Jessica Huffman

Ready To Discover Wonderful You?

Christmas At Pneuma 2017

As I sit here in the quiet all alone on Christmas morning (I hear the toilet flush, so one child must be stirring), sipping my coffee, I scroll through pictures of Pneuma’s first Christmas service. My eyes water and I hold back the tears. I’m overwhelmed. Let me add in, since my husband spends most of his time OFF social media, WE are overwhelmed! We never imagined but always believed that our church would be here in just a short 9 months!

Yesterday we held our first Christmas service and the people and teams were magical. Where could we ever begin to say “thank you” but “thank you”! You hold our heart, Pneuma and I pray that Jesus’ holds your heart with every task fulfilled, service accomplished, gathering held, group attended and hosted, message heard, worship engaged in, practice committed too, coffee poured, child loved, team member recruited, hug given, tear cried, prayer extended, cafetorium set-up, trailer loaded, meeting held, call taken or made, email read and sent, and ultimately our people loved.

Psalm 66:5 comes to my heart, “Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind.” I’m substituting “Pneuma” for “mankind” and my eyes water yet again (36 has a way of making you cry a little bit more: hormones?)

These are just a few snapshots of people and moments that are a REFLECTION of this amazing church and community God has given to us to pastor. You truly are God’s people and Jason and I GET to do this everyday, every week! SO MANY not pictured including our amazing Kingdom Kids team, our Tech Arts team, our Welcome Team and so many more.

We love you…we are committed to you, we are so honored to lead and love you.

Here’s to the greatest year ever but not YET!

-Pastors Jason & Jessica Huffman

 

 

Thoughts On Prayer!

Prayer – It reorders the desires/needs of our spirit, and anchors the struggles of our soul. It’s the whisper of God that says “Be still”, and the loud commanding voice that propels us to take action. It’s intimate, corporate, widely impacting, and deeply abiding. It changes us inwardly while the storm continues to rage around us outwardly. It stop us, moves us, inspires us, humbles us, guide us, but more importantly, it’s our direct lifeline to the most important relationship we have – the one with our heavenly father.

I’ve been called a lot of things, but the one thing I hope to have on my tombstone, written on my kid’s hearts & minds, and slathered over all areas of my life is being a “women who prays”.

At some point in your life you will be faced with YOU dealing with your world or GOD, the creator of this world, taking charge of it all. Closing that gap means you pray.

With all my heart,

-JHuff

PS- How can we pray for you?

Faith’s Biggest Fan!

“Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality–faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]”  – Hebrews 11:1-2

 

“Preach, Babe”!

Yelling verbal support as my husband preaches his heart out each week is something most are familiar and can hear on our church YouTube videos. This last week, I probably could have waved a banner (if local churches still supported that) and possibly banged a tambourine on my leg (come on now!). Since those things are usually frowned upon in local church services, I contained my extroverted ways to being Faith’s biggest fan.

Where do you begin with this message as Jason begins with closing out a three week home-run series on Love, Hope and now Faith? He talks about the incredible work by our Creator of the physical eyes and how they process images. Again, we are reminded that our living bodies continually tell a story of God’s workmanship. Then he proceeds to our spiritual eyes: the ones that see into another realm and are connected to our heart. Our faith eyes! The message wouldn’t be complete without highlighting some way his and my personalities are so opposite yet complimentary. His example was our unique and different choices in sunglasses, which I might add, his are still ugly and mine quite fabulous (said in my diva voice)!

Underneath the layers of science, theology, and humor, this message is REAL, it’s raw, and we are walking it out with so many wonderful people. There’s not a week that goes by that certain spectacles of tainted faith are removed and I’m reminded of the lens of faith that sees the world, people, experiences, challenges, blessings, opportunities and trials through the clear Word of God.

Faith is not a future oriented emotion declaring a potential promise of God, but believing for the NOW despite not being seen physically (Hebrews 11). The beginning point of Faith is in God’s character: He is who He says He is. The ending point of Faith is in God’s promises: He will do what He said He will do. All the rest in the middle? That’s the messy faith journey we live out in our lives as evidence to His character and promises.

Are you hopeful (a future implied desire) to experience God or are you Faith-filled (to experience God (we just need a mustard seed size for it to happen – Matthew 17:20)?

Hope places expectation in tomorrow, but faith receives God’s promises for TODAY. How many times do we place hope in the driver’s seat of our lives when it is a position that belongs to Faith? . When you woke up today, did you accept EVERY promise God has for you, knowing that He’s a good God who loves you and declares you His favorite? That’s faith talking and walking!

Is your faith being tested, shaken, rocked, messed-with, challenged, or dissipating? GOOD! That means you’re “in the middle” of this faith journey because you have already believed in God’s character and now you are confidently accepting the fulfillment of God’s promises.

