Dear Blackberry Farm, It’s Still Porn…

Whether it is the Super Bowl, the Playboy Mansion, or Blackberry Farm,  presenting women as objects, reducing their whole person to body parts for male stimulation and pleasure is still porn and it’s still wrong.

Some local news outlets applauded the prestigious Blackberry Farm for receiving yet  “another accolade”  for excellence because they provided the backdrop for the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.  On the contrary, it seems they have cheapened their reputation by being an upscale Hooters.  For an organization dedicated to the highest quality possible, they have dropped their standards to such a degree that I have to wonder, is the publicity worth it? No wait, is the degradation of women worth it? Evidently, sadly, yes.

Men behaving badly is the same regardless of your locale.stop porn  This is so painfully obvious that it is near ridiculous to even have to write it out in black and white.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition is not art. It’s not benign. It’s not harmless.  Neither is sex trafficking, or adultery, or porn addiction.

It kills women, children and men. It breaks marriages and lives apart.

For what? An orgasm.  Are you kidding me? Continue reading

Tending to Your Heart In Winter

Imagine  a dried piece of toast.  That’s what my heart  looked  like coming out of the holidays.  And I was so confounded by it.

I enjoyed such a rich time with my family and friends, a time for which I am so grateful and don’t take for granted. I don’t know about you, but families can be risky, so having a happy gathering is a big win at my house. Plus when your kids are home for two weeks, and your husband is on vacation, it generally means mom is not! But God answered my prayers that I would truly savor the times we had together. And we did! IMG_5956

Still when it was just me and Jesus again, the kids back at school, Chuck back to the office, the decorations back in boxes, I felt a little iced over. How can this be when we just spent a month celebrating God’s faithfulness and wonder?

Nevertheless. I was dried out. Iced over.  Blah.

In the natural, winter demands protective measures. Covering pipes. Wearing warmer clothes. Increasing Vitamin D until the sunshine returns.

I’m finding the spiritual winter demands extra effort as well. The first step for me in warming up was understanding that I  am not doing anything wrong necessarily. Continue reading

Is Forgiveness Real, or Not?

I really blew it with my kids yesterday.  Blame it on a toxic cocktail of hormones,  fear and the need to control.  Or.  Let’s just get real.  It was my loss of self control. 

Either way, when my emotional tornado passed, all of us looked and felt like one of those house-splintered aftermath scenes. They were hurt.  I was hurt. And I was pretty sure the Lord was sad too.  There was  a lot of debris to clean up.

As I made dinner, the scene replayed in my mind: my words, their faces.  My choices, their hurt. Over and over it played. My heart was breaking. I love my girls so much. And yet…I still said those horrible things.

“What do I do now??” I asked the Lord in a near panic.

Of course— I would ask my girls  for forgiveness.  But how do I be different next time? I was in a state of shock and disbelief.

Had He taught me so much only for me to lose it in a moment? Did His love not really matter when I needed it most? Was I ever going to learn how to deal with my emotions in a healthy way in the heat of the moment? Continue reading

Why More Sex Doesn’t Fix Porn

It makes me sick when pastors tell wives that if they had been sexing their husbands enough, then their husbands would not have turned to porn. But it makes me violent when pastors tell these now broken, betrayed wives that it is their duty to keep giving their porn addict husbands sex to make them better.

These same pastors misquote scripture to further beat up these wounded women. Well played guys.  Because orgasm is the god of the age.

One commonly misused passage is 1st Corinthians 7: 1- 7 Continue reading

Do you want to be free, or not?

So yesterday morning my cat, Dante, brought  in a full grown chipmunk.

I heard the scrambling and the screeching and I ran to see it just in time as the poor chipmunk leaped from the cat’s mouth as Dante fumbled down the stairs.

(Why the cat felt the need to bring it downstairs is unclear and absurd. Getting in the cat door with a full grown animal is impressive enough, but down the stairs? Anyway…)

Immediately the other cat, Leonardo, and the dog, Lucy, were on high alert, sniffing and running after the poor creature who is also on high alert. The chipmunk is panicking and smelling and trying to find someplace to hide quickly. With a lunge, it ran behind the piano.

I am too am now on high alert. I put one cat in the bedroom and closed the door. I put the other cat upstairs. And closed the door. I put the dog in the crate and closed the door.

