Leaves

For a few hours the other day I raked leaves at my father’s house.  About 30 minutes into my task, memories began to flood my mind, and I started praising God. Years ago, when I had emphysema I constantly prayed to keep breathing. As I bent to scoop up a pile of leaves I took a deep effortless breath and once again thanked God for miraculously healing me.

When I began to rake up another pile of leaves, I thought to myself, “Wow! My shoulder isn’t hurting!” In 2012, my doctor and physical therapist had given me little hope for a full recovery. I now have full range of motion and no pain.

“God, I don’t thank you enough,” I voiced. “I take so much for granted!”

As I kept raking and bagging leaves, I remembered other situations where God had met me in hard times. I continued to thank Him: “Thank you, Lord, you have done so much for me! Thank you, Lord, for healing my body and my heart. Thank you for your provision and faithfulness. Thank you for restoring my mind. Thank you for restoring relationships. Thank for freedom from fear. You are amazing!”

Raking leaves was no longer a chore. It was a privilege. With each stroke of the rake, choruses of thanks rose from my lips. I continued to give thanks and praise the Lord for the next two hours. Sixteen bags of leaves later, I set down my rake and thought to myself, “Wow! God really has brought good out of everything the enemy intended for evil. In that moment, I was fully aware that it’s only because of His mercy and love that I have truly been able to leave my past behind!

What a mighty God we serve!

May you be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie

“Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21, NLT).

“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable” (Psalm 145:3, ESV).

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV

 

 

The Wrong Shoes

Since I love God’s creation, anytime I get near the water or the woods I become like a little kid. My hike in Maryland a few years ago was no exception. I was walking along, chatting with a friend having a good old time when my childlike heart became like a homing beacon and spied a fallen log positioned a few feet off the ground. So I left the trail and climbed aboard. I wanted to accept the challenge and walk across, but after taking into consideration that I was wearing my rolled bottom toning shoes, I almost dismounted. As I took the first few steps I even stopped and said, “I probably shouldn’t be doing this in these shoes.” Then I took a few more steps again saying, “I probably shouldn’t be doing this in these shoes.” After almost losing my balance while taking a third set of steps I turned to my friend and exclaimed, “These shoes are not even! I shouldn’t be wearing them!” At that point, I should have turned around, but instead, I continued to move uphill putting one foot in front of the other until I victoriously made it to the other side.

Relishing in my accomplishment, I didn’t take into consideration that the log went up hill, and I was now 3 feet above the ground. I also didn’t think about the consequences of leaping while wearing shoes with curved soles. So when I raised my hands in victory and dismounted, my foot rolled and I crashed to the ground, landing hard on my side.

I’m not sure which initially felt worse, the searing shoulder pain, or my wounded pride. But the fall tore ligaments and dislocated my clavicle, humerus, and radius, keeping me in pain and preventing me from using my arm for almost a year. I could have avoided the suffering had I not been wearing the wrong shoes.

In Ephesians 6 Paul instructs us to put on the full armor of God so we can withstand the enemy’s attacks. Along with naming the helmet, the breastplate, the sword, the shield and the belt, he includes the feet…the shoes of peace. Albert Barnes’ notes on the Bible mentions that Roman soldier’s sandals often had nails or spikes to make them hold firm in the ground. I might have avoided the pain had I been wearing a pair of those babies!

I wish I could say my weekend fall was the only time I have forged ahead while wearing the wrong shoes, but the truth of the matter is that there have been many times in my life when instead of wearing the sure-footed shoes of peace, I have stepped out tackling challenges in shoes of self-sufficiency, pride, wrong understanding, fragmented identity, or fear. The result has always been the same—a season of pain.

So with a whole selection of wrong shoes, what are the characteristics of the right shoes—the shoes of peace?

Peace of knowing God-Hebrews 11:6 informs us that we have to have faith in order to please God. I believe that faith is equivalent to trust. Since we can’t trust someone we don’t know, spending time talking with God and reading His Word is paramount to getting to know, not only His character but His heart.

Peace of knowing my identity-Psalm 139 reveals that God knows us intimately. No child can relax in the presence of a disapproving father, but that is exactly how we will feel if we don’t understand our value. The more we understand how much God loves us and approves of us, the more we can rest in His care; even in the midst of trials and tribulations.

