AuthorDona Jackson

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Have you lost your mind?

 

Have you every used the words “have you lost your mind”? I usually yell this to one of my girls after they have foolishly done or said something that didn’t make sense.  I grew up hearing this from my parents and now I do it to my own.  However, in the last four months I have caught myself in mid sentence.  Watching someone you love battle mental illness brings truth and pain to reality.  If you are blessed with a clear mind, thank God.  It is truly a blessing to be clothed in your right mind. And yet there is so much out here now that can cause us to loose our minds.

There is a silent battle for our minds.  A silent war is on to get our minds wrapped on evil and darkness, not the light of God.  If you don’t believe me turn on the news or Facebook.

We live in an age where we are uploading negativity all day long with one click or swipe.  It’s that simple.  A good day or motive can turn bad with one click.  Trust me, it happens to me at random times.  So after a recent crisis, I have decided to start building my mind, going upstream in my brain, and downloading good not evil.  If it feels like a lie, it probably it is.  If it feels fake, it probably is.  If it feels euphoric, run!

I guess what I’m leading at is this, be careful with your mind.  Protect it from the darkness of this age, cover it with light and the truth of Gods word and love.  Only God is good, everything else is simply trying to reflect that in a superficial way.  It’s time to start watching what we watch, what we say, what we listen to, what we spend our time with, and where we land our feet.  I’m sure we all know the places that trip us up.  The devil is no longer playing guessing games with us.  He is using every portal, person, place, or thing to divert our attention and hearts away from God.  And the first place he starts is in the mind.  It’s like a garden, we either nurture it with scripture for a bounty of beauty; or we allow the dirt and weeds of the world to bring destruction and calamity.

I struggle with mind games of the enemy.  And if I’m not careful, it’s his voice my mind will listen to.  Yet, when I open my word with prayer, my heart and mind will not stand for it.  Gods voice has to be the only voice our minds should rely on daily.  Not even our own voices are trustworthy.  Our emotional voices can trick our minds as well.  It’s time to be careful and super cautious with what our minds absorb, this is directly related to matters of the heart.  It determines the direction and decisions of our lives.  Lies versus truth.  Battles versus blessings.  Victories versus defeats.  Today I encourage you not to loose your mind, but protect it, build it up in truth, and exercise the beauty of Christ who wants to reside inside in your mind and heart.

Doña

If it ain’t broken……..

Remember this catch phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? What does this phrase really mean? And when does it actually apply to real life? Who had the bright idea to leave things alone especially  if they did not need to be fixed? And who gets the privilege of deciding whats broken and what is not?  And why do we need to acknowledge broken things in the first place? Just thinking out loud.

Another lesson in life, I lay down my sword and shield.  I can’t fix it! I sat staring out the window of my rental car.  I can’t fix it.

“It’s broken, so let me fix it” has been my life motto.  I like to be in control, I like to fix what isn’t broken and tackle what is.  But this past May, I learned that some things are only for God.

Let me back up a bit.  A few months ago at a Hillsong conference, I asked God what part of his character was he showing me, he replied “I want you to see me as Father”.  Teary eyed, I wondered how he would do this.  After all God has been really good to me.  He’s  already a good good father.  Yet, somehow I felt as though I was entering a season of understanding-understanding his true nature.  His “I don’t need your help Doña” nature.  As my role in life has been to help God, I”m like his under study.  Operating my life as though God needs my help at times-I find myself trying to throw God an alley-oop.  Silly prideful self, who are you???

So this summer, I have watched God do his work sovereignly on his own, and in his perfect timing.  He ignores my schedule and timeline demands.  He sends my frantic faithless calls to voicemail.  And stands quietly at my side while I pace the floors. He is God, and I am not.  I finally burry my face in my hands at what seems like a hopeless family situation and I surrender.  “God, I surrender the need to intervene and fix this situation”!  I released my need to be the “fixer” the problem solver.  Truth is, I’m probably making it worst by trying to fix it and getting in the way.

And that’s where I think God wants me, my family, and some of my closest friends………..out of his way.  God wants to do his job with a spirit of excellence, not with whining children sabotaging his will.  God doesn’t need me or you to pass him the ball.  He is the slam dunk of life.  He draws the plays and executes.  And he will blow the whistle when the game is out of hand.  I trust him. I trust his ways.  I trust his timing and even though I don’t like it, I trust it’s pride eliminating purpose. I trust that God can get things done perfectly with or without my faith in him.

Today, I choose to let things be a hot mess, not because I’m ignorant to life’s challenges.  I choose to leave life in the care of a good good father who knows all paths can lead to him and his perfect plan of restoration, revival, and healing for me and my family.  I can’t fix it and honestly it feels good to stop trying.  It’s all in his hands and I like it like that.  He takes the burden of pride off my shoulders and sets the court for an all star performance.  Some times in life we will have to step back and let God fix it, take our hands off the wheel and trust his ways are perfect.  There is peace in releasing the scary unknowns of life into his hands, and rest assured there is healing in the arms of a good good Father.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths” Proverbs3:5-6 ESV

Doña

One thing Part 3

Specie Lagonosticta rhodopareia and Uraeginthus angolensis family of Estrildidae

There are moments in life, where I doubt God.  Honestly speaking, I don’t always activate faith in God and his ways.  If God leaves me waiting to long, I get real human.  I start questioning his existence, his ways, and his promises.  And if it’s a certain time of the month, I start doubting with clinched teeth and balled fist.