For the chipmunk…I opened the basement door. Wide open. Empty room with a open door

It did not budge.

I got a broom and tried to gently push it out from behind the piano so it can see the open door. See the freedom.  But the broom was too short.

And so we stood there. The chipmunk and I.  It was hiding and cowering. I was standing there waiting, hoping it would smell the scents of the freshly rained on morning and peek around the piano and see freedom.

“Okay buddy. It’s all on you. I have done all I can.”

I removed the obstacles. I opened the door. The rest was on the chipmunk.

Freedom is choice.

For the chipmunk. For us.

We can cower in fear all our lives. We can hide in dark places and feel sorry for ourselves.

Or we can peek around the corner and see that God has already bound our tormentors and has opened the door to freedom. Wide open. The rest is up to us.

Choose freedom today. Freedom from anxiety,  anger,  self pity and even sadness. There is a fresh newly rained on morning awaiting. All you have to do is go through the open door.

The chipmunk finally did. So can you.


Photo Credit:



Will the Church Rise Up and Be the Church?

So I have to ask. Have any of your pastors paused for a moment “during church” to pray for the evil of the moment? Has anyone, as the shepherd of the flock, given Godly instruction on how to prepare for the days we are living in? I am not talking fear and panic, or blissfully vague.  I’m talking about instructions on how to stand in the power and authority of our Risen King and how to defend and diffuse the attacks on our country, family and faith.

Now more than ever, we don’t need to look to the government to rescue us. Yes they should— according to our Constitution. Will they? That remains to be seen. But the government is not our Savior. Now more than ever, people need to see the Church rise up in confident faith in the God who is and was and is to come.  We must wake up. Stand up and lead. We must be the agents of peace and His divine Grace.

I am concerned that the church is, collectively, more focused on:

  • Distractions about buildings, budgets, and attendance
  • Criticisms about other Christians who may not be doing church in the same way, or are even “heretical” in their view
  • Programs and entertainment within our “four walls”
  • Territories, turf wars, and who gets the credit.

There seems to be a general confusion on what it means to be a Christ follower and still defend your family. The unasked questions hover in an uncomfortable way— “Is it Christian to protect yourself and family from harm, or, does ‘turning the other cheek’ apply here?” Can I love Muslims  in the name of Jesus and still want stop ISIS?  What’s more, there is an odd denial that our children could ever be at risk of murder just for claiming the name of Jesus.

I say again. We must wake up. Stand up and lead. We must be the agents of peace and His divine Grace.IMG_8936

Please hear me.   I am compelled by a Holy Roar that we must walk in the Truth we have been given. To do that we must rightly frame our lives from God’s perspective and prepare accordingly.

Nothing New Under the Sun, And Yet

ISIS is driven by the same murderous spirit that has roamed the earth from the beginning. But it still is the very real evil of our day. So what are going to do about it? What is the church preparing for? Is our goal only salvation of souls— so that when we get killed we will all go to heaven? Is that it?

I hope not.

All through history God raised up mighty warriors who did the unthinkable: faced unspeakable odds in remarkable times. Let me refresh your memory.

  • The Hebrew Children in Egypt.
  • David.
  • Gideon.
  • People of the Catacombs.
  • Luther.
  • Corrie Ten Boom.
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
  • Present Day Children in Iraq and Syria.
  • And so many more…

All of these people were just like us. No more. No less. And when evil invaded their realities they had the same fear, same faith, same need for God to show up Big on their behalf. And He did. We do well to review their  stories of faith and might as we face the very real darkness and danger.

Faith in Action

One striking thing about each of these heroes of the our faith is that they took action. Risky, costly, prayer-filled action. So can we!

  •  What if churches and their leaders organized  a community prayer time? Opened the doors, linked arms, invited all denominations in and prayed for the peace of God to rule and to guide in these days. What if we offered our non-religious community a place of rest and comfort?
  • What if churches and their leaders stopped every Sunday to speak the name of Jesus over the slaughter and destruction? I mean actually  deviate from the “agenda” to acknowledge the issues.  I often pray for the worldwide church during worship on Sunday mornings because I know many churches all over the country are meeting. So what if we all collectively commanded the darkness to flee?
  • What if churches and their leaders talked about martyrdom and what it is and How it is? I remember hearing stories from China and Romania who have and still suffer from extreme persecution. One pastor said, “persecution is good for the church.”  How so?

