Reaching The Lost Children

My book ministry…reaching the lost children…those who don’t know they are lost, because they have never heard about Jesus Christ…how will they know they are children of God unless they are told? Senegal is still in my future…I know I will be there. But for now, until the pieces fall into place according to God’s will, my books are doing the telling for me. Actually, it’s through the power of God that these books have even come about and it’s truly Divine intervention that my children’s books have been taken to the places where they are currently being used by missionaries.

No magazine ad, no television commercial, no radio podcast…nothing. Just good ol’ word of mouth. If you do not believe God’s power and that He can do what He says He can do, and that He will make sure the Gospel gets to those who need to hear it, let me tell you the places where my books are being used: Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Philippines, England, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Ireland, and of course several locations throughout the United States, including church nurseries. I also have requests from Nicaragua, Haiti, and several other mission fields. Once the books are translated into the appropriate languages, then missionaries in those locations will receive a shipment of my books. With all those mission fields, how can anyone say this is not God’s doing? I know I can’t. ALL PRAISE AND GLORY GO TO HIM…THE GREAT I AM.  

I want to use this post to explain that all royalties from the sale of my books are used to send copies to missionaries. They do not get charged. That has been my promise to God. He has brought me through so much and has been my provider and my protector in more ways than I could ever count, nor find enough words in which to thank Him. Also, the Gospel has been given to me freely, and therefore, freely I give it to others. There is a bible verse in which I tend to lean towards the NIV version: “…we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God” (2 Corinthians 2:17). These children’s books are my mission field. They are the work God has given me to do.

If you have a calling…if God has given you specific work to do…embrace it. The joy you receive in return will be immeasurable. And remember to give all praise and glory to Him. God has called you to be His. He wants to use you. Lift up your hands and say, “God…here I am.”

Love and Blessings!

Christine Maria Jahn

 

“Be of Good Courage”

The past few weeks, God has been hammering me with Joshua 1…mainly verses 5 through 9 and the more I read it, the more certain words and phrases would jump off the page:

5 “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

6 “Be strong and of good courage…”

7 “Only be thou strong and very courageous…”

8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night…”

9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

I tried to analyze these particular words. What significance did they have for me? Don’t get me wrong, the entire bible is SIGNIFICANT. But when certain words are standing out more than others, than God is trying to tell you something. What it boils down to is faithfulness and obedience. I have had quite a unique journey from November of 2016 through most of 2017. I won’t use this post to tell the entire story, but two surgeries within that time almost resulted in this writer being completely homeless. God was a constant provider every step of the way. My hope, my companion, my EVERYTHING.

My faith deepened to levels I didn’t know could happen. My love and joy for what God had brought me through was hard to contain. Anyone who would ask how I was not distraught about my situation received the same answer over and over: GOD. When you believe that He is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do, faith is not difficult. Especially when you experience circumstances that should have you weeping non-stop. But I just take a deep breath and say, I know you’ve got this God. Giving up control can be scary. However, the more you release control to God, the easier it gets. And that brings me to this post of what is God trying to say to me that I’m not understanding? I gave up control and put all my faith and trust in Him throughout the entire ordeal of two surgeries and recovery. I couldn’t figure out what I was not comprehending or what I was lacking in regards to faith.

Then the past few days I decided to concentrate on reading the Book of Psalms, randomly picking each one to read instead of going in order. I started with Psalm 27. The last verse reads “wait on the LORD: be of good courage…” What? Again with good courage? The next day I picked another Psalm. This time number 31. And yes, you guessed it – “Be of good courage.”

Okay, so now I know God is trying to work something out in me that I’m lacking or at least trying to get me to recognize that something in me is not to His standards. Then after much contemplation I decided to look up the word “good.” What synonyms could I find? And there were dozens. But one word jumped out at me immediately…OBEDIENT. Then it all made sense. I wasn’t obedient in meditating on Scripture the way I should. I wasn’t obedient in preparing spiritually for an upcoming mission trip to Africa. I was also letting some anxiety seep in, even though I’m excited for this trip. Good Courage…obedient fearlessness…knowing God will take care of this new journey I will be embarking on. Obedient in my faith to Him by studying His word, the One who has always been faithful to me. Obedient in letting Him have control once again. I was trying to force this trip to take place at a particular time, when in fact it’s all a matter of God’s timing.

