Kim Jaggers

Kim Jaggers
click here to visit Kim's website

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Secret to Feeling Better

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus
Phil 2:3-5

Captivated, I stood gazing at the black and white photo of a well-kept, beautiful woman, her head held high and eyes sparkling with spunk. “That’s me you know” she said as she stumbled up beside me. Her body twisted by Parkinsons, one leg seemed to drag, her back bowed, her head, literally, no longer able to be held high. Yet those same beautiful eyes showed no sadness as she smiled at the picture. Moments earlier, I had asked her how she was doing. She had nonchalantly replied, “Oh, some days good, some days not-so-good,” and motioned, with shaking hands, for me to follow her out to her sunroom. Spread out on a table was a lovely, little quilt; thread, needle and scissors. She explained she was making a “comforter quilt” for a local ministry serving children removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. With much effort she sat; her body bowed against the table, and I watched in awe as she willed her trembling hands to finally thread the needle. We sat in silence for a while, the ticking of an old clock the only sound, but my lesson was loud and clear. Life had changed for her, she could no longer control most things including her own body, and the simplest of tasks now took ten times longer. She spends hours alone inside her house. Yet, she has no time for self-pity. Instead, she has accepted this season of this temporary life with incredible grace, and a heart focused on others-- an attitude like her Savior.

The Bible tells us we are to have the attitude of Christ (Phil 2:5) who in obedience to God, with His eyes on us, willingly took the cup the same night He was betrayed (I Cor 11:23-25). I don’t think it was a coincidence that Jesus took the cup the same night He was betrayed. I think it is a lesson for us to realize when we continue to follow God and love others (“take our cup”) especially in the midst of heavy burdens and heartache, we will likely find it to be our greatest opportunity to proclaim our Lord (I Cor 11:26).

What does your day hold? What trouble, pain, sickness or disappointment has come your way? You have a choice; you know. You could be bitter and focus on yourself and get even more upset; or you could seek to follow the One you call Savior and have His attitude in this “cup” that has come your way. Go ahead; try it. Focus on others and find yourself refreshed. Don’t take my word for it…just read Proverbs 11:25: “He who refreshes others refreshes himself.” Isn’t that just like God? Oh how He loves us and how He blesses us as we love others.

Prayer: Father, I want to live my life to give you glory. Please help me to see problems as opportunities to do just that. Thank you for being strength to go on and joy that doesn’t make any sense when life gets crazy. Help me to obey you with all I have and help me to trust you to use whatever “cup” that has come my way as a vessel for my good and your glory. I love you Lord. Amen.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm moving!

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. Phil 4:11

If you’ve read my story ( ) you know my life has been anything but predictable or stable. Yet, way down deep I have still clung to a secret hope that somehow I could make it be. I like order. I like predictability. I like to feel like I am in control of what the day will hold. Yet life for me and many of us lately has been anything but predictable. At this moment, I am packing up boxes at what I thought would be my last home – a beautiful farm house on ten acres. However, the economy hasn’t been friendly to builders, so we sold our home and in three weeks will move to a place yet to be determined! Yet through the craziness, God has helped me see that my seemingly innocent desire to have things in life (like my home) be predictable, stable, and comfortable is just another idol God is asking me to lay down.

I heard a preacher once ask the question, “Are you a pilgrim or a settler?” Do you live your life as a traveler on your way to an eternal home, or are you desperately trying to set up camp in this life? Do you fall apart when God tells you to move (literally or figuratively); or do you deny yourself, take up your cross, follow Him and find true life (Matt 16:24-25)? Are you constantly trying to arrange your life so it is comfortable and stable, or are you giving God your life to use as He sees fit? Can you experience peace despite your circumstances (Phil 4:7), or do you find peace only when things go as you would hope or plan? Oswald Chambers said, “there is only one thing you can consecrate to God and that is the right to yourself (Rom12:1)”. He goes on to say, “the saint realizes that it is God Who engineers circumstances, consequently there is no whine, but a reckless abandon to Jesus.” The really cool thing is… there is peace in reckless abandon, in the laying down of our desire for stability and predictability, in forsaking our need to control our lives and the lives of others, and allowing Jesus to be our guide one day at a time (Matt 6:32-34). Our Father is so good. His burden is easy and His guiding yoke is light. It is in reckless abandon to Him (not predictability or stability in this life) that He tells us we will find rest for our souls (Matt 11:29-30). And that is no small thing.

Prayer: Oh Lord, help me to lay down those things which keep me from experiencing your peace. Take my right to myself, my day, my calendar, my expectations, my need to control, my desire for stability and predictability, and help me to live in reckless abandon to You. May I give glory to You no matter what this day brings. May I only desire to stay under the shelter of Your wings, for you are my rock, my protector and my comforter (Ps 61:3-4). Amen..

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A bat in my basement!

And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.
Prov 27:9

“Mom, hurry!” Two frantic words which jolt any Mom to attention! I had just collapsed on the porch swing after an exhausting Saturday when, again, the words rang out: “Hurry, Mom! There is a BAT in the basement!” Running to the backyard, I found my seventeen-year-old proudly trapping a hissing, long-toothed bat under a snow shovel. “Oh,” he very calmly exclaims, “I forgot to tell you. I saw the bat in the basement about five days ago.” What! He forgot to mention a bat in the basement! Are you kidding me?! You don’t withhold bat-in-the-basement information! Truthfully, my family probably feared that I would call in the National Guard… but nonetheless, having a bat in your basement is just something you need to know.

Pondering the entire incident as I lay in bed that night, I wondered how many times I had walked around in the basement unaware of the bat. Then a scarier thought hit me: How many times in my life have I been unaware of things that could really hurt me and those around me? Things that needed to be identified and removed…ugly things called sin. But how do you see sin? How do you know it is there? For me, God has used two things over and over – His Word and real friends. The Bible says the Word is like a mirror we can use to look at ourselves (Jas 1:23). It will never return void (Isa 55:11), it helps us understand and lights our way (Ps 119:104-106). Through His Word, God has shown me things which just don’t belong in my life. In addition, He has used good friends who love the Lord and love me enough to boldly speak truth to me when they see sin in my life. We all need to seek out this kind of friend, and we can’t run them off when they point out things we might not want to see. Yes, it may ruffle our feathers, and sparks might fly when “iron sharpens iron” (Prov 27:17); but we have to hang in there to reap the wonderful benefits of this kind of true friendship. Honestly, don’t you want to know when there is a “bat in your basement” that needs to be removed? If so, cultivate real friends and let them speak truth to you. Run to God’s Word. Listen to what He has to say. He will give you the power to remove whatever it is He shows you and help you walk on to more freedom and a joyous, closer walk with Him.

Prayer: Father, I want to know if I have allowed sin to settle into my life. I pray you will show me things which will hurt me and those around me. I pray you will bring friends into my life who know You, know Your Word, and who will speak truth to me when I am outside of your will. Help me to daily hold up the mirror of your precious Word and grow in wisdom. Help me to see sin, and help me to obey You and walk away from it. Thank you for loving me so much and being my strength to live freely as your child – no longer in bondage to sin. I love you Lord. Amen.