Because we tend to shed access baggage when our lives are on the line. Boiling your whole life’s worth down to one person, Jesus,  makes things incredibly simple. Jesus plus nothing. Are we leading this radical life as churches?

I wonder when does “something” become important enough to interrupt “our regularly scheduled program.” Are we even remembering our fallen brothers and sisters at all?

I wonder are we so busy “protecting our children from upsetting news” that we are not preparing them to stand? You can be sure that parents in war zones are telling their children life and death reality. Children are dying just because they love Jesus.  How will our children stand if they don’t even know?

God Is Working Always

I would like to offer some thoughts God has given to me as I have been interceding.  I have poured out my heart and said, “Father, how do we walk in these days? How do we advance the Kingdom instead of hiding in fear?” These are things He has  revealed to me.

1) Prepare to be generous. Every time there is a crisis, fear drives people to do crazy things. So stock up and prepare to share your blessings. Whether that is faith or food, peace or shelter, be ready to give from your abundance.

2) Prepare to be courageous.  God is still on His Throne therefore we walk in a bold hope and confidence. Courage is not the absence of fear, but doing the brave thing even though you are afraid. Now is the time speak up and speak out about the heinous acts we are witnessing. It’s not someone else’s problem to fix. It’s ours.

3) Prepare to be heard. God has established a governmental system. So we need to call and email our Senators and Representatives. They need to hear from us that we expect them to do the right thing.  Often Christians abdicate civil duties because they don’t like who is in office. Do it anyway. Remember? Of the people, by the people, for the people.

4) Prepare to be well loved.  Over and over, Jesus said, ‘never will I leave you.” God has been faithful to every generation and He will be faithful to us as well. Look for His Goodness and His Protection in the smallest of ways.  He loves us with an everlasting love and I think if we talked to those who have walked through these horrible situations, we would hear that “they overcame the accuser by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.” God will meet us in our need.

Sisters and Brothers, let us shake off complacency and comfort zones.  We must rise up. Pray without ceasing. Encourage your pastors. , Call your elected officials. Talk to your children. Love God in all circumstances.  Love your enemies.  Amen and Amen.

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations…” Matthew 24



Tuesday is the Day for New Class— “I Need More…”

Soooo. Nothing like a little stumble to keep you humble. In my thrill of making announcements I missed one little glaring detail. I am not available on many Mondays. IMG_8441

So here is the UPDATED new announcement. And I am still super thrilled to get to be with God’s women.

I really feel like God is calling His women to an awakening. So many I talk to are really frayed, dried out or tied up in knots. He is wanting us to come sit in His presence for a deep breath, a new perspective, a safe place to heal. He wants us to come into the deeper waters for life.

“I Need More…”  is a new class that begins September 16 through November. We will meet every other TUESDAY night at Greenbrier Club House, from 6:30-8:30. The address is 1505 Greenbrier Ridge Way, Knoxville, TN 37909.  Very convenient at the Papermill exit off I-40.

What you can expect: soaking worship, the presence of the Lord, other hungry women who want more of God, and real life topics. It’s for women who have that yearn in their gut for something better, deeper; for women have gone numb; for women who need some freedom finally; for women who are ready to go to the next level.

Please pray with me that the women who are hungry will come, and thank God with me that He will feed those who do.

New Season, New Class, New Event— Just New!

Hello Friends!
Do you smell that? No, it’s not Pumpkin Spice lattes. It is the aroma of anticipation. God is moving and shaking so much that I am eager to begin this new season.

We had a great “Saying Yes to God” Class. I am still meeting with new women who are doing just that, saying yes, and I love watching their lives explode with more of Him.

Here is a quick update of things on the horizon.

“I Need More…”  is a new class that begins September 15 through November. We will meet every other Monday night at Greenbrier Club House, from 6:30-8:30. The address is 1505 Greenbrier Ridge Way, Knoxville, TN 37909.  Very convenient at the Papermill exit off I-40.

