A Good Reminder

I woke up this morning at 5 am, a time much earlier than I would ever choose to get up, but I knew I needed to get some things done. My mother in law is coming this weekend, so I wanted to finish up some cleaning and get the crock pot meal prepared before I headed off to work.
As I was darting from place to place, the Lord stopped me and spoke to my heart. In the past there have been many times that I have pushed snooze on my alarm when I should have gotten up to get into God’s word and soak in His truth unrushed and unhurried. But so many times I have continued sleeping just to get a few extra minutes before work and either missed my time with the Lord altogether or had to rush through my reading due to a lack of time. Yet, here I was at 5:00 in the morning willing to get up to make our house look presentable…..to people please.
Now, our family has never required that we clean our house before they arrive or anything, don’t get me wrong. But, I am a people pleaser to a fault, and because of this I put a lot of pressure on myself to makes things the best I can make them for others. While it is not wrong to have a clean home and a presentable room for guests to stay in, what is wrong is putting others before the Lord. And this is something I’ve been realizing that I do far too often.
Why am I willing to sacrifice sleep for  others, but I am not willing to sacrifice sleep for the Lord? The Lord is most important and time with Him is of the utmost importance!
Exodus 20:3 says “You shall have no other gods before me”.
Too often, and I think most of the time unknowingly, I make pleasing others my “god”, when the Lord clearly states that we should have NO other gods before Him. Now, “gods” can take on many different forms. For some is it popularity, social media, wealth, addictions, shopping, their time and the list could go on and on. But this is not how the Lord intended for us to live our lives. He is to be the central focus of all that we do and all that we are.
The Lord truly challenged my heart this morning and reminded me that He should always be first and foremost in my life and He is worth it! Is there anything that you are putting before the Lord today? I would encourage you to surrender it to the Lord and let Him take control over those areas of weakness.

Spring/Summer 2015

I realize it’s been a while since the last time that I posted, but a lot has been happening with us lately!!

In April my husband took a position as senior pastor at first baptist church in a new town in west Texas. He has been doing such an incredibly great job and I am so proud of him! The Lord has truly been preparing him for this role and through God’s strength he has been excelling! I am so honored to be married to this man of mine!

With the wirl wind of moving and transitioning into a new location, we have been going nonstop! So we decided it was time for a little vacation/rest.
We were able to find this great little cabin near the lake and it was wonderful!
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It was so good to get away and take some time with just my honey! I truly love my husband and enjoy spending time with him! Getting rest was also much needed and appreciated! It was fantastic to not have a schedule and just relax each day!
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The place we stayed was right on the lake, so we took advantage of that and swam as often as we could! We also enjoyed just sitting in these cute chairs and watching the ripples in the water from boats passing.
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I’m so thankful we got the opportunity to take some time together.
After we returned from our vacation we then jumped into an exciting week of Vacation Bible School at our church. While it was certainly a busy week, I really did love helping out with it this year! I love seeing children learn about Jesus for the first time and finally having God’s truth click in their hearts and minds.
Recently Emmanuel had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to South America where to Lord was truly at work!
We truly serve a faithful God and we are so thankful for Him bringing us to this new location and new phase in life! We look forward to all He has in store for us! 🙂

30

This past month I turned 30! Turning 30 seems so old to me! And there are many things that I thought I would have achieved by the age of 30…the primary one being a mother. When I was younger I always had imagined that when I was 30 I would be married with 2-3 children and still growing. But, God has had other plans for me. Plans that I never would have imagined. My faith has been tested and my heart has been stretched to lengths I didn’t know possible. And all the while God has been there right by my side through all the hurt and pain, continually drawing me and challenging me. Calling me to surrender my all to Him. It is hard to let go of things that you have always desired, but I know that I serve a GREAT God, who is in control and knows my future. A God who is ever faithful and continually by my side. A God who truly loves me deep down to the core of who I am. A God who is reliable and who continually gives me more than I deserve. So I praise the Lord for this year! For allowing me to reach 30 with so many blessings! The blessing of an amazing, wonderful and loving husband! The blessing of wonderful family! The blessing of sweet friendships! The blessing of the child we don’t yet know who is in Ethiopia! And lastly, the most important of them all, the blessing of the Lord’s great love and sacrifice for me! I truly serve an amazing God! 
 
So as I entered this new decade, I decided that I wanted to celebrate with my sweet west Texas friends! I decided that a wreath making birthday party would be the best way to celebrate! Surrounded by friends and doing something I truly enjoy, crafting!  
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Since living in west Texas, the Lord has truly blessed me with some amazing friendships and I am so thankful for each one of them! I had such a great time hanging out with these girls and sharing life together while also making something beautiful.
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This is definitely a birthday I will remember! 🙂 And I look forward to seeing all the Lord has for me in my 30’s!

Resolve Series Now Available

I am so proud of my amazing husband! Today Download Youth Ministry published one of Emmanuel’s sermon series!

