Today in Butler, Missouri, we had a sudden thunderstorm, like I used to experience living in Georgia and Florida. In the south, bad thunderstorms happen very suddenly. There's lightning, thunder, and hard rain. And just as suddenly, it stops. Afterward, everything looks so fresh: the emerald green grass, the tree's leaves, and the beautiful flowers. In today's podcast, I share from Acts 3:19-21 NIV. God wants you to repent of your sin so that you can experience times of refreshing: the abundant life Jesus purchased for you on the Cross and promises you.
Today my husband Ray, a paramedic at the hospital in town, texted me that a woman I met several years ago at church and connected with in heart, was in the hospital and had asked for me to come pray for her. She had gotten involved with the wrong crowd and gone on the wrong path. She had been diagnosed by the doctor with a deadly disease, besides her ongoing battle with drug addiction and using meth. The Bible verse God gave me as I was praying at home for her was John 5:6, NLT: "When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” I visited this woman today in the hospital, gave her a card and a little gift, and asked her this challenging question. Then I prayed for her miraculous healing and deliverance. Do you want to be well? Whatever is troubling you right now--a marriage on the verge of divorce, a troubled relationship with your kids, parents, in-laws, coworkers, boss, or someone else, financial struggles, health issues, losing your home or car, your failing ministry--Jesus can do an instant miracle as He did for this man, who laid by the pool of Bethesda for 38 long years. Jesus can do this for my friend in the hospital today, too. Ask God in faith for your miracle today.
There is a true story of a woman, Brenda, who was scared to climb a mountain, but she faced her fears, put on her gear, and began climbing. During a breather time, her safety rope snapped against her eye and popped out her contact lens. She looked everywhere, but it was nowhere to be found. Brenda, feeling desperate and upset, prayed to God to help her find it so she could see clearly. When her group came down the trail on the cliff, a new party of climbers were starting up the mountain and one called, "Hey you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?" This in itself would have been amazing, but the climber found an ant carrying it on its back across the rock. Brenda's father was a cartoonist and when she told him the story, he drew a cute cartoon of an ant carrying a contact lens with these words: "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You." It would probably do some of us a lot of good to occasionally say, "God, I don't know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will." God wants us to have faith and trust Him, but He also expects legwork--our practical actions to carry out His purpose and to answer our prayers. In this purpose, Beth delves into how fatih without works is dead.
As 2016 wraps up and you and I enter the new year 2017, I encourage you to ask yourself this question: what did you learn? As speaker/author Joyce Meyer shared in her Winter 2017 magazine, "Teaching moments help us move forward." In this podcast, I share 5 lessons from the cherry tree to help you move forward and beautifully blossom in the coming year. Cherry trees are hard to grow and thrive, only blossom for one to two weeks, but once they bloom they are beautiful. I recently installed a new theme at my website at BethJones.net. The picture on the home page is of a cherry tree. In 2017 let's you and me blossom and thrive through the power of Christ.
Do you live an on-purpose, intentional life? This week I was struggling with some things in my life and my sister Maria encouraged me with two words that God had given her recently: "on purpose." We have to do things on purpose to improve our lives--living intentionally--such as our health or money management. What can you do to make things even a little better in your life? We can't control other people, but we can control ourselves. She encouraged me, and I encourage you, to identify 3 things that have improved over the last month. Then identify 3 things I can do---and you can do---to improve things even a little. Live your life on purpose for God.
What are you struggling with in your life right now? Shame, fear, anger, depression, hopelessness, worry, stress, unforgiveness, jealousy, pride, blame, bitterness, envy, unbelief? Maybe the holidays aren't a good and happy time for you and your family like they are for others. You may have experienced the death of a loved one, are divorced or separated, feel all alone, you and your spouse fight during the holidays, or you're a single mom who can't afford to buy her kids nice gifts like you'd love to do. Whatever your struggle is, Jesus is the answer. Today's podcast is on Luke 13:10-17, NLT, the woman who was bent over whom Jesus healed with one word and touch.
I saw a sign in town the other day that said, "Hustle and heart set you apart," and it really resonated with me. The Bible has much to say about the word "work," as well as the word "heart." I believe God is the one who puts those big dreams in your heart and mine, but He also expects us to do the legwork--to "hustle" and get it done. The word "hustle" according to the Urban Dictionary online means "anything you need to do to make money" or "to be aggressive in business or other financial dealings, to move or work in a quick and energetic way." We can take a lesson from the ant. Proverbs 6:6, NLT, says, "Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise!" Have you ever seen a lazy ant? Ants don't stay still; they are always busy working. They know winter is coming and they store up during the summer to be ready. Today's podcast encourages you to get your hustle on and to fulfill the dreams and goals in your heart.
Today is Halloween, a big day for many businesses in the United States. Many people believe it's an innocent, fun day for children (and adults!) to dress up, get candy, and go to parties with friends. But it's much more than that. In this podcast, I speak on the origins of Halloween. I also share what God has to say about fear. Fear is the opposite of faith. God doesn't want us afraid, but to trust in and have faith in Him. In this episode, I share about my upcoming, beautiful butterfly-cover book, Metamorphosis: Transformed from Fear to Faith, which will be available soon as an eBook for your Kindle at Amazon.
Today at church our pastor Jeff taught on the importance of discipleship: Paul discipling Timothy, who later became his co-worker in sharing the gospel of Christ. I was challenged by this sermon: who is discipling me right now in my life and who am I discipling? The word "disciple" means "citizen" in the original Greek language, and of course for us believers that means a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven. It also means "follower." The Scripture I shared in today's podcast was Colossians 2:7, NLT: "Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on Him." Today ask yourself, as I did, who is discipling you and who are you discipling? Who is pouring into you by teaching you God's word, praying for you, and keeping you accountable with your sins? Who are you pouring into sharing your faith, praying for him or her, and keeping them accountable? As believers in Christ, let your roots grow down deep into Christ.
One of the questions that I've been asked most frequently as a speaker, author, wife, and mom is, "Beth, how do you write your books so fast?" I don't feel that I do, but my Facebook friend Maria Newcomer did and she asked me this question recently on Facebook. I'm about to publish my 13th book on Amazon, which is my new fiction book, Afflicted: A woman missionary kidnapped by terrorists in the jungles of Africa. The way that I've written all my books is the "butt in chair" method: sitting my butt down in the chair and writing! In this episode of "The Question Box" podcast, I answer Maria's question, sharing my best tips as an Amazon Best Seller author. To be first to hear about my new book, Afflicted, sign up with your name and email address at BethJones.net. To learn more about my other books at Amazon, visit my Amazon Author page at http://www.amazon.com/author/bethmjones