Closing a chapter and starting a new one!

Have you ever looked back and reflected on the many different jobs you may have had or for some it may have been just one or two jobs.  Tonight I have been reflecting on the many different jobs I have had and the lasting friendships that have come from those jobs.
So, aside from babysitting and helping my brother out with the newspaper route my first job was working at McDonald’s on Lincolnway   Bob Newcomer asked if I would like a job there and as they say the rest is HISTORY!  I loved working there when most teens were out at football games on Friday night’s I was working at McDonald’s have the BEST time ever!!!!!!  I learned so much from the job!  McDonald’s is a whole another post!  Some of the greatest time’s were spent with Holly, Sly, P.J., David, Josh, Nick and many others!  I am grateful for that job!
Next up after high school I went to work for United Airline’s in reservations!  I was so excited because I could not yet be a flight attendant!  I enjoyed this job but did not do a great job of keeping in contact with friends from there.  I worked there just about a year and quit because I wanted to counsel at Camp Adventure for ONE week!  Ya’ll I was crazy!  I quiet a great job to counsel at jr. high church camp but I HAVE NOT REGRETS!!!!
Once I returned from church camp it was on to find a new job!  I do believe I worked between McDonald’s again, Wal-Mart and Knollwood Country club as a lifeguard!  This did not last too long as in August of 1998 or 1999 I can’t remember exactly I went to work for United Express aka UFS at the airport in South Bend! That was a fun job as well!  I still stay in contact with Donna!  I LOVED working with Donna!  Such a sweet and gentle spirit!  We survived the Y2K and returned in the new millinum!  Delta aka COMAIR had opening’s as they were expanding and away I went down a few spaces down at the aiport to the Delta counter!  I worked a mix of shifts over the years there and I am still maintain contact with a few from there such as Larry, Chris, and Mark! I will never forget one Christmas we had an oversold flight by 4-6 and no one was budging!  I remember asking for $150 then $200 in vouchers.  I got one taker!  Come on people we are not going ANYWHERE until the flight was down to just 50 passengers!  I asked my supervisor if I could go up to $250 he said “yes”.  I blurted out $350 or $400 and got a whole slew of people!!!  My supervisor then had to honor that and figure out a way to award that amount since $200 was our MAXIMUM we were allowed to give in travel vouchers!  We had our people though!!!! These people made me laugh and laugh and laugh or maybe I made them think I was crazy and I just laughed at myself!  I am not sure which but we had fun!  Then I moved to Iowa where I did many odd jobs. We moved there in October of 2001 and I worked at the small grocery store from 2001 to 2003 just before Lily was born.  Then I worked at a local nursing home 3rd shift and that was not easy with a nursing newborn at home.  So, I stopped that for awhile then in August of 2004 I went to work Mayflower Nursing Home in Grinnell.  I then went on to have Timmy and William!  Then we moved to Fowler, IN where I worked at the local grocery store.  We moved to Shirley where I began working again in October 2012 at Sallie Mae.  I jumped in ready to be back in the work force again!  After many different life events today ended a short time there.  Although I AM BEYOND EXCITED to NEVER have to “bring current” a student loan again!!!! I WILL miss the friendships made!  I pray that the friendships made will continue.  As I told my friends today as we drove home, I will miss the laughter that we all shared but alas I now have a new audience to make laugh and doing something I was wired to do!

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Church!

Why do you go to church?  
Do you go to church because you HAVE to?
Do you go to church because you WANT to?
Do you go to church out of OBLIGATION?
Do you go to church out of RITUAL?
Why exactly do you go to church?
As I was driving to church today this very thought crossed my mind!  We live in the land of the free.  We have the choice to go to church!  For many years I went to church because I HAD to not because I wanted to.  My heart was filled with hurt and anger!  I was hurt by the church.  I was angry because I was the Pastor’s wife and it was my duty to be at church.  It was not in a place I wanted to be and it showed.  
Growing up as a child I went to church because that was how I was raised!  My parents took us!  I loved going to church because I got to see my friends and Miss Shirley told the most awesome stories of Wee Mouse and his adventures in the bible!  Loved it!  Then the church split and from the time I was in jr. high until I graduated my parent’s church hoped!  We were fairly consistent between two churches but it still was not where I WANTED to be!  So, the day came when I graduated from high school and I got to go to church WHERE I WANTED to go and that was GCC!!!!!  I was so excited to be able to go and grow in my relationship with God and my relationships with friends!  I am sure that I would still be at GCC if I had not met Josh and moved to Iowa and back to Indiana again.  You see when you are in the ministry you don’t have an option to go to another church for spiritual growth.  You go where you husband is at.  
This past Winter I finally had the opportunity to find my new church home.  I found Madison Park Church of God in Anderson and I just LOVE it!  It is the perfect fit for me!  It may not be the perfect fit for you!  Find a church that works for you!  I love this church because I am able to use my gifts and serve!  Today for example I got to serve as an usher and serve communion!  I get the biggest smile on my face when I get to look someone in the eye and say “This is THE BODY OF CHRIST broken for you!”  Nothing more awesome than that!!!!!!!
I know many people go to church out of obligation or ritual because that is what Mom or Dad or Grandma or Grandpa did.  Why don’t you go because you are going to meet the almighty maker of heaven and earth at CHURCH!!!! YOU ARE GOING TO HIS HOUSE!!!!!! GO BECAUSE YOU WANT TO!!!! SERVE BECAUSE YOU WANT TO!!!!!!
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Reflection

