, it needs to be developed over time

humble: Strong’s 5012 – understanding, sympathy, modesty, lowliness of mind not thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought, makes me think of Phillippians 2:3, so I’ll make a note of that and start with that verse in my Strong’s next; I didn’t think modesty when I thought of being humble, but that makes sense – a humble person wouldn’t want to draw attention to themselves (or draw attention away from the main idea!)

gentle: Strong’s 4236 – meek, humble I think having a mild nature requires attention to these qualities, study of the character of Christ would lead us to gentleness because He is so gentle – and with that must come a realization that all of our good qualities originate with the Lord. This is a great time to be careful about pride – I’ll think make another note to spend some time with 1 Corinthians 10:12.

patience: Strong’s 3115 – fortitude, longsuffering, long in place or long in time willingness to endure, patience toward yourself as you grow AND patience toward others as they grow

All of that from those 18 words? Looking into the Word of God, finding out more than you thought was there, receiving encouragement and a challenge to grow?  The Bible itself is a treasure, and I’m praying that you take the time to get lost and found in it! ❤

Jennifer 🙂

p.s. oddly enough, I was Colonel Brandon 😉