Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Be My Valentine?

So, for several years, I've been holding a Period Drama contest for Valentines, and since we missed last year. I thought we might make up for it and do it this year.

What you need to do.

Create Period Drama inspired Valentines.

Post them on your blog, and spread the word

Leave a LINK below to your blog by the 10th and I'll collect them and we'll have a vote to see which ones we love most!

Note, please keep it family friendly and no unwanted innuendo please.

Here are a few examples from past years...







Monday, January 29, 2018

2 Ways I've had fun getting to know the Bible this year



I am hoping to start a new series on my blog ^
But before I dig in, I'll give you a little background, and what I am doing for Bible reading etc.

For years I've done the read your Bible through in a year plan and usually not quite made it. I've done it a few times, it was good, but books sometimes LAG in the middle...or beginning or end...or just all the way through and I found my enthusiasm for the word of God sadly lacking. I would camp in Psalms, and Proverbs read through the gospels and other random books for fun. But I struggled to make a good connection and find an applicable meaning of God in my life.

This year, I went to Bravehearted Discipleship which made a HUGE impact on my life and gave me tools that I hadn't used before...so I want to share two of them with you.

1. A Bible Plan.
Now I know you're like...but didn't you fail at that?
Well, Yes. I did. Frankly, I stank at it. However....changing up my Bible plan was one of the best and exciting things I've done. Also very freeing.
The Bible Plan I chose works like this.
Monday, The Law, Genisis-Deuteronomy
Tuesday, The Histories Joshua-Esther
Wednesday Job-Song of Solomon
Thursday The Prophets Isiah- Malachi
Friday The Gospels Matthew-John
Saturday The rest of the New Testament
Sundays either read from the book you are studying or choose your passage to study.

I'll be honest I am always excited about Wednesday Bible reading...and most of the other days too unless I going through Judges (I do not like that book much, the ending chapters make me want to give some people a talking to...with an iron frying pan). But I've had so much fun seeing how scripture weaves together and the different pieces of God's plan being put together throughout scripture and it's wonderful and exciting!

2. Bible Study.
I've enjoyed Bible study before, but it never held my interest for very long. I've studied 2 books now (and I want to study more now) I am working on my third book, and they seem boundless. I love having a part of my week set aside for Bible study, I do try to set aside part of my devotions as study as well, but I don't get to do as much as I'd like so I love having Sunday's as a time fully dedicated to reading and studying. You'll find out rich passages can be if you take a month  (or more) to study the passages.

Bonus!
Memorization
I love it. But I am not good at it. I get distracted forget..........for days...weeks...months...and have to start all over again.
I recently found this FUN app that helps me memorize!
It's called Verses and I love it! Check it out! It is free if you are memorizing in KJV and really fun!


Friday, January 26, 2018

Author Alison Tebo....

Is having an awesome giveaway!

You should certainly check it out here I've read her adorable story and thoroughly enjoyed it cracking up all the way.

Try to snag your hands on her SIGNED copy, along with all of the cuteness involved!



Thursday, January 18, 2018

I want to be Faithful

One of the challenges I was given in the new year was to start studying the book of Ephesians and memorizing the first chapter.

Only a few days in and I caught a terrible cold, which had me in bed for a few days unable to do much, reading hurt my eyes, and even listening to audio books hurt my head so I lost the progress I want to be making...but I am still working on it.

In the first verse, a word caught my attention. There are lots of really fascinating things in the first verse if you are searching. However, this one word caught my attention.

Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ by the Will of God to the saints which are at Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus
Ephesians 1:1 

Faithful.
I know as a Christian, I am a saint in Christ that is who I am...but faithful struck me as different.
What is it to be faithful? Who are the faithful in Christ Jesus?
What is this that Paul is talking about...seemingly separate from the saints that I already am?

So off to Blue Letter Bible I went to start my search.
The word comes from Pistos which means:
Trusty, faithful.
A person who shows themselves faithful in the transaction of business, the execution of commands, or the discharge of the official duties.
One who has kept his plighted faith, worthy of trust
That can be relied on.
Easily persuaded
Believing, confiding, trusting
In the New Testament one who trusts in God's promises
One who is convinced that Jesus has been raised from the dead
One who has become convinced that Jesus is the messiah and the author of salvation.
^all of that is quoted from Blue Letter Bible 

But it got me to thinking. Am I faithful?
Could these things be said of me?
Am I one of the faithful in Christ Jesus.
Or am I just a saint who knows all of this stuff but still sitting on my own little reserve?
Am I faithful or just a saint?

