Tag Archives: joy

He Died

Isaiah 53 The Message (MSG)

53 Who believes what we’ve heard and seen?
    Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?

(I would encourage you to read all of Isaiah 53)

 

 

 

 

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Ever notice how things with God can sometimes be backwards?  He gave death to bring life.  He sent His only Son Jesus to die so that we may live.  There are times when I just don’t understand the whole deal, yet I am ever grateful for this opportunity of life.  I am thankful for the life I have been given so that in turn I can give life to the death in other’s lives.  From the moment I knew that I was to be a writer for Jesus, my one desire is to mend the hearts of the broken.  As I myself have healed from many hurts and wounds I want others to be made whole in His presence.  His grace is what pulled me out and it is by that same grace I write.

 

We were given life so that we can bring the revelation of life to others.  Today my husband and I visited a regular customer of mine who had recently been hospitalized.  Her and her husband have been in my drive thru every morning for the past two years and I felt compelled to visit her.  I brought her both copies of my books and we sat and chatted for awhile.  Then we prayed over her.  She was ever so touched by the mere fact that we stopped to see her.  This is the impact God wants us to make on the world.  I can’t tell you what compelled me to visit this person I knew nothing about, yet I know it brought some life to her day.

 

It’s always the little things that matter the most when it comes to showing love to someone.  Take for instance when my hubby picks one single flower and places it in my hair it is much more special than a dozen roses.  When someone just simply smiles randomly as you pass by it is way more appealing than just rushing right on by.  When someone stops to pick up something you dropped when they could have just walked away means more than them just ignoring it.  Do see what I am trying to say?  It is the little things which matter the most and those are the things I like to partake in.

 

So where am I going with this when Jesus dying on a cross was such a huge act of love?  Because with one death, the world gained life and for those who choose Life in Christ, they will see so much more come to pass in their lives than the ones who deny His very existence.  In death we find life.  In darkness we have found Light.  When we find death in our situations we get the option of shinning the Light of Jesus on it and moving forward.  We have the opportunity then to speak life into other’s darkness.  This is who I was designed to be through my writing.  I am able to shine a light where maybe only darkness brooded.   

 

Can you be a Light to those around you?  What can you do to share Life?  Are you willing to allow Jesus to enter into your very own darkness?  Are you ready to let Him shine through you so that others can see just how much life they can have?  Everyday I strive to shine, some days it is not easy, yet it is by His grace I am able.  With His grace I can smile.  With His grace I can stop and help someone.  With His grace I can be a Light in such a darkened world.  If what I write changes one mindset today, God will have used me.  The key to all of it is…are you willing to be used?  Are you willing to let God bring life to your death?  Are you willing to be changed so God can use you to change others?  It’s tough at first I know but what joy comes when you see someone surface from darkness.  Are you somebody’s only Light to Life?

 

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Joy in Surrender and Addicting!!

Isaiah 61 [Full Chapter]

[ Announce Freedom to All Captives ] The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me. He sent me to preach good news to the poor, heal the heartbroken, Announce freedom to all captives, pardon all prisoners. God sent me to announce the year of his grace— a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies— and to comfort all who mourn, To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion, give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes, Messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit. Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness” planted by God to display his glory. They’ll rebuild the old ruins, raise a new city out of the wreckage. They’ll start over on the ruined cities, take the rubble left behind and make it new. You’ll hire outsiders to herd your flocks and foreigners to work your fields, But you’ll have the title “Priests of God,” honored as ministers of our God. You’ll feast on the bounty of nations, you’ll bask in their glory. Because you got a double dose of trouble and more than your share of contempt, Your inheritance in the land will be doubled and your joy go on forever. …

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Ever find yourself too happy ya just don’t know how to really act or think?  Sometimes you keep yourself reserved because you don’t want to seem over zealous or prideful.  We don’t want that tag of being overly excited because we want all the attention.  This is how I feel regarding the fact that I just got two books published in one month!  It seems to me though that for some reason others are more excited about knowing a published author than I am being one..hmmmmm

So I have been pondering just this thing today…where is my unrated excitement?  What I am I holding back for?  Where is the joy?  Did I get my answer?…NOPE.  Still waiting to hear from God.  Perhaps He is just patiently  waiting for me to erupt like a volcano, I don’t know.  Now don’t get me wrong I am happy for the books being available and I am astonished at how quickly God moved, yet I seem to have this reservation about myself.

All I know is that I came to this place in my life where every thing is falling into place.  Things are just happening which I cannot explain to the normal world..our finances, our favor…..and to me it comes down to three things:  First we had to believe that this life could happen, second I came to a place where I just thanked God and third, obedience.   I know it sounds simple, but it truly is!

