Posts Tagged ‘church’

November 27th, 2012

From a Grateful Heart

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This is the American month for thankfulness, and tonight I am abundantly thankful. God has poured innumerable gifts into our lives. The past weeks have been filled with many wonderful things—conferences to hone our counseling and media skills, treasured time with old friends, moments of holy brokenness in ourself and our students, times of rejoicing with those in the BFA community. Our life here is rich and vibrant, but tonight, I am struck not with the events, but with the people, the themes, the underlying and overarching goodness of our God.

I wish I could squeeze my heart into these words, so you could feel the deep pleasure and gratitude that lives there. Through ever-present pain, longing, and hurt, runs a bright fuchsia cord of earnest satisfaction. Even in the moments of acute ache, my soul still whispers to the great God above, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

Thank you for my husband.

He is the most patient man I know. He is the stability of my turbulent heart. He is the greatest picture of you I’ve seen on this earth. I have no fear that he will ever walk away from me. Thank you for giving me such an undeserved love.

Thank you for this place.

It is a rare gem, to which I fear all others will seem flawed in comparison. These students amaze me with their vibrant creativity, fierce sense of justice, abundant compassion, and beyond-their-years wisdom. These families are flawed, but I’ve never had more opportunity to stand in awe at the sacrifice, patience and wisdom of parental love. This staff is composed of fallen humans, but they genuinely want to please you, they genuinely love those they’ve sacrificed so much to serve. Thank you for creating such a beautiful community.

Thank you for your body.

We do not deserve their love, prayers, and financial support, but you have lavished it upon us. Our families believe in the call you placed upon our lives, a gift that not all receive. Our friends delight in the work you have called us to, so much so that they happily provide for our needs. Our brothers and sisters remember us before you, lifting us up with heartfelt petitions for fruit, for growth, for blessing. Thank you for these people we are honored to know.

Thank you for your redemption.

I cannot believe that you take my shame and make it beautiful. I cannot believe that you take what has meant only death to me, and bring forth life. I cannot believe that you bless even my tarnished desires to serve you, for your glory and your kingdom. You overwhelm me with your goodness. My heart aches at the holy glory you display through my brokenness. Thank you for being my Redeemer.

Thank you for making me a mother.

Though I have not touched a child of our flesh and blood, you have given us children on this earth. You have filled our days with beautiful souls to protect, to delight in, and to love. Some days, my heart nearly bursts from this beautiful sorrow, this abundance that you have poured upon us through our brokenness. You have taken our barrenness, and given us children. A students once said to me, “Even if you don’t have kids, you have kids,” and it is this that makes me stand in awe of you, a God who would give us children of the heart. Thank you for being a giver of good gifts.

Thank you for promises like these.

Can a woman forget her nursing child,

that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?

Even these may forget,

yet I will not forget you.

Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…

Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;

break forth into singing and cry aloud,

you who have not been in labor!

For the children of the desolate one will be more

than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord.

Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;

be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;

for you will forget the shame of your youth,

and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.

For the mountains may depart

and the hills be removed,

but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,

and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”

says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

October 20th, 2011

Fall Fill In

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Well folks, it’s been a looong time since our last update. I’ll skip the list of reasons for our silence, and jump straight to the good stuff.

Summer Happened

This summer was full. We did some manual labor, had family visit, and moved twice. July was filled with an intensive German course, which gave us a little more language confidence. Wir sprechen Deutsch ein bisschen besser. (If you speak German, you may be able to tell just how little better by that sentence.)

School’s back in session!

In late August, BFA started up again. We’re so glad not to be new this year! It’s wonderful to know how BFA operates, know what all those crazy acronyms mean, and best of all, to know students! God has already blessed us with some amazing, truth-filled, life-changing conversations with students.

