"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all die, but we shall be changed ..." -1 Corinthians 15:51
Change! We all have the tendency to hold on a little tighter to the things of life as we see ourselves changing and growing older. As we journey onward, we often find ourselves more resistant to the dynamics that change demands of us. Can you remember when you were younger? Taking risks and venturing out was not only exciting, but as you look back you can agree that it was those "stretching" moments of change that helped define who we are today.
The Lord tells us that His Word is forever and never changes. The reason why this truth is so precious to us is because everything else is in a state of change. Change is uncomfortable because we cannot always see God ahead in a venture or situation. When I, as a pastor, a father and a husband, seek to control and limit God's work of change in the very one who I am trying to reach, I miss out because I have become the "lord" in the effort. You and I, along with others, must experience change if we are going to grow as healthy, productive human beings. If the universe has ever seen evolution, it can be found in the life of every productive child of God. When God orders up a change in your life, how do you react? When there's a challenge in your life, how do you handle it? May I challenge you today? If there is a world outside to be changed, are you willing to be an instrument of that change?
Change is normal and to be anticipated. The Lord is ever pressing, molding, shaping and conforming you into His image, and that alone is the greatest change of all. May you be open and willing to become as a child again, and embrace all that He has for you.
Posted by Jena McGinnis on May 08 2016
When Jesus had tasted it, he said, "It is finished!" Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.
The cross was the goal of Jesus from the very beginning. His birth was so there would be His death. The incarnation was for our atonement. He was born to die so that we might live. And when He had accomplished the purpose He had come to fulfill, He summed it up with a single word: "finished."
In the original Greek, it was a common word. Jesus probably used it after He finished a project that He and Joseph might have been working on together in the carpentry shop. Jesus might have turned to Joseph and said, "Finished. Now let's go have lunch." It is finished. Mission accomplished. It is done. It is made an end of.
So what was finished? Finished and completed were the horrendous sufferings of Christ. Never again would He experience pain at the hand of wicked men. Never again would He have to bear the sins of the world. Never again would He, even for a moment, be forsaken of God. That was completed. That was taken care of.
Also finished was Satan's stronghold on humanity. Jesus came to deal a decisive blow against the devil and his demons at the cross of Calvary. Hebrews 2:14 says, "Only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death." This means that you no longer have to be under the power of sin. Because of Jesus' accomplishment at the cross, finished was the stronghold of Satan on humanity.
And lastly, finished was our salvation. It is completed. It is done. All of our sins were transferred to Jesus when He hung on the cross. His righteousness was transferred to our account.
So Jesus cried out the words, "It is finished!" It was God's deliberate and well-thought-out plan. It is finished—so rejoice!
Read more devotions by Pastor Greg or sign up to receive them by clicking HERE.
Posted by Jena McGinnis on Mar 25 2016
One of the awesome makers that has made her focus increasing the 5 and using her talents and day to day life to bring glory and honor and praise to JESUS is Jessica over at Earth Cookie Creations.
She brought this idea to me and I LOVED it!!!
Here is a free printable to add to your coffee blessing experience. Whether you are in the drive-thru or standing in line. If it is on your heart to bless a stranger, do it! And plant them seeds while you are at it.
Feel free to print a million and pass them along. We would love to see them in action. Please tag us on instagram @increasethe5 hashtag #increasethe5.
Do you have an idea on how to increase the 5? Do you have a testimony on what the Lord has done in your life to be bolder and braver in sharing His love and promises? Comment and share!! We are so encouraged by your testimonies, as are others. We are a body! Let's work together in our different gifts and skills, to bring glory, honor, and praise to the Son of God, who WILLING gave His life for ours.
Jena and everyone here at TTandTWINS
Posted by Jena McGinnis on Feb 24 2016
My name is Cali Butchko, I'm 27, and live in Cleveland, OH. I'm a stay at home momma to my sweet 2 year old Braxton and I'm now doing a little work from home with Keep Collective!
My whole life I've known Jesus, but it wasn't until about a year ago that I truly surrendered my life to him. 2014 was about the worst year of my life. It was such an emotional year, full of the greatest sadness and the greatest joy I'd ever known. I had a new born baby who filled my heart with such happiness I thought it might explode. But, my marriage was in shambles. Broken by betrayal and lies, anger and the change that comes with a new baby. I didn't know where to go, where to turn. I had so many questions for God that started with WHY!?! I prayed to him for healing, and begged him to fix my life, my marriage, but I wasn't really investing time and energy in my walk with him. It wasn't until the beginning of last year that God stopped me in my tracks. He gave me zero other options, other than to fully let go, to put all my trust in him. My husband was being promoted at work and we would be moving from Arizona, where I was born and raised, to Cleveland Ohio. Yes, OHIO. Again, my question was whyyyyy?! But I KNEW God was calling me to trust in him. To let go of everything I wanted and let him be in control. Even though there was still pain, I loved my husband and I chose to trust in God and follow him to Ohio!
