This is Me…(in a nutshell)

headshotI have not posted anything on here in quite some time and just wanted to tell you a little bit about myself at this point in time in my ministry.  I have not always been a great example of what someone in ministry would or should look like.  A lot of the time I was really good at masking the the pain, fear, and anxiety that i was fighting in my personal life outside of church.  I still have days that are harder than most with the goal of staying on top of deadlines and events that happen in everyday life while having the same level of confidence in myself that God has in me.  I think that we can all attest to the fantasy of having our lives put together, especially from a outward prospective.  This is me in a nutshell from a professional stand point and i cannot wait to share and explore life’s moments, concerns, hopes, joys, and misses with words of encouragement and inspiration from God’s word.

My name is Jodee Gore and i currently serve as the Children’s Minister at First Baptist Church Bruce in Bruce, Mississippi. for ages 2 yeas up to the 6th grade.

Church and work life looks like this.  As the Children’s Minister I work as the Children in Actions Facilitator, working with our (RAs) Royal Ambassadors, (GAs) Girls in Action, and Mission Friends directors to make sure that our teachers are equipped with the resources and supplies they need as well as plan and organize events throughout the year, and provide the children with mission oriented projects where they can, not only earn badges but also give them the tools they need to grow and strengthen there walk with Christ.  I am also the Elementary Sunday school Director for preschool up to 6th grade. I serve as the Vacations Bible School Director/Coordinator, schedule and register kids for summer camp, teach our 5 years – 4th grade children’s church, schedule volunteers for our preschool children’s church.

Other areas I serve on the hostess committee, and work along side our media team with our Facebook pages.  I also work part-time and fill in when I’m needed as a teacher for our churches daycare.

Educational Background

A.A in History (Itawamba Community College, Fulton Ms)

B.A. Christian Ministry (Trevecca Nazarene University, Nashville TN)

B.A. Psychology (Trevecca Nazarene University, Nashville TN)

M.T.S. Masters of Theological Studies  (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth TX)     I have a year and a half of courses towards a M.T.S.  After a year i did not feel that i was being lead this direction and focused my education toward a counseling style degree.

Ministerial Qualifications

Worked in Ministry for 3.5 years.

Ordained Chaplain (weddings funerals, baptisms, and other religious ceremonies)

Certified Christian Counselor.

If you have any question or would like information on curriculum, resources or christian counseling, or prayer request please contact me by email at jodeenicole@gmail.com with your name and any question that you many have or prayer concerns.  I would love to pray for you.

God Bless, and Stay safe.

JG

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Philipians 3:14 reads, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”.    I love how the Message Bible translates this verse.  It says, “I’ve got my eye on the goal; where God is beckoning us onward – to Jesus.  I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”
Paul writes in his second letter to Timothy that in order to be victorious we must finish the race.
If there is anyone who can teach us about pressing onward and finishing the race, it is Paul.  Paul like many others who followed Christ faced a lot of people who made it their mission to make their lives miserable. (Many of you may know some people like that)  They wanted to make sure to put a stop to the teaching, preaching, and healing that they were doing.  We read in the Bible where some were successful in this but many people failed to stop many of the faithful followers like Paul from completing the race.
***Paul was a very interesting man and I highly recommend reading about the life of Paul.  Just a little fun fact about Paul, he wrote thirteen books in the New Testament. 2 Timothy being the last letters we wrote before he died.
Paul was a very faithful servant.  He was put in prison, threatened, mocked, and faced a lot of suffering during his life.  I don’t know about you but I probably would have thrown in the towel rather early in the game.  Though, through all of this, Paul remained focused on God and the reward that was waiting for him at the finish line.  He knew that his reward for his years of dedication to The Lord was would be worth it.  Paul could have easily given up when life got hard or people turned their backs on him, like so many of us have done when the world seemed to be against us, but Paul didn’t.
He could have retired, kicked back and enjoyed what time he had left.  There were people who probably wondered why he didn’t, why he continued to endure the harsh treatment and suffering like he did.   Paul was a man of faith, a man invested in the kingdom of God,  a man who put his complete trust in God, and a man that knew that what was waiting on him at the finish line was much greater than anything this world had to offer
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In 2 Timothy we find the last words Paul would write before he passed.   Words that inspire and motivate us to press onward.   We read in 4:7-8,  “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will reward me on that day – and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearing.”
We can learn a lot from life of Paul.   He shows us throughout the New Testament the right way to live, love, lead, fight, and to share the gospel.  There will be days where Satan will all he can do to stop us from finishing our race, but as long as we keep our eyes fixed on the prize (heaven), we will come out victorious.

