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June 2006
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Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.  (Hebrews 13:20-21)

I'm breaking from my testimony today because I'm having a hard time boiling down the last 16 years of my life into a tidy blog post.  Actually, I think that is why I haven't posted in a couple of days.  However, I did want to share the above verse with you and let you think about how God has worked in your own lives.

Does anyone like growing pains?  I wouldn't think so, however, we cannot grow stronger if we don't have to push through something, can we?  God wants to make us into individuals who are able to do what He desires of us so that we can carry out His will on this earth.   It is through the power of Jesus in us if we are Christians that enables us to become all that we can be for God.

Isn't it cool that God wants us to do good? Is anyone else relieved that He will help us do it?  God can do anything in this world, can't He?   Can anyone even imagine what it took for God to raise Jesus from the dead?  Think about that.  If God can resurrect a dead man, shouldn't that same power be enough to overcome troubles with our finances, our marriages, and any other shortcomings we face?

Oh, friends, if we would only believe, we would see the glory of God in our lives.  Things may have to get really bad before they get better, but remember that God can work miracles. Do you remember the story of Jesus' friend Lazarus, whom Jesus brought back from the dead?  Take a look at the following passage:

John 11:39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.  40Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?  41Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.

For Lazarus and Martha, his sister, things did get bad before they got better.  A problem couldn't possibly get much worse than being dead for four days.  But because of their belief and through the power of Jesus, Lazarus came back to life after being dead for four days.  That is some glory of God!!

What is "dead" in your life that God needs to resurrect?  Is it a broken spirit, a broken home or a broken life?Do you believe that God can raise it from the dead?  He says He want to make us complete so we can work for Him again.  Through the power of Christ's blood shed on the cross for us, we can finally be made whole if we accept His help. He can help us to be pleasing to Him. 

My Story - Part 3 of 5

The Middle Ages

Where did I leave off with this story anyway?  Oh yeah.  I became a Christian at age 13 and really didn't notice much of a changed life because I wasn't around anyone who was willing to show me what it meant to have a walk with God.  Do I think I would have wanted one?  I believe so.  High school was uneventful as I was a straight A student.  Remember, I was a good kid. 

After high school I attended the University of Missouri-Columbia.  I was an elected officer for two years with my sorority and as far as going to church, I went to church a whopping total of three times in my four years of college.  I even had a bible in my room.  What did it matter if I didn't read it?  Compared to most of my friends, I was super-spiritual!  After all, I made decent grades and didn't go out partying too awful much. I had good morals and was even considered part of the "god squad" in my sorority, whatever that meant.  I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 1989 and went from there to my first real job as an auditor for the Missouri State Auditors office.  Little did I know that one year later, my life would be turned upside down...

Born Again...Again

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

We are never really in control of our lives, much as I would like to think, much less in charge of other people's lives.  As you've probably noticed, I have not indicated any real walk with God so far in my life.  Little did I know that in the summer of 1990, my life was about to change.  You see, I got a phone call from my mom that summer informing me that my dad was leaving her for another woman after 24 years of marriage.   That was quite a fact, it shocked my whole immediate family, with the exception of my dad, into a new relationship with God.   I moved back to KC, took a new job at another accounting firm and moved in with my mom for awhile to help her with her finances. 

All of us started going back to church, this time a baptist church, and for the first time I understood what it was like to make friends in a Sunday School class.  If you recall, the only reason I didn't like going to church as a kid was the fact that we didn't go often enough to form relationships.  Consequently, the seed planted in me 10 years earlier finally began to grow.  Why do I say "born again...again"?  Well, when you've been away from church for so long like I had been, start feeling like you've wasted so much of your life away, and hear a radio preacher ask the radio audience if they were 100% sure they were going to heaven when they died, a person tends to take notice.  I prayed again the sinners prayer in my car one day just as I had done so many years ago.  Do I believe I became a Christian at age 13?  Absolutely.  Did I want to take any chances with my eternal destiny, heaven vs. hell, when I was 23?  Absolutely not.   