What you can expect: soaking worship, the presence of the Lord, other hungry women who want more of God, and real life topics. It’s for women who have that yearn in their gut for something better, deeper; for women have gone numb; for women who need some freedom finally; for women who are ready to go to the next level. Dang. I am SO excited!!!

Little Teasers about what’s Coming Soon
The Yes and Amen at the Beach sold out really quickly.
So guess what? I am planning another! And, we are scheduling a Yes and Amen in the Mountains for folks who need one closer by. If you are remotely interested, please email me at Jana@janaspicka so I can get you on the details list.

Fresh Revelation…God is stirring in me to do a new event this Spring. I have the location but I need a team to help me get the ball rolling. If you have any desire to love God and love on others by serving on a volunteer team, I will let you in on the secret handshake (wink) and we will get busy! Email me or find me on Facebook.

I hope you will connect with, or pray over, or spread the word about all God is doing. My heart is so full. And I am thankful for the opportunity to let it pour out.

Grace and favor on you and in you!


When You think You Need More Money…

I have a lot of wealthy friends.  We live in really different financial spheres and  sometimes the money gap is comical.  For example,  I was thrilled to go to Florida and one friend vacationed at  a Mediterranean  oasis.  I bought a new house (that I love!) and one friend bought a new house that makes my house look like her bonus room.  Another  friend  eloquently remarked, “Jana I live in a land with lots of zeros, so I  am not worried about the cost of this.”

I laughed out loud. I can’t even imagine making such a statement.

The odd thing though is my wealthy friends also make heart-wrenching comments.  Two of them said  recently that they have a hard time with close friendships because people are jealous of them and that people judge them for how they spend their money.IMG_1962

These comments rattled my soul. For several reasons. I love my friends. Deeply. And they love me. Deeply.

I would hope that their love for me would not fluctuate as my income fluctuates. As in,  when I have no money,  I would have no friendship? So then, why would having a surplus of income mean a sacrifice of friendship?

Do we really believe that more money is the answer to most everything?  If we are not careful, we will have our eyes on more money rather than on more of our Maker.  Look at these statements from wealthy people in my world:

“I have so much money, I don’t really need Jesus for anything.”

“I had an opportunity to make millions, but I don’t think that is what’s best for my family or my own soul. I don’t think this is God’s plan for me right now.”

“I am thankful for the money we have, but my friends think I don’t have any problems.  They think their  life is harder than mine. And it gets very lonely.”

Do you hear the temptation? the poverty? the need?  Suddenly the ground becomes very level at the Cross. Perhaps money isn’t the answer to everything. Here are real life people who have plenty of money, yet still have plenty of lack.

Theologian Henri Nouwen poignantly calls out that we are all poor in some areas and rich in some areas. Some have material wealth, some have spiritual wealth. Some have wisdom, some mercy.  Yet above all things, he asks, where is our trust? The Lord is the source of all, for all.

Extreme security.  These are the two words that God gave me in March.  It was an invitation actually.

“How would you like to live in “extreme security?” He asked.

“What does this mean?” I said. Instantly I thought of paying opportunities that would give me more stability, more options. But that’s not what He had in mind.

“That you would be so convinced of My Provision that I would  become your ‘extreme security’.”

“I would love this Lord, but I don’t know how.”

“Trust Me.”

Trusting the goodness of God is our highest goal. Perhaps, just perhaps, this is why Jesus said you can’t love God and love money. You have to choose.

You can love God and use money. But you can’t love money and use God.

When I love God, I can learn to trust in His abundance for my every need. Enter peace.

When I love money, I am constantly grasping for more to meet my own needs. Enter exhaustion.

My wealthy friends already know this. They have all they need financially and more. (Which is why they give so much away.) They already know that money doesn’t meet ALL their needs. Only God can do that.

So regardless of your financial status, how is your peace? What is your source? Where is your love?

Really let the Lord reveal your mental conversations as you compare yourself to others, or even despise others for their surplus or lack. Are you asking God to meet your needs?  Are you accusing God of not taking care of you? How about this— are you thanking God for what you do have?

And, likewise, let the Lord reveal your areas of spiritual wealth. What areas are you so full that you might share with others?  You may be rich in ways you have never considered. I love what 1 Timothy 6:6 says: “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”  Godliness. Contentment. Great Gain. This sounds like a great path for us all, regardless of the number of zeros in our lives.

