January 20, 2010

HIS G.R.I.T.S.!



                                        Lovin' my grits!





 Murphy+my MAC+my Bible+hazelnut coffee+12"of snow!  Priceless!!!

Hey Ya'll!

Today has been one of those quiet days of deep prayerful contemplation for me.  One of those times when you sense the Holy Spirit's leading to slow down and spend time with Him.  Northern Arizona arose this morning to a winter storm front blowing through with snow, wind and frigid temps and staying snuggled up with my Bible and a cup of hazelnut coffee sounded glorious!  As I stood peering into my pantry like a cow at a new gate I was overjoyed to find a packet of instant grits for breakfast!!! You'd thought I'd found buried treasure - forget the carbs and bring on the grits!! Whooo! Hooo!..... Honestly, I didn't even remember it was there!  Ahhh, grits (with butter of course)......the comfort food of choice for every Southern gal, ya'll!

While savoring every spoonful of heavenly grits my thoughts began to amble down memory lane with precious stops along the way reminding me of my upbringing and Godly heritage. I was so moved by this Divine moseying that praise and prayers of gratitude and thanks poured from my heart thanking Him for how gracious and wonderful He has been to me.  As far back as I can remember He has been in the forefront of my life.  His Word and principles have echoed within this Georgia girls heart and mind from my early beginnings and are the Divine mettle that has formed and shaped my life.  He is sooo real to me!

As I'm writing this post, I'm mulling over what sparked my journey today...... a wonderful journey I might add of memories filled with sticky Georgia humidity, kudzu, tall pines, southern drawls, sweet  tea, church services and camp meetings and wooden alters!  Just yesterday as I was awakening, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper the word "new".  I meditated upon "new" all day yesterday and oh, how a simple three letter word can be so powerful (another post, another time).  So, as you can imagine, when today my thoughts were turned back to former days and seasons I was perplexed a bit but enjoyed them none the less because those were times when He graciously and wonderfully laid within my heart and life a foundation that can never be removed or shaken ~ Glory to God!

My life's journey hasn't been without disappointments and heartbreak, BUT through it all I've always found Him Faithful and True ~ my wonderful Savior Jesus!

My sister and I were raised by the most wonderful Godly mom.  My parents divorced when I was pre-school age and let me tell you growing up in the Bible Belt in my generation, coming from a "broken home" was akin to being the black sheep or ugly duckling in the neighborhood, school and church. I'm sad to say that a child from a "broken" Christian home was heaped with condemnation and rejection from even the Church.  Thus I grew up with tremendous rejection and fear of rejection and a skewed understanding of Father God.  It wasn't until later in life that I became REALLY acquainted with our loving Heavenly Father and realized that He wasn't going to condemn or reject me.  He is Love to the core and He loves and longs to pour His love and acceptance upon each and every one of His children.   Jesus healed and delivered me from all of the fear of rejection and self loathing and condemnation many years ago and I am so eternally grateful to Him for setting this girls heart free!  Hallelujah!!

One of my journeying stops today was a place that is still so real to me I can still smell the sawdust and hear the choir singing "I Surrender All" as the preacher gives the alter call.  This wonderful place was where I spent about 10 days of every muggy Georgia July from the time I could crawl.  It is called "Indian Springs Holiness Camp Meeting" in Flovilla, Georgia and to this day is still ablaze with the Spirit of God!!  I can still see the open air tabernacle and the banner above the speakers podium with these words "Holiness Unto the Lord" and smell the freshly hewn sawdust strewn throughout the grounds of this glorious place.  Small rustic cottages and sprawling two story wooden "hotel" buildings with Southern wrap around verandas and open air sleeping porches are scattered across the landscape amid tall Georgia pines and hardwoods draped with moss.  The dining hall overflowing with the fragrant smells of fresh farmers market vegetables and platters of golden fried chicken and biscuits and pitchers of sweet tea.  Long banquet size oak tables surrounded with mis-matched oak chairs awaiting hungry camp-meeting attendees to gather for Grace and a wonderful noon meal.  As a teenager I worked in the dining hall to off-set my Camp Meeting tuition and board.  I remember it like it was yesterday......the Presence of the Holy Spirit flowing freely those ten glorious days.  The times around the alters, lives changed, hearts ignited with His Presence.  Evening prayer meetings were held out on the open air porches or verandas and even as a very young child I remember the Holy Hush as I sat with my Mama....listening and watching as people testified to the goodness of the Lord and entered into deep prayer and intercession or burst into singing!  Those Holy happenings marked my life and forever imprinted upon my heart the Holy "things" of God.


