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Q&A with Kurt Parker

God recently gave me an opportunity to reach a special niche of students. A group who after stepping off the graduation platform may not be exactly sure where their next step is. A student population who after moving away to college returns home to find unfamiliar territory. This group of 18 to 23 year olds has formed as a community seeking purpose together. I have the privilege of helping grow this community and inviting others like them to join. Listen now to the voices of one of our own…

It’s no secret that many college aged students find themselves questioning what this next season should look like. We recently graduated from high school where parental supervision, a structured academic path and solid friendships were all provided at no extra cost. However, now all those built in guarantees seem to have expired. Now we have to face many decisions that people say will shape the rest of our lives. Let’s be real, it’s slightly terrifying. What happens if we make a wrong decision? How do we know what God’s will is for our lives regarding a career/major? What if our parents don’t support or agree with our decisions? What if we aren’t in college? Can God still use that?

This past tuesday, at the second official meeting of Eighteentwentythree,  Kurt Parker and his wife, Danita, opened up their home for tacos and a Q&A session.    What started out as…

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Forgot to grow your faith?

Where is your faith in the fourth hour? Have you left it alone – like a plant unwatered – and your faith is dead or dying?

Life changes the minute you realize all the random ups and downs of your every day are intentionally designed around you… Continue reading Forgot to grow your faith?

“I’m going away to college” (and not going away from my faith)

When friends and peers around us have so much impact on the direction of our day and life, how do we go off into a totally brand new social scene and keep what’s most important to us? (Our faith.)

First of all, you have been called, chosen, and set apart. Bought at price and designed with a special unique purpose in mind that only you can fulfill. Do not forget that. You are like special ops for God, sent out deciphering His daily mission for you. [read and repeat until you actually believe this.]

Regardless of your time in church, your family’s faith or the myriad of Bible study groups you have or have not been to by now, it doesn’t matter. God has already equipped you for the purpose He has for you, and this ‘away’ time is part of His big plan and design to bring along your next steps of faith as a believer. Keep on following Him! Don’t start acting like He’s not there anymore; live believing He has planned such great things for this phase of your life, you certainly can’t miss out on hearing what He has up His sleeve. Now is the time to lean in!

“But I’m all alone and there are no Christian groups here to meet with and find good friends.” You are not alone. Christ said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” The vanishing of Christian entities around you should not diminish your faith, in fact it should drive your to your knees to find out more about this faith you have and how to build it on a daily basis with God’s help. This is not the first or last time you will feel this way. This is the time, however, that you must decide…”when all Christian influence around me fails…what am I really made of?” You decide right now with every day of your life, what your faith actually means to you. Recognize that this is one of Satan’s most common strategies to distract and deceive you from walking with God; recognize it and start to formulate and build a strategy against it.

Create a “go-to” plan for whenever you feel this way so you have already determined (like young Daniel) what you will do in this kind of crisis. It may go something like this: “When I feel lonely, alone or completely devoid of support in my faith I will…” and insert your battle ready plan. While God reveals to you what that looks like for you, here is some advice:

3 Pieces of Advice

#1. Hold out and be super picky about who your “friends” are.

Do not resort to ‘just okay’ or bad for you friends just because you haven’t met a Christian yet. You are lowering your standards for whom you allow to speak into your life out of desperation and “need to belong.” You belong to Jesus. Please do not do this; take this need and concern to Him in prayer. He already knows it and wants you to grow by asking Him to fulfill it. So refuse those early offers that may seem tempting in a desert of “no one to hang out with” and continue walking forward in faith with Jesus only. You will see God do something simply amazing and you will treasure and hold that friend dear longer than you will know. Stay valuable and rise above. The cream always rises to the top and God will send relief your way as soon as you submit it to Him. Trust me.

#2. Start the kind of Bible study or Christian group you want to be in.

“But there’s no groups here for me to attend to grow.” Start one. You may be the only Jesus that campus will ever see or know. You may be sent to a school overrun by the enemy; a dark place where sin abounds. You willingness and light will shine brighter than ever and bring all He has called to Him through you. Even if you don’t know what to say, do or study. Just speak of your Christian meeting or Bible study confidently in faith knowing that God has already provided for it. Your figurative ‘ram’ is already caught in the bushes. So yes, I mean YOU. You start one. It will keep your walk accountable and blast open those doors of having a good reason to speak of the hope that lives in you, and other more weak, shy or timid Christians will come forth inspired by your strength. Yes, you may feel like the solo American sniper, so rise to the occasion, and see what God can do.

#3. Meet with your Commander every day in prayer over this mission.

You are on mission. And your task is to carry the light. You need to begin praying every day for yourself: the real, tangible things that you need. Things that hurt; things you want to see happen. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to pray for every lost orphan in the world. Start close to home. Start with you. Get hooked on the reality of prayer by asking God clearly and repeatedly every day for  your needs in life. He wants to hear you ask and He even more wants to give them! This will begin a good habit for you and allow you to see prayer answered more readily than ceasing war in the middle east. Once you and God are on daily talking terms He’s going to reveal a whole lot more to you. I won’t need to tell you when to break out the prayer journal to gather needs and requests of others, you will be a field warrior battling on your knees for your fellow troops in this fight between light and darkness.


