Posted by: susankayjones | January 31, 2012

idolatry

idolatry is such a harsh word. so exposing. so humbling. and yet…it’s part of the vocabulary of my life.

i am an idolater.

it’s true.

there are things in my life, every hour, every minute, that i choose about Christ. things i pursue harder, with more abandon. and it is in my pursuit of those things that i end up empty, exhausted and disappointed.

this semester, the women’s ministry is focusing on idolatry. what do i mean by that?

  • well, i mean the pride in my heart that longs to be right, that convinces myself it’s ok to be angry.
  • it’s the pursuit of man’s approval of me. it’s the pride seen when i fear life—exposing my lack of trust in a sovereign God and assuming i know best.
  • it’s feeling i need to look/be/act a certain way to be loved, exposing my idol of man over God.
  • it’s the subtle, yet deadly, belief that i am “owed” things in life….that things “should be” a certain way, and i have a right to react a certain way if that doesn’t happen.
  • it’s seeking my own pleasure and agenda above another’s, or especially God’s.
  • it’s valuing my own time, comfort over discipline. it’s reacting in a certain way to gain control over another.

yes….it is all of those things…and many, many more.

as you can see, idolatry is everywhere. so, we are going to talk about it. pray and beg God for forgiveness. and finally, ask the Holy Spirit to empower us to resist chasing idols.

we are going to look at idolatry as seen through the following core heart issues: anger, fear, unforgiveness, jealousy, guilt and shame, depression, fear of man. but we won’t stop there. we will look at the biblical approach and mandate to address these heart issues.

it’s going to be good. hard. deep. vulnerable. heavy. convicting. gut-wrenching. transparent.

it’s going to be amazing.

Posted by: susankayjones | January 27, 2012

back in the swing of life…

after a month in the statesย (click for pictures), i was very happy to return to guatemala. don’t get me wrong, being with my family (even the extra bonus weeks) was amazing. i loved it. but, i definitely felt an “itch” to return to my normal life here in guatemala. there’s just something nice about routine!

so, upon my return, we have been hard at work finishing plans for women’s minsitry this semester as well as a church-wide retreat this weekend!

each year, casa de libertad pick an annual theme. this year, it’s “grace changes everything”. i love that. our retreat this weekend will look at God’s grace toward us and the resulting effects of that grace. i am looking forward to looking inward to see where i lack the gift of giving grace toward others and also where i have become complacent in my reception of God’s grace toward me.

we have about 30 people planning to attend (i say planning to because you never really know until the minute we leave who will show up or drop out). regardless, i feel certain those God ordains will be there.

please join me in praying for God to transform hearts for His glory this weekend!

Posted by: susankayjones | January 13, 2012

i’m going home…to the place where i belong…

well, good news guys!

i saw the cardiologist today and was “released” to go back to guatemala! praises!

bottom line is that i have something called “inappropriate sinus tachycardia”. yeah, that’s right…i’m inappropriate.

in all seriousness, it’s not a major thing…it basically just means that my heart rate gets too high too fast, so my cardiologist is keeping me on the beta-blocker for a while. he was pleased today with my results and the fact that the heart monitor didn’t register any major “events”. so, going forward, i will just monitor my heartrate/blood pressure periodically from guatemala and visit the cardiologist in knoxville whenever i am in town.

this is apparently something that could/probably will go away with time, so ironically, it can improve with age. at least that’s something to look forward to about aging! ๐Ÿ™‚

thank you all for praying for me, i am so grateful for your support and concern. thankfully, this was nothing serious.

i am on an early morning flight tomorrow morning and should be back home by tomorrow (saturday) afternoon. yay!

there have been many, many blessings about my time in the States and i am grateful for it. pray as i return to life in guate that i can jump right back into routine and ministry there.

thank you again for praying. i was blessed by your outpouring of support. praising God tonight for His blessings of both good news today and the amazing friends/supporters with whom He has surrounded me.

i am one blessed girl.

Posted by: susankayjones | January 6, 2012

a heart update

first off, before i delve into the medical heart situation, i wanted to thank you all for diligently praying for me, letting me know you are praying, commenting, contacting me, etc. ย it has meant so much to me. i honestly have not been worried, and i attribute that solely to your prayers.

so, thank you! you are loving me very well!

the medical update…

so…the last few days have actually provided the doctor with alot of information, which has proven very helpful in figuring out what is going on.

first, i received my heart monitor yesterday and have been wearing it for about 24 hours. ultimately, this data will provide my cardiologist with what he needs, but it will take more time to get accurate data. it’s a complete eye sore though…and huge. i feel like a complete dork :).

second, i had a stress test, bloodwork and ECHO done. bloodwork came back normal and the ECHO i had this morning showed that i have a normal heart structure. there is nothing abnormal in the makeup of my heart. yay!

third, i met with the cardiologist today to discuss the stress test. the good news is that the stress test showed NO abnormal rhythms (arrhythmia). the “bad” news isn’t really all that bad. basically, it showed that my heart elevates too quickly with minimal activity. within just a few minutes of walking relatively slowly, my heart rate had jumped over 160. that was apparently too high. and during the latter part of the stress test, which wasn’t even hard, it got all the way to 196 before they stopped me. so……apparently that is not normal.

what now?

well, the doc prescribed me a medication (beta-blocker) to try and get it back to a more normal pace. he is monitoring the heart monitor data and i will go see him again next friday.

so, i am here another week! while i am very ready to return to my normal life in guate, i am focusing on the tremendous blessing of being with my sister and her family. there is SO much to be thankful for, and i am going to the family time until the very second that i have to leave!

that’s about all for now. looks like i won’t have another update until next friday! thank you again for praying for me!

GRATEFUL for YOU!