The old hotel where we had evening prayers on the porch.

"Holiness"...... a word we don't hear very often in our churches these days.  I heard sermon, after sermon over those many years at Indian Springs about being set apart or "sanctified" for the Masters use and Holiness unto the Lord.  Not simply in the sense of outward appearance but submitting fully to a true inner work of the Holy Spirit which transforms an ordinary person like you and me into a vessel of honor unto the Lord...a vessel consumed by His Love and Power and a reverential fear of our Mighty God.  It is my humble opinion that the former days of that teaching as led by the Holy Spirit needs to be preached again today.  Honestly, I believe that it's in that "place" of fully submitting every area of our lives unto the Holy Spirit that true freedom resides.  No longer allowing little corners of our heart and life to remain reserved for compromise of any kind!  As believers we must be fully surrendered, fully committed and transformed into a vessel more intensely attune to Him and His leading more than ever
before!  The days ahead are perilous but a life fully ignited by the Holy Spirit and daily following hard after Him is a life of true peace, joy and power!  Hallelujah!

"Stand in the ways and see,
and ask for the old paths,
where the good way is, 
and walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls"...
Jeremiah 6:16

So, I guess you could say that I journeyed back with Him today and He reminded me of the "old paths where the good way is"and while being reminded I once again choose to walk in "it"......More fully committed and surrendered to Him than ever before!

I'm going for all I can be in and through Him!  Won't you join me?

HIS Girl Raised in the South! (His G.R.I.T.S.),

 Jackie






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21 comments:

Nana Jul said...

Good morning Jackie,
That was a beautiful trip you allowed us to take with you!
His Mercies are new every morning, Great is His faithfulness!
I join with you fully committed to walking in His ways!
Love,
Julie

Sheryl said...

great post! i felt like i was there with you at the camp meeting. you have such a way with words.

i love how God has shown you the foundation as He is getting ready to show you "the new".

love to you,
Sheryl

RCUBEs said...

I was thinking "His Greatest Request Is To See"...as I was reading your wonderful post! I love that you enjoyed "GRITS" both literally and spiritually...

I think it's great to go back to the old paths and reevaluate how far we have traveled. And to see that we truly chose the road that leads to Him.

May we encourage those other weary travelers along that path. "Set apart"...We are set apart to be like Him, not be selective of others who are not like us.

May the Lord continue to mold us to be more like Jesus. Thank you for taking us with you to that "old path" of yours today. It's time to "see" and say "I will walk in it". Blessings.

They call me "Deb" said...

Holiness. A wonderful, freeing, powerful word that we don't hear too often in churches today. I've even been hearing some new teachings that say that we shouldn't attempt to achieve it today!
I'm blessed and thankful that you shared your reminiscent journey today, and "YES!" I will join you in being ALL that I can be for my Lord!
Hugs,
Deb

Debra @ Common Ground said...

Hi Jackie, just stopping by to say "Hello", and join in the following. I'll be back to visit later.
blessings,
Debra

Andrea said...

Love this post!! I love grits, too. Guess that is just a wonderful part of our southern roots.
Committed to staying in the grasp of my Heavenly Father,
andrea

Deborah Ann said...

Never tried grits, don't know if I could, but by your definition, yeah! Bring on the grits!

Thanks for a down-home spiritual journey into the south, with a big porch and tea and the Word of God. This really warmed my heart!

J+M+S said...

Beautiful, thank you!! Not southern and I love grits with...maple syrup!!:) Everyone here in Georgia tells me that, that is gross and something is wrong with me!:)

christy rose said...

Jackie, thanks for taking us with you on your spiritual journey today. I love me some grits too. And the spiritual G.R.I.T.S are even better.
Love the picture at the top of this post too. So beautiful, peaceful and serene. Hope you have a wonderful day.

Andrea said...

Hi, Jackie! What an awesome post! I must admit I envy your snowstorm a bit. I love the snow, but as you know, we don't get a lot of it in the Deep South!

We have much in common. How well do I remember those days of sawdust and song at Union Grove/White County Congregational Holiness camp meeting! As a little girl and young teen, the choir and worship and praise amazed me. I will never forget those young experiences of witnessing the moving of the Holy Spirit.

Thank you so much for sharing! Enjoy the snow!

