Saturday, June 27, 2009


The 4th of July is the most treasured national holiday in the United States. Independence Day celebrations are considered to be a yearly reminder of the cost of America’s freedoms. Yes, freedom comes at a high price and so does the cost of celebrating!

According to the American Pyrotechnic Association, 213 million pounds of fireworks were sold in 2008 at a cost of $940 million dollars!

How might the economy affect the celebration of America’s Birthday this year? “Phil Ramsey, owner of Ramsey Pyrotechnics who specializes in selling larger, non-consumer fireworks for special events said, ‘Patriotism is the reason people continue to purchase fireworks year after year. Event organizers have scaled back, but only to a very limited degree. A lot of these events are saying that they've had to cut back on so many other things but not on fireworks. This is still America, and when we celebrate, we want to do it right.’"

For a bankrupt country that is borrowing money from others which may or may not be trustworthy, what is America doing spending nearly a billion dollars every year on a few minutes of entertainment? Does the American way of “doing it right” mean bigger and better regardless of the cost, including losing the freedoms which are being celebrated? Is anyone else baffled by this?

I have always considered myself to be an American patriot and a Christian. Yet, in recent years, I began to question how to be both at once. Is the birthday of America a Christian holiday? Why am I less and less comfortable celebrating it?

Although an interesting and disturbing fact, the financial cost of celebrating isn’t my greatest concern. There is a higher cost of celebrating this holiday the typical “American way” which troubles me much more.

Have you ever joyfully sung songs which speak of the Creator of the wholeuniverse, yet make requests for “special blessings” upon America? Has the spirit of national honor ever been evoked within you while observing the sky set ablaze with magnificent firework displays, a symbol of Americanpower, and the air filled with strains of “The Star Spangled Banner”? Has this same spirit ever brought you to your feet, applauding a stunning finale which mingles the blood of Jesus on the cross with bombs bursting in air while the “honorable” American flag flies high in the background? It has me.

However, the Holy Spirit has been convicting me with these stirring questions:

* “Is there anything about this which reminds you of Jesus?”

* “Would your brothers and sisters in Jesus from other countries feel comfortable participating in these songs which pridefully exclude God’s blessings upon them?”

* “How would you respond to a spectator who has just begun to seek Jesus and questions, “Why do Christians applaud national power which kill other’s whom God loves?”

As children of God, our freedom came at the highest cost one could ever pay.
We must never forget that the precious blood of Jesus paid for His family of all peoples.
Every brother and sister in Jesus is precious and vital to His Kingdom work, regardless of their earthly nationality.

I wonder, “Is it possible to more universally demonstrate the love of King Jesus who made true freedom possible while celebrating “freedom” of a temporary worldly nation obtained by the blood of His children? Or…is it impossible to serve two masters?”

Whole-Heartedly, Bonnie

Thursday, June 18, 2009


With Father’s Day right around the corner, I’ve been reflecting more intently upon the Fatherhood of God. Although I understood and accepted God as Creator, even into my adult years, I had limited understanding of His Fatherhood. Oh, I “got it” intellectually, but there is a significant difference between intellectual and experiential knowledge.

For years, I blamed my lack of intimacy with God on my earthly father who abandoned me when I was very young. The reality, though, is that when Adam sinned, as a member of the human race, I lost the image of God and was no longer His child. No matter how hard I tried, I could never be right with Him.

Yet, at a very young age, I was attracted to the friendship of Jesus and had faith that He died for my sins.
Where did that faith come from? Did I muster it up? Being spiritually dead, was I capable of making a decision to believe in Jesus? For years, I was taught and believed so.

However, I am realizing more and more that I was totally depraved, an object of God’s wrath and held in the spirit of bondage. I had no ability to do anything to deserve His love, including choosing Jesus. Yet,

He chose me!
He regenerated me!
He made it possible for me to have faith in Jesus.
God’s favor didn’t depend on my desire or efforts.
Instead, it was a matter of His mercy.
Why would He do this for me?
Because He has a Father’s Heart.

Determined to recreate a family for Himself, the Father wasn’t detoured by Adam’s sin. Instead, He sent His Son to destroy the devil’s work. Adoption is a “legal” act in the spirit world. In accordance with His pleasure and will, before the creation of the world, Father God elected and set apart His children. According to His perfect plan and timing, Jesus’ Spirit, the Spirt of adoption is sent to regenerate each one, declaring to all the spirit world, “This one I chose to be my child!”

No longer a child of Satan, but of the Triune God, this new life is what made it possible for me to desire what God desires, to believe in and accept what Jesus’ death accomplished on my behalf and to love my Heavenly Father. Having been stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit which guarantees my position as God’s child, the transformation began!

