"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands." - Psalm 143:5

Monday, May 30, 2011

Finished is Just the Beginning

 

“If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up.”  ~ J.M. Power

retooled cvr final
It’s taken longer than I wanted but RETOOLED is finished…well, all except the publishing part that is. I’m praying about my next step, agent or no agent, self-publish or try to reach a publishing company crazy enough to take a chance on me? Still, what a ride this has been so far! The book, my story, is so different then when I first started…mostly because I have changed during all those rewrites. The dream is not yet realized but I’m awake to the possibilities that God will bring my way through the journey still ahead.

May I encourage you with this thought? You are a gifted child of God, He wants to deliver His message of hope through those gifts. No doubt you have dreams of your own, maybe they seem impossible to obtain. Don’t give up…wake up! Father God gave you those gifts to honor Him…don’t wait for dreams…go for them. Trust in what He has asked you to do and trust even if those dreams look different than when you first dreamt them. Open your eyes…see what God has for you! His work in you is just beginning!

Blessings, Jay

“All men dream:  but not equally.  Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity:  but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.” 
~T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, 1926

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

They’ll Grow On You

beckybeach scripture

“Your wife will be like a fruitful vine inside your home. Your children will be like young olive trees around your table.” Psalm 128:3

Olivesfromjordan I heard Dr. Tony Evans talk about olive trees this morning. He said an olive plant takes roughly about 15 years to grow into a tree. Olive trees can produce fruit for centuries...there are olive trees in Israel that are dated back to Christ...that's a long time.

Around our tables are young plants, waiting for our words to nourish them and help them grow into fruit bearing trees. My youngest, Rebecca (pictured above), turns 9 today and she is rapidly turning into a tree. My words, my life, can plant ideas, vision, and hope into her or leave her as dry and arid as a desert. I want my daughter and her siblings to be producing fruit well past the time I spend on this planet. That takes a huge investment of time, love and commitment…but the fruit is so worth it!

Time is short and we must take advantage of every moment around our "table" by speaking life into our kids. We’re not just raising a family…we’re growing sons and daughters of the King!

How are your olive plants today? Are they growing?

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Deep

 

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On Sunday I shared this message at my home church (Bridge Builders Community Church). I fought my way through it, holding back tears all the way. When I started speaking I felt the weight of God’s mercy like never before. It was overwhelming and wonderful at the same time. The by-product is that this “sermon” is only 21 minutes long. I would appreciate your feedback on this DEEP subject.

Blessings,
Jay

 

You can listen on iTunes as well (HERE) or at my SF website (HERE)

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Celebrating Today…with Bad Sheep!

 

 

iworship_praise Your families are extremely proud of you.  You can't imagine the sense of relief they are experiencing.  This would be a most opportune time to ask for money.  ~Gary Bolding

 

Just a quick post today as the Cookingham clan prepares for a major milestone for my daughter Sarah. My oldest princess graduates today and I couldn’t be more proud of her, she has accomplished much with her hard work and winning smile. Many of her professors love her and have raved such to her parents…who of course, already knew how wonderful she is. She makes my heart happy.

The second thing we get to celebrate today is the scholarship awarded to my son Matthew for next year’s tuition…not for all of it, but it makes my wallet happy. Matt’s first year was a huge success and I am proud of him for all his hard work.
He made the baseball team and still made the honor society…that was a great thing for his parents to see.

This has been an interesting two weeks for me…my injured foot, time off for reflection and we find ourselves in the midst of a extremely trying time. Yet, we will pause and celebrate today…our God is good and is worthy of all praise.

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! —Psalm 105:1-2

Take the time to celebrate all He has done…tell others…sing…dance! Enjoy the blessings that He has given you…that will please Him for sure!

