Who Defines Fabulous?

Written by Jackie Tinkler

Somewhere we have come up with the notion that we have to be explosively beautiful and entertaining 24/7 in order for people to want to friend us. Just take a look at the everyday chatter on Facebook or Instagram to see what and who is getting all of the world’s attention. Endless destination photos, clever chatter, and trendy culture fill our hearts with envy and a feeling that we just might be well, boring.

I recently had somewhat of a known public figure friend me on Facebook and personally like my comments. I was thrilled! Until I realized they could see my feed too and you guessed it…I felt like I didn’t have enough interesting content to hob nob with such a person. Really Jackie?

It seems everyday life is not enough anymore for us or anyone else. I get it, and I’m guilty of vacillating between the extremes of “ordinary” and “somewhat fabulous” if I were being honest. I once introduced us, jokingly, in our couples small group as a “very exciting couple!” LOL! It got a laugh for sure! But what does God want people to see? And more importantly who defines fabulous?”

Why do we feel like we have to more than we are?

YOU ARE AWESOME JUST THE WAY YOU ARE WITHOUT FILTERS! I wonder what it would be like if we could take off the masks and be authentically brave with our love. That’s why we can say …

“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.: 2 Peter 1:3 NLT


“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT

Sister friend, God doesn’t do basic or boring. He does EXTRAORINARY, MAGNIFICENT, WONDERFUL, AMAZING ! AND…he happens to LOVE your posts that light up the world.

xxoo Jackie

Jackie Tinkler is the Co-Founder and Ministry Development Director of Something More and lives in Birmingham, Alabama. She has been ministering to women for 20 years as a Women’s Ministry Director, Counselor and Producer. She is co-writing a Women’s Small Group Study “Something Beautiful” and when not leading women to freedom can be found worshipping at Church of the Highlands, decorating her friends’ homes, enjoying time with her family and chocolate lab Nelson or sitting in the balcony at the Alabama Theatre.

Your Go To Plan When The Battle Is Real

Honestly, this is how it feels most days, like I’m battling something everyday. And we are, because whether we want to admit it or not, there is a battle for our faith (drum roll please.)

So yesterday was supposed to be a day of rest for me. Didn’t happen quite that way. I’m all about flexibility, but when hard challenges come on the same day, it takes some pretty strong self control to NOT feel consumed by the negativity and bad news.

I began to think ” Why are we always in a battle?” And God reminded me ” Jackie, for all the good things that are coming, there is a battle to be won.”

Do you ever feel like the battle you are presently engaging in, can’t possibly be won? Like you have been battling so long, you don’t have it in you to take this new challenge on and win? Listen, sister, I need you to hear me. That’s exactly what the enemy does…he wears us down so that we will give up the fight and give up on our faith and calling.

Let me remind you that the battle is real

“And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world! John 16:33 TPT

When the crazy is heavy and you find yourself tending for every shred of extra energy, you need a “go to ” plan for staying in the fight. So here they are!

  1. If you are physically tired and overwhelmed by the latest crisis, the first thing to do is get yourself to a place of clear thinking. Sleep, eat and get self care for your emotions before making any major decisions.
  2. Be armed with your “go to” scripture promises to remind yourself of God’s goodness to you.
  3. Pray more than you say. Stop repeating the negativity by constantly talking and thinking about it.
  4. Powerfully speak the word over your situation and get around someone or something encouraging FAST.
  5. Declare a drama free zone; no drama, gossip, idle chatter about the matter. Choose safe encouraging people to talk with.
  6. For the spirit of heaviness, put on the garment of praise. Begin to praise God for WHAT IS GOOD.
  7. Focus on just your next step.

I’m praying for you xxoo Jackie

Jackie Tinkler is the Co-Founder and Ministry Development Director of Something More and lives in Birmingham, Alabama. She has been ministering to women for 20 years as a Women’s Ministry Director, Counselor and Producer. She is co-writing a Women’s Small Group Study “Something Beautiful” and when not leading women to freedom can be found worshipping at Church of the Highlands, decorating her friends’ homes, enjoying time with her family and chocolate lab Nelson or sitting in the balcony at the Alabama Theatre.

Are You a Fruit Lover?