Upon moving to Ohio I was lonely. But, I had more time for God and myself. I signed up for the Daily Glitter devotionals and was starting to grow in my relationship with him. He was telling me to go to church, and to go consistently. This was hard for me as I had not consistently gone to church since I was a child. But he was clear, I was to follow him and set the example for my family. We started attending a non denominational church and God kept telling me to trust him. Encouraging me to get up every week, and to even attend a small group. I said again, whyyy? I'm not comfortable in an intimate bible study setting, I don't know that much about the bible! I said "I don't know God". But he just kept whispering to me "trust me". I kept praying and asking God to set my heart on fire for him, to really WANT to do the things he was asking me to do.
It has now been 7 months since we moved here and I can count the number of times we've missed church on one hand! *gasp* I'm still in awe by that! I've made wonderful, close, positive relationships with people from our small group! My 2 year old son asks to pray at the dinner table and now says 'amen'! ? God is faithful and true to his promises. I have never been this close to God, or my sweet hubby, and he has never been so clear in his message. He loves me, I am worthy, and he is greater that my brokenness and my burdens. He IS my joy, even when it's hard to find happiness.
So, it is now my mission to Increase The Five! It's not hard to share about God, you don't have to have all the verses memorized and all the facts. You just have to speak your truth!! I became a designer with Keep Collective on January 31. It is my hope and prayer that this will give me the opportunity to share my faith with women (and the fellas too) where ever my business takes me! I don't want to live in my little bubble anymore. God is still telling me to trust him and get out there and share my heart! ❤️ he is so good!
You can shop with Cali HERE.
We are so absolutely grateful for Cali and her amazing story of grace. God is so faithful!! We hope her testimony has encouraged and brought you hope. We would love to hear from you! If you are a small business, dedicated to your family and serving the Lord, please reach out and share!! We would love to feature you.
Posted by Jena McGinnis on Feb 22 2016
Click on the title above to hear such a PROFOUND and encouraging message by Tony Perkins. He was a guest speaker today at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills. This message reminded me so much how we need to be B O L D for Jesus.
Chasing faith over fear is saying
I WANT THE LIFE GOD CHOSE FOR ME!!
I WANT MY IDENTITY IN JESUS!!
MY CONFIDENCE IS JESUS!!
What can man do to us? Nothing.
Jesus gives you and me eternal life.
Choosing to live a life of FAITH will allow God to set you free from fear!!
The reality of life is we are all going to be faced with challenges.
Believer and nonbeliever alike.
But as a believer, we know that we can cast our cares on Jesus.
We know that nothing in or of this world can keep us from spending eternity with God.
You can get Tony's AMAZING book, "No Fear" on Amazon
But I am also doing a giveaway!! The first THREE people to listen to the service and share their heart and what God revealed to them, will receive this book at absolutely NO cost. Courtesy of #increasethe5 and TTandTWINS.
Be sure to leave your e-mail so that we can contact you for shipping information.
We so look forward to hearing what the Lord speaks in to you!!!
Posted by Jena McGinnis on Feb 21 2016
Lizzy T. is a wife and mama, "attempting to be a light. To be a servant to my family, friends, and mom's all over the world." Through her blog POUR THE FIRST GLASS.
Its Ash Wednesday. The day that marks the beginning of Lent and Catholics all over the world adorn ashes on their forehead. Lent is the season leading up to Easter. Focusing on the final days and weeks before Christ died for us.
It is a time of fasting. Abstaining from indulgences. Calling on God. Some people choose to forgo giving something up and focus on making a change. Volunteering, making time for family, going to church. Personally I pray for weeks prior to ash Wednesday. Inviting the Holy Spirit in and being lead to my focal point or points for Lent.
During this time of prayer I happened to scroll through my Instagram feed and one of my favorite ministries had a post about Christians and the percentage that actually share their faith.
That is not nearly enough.
And there it was.
This is what I am doing for Lent.
Spreading the good news.
Along with my family.
Increasing the 5.
I started talking to my kids about it and the ideas for how we could share started flowing.
Lent is 40 days long. My initial goal was to share one He is Risen every day of Lent.
It became very clear that we would need more. My kids have big plans to share the good news.
Our goal for Lent is to play a small part in changing this number.
Jena over at tt & twins123
is doing amazing things with her print shop ministry. Her pieces are favorites of ours. They are more than just clothing. Each piece can ignite a conversation about our faith and bring someone to seek Jesus. Her shop is linked. You can also find her on Instagram @ttandtwins. You can purchase your own set of He Is Risen stickers to join us and increase the 5. Lets shoot for 100 percent.
