Is Your Vision in Laser Focus?

Without a vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18

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As a brand new Christian, I clung to these words of encouragement, and set upon making plans for my life.  I set goals for that month, the year, and five years.  Then I set about putting these plans into action by making steps, no matter how small to achieve these goals.  Within a few months, I was progressing without a hitch, but more importantly, I noticed that my life was improving.  I was believing in what I thought would be  impossible.

Today, writing my goals in my journal everyday is an integral part of my life.  It is essential for all to know their vision, because without it, we will surely perish.

Happy goal writing in 2019!

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A Miracle Marriage

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“Jill, Dan is totally in love with you,” Sharon said one cold frosty December morning.
 
“I am not interested,” I said, as I looked down at my desk. I had just moved into my farm and I was totally overwhelmed. I guess I was complaining about my loneliness, and Sharon offered hope. Dan was a teacher at the high school I was teaching at with Sharon. He belonged to our little social club of like-minded-born-again-teachers. He came faithfully every morning to our prayer group and social outings. He had already asked me out, and I had said no.
 
But I was feeling that she had a valid point. He was the first person at my farm the day I bought it, he always encouraged me, and he was one strong Christian. These were the traits I was looking for in all of my friends and he truly fit the criteria.
 
That night, I started my prayer, when I felt the Lord say into my spirit, “You are going to marry Dan.”
 
The seed had been planted. Christmas Eve service was magical with each of us holding onto a candle. I love Christmas and the evening service is the highlight of my year. I love to sing Silent Night, Holy Night, and on this particular night, it was snowing. Dan sat next to me, and I grabbed onto his strong arm for support, because I began to cry. He patted my knee when we sat down.
 
That’s when I knew that Dan was possibly my soul mate, my protector, and husband. On January 6th of that year, I invited him over for dinner. I felt that God was speaking to me so strongly about marrying him that I would “test” and ask Dan if God was saying the same thing to him.
 
“Dan, is God saying anything to you about me?” We were sitting in my sun-room and he was playing with one of my dogs.
 
He looked at me as if he had just swallowed a golf-ball. “Yeah….” he said.
 
“What?” I asked.
 
“I’m not going to tell you,” he said and laughed slightly.
 
“Well, God is saying something to me and I was wondering if he was saying the same thing to you,” I paused to see if he was going to say anything. We sat there awkwardly looking at each other.
 
“What is he saying to you, I want to know,” I could hear the sound of hope rising in his voice.
 
“He told me that I was going to marry you!” I started to laugh nervously.
 
“He told me the same thing! But I told God it was impossible! I was walking one day, in fact it was September 1st, and He said that not only was I going to marry you, it would be within one year. I told God, that He has the wrong girl, because Jill won’t even go out with me,” like a spigot, he poured out all that he had suppressed.
 
Dan and I fasted and prayed for three weeks, and on January 27th we got engaged on a snow capped hill in Chester County, Pennsylvania. By June 21st at the age of forty-one, we married each other for better or worse on the front porch of our lovely farm.
 
After seventeen years of marriage, through ups and downs, we have found stability and strength from each other. Miracles do happen, for the world had me believing that I was more likely to be struck by lightning than getting married.
 

A Love That God Built

horses grazing“Daddy, please stop the car! Pleassse!” We were driving by a horse farm on a rural road near my home. The horses and ponies dotted the pastures, and one very plump Palomino pony was near the fence. He was irresistible, and my dad knew that this desire to be near horses was unquenchable.

“Jill, I don’t have time. Now stop whining!” My dad said in his gruffest voice.

I stifled a sob. I was five years old, and totally and utterly in love with horses. Knowing that riding a horse or taking lessons was out of the question, I moaned deep within my spirit.

At seven years old, I had learned to negotiate a bike, and I would steal away on day time excursions to this farm. For hours, I would watch the horses, laugh at their antics, and entice them with carrots I had taken from our refrigerator. They were unkempt and mangy, but to me they were valiant stallions. I would breathe deeply their scent, and it seared itself into my heart. Someday, I don’t know how, but I will own a horse, I said to myself!

I was unwavering in my decision. As soon as I graduated from college and got my first “real job” I signed up for three lessons at a stable close to my home.

Riding with tiny children that rode like champions was almost too much to take, but people my age were not starting lessons they were already accomplished riders. I stood out like vanilla in a sea of chocolate. I was in the beginner class, and the lazy Appaloosa that I rode every lesson was happy with one speed, super slow. I wanted to gallop and jump like I had seen the more advanced riders. It would take me three painstakingly long years.