So I was a little more curious because it said Faithful had a root word...so I went and looked that up.
Peitho...
It means persuaded
Now there is a lot more to the word and I would encourage you to go look it up for yourself (I linked the word tot he Blue Letter Bible page.)

Am I?
Are you?
Are we?
Faithful.
Persuaded.
Are you persuaded that the only thing in this life worth living for is Christ?
That Jesus Christ is our only goal and aim in life?
Or is Christ a side quest for Sundays to make you a better person?

Are you a content Saint?
Or are you Faithful in Christ Jesus?

Food for thought.

In Christ,
Jessica

Friday, January 5, 2018

New Year, New Stories, New Series...

Hello Dear Patient Blog Readers,

I know it's been awhile since I've written anything truly BOOKY.

My plate has been delightfully full of life and so many other things. However, with a new year, doesn't come a new me, nor really resolutions but some things that have been stewing in the back to the forefront of my mind and writing plans and I want to let you in on them.

Well, I haven't hashed out the details exactly YET, however... I am going to share what I do have.

Three new books.
All centered around the character of Virtue.
Now, don't go ugh on me.
This shall be super duper fun.
Did you know that Virtue in the Bible comes from the same root word that describes David's mighty men?
Ruth is described with the same word for David's MIGHTY MEN.
Take a minute to let that settle in and get excited about scripture, and virtue.
Of course, these heroines aren't going to be wimpy...women of virtue...in fact, they might be rather loosely inspired by three incredible women of scripture.
(And when I say inspired, I don't mean boring, dry, heavy-handed religious copycat retelling nonsense.) If you're looking for retellings you're going to pick these up and scratch your head wondering if I fell on mine.
I mean heartfelt, inspiring themes, warm, beautiful fiction with golden nuggets to treasure.
So, we should have some exciting and virtuous adventures with some heroines...and of course heroes! Because where would we be without our dear virtuous heroes?

Inspired by Deborah...we have... do you see the sword tip there? Oh! I had so much fun making this cover.

Featuring Harper 
Theme: (This one actually has quite a few, so I'll bring it up later. But a lot of doing the right thing, even if no one else is.)
Underlying theme: the preciousness/sanctity of life


Inspired by Esther we have...

Featuring Laeclia 
Theme: For such a time as this
Underlying theme: trafficking/slave labor


Inspired by Ruth (who is one of my favorite people of the Bible! <3 )

Featuring Camille 
Theme: Intreat me not to leave the, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: The Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. 
Underlying theme: persecution 

I am super excited to introduce these ladies, and their gentlemen Wulf, Tae, and Reginald respectively.

So, this group has yet to have an official name etc.
Here are some of my storming out thoughts
Maidens of Virtue
Called to Virtue
Times of Virtue
Vines of Virtue
Ladies of Virtue
Please leave me your favorite thoughts in the comments or thoughts of your own.

Thank you!

In Christ,
Jessica Greyson

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Pulling Back The Bow


An arrow pulled from the quiver. Notched with an expert hand to the string of the bow. The fingers grip the shaft, the string, then the pull.
Pulling back and back and back and back...
The string becoming taught with the pull.
The arrow resting.
Waiting.
The archer aims the arrow.
Never directly at the target.
There is wind.
Distance.
Gravity.

Still, the arrow waits.
It doesn't throw itself from the string and out of the archer's hands, flinging itself towards the target yards and yards away.
It waits.
It is patient.
Still.

Be still, and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10

I am in a season of my life, where I feel that I have been removed from a quiver.
Set in a string and I feel the Divine Archer and Creator of my life pulling back the string with a firm hand.
Part of me longs for Him to let go and to launch me towards the goal, the long-awaited target in my life. I see it! FOR THE FIRST TIME I SEE IT. I SEE IT!
It's not just the target that the rest of us arrows sit around in the quiver and talk about.
It's real!
It is right there in front of me.
I am hungry for it.
I want it.
But, He is still pulling back the bow.
The string is getting painfully tight. I can feel the tension behind it and I long to relieve it.
I want to launch myself into the arms of that target and hold fast to it.
And now it seems as if I am going in a direction that...isn't even close to the heart of the target.