If you follow these simple pieces of advice, God will see, hear and come to your rescue. In His own perfect time and way. You will keep yourself from being stained by the world (avoiding aligning with the peer pressure of those who do not revere Him); you will put works to your faith to keep it alive (faith without works is dead), and  you will use the solitude and silence to grow your most powerful times alone with the Almighty. A bed-rock lesson of faith that  you will thrive off of every day the rest of your life. You will see the power of the resurrection flow through your prayers and your efforts will begin to move mountains. God will reveal to the “Supernatural Super-Hero”  you become when you let His strength flow through you where you are.

First, the Way

As I begin my FIRST journey…a journey where traveling with intention requires making several stops; a movement meant to pause often; a kind of travel with greater quality of journey than with…

Source: First, the Way

February Challenge: FIRST

God has laid on my heart a challenge for February, to keep Him foremost in everything. 28 days of concentrated effort to acknowledge “God First” before I begin to do anything.

Would you like to join me? The cost is the decision of your will to say YES, God First! And the cost of time – moments of your day you give back to Him as the Holy Spirit prompts and reminds you. It is (not so) fun to see every time we have to make self second!

God First.

Why do I hold up my first finger?

Because I need physical reminders to help me. Holding up my first finger reminds me I am trying to keep Him first. I use it as a moment (“one minute please”) to pause and say, “God You first in this right now.” And then I move forward. I use it like  a “time out” for me, to SHUSH me when I need to quiet my life and bow my heart and mind and will to God first. I also use it as a reminder to point to Him. God is God and I am not. He is number One and I serve and obey Him. I defer to Him, He knows what’s best for me, He also knows more than I do about my present situation.

So, I am going to try, before I begin every new thing I do, to stop, pause, point to God and say, “God first.”

Try it. Your first waking thoughts. The moment you begin preparing food in the kitchen. As you leave the house to travel. As you begin to drive your car. When you enter the store to shop. As you pull up into car line. As you enter your workplace. As you greet your kids in the morning. As you sit down to work at your desk. God first.

See what happens. Take a picture. Share moments. There will be many lessons learned, these next 28 days.

I hope you join me. I would like to be encouraged by you, as I hold myself to this challenge and to all who subscribe here at http://www.stillness.me

See you…after God first.

“God FIRST in my work”

God, let me check with you first, I need to schedule some appointments for my job. I’d like to schedule them today and for this week. I do (need) to complete these appointments for my January…

Source: “God FIRST in my work”

What do you want from me Lord?

I sit in silence, in early morning. The hum of electric appliances playing on my ears. And I wait. I have woken seeking more from Him; desiring to feed myself with more of His Word, from somewhere …

Source: What do you want from me Lord?

Journey through Joshua in January

What does a book, a cord and a rock have to do with each other? Find out in the book of Joshua this January!

Join Jenny’s upcoming Bible study “Journey through Joshua in January”!

Like a gym membership for your soul, pay $30 for access to the closed FB group for the month of January. (that’s $1 / day for some growth and accountability to start off your new year!)

Go to https://www.facebook.com/dailystillness/  to find the event

And complete your payment at paypal.me/jennymaass and Jenny will add you to the group.

Your payment will secure a month’s access to Jenny’s guided Stillness videos, daily scripture readings through Joshua, Morning Moments LIVE teaching videos, and scripture study notes.

Follow @dailystillness  and Thank you for your support of Jenny’s ministry and your feedback is welcomed!

 

January daily reading schedule through the book of Joshua will be posted soon!

 

What do you reap in your life today?

Go ahead. Step out into the fields of your life…your field of relationships, your emotional garden, your orchard of character… what are you reaping?

“What do you mean?”

I mean, what do you see…today…in your life?

Fields of healthy friends growing unhindered? or fields neglected and tangled with weeds and thorns. Neglected relationships and lives tangled with confusion, division and negativity.

Do you see a delicate beautiful garden, emotions patient and disciplined, tended and cared for? or do you see dry emotionless soil, unable to yield a colorful blossom?

Do you walk through the ripe, low hanging fruit of your character? Sweet and nourishing to those passing by? or is your character withered, lacking nutrients and bitter to those who encouter you?

I mean what is shown there is what was sown there.

Continue reading What do you reap in your life today?

One Week Since REVEAL

It’s been one week since our Reveal retreat weekend – and I don’t know about you but the enemy wanted me to forget, move on, get distracted, return to normal bury it status and slip away from the power of the weekend unscathed.

By His grace I can still feel the power… the moment of pushing through the pain… the release..the relief. And the surrounding of free, joy filled Christian sisters on all sides.
It was such beautiful weekend. I am so glad I shared it with you all who came!

Naturally, I cannot tell you what your next step is into healing and recovery no more than you can tell me mine. But what I can tell you is this:
God loves us enough to not leave us where we are. So no matter *what you do, or decide, or determine your future will be… agree with God that we cannot remain unchanged.

Don’t be unchanged…be unchained!

These days can be the hardest… moving back into life as a different person; dealing with truth outside of yourself. Being the honest, freed person God calls you to be; dropping the mask and the pretense, and making real, true, life-altering change.

Tell someone else. Ask for accountability. Put a celebrate recovery meeting on your calendar just so you have a designated time committed to working on you.* Make that counseling appointment and bravely step toward the amazing life God holds for you!

He has not held out on you; He wants only the best for you; but He cannot clothe you until you come out of hiding.

So where are you? God is calling. He is calling out for His children with whom He once walked and talked freely and without shame. He is calling *you*…out of isolation and to Himself.

“I love you!” He screams.

Come unto Me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Please let me know anything I can do or pray for.
Always,
Jenny