Peace of having a thankful heart-Philippians 4:6-8 tells us that along with prayer and petition if we present our requests to God with thanksgiving, our hearts and minds will be guarded in Christ Jesus.

Peace of getting right with God-James 4:4-10 reveals the struggle we have when we are choosing sin. The more we choose our sin, the more we will view God as our enemy. You and I cannot have peace when we are fighting God. When we know how much God loves us and has our best interest in mind we can easily surrender our battles to Him and trust in His plans for us.

Peace of reconciliation- Jesus speaks on the importance of reconciliation in Matthew 5:23-24 “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (NKJV). Unforgiveness robs us of our peace. Extending forgiveness, whether it be received or rejected, restores our peace.

The peace of the good news-Jesus is our peace (Ephesians 2:14). And He is the good news! You and I cannot be at peace and be equipped to fight spiritual battles if we are more concerned about pleasing others than we are about being faithful to God. How can we share the “good news” (gospel) if we are more concerned about our reputations than another’s salvation?

The peace of resting in God’s presence-“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV). Resting in God’s perfect love for ourselves and others empowers us and keeps our minds sound (focused on Jesus and His truth.)

When you and I shod our feet with the shoes of knowing God (through Jesus Christ), our identity, thankfulness, reconciliation with God and man, purpose, and resting in His presence, then we can confidently step forward or leap. Wearing the right shoes, even in precarious situations, will help us win battles and receive the blessings God has for us. Thank you, Lord, for such wonderful shoes!

May you be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie Boatright

 

A Written Proposal

Contributed by James Bennett

I started a letter to God in 2013 with thanksgiving and praise as I had been taught in my discipleship class. As I wrote, the Spirit of the Lord came upon me. His presence was closer and more evident than any time before, and different than any time since. The atmosphere was sweet and romantic, yet very intense. My body responded. I was weeping uncontrollably. Fallen tears soaked the pages and spotted my jeans. Struggling to breath, I resolved to write. What began as a letter of request had dramatically turned into the most honest love letter I had ever written. My heart broke open, and feelings I had never known before gushed out. Because it was a love letter, I will keep details personal between God and me. However, I will share that repeatedly, and in various ways, I expressed how I wanted God’s companionship in all areas of my life. I asked that He free me from the worry of lack of money. I longed for stability.

The original purpose of the letter was to request what I wanted in the following year. I was going to ask that God grant me more income for financial stability, a permanent home, and a wife. Yet, I was so moved by love that I forgot to include the details.

Actually I did not forget anything. I was intensely focused on what was important, and the small details were not. In fact, those types of details that you and I have all planned in life are really solutions on how to live without God. As I wrote, I was so moved by God’s love that I could only request that He meet my needs.

The following year, 2014, did not look like I thought it would, however, all of my needs were met. I took an $80,000 decrease in pay and could not plan 2 meals ahead. Instead of bringing me more income to free me from financial worries, God took income out of the equation altogether. He made it very easy for me to witness His provision, so that I could not miss where true provision comes from. He did this repeatedly over and over that year. I no longer worry about money. That does not mean I have an abundance of money. In fact, there are often times where I lack what is needed. Worry in these times has been replaced with a sense of wellbeing.

The beginning of 2014 started with me owning my own home, and ended with me having to sell it. God showed me how my home is not in what surrounds me, but what is in me. The Kingdom of Heaven is my home and home is where the heart is. No matter where I am living physically, I have access to this home that transforms the atmosphere around me.

I longed for companionship, yet I did not get married that year. I felt more alone that year than any year before. Like with income, God removed companionship with people from the equation so that I could clearly see Him. That year my relationship with Him grew deeper and deeper, as I imagine it would for newlyweds that relocate to a new city with no money.

The experience I shared with the Lord when writing that letter in 2013 changed me. I had never known Him to be so real. He later revealed to me that the letter was a proposal from my heart to His. I proposed to be married to Him and His ways forever. I also proposed to build a life together. This may not have been my intentions when starting the letter, but when we are in His presence our desires are purified. The solutions I originally sought after were displaced by the only true solution, the love of God.

 

 

Songs

When my oldest grandson was four my daughter called so he could sing me one of the songs he had just made up. But when I asked him to sing for me, there was silence.

“Rhett,” I coaxed, “are you going to sing me one of your songs?”