Jena thank you for allowing us to be part of such a wonderful movement.
Posted by Jena McGinnis on Feb 11 2016
Photo Credit: GROWING GRACE FLORAL website
I had the honor of meeting Michelle, owner of Growing Grace Floral Design
on a breezy Saturday morning. We both sat next to each other at different tables and went about our business. I had been there with a few maker friends and she had been there with her husband and little.
Before leaving, one of my friends asked if Michelle would take our picture....
From there fellowship in Christ began! Michelle is an extraordinary woman with amazing talents for floral design. She has an incredible testimony, which she has been willing to share with you today. It is her hearts desire to share her faith with everyone. To use the talents the Lord has given her back to Him.
Michelle is apart of #increasethe5 - being INTENTIONAL to share her faith through her personal and business life.
I grew up with the clear knowledge that God existed. That heaven and hell were real places and believed, like many people today, that if I was a good person I would avoid the flames and spend eternity in the sky. My mom grew up with the bible forced down her throat and up until recently she had a negative association to the bible and the Word of God because of her mother’s bad examples. She used the Bible as a way to punish my mom and it literally has scared her for life. My father on the other hand, was born in Mexico and attended a Catholic church as a child. He also had a negative experience as a young boy and mixed with an abusive home he started running away at the age of 9. With these back grounds, my parents felt no urge to share the Bible or Jesus with their children.
Throughout my teen and early 20’s I did my fair share of hanging out and doing things that were not in my best interest. I found myself “on” and “off” again relationship with boys that were no good for me. These relationships, plus going to school and working full time were good distraction for developing any relationship with Jesus. I prayed in the rough times, and gave thanks during the good times, but didn’t really understand who I was speaking to. I just thought talking to God was enough, and that living my own life was okay.
When I turned 24 I had just move back from living in Maui working a dream job designing flowers for destination weddings. I had moved out there for a job and the opportunity to get away from my family. My sister and I had talked before I left about starting our own business whenever I returned. When I moved back, my mind had changed and I just wanted to take care of my mom who was sick and work so I could pay my own bills. But, shortly after being home, my sister’s wish came true and she had talked me into it.
I was afraid of being a business owner. I had been in the floral industry for 9 years at that point and knew the competition and nothing about running my own business. But, it happened. On a side note, at the same time, I was beginning a “relationship” with a backslidden Christian. He wasn’t doing the right things, but would not stop talking about Jesus. I was interested more in him than I was about who he was talking about, but would listen to make him happy. We spent a lot of time talking and by the time the relationship had fizzled out, I felt called to go to church. I had heard him talk about Calvary Chapel San Juan Capistrano before and thought that would be a good one to go to.
One Sunday morning shortly after that, I went by myself and sat in the front row. I remember hearing the band and watching all the people singing and really feeling the music. I observed each person playing on stage and they looked so happy. When they finished playing, one of the guitarist put his guitar down and then went to the pulpit to start his sermon. I was blown away that a pastor would be rocking out like that, and his message that followed was very encouraging. I felt welcomed and at peace. I started going every weekend after that and after going for a few weeks by myself, my mom had decided to start coming with me. A few months later it was my first Easter Sunday involved with a church and CCSJC was having church in the park. It was essentially a concert outside with a BBQ after for everyone who attended. I brought both my parents and when Pastor John did the alter call at the end of the sermon, I felt called to walk up there. I had previously said a prayer months before by myself dedicating my life to Christ, but felt doing it in front of my parents and everyone else was important. One of my friends, who I have known since 5th grade, was there and came up to the crowd to stand with me.
This was in 2012. Since then, a lot has happened. My sister and I had the business together for just under 3 years. Our relationship suffered due to many things, Christ being one of them, and I finally left at the end of 2014. I was reintroduced to my now husband shortly after moving back from Maui. We spent a year being friends and running partners. I was so happy being home with my parents, going to church and working, that being in a relationship wasn’t even a thought in my head. I wanted to know everything about Jesus and was eager to learn. During our times of being just friends, I remember going to his house after Wednesday night services and sharing what I had just learned. At that time he was a single dad, dealing with baby momma drama. I remember telling him he needed a good Christian girl who would be able to deal with all of it and be a good example to his daughter. He just sat there looking at me and I had no idea that shortly after God would impress him on my heart and that we would end up falling in love and getting married. Once our relationship started, I made it very clear that being with someone who had the same morals and values, as well has a relationship with Jesus was very important to me. He started coming to church with me and soon after dedicated his life to Jesus! It was such a blessing and his daughter followed our lead. We all were baptized at CCSJC and absolutely love our church family.
