‘It’s not all about you’

When my nephew Jared was a little bitty thing, he would get all over his big brother with a consistent reminder, “It’s not all about you, Jacob!”

The boldness of his approach and the intensity behind his words always made me smile, but the clear truth behind his appeal has stuck with me since the first time it rolled out of his mouth.

The key to strength in any relationship points back to whether the two parties are going to be self-centered or other-centered. This is true with friends, co-workers, all formulas of family relationships and especially in marriage.

“It’s not all about you” was the focus of a recent article in Relevant magazine, “Marriage Isn’t About Your Happiness.”

An excerpt from the article written by Debra K. Fileta says:

“Marriage is not about your happiness, it’s not even about you. It’s about love — which is something we choose to give time and time again. It’s about sacrifice, serving, giving, forgiving — and then doing it all over again. … often, we’re choosing ‘personal happiness’ over real commitment, over real love.

“They say marriage teaches you more about selflessness than you ever wanted to know. I have definitely found that phrase to be true in my relationship with my husband. Because at the heart of it, real love is all about sacrifice. About the giving of yourself, in ways big and small.”

Read the full article here.

—Jennifer Davis Rash

What I Am Reading

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I’ve never been interested in reading much more than a few paragraphs about how a particular organization or group got its start but Rosalie Hunt’s new book Her Way: The Remarkable Story of Hephzibah Jenkins Townsend has stretched my interest in this area.

While only a third of the way through the book, I already feel a connection and admiration for the main character. I love her spunk and determination. Yes, the book certainly achieves the goal of helping share the history of national Woman’s Missionary Union because Townsend was founder of the first missionary society in the South but it does so much more. It also reminds us that our true strength comes from the Lord and, despite the difficulties life brings, we can all make a difference for the Kingdom.

Hunt showcases a true storytelling ability that has me anxiously awaiting the events described in the next chapter. And I love how Hunt developed Townsend’s voice and personality by piecing together the available historical documentation and then basically “becoming” Townsend for a season as she wrote the book.

For more information on Her Way, click here.

—Jennifer Davis Rash

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I am reading

“90 Minutes in Heaven” 

10th anniversary edition 

By Don Piper with Cecil Murphey90 Minutes in Heaven

I never slowed down to read “90 Minutes in Heaven” when it first came out, so when I saw the 10th anniversary edition I decided it was time to read it. I’m glad I waited because this edition adds updated comments from author Don Piper, his wife, his son, co-author Cecil Murphey and the book’s publisher. Hearing from them 10 years after the book was originally published gave an interesting insight into how the success of Piper’s book as well as the demand for him as a guest speaker has affected his family. The book also shares personal stories from people walking through tragedy and how reading “90 Days” helped them in their situation.

And while Piper’s recounting of his heaven experience is certainly inspiring and an exciting reminder of what is to come for those of us who have given our hearts and lives to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, it was the details of the struggles he has endured while here on earth that captivated me the most. His story especially spoke to me about how we truly are all in this journey together and can learn from each other, help when it’s our turn to help and allow others to help us when we need help.

—Jennifer Davis Rash

And we’ve launched — a new #dlife group is born

“Jesus’ vision was not a church filled with ‘discipleship programs’ but a church filled with passionate disciple makers living a lifestyle of making and multiplying disciples in all the world,” says D-Life author Bill Wilks, pastor of NorthPark Baptist Church, Trussville.IMG_20151026_180647

While I have experienced a variety of discipleship studies in the past 25 years, it is the simplicity and accountability aspect of Dr. Wilks’ D-Life that is teaching me how to truly make our commission as believers “to make disciples who make disciples” become a lifestyle.

I began D-Life with a group facilitated by Lisa M. (fellow member of NorthPark) in 2013–2014. The group was hungry to grow. They challenged and encouraged me to grow as well. In 2015, it was time for me to help launch a new group and thus multiply our group. And my friend Haley P. and I launched that group tonight.

Stay tuned for what we are learning along the journey. For more information about D-Life, click here.

—Jennifer Davis Rash

What I am reading

“Every Day Can Be a Great Day” by Gary Hardin9781498441346_lg

The Psalms have become a great source of comfort and strength for me this year, so when my friend Gary sent me a copy of his latest book, I started reading it right away.

Focusing on Psalm 34, Gary walks through the verses in eight easy-to-read chapters, explaining the “treasure-trove of promises from God” and how to apply them to our everyday lives. The book is a smooth, seamless read and almost feels like you are having a conversation with Gary in person.

Gary says, “The premise behind this book is that when we trust the promises of God, every day can be a great day.”

—Jennifer Davis Rash

When the vision is real but God won’t release us to go for it

Today’s entry in Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost for His Highest” focuses on when we feel we are the person for a job but God seems to hold us back from doing the job at the moment. It can be a very discouraging time, but Chambers says it only means God is preparing us for the vision we know is in us.

“Moses saw the oppression of his people and felt certain that he was the one to deliver them, and in the righteous indignation of his own spirit he started to right their wrongs. After the first strike for God and for the right, God allowed Moses to be driven into blank discouragement, He sent him into the desert to feed sheep for 40 years. … [Moses] was right in the individual aspect, but he was not the man for the work until he had learned communion with God.

“We may have the vision of God and a very clear understanding of what God wants, and we start to do the thing, then comes something equivalent to the 40 years in the wilderness. … We have the vision … but we have not got into God’s stride.”

Have you ever experienced something similar?

What did God teach you during that time?

—Jennifer Davis Rash

Autumn is on the way

Friday night lights and Saturday college game days always turn my mind away from summer and toward fall. And as the nights begin to cool down and the first hints of color peek out of the sea of green leaves, then I know autumn is truly near.

Wednesday, Sept. 23, is the official first day of fall, the Autumnal Equinox if you will, and the Wednesday prior (Sept. 16), I spent the day with sweet friends from the missions field and beyond looking for more hints of fall and breathing in the relaxing air only found in Mentone, Ala.

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