How can I say I trust God yet I panic and worry when tragedy strikes? How can I say I trust God when I demand his blue prints and strategies at all times.  How can I say I believe in God when I break down at the first sign of trouble?

Well there it was,  Mathew 6:26 unfolding before my very eyes in my own back yard.  While enjoying a cup of coffee and quiet time with God, I sat by my pool waterfall.  It’s really rejuvenating to have the waterfall on while I read the Bible. And there it was, two of the smallest birds I have ever seen.  They were not humming birds.  Which occasionally drop by when  God really wants to be kind.  They were small green birds sitting in the waterfall.  The next thing I know, one of the birds starts flipping and dipping in the water.  The cutest bird butt shaking I have ever seen.  The birds were using my pool waterfall to drink, bath, and refresh themselves on a  hot day.  What would have happened if I didn’t come outside this morning? Would they have been able to drink or bath in the sun?

“Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they” Matthew 6:26 ESV

All I could I do was cry.  God used my pool as a visual reminder that he will provide for me and my baby birds.  If he can use a backyard pool to take care of the birds and the bees, won’t he do it for me?  God is not a liar, he can not fail us.  He does not forget our basic needs, he provides for us.  He will use a pool at Bethesda or the pool in my backyard to reveal his great nature.  I admonish you to just thank him for his goodness and mercy, providing in ways we never see coming.  Providing for things we didn’t know we needed.  And the times he blessed us when we didn’t deserve it.  I just thank him for it all his goodness, the birds, the bath, and the refreshing times when the heat is on.

Doña

Dear Lord,

Help us to remember who provides for our every need.  Help us to remember that you love us and will make a way out of no way.  You love and sustain us even when we don’t deserve it.  Thank you for everything you are constantly doing.  In Jesus name. Amen.

One thing at a time-Part 2

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This morning in my quiet time, I felt like God asked me what I was seeking after.  He has met all of my needs, now what more can I ask for?  And then it hit me, I’m not really enjoying what I have.  As weird as it sounds, I don’t find joy in most of my life.  I mean I have a level of joy for my kids, events, and things.  But am I really enjoying the moments of life?

Immediately, my eyes fall on my open Bible to John 2, the Wedding at Cana.  This story is pretty fascinating today from a different lens.  As I began to look at the text, I realized God was speaking directly to me about enjoying life and it’s great moments.  I’m not deflecting the dark pit moments we have to drag through, I’m talking about the priceless moments that sometimes pass us by.

If your reading the text, you will see Jesus and his Mother at a wedding…….Okay, pause for a moment.  The son of God, goes to weddings!  I can’t picture  Jesus doing the electric slide at my wedding, can you? Seriously, the savior of the world walks into my family function and the record would scratch.  Yet, Jesus is there at a wedding, clearly enjoying a moment with friends and family.

The big moment, is when his Mother Mary rolls up and says the wine is gone.   This sounds like my Mother, but let’s keep going.  Like a good son, Jesus turns six stone jars of water into what sounds like Caymus wine.  Can you imagine seeing this as a servant at the wedding.  You’ve been serving “pounding headache” cheap wine all night then Jesus rolls up with the Coppola.  Ha! He could have said No, He could have condemned them for drinking to much. Or he could have honored his Mothers wishes for the wedding, and help offer some good wine.

Theologically, this is the beginning of Jesus miracles and his identity as the son of God.  I could keep going from a theological stand point on the miracle, but I would rather stay in a simple truth, God loves us enough to give us grace for enjoyment of life’s moments.  Jesus is at a wedding clearly a guest, not the officiant.  He obeys his Momma, who like most Mothers will put you on the spot.  He doesn’t want the celebration to end on a low note.  What an amazing and caring God he is.

Most of us have heard that preached from a water to wine miracle, but what about the subtle truths in the story?  Jesus was invited, he was present, he was enjoying the moment, and he wanted to see those around him happy.  I just want to try and model this in my current season.  Sometimes I get so hard on myself.  At times I feel like I”m not supposed to enjoy the fruit of my labor.  At times, the enemy lies and says that enjoying life is a sin or guilty pleasure.  It’s far from the truth.  In fact, I think God delights in seeing us joyful no matter what season we are in.  I believe that God desires to see me smiling and present in the good times.  When we are grateful and rejoicing in Gods goodness, it’s like thanking God in the highest way.  And at any time Jesus can show up to my events with his miracle touch.  Let’s try graduation in June, I’m going to set out my stone jars and let him turn them into some great wine (figuratively, not literally). I just wonder what this next phase of my life will start looking like if I show up when I’m invited, serve others, be present, bring joy, and keep the party going???Time to start enjoying life and living it the right way.