Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Many of us desire, seek, pray "ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN". We want the power and reality of the Kingdom of God to come bursting into our present. Is this wrong? No. There is a reality in heaven going on that perhaps we should take some time to visit as the genocide of Christians is taking in the Middle East.
 Revelation 6: 9-11 tells us:

When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the people slaughtered because of God’s word and the testimony they had. They cried out with a loud voice: “Lord, the One who is holy and true, how long until You judge and avenge our blood from those who live on the earth?” 

Wait! There are souls under the altar crying, HOW LONG. They are crying for justice, crying for the day when King Jesus will right every wrong. These are Kingdom prayers and as our Lord taught "ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN, let us cry HOW LONG LORD until you avenge the blood of those who live on earth. 

As history repeats itself our view and understanding of the Body of Christ must expand beyond our church walls, preferences, language, nationalities,tribalisms and church tradition. We must remind ourselves of the words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians; there is one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all. As part of that one let us discern the times and seasons, mourn with those who mourn, praying... How long, Lord?

In Him,

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Three Back Approach

As I sat in church last Sunday I learned about a concept which my pastor called the "Three Back Approach".

The "Three Back Approach" is  used by the casual to dedicated historian, to sift through facts of a story and vet it for it's authenticity.  

Take, for example, your parents. How much do you know of their story? Do you know where they met? Where were they were born? Interesting experiences and challenges they faced along life’s way? Chances are most people know a fair amount of their parent’s history. For our purposes this would be considered: 1 Back

Now consider your grandparents. Again you may know a fair amount of their story as well; but now you are relying on more obscure details and facts. Your information may still be valid but harder to target. This is considered: 2 Back

Finally, what about your great grandparents. For most of us these facts are very hard to pin down. We may know names and places they lived but then details are certainly lost to us. This is considered: 3 Back.

The purpose of the three back approach is not to undercut our past stories. Rather, the principle serves as a guidepost as to how we can evaluate the genuine nature of what we are being told and evaluate it for truth and further application. 

As my Pastor expounded on the "Three Back Approach" Psalm 145  came to mind. The Psalmist said:

One generation shall praise your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. (vs.3)
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
and tell of your power,
  to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.(vs.11-12)
As the Psalm swirled in my mind and spirit I realized my children have a rich heritage in the Lord. Had I intentionally sat them down and have them listen to what their grandparents and parents had seen, heard and experienced with God.   Did they know their blessed lives where attributed to the Godly lifestyle of their forefathers? The Psalmist said one generation shall praise your works to another. We love the WORD in our home and it is continually on our lips. However in Psalm 145 we find a different kind of teaching and it's through praise.  What's the difference you ask?  The Hebrew word for praise is halah which means:


Returning  to the "Three Back Approach" it's entire purpose is to keep the facts accurate for the future generation. 
Last Sunday after lunch I looked in our living room  and saw multiple generations sitting and talking. As I glanced around the room I realized there was a generation who had witnessed first hand a mighty move of God.  It was then I stopped our causal conversation and asked the older generation to tell the younger generation what they had witnessed and experienced first hand in their lives. As they began telling their stories you could have heard a pin drop on the floor. From the youngest around 7 to the oldest in their late forties we heard the first account stories of healing, salvation and restoration. What started out as one story quickly evolved into many stories that magnified the glorious name of Jesus. Best of all, after these stories we decided to conclude our time with praise and thanksgiving for HIS faithfulness in every generation. From the youngest in the room we all lifted our hands to God  and exalted  His Name.

As this week passed I couldn't stop thinking about our Sunday afternoon.  The stories were as full of life as they were when the events happened. Why? The scriptures tell us that the Lord inhabits the praises of His people.  Stories full of power that satisfied the soul.

 I think we can all agree we love old stories that make us happy, remind us of better times and give us hope. There is no better story than the life woven in the tapestry of Jesus Christ. I would encourage all of you to share your stories with the next generation and continue to RAVE about the MIGHTY WORKS of OUR GOD.

In Him, 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The only Q that matters... GOD Q...

For the past several months I have been immersed in an intense leadership development program hosted by my employer. I have been introduced to topics I have never heard about. One of the most interesting topics I have studied thus far is Emotional Intelligence(EQ). In essence emotional intelligence means having a clear understanding of our emotions, not to mention the emotions of others, and an understanding of how our emotions influence our lives. To truly improve our emotional intelligence (EQ) there are four intelligence skills one needs to understand and take action.  One of those skills is self awareness.

Since I have been in the pursuit to live a life, where to live is  to worship and to worship is to live, I have used some of these secular nuggets to become aware of my soul, spirit and journey with the LORD.
Is it possible that many of us live unaware of the errors inside of us? Do we realize how many of our actions are manipulated by our desire to be accepted by others? Are we aware of fears that influence our decisions? The truth is most of us are ignorant of how we appear outwardly to others.  How much more are we unaware of how we are inwardly towards the Lord.