The series is about Daniel and the resolve he made to follow after the Lord. Below is the summary of the series:

Today, many Jesus loving, Bible quoting, youth group going students head to a strange new land called their “College years” (a land without parents, where students can do whatever they want) and they trade in the things of God for the things of the World. In the Old Testament, Daniel was in the same situation. He was in a strange new land without parents yet, he Resolved to continue to walk with the Lord. In this series, your students will discover what Daniel did to be faithful in a foreign land. My hope is that this series will give students a goal, plan, and desire to live for God throughout junior high, high school and college.
This series explores Daniel 1:1-8:

Week 1: RESOLVE to honor God

Week 2: RESOLVE to be connected to others

Week 3: RESOLVE to make God’s Word your standard

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If you are a pastor or youth pastor looking for a new sermon series, I would highly recommend that you check this series out! It is well written and packed with God’s truth!

You can find it here: http://downloadyouthministry.com/shop/resolve-3-week-series/

Check it out! 🙂

Our Houston Adventure

This past weekend Emmanuel was asked to be the guest speaker for First Methodist Houston’s Disciple Now and I had the privilege of going with him! The drive to Houston was absolutely beautiful especially when we got around the Brenham area. There were so many beautiful fields with wild flowers and pretty houses. It was really peaceful and we enjoyed getting to spend some time together!

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On our way we stopped at Buc-ees. If you’ve never heard of Buc-ees it’s basically just a gas station but their store’s are super nice and are unique to Texas. This one had a gift shop, a grocery store, a candy store and was also a gas station.

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Finally after a long drive we made it to Houston. Driving downtown Houston was definitely an experience and a little bit crazy at times, but it was also beautiful at the same time. The church was right in the middle of it all with skyscrapers all around and the city train right next to the church. It was a beautiful church and we were excited to be there. Just to give you perspective, in the picture below, the church is on the far right and is the tan brick building.

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We loved getting to meet all the students and other small group leaders, as well as see an old friend. Emmanuel spoke 4 times throughout the weekend and did a fantastic job each time! I am so proud of him and honored to have him as my husband.

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God truly showed up and students lives were transformed. There were students who said that they were ready to step up and be leaders in their schools and students who found the Lord for the first time! It was such a blessing to be a part of such an awesome weekend!

While we were in Houston I also had the opportunity to see my sister, brother in law, and nephew. It is always fun to see them and I enjoyed getting to spend more time with my cute little nephew. He even showed me some of his new tricks! I also got to see their new house that they just bought! It was so pretty and they have already done so much to make it their own. I’m happy for them and their new adventure as home owners!

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The weekend went all too fast, but we had a great time being together and praising the Lord with students  in Houston!

If you are ever in need of a terrific guest speaker feel free to contact me, I know a guy! 😉

 

 

Life Lately

A lot has been happening around the Jimenez household! It seems that this time of year is always a little busy for us with the Holidays, Disciple Now, Community Activities, etc.. So I thought I’d give you a brief picture update of all that has been going on (pictures are more fun anyways).

To start off, my sister had her baby back in November. He is the cutest little guy and we are so blessed to have him in our family. Here he is along with his pretty mama.  He is so adorable and I can’t wait to see him again!
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During Christmas my whole family was able to get together and we all loved spending time with each other and our new nephew.
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Here are both of my wonderful nephews together! Nephews are the best!
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In February, we had our youth Disciple Now! Our speaker this year was former NFL Player and current youth pastor at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church , Daryl Jones. He did such a great job teaching the students the truth of the gospel! And as a bonus we got to meet his wife and baby! We were all so blessed to have them visit us.
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Next I wanted to just say how awesome our youth group is! We have the best students and we have been loving getting to hang out with them!
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In February, Emmanuel and I got to go to the High School Girls State Basketball Tournament in Austin along with my mom. It was a lot of fun and our girls did so good!
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While we were in Austin we decided to stop at a food trailer park and got chicken cones from Mighty Cone. If you’ve never been you should definitely check it out, they are so good!
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I know there is more I could post, but I will leave it at that. I will try to start being more regular with my posts since I know I’ve been slacking recently.
Also, just so you know there are a few more ideas, and dreams in the works over here that I’m sure I will fill you in at some point, but for now you can just imagine what they might be. 😉
Have a happy Tuesday!

From the rooftops I proclaim That I am Yours

I stumbled upon this video today and it is so good! These boys are truly talented and I love that they are using their talent for the Lord! Enjoy!