Much love,

Andrea

Seeking Grace on the Narrow Path said...

Jackie,
I too am a "HIS G.R.I.T.S" girl. Although my grandfather was a minister in the South; very strict/living under the law type, my father did not follow in my grandfather's footsteps. My father decided that it seemed very sterile and completely without joy and life. My father knew the Bible; being from the Bible Belt it was drilled into his brain. My father did give his life to Christ about 3 years before he died. So I guess you are wondering where all this is going. I think I am also going down memory lane. It is amazing that God uses HIS Girls for HIS glory; HE never leaves me or forsakes me. I would not trade my relationship . . . my life . . . with Christ . . . for Christ . . . for anything. Thank you for sharing this post with me. Enjoy the snow and the beautiful time the Lord has brought into your life. Oh I have actually been craving grits lately too. In fact I had some last night loaded with butter and steaming hot.
God bless you my fellow g.r.i.t.s friend.
Bren

Wylie said...

Jer 6:16 was my big verse last year! Great post! Such a blessing to be still & know Him...
Wylie

Jacquelyn said...

Hi Jackie, enjoyed traveling down memory lane with you. I never thought of how being from a "broken home" could have brought such feelings of condemnation to a child, even from the church. How very sad. Here's a verse I read this morning that explains how God took care of you though: "But you are a shield around me, O Lord, You bestow glory on me and lift up my head" Psalm 3:3. There were things in my past and along my journey too that weighed me down spiritually and made me feel some shame, even in the church. But some years ago, God showed me that I am not to despise any of my journey, that it all has been working together for my ultimate good because He knew all along just what it would take to bring to that desire for the holy living you are talking about. He is an amazing God, isn't He! Enjoy your grits, girl! I'll settle for the sweet tea, thank you :)

Rose said...

Jackie this was one beautiful post. As a sister GRITS I will join you for sure. HUGS,
Rose

Debbie said...

Jackie, I remember the first time I had grits. My family was driving from NY to Florida to visit my grandparents as they had moved there. We stopped off at a place for breakfast and orderd grits for the first time ever. I have to say though that I've not had them in a long time. :)

I can only imagine what it was like to live in the Bible belt after divorce. I know at that time it was unusual. But I'm so glad that you had that time of refreshing for your soul and spirit.

I too have been enjoying this time of rain in Arizona. Phoenix has had some damage from the rain and winds but we were fortunate at our home. I love the sound of the rain, especially since we get so little of it.

Blessings and love,
Debbie

Joyfulsister said...

Aloha Jackie,
It is such a blessing to meet new sisters along my blogging journey. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your heart with me. I enjoyed reading your post today, You have a beautiful blog and I too will be back to visit you.

Blessings Lorie

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Nice trip through history. (It looks like Murphy is getting ready to chase your mouse!)

sonja said...

Jackie:
What a wonderful posting! Oh, those camps and meetings... all through my childhood too. You brought it all back here...

We must be on the same thought train, as I just posted a stroll way back in time today too.
It's good to reflect like this... such a picture of how God has lead through the years, and used it all!

Blessings, and I hope there's another package of grits in the pantry for tonight...

Crown of Beauty said...

I so enjoyed visiting your blog again. Great post on holiness, and I could sense that you meant every word you wrote.

Haven't been around your place much... but somehow in my heart I feel a deep connection with you. It's like our hearts long for the same things - a closer walk with Jesus, and a deep relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I read your first post, about fresh oil.

I've always loved the significance of the oil, the grain, wine so often mentioned in the Bible...fresh oil is so precious.

Love your heart, Jackie. Thanks for sharing.

Love
Lidj

Sharon said...

Great post! I enjoyed meandering with you. Imagine my surprise when you quoted the verse in Jeremiah about looking for the ancient paths! We just happen to do seminars under a ministry called Family Foundations International and the core seminar is called, Ancient Paths. We see lives transformed in every seminar and as you said about your camp meeting place; the Holy Spirit flows freely.

BTW, I found you through Abelle's blog. Decided I wanted to meet some new godly cyberspace friends so I'm trying to do that every day - meet at least one! Glad I found you and I'll be back to visit again.

Blessings!
Sharon
http://grandmaisawriter.blogspot.com

Coffee With Marty said...

I was intrigued by the title, and I must say, What a great posts!

Your desk looks almost identical to mine! iMac, Bible, Coffee, Snow outside. It's lovely...

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