Oh…the Bad Boys of Wool have something to add…although I’m not sure it’s a good idea.

bad sheep no. 39

BTW…Please forgive me for not posting on any of your blogs this past couple of weeks. My time has been spent in finishing my book, preparing for a sermon and wrestling with some issues. Please know that your words, your writing and your lives are a huge blessing to me. Blessings, Jay

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Questions of God

 

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Hey everybody! I’ve been off from work since last week, one week for an injured foot and now I’m on vacation…yay! I’m trying to finish my book, meditate on where God is leading me and hopefully get some rest. What I would like to share today is something from an old newsletter I wrote a few years ago. Reading it this morning gave me some insight into what my heart should reflect on this week. I hope it speaks to you as well. I appreciate you all, God bless! – Jay Cookingham

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded?”
Isaiah 40:21

The Father really knows how to ask a question. From the garden, questions that included “Who told you were naked?” to the lord’s own question of “Who touched me?” Throw some of God’s questions to Job in the middle and we can sense the position of God in our lives. When He asks me a question its always to get at something in my life. He knows the answer, so He is not seeking information.

What is he after then? I believe He is giving me a heart shakedown, making me check out my heart from the inside out. Through such questions God causes us to (hopefully)  re-think where we place Him in our lives. Go on, check these beauties out.

Where are you? Genesis 3:9

Why are you angry? Genesis 4:6

Where is Abel your brother? Genesis 4:9

Where is Sarah your wife? Genesis 18:9

What is your name? Genesis 32:27

But who do you say I am? Mark 8:29

Know what I believe? I think God asks more questions than we do, trying to wake us up to the purposes of His Kingdom. The Father stirs our memory with His inquires, reminding us of His presence in all our reflections. He corrects attitudes and marks the difference between right and wrong with righteous queries. God uses questions to show us the expanse of just who He is and drops us in the middle of it all to demonstrate the largeness of His love for us. I really find out more about who I am when I paid more attention to the questions my Father is asking me. When I listen closely to the way He poses the question I discover even more.

A few years ago He flooded new insight into my world when I heard Him ask the following; “What if I make you a ________?” (I’m leaving part this blank for a reason, if you really want to know you can e-mail me).

For a day or two I paid more attention to the blank part of the question. Then He
enlightened my heart and I revisited the question this way.

What if I make you a ________?”

Then I saw that my focus should be on the “I” part, the part that God was reminding me of His position in my life. The anxiousness I felt was unnecessary, I now understood that He would work through me, my striving was not needed. Discerning the question made the difference, oh I like answers, but it this case the Father taught me a mind-transforming lesson.

Father, bless us with your questions today. Rock our world with your penetrating presence, changing us from the inside out! Amen!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Without Grace – Reflective Poetry

 

ocean-waves2

Without Grace

Without Grace
I face the current alone and
bear the scars

Without Grace
I am driven by want not need
and my spirit grows numb

Without Grace
I fear my place and
doubt the strength given me

Without Grace
I find myself drawn to you
and drown beneath an ocean full

Jay Cookingham © May 11, 2011
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Is that All?


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There are many enemies that threaten my security daily; I suspect that you’re familiar with them as well. Health concerns, worries about finances and the future…these can turn on you in a heartbeat. I’m walking through stuff…you’re walking through stuff; life can be really hard sometimes. We can lose heart and our faith in God’s promises during difficult circumstances. Know what I think? I think we need to be “All-struck”.

Psalm 34 carries one little word that excites me…it’s the word “All”, it’s a powerful word, one that covers…well, everything! Fears, troubles, afflictions…ALL covered

Verse 4…and delivered me from all my fears.

Verse 6…and saved him out of all his troubles.

Verse 17…and delivers them out of all their troubles.

Verse 19…Many afflictions…delivers him out of them all.

Not some…ALL

Not a few…ALL

Not just the easy ones…ALL

Not most…ALL

In the midst of your struggle, the Father is there with you, seek Him…you will lack no good thing (Verse 10)

Is that all? No….not really, in verse 1 is our part…

I will bless Jehovah at all times; His praise always shall be in my mouth.

Praying for you all…Jay

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mom Went Home

 

happy-mothers- 

This story is a bit hard but there is a point, please hang in there until the end. - Jay

When Juanita Elizabeth Beesmier married Frederick Cookingham some 70 plus years ago, she may have thought life was going to be good. She may have been filled with the same hope and dreams that many brides have when they start the marriage journey. I don’t know because my mom never shared about those heart matters with anyone. In retrospect marrying my father was a huge mistake; her life became an emotional prison of fear and pain.

