the best road trip :)

If you are going on a road trip, you need a good playlist.  Want to know who you need to set up your playlist?  A Spivey kid.  My three always have the BEST music and the BEST podcasts and the BEST whatever-you-think-you-need-to-hear for a pleasant time on the road!

road trip

When Jacob graduated from ministry school, we all went up to see his graduation.  Fun! We left our pup Bea with my parents for the weekend, so we rode back from Alabama separately – Michael and Tyler returned to Florida right away, while Jacob and I took the detour through Georgia to pick up Bea.  All those hours on the road might not sound like a great time, but guess what I was thinking: all those hours and I would have Jacob all to myself!  We traded some favorites –

Jacob goes first: “Mom, have you heard Yebba?” I haven’t – how did I miss her?  Jacob plugs in first and I start singing along with Yebba and PJ Morton’s cover of “How Deep Is Your Love” and oh my stars, it’s gorgeous!  Jacob is surprised that I know the words, so I plug in next and play the original BeeGees from ’77 (YES, that’s 1977; and NO, I don’t want to talk about how old I was then, LOL!).  Jacob sang along with the BeeGees, and we talked about how we loved both versions, what was best and what was favorite.  We both love 70s/80s, so the discussion brought on a few James Taylors, a few Dan Fogelbergs…..

My turn to introduce something: “Jacob, you know Jekalyn Carr’s “Bigger”, of course – but have you heard “Greater Is Coming” and “I’m on the Rise”?  Listen at this – and can you believe how young she is?” We listened to those, and we love gospel, so that brought on a few Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers (yeah, we went way back and it was awesome!), some Donnie, some Smokie, some Fred, and of course some Kirk…. Can’t leave out the girls, so there was a little CeCe, a little Tasha, a little Babbie, too.

Let’s listen to a podcast, want to? “Mom, do you listen to Graham Cooke?” Son, I didn’t even know there was a Graham Cooke – introduce me, oh my goodness!  We listened to “The Language of Heaven” and I’ve listened to it over and over since then, brilliant and anointed.  Jacob knows Jentezen Franklin, of course (Pastor Franklin performed Michael’s and my wedding, he performed the twins’ baby dedications, we grew up at Free Chapel), but “buddy, have you heard “Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt” yet?” He hadn’t yet, so we listen to that and it was awesome (I had the book in my “summer stack” and hearing that podcast moved it to the top of my to-read list! Amazing!).

“What about Dante Bowe?”  Jake, this is another new one to me – plug him in!  We listened to “Potter and Friend“, and I have to admit: we listened to it about 8 times in a row and bawled like babies every single time!  Hey, bud, get on my iTunes and download that for me, okay?  I need this in my life! When he picked up my phone and started downloading Dante for me, he found Anthony Brown on there – yep, “Worth” was familiar to both of us and we loved hearing it again together.

Of course, the conversations were the best part, the real treasure of the day, and those (sadly) can’t be put on a playlist.  That part is in my heart ❤ Jacob had just gotten his ministry license and we were heading toward his first ministry position, so there was lots to talk about.  I shared memories of when his dad and I first started in ministry.  Jacob shared memories and lessons from ministry school – he was super blessed with some amazing leaders and friends while at BMMC and I think Kingwood Church will always be our second church home. We shared what God is doing in our hearts right now, and what learning today.  I shared the vision that God has laid on my heart currently, and Jacob shared the vision that God has laid on his heart currently.  We shared some victories, and we shared some losses because there’s lessons in both.  Jacob shared a tremendous amount of wisdom, and I was reminded of the myriad number of ways that the Lord uses my children to bless and strengthen me.

Do you get the Word from lots of sources?  It’s smart to diversify 🙂 Podcasts, music, talk talk talk, read read read…. And wow – to learn that one of my most valuable sources is my own son? That was and continues to be one of my greatest treasures.  I’m praying that you have lots of sources and lots of opportunity to grow in the Lord as well – and if you think your list needs a little mixing up, borrow some of my favorites (all those blue words are links if you didn’t figure that out already)!

Jennifer 🙂

p.s. as soon as my Jake has a podcast or a youtube channel or a book, I’ll let you know – this kid has lots to share!  Until then, I’ll sure love being “on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of ” this son “of God coming into his own” (Romans 8:19 Phillips).

verse of the day :)

I’m not really a “verse of the day” type of person.  Don’t misunderstand – I’m not against the “verse of the day”, they’re great. I’m definitely a “read the Bible every day” type of person, and I’m not judging anyone who loves a “verse of the day”.  You can hear from God on a verse of the day, honestly.  It’s just not my personality – I like a plan, I like a purpose, I like specifics.  Anyway, I’m also a YouVersion type of person, and that’s new for me – I don’t know why I resisted it for so long! I love having the Bible on my phone and in my pocket all the time (I’m not giving up my leather-bound NKJV and my Strong’s Concordance, of course – but the YouVersion is pretty great!). I’m rambling, but y’all are used to that by now….. Let me get back to it –

I’m not really a “verse of the day” type person, but the YouVersion has a “verse of the day” that pops up on my phone every morning.  Usually by the time it pops up, I’m done with my daily reading but I still like to see it. (I’m an early bird – admittedly, my early mornings are a little ridiculous and obnoxious, but there they are).  I’m not expecting much though, from the “verse of the day”. I’ve heard lots of stories about how people just opened their Bible to just the right place (I believe those stories, the Lord can work that way) or how the “verse of the day” spoke to their exact situation.  Even though it all seems amazing and coincidental, isn’t the Word of God amazing all by itself?  It’s not a coincidence when we read the Bible and receive knowledge, is it? (That’s why I’m not a “verse of the day” person.  Maybe I’m looking at the “verse of the day” from a wrong perspective, like it’s not purposeful – when it totally could be). Again with the rambling! Take three:

For the last two days, the “verse of the day” that popped up on my phone have been totally and easily applicable to my life and specific situation.  Here they are:

So yesterday’s verse was “God will fight for you” (Exodus 14:14) and today’s verse was “Count on it: everyone who had it in for you will end up out in the cold—real losers. Those who worked against you will end up empty-handed…. That’s right. Because I, your Godhave a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you‘ ” (Isaiah 41:13 MSG). Okay, so the second picture is not the “verse of the day”, but stay with me. It’s a picture of a hymnal I have in my family room, and I keep it open to one of my favorite hymns, “In The Garden” – but look at the facing page: “The Savior Can Solve Every Problem“. Coincidence? I think not! (Just kidding!)

Nah, I really think it is coincidence, but the truth is that I really am facing a problem right now. The problem is bigger than I am, and there is an adversary.  Honest, I don’t know how I would face it or overcome it without the Lord on my side.  The “verse of the day” came in with a little needed reminder.  When I was doing housework (moving items around so I could dust), the hymnal gave a little reminder as well.  I’m going to credit Jesus with these little love notes ❤

While I am going to credit Jesus for the reminders, I’m not going to start depending solely on the “verse of the day” to pop up on my phone and give me a word from the Lord.  I’m going to continue in faithfulness, using the Bible every day as a “lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105 NKJV).  I’m going to study every day, I’m going to pray every day, I’m going to read books and listen to podcasts and read the Bible every day.  That’s how the Lord is going to speak to me – and I won’t have to wait around for the coincidence of circumstance and “verse of the day” to collide.  We need more than a “verse of the day” to learn God’s character.

I’m going to keep these two “verse of the day”s and be strengthened by them.  I haven’t heard “The Savior Can Solve Every Problem”, but I’m going to dust off that music degree and put it good use by learning this song. I’m also going to keep Philippians 4:6-7 as a verse of every day: “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”  I’m going to keep reminding myself that every problem comes with a provision and promise attached (this is a big problem – I’m looking for BIG provision and that could be exciting!).

Depending on the Lord rather than depending on the “verse of the day” is a treasure.  I’m praying that you will be purposeful in your study and application of God’s Word.  Let the “verse of the day” get you there – let the goodness of the Lord keep you there.  The Bible is a treasure with lots of verses and knowledge for every day – and my goodness, I need all of them every day! Maybe you do too? ❤

Jennifer 🙂

all kinds of treasure chests

southern treasure chest

Last summer, I visited a friend in my hometown.  We snapped beans with her grandmother, on the front porch, in the afternoon sun, sitting on the wooden rockers or in the swing.  Simple, we enjoyed and we chatted. A face-to-face about the green beans and the garden turned into a heart-to-heart about children and marriage and life and joy and sorrow – events that had made our year, growing us like the earth had grown these green beans.  In a little while, we’d start the process of jarring the green beans, sealing them up to enjoy again on another day, in another season.

When the summer season turned to winter season, we’d go to our pantries and pull out a mason jar.  All lines up in rows – and there weren’t only green beans (they’re just my favorite): there was chow-chow, scupperdine jelly, peppers, pickles.  In different cities, in different states, we’d pop the seals.  The scent and taste would carry us back to this common day together.  We’d remember the chat and the sunshine and be blessed again by the love shared on that day.  It wasn’t so common after all, and we would be glad we saved it in our mason jars.  Maybe that’s why I love a mason jar – it’s a little southern treasure chest. 🙂

A treasure chest in its simplest definition is anything that holds treasures, wouldn’t you say? If that is true, I have treasure chests all over my house, and I imagine you do too: frames holding baby pictures and senior pictures and family pictures – those are treasure chests.  Shoeboxes with old birthday cards and souvenirs from trips – those are treasure chests too.  The china cabinet in my dining room with my grandmother’s china displayed inside – I never looked at it and thought “that is a treasure chest”, but now that I look again, it surely is, holding treasures precious to me.

The Lord has treasure chests too – all different shapes and sizes.  Here’s one that makes my heart smile and brings a comforting quiet to my spirit every time I come across it: “your life is safe in the care of the Lord your God, secure in His treasure pouch!” (1 Samuel 25:29).  His “treasure pouch”, and you know what’s inside?  We are! Your life, safe in the care of the Lord.  My life, safe in the care of the Lord.  Every detail that pertains to life and godliness, safe in the care of the Lord.  How about that?  My mason jar/treasure chest could only save one day: our Father God’s pouch/treasure chest holds all of us, every day, every moment, big and small.

Let’s consider our lives as the very treasure that the Lord holds a treasure pouch close to His chest.  We don’t have to DO anything to be worthy of His attention, we don’t have to BE anything to considered precious enough to be held in a treasure pouch close to His heart, but still – I’m humbled and quieted and get a warm feeling inside when I consider it.  He is so kind to us.  Even though I didn’t deserve His grace, and even though I don’t have to perform to experience His love, I have this feeling inside me….  It’s a desire, really – a desire to live worthy of His calling.  It is a comfort that He considers me a treasure; yet at the same time, it is an invitation to live upward, to be better than I have to be.  SomeOne considers ME to be a TREASURE.  SomeOne considers YOU to be a TREASURE.  Maybe we can take a little “selah” right here, a moment to “pause and think of that”! 🙂

God is so kind and generous to us – He looks at us with great tenderness and love and says, “you are My treasure”.  What a gift that is ❤

Praying that you feel “secure in His treasure pouch” today,

Jennifer