Israel and the Screaming Girls

Israel is coaching JV Girl’s Volleyball this year. Last year he helped out, but now he’s an official coach. This means daily practices and traveling to games every weekend. Israel seems to be uniquely equipped, by his five sisters, to deal with all the screaming involved in a six hour bus ride with 20 teenage girls. He’s very much enjoying coaching, but it makes for a very tiring schedule.

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January 31st, 2011

The Abominable Snowman

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So our community group, back in the states, sent us a package for Christmas. We didn’t end up getting it until after the new year, but it was well worth the wait. It was full of white-elephant (dirty Santa) gifts!

What Was Inside?

Let’s see…among the gifts was my favorite, the abominable snowman. You put it in water and then it grows over a three day period into three-times it’s normal size. I’ve happened to discover that I like hiding it around the house. So every few days it’s placed in different locations. Loads of fun for all involved.

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November 21st, 2010

Our Lives Since July

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We made this video for the Missions Day of our home church, The Grove, in Arkansas. We wanted to share this glimpse of our lives with you all. Maybe you should create your own video and send it back to us. Okay? Okay.


First Semester at BFA from Israel Jernigan on Vimeo.
The song in the video is Your Glory by Sons and Daughters. It is used with their permission.

January 26th, 2010

All Will Pass Away

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Here’s a new song I wrote after talking with God and trying to figure out the whole Christian walk. The song is based off of First John 2:15-17 – “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him…“. The song isn’t finalized, but I wanted to share a little of what I’ve been learning and trying to figure out. The lyrics are below as well. To God be the glory.

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December 9th, 2009

Grief

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Hopefully you know by now (unless you’ve just stumbled across our blog) that we are planning to work with missionary kids at Black Forest Academy. As part of our preparation, I’ve been reading (rather slowly) Third Culture Kids by David Pollock and Ruth Van Reken. Missionary kids are third culture kids (TCKs), which means they’ve spent a significant period of their formative years outside their passport countries. I’ve also been going to counseling for the past few months. One of the things that keeps coming up, in the book and counseling, is grief.

I moved a lot growing up. I believe I moved 12 times in my first 14 years of life. I don’t know if I technically qualify as a TCK, but I do relate to some of the aspects of TCK life. One thing I’d never realized is that there is a grieving process to moving. Let me tell you, that was an eye-opening chapter. According to the book, the transition cycle for moving is Involvement, Leaving, Transition, Entering and Reinvolvment. Okay, in and of itself, that doesn’t really mean much. The wow moment for me was reading about the Leaving stage, which isn’t talking about getting on a plane and heading to your new home, although that’s part of it, but about emotionally removing yourself from your home. You begin to loosen emotional ties, back out of responsibilities and refrain from taking new ones, and stop making new friends.

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October 6th, 2009

Can You Feel the Love?

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After returning from Telephone, Israel had a short three days work-week before we headed to the Jernigan home in Muskogee. We spent three days with the family in Muskogee. Hannah and Ash arrived from Australia on September 24th. Besides the few hours we saw them before heading to Telephone, we hadn’t seen them at all. And since we’d never met Ash, it was very important that we get to know him. Israel is the older brother, after all.

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October 5th, 2009

A Visit to Texas

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Just so you know, the photo header is not Texas. It’s Arkansas. I took it on the way back from Texas. I felt obliged to tell you. You know, just in case you decided to move to Texas just from looking at that photo and then were really surprised when it wasn’t hilly and green.

Last week, Israel took a couple days off so we could head to Texas to see my family. It was a crazy-busy weekend, with not as much family time as I wanted, but we got to see a lot of people, which was the point.

Israel’s sister Hannah has been in Australia for two years studying at the Hillsong International Leadership College. While there, she met her soon-to-be-husband Ashley, who we call Ash. They came in on Thursday evening, so we headed to Muskogee to see them. It was so good to see them. They were exhausted, of course, but when we arrived everyone was playing Apples to Apples. It was the first time the whole family, all 14 of us, had been together in almost two years. Friday morning, we went to IHOP for Ash’s first American breakfast. I’m sure he was very impressed.

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