Monthly Archives: August 2013

My new ebook (free PDF this week!) — Take Courage: Choosing faith on my journey of fear

Take-CourageLR

Take Courage: Choosing faith on my journey of fear is a concise, two-part ebook offering hope to those, who like me, have found themselves in the grip of anxiety, adrenal fatigue, and trauma-related issues.

In the first section I share glimpses of eight drama-filled years in Haiti preceding my own personal crisis and in the second I offer insights for making spiritual, mental, and physical choices of courage.

If you are a jenniferebenhack.com blog subscriber, you’ve heard bits and pieces of my story. Download the ebook for the bigger picture!

Find Take Courage: Choosing faith on my journey of fear for your Kindle at amazon.com for $2.99

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Sign up for my newsletter and receive the PDF version of Take Courage for free this week!

Send an email to subscribetojenniferebenhack@gmail.com and you will receive the link to download your PDF copy of the ebook!

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(…But, remember to send me an email at subscribetojenniferebenhack@gmail.com to receive your free PDF!)

Listening well to the ones I love most

Howwellareyoulistening

So I try hard to be a good listener…

but about the time I twist my arm to pat myself on the back, I realize…

I’m tuning out the ones I love most.

I’m at TheBetterMom today, talking about how well I really listen. Join me!

Growing weary of the faith walk?

James1

My husband and I have been comparing notes on how sometimes circumstances seem to conspire against us just to prove to us what big babies we are… basically the opposite of James 1:2-4.

Honestly, I rarely consider it pure joy to have my faith tested.

It’s painful realizing how pathetic I can be.

I look back and marvel at all I learned — yesterday, last year, seven years ago…

not to mention dependence through thirty-one years of knowing the Great Provider.

How I wish every lesson had “stuck.”

But far too often, I forget. I forget that God came through… sustained… healed… provided.

I look at circumstances, look at tomorrow, throw my hands onto my head and wail, “Oh no, what are we going to do?”

I am “of little faith” just like the Israelites in the desert and Peter walking on the waves.

Sometimes I grow weary of trust — being dependent on Him for everything. I grow tired of constantly needing help, needing guidance, needing to be taught.

I prefer control.

I’d rather teach than learn. I’d like to dust my hands off and say, “Well, that was challenging, but well worth it. Now, let me help you out!”

But the minute I let myself think I’ve “arrived,” I stumble over my own immaturity. In trying so hard to know it all, I find myself wallowing in even deeper neediness.

It’s far from enjoyable — being needy, learning, learning, learning.

It’s humbling. It’s uncomfortable, even frightening. I long to be competent.

But then I would miss the whole thing — the whole point of my walk with Jesus:

My neediness and His sufficiency.

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick… For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Matthew 9:12 NIV
I’m a sick, needy sinner.

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…”
Titus 3:5 NKJV
I couldn’t save myself.

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19 NASB
All my provision comes from Him.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me… For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

My strength comes from Him.

So again, I acknowledge that I need Jesus… desperately.

I may have learned much in the past, but I admit that I need to learn again today.

Circumstances will continue to conspire against me (under God’s watchful, sovereign eye), reminding me that I am needy; but, I as I confess my weakness, I embrace His power.

Through Him, I can “count it all joy.” I can be made “mature and complete.”

________

Are you having a difficult time counting it all joy? What are you learning about trusting God?

“I was the lion” — When God doesn’t show up

If only God would show up…

… when we’re scared to death.
… when sickness hits.
… when our hearts are breaking.
… when ends won’t meet.
… when we’re alone.

… when everything is as wrong as it could possibly be.

DCF 1.0

From The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis:

“I can’t see you at all,” said Shasta, after staring very hard. Then (for an even more terrifying idea had come into his head) he said, almost in a scream, “You’re not – not something dead, are you? Oh please – please do go away. What harm have I ever done you? Oh, I am the unluckiest person in the whole world!”

Once more he felt the warm breath of the Thing on his hand and face.

“There,” it said, “that is not the breath of a ghost. Tell me your sorrows.”

Shasta was a little reassured by the breath: so he told how he had never known his real father or mother and had been brought up sternly by the fisherman. And then he told the story of his escape and how they were chased by lions and forced to swim for their lives; and of all their dangers in Tashbaan and about his night among the tombs and how the beasts howled at him out of the desert. And he told about the heat and thirst of their desert journey and how they were almost at their goal when another lion chased them and wounded Aravis. And also, how very long it was since he had had anything to eat.

“I do not call you unfortunate,” said the Large Voice.

“Don’t you think it was bad luck to meet so many lions?” said Shasta.

“There was only one lion,” said the Voice.

“What on earth do you mean? I’ve just told you there were at least two the first night, and – ”

“There was only one: but he was swift of foot.”

“How do you know?”

“I was the lion.” And as Shasta gaped with open mouth and said nothing, the Voice continued. “I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.”

_____

We are so confident in our judgments. We find it so easy to declare “good” and “bad,” “fortunate” and “unfortunate.” Yet we have no idea the painstaking precision with which our steps are guided.

Though all is dark, though we don’t feel His presence, He is here. He writes every word in the story of our lives — beautifully, sovereignly working good through all that our enemy intends for evil.

Romans828

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

… No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,

will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:35, 37-39

What if the “lions” we cower from are all “One Lion”… One who is working for our good?

Will we trust Him?

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.”

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Hebrews 10:35-11:1

Though it’s hard to recognize, He is showing up. He is working… for our good.

**In what “unfortunate” events have you seen God work in your life?

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