After a little sigh, he answered in a serious tone, “I cin’t, Mimi. My songs are all gone!”

At the time, I couldn’t keep from laughing, but later in the day, as his childish reply rolled over in my mind, I began to think about times when I felt as if my songs were all gone.

Last week I attended a Bible study where the leader had asked those in attendance to share their favorite songs and the stories behind them.

As the music played and songs were sung, often, karaoke style, my brothers and sisters in Christ shared their stories and their hearts. Many of the behind the song accounts were about how God had met them in dark and desperate times—times when their songs were all gone.

I fought back tears as hearts were exposed revealing how,in a single moment, the goodness of God had collided with the ugliness of life through music and worship. Hope invaded hopeless as tragedy, grief, despair, and desperation were shifted to peace, comfort, acceptance, and adoration.

These beautiful life-changing encounters inspired me, challenged me, and reminded me of how God had met me so powerfully during times when my songs were all gone.

I couldn’t help but think about when Paul and Silas were imprisoned. Being beaten and thrown into a dark, smelly cell with your feet shackled would definitely be a moment to quit singing. In the midst of their pain and prison the songs of their own understanding might have been silenced, but instead of shutting down they shouted up and exchanged their sorrows and suffering for new songs—God’s songs. In Acts 16: 25-26 the Bible reads About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose” (NIV).

Wow! Talk about a heavenly concert! Praises were lifted, foundations were shifted and ALL the prisoners were unshackled.

The other night, as I heard the testimonies of my sweet friends, praises were lifted, foundations were shifted, and shackles were broken. We were once again reminded of how our loving heavenly father invades our worlds and moves our hearts with His songs, especially when our songs are all gone.

I don’t know your current circumstances. But God does! No matter what you are going through, be assured that He has a new song just for you.

May you be abundantly blessed as your heart is lifted and your eyes are shifted to the one that adores you and sings over you!

Jeannie Boatright

The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17 NIV).

 

The Open Door

While attending an international convention, my mother and her friends were returning to their room after dinner. After exiting the elevator, they began to walk down the hall toward their room when a flurried looking woman stopped them and hesitantly asked, “Is this the way to the parking garage?”

“We don’t think so.” a few of the women replied.  “Boy is she lost!” one of the ladies commented as the woman hurried past them.

As they approached their room they noticed the door was ajar. They cautiously peeked inside. Thankfully, there was no one in their room. But unfortunately, their belongings were gone. Even the air freshener they had placed in the bathroom, had disappeared. Being an optimistic soul with rock solid faith, Mom immediately began to share a testimony. It was about a woman who had purposed to be thankful while suffering in a prison camp.

Mom then began to thank Jesus for everything she could think of. “Thank you, Jesus, that my Bible was in my purse! We thank you for this trial because we know that you will make something good out of it.”

As Mom continued to “practice thankfulness,” One of her friends called security.

“But this is room 308!” her friend kept saying. “Not 108” All of the sudden, several of the women rushed to the door and read the room number. Much to their surprise, they were in the wrong room. They all began to laugh uproariously.

The day I read in Mom’s journal about her wrong room encounter I had been praying about some major decisions. Even though the story was entertaining to me, I couldn’t get my mind off of the open door.

Sometimes you and I will find ourselves standing in the hallway of life in the midst of many open doors. Just because a door is open doesn’t necessarily mean we are supposed to enter the room. It might not be our door or even our floor, for that matter. We can have the right hearts and still be easily distracted or deceived into entering a wrong room, especially if we are wounded or lacking knowledge of the Word or the understanding of healthy relationships.

Anytime we enter a room that brings us confusion and isn’t full of the God’s promises for us, instead of standing firm and practicing thankfulness while ignoring the obvious, we should immediately pray for wisdom. Sometimes God will cement our feet in an unfamiliar place in order to grow us and bring us revelation. But more often than not, He will lead us to take a quick exit so He can direct us to the room He has prepared especially for us. The room that sits behind the right door on the right floor.

Be abundantly Blessed!

Jeannie Boatright

“For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33 NKJV).

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5 NKJV).

” Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path” (Psalms 119:105).

Be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie B.

I Didn’t Choose This!