“Rooftops” by Jesus Culture

Here I am before You, falling in love and seeking Your truth
Knowing that Your perfect grace has brought me to this place
Because of You I freely live, my life to You, oh God, I give
So I stand before You, God
I lift my voice cause You set me free

So I shout out Your name, from the rooftops I proclaim
That I am Yours, I am Yours

All the good You’ve done for me, I lift up my hands for all to see
You’re the only one who brings me to my knees
To share this love across the earth, the beauty of Your holy worth
So I kneel before You, God
I lift my hands cause You set me free

So I shout out Your name, from the rooftops I proclaim
That I am Yours, I am Yours
All that I am, I place into Your loving hands
And I am Yours, I am Yours

Here I am, I stand, with arms wide open
To the One, the Son, the Everlasting God

Trunk or Treat

Last week our church hosted a “trunk or treat” for the community. We passed out candy as well as information about our church and showed the love of Christ to the community.  It was a lot of fun and it seemed to be a big hit!

The night before the event we threw our costumes together and they actually turned out pretty cute! We decided to go as minions and our dog Moses went as a Rubix cube.

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If you are ever looking for a quick and easy costume, a rubix cube is always an easy win. All you need is a box, craft paint, a paint brush , scissors and tape. For our dog we taped the box together then cut leg holes as well as a head hole.  We put tape around some of the curves to make them softer for our dogs legs. I then painted all the squares. It was super easy and everyone loved it!

Here’s an inside view of the box.

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Moses checking out his new costume!

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And finally, the cutest rubix cube ever!

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The Value of Discipline

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I’m typically not a big reader, but recently I have stumbled on some pretty good books. I just started reading “Disciplines of a Godly Woman” by Barbara Hughes and so far it is great! In reading the first chapter today, I was really challenged by it and thought I would share an excerpt with you in hopes that it will be as encouraging and challenging for you as it was for me.

         Years ago when I was in my early thirties and the busy, flabby mother of four, a friend and I made up our minds to get in shape and exercise a little physical discipline. We donned ratty old tennis shoes and weather beaten t-shirts and shorts and set out to run around the block. To our dismay, we made it only as far as the first corner, nearly fainting with that much exertion. But we didn’t give up. Every morning we tried again. The day we made it to the half-mile marker, we were so happy we celebrated with donuts! That morning workout eventually lengthened to three miles, then to five-always ending with the prize, a donut! We got fit, but we didn’t take it too seriously. We understood that some disciplines are more important than others.

           The apostle Paul links this idea of necessary training or discipline with the spiritual life. First Timothy 4:7 says, “Train yourself to be godly.” That word train is derived from the very ancient Greek word from which we get the English word gymnasium. By New Testament times it referred to exercise and training in general. In a sense, Paul is saying, “Gymnasticize yourself for the purpose of godliness.” He’s calling for a spiritual workout.

            It’s this spiritual workout that Paul deems so much more important than a morning jog around town. He goes on to say, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

            I’m nearly sixty now- a soft grandmother of sixteen youngsters. I don’t jog anymore, though I regularly make the most of my occasional bursts of energy by using the few pieces of high-tech exercise equipment stashed inour basement. The older I get, the more I understand Paul’s exercise priorities: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4: 16).

 After reading this I was challenged. Too often I focus on perfecting the things of this world, things that will some day pass away. Since I am a runner this hit home even more for me because when I think about jogging for 30 minutes I find that to be somewhat easy, yet when I try to daily spend 30 minutes reading God’s word I can at times find it challenging. While working out and running are good things, they are things that someday will fade away and when I am 60 + I’m sure working out and running will have much less importance to me. But how my relationship with the Lord is will matter greatly, because that is something that will last forever.

 Training can often be challenging, whether you are training for a marathon, a test, a game, etc… yet in the end, the training was worth it because of the end result you receive. The same is true about spiritual discipline and training…it will be hard at times and there may be days where you don’t want to do it, but in the end it will be completely worth it!

John Wesley once said:
O God, fill my soul with so entire a love of Thee that I may love nothing but for Thy sake and in subordination to Thy love. Give me grace to study Thy knowledge daily that the more I know Thee, the more I may love Thee. Create in me a zealous obedience to all Thy commands, a cheerful patience under all Thy chastisements, and a thankful resignation to all Thy disposals. Let it be the one business of my life to glorify Thee by every word of my tongue, by every work of my hand, by professing Thy truth, and by engaging all men, so far as in me lies, to glorify and love Thee.

 I too want this to be the cry of my heart! I don’t want to look back on my life and only remember the hours I spent training for races or wasting time doing things that don’t matter for eternity. Instead I hope and pray that at the end of my life I will see all the ways the Lord continually was moving in my life and how I was earnestly seeking Him with all that I am. But in order to have such results, it must start today.

 So I challenge you too…how is your relationship with the Lord? Are you giving your all to Him even when things are hard? Are you willing to discipline yourself for the sake of the cross?

Lord, draw my heart and draw the hearts of those who read this today. Make us more like You. Give us discipline and a desire for you Lord. And help us earnestly seek You with all that we are.

 **Excerpts were taken from the book “Disciplines of a Godly Woman” by Barbara Hughes. Check it out, it’s good!