By the leading of Jesus’s Spirit who lives within me, I receive increasing knowledge of my Heavenly Father’s precious mercy and grace. He is my Daddy, I now have His Name and nothing can separate me from His love!
Understanding that I am a spirit-begotten child, I experience intimacy with my Heavenly Father which I hadn’t known before. My “Abba” chose me simply for the sheer joy and pleasure of loving me. There is no greater father than that because there is no greater love!

[Isaiah 62:2, John 1:12-13, 15:15, Romans 3:10-18, 4:16-17, 5:12, 8:6-8,14-17, 29,38-39, 9:10-23, 11:5-6, 2 Corinthians 6:18, Galatians 3:29, 4:5-6, Ephesians 1:4-5, 13, 2:1-16, Philippians, 1 John 3:8]


P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at: You may also contact me at:
Bonnie Jaeckle
In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
Diagonal Progress
505 Jefferson St.
Diagonal, IA 50845

Thursday, June 11, 2009


We recently took a family of ten to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. What an exciting adventure to experience with children, most of whom had never been to the zoo! The twelve of us packed into our motorhome and excitedly anticipated what we would see. Casting our votes, the primates won out as the favorite zoo animal for this group of Ringgold County folks! Consequently, we spent a fair amount of time watching gorillas.

Obviously disturbed by our presence, one adult gorilla seemed to hunt us down no matter how far we moved away from him. When he’d spot us, he would determinedly and swiftly lumber to where we were standing and slam himself into the window through which we were watching. We never determined why he so adamantly wanted us to go away! Relieved that the window separated us from him, we prayed that he wouldn’t break the glass and we’d quickly move along.

In another corner of the “cage”, however, we encountered a young gorilla who was more than welcoming. He especially had his eyes fixed on six-month old Barbara who was watching the gorillas’ activities from her daddy’s arms. With concentrated interest, the mesmerized young gorilla strolled toward the window where we were standing. Slowly and with purpose he tilted his head from one side and then to the other, closely examining Barbara’s face. Expressing his desire to touch her, he gently reached toward her and placed his hand on the glass. It was obvious that Barbara had captured his heart. The room was packed with “zoo goers” and those close enough to observe this interaction, motionlessly waited along with Barbara to see what the young gorilla would do next!

Barbara responded to the gorilla’s loving gesture with the most beautiful smile I have every seen. Moved by her acceptance, the young gorilla lifted his emotion-filled eyes nearer and kissed Barbara’s precious Down’s Syndrome face through the window! We couldn’t believe what we were witnessing and Barbara was thrilled!

I couldn’t help but consider the contrast between these two gorillas and to be reminded:

There is another who despises our presence. In anger, the devil advances toward God’s children, determined to destroy everything we were created to be. Desiring to steal away all the peace and joy that is ours, he repeatedly slams himself at us with all the power which he can muster, hoping we will cower in fear. Hating the assurance which we have in Jesus’ love, Satan points out our “shortcomings” with repeated degradations and belittling, attempting to cause us to question our worth.

Yet, as I observed the interaction between Barbara and the young gorilla, my mind immediately moved toward Jesus.

With His eyes fixed in concentrated interest,
Jesus passionately seeks out those whom He loves.
Desiring to know them intimately,
He purposefully moves toward them,
carefully examining everything about them.
Without overlooking physical, mental or emotional “weaknesses”, He recognizes and rejoices in their usefulness,
viewing them as a beautiful part of His perfect plan.

While fully consumed with the loving acceptance of the young gorilla, I had no concern for where the adversary was, what he was doing or when he might attack again. It just didn’t matter.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I'm participating in a Blog Circuit for Frank Viola's book, FROM ETERNITY TO HERE. Below are the questions which I submitted to him regarding his book and his responses.

Bonnie: There is no way that your life can not have been changed as a result of the Spirit working in you while writing this book! Would you mind sharing with us the impact that From Eternity to Here has had on your life?

Frank: The message of the book has been an unfolding revelation 17 years ago. The message has caused me to love my Lord more, to receive His love more fully, and to adjust my life as much as I know how to the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose. It’s given me a stunningly clear vision and purpose from which to live. It’s also left me with a desire to know Him more.

Bonnie: I'm writing about the role of women in the Church. Have the
revelations which the Holy Spirit has given you about Eve and the
Bride of Christ changed readers' perspective on the role of women in
the Church? If so ...would you please share some of the feedback that
you've received?

Frank: Based on the feedback I’ve received, the main thing it has done is to show readers how passionately the Lord loves them. Both men and women, because we are all part of the New Eve, the Bride of Christ. Many have said they’ve fallen in love with the Lord all over again. This has brought great encouragement to my own heart.

What a Lord we have! He’s amazing.