Then the opportunity of a life time presented itself. A just-turned-four-year-old broken-down Thoroughbred cross was for sale. His bones jutting out against the scruffy red-bay gelding. His name was Raise Your Dreams, and his eyes, large and expressive were begging me to save him. I did not know that he would save me too.

Working in a job I hated, a broken engagement, and a life spiraling out of control, Raise Your Dreams gave me a reason to live. He was extremely bright, and I learned one of the most essential lessons a rider can grasp, a horse needs a reason to do what is being asked. Once I grasped this coveted concept, I excelled in my riding. I even rode with an Olympic coach who saw in me a heart destined for learning. People would remark about the beauty of my magnificent steed, his coat glistened, his eyes were bright and alert, his ears flicking in accordance with the aides (signals) I was giving him.

My heart still yearning for more, I became a certified riding instructor, and taught at premiere farms in southern New Jersey. Then something happened that was a true miracle.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart, Psalm 37:4. I began a relationship with Jesus. My life would never be the same! What He gave me was far beyond my wildest dreams………………………………….

(this story will continue)

 

Who Wants To Catch a Tickly Caterpillar?

Who said horse farms are for riding horses?  Caterpillars like to tickle and crawl, and it seems we have a gazillion here, and the boys find them irresistible!  Horses are here all year and caterpillars are available only for a few weeks, and the little furry critters like to tickle! What can a horse do compared to a caterpillar?

I still couldn’t resist asking, “Who wants to ride a horse?……. No one???”

Jake said,  “Miss Jill, we are catching caterpillars!” His tone exasperated, how could I not understand?

I guess I will ride by myself.

 

An Extraordinary Testimony-FIGHTING FOR THE FINISH!

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After reading my book FIGHTING FOR THE FINISH, the Salem County Christian Association wanted me to speak at their “Men and Women” breakfast.

What an honor!  Nothing better than sharing all that God has done in my life!

Helmet Please, Continued….

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The sweltering heat is keeping everyone from riding. So, Katie practices with her doll.

“Helmet please!”

The weather can’t break soon enough for Katie and her doll!

Horse Show Ready!

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I am not sure who is more excited, Bella or me. Isabella is my neighbor, my right-hand-helper-do anything-for-Miss-Jill rider. She takes two to three lessons a week and has become a fabulous rider. Her leg is solid, hands steady, and she loves pushing herself.

So, when the opportunity came for her to ride in a horse show with her absolute favorite pony, Squirt, it was a dream come true. The little pony, naughty as the day is long, has become her best friend. He in turn showers her with affection by placing his head on her shoulder, licking her hand, helmet, and face. But his biggest demonstration of his love came one day while she was warming him up. He stumbled badly and fell to his knees. He could feel Bella falling forward, and he literally caught her with his head and pushed her back into the saddle.

That’s why I agreed to allowing her to ride this little brown and white pony that will try his heart out for his beautiful and elegant rider that loves him more than anything else in the world.

Stay tuned for news of our outing.

As I told Bella, ride with JESUS, He will never let you down!

5 Words Can Transform Your Life

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It is September 1, 1995 at 7:00 in the morning and I’m terrified!

I never thought an opportunity to house-sit my friend’s beautiful mansion would lead me to complete and utter despair.  It started with weird coincidences. Music coming on the stereo without it being touched, noises, lights turning on, chairs moving, and more horrible things happening left me desperate for answers.

That’s what led me to say five simple words on that fateful morning. My girlfriend’s pastor was on the phone offering me hope. I was rejecting it like I always had. Just then the phone started to ring while I was on it.

“Ok, if I accept JESUS, will this stop?”

“I don’t know, but you’ll have the power to make it stop,” he said.

That’s when I made the wisest decision of my life. I accepted JESUS Christ as my savior.  I instantly became new, everything about me changed in that one decision.
I also entered into a spiritual battle and total victory that started with these simple five words, “JESUS, COME INTO MY LIFE!”

For one year, I was in a fight for my life, but God held me through it all. JESUS was FIGHTING FOR THE FINISH.

Read my true story, FIGHTING FOR THE FINISH, available at Amazon.com or jillmansor.com.

Sometimes the World Becomes Right when Riding a Horse

Life can be hard, but I always found peace on the back of my beloved horse, RAISE YOUR DREAMS.  He became an extension of me, and I was his.  Many hours were spent at the barn with this special horse making my life right with my two-thousand pound hero.

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Every Wednesday Without Fail

Every Wednesday they pile out of the Deveruex van.  They come to ride, pick tasty tomatoes organically grown, and to clean stalls of their favorite mounts.  The countdown starts as soon as they leave, for stolen moments of freedom and fun at a little farm in southern New Jersey. They call themselves blessed, but it is me that receives the biggest blessings.