Facial Recognition Unknown

I love children and the kids that I am so blessed to have come in and out of my class on Sundays.  I co-teach the 1st and 2nd grade Sunday school class at our church and I have to say they can ask the deepest question than any Theologian in all the colleges across the world.

One Sunday morning during class I had one of the kids in my class ask me a really good question during our lesson that was completely opposite of what our lesson’s topic that morning.  He asked me “When  Jesus comes back, how will I recognize Him if I don’t know what he looks like?”  I was taken off guard by the question as I searched my brain for an answer.  I had never really been faced with this question personally because I had never really thought about it.  Then I felt God speak to my heart with the words that I needed.  I asked him to stand up and close his eyes.  Then I told the other kids to stand behind him and say his name. One by one, after each kid said his name I would ask the little boy was this his friend Jackson. When we got to his friend, Jackson, the little boy smiled and said that’s Jackson.  I then said see you know Jackson so well that you recognized him without ever seeing his face.  After everyone sat down, I then went on to explain how important it was for us to read out Bibles and spend time in prayer.  When we do this, we become so familiar with who Christ is, that when He does come back, even though we don’t know what He looks like but our hearts will recognize Him by just the sound of  His voice.

We can all learn something from these kids and see just how important it is to get involved in their everyday lives, but more importantly their spiritual lives.

As I spend these next few months finishing up school with my nose deep inside the pages of books and articles written by Biblical scholars and individuals who are much more knowledgeable about scripture than I am. I would have to say I have learned more and personally been challenged more by the words and questions that these kids have spoken than any class I will ever be in.  When I was asked to fill a position as a Sunday school teacher, I never expected to be the one who learned so much.

How Deep is the Fathers Love?

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him
1 John 3:1
 When I was younger I can remember telling my older brother “I love you” and he would respond back with arm spread as far as they would go saying “I love you more” followed by him wrapping me in a big hug.  I truly do love my brother and each day my love for my best friend grows even though the distance between us has grown and the times we see each other has decreased. I cherish the random “I love you babydoll” text at any hour of the day.  There has never come a time in my life when I have question my brothers love.  Even during the moments of name calling, fighting, and when we were ready to kill each other, he has always been there for me. Whether it was for advice or just the random text before the big exams or job interviews there has never been a moment of doubt.
The same goes with God.  There has never been a time where I did not feel His love.  There might have been times where I did not feel Him near but never a time not loved.  He displayed the depth of His love by sending his one and only Son to earth to live, and to show us the measure of His love by stretching out His arm to die for you and and for me.
This is not the only place in the Bible that shows us the love of our Heavenly Fathers, in fact there is not a place in the Bible where God’s love is not visible or a place in our lives where God love is lacking or has not been.  There is nothing or nobody in this world that could decrease or take away the love that God has for you and me.  As Romans 8:38-39 says For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
My friend no matter what season of life you are in or nothing that you have done or said that is going to make God love you any less.  I pray that you see and remember just how worthy and deserving of the Fathers love you are because when He looks at you He saw someone worth dying for.

This is My Story, This is My Song…

I am currently a Christian Ministry major and Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee and will be graduating this Spring (2017).  I am super excited to see what God has in store for me after graduation as the He has opened door and done amazing things in my life as I continue my studies   Here is my testimony of God amazing love.

I was a History Major and an Anthropology minor at the University of Mississippi a few years ago, but I was not happy so I decided not to go back to school the following fall.  My mom got really bad ill that September and was in the ICU for a little over two week and the hospital for four months.  God works in mysterious way.  I was the only one not working at the time, which allowed me to be able to stay with her and take care of her while my dad worked during the day and could help/ stay with her at night.  Little did I know God was going to start moving in my life that same year.  For the following six months I kind of pushed the calling God was putting on my heart to the side.  How was he going to use me.  I have terrible anxiety and a fear of public speaking and my past was less than great.  So for six long months I endured many sleepless night. I was tired and frustrated and after another sleepless night, one early July morning, I remember sitting up in bed and in a loud whisper going “what do you want”.  I felt a sense of peace come over me as if God just wanted me to acknowledge him, to know He was there. From that point is where my journey began.  I had no clue where to start or what exactly He wanted me to do.  While looking up a song on YouTube one day, in amongst a bunch of songs on the sidebar, there was something that was out of place.  It wasn’t a song.  In the title there was a name I had never heard of,  Curiously I click on it.