Something great came out of my father's indiscretions.   I renewed my commitment to God, my brother realized that he had never had a relationship with God and gave his life to Christ, and my mom got re-energized in her spiritual walk as well.  Still, did I know what it was like to rely on God's strength and power?  No.  God still had a lot of work to do yet in me.  But at least now, I was really ready to get started.

Stay tuned until next time...In the meantime, remember that it is never to late to begin life anew with a plan and a purpose.

Press On

I write this with a heavy heart for those in need of a break in life.  I pray that if you are tired, weary, drained and beat up from life's circumstances that this song might provide even the tiniest bit of encouragement to get through another day.

Download press_on.wma

Press On - by Selah

When the valley is deep
When the mountain is steep
When the body is weary
When we stumble and fall

When the choices are hard
When we're battered and scarred
When we've spent our resources
When we've given our all

In Jesus' name, we press on
In Jesus' name, we press on
Dear Lord, with the prize
Clear before our eyes
We find the strength to press on

In Jesus' name, we press on
In Jesus' name, we press on
Dear Lord, with the prize
Clear before our eyes
We find the strength to press on
To press on

Lord, please lift up those who are in the valley with seemingly no strength left to take another step.  Wipe the tears from their eyes, heal their wounds from falling and give them wisdom to make the hard choices they face.  And please, help them to see clearly the prize before their eyes, and give them the strength and endurance to keep pressing on. Amen.

My Story - Part 2 of 5

B.C....the first time

Before Christ...why the "first time"?   Because although I became a christian at age 13,  I didn't start really "walking" with God until about 10 years later....

So here goes wth my story.  I don't consider my testimony much of a story, because I don't a lot of past baggage that God had to miraculously shed from me (e.g. drugs, crime, etc.), but it is my story just the same and I hope that others can relate to it.  I grew up in Independence, MO, not far from where I live now.   I should say that I grew up in a Christian home and was taught good solid values ever since I can remember.  I always knew that God was watching me, but didn't really have a concept of a real two-way relationship with God until after my college years.  Ah...I mustn't get ahead of myself.

We went to church as a family off and on as long as I can remember growing up.  I think we even attended a summer vacation bible school a couple of times, but I don't remember much about that.  What I do remember though about my church attendance as a youth was that :

1) Mom and Dad were not involved in the church.  Sunday attendance a couple time a month was good enough for them. 

2) I didn't like going to Sunday school because due to our sporadic attendance, we weren't there often enough to make friends and thus felt uncomfortable.  The church service was okay because I could blend in.

3) My brother and I figured out that if we stayed in bed until 9:00am on Sunday mornings and pretended to be sleeping, we wouldn't have to go to church.

Did I mention that I was a good kid?  I never caused any problems, other than the occasional fight with my mom over what to wear, and I made straight A's.  I think the type A personality has always been there with me. :)

Back to the story.  At an approximate age of 13, my mom decided that my brother and I needed to become members of our church (Ridgeview Christian Church - Disciples of Christ) so we participated in a confirmation class with the pastor.  Ironically, until a couple of years ago, I never knew that the class had a name! What I do remember though was that although I don't recall all of the details, I know we learned about Jesus and how He died for me.

I wish I knew the exact date that I became a Christian.  At the time, I'm not sure I totally realized how important that decision was for me, other than that I know I didn't want to go to hell when I died.   I remember being baptized after I confessed to our pastor in front of the church on an Easter Sunday that I believed that Jesus was the Son of God who came to rescue me (or save me) from an eternal lifetime in hell.  I understood that without personally asking Jesus into my life, even though I was a good kid, I could not go to heaven when I died because I had not lived a perfectly sinless life as He had.  I had lied, disobeyed, and even stole (a hotwheels car from a friends house, which I had to return - embarrassing - I was probably 4.).  As a consequence, without Jesus, I knew I couldn't be with God.  The biggest part for me though, was that "fire insurance"...I was terrifed of hell, and rightfully so.

