Joni Parsley Daydream Believer
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Many years ago, my husband preached a sermon and one quote emerged that distinctly characterized his ministry. He declared, “It’s time we return to the discarded values of the past.” He continued to emphasize the way our society had declined in morality and standards of excellence, honor and integrity. Once political correctness and liberal ideology invaded our culture, the foundational values we were taught as children were either rare or non-existent. His was one voice that felt compelled to shine a light in a dark place. I remember purchasing a book for him by Judge Robert Bork (former Supreme Court nominee) which I believe accurately summed up the country’s condition, “Slouching Towards Gomorrah-Modern Liberalism and American Decline.”
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Friday, June 01, 2018

Tweet from @AshtonParsley When I saw this photo and the heartfelt words beneath it, I had to share it. It blessed me in so many ways and not just because my daughter is in it! However, her words are my hope for all of us who serve together and for every person regardless of our many differences, skill sets, backgrounds, degrees, titles, giftings and personalities. We should be celebrated and celebrate one another. People in your life should be your greatest cheerleaders no matter if you scored the touchdown or sat the bench. You still practiced, tried, showed up and put on the uniform to be a part of something. I love this line in a song saying, “I’m the greatest fan of your life.” I’ve used that quite often because it’s true. What an honor it is to be on the sidelines while someone else gets the win, an answered prayer, a good report, an unexpected blessing or a divine miracle! How can we not cheer or celebrate? It doesn’t need to be a spectacular event. Someone deserves to be appreciated just for being a good worker, a good listener or a good friend. All too often, we celebrate achievements rather than people. You don’t need to win a Nobel Prize to be great. We need to applaud the effort more and not just the outcome.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2018
After so much of that, I became resentful and angry at others but mostly myself. Why did pleasing people matter so much? Why did approval of others matter and why did I never upset the apple cart when I had every right to? I kept shrinking away while creating this supermom and killing myself to do so. I wanted my husband and kids to think I was amazing, and even though I enjoyed all of my endeavors, my digging uncovered what it cost later in life and more importantly, who and what I lost.
Filed In: Encouragement, Prayer, Grievance, Guidance, Praise Report, Salvation, Our Nation, This & That |  |   0 Comments
Wednesday, January 08, 2014

At the beginning of a new year, we seem to look inward. Starting fresh seems to equal a renewal of disciplines we’ve allowed to slip or have ignored altogether. It’s time to start a new diet, work-out, read devotionals, drink a gallon of water, watch less television, spend less time on phones and Facebook, and swear off fast food forever all while we walk on a treadmill! We decide to change behaviors all in an attempt to answer that annoying inner voice that’s nagging us to be better.

To be honest, I quit making New Year’s resolutions because the list barely made it to March before it ended in the trash! I set my goals so high that an Olympic athlete or Mother Teresa wouldn’t have been able to succeed. I decided to set one goal daily - to be better than the day before at something. I’m not talking about huge feats of greatness but little adjustments even if it’s in my attitude…um, maybe that’s a huge feat, after all! If I can improve at being a Christian, in some capacity, then I can have the discipline it takes to do some of the things I don’t like doing.

The odd thing about Christianity is that it takes an ability to look both inward and outward in order to grow. To be better we have to look inward but to be even better we must look outward. The only reason for self-improvement is to be ready and able to serve others. If we are striving for “the mark of the high calling of Christ” then we are striving to be like Him…a servant. I promise it’s in the Bible and I didn’t make it up!

We live in a world that is flooded with self-serving, self-absorbed and thus, self-sabotaging messages and unfortunately, it has crept into our churches. Self-sacrifice is meant for our new year’s lists but never makes it to March - it sounds good in theory but not in practice. Why? BECAUSE IT IS HARD!

It’s hard to deny SELF! It wants cookies not carrots! It wants mind-numbing television with someone’s reality that looks better or worse than our own. It wants a soothing gospel that costs us little instead of the one that costs us everything. Self is like a hoarder that wants to keep the junk so it can keep the excuses but it’s time to clean out the garage, the closets and the storage room. It’s a great winter project - empty out the trash and then, maybe God can have some breathing room!

We all want “more of God” but we have to do the work to make “less of me”. It won’t happen overnight but making it a priority will yield better results than all the starvation diets I’ve been gone on combined!

Saint Francis said, “You are that which you are seeking.” That said, let’s ask ourselves every day, “Who am I?” The answer should be fairly obvious.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This was the easiest and hardest title to choose. Since I’ve been staring at the screen for a while, all I’ve seen is the blinking of the cursor. I felt like it was taunting me and saying, “Go ahead, just try and move me!” It’s not the only thing that’s taunted or maybe, haunted me. My laptop is in a bag, which I keep in my room, where I do most of my writing. I’ve walked by said bag countless times. I’ve stared at it and swear it’s been mocking me too, “Go ahead, pick me up and at least move me from this spot!” I moved the bag by my favorite “writing chair” and decided it clashed with my décor of all things!

Yep, I’ve had it bad! I’ve had a severe case of writer’s block that’s been accompanied by a severe case of excuse-making to myself, God or anyone else that has asked. Speaking of excuses, my phone is ringing! See how busy I always am?! Hmm…That was my husband telling me he was hungry as if I was to magically do something about it over the phone! See how distracted I always am?! I’ve had two calls, seven text messages, and two dogs interrupting me (I don’t mean my husband either). See how hard it is to get a minute of peace?!

If I’m being honest, I haven’t wanted to write. I couldn’t bring myself to settle my mind long enough to string some thoughts together because none of my thoughts were making much sense. I try too hard to figure things out; there has to be a reason for things or some answer. I will contemplate and analyze a situation for combined hours. See how preoccupied I can be?! However, some things cannot be explained. What can’t be explained requires something from us…trust in someone that has the explanation. Where there’s a student, there’s always a master. I think you know where I’m going with this. In the case of being a Christian, we are always the student because Jesus is forever the Master.

Once we accept our station in this relationship, it’s a sigh of relief. We don’t have to do the heavy lifting, know everything or shoulder the responsibility alone. In a world where uncertainty abounds, it’s so comforting to have the Lord to depend on. Every time I’d stare at this computer screen, I kept thinking that I needed to explain the last three weeks. A lot has happened that has profoundly affected me, not the least of which was the sudden death of two people I cared about. I have no answer for that. I have no reason for it either. I can’t find the logic in people mourning the loss of loved ones…I can only feel hurt for them and myself, for that matter. What I can find is assurance. What I do know is that God is always there when answers aren’t.

It really is okay to just show up and whisper His name – showing up is sometimes all we can do. He gets it and He gets us. So often, we make it harder than it has to be when all we need to do is trust. Trust says, "I’m here and I know You’re there." Trust says, "I don’t know but I know You do." Trust is silent, but it speaks volumes. Trust just says yes.

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About Joni

Thanking God for blessings too many to list. He is my all and my always-the glory and the lifter of my head... He never fails.