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Written by Jennifer Morrow

Even if you are not a lover of fruit, most people like at least some kind of fruit.  For most of us fruit lovers and enjoyers, here is perhaps why – fruit tastes good, and fruit is good for us.  Fruit is light, refreshing and naturally sweet too. For those who don’t like any kind of fruit, us fruit lovers wonder why?

So many things in the natural have a spiritual parallel. The same is true about the fruit of the Spirit – through which we experience or “taste” the goodness of God and remain in good spiritual health too.

While our dietary likes and dislikes may never be revealed, our spiritual appetites are always on display.

Oh how fruitful art thou fruit lover?

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT)

Are you full of the Spirit?

Walking in the Spirit?

Living by the Spirit?

Are your plans and decisions led by the Spirit?

Are you loving unconditionally?

Okay, so anything I share, be assured it’s just what I’m being reminded of personally too! I’m right there with all you other fruit lovers.

~The fruit of the Spirit are not spiritual gifts, but they are the character of Christ which only grow and develop by the Spirit of God alive in every born-again believer.~

Apart from staying close to Jesus and the presence of His Holy Spirit, our fruitful love will have limits, and much of these other 8 characteristics (or fruit of the Spirit) will be lacking or infrequently seen.  Oh, yes, we will still love especially those who love us and who are easy to love, and show our joyful expressions here and there, and maybe even be full of peace when we are asleep – haha – no, but seriously.

Jesus tells us He is the vine and we are the branches and, “...only those who remain in Me and I in them, will produce MUCH FRUIT...”

How can we…

… love unconditionally — even loving those who do not love us?

overflow with joy like a fountain — irregardless of the pains and sorrows of this life that none of us get a detour from?

walk in supernatural peace — in the midst of a world full of unrest, fear, chaos and confusion?

By becoming a fruit lover – a lover of the fruit of the Spirit of God that is.

As we remain diVINEly connected, our fruit loving hearts will overflow.

Really living in a consistent state of love, joy, and peace by God’s definition, cannot occur without remaining connected and submitted to the TRUE VINE, Jesus.  God’s Spirit is the root of all spiritual fruit.

We need to be filled fresh and anew daily with God’s presence in order for our fruitfulness to grow, flow and continually overflow.

Challenge yourself and take the fruitful test:

Am I LOVING?

(Mark 12:30-31; 1 Peter 4:8)

Am I JOYFUL?

(1 Thessalonians 5:16; Phil. 4:4)

Am I PEACEFUL?

(John 14:27; Isaiah 26:3)

Am I PATIENT with others?

(Luke 8:15; Romans 12:12)

Am I KIND to others?

(Proverbs 31:26; Ephesians 4:32)

Am I GOOD to others?

(Isaiah 1:17; Colossians 1:10)

Am I a FAITHFUL follower of Christ?

(Psalm 101:6; Luke 16:10)

Am I GENTLE with others?

(Matthew 11:29; Titus 3:2)

Am I SELF-CONTROLLED?

(1 Thessalonians 5:8; Titus 1:8)

Only The Holy Spirit consistently produces this kind of REALLY GOOD fruit.

🍎🍐🍊🍋🍉🍇🍓🍒🍑

I am certainly no theologian (far from it!), but I think these fruit of the Spirit are listed in order for a reason. If we haven’t first experienced the love of God, it is impossible to be filled with true joy and peace, and to consistently live out the characteristics of these other fruit of the Spirit.  Ephesians 5:18 reminds us to be continually filled with the Spirit.  We don’t just ask God for forgiveness, receive His forgiveness and saving grace and the indwelling presence of His Spirit, and then never need to be filled again.

God is LOVE, and He is the source of all LOVE, JOY, and PEACE.  God is patient with us all.  Through Jesus, we have an example of God demonstrating His LOVE, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control as He walked the earth.

Since LOVE holds all things together, is the greatest gift and the greatest commandment per Jesus, it might help us all to focus more on the characteristic of LOVE and loving the One who is LOVE first and foremost.

It’s interesting that the global symbol for love is a heart. By God’s masterful design, this is where all true love starts.  God has uniquely created us with hearts to love and be loved. He desires that our hearts are drawn to His love first and filled with His love overflowing to others.

 It’s all about our hearts, the place where everything starts.

