Nan Jones ~ Christian author and speaker helping those struggling with their faith because of life's difficult and broken places. My heart's desire is to help you find the nearness of God when you need Him the most. Ask Me Anything.

Nan Jones
May 11, 2018

Isaiah 40:31 tells us that if we learn to wait on the Lord -- hope in Him, rest in His presence -- we will not only renew our strength, but we will rise up with the wings of an eagle high above the storm, the difficulty, and pain. Have you experienced God's goodness in this way? Do you think it's possible to rise above our circumstances and see them from God's perspective? Here's a blog I wrote last week about this topic: Can We Really Soar on the Wings of an Eagle?

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Is it hard for you to talk to religion with skeptic people?
May 12, 8:03AM EDT0
What do you think about religion discrimination?
May 12, 6:27AM EDT0
Were you always religious? Have you ever had doubts about your faith and how do you deal with them?
May 11, 11:59PM EDT0
Have you been a person of faith all your life? How did you become a believer?
May 11, 11:42PM EDT0
What do you write about? Do you have a favourite topic? Are you published?
May 11, 6:36PM EDT0
How did you started writing about God? What motivated you to follow that path?
May 11, 5:47PM EDT0
Do you feel faith has a connection to happiness? Is the lack of faith the reason there are so many unhappy people?
May 11, 5:13PM EDT0
Do you feel religion is going out of fashion? What can be done to stop this?
May 11, 3:57PM EDT0
How can anyone become aware of God's presence in their lives?
May 11, 11:43AM EDT0

I believe the simple answer is to seek God with your whole heart. It's not about religion -- the Pharisees were religious. It's about relationship. That in itself is amazing to me. To think that the Creator of the Universe knows my name and cares about the details of my life astounds me. James 4:8 says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." I have found that to be true. I have become intentional about expecting His presence with me and looking for those reminders (not wackydoodle stuff ;-) , but a desire to know Him more). Jeremiah 29:13 says, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." I take God at His Word. Thanks for asking.

May 11, 3:25PM EDT0
Where is God when bad things happen in your life? Why does He allow them to happen?
May 11, 10:24AM EDT0

Hi Herbert, thank you for asking such a universal question. If you'll scroll down a bit, you'll find a more complex answer to your question, but in a short response I have found that God is very near to me in my difficult places just as He promised He would be in Psalm 34:18, "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and those crushed in spirit." BUT if I don't know Him as my loving Father then I may not recognize His Presence with me. That comes from building a relationship with Him, studying His Word so that we know His character and His covenant promises with us. Your second question, "Why does He allow them to happen?" is one that I'm going to personally ask when I meet Him face to face :) I know the "Biblical" answers of the fact that we have free will and a world full of sin, etc., but my heart would like to know HIS answer to that. I DO know I can trust Him completely, that His love for me and you is great and that He WILL bring beauty from our ashes if we allow Him to be part of our lives.

May 11, 3:32PM EDT0
How do you teach your loved ones about religion?
May 11, 8:20AM EDT0

I don't teach them about religion, I teach them about Jesus and the relationship we can have with Almighty God because of Him. It's a beautiful and wondrous story born of faith, witnessed by His intricate care to meet our needs when we trust Him. I believe in teaching by example, and by honest answers to questions.

May 11, 3:35PM EDT0
Can people turn their lives around when they start getting closer to God?
May 11, 6:16AM EDT0

God is a God of transformation, without a doubt. 2 Corinthians 5:17 from the New Living Translation says, "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" BEGUN is the operative word here. This is the beginning of sanctification : the process of becoming holy as Jesus is holy ("but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy. ~ 1 Peter 1:15, 16) There is no way we can be "holy" in our own strength, and it definitely isn't something that happens overnight and it will not be complete until that day we enter eternity. But what Jesus was saying is that our God is a Holy God and the more we allow Him to transform us into holiness, the deeper and more intimate our relationship can be. This should not be born out of obligation, but out of love for the Lord. It's not a bunch of rules, it's about relationship. It's about getting to know Him by studying His Word, spending time with other Believers in fellowship, spending time in prayer.

May 11, 3:46PM EDT0
How do you believe we should respect other people's beliefs?
May 11, 3:04AM EDT0

The very same way I want to be respected :) Who am I to judge the heart of someone else? Only the Lord knows the heart of another. If I'm honest, I do believe I walk in Truth, but I also believe that if I'm WALKING in that Truth, Truth will be revealed through my life. I don't have to prove anything or demand my own way. Does that make sense? 

May 11, 3:48PM EDT0
Why do you think people are never happy with what they have?
May 11, 2:49AM EDT0

I'm not sure. Maybe it's because society places such value on material things and, in turn, it's easy to think OUR value as a person is measured by that same metric. I'm 63 now and have lived long enough to appreciate prosperity that money can't buy: Peace that makes absolutely no sense, joy when my heart is broken in two, hope when my circumstances scream despair. To me, that is abundant life, not a fancy car or big house.  Also, maybe people are not happy with what they have because they are not happy with themselves. Hmmm ... that's something to ponder, isn't it?

