His Mercies

Are new every morning! (Lam 3:22-23).

At times in my life, I feel a bit at loss for hope. Like I don’t believe anything good will happen to me that day, or tomorrow. But it is SO not true! God has something new, and good, for me EVERY day- that is His PROMISE(!!!) Imagine that. Every single day of your life, God has something new planned for you. Something GOOD!!! I can’t remember a day in my life I wasn’t blessed in some way, or have some new experience I was thankful for, or have a moment of rest and peace. He has promised to be there for us like this every day! What a wonderful king! What a wonderful, beautiful Person!

He is kind. He is good. He is gentle. Thank You, Jesus!

God bless you!

MEXICO!!!

At this point in my life, there are very few things concerning my future that I hold on to. Most vision I used to have God has changed, delayed, or re-routed in some way, to the point that right now I have very few passions left in my heart that I pursue with everything in me. However, he has also given me a lot, and in particular, I know for sure, now, that the key to life is relationships. With God, and with others. Nothing else matters! This is an ever-present, practical reality for me now.

However, the one passion in my heart that still remains strong is that God is still leading me, with a passion, to do more with and in MEXICO!!

My next Mexico missions trip comes up in slightly over a month. Every day I get more excited. Even before I heard about the trip, every day I would (and still do) smell, see, taste, touch or hear something that reminds me of that country that I so love. I have never felt more at home, even in America, as I do there. That is a powerful statement, and I can say it without hesitation or regret.

God, thank you for Mexico. Thank you for You. Thank you for those people, and please bless my heart, my future, and my trips to that lovely country. Amen!

Life..

..is good.

Went to a freedom in Christ conference the last few days. Very great stuff. I had an opportunity to do this stuff on a good friend as well, and then this friend did it to me. It is amazing how our fears about even something like marriage can stem from something from years earlier. When the emotion is found, the lie can be found, and when the lie is found, the truth can be spoken clearly over your life, freeing you completely. This process is truly quite amazing, and I am tempted to say that it is the most important lesson in life we can learn short of getting “saved”. The most important book I’ve ever read in my life, next to the Bible, is “Freedom Over the Darkness” by Neil T. Anderson. I haven’t read his other ones, but I know they’re similar. But I GUARANTEE you- if you buy this book your life will be drastically changed!!! My friend Jess just bought another one of his called “Restored”. It also looked very good.

One of the benefits of this recent conference was a list of areas in life (fulfillment, satisfaction, happiness, etc.) and what the Bible says about them. I decided to systematically attack each one of these, and literally put a budget in my calendar for anything that needed the time. I’m EXCITED for this!! 🙂 Some of these new priorities are- just trying something new consistently, pushing myself out of my comfort zone, getting outside, etc. I can’t wait to see how the timeline shapes up!

I found this cartoon online, and thought it was SO applicable to everyone’s life. We really DO ALL have a choice- EVERY DAY!!!

I’m going to Chucky Cheese today to celebrate one of the Zimmerman kid’s birthday’s!! (Can’t remember which one!!) I love those kids, they really are the cutest kids I’ve ever seen!

God bless you!

Justin.

Jess and I separate

Hello, and welcome again to the ongoing saga of “Justin and Jess” (otherwise known as J2)!

First things first- I had the best Valentine’s Day in the history of the holiday. I had a beautiful girlfriend, a killer meal at Jenpachi Steakhouse, and afterward Jess and I sat in Jon and Stacie’s hottub for some quality time with those guys before finally going home and enjoying a movie together (Monty Python’s Holy Grail). It was truly a blessed day!

The following day was nice as well. Jess came back in the evening and spent the night. (Slept in a different room, by the way!) But something both of us had been feeling since the beginning we were feeling again.

This morning, I knew that something was “wrong”, so I asked Jess what it was and we sat down and talked it out. THE MOST amazing thing about my friendship with Jess is that we have been utterly and completely honest with each other. If we were scared that our relationship may not be God’s will, and didn’t know what the future would end up as- we told each other. If we were scared of hurting the other if it didn’t work out- we told each other. If we did something that pushed on each other’s insecurities- we told each other. I have learned SO much about what a relationship and friendship should be from Jess in this way. Thank you, Jessica!

We had a very familiar “I don’t know what I’m feeling” talk. It sort of went like this:

We both feel so much love and respect for each other as people. Not necessarily that “emotional” love, but a genuine, sincere love of the heart and the spirit and actions of the other person. I know I, in particular, love Jess’ honesty, compassion, courage (she constantly puts herself in situations that stretch her beyond her comfort zone!), sweetness, and just her gentle, caring, loving spirit. And I know she has a list of things she would say about me.

But you just can’t manufacture a blessing of God. God gave us grace to both step out of our comfort zone and enter into this relationship. But all through it, in our hearts, we knew it wasn’t what God ultimately wanted. It is strange. Loving a person, as a person, so much, while constantly having your heart elsewhere. But what can you do? Nobody who loves Jesus can stand not being in the most perfect relationship with God! 🙂

And so we decided to call Rod and get his advice, because we were both torn. I told her I was scared of being alone. She told me her fears. But after a few minutes, I said, “You know what’s going to happen? We’re going to end up being friends. Should we just do that?” And Jess agreed. It is fun to see the future and learn from it in advance.

And now we’re both sitting at Dunn Bros. I print this blog with permission from Jess. And I can’t wait to go camping with her. I have very few regrets, and have been so blessed by her friendship! I can’t wait to see how God will bless her life and continue her on the path He has called her to!

For a guy, the hardest thing for me is knowing that I won’t “protect” her anymore. Not that there are sabre-toothed tigers lurking anywhere, but I have sincerely protected her purity, and tried to lead her in her relationship with God. This feeling surprised me, actually. I have heard that guys are “protectors” so much, but I thought it was dorky. I never realized how practically it was ingrained in the very nature of a man. It is hard, because I know I have to trust Jesus to protect her. But I know in my heart that is also the good news. That is the only real emotional point for me, though. Letting go to the God who asked me to do it, and not being angry that it is His job now, and trusting that He loves her more than me and can do a better job at it than I. It makes me feel a little like I wasn’t good enough, but I know that that is a lie that comes up from my own insecurities and past, and that the truth is that I was a marvelous boyfriend, and the very fact that I can give her back to Jesus as a pure woman of faith, probably stronger in her faith, is evidence of that. HALLELUIAH!!!

Thank you, Jesus!!

Please keep Jess and I in prayer, it is an easy transition for us, but there are still practical ways of relating that need to be smoothed into Jesus ways.

God bless you!

Computer Down

Computer AC adapter is out. Can’t get on my computer (battery died). Having them overnight me a new one. So it looks like I get a vacation tomorrow!! 🙂 Yay!!

Justin.