Did my life change after this experience?  I don't really think so.  Remember, I was a pretty good kid anyway.  I don't recall anyone following up to get me started with my new life.   Do I remember a huge peace settling over me at my time of decision?  I don't really remember that either.  Remmber, I was focused on not going to hell!  Maybe I had the peace in knowing that.   Did I think that my baptism saved me? Honestly, I don't think so.  I've always been a deep thinker, so I'm sure that I would have thought that a dunk in a baptismal couldn't have done the trick.  Looking back, I think I realized that being baptized was a way to share publicly my belief in Jesus. 

Here is the bottom line about what I did that day approximately 26 years ago:

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confessions is made unto salvation...13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

I believed, I asked, and I received.  I was saved.

My Story - Part 1 of 5

1 Timothy 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;  13Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.  14And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

As I was out for a morning walk a couple days ago enjoying the brisk cool air of an unseasonably cool July summer day in Kansas City, I pondered the above verses.  You may recall that I've been working on memorizing the book of 1 Timothy since March of this year.  I've made it completely now through the first 13 verses.  Slow progress, yes, but progress just the same.

So as I thought about these verses, I totally could relate to Paul, in a very small way, in that God has put me in the ministry, even though I was before not fit to do the job.  I obtained mercy, and the grace of God has over and above blessed me with His faith and love.

These verses also have me thinking about sharing my testimony with you, my dear readers.  Not because it is anything special - it is quite ordinary, actually - but so that you may know a little more about this person behind "Bread Crumbs".  Don't worry, it won't be a terribly long account of my life.  In fact, I'm not sure exactly what I'll share.  You will be getting my direct thoughts downloaded live, day by day. 

The bottom line is this.  No matter where I've been or where I'm going, God is with me.  And the same goes for everyone.  God is with all of us, pursuing all of us.  But He is living inside of us through His Holy Spirit only if we are truly born again Christians.  I've never liked that term "born again", but it is true just the same.  I am a born again Christian, a child of God, and am so thrilled that I don't have to go through the ups and downs of this life without His power, His love and His control over my life.  Although it has taken me 39 years to realize it, I can do nothing without Him.  Truly.  Lord, help me to remember that always.

Do you have a "story"?  Stay tuned tomorrow for mine.

The Spirit of the Lord

And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; (Isaiah 11:2)

I had such a sweet time in God's word today, such a time as I've not had in awhile.   I sat down outside on my patio this afternoon with no time pressures and just absorbed God's presence in the beautiful summer day around me.  Oh, to have that kind of time with God every day.  As I've been tiring of the old testament of late, I've been reading through Matthew and today's reading led me to the verse above.  I just love it when God takes me on a rabbit trail because something cool always comes of it.

In Matthew 3:16 we see Jesus being baptized and how the Spirit of God landed upon Him.  Did you know that this event was fulfilled Old Testament prophecy?  In Isaiah 11:2 above we see not only the prediction that God's Spirit would rest upon Jesus, but what the Holy Spirit gave to Jesus.

Now here is the good part.  No, the great part!  The same Holy Spirit that gave Jesus the spirit of  wisdom, understanding, counsel, might and knowledge of the fear of the Lord has been given to us too if we are Christians.  It is no wonder the bible says that the Lord is "rich unto all that call upon him." (Romans 10:12).  We have the riches of the Holy Spirit of God living inside us.  As unfathomable as that is to me, I am sure thankful that I don't have to do all of my self-improvements on my own.  I can trust that God is with me to work on me from the inside change my core attitudes and beliefs so that I can live my life in a way that is pleasing to Him.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22)

The riches of the Lord are the fruit that He gives us as we let the Holy Spirit take over our lives more and more each day.  Are you letting God get hold of you or are you resisting His tugs at your heart to spend more time with Him?  I don't know about anyone else, but I want all of the wisdom, understanding, peace, love, joy and faith that I can get.  I want to be rich - rich with the rewards only God can provide.