Yesterday I talked to a woman whose life has been turned upside down because of her husband’s recent choices. It’s easy to get discouraged or even feel hopeless when another person’s choices change the course of what you and I thought our futures (or our loved one’s futures) would look like. For many years, I thought the harmful or hurtful decisions of others determined my destiny. This messed up thinking gave unhealthy people way too much control in my life. It also kept me from trusting God with my future.

A few years ago I was upset and discouraged over some choices a loved one had made that affected me. As I was praying for comfort and wisdom the following came to mind:

What do we do when other’s choices change our lives?

Be Real-Sometimes we think being godly means we can’t have negative emotions. I have learned the hard way that not acknowledging anger keeps us from working through issues and healing. Tell God all about your anger, hurts, and disappointments. Be real with Him. He can take it! He knows what is in your heart.  He wants to talk with you, walk with you through the storm, and heal your wounds.

Believe-You and I need to always be aware that God loves us and has our best interests in mind. Believing in God’s unconditional love will open us up to hear His heart and to receive all He has for us.

Recognize-You and I need to know that although someone else’s choices might have caused a shift, and things might not look the way we thought they would, the plans and purposes (destinies) God has for us as individuals have not changed.

Shift our eyes-Instead of staring at the messes, you and I need to set our sights on the Lord, the maker of Heaven and earth. Keeping our eyes on Him will keep the enemy from tormenting our minds.

Remember-When we are hurting, it’s easy to feel as if we are victims. Although circumstances resulting from another’s choices might bring suffering, those choices are also an opportunity for growth. In the midst of suffering, you and I must always remember that through Christ we are “more than conquerors.” (Romans 8:37).

Forgive-Holding onto unforgiveness will only hinder us. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). You and I must not allow him to steal from us more than he already has. We all sin, but some choices have greater consequences and cause more pain than others. Most wrong choices are often a result of deeper heart issues. When we are hurting, it’s hard for us to see someone else’s pain. As we give the ones who have hurt us to God and pray for the healing of their hearts, our hearts will receive healing as well.

Take responsibility-Sometimes we might have been part of the problem that resulted in choices others have made that have hurt us. While it is important to own up to our behaviours so we can continue to grow, it is equally important not to take responsibility for another’s choices.

Align-When you and I have been hurt by someone’s choices it’s easy to make agreement with lies—lies about God, ourselves, and others. Praying, studying the Word, and receiving wise counsel from other believers, displaces the lies and aligns us with truth.

Grieve-When choices bring loss, we have to grieve the loss so we can go on. Some losses take longer to work through. God understands. You and I mustn’t be hard on ourselves for grieving. Denial can keep the door open for the enemy to continue to rob from us. The Lord draws close to the broken-hearted. Let Him comfort you.

Release-Although it might not feel like it, God is in control. Release your burdens to Him and stand on the promises in His Word. He will bring good out of what the enemy has intended for evil.

Give-When our worlds feel as though they are falling apart it’s easy to make everything about us. Giving of ourselves helps us to be thankful, see more clearly, and reminds us that we have purpose.

Walk in peace-When you and I feel controlled or helpless it is easy to say or do things that we will later regret. Continuous fellowship with God quiets our spirits and gives us peace that passes understanding.

Life can be hard, but God is good. If you are walking through the valley of betrayal, abandonment, or loss because of another’s choices, remember that the Lord is with you. If you put your faith and trust in Him, He will restore what has been stolen from you. Others may hurt you, but they do not have power over you. Always keep in mind that the only person who can keep you from fulfilling the call of God on your life is you!

Be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie Boatright

Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them (NLT).

Jeremiah 29:11 “‘For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.’ ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you’, says the Lord. ‘I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes'” (NLT).

Revelation 3:8 “I know all things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close….” (NLT).

“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

 

Cantaloupe Story

 

When my friend Karisma shared the following story with me I was in awe of God’s individual love for His children. I pray it will bless you as it has blessed me.

One morning, after spending time with the Lord, I was stirred with the desire to bless a couple I knew. I was excited at the possibility to do something special for them from the Lord. Since I felt that it should be food of some sort, I went to the supermarket. As I walked down the aisles, I eagerly inquired of the Lord what it was that I was supposed to get. I thought, “I want to give them the best because that’s what they deserve…an expensive steak perhaps. Only the best.”

As I continued walking up and down the aisles, I kept asking the Lord what He wanted me to give them. Then I heard this answer: “Cantaloupe.”