Today, I know this may sound weird but hear me out, today I used the restroom at a local restaurant and the toilet paper holder, WITH A LOCK on it,  flew open and hit my knee.  Didn’t hurt but I took it and pushed it shut so it would not open on someone else.  After the incident I thought nothing of it until the paper towel dispenser at church did the SAME thing!  Hmmmm, now I was asking God what’s up?  Know what He said?  I am opening many doors for you, even locked ones.  Then He said to me, don’t go shutting the ones I open or get discouraged if you are not quite walking through them just yet.

Wow!  What a marvelous God we serve!  So now I will sing!  Now I will shout!  Now I will dance!  Why?  Because my God allowed two of my books to be published in one month!!!  Yes He is faithful and good!

If you would like to order either of my books, they are available on Amazon.com and Kindle.

Crooked Trees and Frosted Cookies

Mark 4:21-22

 Jesus went on: “Does anyone bring a lamp home and put it under a washtub or beneath the bed? Don’t you put it up on a table or on the mantel? We’re not keeping secrets, we’re telling them; we’re not hiding things, we’re bringing them out into the open.
christmas
We sing the carols. We see the family.  We buy the gifts.  We send the cards. We say Happy Holidays to everyone we meet.  We make special dinners.  We decorate the tree.  We string popcorn.  We light the candle wrap the presents.  We frost dozens of cookies.  We stock the stockings.  We tell the stories.  We attend church. Does this make it really Christmas or does it just appear to be?
We argue about what to buy.  We complain about the tree size. We get mad at the cat. We often go broke.  We ignore other financial obligations.  We are tired.  We are weary.  We go above our normal routine just to get the perfect gift.  We eat too many cookies.  We dread seeing family.  We hate cranberry sauce.  We’d rather eat the popcorn.  We go to church because grandma said so.  We dread pretending to be happy.  We are disappointed with our gifts.  We never seem to get what we really wanted.
Do we really even get what Christmas is?  What does it really mean to you?  Christmas is a holiday to most of us that really can either stretch or stress us.  So many people out there are just trying to get by, that when Christmas comes they lose all hope in God at all.  I know families out there who will not have much of a Christmas but I believe God will show up.  I believe we have a loving God who will take care of us according to His will if we are willing to seek Him.
Jesus came to save this world from sin.  Sin causes pain.  If He came to save us from sin then He also came to save us from pain.  For so many the holidays are just filled with pain, not joy.  The NIV version of the Bible mentions joy 244 times.  To me that means it’s pretty important to God that we find joy.  This year for me even though I am happy in life, Christmas just does not have the same meaning as it used to.  It seems to have lost its joy.  We have not even put up a tree yet and usually that goes up the minute Thanksgiving is over with.  Not sure what is going on in my heart with this but I am seeking God for answers.
This Christmas I urge us all to really look at that day and explain to ourselves why we celebrate? What we celebrate? How we celebrate? Who are we celebrating?  If Jesus is not the answer then we have an appearance of Christmas.  We need to begin to seek the face of God and ask Him to show us Christmas so that we can start to tell others what it really means.

Seek the Life

Psalm 69:32
The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.

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Did you ever sit on the edge of a lake and search until you found that perfect rock?  You search and search.  You pick one up and put it back.  Then you find another one and get excited but it’s just not the perfect one. Finally your search comes to an end as you find the most perfect rock you have ever found.  Now, what do you do with this special rock?  You show it to your family and friends, you show it off as your newest treasure.  You are so proud of your rock you can hardly contain the joy.  Then what happens?

You get home, set it on shelf and forget about your treasure and you are on to the next best thing.  Before you know it you have a jar full of rocks, each unique in its’ presence yet still just a jar of memories you are saving for a rainy day.  Wow, does this sound at all like our walk with God on some occasions?  We seek and we seek until we find the perfect antidote to our issue and then we file it away somewhere only to visit it once in awhile because we have lost our joy and have fallen into the next trap Satan has set up for us.  If only we would treasure each rock we find and keep it close to our hearts.  If only we could claim each nugget of truth as our own personal treasure we could be so much farther in our walk and better prepared for the next encounter.

I sought after God for many years during my first marriage only each time I found joy I gained false hope because I used wisdom as a band-aid instead of a life application.  If only I had held on to God a little closer each time, perhaps my time in the valley would have been shorter.