The message was entitled “Doorways, Hallways, and Gateways” by Charlotte Gambill.  It was a message I needed and an answer that I had been looking for.  One of the things she talked about was clearing out and letting go of the baggage in our lives in order to truly embrace the purpose and the plans that God had for us.  I had so many things in my past that I was hanging on to.  I knew in order to get to the place and become that person God needs me to be that I was going to have to start there.  It was that day that I rededicated my life fully to God.

I was still lost as to what he wanted me to do with this calling.  I talk to my preacher one day and he said that a good place to start would be to get involved in church.  So that is what I did.  I help with the Children’s Choir, I am a member of the adult choir, went with our youth and volunteered with Operation Christmas Child, and now a member of Hand Bells. That last one needs a lot of prayer’s haha.  But, it wasn’t until one Wednesday night, a month later, that I felt God truly speak to my heart.   Bro. Daniel Hawthorne spoke a message about the “Millennial Generation”, my generation, being known as the lost and unchurch generation.  I didn’t like it and I remember thinking God how did this happen, I don’t like this titled that was being given to us.  It was then that I felt Him speak to my heart, “If you don’t like it, Change it”.

Which brings me here today.  I still don’t know where exactly this calling will take me, but that is the beauty of fully trusting God, the unknown, and giving Him complete control.  I want to learn more and be better equipped so I can be a first responder for Christ wherever I go. Because no matter where He takes me, It is going to be a crazy, testing, and an amazing journey.

Redefined: The Definition of a Worthy Daughter

 Everyone has probably had a five-year plan at some point in their lives.  Maybe it was when you were a senior in high school getting ready graduate and take on the world or maybe you were a college student mapping out your goals and plans for your future.  Many times these plans have changed from year to year due to bumps in the roads, unexpected events or maybe you were like me and just gave up, thinking that maybe your dreams were just too big.
I can remember as a child my mom telling me I could be anything I wanted to be, well except for a prisoner, I really liked the black and white stripped suits they wore when I was little, but I seemed to hit a brick wall in my mid 20s when all the dreams and plans I had made came to a stand still.  Nothing was going right and I could not figure out why? I spent a few years in a state of depression, which later lead to me dropping out of school.  I ended up moving back home with my parents.  I dreaded people asking me if I was done with school or what I was going to do next so I began to withdrawal from society because I did not know the answers to their questions. I had slowly stopped going to church, making up excuses and unknowingly walking away from my relationship with God. I found myself drowning in shame, guilt, and confusion.
It wasn’t until one day while looking up a country song on YouTube when I came across a video on my sidebar.  It wasn’t a country song, I had never heard the name of the person but click on it with curiosity of what it might be.  It was a message called Doorways, Hallways, and Gateways by Charlotte Gambill.   I did not make it pass the doorway before I found myself in tears as the lady with the proper English accent continued to speak.  I sat there hanging onto each word when suddenly it hit me, no where in my plans had I involved God.  My plans had been focused on me and the things I wanted.
Something that day stirred a hunger in me as I found a new desire for life that I had never had before.  I began to crave the words that God had for me to hear. The major question that I began to ask was “How do I get back on track and to the place God has for me to be?”  So, I started in the best place I knew to go, the Bible.  As I began to let the words of the Old Testament take hold of my heart, I started reflecting on the things in my life, past and future, that had been giving an unhealthy definition by the world around me. As soon as I let go of the wheel of my life and let God have complete control I began to watch doors open and joy found its way back in my heart. That day I slowly began to and still am redefining and bring new life to my unlimited God planned future.
Maybe you are at a stand still point in your life or find yourself still single, or staring at a messy house, dragging yourself to that job you dread, thinking this is not what I had planned.  God is not done with you yet friend. When is the last time you sat down with God and involved Him in your plans, decision, or goals as an  individual or as a family?  His plans are still in motion, maybe He is just waiting for you to give Him control.
On the edge of your fear you will find faith.  Beyond your comfort you will discover
courage and when you give up control you will find the place of sweet surrender
– Charlotte Gambill