Above all else, guard your heart, for from it flow all the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23

At our daughter’s wedding last fall, it was the most lovely day, and I was honored and thankful to be able to stand in front of the entire congregation and read the Love passage from the book of 1 Corinthians, chapter 13.  Here is the definition of love from verses 4-7:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

After reciting what “love” really means in the presence of so many loved ones, family and friends, I now have these words ringing in my ears saying, “Self, you stood up and read all those lovely words for all to hear, remember?”  Like never before I pray, “Lord, help me to walk in Your love above all else.”

Of course, we all get amazing grace and these verses remind us ALL of the GRACE we ALL so desperately need as we fall short of God’s standard.  No excuses though – God enables us by His Spirit to do all things through Christ and especially to love. We can all GROW IN LOVE and, by God’s Spirit and His grace, become more fruitful lovers of others.

~No good roots leads to no good fruit.~

~Love roots lead to lovely fruits!~

~MAY WE ALL BECOME TRUE FRUIT LOVERS IN THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST. MAY ALL OF US FRUITFUL LOVERS OF GOD BRING THE LIGHT AND REFRESHING PRESENCE OF GOD’S SPIRIT TO OTHERS AND BE SWEET AS WE DO!~

Lighten up!:  

Lord, I fill so full of Your love, your joy, your peace right now, but I am about to get out of bed, so help me today, Lord. Amen.  

Prayer Starter:  

Lord, I thank You that Your Spirit is alive within me and that the seeds of the fruit of Your Spirit are there too.  Help me, Lord, to be filled to overflowing with Your Spirit, Your love, joy and peace, and especially your LOVE that covers us all, in a spirit of humility and boldness I pray. Amen.

My purpose for telling you these things is so that the joy that I experience will fill your hearts with overflowing gladness! (The Passion Translation)*

A few other verse references: 

Ephesians 3:14-19; Romans 5:5; Mark 12:29-31; John 15:5; Philippians 4:13; 1 Peter 4:8; John 15:11*; Colossians 3:15

 

Psalm Twenty Three

Written by Jodi Davis Lybrand

The twenty third psalm contains such familiar and comforting words! It is a favorite to read at funerals.

Who wouldn’t like to leave the daily pressures and drama to lie down and rest beside peaceful streams? Who doesn’t need refreshing and restoration from time to time? Yet, when we are assailed from every direction we have the promise of the Great Shepherd’s loving guidance and protection! And then, and then it ends with the promise of His eternal presence!

Psalm twenty-three is really about the complete journey of life! Read on, sweet friend, with a fresh look at my expanded version of this well known and beloved psalm!

The Lord is my Shepherd, my ruler, companion and friend.
I will not be in want or go lacking.
He calls me to lie down and rest in green pastures,
a pleasant place where I feel welcome and at home.
He leads, guides and gently carries me beside quite, peaceful, still waters.
He restores, refreshes and rescues my soul, my heart, my life and my very breath, turning me back to be with Him, rejoicing in His presence.
He guides me in the right way and direction, in the paths of righteousness,
for His names sake, for a secure destiny that honors and reflects His character.
Even though I walk through the valley, with its shadows of death, darkness calamities,
I will not fear, panic or retreat from any evil or adversity,
because I know you are with me, your rod and your staff comfort and protect me.
You prepare a table before me, a feast of choicest delicacies.
I can eat in peace and thanksgiving, in the very presence of my enemies,
While they look on, in full view,
You anoint my head with oil, the richness of your Holy Spirit.
My cup overflows. I am satisfied, content and complete in your provisions.
Surely your bountiful goodness, kindness, unfailing love, mercy and grace will pursue and follow me all the days of my life and then
I will dwell and remain in the house of my Lord, in my King’s palace,
praising Him in His courts forever and ever!

Jodi Davis Lybrand is a lifelong resident of Shelby County. She is married and has raised two wonderful sons, has a beautiful daughter-in-law and 4 of the most adorable grandchildren ever!
Her favorites include playing with those awesome grand sweeties, enjoying long walks and sunsets, visiting with friends, old and new, painting and working on her bucket list!
A Bible teacher for 30 years, teaching preschool to senior adults (before she was one!) Jodi jests that she can teach you a Bible lesson in sixty seconds or sixty minutes! Most of all she loves to encourage people through the truths found in God’s holy word

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