We seem to always need to be reminded of that. Our timing is totally different from God’s timing. Even though I know I’m being called to serve in Senegal, I was placing myself there when I thought I should be there…not when God needs me there. After accepting that obedience to Him regarding His timing, His control, His provision, and obedience to meditating on Scripture was the issue, that little bit of anxiety that started to creep in has disappeared. I’m still excited…but it’s a “be of good courage” excited…and that makes all the difference.

Love and Blessings!

Christine Maria Jahn

Simply…Senegal

I have not done a blog post in a very long time. Truth be told, even though I write stories and poetry, I just have not felt myself to be a blogger. But with an upcoming trip to Senegal, the Lord has really been laying on my heart to do one. And now. So here goes.

We have become a society so self-centered, that if our food at a restaurant is five degrees colder than we like it, or if we get caught at a red light when we’re running late, or even worse…we are told at checkout that the sale we thought was still ongoing actually ended the day before, we FREAK OUT! And for what? Bottom line…at least we have food to eat, the red light is temporary (and maybe we should also set our alarms to go off earlier or better still…stop hitting the snooze button), and there will always be another sale.

I have seen pictures from different missionaries in Senegal, including several from Joe and Melissa Fleming whom I will be working with on my first trip. Some of these pictures are of the area, and some are of the street children there. And guess what? We all need to reset our self center switch to awareness of others.

We need, and MUST, put JESUS CHRIST back in our hearts. If you think He’s there, take a look around. We don’t have Him filling our hearts entirely, do we? Every moment that we are breathing, a little one is holding his or her breath in fear. Every second we are inside our secure houses, a little one is forced to beg on the street. Every night when we tuck our children and ourselves into our warm, comfy beds, a little one is getting severely beaten before laying his or her head down on a dirt floor. And every time we boohoo about a blister or a paper cut, a little one is hoping that someone will wipe away his or her tears and make the bruises and wounds feel better.

I have never been on a mission trip, in fact, I never thought I would go on one. But when you see God’s work in your life, and the provisions He gives, and the LOVE and FAITHFULNESS in His every action, then you MUST re-evaluate your priorities. The temperature of the food no longer matters as much as it once did, the 30 seconds at a red light are now used as moments of communication with God, and the sale I missed…well, then I didn’t the latest gadget or another purse, etc.

My first trip to Senegal will not be a long one, but I already feel the conviction of returning. And while I will miss seeing my own children and grandchildren while I’m gone, I know God will take care of them for me.

So in closing this post, I ask prayers that God instills me with love, mercy, compassion, grace, courage, strength, and boldness. And add an extra prayer for protection (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual); and discernment to recognize the distraction tricks that Satan will no doubt throw at me. He has been trying to scare me away from Senegal, but His manifestation tactics are not working, for my GOD is GREATER, more POWERFUL, and already VICTORIOUS.

I have come to like a verse in Nehemiah 6:3, which says: “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down…” And I know in the depths of my soul that my great work is not just writing inspirational children’s books and donating them to missionaries, but a greater work will be serving in Senegal; loving on street children like Jesus would and staying obedient to God’s calling. Because I am a lowly sinner saved by God’s grace, it would be remiss of me to ignore this most humbling of works He has placed on my heart.

I don’t know what all I will experience during my time in Senegal, but I know God will be with me every step of the way. He always was, and always will be. He is mine. And I am His. You are His as well. Do you hear Him calling? He wants to use you. Answer Him. You will not regret it. I promise.

Love and Blessings,

Christine Maria Jahn

The Beautiful Heartbeat of Jesus

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As many of my friends, and even some of my writer fans know, I love reading books by Beth Moore. I have also done a few of her bible studies with my ladies bible study group. And there is a moment from time to time when there is a line she has written that just resonates deep within me; a line or phrase that touches the inner sanctum of my spirit; a word or two that gives me a new perception of a bible verse or incident.