Are you ready to remove your many shades of unbelief and start siding with faith? Me too, so let’s go!

With all my heart,

J-Huff

“This is my Pastor’s Wife….”

Over the weekend and in some social statuses I was introduced as “This is my Pastor’s Wife”! It took me a second to own the title upon this introduction, but I quickly and inwardly shooed away the insecurity that arose (because who has time for that?!) and dove deep into sharing  my “non-biased” belief of being a part of the best church with the BEST people in the world!

As a result of growing up in religious circles, I’m familiar with titles, their impact on people and the dysfunction that comes along with the carnal desire (in us all) to be recognized and honored. I’ve seen the wounded limping around grasping for healing because of the pride and ego that emerges with power trips, struggles, and battles of religious titles and territories that devastate those we’ve been given to faithfully steward, shepherd, and love.

But I’ve also seen the gracious, incredibly honoring, and life-giving women (and men) who emerge as pastors and leaders. I always allow these people to stay at the forefront of my heart and mind. As I journey into this new season as a church-planter, pastor’s wife, and other roles, I remember the three female Pastors who have made a mark on my life and resonate in my heart.

I will always honor and cherish each of them and they have taught me some profound and precious things.

  1. My mother, Pastor Susie Shanlian, Atlanta City Church 
    Many knew her as Susie Snow, but she was my first “Pastor’s Wife.” She taught me unconditional love and perseverance. God knew I needed the world’s greatest example of a pastor’s wife who also came in the form of my mother. I believe being a female pastor mirrors the values of a mother; both are the heart of the house. My mother provided safety, love, hospitality, encouragement, nurturing, coaching, and often discipline to those at my first spiritual home. She amplified every lesson with excellence and a teachable spirit while persevering through some difficult ministerial, emotional and mental storms. From her I gained my heart. 
  2. Pastor Bobbie Houston, Hillsong Church
    Many are unaware of my short but life-altering time with Hillsong Church and Hillsong School of Ministry. I have the incredible honor to serve under Pastor Bobbie Houston and watch a global vision take shape through a local church. She taught me to think GLOBALLY. What I want done for the many I first do for the one. Her reach is local; but her impact global and that takes VISION. She taught me to dream big and work hard and that the most powerful entity on the face of the planet is the local church. She taught me to empower people and love them thoroughly. From her I gained my vision. 
  3. Pastor Kerri Weems, Celebration Church
    This Pastor leads with grace and wisdom. I truly believe we’ve only experienced an ounce of all that is within her as she wonderfully leans into seasons well and she freely shares grace. In fact, she taught me a lot about grace. That it has many voices throughout seasons, yet it all remains the same; extend grace and grace will always extend itself back. She taught me boundaries, that ministry has a personal impact, and we have the power to choose those results. She taught me friendship. She graciously allowed me to experience many aspects of her life and serve in various areas that she tilled the soil and planted the seeds. I learned that ministry can be hard. However, life can still be fun and it is important to celebrate the wins as they come. She also taught me to keep moving forward. From her I gained grace…for myself and others. 

With each passing year, I reach deep into the depths of my experiences and words of wisdom these women spoke, however, the lessons above keep bubbling up. I honor these women for who they are and the position they’ve taken before God and His people. I pray God would see me fit to carry on their heart, vision and grace to another generation in need. So, with my extroverted heart, often pushy vision, and loads of grace, I move forward into the purpose and plans of God for my life. I stand on the shoulders of women who’ve done it right and those who’ve done it wrong; both are lessons for life. I’m excited to establish a heart for a new home, a strong and big vision for the local church to carry God’s message to the world, and extend His grace to those in desperate need.

Let’s go after the one; let’s go after the many.

With all my heart,

-JHuff

 

 

 

4 Ways To Support Your Man’s Dreams!

Dreams, what are they and do we actually fulfill them? Webster’s defines it as “a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal.” Our current culture tells us to invest in them, fulfill them at all costs, and don’t let anyone destroy them – all wonderful messages that can often lead to a lonely one-man dream journey. Often the epitome of success and fulfillment comes when we help other’s achieve their dreams.

I’m writing this with major fails under my belt. Mainly with my main man, my lover, my boo thang, known to you as my husband. As His wife, the first order of business is to support him and I have fumbled through it to truly learn what He needs from me. It’s never demanded or even expected, but it’s given because I love him. If we’re in this for the long haul, then learning now to invest in who he is and what he desires, loves, cares about, will reap dividends here on earth, in our legacy as well as echoed in eternity. Here’s 4 ways I am learning how to support my husband’s dreams and desires.

1. Ask and listen.

“Honey, let’s get a babysitter, schedule a romantic dinner out and am going to tell you every desire and dream I have in life down to the minute detail and tell you what you should and should never do to help achieve them.”

