Joy in the Lord

“Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

‬It’s the Christmas season. I know we haven’t gotten to Thanksgiving yet but ads, commercials and stores are definitely telling us it’s time. The loud, colorful commercials want us to believe that we will find joy this season by getting or giving the right gift.

But we will only truly be joyful when we set our hearts to obey God’s word and seek him. He is the source of our joy and contentment.

Find more inspiration and hopefully a few laughs on my podcast Seeking God, Loving Others.

Psalm 103:13- Compassion

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;” -Psalms‬ ‭103:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The application of this word could change the world. Instead of placing blame on people or trying to figure out how they got in what they’re in, what if we showed compassion. What if we didn’t judge a single mother, but asked if she needed babysitting help. What if we didn’t label the man asking for change a beggar, but bought him a coffee and offered a prayer?

God has been so compassionate towards us. The rest of this verse says “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”
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God could easily bring up every wrong thing we’ve done or said, but he doesn’t. He chooses compassion. He chooses to love us. And since we are made in his image, we should extend this same grace to others.

Find more inspiration and hopefully a few laughs on my podcast Seeking God, Loving Others.

Choosing Peace

As I write this blog, I have a busy few days coming. Well, really a busy few weeks. I promise this is not a humble brag or me trying to flex a busy schedule on you, but in the next 3 weeks, I have my son’s 10th birthday, my mom flying into town, homeschool, gymnastics, blogging, podcasting, extracurriculars, my last weeks of marathon training and then running that marathon.

I don’t like busy. I don’t like a full calendar. I like lighting candles and sipping coffee. I like adult coloring and crossword puzzles. I like sitting in a blanket on my couch watching Bluey with my kids or without them. Bluey is a really great show!

I don’t like being busy because I feel like I have to choose between what I have to do and what I want to do. I have to choose what gets done and what doesn’t.

One thing that I am choosing every day is peace. I used to get really worked up when I had a busy season. I’d make lists of lists to make lists and cross out things on lists and tear up lists to make newer prettier ones. Don’t get me wrong, I do have a list! But it no longer stresses me out.

Isaiah 26:3 says “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
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Every morning, I focus my mind on Christ and receive the peace of God. What does this look like for me? It’s pretty basic. Instead of worrying about the laundry that I have done, I played restaurant with my kids. Instead of trying to run a billion errands for my son’s sleepover, I asked my husband to help out. Instead of rushing through my kid’s school lesson, we went to the library and got done what we could.

I know some situations in life are thrown at us without us asking for them, but even in those instances, we can choose peace. We can make the decision before hand that we will not be overwhelmed by stress or anxiety, but be overwhelmed by the peace of God.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

You can find more inspiration and hopefully a few laughs on my podcast Seeking God, Loving Others.

  • Th Sufficiency of His Grace
    I have fallen off the wagon a bit. I guess I haven’t fallen completely off but I’m dragging behind the wagon by my ponytail! The past few weeks have been busy with sickness, houseguests, back to homeschool, activities, basement renovation, and a host of other obligations, both fun and not as much. This who know…
  • Return, Remove, Restore
    If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored:    If you remove wickedness far from your tent… Job 22:23 This week is a busy week for me. I’m getting my message ready for our women’s meeting at church which is returning from a summer break. I’m also preparing for homeschool to restart next week, and if…
  • You Know Who You Are.. Be That
    I’d love to tell you I received this revelation while sitting on my back deck during my quiet time, with my Bible open, a cup of coffee, and my notebook. But I didn’t. I got it while watching the TV show Blue Bloods. I was watching one of my favorite shows, Blue Bloods, when I…

What You Thought Was Dead

Check out this week’s podcast @ https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/jasmine-lozano-seeking-god-loving-others/id1562418663

In 2016, we moved into our current Midwest mansion. It’s not really a mansion but was one of the few houses we looked at where our visitors didn’t have to use our bathroom so it was a mansion to me!

One of the major selling points of our house was the beautiful apple tree in the front yard that didn’t yield crab apples but actual, grocery storish looking and tasting apples. 

Fast forward two years, and my storybook apple tree stopped producing apples. It looked tired and dry and my husband thought we would have to cut it down. 

Before giving it the axe, he decided to try a few things first. He removed the old mulch and replaced it with new mulch. He cut off the parts of the tree that were clearly dead. And lastly, (and you better not laugh at my man!!) he spoke to the tree. He told it to come to life and produce apples. He told it to do what it was created to do. 

And by the next summer, we still didn’t have apples. I know I set you up. You were expecting a harvest of apples like we were. But it didn’t happen. But he continued to talk to the tree. 

This summer, guess what happened? WE GOT APPLES!!! And this fall, WE ARE EATING APPLES!!! 

Our tree didn’t start coming back to life immediately. It took time. It took patience. It took faith. 

I’m reminded of the story of Lazarus in John 11. You can check out my podcast for a more in-depth discussion on this (small plug!). But when Jesus got to Lazarus’ town of Bethany, he was beyond dead! The Bible says he had been in the tomb for 4 days. 

When Jesus saw Lazarus’ tomb, he spoke 3 simple words to his friend. “Lazarus, come forth.” And I love that the Bible tells us that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is in us (Romans 8:11)! 

There are dreams in my life that sometimes seem like they’re dead. Or are at least on life support underneath all of my responsibilities. But I think about what Jesus told his disciples when he heard of Lazarus’ death. “He’s sleeping” (John 11:11)

Could it be that what you thought was dead is just sleeping? That business, that book, that blog, that podcast, that invention or service? They’re not dead; they’re sleeping, waiting on a word of life to breathe on it and wake it up!