This happened once again only a few days ago. I am reading Beth Moore’s Portraits of Devotion. On page 136, Beth is describing what John the Baptist must have thought and felt when he was summoned to baptize Jesus. “…I consented, shaking all over. I placed my left hand on His back and my right hand on His chest. I felt the heartbeat of the Son of God.” Wow! Does that give you chills as it does me? I never, ever, thought of Jesus’ baptism from the point of view of John the Baptist.

Imagine being that close to our Savior and feeling His heart beating; pulsing under your fingertips. The thought overwhelmed me a few days ago and has, in fact, stayed with me ever since I read that passage. And the more I think of it, the more I realize I did feel His wondrous heartbeat…in my three children when they were born and first laid upon my chest. Even before they were born, I heard their hearts beating during several ultrasounds. How blessed we are as mothers to receive such a gift as those precious heartbeats. And to take the thought even deeper, did Mary, the mother of Jesus giggle when the unborn Savior rolled over in her womb? Did she keep her hand on her belly for long periods of time just embracing the little kicks? I cannot believe otherwise.

Am I in awe of John the Baptist and his closeness to the heartbeat of the Son of God? Absolutely! But I realize also, that God did not only give that heartbeat to John the Baptist to feel. God gave it to all of us.

Blessings!

Christine Maria Jahn

Forgotten Children

As I thought about what I should say in my blog post tonight, I reflected on a conversation I’ve been having frequently with coworkers, family, and friends. My discussions always begin like this: “What is happening to our society that children are dying terrible heatstroke deaths because their parent(s) say they forgot their child was in the car?”

 
REALLY?!?!?

 
Seriously…how can you forget you have a child in the car? Especially mothers. How can you, in all honesty, say you did not remember your infant was in his/her car seat? You gave birth to that baby. Does the infant mean so little to you?

 

According to http://www.kidsandcars.org, there have been seventeen children who have died so far in 2014 from being left inside a hot vehicle with closed windows. Seventeen beautiful, precious gifts from God have been sent home too early because of neglect, ignorance, carelessness, and just plain stupidity. That is seventeen too many.

 
I cannot seem to comprehend how this tragedy keeps occurring over and over and over. It not only saddens me, but it angers me. Words are difficult to find for this post. My head hurts from the struggle of trying to rationalize any reason for this to take place. I have seen several news casts where both a prosecutor and defense attorney or asked to explain what steps they would take to reason with the jury if this was their case. My heart still aches from hearing a defense attorney state that the parent or parent(s) had too much on their minds, or they were in a hurry to get to work and forgot to drop their child off at day care, etc., etc., etc.

 
Come on moms and dads…if you are in a situation where you don’t want to be a parent any longer, there are thousands upon thousands of couples who would love to adopt an unwanted child. Your child did not ask to be born, and I’m very certain your child is not asking to die by means similar to baking a loaf of bread in the oven. Take that child to a local hospital, police station, a friend, a coworker, anywhere…but PLEASE don’t leave that child in the car. That is a most evil and deviant way to rid your life of a child.

 
And to society in general…don’t be afraid to look inside windows as you walk by parked cars. If you hear something, or heaven forbid, see something, don’t be afraid to react to the situation. It could mean life or death for a child left behind, whether by accident or on purpose.

 
Blessings to the seventeen little angels who have been taken from this world. You are now with the best babysitter a child could ever have…Jesus. And blessings to the children who are still in its presence. May God watch over you all, each and every day.

 

Christine Maria Jahn

51st London Book Bench

Very cool. I have seen some of the benches and the artwork is beautiful. Although, I must be honest, and it pains me to say this, the bench depicting “Pride & Prejudice” is my least favorite. I was expecting that one to outshine the rest, but it did not. However, you may like the artwork. As for voting, I think it’s awesome that the public is being asked which literary story should be depicted next.