The good news is those who are IN HIM have the Holy Spirit and the Word to bring awareness of the hidden foes. The scriptures tell us the heart is more deceitful than all else. The Psalmist said,

Who can discern his lapses and errors? Clear me from hidden [and unconscious] faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then shall I be blameless, and I shall be innocent and clear of great transgression. Psalm 19;12-13

As humans we barely know the world around us how much more do we know our own soul. What's the remedy?  Search after God's heart as we do we will be searching our own. As we find Him we discover who we are in Him.  As we pursue the Lord we can repeat the words of King David:

Search me thoroughly, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
What can be more important than seeking God? Join me in taking a day, a month and run after Him once you find HIM don't let him go.

Monday, February 24, 2014


As a Pastors wife I found myself trying to be who I thought everyone wanted me to be. The more I tried the more epic the fail was. Consequently, I fell into a depression that without God's divine intervention I would have landed in a mental institution. The criticism, isolation, superficial relationships got so overwhelming I found myself sick in body, soul and spirit. Some where along the journey I had placed a mask on, in an attempt to hide the pain. Unbeknownst to me, this MASK which was intended to protect me became my worse enemy. Grief became my idol and I ceased to allow the Presence of God to direct every aspect of my life. Suddenly, I found myself having mental conversations that sounded like this:

  • Why should I pray for those people? They don't care about me or my family?
  • Why doesn't anyone ever ask me, How are you?
  • Why doesn't so and so, pick up the phone and call me?
  • I deserve to have (fill in the blank)
  • Why can't I just say what I want like everyone else? 
  • I am done, why should I sacrifice my time and energy for people who don't care.
 The MASK led me to bondage! Then without warning a woman I had never seen, nor heard started to surface. The woman whose greatest joy was praying for souls, cooking meals, supporting her husband, loving her church, was gone. 

Unexpectedly, like Ebenezer Scrooge I was visited by the "ghost of Christmas past" standing in front of the mirror I looked at myself and said, "Lord, who is that?" I was lost, confused, tired and broken. Dreadfully afraid and absolutely desperate I uttered the dangerous prayer, "Lord, you alone can un-Mask  the ME in me."

By God's grace I started to undergo a divine radical cosmetic  surgery. I began to experience Jesus from a holistic perspective. Every area of my life began to be invaded with the Holy Spirit's resurrecting power.  It is what the Bible calls dying to the old self; with Him, through Him and for Him. 

One thing is certain this is a lifetime journey. Jesus desires for us to be healed, He knows we all have broken relationships and are broken within ourselves. The key to this healing is being filled with the Holy Spirit and seeking to dwell in His Presence. 

We God's creatures have an overwhelming need to be unmasked, the real (ME) is deeply buried in layers of self that can only be resurrected by the hand of the Almighty. I found freedom in the realization that my identity is in God alone and no longer seeking it in a role (pastor wife, professional career,etc).

Un-Masked by Jesus, I find myself willing to chose joy, mercy, peace and above all love for God and love for others.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

from the table... TO HIS TABLE

One of my greatest pleasures in life is cooking a meal in my little kitchen and seeing my family and friends enjoy. I remember as a little girl spending time in my grandmother's kitchen learning to make rice and beans. Of course there was no food network back then and my Abuelita (grandmother) didn't measure a thing. She would say "you put a little of this and a little of that and a whole lot of love into it." It was there at her table I learned what it meant to be hospitable and generous. We would eat to sound of beautiful ballads playing in the background as she told me the stories of yesteryear. 

Not only was my grandmother's kitchen a place of love so was my mother's. I am convinced that on the great day of the Lord my  mother will fully come to understand how many lives were touched by her love meals. Many times I asked myself why did she make so much food, there were only four of us in the house. Looking back she would make enough for anyone who would "happen to stop by." It was and still is her language of love. 

 Much of my life formation was done around a table. When I started dating my husband I was invited to their home for lunch after church. It was there, a very different type of meal was offered. Yes, there was food but I learned much about the scriptures, the move of the Spirit of God, to love and serve God with all my being. Their table though designed to satisfy natural hunger truly satisfied my spiritual need. 

What do these two tables have in common? Fast forward twenty years,  I looked in my kitchen as I was preparing our Thanksgiving meal and felt lead to set a different table for my guests. I decided we would first  partake of the table of the LORD. There we gathered in family to experience the sacred communal reality of communion. 

Just as my grandmother,mother and mother in-law demonstrated their hospitality at the table, so we came to the table of the Lord to bear witness as one family, of the radical hospitality of Jesus. During this act of worship, our attention was focused on HIM who was present in our midst as we gave Him thanks. As we partook I realized we were renacting an ancient play that will be seen once again in the marriage supper of the Lamb. 

As we celebrate the Christmas season there will be many beautiful tables set but none more loving and life changing then the table of the LORD.


Saturday, November 2, 2013


There is a running joke in my family that I have a crush on theologian NT Wright. Anytime we are in a conversation and a certain truth is mentioned I interject and say "NT Wright says"...It causes quite a stir, eyes start rolling and the laughing begins. All joking aside I don't have a crush on NT Wright but it wasn't until I heard NT lecture on the book of Romans that my understanding of the message of the Kingdom of God started to invade my stinking thinking. 