I believe that our apple tree began producing apples again because my husband told it. Neither of us is particularly skilled at gardening but we do know that power of words. And you can speak to the things in your life that aren’t producing and I believe with you that they will come forth!!

Teach Them the Language

“In those days also I saw the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. And half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and they could not speak the language of Judah, but only the language of each people.”

‭‭Nehemiah‬ ‭13:23-24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I read this verse last week in my studying. I was reading about how Nehemiah helped orchestrate the rebuilding of Jerusalem and its walls after the Israelites were taken into captivity by the Babylonians. The people of Israel had been separated from their homes. They had married foreign people, which God had instructed them not to do so they wouldn’t be drawn away from him. 

As a result, their children were unable to speak the native language of the Israelites. As believers, we have a native language: Faith. I wonder if we are teaching our children that language.

My mother in law once said, “The kingdom of God has a language: Faith. If you can’t speak it, it’s going to be very hard to operate in God’s kingdom.”

When I went to Mexico a few years ago, I mostly stayed at a resort where English was spoken. But when I did go into the city, I needed to know the language. Luckily, I grew up in Texas, so I knew enough to get by. 

Unfortunately, this is the situation for many believers. They grew up in a home where they caught pieces of the language of faith, but because it wasn’t intentionally taught to them, they only know enough to get by. 

Jesus didn’t call us to just get by. He came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly! (John 10:10). We have to be intentional about instructing our children about the things of God. We have to teach them not just how to pray, but why we pray. Children will do what they see. 

Every morning, my son is up before most of us in the house. I wish I had his energy! He usually goes downstairs with my husband who also wakes up early to read and study the Bible. He had the habit of grabbing his tablet and headphones and just watching something until it was time to get moving for the day.

While we are not opposed to him being on his tablet in the morning, my husband and I decided it wasn’t the best way to start his day. Recently, he’s started beginning his day by reading his Bible before getting on his tablet. 

It’s not a punishment or a requirement we’re forcing him to do. We want him to see it as encouragement to start the day with time with God. That before anything else happens in the day, it’s important to see what God may want to speak to you.

Let your children see you worship, pray, and read your Bible. Teach them the importance of giving, serving and fasting. It is our responsibility to teach them the language of faith before they enter the world so that they can operate abundantly in God’s kingdom.

Don’t Forget the Main Ingredient

Last night, my husband and I were sitting on the couch, finishing our evening coffee we have every night together when he gets home from work.

It wasn’t a busy day, but the kids and I had run some errands in the afternoon, so I didn’t really make plans for dinner. I figured I’d make tacos because we all love them and they’re fairly easy, but I didn’t have any ground beef.

As I neared the end of my coffee, I told him I didn’t have a plan for dinner so we were going to pick up food. I told him that I was going to make tacos, but didn’t have any meat.

“Isn’t that the main ingredient you need to make tacos!” he laughed, almost spitting out his coffee. WE both laughed and then ordered a pizza.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been preparing a message for my women’s event at church. Today as I gathered what I needed for my message, I sat back to make sure I had everything. Notes, check. Bible, check. Clothes ready, check.

I felt ready to go. Then I remembered I was forgetting the main ingredient. I paused and dropped down to my knees.

Lord, will you be with me tonight? Will you fill my mouth with your words? Will you meet us as we gather and meet the needs of your women?”

What started as a quick, almost forgotten prayer, turned into hours of prayer and praise and worship. I almost forgot the main ingredient that would ensure that no matter who did or didn’t show up for the service, God would be there.

Have you ever made something and forgot an ingredient or used the wrong ingredient? Missing an ingredient can ruin an entire meal. Leaving out prayer and worship can ruin even weeks worth of preparation and planning.

No amount of preparation or planning can replace the presence of God. Make room for him and invite him into everything you do.

Spring Cleaning

I am not a naturally tidy person. My husband and I joke that my tolerance for filth is higher than his. Considering I had a housekeeper at age 21 when we met, I’d say he had plenty of notice!

Most messes don’t bother me much. I have no problem overlooking the pile of dishes in the sink, the multi room fort the kids like to create, or every pillow from the entire house stacked into a mountain. 

But the one mess I cannot tolerate is an unswept floor. There is nothing worse than a wet sock from stepping in spilled water or brushing crushed pretzels off of your bare feet. Ok, maybe childbirth is a little worse. 

If I do no other housekeeping task in a day, I will sweep the floor. I usually use my hard floor vacuum but every so often I’ll use the broom. My kids always ask, “Why are you sweeping the old fashioned way?!” 

It always amazes me the amount of mess I sweep up from just one day. The piles look like something from an episode of Hoarders! But despite how disgusted this makes me feel, it reminds me of how quickly our lives can become cluttered when we aren’t careful to maintain them. And like my floor, clearing the clutter of our lives is an everyday job.

Romans 12:2 tells us to “be transformed by the renewing of your minds” but many people think this is a one time thing. Imagine how much trash I would sweep up if I only swept once a month!

Many believers expect the trash of their lives to be handled with a one hour service on Sunday. We come to church and sing and clap and pray (maybe), then head back into the week and allow the dust of life to gather.

We have to be intentional about daily removing the things that clutter our minds and spirits. Do you have a daily practice of reading the Bible? Do you make time each day to talk to God? Do you feed your spirit with faith-filled words? 

If you aren’t careful to daily sweep out the junk of everyday living, it will begin to pile up and before you know it, what could have been a 5 minute chore could end up taking much longer.

If you haven’t already, make time to spend with God today. Ask him what areas of your life have hidden clutter you may not even see. Ask him to guide you in your day. Welcome him to be a part of it. It’s a practice that seems so small but if it’s skipped, you will notice!