Starting my second business was a mental battle. Part of why I left my previous one was because I didn’t feel my new found faith was a common interest, and I felt the Lord wanted me to share how I felt with the world. I honestly felt for a month that I was no longer going to do flowers and thought about getting a regular old job in an office somewhere. But after talking with my mom and hearing her tell me the gifts I have are from God and should not be wasted, I agreed to take the leap of faith. The name Growing Grace was given to me after a lot of prayer. I felt God telling me to be bold and to not be afraid, while the enemy was making a great case against all the reasons I shouldn’t have a faith based name. After some encouraging conversations with my husband, we decided to go for it and started my new company in January 2015.
Starting over was mentally really hard. I had invested so much of my life into my previous business and was still heartbroken after walking away from all I had invested. God gave me the strength and the courage to start over, deal with all the questions that followed me leaving my previous business, and provided (as he always does) work for me. My first year of Growing Grace was full of learning experiences. Being in the business alone this time left for a lot more responsibilities and paperwork on top of everything else a small business owner faces. With the first year now over, and the beginning of the second in full swing, I feel God pressing on my heart strings once more. I wasn’t bold for Him like he is for me. I wasn’t sharing my faith as I ought to be. I was a present Christian and kept my mouth shut about my love for Jesus. I don’t want to be like that anymore. I am in this business for a reason, and I want to openly give thanks and show the Lord my appreciation and gratitude for all he has and is giving me.
By my “random” seating next to Jena and her friends I became aware of the Increase the 5 and jumped at the opportunity to share my story and be part of something greater. My prayer is that to those who read this would be encouraged to step out with God and be bold for him. This life is only a vapor compared to eternity and as Christians it is our job to worship Him, be a good example of Christ’s love, and point people to Jesus.
I don't know about you but her work makes me want to start planning my vow renewal. So gorgeous!!
Michelle is located in South Orange County, CA.
You can visit her website HERE.
Follow her on Instagram HERE.
Follow her on Facebook HERE.
Follow her on Pinterest HERE.
Learn more about #INCREASETHE5 HERE.
How are you being intentional to share your faith and bring others to Christ? We would love to hear about it!!
If you are a faith-based business or blogger, we would love to feature you!! Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Jena McGinnis on Feb 11 2016
"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!'"
Many Christians have made a grave error in failing to live this passage out in their lives. The Christian church at large today believes that telling others about Jesus Christ and the way of salvation was a command given to the full-time ministry staff. It is something that the spiritual extroverts are to do, you know, the evangelists of the church. Many Christians today think that this is what pastors should do when they bring a family member, a friend, or a business associate to church. The Bible tells us that it is actually each one of us who name the name of Christ who are to tell those we come in contact with about Jesus Christ before it is too late for them!
My dear friend, why else are you living? For what other reason is life important than to tell others about Him? If you know Jesus, can you be silent about how wonderful He is and what He has done for you? You and I love to tell others about a good deal we got and where they too can get a deal. But do we really believe in Jesus Christ enough to tell them that He is our reason for living and that He is their only hope in this life and in the life to come? Will you tell them that Jesus alone can save them and take them to heaven for all of eternity? Is heaven such a reality to us that the thought of not having our own dear children, friends or family there with us is an incredibly great horror? Do you find yourself at the very thought, being tormented with a holy zeal to tell others God's great news of salvation? Does it cause you to pray for them that they too might believe?
Truly, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!"
Have you been blessed by Pastor Jack's Devotions?
Posted by Jena McGinnis on Feb 01 2016
Hello!! Welcome to #INCREASETHE5. It is a branch of our ministry that is focused on encouraging believers to share their faith.
At our church, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, on Sunday, January 17th, our pastor shared with us that in the latest poll taken in America, only 5% of Christ followers share their faith with others. You can watch his sermon HERE and be ridiculously blessed. It's awesome!
This got me really thinking and more importantly, praying.
Our business is centered around sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. But conviction settled in that we could be doing more. It's been said, "you talk the talk, but do you walk the walk?" We rock the shirts, but are we ready to shout the message?
We are all not born to be evangelists and missionaries, but we all do have a calling and a purpose to serve the Lord and further His Kingdom. It can come in many shapes and presentations.
#increasethe5 is gradually becoming whatever it is that the Lord will have it to be, established on January 17, 2016. Will you join us? Today will you step out and make it a point to share your faith with just one person? And when you do, will you share it with us? Will you encourage others to be BOLD and courageous?
This is no means is a sales pitch, we just would like to share that now with each order that goes out, there will be resources to encourage and help you to share your faith, do kind things, and remind this world that the God in Heaven loves them.
We are praying on teaming up with other faith-based shops to spread this movement!! If you would like to join us, please contact email@example.com for more information.
This is a budding ministry, but one we know the Lord will be doing EPIC things with!!!!!!!
#INCREASETHE5 IG @INCREASETHE5
In His JOY,
The TTandTWINS Crew
Posted by Jena McGinnis on Jan 22 2016