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

Blessing and Brokenness

Written by Jodi Davis Lybrand

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This Mothers Day marked the day of my mom’s death twenty-one years ago. Fond memories filled the void of not having her on this special day. Then sorrow came with the thoughts that her great grandchildren would never know her sweet smile and hugs.

Did you catch the paradox? The blessing of memories, then the pain of loss, blessing and brokenness.

How often this mystery presents itself in life!

Remember 9/11? The horror of the attacks and the heroics of the first responders. Anger at the attackers and pride at the unity of our nation.

Consider childbirth. The pangs of labor then the joy of a new life.

Blessings in brokenness.

Wayne Flint puts it like this, “tragedy and triumph often occupy the same space”.

Surely the cross that Jesus bore presents the ultimate illustration of this. Our sins paid for by the sinless; injustice heaped on the innocent. From seemingly defeat came superlative victory!
Life from death! Blessings from brokenness.

Why? How can it be?

Well, my friend, I can’t adequately explain it but I know this. It should give us hope and courage. Hope that whatever situation we find ourselves in, whatever problem we’re facing believe good can and will come from it. We gain courage to confront life at its worse knowing God is with us. He will use your brokenness, even the barest flicker of faith, that you may not even recognize is there and bring life, blessing, purpose and meaning into it.

Yes, it is hard to look for a blessing when the pain is too great to bear any longer and suffering seems unending. Take courage, my friend, even in the midst of your battle. See, the victory is not at the end of your trial. Victory is right where you are!

Victory is when you call out to Jesus. Victory is choosing to trust. Victory is when you overcome the obstacles that are seeking to obstruct the view of your loving heavenly Father. Victory is when you push through one more day. Victory is when you stare down fear and it flees. You’re only defeated when you refuse to fight.

Asaph says this, in Psalm 50:15, “Trust in me in your times of trouble and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.”
A promise in our troubles, blessing and brokenness.

The brokenness will be healed and the blessing revealed. Don’t give up! Ask the Lord for help to see your blessing right where you are. He loves you with an “everlasting love“ and promises “you will be happy again and dance merrily”. (Jeremiah 31:3,4 NLT) “God blesses those who weep now,  the time will come when you will laugh with joy.” (Luke 6:21b NLT)

May the Lord show you His love in wonderful ways and answer your prayers with awesome deeds!

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.

The Power to Change The Hardest Day

Written by Jackie Tinkler

It had been a long day at the home office and I decided to take a break. Facing deadlines, fixing problems and relational conflicts have taken their toll and I just didn’t want to fight it anymore. I’ll pick it back up in a minute.

Most of us in truth fight battles everyday. Oh, my battles may look a little different than yours, but the underlying theme is the same. Feel bad, worry, condemnation, press on my reserves, live in fear, diminish my faith, steal my joy and my personal favorite, overwhelm my soul.

So, what do I do when after I “Raise a Halleluiah”, bind the enemy, cast my care and claim scripture verses?

I recently traveled for business to Nashville, Tennessee. It was really the first time I had ever stayed away alone. Completely alone. When I tell you that hotel room was a lonely box, I mean it was awful. I prayed all the way over, and I even had others pray for me, and yet my eyes couldn’t help but see the sterile orange and gray walls before me. “Oh Lord, get me through these three days.”

I knew I had to face this and I couldn’t leave. There would be times of isolation when not attending my training, so something amazing came to my mind. Jackie, change the atmosphere of the room. I know it sounds crazy but I took out my most favorite clothing pieces and hung them on the outside of the door, I displayed my costume jewelry like it was on display at an outdoor French market. (put away of course when I had to leave the room) I opened the pages of my favorite magazines to inspiring photographs and piled my books, notebooks and bible on the bedside table as if they were being displayed on the most opulent bookcase. Praise music and Christian teaching filled the air 24/7 through the day and night. I changed the atmosphere and was able to do what was hard to do…stay.

You might say “Who would go to that kind of trouble” This girl! Why? Because God gives us the grace to do what is hard.

Jesus changed the atmosphere from storms to peace with one word. He changed the atmosphere at a wedding when it looked like everyone might go home. He changed the atmosphere on the darkest day of his life and came back resurrected in power.

You know what? God’s love will always intersect our hardest days. His sustaining power, his amazing grace gives us what we need to face those not so fun days and no matter what it looks like, we always have the power to change it.

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.

Sorry, I Can’t Today, I’m Binge Watching and Eating Popcorn

Written by Jackie Tinkler

Recently, a friend of mine and I were talking over a delicious Shrimp Po Boy and Fried Green Tomatoes. As we enjoyed our lunch, we found ourselves commenting about how some days we just don’t feel very “up”. After we shared all of the vitamins, supplements, lotions and potions we were taking to feel good, it hit me. I said ” You know, I bet you will feel much better when you pick up that paint brush again”

It made me think of endless days of energy as a kid when I pretty much had no responsibility and had hours to color. I loved to color! Why don’t I color anymore? ( The Notebook anyone?) Remember when there was less to do? Now we have bills to pay, errands to run, meetings, dinners, obligations, climb the ladder of success, pray for and check on everyone, expectations….yada yada yada. I’m sure you can add to the list.

The problem is we don’t take the time, and I mean, it’s there and will require TAKING SOME THINGS OFF OF THE CALENDAR. It’s called “down time.” You may have heard of it or you may be thinking “but my kids need me to run them everywhere lady!” I get that, why not grab an adult coloring book, your favorite book, bible and journal and get lost in someone else’s story while you wait?

I remember Joyce Meyer telling a story where she was complaining about being overwhelmed and God reminded her that she was the one in charge of her calendar!

In this season of empty nest for me, I’ve decided if it includes fellowship, God’s call, smiling, getting lost in the moment, growing spiritually, adds enjoyment and pleases God, then I’m in. If it overwhelms, vexes my spirit, makes me unhappy or feel pressured to be there or has no fruit….then it goes! Nothing more gets added to my calendar of ministry, family time, sacrifices and responsibilities unless these apply. I’ve also learned to schedule in rest. Say this with me “Sorry, I can’t today, I’m binge watching and eating popcorn” Sorry, I’m creating a masterpiece” “Sorry, I’m dancing in my living room”, or “Sorry, I’m spending extra time with God today”.

The truth is we are no good to anyone stressed out, overwhelmed, unhappy, and sick.

Paul knew the value of wholeness when he said “We’re the best of friends, and I pray for good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health and that your everyday affairs prosper as well as your soul” 3 John 1:2 The Message

Take a moment to comment with those things you used to do and loved! What will it take for you to enjoy those things again? I challenge you to go to your calendar and take one thing off and add in something you have been meaning to do!

Time is too precious and believe it or not, God does want us to enjoy life!

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.

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