This will NEVER ever be a statement you will hear from your husband. He probably won’t articulate his dream or share with you ways to support him or even how certain actions hurt him; you will brought in on journey of discovery, joy, and pain. That in itself is a privilege your husband has given to you alone that is never to be taken for granted. To truly discover what he dreams or desires takes you asking questions, often over and over again, and at times learning to ask the RIGHT questions. You can not stop there, as this is only the first step to an awesome discovery, for you must listen and listen well. Let him vent, cry if needed, share frustrations (as dreams are often discovered in areas which we are most burdened with), describe joy and excitement. Take it all in, write it down, and begin to ask and listen more. Within the moments that your ears are bigger than your mouth, you will unfold your husband’s dreams. They won’t sound logical, obtainable, or even lucrative, but they will be HIS and apart of who God created him to be – respect that.

2. Schedule Support.

Mere cheerleading phrases alone will never cultivate his dreams and desires. They must become tangible and realistic. Someone once said that “goals are dreams with deadlines” and that means they have to become small parts of your life. If he’s always wanted to become a golfing pro, schedule bi-weekly lessons as a birthday or Christmas surprise. If he’s wanted to run a marathon, wake up early together and start the running together. If it’s writing a book, schedule time where you take the kids and leave him home in a quiet house to write. He will probably never ask these things from you as most dreams stay within our hearts or in our words, but never get layers deep in our life. This takes time and intentionality.

3. Let Him Fail.

Let him fail, PERIOD! Let him change his mind, crash and burn, decide differently, take another route, stop, start again and again and again. Dreams are messy and if you ASKED for anything along your journey it’s people to support you in messy moments, so assume that is what he will need from you. If you are logical, methodical, organized, productive, result-driven and focused, chances are your husband’s journey won’t be. This is the part where you breath, allow him to process, support him, and then begin again. Don’t forget that his failure or messiness has NOTHING to do with you. It’s never personal but it needs to stay private, so protect his struggle with your encouragement, unwavering support and incredible belief. With you in his corner, he’s a guaranteed success!

4. He’s a man, FIRST!

One of the reasons I fell in love with Jason is because I knew that no matter what career or job he was in, he would work HARD and love his family. We’ve had seasons and those two things have always remained constant. I didn’t marry him for his work or money (cause we didn’t have any), or his achievements, I married him because he was the right man for me. When I’ve made a mess of things in our marriage, it was because I expected him to be more of man and took for granted that he was enough of the man that God had created and all that I needed. Women, don’t marry a man because of his gifting, talent, or even his current role; marry him because he is the right MAN for you. His gifting could be jeopardized by character, He could quit his talent during a season of depression, or get fired from his role. Those things will come and go, but what will remain is the resemblance of the shell of a man you married containing the substance of everything God created. With every new season of life, his dreams will adjust, but the man will remain. Support him as a man FIRST, then embrace and adjust to the many seasons you will walk through together.

With all my heart,
-JHuff
PS – Go love your man well today! 

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Life With Fear

Lately I’ve wrestled with the word “fearless”. It doesn’t settle well in my life anymore…actually it has no place at all. I’ve learned to lean into fear: I embrace it, own it, recognize it, and deal with it.

Think about it – is one ever fearless?

Do we ever calm the beating heart when we put ourselves out there in front of people or when we bet back in the gym one more time because we fell off the wagon for the 20 millionth time.Will we ever feel fearless when we choose to stay instead of run and face our terrible mistakes….

When we send out our 25th resume already assuming we will get on more rejection….

When we say “I’m sorry” to the one we’ve hurt but loved the most…..

When we choose to be authentic in a culture that demands sameness..…

When we say no to living a life of mediocrity when others tell us we are pretty normal…

When we realize we’re in debt up to our eyeballs and we have to ask for help….

When believing in the promises of God become impossible….

When people respect us and we fail terribly…and lose terribly…..

No, fearlessness doesn’t exist, but courage sure does.

 

Courage is the gentle whisper that carries the strength to silence loud and insecure fears.

It doesn’t’ ever need to be explained, defended, or justified – courage just stays the course and begins again and again and gain.

Courage grabs the paws of a lion and holds on tight until the battle is won.

Courage chooses kindess over rightness.

Courage gives us the strength to backdown from an accuser because it knows words won’t pacify – only actions.

Courage won’t fight battles that that are built on “proving and striving”.

Courage knows that personal responsibility and growth are the keys to rising above.

Courage says, “one more time.”

Courage says “yes” even when you want’ to say “no.”

Courage pushes you one more mile.

Courage knows it has a purpose in the middle of pain.

Courage believes the storm’s rain is there to grow us, not to destroy us.

Courage says, “I’m worth it” so “I won’t do it,”

If we ever want to experience great courage, we must first get good at feeling fear.

With all my heart,
jhuff-logo-markonly