I thought, “Cantaloupe? That can’t be right. Cantaloupe is not expensive. Besides, I don’t even know how to pick a ripe cantaloupe. I must have heard wrong or something.” So I continued walking down the meat aisle and again asked the Lord what He wanted me to give to them.

Again I heard, “Cantaloupe.” So I thought ‘okay’ and walked over the to the produce section and one by one began picking up cantaloupes and smelling and thumping them, all the while telling the Lord that I did not know which fruit to pick and asking Him if He was sure about this. As I was smelling and thumping about the 6th fruit I heard, “This one.” So I put said fruit in the basket and walked through the store asking the Lord, “What else?”

I didn’t think that just one thing would do so I thought, “Now…I should get that steak or something along that line.” But instead, I heard the Lord tell me to get vanilla ice cream. My response to Him was, “What?!? You have GOT to be kidding! Vanilla ice cream?” But I knew that I had heard the Lord, so I walked to the freezer section and stared at the vast choices of vanilla ice cream. There were about 5 or 6 different flavors of just vanilla ice cream!

I stood in front of those glass freezer doors and asked, “Which one?” His reply came, “Vanilla Bean.” I opened the door and pulled out a gallon of Vanilla Bean ice cream, put it in the basket and wondered, ‘Okay…now for the steaks.” “That’s all,” said the Lord. I sighed and said, “Okay,” and headed to the checkout counter.

It seemed strange and a little sparse to me, but that is what the Lord wanted to give to this couple. Immediately, I drove over to their house and knocked on the door. When Margie answered, I handed the bags to her and sheepishly said, “This is from the Lord,” and quickly made my exit. I am quite shy by nature and I was hoping and praying that I hadn’t completely blundered what the Lord wanted to do.

About an hour or so later I received a call from Margie. “How did you know?” I was taken by surprise and replied, “What? How did I know what?” She said, “How did you know that it is Ernest’s birthday?” I was stunned. “It’s Ernest’s birthday? I didn’t know,” I replied. Margie went on to explain, “This morning Ernest was spending time with the Lord and told Him that all he wanted for his birthday was cantaloupe and vanilla ice cream. He didn’t have the money himself to purchase it, but that was what he wanted.”

As she told this to me, I was filled with such a wide array of emotions. In fact, I am tearing up right now as I am recanting the story. Jesus is so good…from giving very specifically, to being blessed, to knowing how and why I was used, and so many things in between! I left that conversation praising the Lord and being so humbled and thankful that He would use me in such a specific way!

Contributed by Karisma Luke

You’re Somebody

This morning I was reminiscing about a particular afternoon when God gave me a revelation of His love. I was sitting at work with the Dean Martin’s song You’re Nobody till Somebody Loves You blaring over the speakers in the lobby. As I thought about some of my past relationships I felt rejection and pain. By the end of the first stanza, I was wallowing self-pitty. “What is wrooonnng with me? Will someone eeveeer love me?!” my heart cried.

I began to think about how my hunger to be loved and valued had led me into deception and caused me much heartache. Then, Suddenly,  without even realizing what I was saying, I blurted out, “No! That song is a lie!”

The Lord then sweetly spoke to my heart, “Somebody does love you. I love you!”

Although Dean continued to sing in the background, I was hearing new lyrics: You’re Somebody Because I have Always Loved You

Most of us have experienced times when we have felt unnoticed, unheard, or unloved. If you can relate, I pray that as you read the following verses, you will be reminded of how much God loves you.

You’re Somebody Because I have Always Loved You

You’re somebody because I have always loved you.

You’re somebody because I have always cared.

You may not think you are lovable or worthy,

But I’m crazy about you and have so much love to share.

 

The world is not the same and you can change it.

Let my love flow through you everywhere you go.

You’re somebody because I’ve always loved you.

So find someone with whom you can share my love.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NIV).

                        Be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie Boatright

 

 

The Ark and the Dove

It’s been over two years since God gave me the vision for this website. I was lying in bed one morning planning my day when the Lord told me to stand up and raise my hands in the air and declare victory. As soon as I did, I saw a picture in my mind of my eldest daughter and 4 of my friends who had experienced victories in their lives, doing the same. In the vision, they were standing on the bayfront with broken handcuffs on their wrists celebrating what God had done. When I asked the Lord why only five would be in the picture, He reminded me that 5 was the number of grace.