God is faithful to meet all our needs. May we be rich in trusting Him.




Standing in These Uncertain Days…

ISIS. Torture. Beheadings. Martyrs. Burned at the stake. Crucified.

Persecution is not a new thing. More than twenty years ago,  as brand new believers, Chuck and I worked closely with the Voice of the Martyrs organization. We heard stories that  turn your stomach turn and test your faith.  But that’s not all.  I have read many history books. And, I have read the New Testament.  Often.

Remember? It is the stories of people who experienced  overwhelming love and utter sacrifice. Persecution is not a new thing.

So as we face the current onslaught, the alarm sounds for us to move deeper into the heart of God.  Just as  tornado warnings  blare out for us to “seek shelter,”  so we  seek the shelter of the Almighty.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.” 

Psalm 91:1-3

These are the days that separate true faith from religion. The sheep from the goats. Religion would make cowards of us all.  Social comfort zones, or playing church, do not provide a foundation worth dying for.  But “the love of God compels us” to stand against the evil of every generation.

I tell you in the Spirit, the days we are living in must produce  three things in every believer’s heart—love, power, and a sound mind.

Love will help you discern that the battle we are in is not against “flesh and blood but principalities and powers.”  (Ephesians 6:12)

Love— and I mean God’s real, relevant and consuming affection—  will help you abandon your life into His heart. That though you lose your life, you know you will save your soul. These are chilling questions but ones you must examine.

“Am I willing to die for Jesus?”  “Am I willing to lose all that I have, including my family, for Jesus?”IMG_4803

You can be sure that our brothers and sisters in the middle East live—and die— by their answers every day. We are not exempt from these spiritual siftings.

Jesus himself spoke of days just as these and declared that these things “must happen.” But his warning? He was concerned about our love. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,  but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24: 12-13 What is your love temperature?

It a sincere love for Jesus that motivates us to follow in His sufferings should that day come. You can’t fake Christianity for long when someone is a holding a gun to your head. Be diligent then in these days. Cultivate, nurture, prioritize your relationship with God now.

Power will equip you to wage war with “divine weapons” and demolish strongholds regardless of where the enemies are located.  (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Power comes when we understand that Jesus reigns. He is the King of all the earth. Period.  When we see evil on the rise, we must respond with even greater confidence and faith. And we must respond. In prayer, in action, in faith.  The great Light of God has come into the world, and the darkness cannot put it out. Not ISIS, not anyone.

Through him all things were made;

without him nothing was made that has been made. 

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome  it.”

John 1: 3-5

We don’t wring our hands, or fret about our way of life. We speak the kingdom of God into the darkest places. We declare the goodness of God to be manifested to those being tormented but also to the tormentors. We release the Scriptures like arrows. We stand in the Spirit against our enemy, we intercede for the suffering. Just this morning I prayed that the name of Jesus would “pour forth like ointment.” (Song of Songs 1:3)

We must rise up into the power and authority that Jesus gave us to advance His Kingdom.  It is time for the church to stop its petty territory games and “follow the leader” paradigms and instead start equipping the saints for the Holy War of Love.

A sound mind has a peace that  “will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:7

It is in the mind that your greatest victory is won. “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” ( 2 Timothy 1:7 )  A sound mind has already been given to you. Are you accessing it?  We know that in Him we are more than conquerors.  But so many of us live in a daily panic or state of “what if this happens.”

I challenge you that God knows your days.  He knows the hairs on your head. His job is to be God. Your job is to trust and obey. Trust His goodness, even in the darkest of circumstances, and obey His commands: Love God and love your neighbor.

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.

And what does the LORD require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy

and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

Which takes more faith? To freak out over every news report or Facebook post? Or, to love your enemies and to bless those who persecute you? ( Matthew 5:44) Our sound mind and steadfast faith releases the power of God into our lives and the world.

Perhaps, the greatest challenge we face as Christians is to finally learn the secret:  “Perfect Love casts out fear.”

Today. Tomorrow. Middle East. USA. War. Peace. Famine. Abundance. It is Christ alone.

I exhort you to examine your life. To purposely raise your spiritual expectations so that you live in the realm of Love, Power and a Sound Mind.  Then we might  truly see “Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven.”