Perspectively Grateful

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Like most people in the world today, or at least in America, I live paycheck to paycheck. And like most people who live paycheck to paycheck, I do my share of whining about the bills I have and the luxuries I don’t have. I also dream and plan about what I would do if my novel would just sell “x” more copies or if the kindle version would just be downloaded “x” more times. And on and on it goes.

 
Then there’s always that one little thing that brings you back to being grateful for what you do have and what you don’t. And being a woman of faith, I know that when that little thing happens, it’s God telling me to stop complaining, because my life isn’t as bad as I think it is. In fact, there are times when God shows me that my life is awesome. This past Saturday was one of those times.

 
I sponsor a little girl, Maritza, who lives in Bolivia. When I knew I would be getting a tax refund this past February, I wanted to do something extra special for Maritza and her family. Not only did I give the monthly donation, but I gave an additional donation. I received a message that I would be sent pictures to show me what Maritza and her family bought with the extra money I had sent. Well, that was the beginning of February, and it is now the end of June. I thought surely, I would have received at least some type of communication by now regarding what they purchased. Impatience is not a good thing.

 
Well, this past payday I realized that I am in a financial bind. There will be very little money left until my next payday. Here we go again with whining about what bills needed to get paid and losing sight of what is truly important, not that paying bills aren’t important, but I’m sure you know what I mean.

 
Then in the mail this past Saturday I received a letter and pictures from Maritza’s father. What I read and saw turned around my perspective of what I have and don’t have 360 degrees. Maritza was standing next to a bag of flour, a bag of sugar, a very large bag of pasta noodles, and what really got to my heart, was the table and chairs behind her. In the letter, the father thanked me for giving them the means to buy those few staples so they would be able to make bread and have noodles for many dinners. But he also thanked me for letting them finally have a table and chairs so that they would no longer have to sit on the floor. Talk about having a moment when you can hear God say, “Stop complaining about your circumstances.”

 
So instead of how little money I have left from my paycheck, my new perspective is “wow, I have an apartment filled with furniture, three beautiful children, a car, a job, a published book, etc., etc., etc. So what if it might be a mac and cheese night with hot dogs or the 1000th night of having spaghetti, or tomato soup instead of steak; at least “I have” instead of “I don’t have.”

 
And God…You have great timing. For that, I am truly grateful.

 

Blessings!

Christine Maria Jahn

What is Your One Great Thing for 2014?

Andy Stanley posted a bible verse the other day: “I am doing a great thing and I cannot come down” (Nehemiah 6:3 NASB). It’s one of his favorite verses. So much so that he stated it’s on a plaque hanging in his house.

So what does this verse mean exactly? Why has Andy Stanley and his wife Sandra given it such prominence in their home? It’s actually quite simple. What it boils down to is this: what one thing do you need, want, or must work on that would add significance to not only your life, but increase the quality of your relationship with others.

There are those who think bible verses are too complex and therefore use that as an excuse to not read the bible or not use the bible as a guideline for their lives; when in fact, the opposite is true.

What a great verse from the book of Nehemiah. “I am doing a great thing and I cannot come down.” That great thing can be any number of possibilities. Do you want to be a better parent, a better spouse, a better student, a better mentor; perhaps you want to become a more disciplined writer, or a more disciplined dancer. Do you want to pay off a debt?

Whatever your one great thing is, the only way to accomplish that goal is to leave distractions out of the equation. Such as, cutting the time you’re on the internet in order to give your undivided attention to your children; or turning the television and all phones off while the family has dinner; or how about volunteering once a week or once every two weeks at a homeless shelter? How about forgoing that one or two cups of expensive coffee and putting the money towards that one debt you’re trying to pay off?

My one great thing for 2014? To become the most disciplined writer I can be. I let distractions such as facebook, emails, television, text messages, etc., invade what little personal time I have. Precious time that I will never get back. So starting today, my internet time in 2014 will be severely limited. I am thankful to God for giving me this desire to write. Therefore, it would be most grievous if I do not embrace it…if I do not try to nurture it the best way I can.

To become a more disciplined writer in 2014…that is my one great thing. What’s yours?