Last edited @ May 11, 4:04PM EDT.
May 11, 3:56PM EDT0
Where and when do you feel closest to God?
May 10, 10:15PM EDT0

On a normal day I think it would be when I'm walking my Mastiff, Blue (or he's walking me ;-) ). I live in the mountains of North Carolina, USA and I walk him on our country road. There is a pine canopy on one of the curves, oaks and hemlocks and birch everywhere and lush meadows scattered about. When a breeze blows I think about Psalm 103:4, "He walks upon the wings of the wind." I'm a very visual person, and I can see that imagery of the Lord walking alongside me. I talk with Him and sing praises. I share my concerns and my dreams with Him. When I look to the sky, I think of His majesty -- especially in the sunrises and sunsets and I am astounded with how great He is, and yet He loves me.

May 11, 4:13PM EDT0
Why is it easy for some people to believe in God?
May 10, 10:15PM EDT0

Maybe it's because believing in God requires faith, and that is counterintuitive to our intelligence. But God is QUITE intelligent and His Word is a marvel, to say the least. The details are incredible and the way people and events are woven together are astounding as the thread goes through the generations. But those who dismiss God because they dismiss accepting something by faith, typically don't spend time looking through the Bible for themselves (with an open heart and mind) and miss a remarkable life journey. We often make ourselves out to be a god -- self-made, self-sustaining -- and, honestly, that comes from a place of pride. I know that I KNOW my Redeemer lives for I have felt the touch on my life and the restoration on my heart. Nothing manmade could have ever accomplished these things.

May 11, 4:25PM EDT0
Why are there so many young people that are non-believers?
May 10, 5:24PM EDT0

Personally, I think it's because the Church, as a whole, has done a terrible job of representing Christ to a hurting world. That's sad, isn't it? Many young people, and adults too, don't have the maturity to realize that religious people do not have a relationship with the Lord and therefore do not represent who He is. Just because someone sits in church every Sunday does not mean that person is a Christian. A Christian has a relationship with Christ stemming from His forgivenness and being bathed in His grace ... permeated by His love. Jesus dealt with the Pharisees all the time. Unfortunately, there are many Pharisees in the Church today that have done much harm. But, I also believe that the darker the darkness gets (the state of our world today), the brighter the Light becomes. It's my prayer that those fumbling alone in the darkness will be drawn to the Light of Christ and find Him to be faithful and true.

May 11, 4:36PM EDT0
How do you maintain your faith when there is so much injustice and life is so full of hardships?
May 10, 12:42PM EDT0

Hi Alamin, if you'll scroll down through the questions, you'll find a more complete answer, but in brief, I think I maintain my faith during these times because I've taken time to know the God of the Bible, to understand who He is, and to study His principles and promises. I have prayed for wisdom and He has given it to me. I have prayed to know Him more, and He has and is revealing Himself to me as I seek Him. God is a good God. This is a fallen world where sin governs. That's why bad things happen to good people. But over and over, I hear testimony of how God was with someone during a tragic event, how they knew they weren't alone. That encourages my faith. Why didn't God prevent the tragedy? I don't know. But I believe there are probably many tragedies that He DID prevent that we do not have knowledge of.

May 11, 5:01PM EDT0

How hard was to write your book The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife? Is it based on your life?

May 10, 8:49AM EDT0

The Perils of a Pastor's Wife literally oozed out of me. I wish the book I'm working on now would ooze, but it's more a labor of love :) Yes, it is a memoir, but it is full of teaching and scripture. I tell of finding God's presence and faithfulness in very painful situations and I help the reader do the same. Being a pastor's wife is very rewarding and fulfilling, but we (neither pastor or his wife) are prepared for the fierce spiritual battles that ensue. This book prepares the reader for the battles and helps to heal her wounds from battles that have gone on before. Often, the pastor's wife feels like she is alone and we have many trust issues. Sounds strange, I know, but it's true. People love us one minute, and stab us in the back the next because our husband said something from the pulpit they didn't agree with. We're treated like family one minute, and can be kicked on the curb the next. It's a very precarious postition to be in. When we are hurting, we don't know who we can talk to because, after all, we are the pastor's wife and we are supposed to have it all together. The expectations on us are totally unrealistic. I've heard from many pastors' wives who have thanked me for giving them a voice. That touches my heart deeply. AND it's not just for pastors' wives. Many in church leadership (men included) have benefitted from the lessons I learned the hard way. 

May 11, 5:16PM EDT0
Do you have friends who are not Christian? How do you get on with them if so?
May 9, 5:47PM EDT0

Yes, absolutely! I get along with them by loving them with the love of God, by respecting our differences, and cherishing their value as a friend. I don't see myself as being any better than anyone else and Jesus is a great example of hanging out with people from all walks of life.

May 9, 6:42PM EDT0
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