Remembering the Why

Merry Christmas from Our Greater Things House to Your House
Friends! Just want to take a deep breath and review all the Lord has done and is doing. We prayed at New Wine Church yesterday, “Lord please don’t let us have Christmas and miss You!” He is so worthy of our praise and adoration.
 
Through His power and your generosity, Greater Things has discipled multiple groups, with new groups springing off of these original gatherings. The GT house has been used for ministry to inner city teens, prayer meetings, worship nights, New Wine Church, men’s group, Kingdom Moms, The Unveiling Women’s Event, and our still unnamed Wednesday Women’s group. Wink.
 
We had our largest Beach Retreat to date and I can truly say it was ground breaking.
 
In addition, God has opened up a whole new territory for us as Chuck has gone on two mission trips this year to the Middle East. God told me while Chuck was gone that he would never be the same. “Part of his heart lives there now,” the Lord said. So we are planning and learning how to love on those from different countries there and also here.
 
And 2020? I don’t know if you ask the Lord for a word every year, but it is a practice I began years ago under the teaching from John Dee. The how-to is ask God for a word or phrase that He wants to deposit, teach or reveal to you in the coming year. It has been incredible to see Him move in this way and how we spur one another on in the process. Let me just say for this coming year my word is a doozy. I will have to unpack it for you as I get more clarity.
 
Speaking of clarity, a couple of REALLLLY fun things for 2020:
1) Three books in the writing and refining process.
Whaaat? I know, that was my reaction to God’s instruction too.
It has been remarkable to see Him breathe on the dreams that I have hidden for too long.
 
2) Another new thing is Listen and See Podcast Not sure why this thrills my soul, but please listen in.
We are talking about topics that matter with some of my favorite people.
 
3) This is SUPER early announcement, but Kingdom Access School is starting in August. Please stay tuned for more about this!
 
Where Credit is Due
I want to give a shout out to Caroline Ervin, Sarah Mason, Hailey Keene. These women have been incredible to serve and put strength into the workings of Greater Things. Also a shout out to Jessica Counts, Laura Jones, and Beth Hungerford for the unseen ways they serve the many activities. I want to give thanks to the GT Prayer Team for their incredible intercession. And finally, a shout out to Chad Brooks, Peter Simeone, and Joanna Simeone for beautifying and keeping GT grounds. This goes without saying, but I must shine the light on Chuck Spicka for rocking it as my co-heir. I love doing this with you with Him.
 
There are so many others who love, give, support my crazy, and benefit Greater Things. Thank you.
 
You know, maybe you could take a moment to just reach out to the people who help you be you. We really can’t say “thank you” enough. God is so gracious to connect us and help us link arms so that we might advance His Kingdom together.
 
Okay. My last thought.
 
This Christmas season, God has ever so kindly asked about my offering to Him. I know we are consumed with gift-giving to others. However, the wise men brought gifts of honor to the King.
 
The Lord has been breaking it down like this. He is offering me the presence of His Son, fresh and new every year, and what is my response? Will I leave my duties like the shepherds to go and see? Will I treasure what’s right in front of me like Mary and ponder all that God is? Will I bring my costly gifts like the wise men and lay them at His feet because I recognize that I all I need and long for is found in Him?
 
God gave me this beautiful phrase yesterday: Jesus gets personal when Jesus gets personal. Ask Him and respond to Him. I truly believe these acts of devotion are life-changing.
 
I bless you with a rich, full of glory Christmas.
With deep love,
Jana
 
P.S. Just in case you haven’t heard, our giving can now be done online at greater-things.org Thank you. Our ministry is 100% donor funded so we appreciate doing this part together too.

When Restlessness Produces New Fruit

On a regular basis I like to shake things up. No. It’s better said that I have to shake it up. If things get too static for too long I get a little crazy. Ask my mom. And my husband. Well, and my co-workers. My restlessness has prompted many a furniture rearrangement, get out of dodge adventures, and half-baked ministry projects.  What I love about this process is the daring, new experiments that are launched. Full disclosure, some of them crash and burn. Some of them fly high for a season. Some of them resemble oak trees that just continue to grow deep in roots and broad in reach.

Another truth to disclose, I never know what result they will be until they have left my hand. The artist’s plight, I guess.  But the Lord reminded me about a verse the other day. “The good tree produces good fruit.” (Matthew 7:17) I read this again and let out a deep, long sigh. Ah. There it is. Pressure is off.

It doesn’t say that every single branch will produce a perfect blossom that will produce a perfect fruit. Rather it says the good tree will produce good fruit. Overall, in an ongoing way, the natural behavior  of a good and healthy tree is it sprouts, blossoms and yields fruit from different branches at different times. It is the tree’s lifetime destiny. And the outcome of the fruit is not necessarily the point either. Some of that fruit falls to the ground and rots. Some feeds squirrels and us. Some fruit is replanted in far away places as the birds carry it away. But the tree, the good tree, firmly planted, just keeps producing fruit.

Before you ask… in God, we are good trees. One thing I have learned the hard way is God is Less interested in my 100% perfect outcomes and More interested in my 100% surrender. My “yes!” answer to Him really, really matters. It really impacts His heart. Your “yes” has the same affect. So today, just give Him a fresh “yes” and let Him pour His good, good love through you.

Here are a couple of the outpourings He and I have been playing with. Feel free to partake of new fruit!

A new podcast called Listen and See  and A Greater Things Christmas Eve 

Do You Need To Re-think Christmas?

God gave me a huge download this last week.  I had a birthday which can be exhilarating and excruciating at the same time. Smile. I guess that reality aligns with our actual birth days which were full of joy and full of pain. However one precious gift I received was a word from the Lord. An actual word: honor.  I am still translating all that the Spirit poured out but I thought it was no accident to get this word right at Christmas time.

Honor is to elevate above, esteem, hold in high value. The Spirit brought to mind the verse, “he who honors me, him will I honor.” (1 Samuel 2:30)  It’s an odd verse.  But it is packed with promise. This isn’t a duty-bound, fear-driven demand. This is an invitation. From God.  He is saying, if you honor me, it’s not a one-way street. I am going to turn around and honor you back.  Selah.

I don’t know if you know this about God. But here is the word picture.  A mom says to her daughter, “You go fill up your hands with candy and give it to me. And then I will fill up my hands with candy and give it to you…”

Who do you think has bigger hands?

Childs-Hands-full-of-candy

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