Valerie Jones

{Live with Purpose. Lead with Passion.}

I am a blogger, worship leader, and speaker who helps worship leaders and team members connect with purpose and passion in life and leadership by offering encouragement, community, and practical resources so that they can thrive in life and leadership, both on and off the platform.

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Filtering by Tag: Five Minute Friday

{Believe | Day 3 of 31}

Day 3 | {Believe}

Go.

I have a lot of words rushing through my brain. So many words and only five minutes. Here's the thing: what you believe matters. But, there's a difference between having a superficial belief in something and a deep-seated belief in something. When you grab hold of something and let it become part of who you are, it will inevitably show up in the way you do life.

What you believe may compel you in some areas and bring restraint in other areas. Either way, what you believe shows up in hundreds of tiny ways throughout the day with every choice you make. It matters. It just does.

So, here's the question. Does what you believe about Jesus change the way you live? What if we become people so compelled by Christ's love for us that we show up and live like people who BELIEVE Him. Like we belong to Him. What if we engaged day-to-day with a deeply rooted belief that Jesus changes everything. Yeah, what if we did that?

Stop.

{Afraid | Day 2 of 31}

Go.

Day 2 | {Afraid}

I used to be afraid. I'm not talking about the kind of fear you brush aside quickly. No, it was the kind of fear that smothered and crippled. I was afraid of people. I was scared of bad things happening to people I love or to me. I was fearful of the worst-case scenario. I suppose one could boil it down to my need for control. Yeah, that's it. I was afraid of things I couldn't control. My life felt like one, big giant "what if?" Yeah, that's no fun.

But then, I figured out that all the things weren't mine to control in the first place. Somewhere along the way, I had forgotten that God holds the universe in the palm of His hand. And, somehow I had forgotten that circumstance does not determine God's goodness or change what is true about His character. God is who He says He is. Always. Without exception. When you let that truth settle down deep into your soul and change your heart and mind, then fear loses its power. Faith remembers that God is who He says He is, and the what if becomes even if . . .

We do not have to be afraid. We are not alone. Because, Jesus.

Jesus changes everything.

Stop.

{Five Minute Friday | Play}

It's Five Minute Friday. That means unplanned, unedited, straight-from-the-heart-to-the-paper writing. Yep, you just write whatever comes out based on a word you're given. If you have five minutes, you should give it a try!  Find out how here.

This week the prompt is {PLAY}.

Ready? Go.

It's the sweetest when my youngest girl runs up, eyes wide, and invites me to play. There's such anticipation in her voice, such joy on her face. She always flashes her best smile. It used to easier to play with her when she was a bit younger. She was much easier to entertain and a lot less bossy. 

These days it's not enough just to BE with her, half-heartedly playing. I have to be in all the way. And you guys, my best Barbie voice is, well, it's pretty lame. Sometimes, I just can't. One more Barbie conversation might send me right over the edge. But, then I remember how important it is to play. It encourages imagination. It stirs creativity. It's good for a laughing and smiling. You know, it helps with being not SO SERIOUS all the time. For her and me. When you're doing your best Barbie voice, you can't help but feel a bit lighter. But there's something else, too. There's a certain amount of vulnerability in our capacity for play. As adults, I mean. The same goes for our ability to rest. We have to know and believe that everything isn't going to fall apart because we disengage in the grown-up business of life and have a little laugh. When you play, it helps keep things in their proper place. All too often the things that keep me from playing can wait.

Yeah, I don't want to forget how to play. I want to make room for fun and laughter in our lives intentionally. Every day. 

STOP.

{Five Minute Friday | Purpose}

It's Five Minute Friday. That means unplanned, unedited, straight-from-the-heart-to-the-paper writing. Yep, you just write whatever comes out based on a word you're given. If you have five minutes, you should give it a try!  Find out how here.

This week the prompt is {PURPOSE}.

Ready? GO.

Finding purpose is a game changer. And, every person walking the planet has a purpose pre-determined and assigned by the Creator before birth. I love that. We all have gifts; we all have purpose.

I've been studying 2 Timothy. It was the last letter written by the apostle Paul. There are a lot of things happening in this letter, and I love it! One of the things I relish most in Paul's writing to Timothy is the charge Paul issues. He's reminding Timothy of his purpose and challenging him to finish well. He says "fulfill your ministry." (2 Tim. 4:5) Because sometimes we get sidetracked, or afraid, or preoccupied with other things. But Paul's words jump off the page and plead with us to do whatever it takes. It doesn't just happen. It requires endurance, perseverance, intentionality. It means walking and living in the power of the Spirit. It's hard. But, Jesus is so worth it. The Gospel is so worth it. Through Christ, God entrusted us (revealed to us) the single, most powerful and life-changing truth in all of history.  That's something we all, as believers in Christ, have in common. We share a common purpose in that our priority is the spreading of the gospel. Our lives were meant to point back to the One who created us. That's purpose.

May I encourage you today? There is no higher purpose than this. What's God asking you to do with your gifts? Here's the thing: No one else can do what God has asked of you the same way that you can do it. He created you and gifted you precisely for what He's asking of you.

What if we, the church, responded to Paul's exhortation to fan into flames our God-given gifts and go with boldness, in love and truth, proclaiming the hope found in Jesus? Yeah, what if we did that.

Stop.


{Five Minute Friday | Breathe}

It's Five Minute Friday. That means unplanned, unedited, straight-from-the-heart-to-the-paper writing. Yep, you just write whatever comes out based on a word you're given. If you have five minutes, you should give it a try!  Find out how here.

This week the prompt is {BREATHE}.

Ready? GO.

Just. Breathe.

It’s a signal to pause, to wait, to focus. It seems like there’s not a lot of space to breathe these days. Everywhere you turn, seems like people are reacting quickly, impulsively, irrationally. Perhaps it’s because fewer and fewer people have a built in pause button. Culture doesn’t glamorize thoughtfulness. Oh no. Culture says throw thoughtfulness and careful consideration out the window, feelings and emotions, those rule. We don’t value sound judgment. Instead, we base our ideas on things as flaky as the weather and as untrustworthy as the media. We don’t value absolute truth. Instead, we push relative truth, which is no kind of truth at all. We don’t value human life or human rights. Our fellow man, if he disagrees with us, makes an enemy of us. At least that’s what it looks like some days.

And the church? We need to take a collective time-out, a deep breath.  We need to be thoughtful. We need to respond to the goings-on around us rather than react from a place of fear, offense, frustration, or disgust. There's a difference, you know. Here’s the thing: The church keeps looking outside of herself for solutions rather than taking advantage of the opportunity to rise above the noise and move toward people and engage them with love and truth and hope. Always love and always truth. Not either/or, but both. And always grace.

Just. Breathe. Saturate your heart with God's love, truth, goodness, and grace. Then, go and do and be a representative of those things. We just have to. What’s happening is not ok.

Come on then, let’s do it together. Ready? 1 - 2 - 3 and BREATHE.

Now, what’s one thing you can do today to push back against all the chaos with love and truth? Do you have an idea? Well, then, do that.

STOP.