There are seasons in life, where things are seemingly rapid fire.
Then there are seasons in life where the tensions builds, the string is pulled back further than we thought possible, there are times where we can't even see the target that we are aimed at, or there are so many we aren't sure which one we should even aim to hit.

In those times, I think I've been tempted to throw myself away from the sting of the wait, the snap of the string as it releases the tension building, that in my own strength I can hit the target.

But.
I can't.
I in and of myself.
I can do nothing.
Only through the strength of my Divine Archer, who can see the target.
Through the mist, the winds, the storms of life, the pressure of the crowd...the ultimate prize.
What I get to do is...
Rest.
Rest, trust, wait.
My Divine Archer will not release me too soon, He will not false fire, He will hit the target, He won't get pressured by the crowd to make the wrong choice, He won't pull back too far, He won't wait too long, He will hit the mark.
Rest.
Wait.
Trust.
Believe.

Let us labor therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Hebrews 4:11

In my season of waiting this is what I am learning, sometimes I have to fight to enter into that rest, to enter into that place of sweet trusting and resting. To lay things on the altar before God, my expectations, my way of doing things.
People are like so what are you doing with your life?
Me. Doing exactly what God is asking of me.
Which doesn't really have a title or a job description or a high-income salary or anything glamorous. But it is living and learning and walking in the way He is showing me.
So, I am actively waiting.
Waiting for what is to come.
Resting.
Assured.
My Divine Archer knows what is best.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Thoughts And Other Things

This past year I've come to the realization that I rarely take time to ponder and reflect, I am more of move forward and go on, which isn't bad, but once you stop and look back, it's amazing to see how far you've come.

So here are thoughts and things... (also not in order of importance quite but how they popped into my head.)

1. I did something I never thought would happen in my life.
I went to North Korea...sort of.
I stood on North Korean soil for 2 whole minutes at the JSA.
Now it seems like a short time, but somehow...it is imprinted in my heart and mind as a moment I will never forget as for a moment I stood in a country of a people I love, and who have closed their doors to so many and so much. For them, I will continue and do pray for unification with Korea, and for their hearts to open to receive Jesus.

(P.S. If you want to help the Korean people, be praying for them, but also there is a group LiNK who is rescuing North Korean's out of China. Take time to look at their group and consider donating to rescue men, women, and children from sex trafficking, slavery, and being sent back to NK. THANK YOU! )

2. Brave Hearted Discipleship.
This has to be the best thing I have ever done in my life.
Impacting me spiritually, mentally and challenging in my walk and faith in Jesus Christ.
This has changed my heart like nothing ever has before. This program isn't a quick fix or a high for Christ. It's an in-depth, walking with Jesus that will lead you closer to Him, making Him sweeter and deeper than He ever has been before.
If you are looking for something that will change your life, check out their programs, podcasts, books and more, it will change your life.

3. I know more of who I am.
I am in Christ.
That is my position on this earth.
A child of God, a citizen of the New Jerusalem and an alien on this earth.
I am in Christ.
Nothing will ever change that.
Ever.

4. I've learned how to give all my heart away...over and over and over and over again...
To a thousand little Taiwanese kids who are learning to love English, and even if I have to say goodbye to them in a week.
Even though I didn't know their stories, couldn't speak their language (a good portion of the time).
I still learned to love them unconditionally.
And then say goodbye...which was the hardest part not to cry every single week when they left taking parts of my heart with them, and moments where I hope and pray they felt loved and saw the love of Jesus in me.

5. I LEARNED CHINESE!
Okay, so...I am not fluent.
But I can order food, count, keep a classroom pretty straight and order a taxi to my address, and hold a very very basic conversation...all good things. (Let's not talk about the time I might have accidentally used a swearword trying to give the driver my address! Tones, they are out to get you.)

6. Being Single Stinks!
It has been the hardest year to be single so far.
Usually, it's not too hard to get over the heartache of being single, but I've cried more times over being single than I thought possible in the past year.

7. Being Single is Awesome!
No, I don't have two personalities.
Yes, you read that one above correctly.
I am learning in whatever state I am there to be content.
And while this season is hard, there are still lots of benefits and opportunities for me to take hold of and pursue while I wait for the man that God has prepared for me.