As I reflect on the tragedy of today and the threats that we are faced with as a nation I think back to the days when I was a child and there were no worries about a bomber hurting innocent people while watching a marathon!  I think back to the days that my mom sent me to school and I walked with a group of friends!  I think back to the days when we went to school and did not have the worries that we parents face today.  That maybe this could be the last time we kiss our child on the forehead as they go out the door.  I have lived  through so many different tragedies in America. The OKC bombing, sitting in 10th grade Accounting, 9/11 watching in a living room, Columbine, senseless children shot in Connecticut   There are many more!  In the past few years and yes I am getting a little political here but with Obama at the helm of our nation you don’t see him praying as often on t.v., or going to a church service on t.v. after a tragic event such as the Boston Marathon bombing.  We would watch as the Bush’s lead our country in prayer and encouraged us to find a church service to attend to remember those who were lost.  Every day America is seeing a lesser need to rely on the only thing that can sustain us during these time’s of tragedy and that is JESUS CHRIST!  Obama is not going to give you strength, your financial portfolio is not going to give you the strength, your relationship with another person is not going to give you strength only CHRIST!  In 1 Timothy 4:1-5 CEV it states


God’s Spirit clearly says that in the last days many people will turn from their faith. They will be fooled by evil spirits and by teachings that come from demons. They will also be fooled by the false claims of liars whose consciences have lost all feeling. These liars will forbid people to marry or to eat certain foods. But God created these foods to be eaten with thankful hearts by his followers who know the truth. Everything God created is good. And if you give thanks, you may eat anything.What God has said and your prayer will make it fit to eat.”


Friends after what I saw on t.v. today if you don’t think we are living in the end times I am not sure what will!  I have never believed in predicting the end times nor will I ever believe that but there’s verse after verse after verse that directs us to believe as Christians that these are the last days.  Live them well and if you don’t know Christ seek a relationship with him!

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Growing IN Christ!

This past week has been a CHALLENGE but I am grateful that God is molding me to be more Christ like!  The enemy was alive and well and wanted to use my current situation against me!  I am grateful for my mom who just said “Jennifer, is it worth it? Are THEY worth your energy?”  NOPE!!!!!  The old Jennifer would have gone after everyone involved with a vengeance immediately and pay for my wrath for weeks later. I am not saying that I did not get angry because I DID and what was being said about me HURT!  The new Jennifer calmed down, did not attack anyone!  Instead I went to the scripture!  Let me tell you that if you get in a situation where you want to ring someone’s neck GO TO THE WORD of God!!!! There is so much power in that!  But to be able to do this you have to be WILLING to allow God to do HIS job!  You have to be mature in who you are to be able to allow Christ do HIS work!!!!

Here are some verses that spoke to me!
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of ONE body. ‘In your anger do NOT sin’. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4: 25-27 NIV

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 NIV

“Consider it PURE JOY, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, NOT LACKING ANYTHING!” James 1:2-4

I don’t know about you but the last verse I don’t want to consider my trials “PURE JOY!”  If you are living and breathing I am sure that there have been many times where you have stomped your foot, threw a fit and had a pity party!  I know I have!!!  But it is right there “PURE JOY!”  Will you work on considering your trials PURE JOY?  I know I am!

As a matter of fact this past week I was chatting with one of my good friends and she said Jenny despite everything you are going through you still have JOY and you still find time to encourage others!  When we are in the midst of the trial we may not see our JOY in the situation but others do!  PRAISE GOD!

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