A few weeks later, our little band of believers was shivering by the water waiting for the sun to rise. After taking off their coats and posing for a few pictures, one of them commented, “You know we love you, Jeannie!”. I smiled. Yes, they definitely loved me.

Once my son-in-law, who had been the photographer, e-mailed me the pictures I figured I would have a website up and running within a few weeks. I figured wrong. It’s not that I didn’t have help. My son-in-law actually set up a site for me off of a private server. There were just a lot of complications in other areas of my life, and I didn’t have peace about moving forward. During the next couple of years, I worked on my books, taught a Bible study, took care of family members, and travelled around the country a bit. I tried to move forward with the vision God had given me, part of which was making short inspiration videos to post on the site, but the doors slammed shut. That is when, God, once again, reminded me of the ark and the dove.

In Genesis, Noah sent out a dove to see if the land was ready to be inhabited. “But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself” (8:9NKJV).

Many years ago, God had used this scripture to speak to me about trusting His timing. When God gives us a dream we need to put it out there and release it. If nothing comes from it, we are to draw it back and keep it close to our hearts and rest in Him until some time passes. Then we are to release it again.

“And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark. Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. So he waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove, which did not return again to him anymore”(Genesis 10-12 KJV).

Noah released the dove three times before it did not come back. Sometimes we need to release our dreams more than once. If they come back to us unfulfilled it is because the land is not ready. God will prepare the land of our hearts and the land of our circumstances, as well as the hearts of others, to not only receive our dreams but to bring them to pass.

Last week, everything started coming together for this site. My spirit was stirred to write again, and God has positioned people to help me. It looks like it’s time for the dove to fly away and go and make a home in the land.

If you have a dream that you have released, only have it come back to you, rest in God’s presence and wait. God is preparing the land for you. Rest in His love and be assured that, in His time, He will bring to pass what He has placed in your heart.

May you be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie Boatright

Picture of Noah and ark saved from freechristianimages.org

About This Website

The purpose of this website is to glorify God and bring freedom to others through personal and shared testimonies.

On this website, I will be sharing personal testimonies, scriptural insights, and short videos in order to encourage others to draw closer to God and walk in freedom. At times, I will also post testimonies and encouragement from other contributors. If you have a personal testimony you would like to share please email it to me at truthrejoices@gmail.com or from the contact page.

 

Why I Started this Site

Some people seem to be born with an understanding of God’s love. Others are swept into His embrace by a single wave of revelation. Then there are people like me who have had to have a jillion experiences, from rain drops to sledgehammers, to finally get it: “Wow! God! You really do love me!”

For years, I tried to be a good, loving 1 Corinthians 13 kind of Christian. But no matter how much I strived to be patient, kind, gentle, forgiving, long suffering, and humble, I always fell short. I figured if I just tried harder I could succeed at this thing called love. Unfortunately, my efforts and misguided attempts to be more loving, and to be loved by God, set my children and myself up to be victims instead of victors.

God met me in a powerful way in a hospital room when I was in college, and He has continued to show up in my life in incredible ways. But no matter how many God encounters I experienced, I could not accept His love. Part of the reason was because in wracking my brain as to how to love the Corinthians 13 way I somehow missed verse 6: “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth” (NIV).

Because of fear and shame I had assigned evil attributes to God. The way I was treated in my relationships just reaffirmed to me His disapproval of me. The truth was I didn’t know His character or His heart. Thankfully, He loved me enough to reveal both.

Surprisingly, the season during which God revealed His heart to me the most, was when the conditional love I believed in would have disqualified me—my divorce. For years I had tried to serve God, not only in ministry opportunities, but by staying in a destructive marriage. When there was nothing else I could do to keep everything together, I raged against Him for deceiving me. In reality, He was freeing me. The more I fought against Him; the more He fought for me, until I finally surrendered my works mentality and received what He had been offering me from the beginning—His incredible heart of unconditional love.

As I experienced new facets of God’s love, He began to displace the lies that I had believed for so long with His amazing truths. The One who saved me from my sins would now save me from deception, fears, and the enabling ways that were destroying my loved ones and me, eventually leading me into my purpose which is teaching others about God’s love and their true identities through, writing, speaking, and now this website.