8. I am caffeine intolerant.
That is a new thing.
I didn't think caffeine bothered me and was well on my way to becoming a content happy coffee addict.
Then boom.
All kinds of random health issues popped up and I couldn't figure them out.
Turns out.
Too much caffeine will give you lots of problems and sleepless nights.
So no coffee, less tea, and less chocolate.
It's a long story (sort of) but for now...

9. I actually am motivated.
For years I've always been the laid back person in my family.
Shockingly in this past year, I've found I am more motivated and a go-getter than I thought.

10. I've walked 1,000 + miles in the past year.
Yup! And I loved every step of it. I miss walking everywhere. It was a slower lifestyle for myself but it was fun and good exercise.

11. I've started reading again.
YAY! I used to read all the time...all the time carry a book with me everywhere sort of person. However, as it became harder to find good books that interested me I slowed my reading down considerably. Now, I am reading more and I find even nonfiction appeals to me! Hahaha! I mean, I read it before but it was kind of more blah, now they are tending to be my book of choice a little bit.

12. I did a couple of fasts this past year.
Sugar.
Music.
TV/Movie
The sugar one was really hard to do but so good. I need to do another one. (Sugar is too addicting.)
Music. I was surprised at some of my music choices after I came back to it.
TV/Movie. This one frankly shocked me at how much violence etc "slips" into media and now I am being really picky about what I watch and cutting out a lot of movie time. It also caused me to go through my media and books and get rid of things that I didn't feel were profitable or have a worthwhile takeaway value.

13. My life goals have changed.
I am still trying to formulate them.
However, what I once wanted...isn't what I want..at least not in the way I once wanted.
Cryptic enough for you?
I am still trying to figure it out myself.
But the bottom line is...
I don't want to be who I once was.
I want to be and do more...but not just do, also be.

14. I want more from this year.
More than I have wanted from any other years in the past.

15.  A motto for this year...
Be Expectant.
Be Courageous.


30 Fun Random Facts

1. I love to laugh. It's one of my favorite things to do.
2. Peanut butter is amazing. (Chocolate and peanut butter is even better, but you can't have chocolate for lunch.)
3. My name is written on a stone in Korea (and no it's not vandalism either)
4. I have 4 favorite places in the world. 1. Home. 2 Korea. 3 Williamsburg V.A. 4. Windsor C.O.
5. I've been to 4 different countries. Canada, Russia, Taiwan, Korea. unless we are counting airport stops and crossing the borders into North Korea then I've been to 7 U.K., Japan, and North Korea.
6. I love historical clothes. I've made my own Colonial/Revolutionary costumes and I own a Korean Hanbok that was custom made for me because someone has very long and un-Korean arms.
7. I love old weapons.
8. The rifle is my gun of choice. (I've only shot real guns once and that was exciting, but overall rifles are my favorite. I am not sure how that is important, or why it's on this list but it is.)
9. I collect sword replications. I have 4 so far, a dagger by my bed (to open letter because it's also my office and writing space,) and a bow and arrow in my closet that I really wish I could shoot better.
10. It Is Well With My Soul will always make me cry. The heart and story behind it...
11. I probably have more story ideas than I can ever actually write.
12. I am a middle child of three.
13. Fall is my favorite season.
14. I have a love and hate relationship with roller coasters, but I will always hate log flumes.
15. Beans, especially green beans and I shall never be friends. But broccoli and I shall always be besties.
16. Persuasion is my favorite book by Jane Austen.
17. I am an ambivert with an introvert charge mode.
18. I was extremely shy as a child. (And no one believes that anymore.)
19. The Marquise de Lafayette and I share the same birthday. (Yes, this is important to me.)
20. I love sapphires.
21. I love flowers, all kinds of flowers, but I do have a weakness for roses, violets, and lily of the valley.
22. I love tea, and tea parties.
23. 23rd Psalm is my favorite.
24. I love foreign food, Mexican, Thai, Korean, Indian (and the curry of several countries!)
25. Squid is my mortal enemy. (Also clams are gross..)
26. I have a collection of around 300 books. My own personal beautiful little library.
27. I love beautiful art and pretty things.
28. Stars are one of the best things ever. Always. Especially shooting stars.
29. I am learning Korean again! WAHOO! I love and miss Korean language and everything.
30. I have a blessed and extrodinary life.

Well, these be popular