Today (June 9th), the following blogs are discussing Frank Viola's new bestselling book “From Eternity to Here” (David C. Cook, 2009). The book just hit the May CBA Bestseller List. Some are posting Q & A with Frank; others are posting full reviews of the book. To read more reviews and order a copy at a 33% discount, go to

For more resources, such as downloadable audios, the free Discussion Guide, the Facebook Group page, etc. go to the official website:

Enjoy the reviews and the Q and A:


Out of Ur -

Shapevine - (June newsletter)

Brian Eberly - -

Greg Boyd -

Vision Advance -

David Flowers -

Kingdom Grace -

Captain's Blog -

Christine Sine -

Darin Hufford - The Free Believers Network -

Zoecarnate -

Church Planting Novice -

Staying Focused -

Take Your Vitamin Z -

Jeff Goins -

Bunny Trails -

Matt Cleaver -

Jason T. Berggren -

Simple Church -

Emerging from Montana -

Parable Life -

Oikos Australia -

West Coast Witness -

Keith Giles -

Consuming Worship --

Tasha Via -

Andrew Courtright -

ShowMeTheMooneys! -

Leaving Salem, Blog of Ronnie McBrayer -

Jason Coker -

From Knowledge to Wisdom -

Home Brewed Christianity -

Dispossessed -

Dandelion Seeds -

David Brodsky's Blog- "Flip the tape Deck" -

Chaordic Journey -

Renee Martin -

Bob Kuhn -

Living with Freaks:

Real Worship -

Fervent Worship -

Julie Ferwerda Blog - /

What's With Christina?! -

Irreligious Canuck -

This day on the journey -

Live and Move: Thoughts on Authentic Christianity -

Spiritual Journey With God -

Dries Conje - / /

Journey with Others -

On Now to the Third Level -

Christine Moers -

Breaking Point -

Hand to the Plough -

Jon Reid -

Weblight -

D. L. Webster -

Searching for the Whole-Hearted Life -

Thursday, June 4, 2009


When my husband was a “pastor”, he held “chapel services” for pre-schoolers. Each week, the teachers would remind the children, “It’s time to go to chapel now.” Off they’d go to the appointed place to see and listen to the appointed person. Although we could have an interesting conversation about this; suffice it to say for now that it isn’t unusual for little ones to believe that the “pastor” is Jesus and many of these innocent hearts called Gary, “Chapel”!

We discovered that one of his pre-school friends lived in our neighborhood when he stopped to visit after spotting Gary mowing our yard. A few days later, while busy at the back of our house, I heard doors opening and closing in the front. Proceeding to investigate, I felt a slight resistance on the knob. With a bit more counter-resistance, I discovered a little face peeking back at me!

“May I help you?” I asked.
“Yes, he replied, is Chapel home?”
“No, he isn’t,” I responded.
So, what are you doing here!” he interrogated.
Trying not to laugh, I said, “I live here. What are you doing here?”
“I’m looking for Chapel,” He insisted.
Apologizing that “Chapel” wasn’t home, I promised to inform him of this visit.

Can you imagine what this little fella endured in order to find “Chapel”? I assume that he snuck out of his house and walked alone a fair distance. Seemingly without fear, he marched into a home he had never been in before. He determinedly opened and closed the front door, two closet doors and finally a fourth door at which he encountered this woman who was in “Chapel’s” house!

Among many other things, the Holy Spirit used this precious event and Philip Yancey’s Reaching for the Invisible God to help me understand my heart at that time. It seemed that no matter how hard or what I tried in order to experience intimacy with Jesus; it was fruitless. In fact, sometimes He seemed even further away. There were instances when a glimmer of intimacy would “show-up” and then vanish as quickly as it came. Yes, there were even times when it seemed like God was “just playing games”. I became weary and frustrated; yet I had an indistinct knowing that His hand was in it.

Have you ever wondered,
“What does the Whole-Hearted Life look like?
How do you search for it and where is it found?”

“Chapel’s” little friend was relentless and fearless. Had he learned that, “He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” [Hebrews 11:6]? It sure seemed that nothing and no one was more important to him.

Are you enduring what seems to be a forty year wilderness experience without spiritual water to quench your thirst? Don’t quit seeking Jesus! These journeys strengthen faith, deepen awareness of how desperately He is needed and how unimportant all else is. Be relentless and fearless in searching for the Whole-Hearted Life. He never abandons His promises:

“….For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
• Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
• You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, …”
[Jeremiah 29:11-14]

“If you find God with great ease, perhaps it is not God that you’ve found.” – Thomas Merton.


The author of this article does not endorse everything represented on/in suggested links, books, etc. Each of us is accountable to God weigh everything according to His Word.