Posted by: susankayjones | January 4, 2012

why i’m not on a plane right now.

i have had an incredibly blessed time over the holidays visiting my family. it has been a wonderful and rich time of community, laughter and joy. i felt so blessed to be able to travel home for the holidays this year, and my niece and nephews were beyond thrilled to have me in person this year as opposed to what we now refer to as “skype christmas”!

i was supposed to be on a plane this morning travelling back to guatemala. but, i am not.

for those who follow my journey, i wanted to let you know what is going on so that you can join me in prayer for a quick return to guatemala once some things are figured out.

over the last week, i have had 2 episodes where my heart has reached a frightening pace. in both instances, it came after very little physical activity and the episodes lasted around a minute or so. the second episode, we were able to calculate my pulse and it was 210. that is a scary number. my pulse eventually came down, but that feeling was so crazy.

my brother in law is a doctor and was able to quickly make some phone calls. unfortunately due to the holiday, we weren’t able to talk to anyone until yesterday. he spoke with 2 cardiologist friends and both told him this was definitely worth getting checked out and not to leave the country until we had a diagnosis and treatment.

so, yesterday i had a consult with the cardiologist and they did an EKG, which was normal. tomorrow i will have a stress test and bloodwork done, followed by an ECHO and doctor’s visit on friday. i will also begin to wear a heart monitor 24-7 starting tomorrow which will send immediate data to the doctor. this will hopefully give him great insight into what is going on.

i am not worried, but it is definitely wisdom to get this figured out and fixed before returning to guatemala.

so, please join me in praying and believing God’s will for the following:

1. for a quick diagnosis, and for it to be something minor and quickly fixable.

2. for a quick return to guatemala. i would love to be back as quickly as possible (though extra time with the family is not too bad!)

3. for ministry to not be interrupted in guatemala because of my delay

4. for continued peace and trust in the Lord with the unknown

i was reading something yesterday and loved this line:

“Do not be weighed down with problems and unresolved issues, for I (Jesus) am your burden-bearer. In the world you have trials and distress, but don’t let them get you down. I have conquered the world and deprived it of power to harm you. In Me you may have confident peace.”

and this: (Psalm 33:19)

Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you
and worked for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of the children of mankind!”

i am praying that God is glorified in this and completely trusting He has a greater purpose. thank you for joining me in prayer.

Posted by: susankayjones | December 9, 2011

revised: God of miracles

hey guys!

so, i apparently got the date wrong about the service focused on the miracle of healing. it’s going to be december 18th! so, keep praying and especially join me in praying on december 18th!

here’s the original post to catch up, if you are lost:

https://susankayjones.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/dios-de-milagros-god-of-miracles/

Posted by: susankayjones | December 2, 2011

Dios de Milagros (God of Miracles)

there’s something really exciting about miracles. maybe it’s the impossibility of it…maybe it’s seeing the raw power of God…maybe it’s how faith is grown and borne from them…maybe it’s all of those things.

for the last 2 weeks, casa de libertad (my church here in guate), has been introducing a series of sermons focused on our God as a God of miracles. last week looked at faith, and its role in miracles. and while we must rest in God’s sovereignty over all miracles (and those He chooses not to perform), we also cannot deny the role faith plays for those who receive miracles.

so…i pursue faith. and while it is scary and uncomfortable (afterall, faith requires true surrender on my part, and let’s be honest—i love the illusion of control), i long for it.

next sunday, december 11, we will be talking about healing, and i will be prayed over. join me in praying for healing from rheumatoid arthritis that has plagued my body for 21 years. i fully believe He has promised to heal me, though i submit to His timing in that. wouldn’t it be awesome if He chose dec. 11? join me in praying!

do you have a miracle story to share? would LOVE to hear it!

Posted by: susankayjones | December 1, 2011

just a little slice of life lately…

Posted by: susankayjones | November 22, 2011

un equipo muy especial

so, last week i had the honor to join the village’s “recovery” team. this team of people work very closely with the recovery ministry at the village and have the most amazing hearts to serve God with thier lives, and honor Him with their stories of redemption and restoration.

there are few words that will adequately describe the way i was moved by God last week as a result of the ministry He did with this team. to say that i was blessed would be a great understatement. no. it was way more. it was life-giving.

i love non-surface conversation. i love hearing peoples’ life stories. i love God. i love watching Him use said life stories to impact others for the Kingdom. i love laughing. i love being challenged. i love dancing before the Lord. i love feeling the Holy Spirit. i love hosting people in my home. i love praying with intensity. i love loving on kiddos. i love being part of a team.

let’s just say that last week my love for these things was only stirred with greater passion and by week’s end, my heart was bursting.

of course, the minute this team left, my heart immediately sensed loss.

but, there is joy in loss.

feeling loss means love was present. love was fostered. love was tangible.

i will write more in another post about my time at “hospital del espirtu santo”, but for now…here is a picture of this extrodinary team. they loved well.

Posted by: susankayjones | November 21, 2011

awakening…

so, lately i have been asking the Lord for more. more of Him. more of the Spirit.

and He. Has. Delivered.

i feel as if the Lord has been awakening things in my heart spiritually that are so fun, exciting and intense! being in another culture has truly opened my heart and eyes to a greater understanding of the power of His Holy Spirit….and i have been blown away.

it makes me grieve on some level for the american church…we miss it sometimes. like alot.

i’m not saying guatemala has it all figured out, but i will say they aren’t nearly as inhibited here (mentally, physically, spiritually)…and that is something i continue to chisel away at during my time here: my inside-the-box framework for the Holy Spirit. i have been so blessed by great teachers who guide me biblically through this journey i’m on.

when we seek, we find. He desires to bless us, so why don’t i ask?

well… i am asking for more of Him. and, i am receiving!

how have you broken free from your box?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLMkTGPm-dU&feature=related

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