Have you called upon the Lord Jesus to come into your life?  Do you know that unless you have lived the perfect life (which no one can do) that you will not have the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome your obstacles and that you will be forever separated from God?  Do you remember a moment in time when you realized that Jesus - the One who was crucified and died, who was buried but rose again alive - paid the price for your imperfections so you could spend eternity in heaven with Him?  Friends, if you can't remember a specific moment when you asked Jesus to come into your heart, now is the time.  Powerless lives are the only option without Him, and more importantly, a life without Jesus now leads to an eternity in a literal hell forever.   I know this sounds harsh, but I do care about each one  who reads this space in blogland.   Please, if you have any questions about your eternal fate, won't you seek some answers and click here?  And if you made a decision for Christ, please email me and let me know so that I can celebrate with you.

Getting Out of the Boat

If you want to walk on water, you've got to get out of the boat.    I just love that sentence, which is also the title of a book by John Ortberg. Simple but to the point, is it not?  But what if we don't want to walk on the water?  What if we like the boats we are in?  What if we don't like the boats we are in, but like staying in that boat because it is familiar?

As I write this, I smile as I think about how easy it is has been for me to encourage others to step out of their comfort zones to take steps in their journey of service for God.  It is a joy to me to watch someone take a step of faith to do something for God that is a stretch for them.  As I think about this, I realize that I've rarely had someone to push me to do the same. I've always been a self-motivated person who likes to try new things and to find ways to get better at what I am currently decent at.   But the bad thing about being self-motivated is that rarely does someone challenge you to step out of your own boat.  I've been there, until now...You see, finally, God has seen me fit to give me someone to finally challenge me to get of my boat.  And what a blessing she has been.  :)  God must have something planned.  I'll keep you posted.

So my challenge today is this.  To step out of my "boat' and accept the new and exciting things I believe God is calling me to do.  Calling.  More like invading my mind with the ideas.  To accept that God has made me a certain way for a certain time to influence certain people.  We are all in this boat, aren't we?  It is a scary thing to be challenged and then feel accountable to someone else for that challenge.  Yes it is scary, but a good feeling nonetheless.  Who knows, if we step out of the boat, we may just like where we are going!

Things to think about:

1) When was the last time you intentionally did something that was a stretch for you personally?

2) When examining the place you are in your life right now, do you see an area where you can take a step of faith forward?

3) When you see an opportunity to step out of your boat, what holds you back?

His Strength Is Perfect

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12:9-10)

I love it when God brings a verse or song to my mind that really makes me reflect on things,  due to a situation either in my life or someone else's.  I sat here this morning, and last night, pondering what to share here today and couldn't settle on anything until now.  Now though, I know that someone "out there" needs to hear what God has to say.   

It is hard to understand sometimes, especially when we are in the middle of something bigger than ourselves, how God's strength can be all that we need.  However, sometimes it is all that we have.  When we wonder how we can take that next step, He is there to guide us. When we fall down and skin our knees, He offers His gentle hand to help us up, kisses our wounds and tries to make it all better.  When we purposefully fall down humbly on our knees in prayer with nothing else to give, that is when we finally see His power and strength as He lifts up our head, looks us in the eyes and tells us that we can make it.  His strength and love is perfect.

To close - because after all, I do have a golf game to play today in the 100 degree heat (yes, I think I may be crazy, but I'm playing with a good friend) - I'd like to share the song that God brought to my mind this morning.  If I could have each of you in my living room, I'd play it on my baby grand piano for you and sing it to you, but alas, we are in cyberspace after all.  Anyway, that is my wish.  Enjoy the lyrics and may God's strength lift you up today.

His Strength is Perfect - by Steven Curtis Chapman

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength,
but sometimes I wonder what He can do through me.

No great success to show, no glory on my own
yet in my weakness He is there to let me know:

His strength is perfect when our strength is gone.
He'll carry us when we can't carry on.
Raised in His power, the weak become strong.
His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect.