Let me explain, as he expounded on the scriptures, I had read over and over again, it was like dots being connected and suddenly I started to see the totality of the message of the Kingdom of God.  My spirit leaped within me and when I heard statements like  "the new age had broken into the midst of this present age" and "we are called to be truly human after the model of the Messiah",it was as if I was born again, again. 

The Kingdom message has radically reordered how I see myself, unbelievers, the body of Christ and specifically all that God has done in and through Jesus Christ. I have laughed, cried and mourned as my life is being challenged with the most extraordinary message in the world.

I recently had a conversation with a friend on the topics of forgiveness, restoration, God's judgement and justices. As I sat and listened statements like these were said:

  • I will forgive but won't forget.
  • I believe in reconciliation but not necessarily the need for restoration.
  • I am not the judge and God will judge those who have hurt me.
 I found myself agreeing with each of these statements. After all, I had said and heard them throughout the years.  
Hours after the conversation Kingdom thoughts started to invade my "stinking thinking".  "What if God's judgement is executed by an outpouring of love? Jeannette, will you be happy? What if justice comes in the way of blessing? What if Kingdom reconciliation is only seen in restoration? What if true forgiveness means covering over an offense as if it has never happened? 

Suddenly, I remembered the story of Jonah he went to preach reconciliation to Nineveh, they repented and God restored them. Then the Bible says, it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. What? The man of God brings the word of reconciliation and it angers him to see God's justice. God, challenged Jonah's stinking thinking. You can read it here;
You may be saying this is Bible 101. Perhaps it is but honestly ask yourself have you wrestled with these kinds of questions? If God is creator and judge of all and we are His people, are we not to reflect his true character. Is HE not calling us to live in the  present as it will be when the Kingdom is fully restored? I believe He is and as we allow the Kingdom to burst into our lives, families and communities of faith we are proclaiming the story of our God.


Sunday, October 6, 2013


Years ago there was a young man in our fellowship that decided he was going to venture out and start his own business. Throughout his being a part of our community my husband had encouraged and supported this man in his endeavors. In spite of the fact that others considered him socially awkward my husband saw a man in need of affirmation and fellowship. One day this man came to our home offering his professional services and after some consideration we had to decline. The moment my husband let him know we were not interested his demeanor changed. Obviously offended he decided he was going to tell my husband what he really thought of our community and his pastor. Sitting in our living room he looked straight at my husband and said, "When are you going to realize you are delusional?"  He went on to question the call of God, in my husbands life, and "exhorted" him to give up.

Why did this man think my husband was delusional? Was it because our community was not in the hundreds or thousands? Could it be my husband did not fit a certain mold for today's pastor or leader? Was it that my husband never managed a successful business or served as an executive in a fortune 500 company? It was obvious his words, spoken from hurt and rejection, were meant to humiliate.

Since the month of October is pastor appreciation month I thought I would give a big shout out to all the men and women who have been told they are "delusional" for following the call of God. 

Just this past week I was in Kalamazoo attending a conference with pastors from around the country. During one of the breakout sessions I heard the stories of men and women who have given their lives to serve God and others. As these servant-leaders shared their stories, with authenticity and transparency, tears starting streaming down my face. But, why was I crying? In each story there was a common denominator that spoke to a deep place within my spirit. What touched me were the hearts of shepherds who are willing to give anything and everything to answer the call of God.

Story after story I heard the familiar burden of true shepherds. These are the unknown soldiers, serving in the trenches, who cannot abandon the call to serve. Many of these men ,according to western church thinking, fall into the category of delusional, unsuccessful, ill-equipped and failures. But I would suggest the following:

  • These are the men who have prayed and pleaded, before God's throne, for our families. Would any person selflessly do this?
  • These are the men who study God's Word so, above all else, our souls prosper. Is that not worth more than gold? 
  • These are the men, with the eyes of a shepherd, who see us wandering before we realize we have strayed. Are not their words of counsel and wisdom worth paying attention too? 
  • These are the men who in spite of adversity, disappointment and hardship endure to the end. Shouldn't we encourage and support them along the way?
  • These are the men who give of their own limited funds to help you pay your bills when your in need. Did you know that?
  • These are the men that rejoice with you when your child is born, you get a job promotion and your children marry. Ask yourself, when was the last time you rejoiced for your pastor?
  • These are the men who will admit they are far from perfect and, at times, will make imperfect decisions. Are they not worthy of our mercy and patience? 
  • These are the men that, when the phone rings at 5:30 am, are willing to get out of bed and meet with you as well as minister to your need. Would we do the same?
  • These are the men that, when they are on vacation, will always answer your distressing phone call and never let it go to voice mail. Are we on call 24-7?
  • These are the men that sacrifice their lives, and family needs, for a salary that rarely covers their living expenses. Would we do the same?