I have shared stories of the abuse I endure from the hand of my dad (here) but I believe my mom suffered worst treatment form him. My dad was extremely jealous of the affections mom would show her kids, so much so he forbid any signs of fondness between us. To break that law meant misery for all of us but mom would take the brunt of it all. Dad’s cruelty finally forced my mom into a childlike state and she ceased to grow as a human being. My father had no only vacated his dad responsibility but he stolen my mom from me as well. Her home had become a harsh and lonely cell and she was powerless to change it.

My most vivid memory of mom comes from her long hospital stay due to emphysema. It was apparent she was not leaving the hospital alive and every visit saw her frail frame weaken more and more. There was one topic that would brighten her right up and that was the birth of my first child, due any day. She was so excited about meeting the little one and she did her best to hang on to see her youngest son have his first child. One day my mom went into cardiac arrest and nearly passed away. As she lay still and motionless on her hospital bed I told her again about Jesus and the love of the Father. When I asked if she wanted Christ in her heart, she signed yes by squeezing my hand threes times. My mom was now a follower of Jesus.

Late in the evening on March 2, 1989 I received a call from the hospital that my mom had passed away. Just five days later I attended her wake just hours after my first child (Joshua) was born. My son had entered the world and I was overjoyed and even though it was difficult to attend the wake for my mom, it also was a relief.

My mom was now living like never before, she had a home like never before and she had a Savior who would love on her for all eternity! For me, it’s all good…I have a mom waiting for me but it is so wonderful knowing how free she is.

Mom went home…Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

“A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands. But a mother's love endures through all.” ~Washington Irving

“Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, extend to the skies, and Your faithfulness to the clouds.” Psalm 36: 5

 

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Calling

 

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"So don't be afraid: I'm with you. I'll round up all your scattered children, pull them in from east and west. (6) I'll send orders north and south: 'Send them back. Return my sons from distant lands, my daughters from faraway places. (7)  I want them back, every last one who bears my name, every man, woman, and child Whom I created for my glory, yes, personally formed and made each one.” Isaiah 43:5-7 The Message

How many really want to know their calling? I’m going to use my huge prophetic gifting and tell everyone’s calling here…ready?

  • If you’re a dad…you’re called to father.
  • If you’re a grandfather…you’re called to father.
  • If you are alive and breathing (and a male) …you’re called to father.

A call to father is simply following the example of father God, fleshed out in the life of Jesus, and how He draws us into a relationship with Him. The power of fathering is born in the spirit of adoption, the extreme makeover of people into sons and daughters.

Strategic Fathering is a purposeful, planned and practical incursion into the lives of our children. It’s actively seeking and wanting a potent relationship with them. It’s more than raising “kids”, it is a focused journey alongside them.

God strategically planned for our salvation. He deposited Himself right in the mainstream of humanity, desiring deep relationships with His creation. Through this powerful covenant He awakens purposes and plans in us, and releases dreams through us. That power to help transform lives, already divinely deposited in us, is designed to be released through fathering.

Why am I sharing part of the mission plan for my ministry?

Because…It’s time to man up

The ability to bless, to impart and to impact has been given to you by the Father’s own hand. It’s written on your spiritual DNA, you and I were wired to be huge in someone’s life! There are huge opportunities all around us, the world is crying out for heroes…I pray that God will make me one!

Will you be one?

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Monday, May 2, 2011

God is Forgiving



maddlogo 

I have the awesome honor of guest posting over at Making a Difference To One hosted by my Sister-nation member Ginny. I hope you’ll head on over and leave a few insightful comments! Bless ya! Jay

 

The deepest part of the ocean at 36,200 feet (11,033 m or 11.03 km) is an alien looking place called Challenger Deep, within the Marianas Trench. This cold, deep dark is far beyond the reach of sunlight and is as remote of a place as you can find on this planet.

Imagine for a moment a place so far away, so unreachable and unseen that it boggles the mind. (Read more here)

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