We can only know the power that He holds
when we truly see how deep our weakness goes.

His strength in us begins where ours comes to an end.
He hears our humble cry and proves again.

His strength is perfect when our strength is gone.
He'll carry us when we can't carry on.
Raised in His power, the weak become strong.
His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect.

Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us

Nothing like a good old song to bring me to the presence of God.  As I sat here tonight trying to study for a bible study lesson I'm teaching tomorrow night, I couldn't seem to get my mind focused enough to enter into His presence.  I sat and sat in the quiet of my home waiting.  (Note: Impatiently waiting to quiet the mind in order to find the peace of God is not very effective).  How many times do you find yourself in this place, trying to clear your mind but struggling to do so? 

So what did I do?  I found a CD I hadn't listened to in a long time and played one of my favorite songs, a contemporary version by 4 Him of the old hymn "Savior, Like  A Shepherd Lead Us".  As I listened to this song the first time, it quickly brought to my mind how much I do need my Savior, Jesus. As I listened to it the second time, I was reminded of His tender love for me even with my scattered mind tonight as I prayed the words of the song.  Finally, I'm ready to study.

I want to share the song with you here and I hope that you can pray with sincere desire, as you listen and read the words, for Jesus to be the Guardian of your way.  He does hear us when we pray.  May you be drawn into His presence today.

Click here for the song: Download 07_savior_like_a_shepherd_lead_us.wma

Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us
by William Bradbury

Savior, like a shepherd lead us
Much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us
For our use Thy folds prepare:

Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus
Thou has bought us, Thine we are;
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus
Thou has bought us, Thine we are.

We are Thine; do Thou befriend us
Be the Guardian of our way;
Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us
Seek us when we go astray:

Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus
Hear Thy children when we pray;
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus
Hear Thy children when we pray

Early let us seek Thy favor;
Early let us do Thy will;
Blessed Lord and only Savior
With thy love our bosoms fill:

Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus
Thou hast loved us, love us still;
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus
Thou hast loved us, love us still.


Janna Rust is a Life Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at

God Can Use Anyone

Fill in the blanks.  How many times in your life do you say to yourself "God can't use me because I'm not _____________ enough, I'm too _________________, I've done too many _______________".?  Do you realize that God can use anyone for His glory?  Remember Balaam from yesterday's post?  God used Balaam, a pagan prophet who was hired by Balak, to share with Balak the blessings that He intended for Israel. 

Continuing on from yesterday, Balaam had just seen God speak through his donkey.  Now, doesn't that beat all? People, if God can use a donkey for His work, He can certainly use us!!   After hearing the donkey speak, God opened Balaam's eyes (Nu 22:31) and effectively made Balaam understand that God and God alone would give him the words to speak to Balak.

Fast forward now to the 7 prophecies Balaam gave to Balak in Numbers 23 - 24.  Remember now that Balak had paid Balaam to contact the gods and curse Israel.  After all, that was what Balaam was known for in all the land.  However, Balaam did nothing of the sort this time as he allowed God to speak through him 7 different times, all of which were blessings rather than curses on the nation of Israel.  After Balak realized he wasn't getting what he wanted he sent Balaam on his way without paying him (24:11).

Although a little weird, God uses this passage to tell us that He can use anyone to do His work.  Balak apparently needed a true word from God rather than the lies that he wanted to hear about Israel, and Balaam was the man of the hour.  Remember that our new testament apostle Paul was also used mightily by God in spite of his past.   My questions then of both you, dear readers, and myself are these:

1) What is really holding us back from doing God's work here on earth?

2) Are we using an excuse of past sins or failures to not attempt great things for God in the here and now?

Remember, God used a donkey to accomplish something for His kingdom, He can certainly use us.  As our Apostle Paul says about his past:

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.  (1 Timothy 1:12-13 NKJV)

God used a sinner such as Paul to change the world.  He can and will use us as well.  Count on it.