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Holy Spirit intervention….stop with the “if onlys”  Change them to lessons learned

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I noticed that I was using a lot of “if onlys” in my blog and I needed to rephrase what I am speaking. We often use “if onlys” as a crutch to get us through and make it seem like we are off the hook, however we do more damage because  we are only hurting ourselves.  We need to see these gems as life lessons, treasures to be held close to our hearts for longer than just a moment in time, but for always.

Go ahead, search for those rocks.  Cling to them.  Roll them around in your hand.  Ponder in wonderment at their uniqueness.  Treasure them for their ability to make you smile.  Same with the God moments in your life.  Learn to glean the lesson and then apply those lessons to every aspect of your life.  True joy comes from knowing that at any given moment Satan could throw you into a tailspin but you can just smile because you can find that jar on the shelf, reach in and grab a stone to throw at your Goliath; laughing all the way to your next adventure because you already know we win every time with God, it’s in the Book!

This Is My Song

Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

Ever think that your life is a song?  A series of notes strung together making a melody others can witness to that God is Mighty and strong in your life? A verse after verse, line upon line version of a melody God made over you even before you were formed in your mothers womb.  Perhaps a tune that everyone else found catchy worthy of learning to sing over the pain in their own lives. Does your life your “sing” to others? Do your actions portray a walk with God worthy of others wanting to follow?

My song began when I was born, as did yours.  We were given life and air to breathe.  We are given but one chance at this earthly life and it is our choices which dictated the tune of our song.  Sometimes the song is angry and bitter while other times it is happy and carefree.  We get to choose the lyrics as we go depending on our life circumstances and how we react to situations which arise.  Yes, we are the songwriters if we choose to be.  Perhaps you would rather have someone else write your lyrics, but what does that say about who you are in Christ?

I have chosen in recent days to follow my own heart melody and write my own lyrics, ad God as my only guide.  As I find myself divorcing my husband of 20 years and entering into a new phase of my life, I feel like I am giving more life to my song than ever before.  When I was in the middle of my marriage, I was letting my husband write my lyrics.  I allowed him to dictate what the next part of the my song would be and I pushed God, the Creator of my life-song, as far from me as I could.  I was ashamed of the choices I had made in my life and I felt I had to fix my “tune” before I could even let God finish my song.

As I am finding more freedom every day to express who I really am, my song is beginning to have ryhme and reason.  It now has a beat and rythm all its’ own because I am becoming the song God intended me to be.  I can be expressive and entertaining now that I no longer have to hide behind my fears.  The words I string together now speak life rather than death.  The lyrics can now push through the darkness that shrouded my life for awhile, allowing others to see the Light like never before.

In less than two months I will be divorced and beginning a new adventure in my life.  Some like my new song and others are covering thier ears and choosing to turn the other way, however, I am secure in my God, knowing this path I am on is the right one.  I am in a right relationship with God and I am trusting Him fully in the direction He is taking me.  As each new day begins to unfold, I am finding new joy and wonderful happiness, things I had been lacking for so long.

I know things will seem strange to those who are not walking as deep as I am, just know that if God is for me, then who shall be against me?  I am choosing to live life finally and I am ready for God to take me by the hand and give me the words and the lyrics to finish out my life song.  Whether you agree or disagree is irrelevant because this is between God and I, therefore, no regrets to the past and I am moving forward into the destiny God has ALREADY planned out for my life.

“My life song is made up of joys and sorrows, but most of all, its about what God has done for me and what He has created.”

Ridge Walking

Psalm 43:3
Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live.

Today was one of those days when loneliness crept into my spirit.  It is a nasty little bug that begins to bug you.  You see couples everywhere and families doing family things and here you are, alone.  No husband to hang out with while the kids are all grown and doing their own thing.  I am I this position because of my own choices, however, sometimes it just get s to me.  As I attempted to make plans for my first day of vacation, I came up empty and soon I would see that it was for a purpose.  A purpose God had set up for me already.  A deep calling to deep.  A moment in today that God wanted to spend just with me and even though I was close to tears at some points, God was calling to His quiet place.

So, I set out on a journey at the edge of the woods.  Fourteen minutes into the adventure my body was asking all sorts of questions.  What are we doing?  I am not stepping another foot.  It’s too hot.  Did you see the steepness of the dunes?  But another voice was whispering in my ear to come deeper and my spirit man was already way ahead of my flesh; so I pressed into God.  I began to cry out questions to what may have seemed to anyone else empty air, but I was talking to my Daddy.  Why are you calling me Lord? What do you want to show me today?  Is there a lesson in all of this?

Yes, He answered me, be still, be quiet and wait on Me. As I stood I silence and in surrender I heard a small noise just ahead of me.  I lifted my head and what appeared in front of me was a fawn.  One little fawn. We were both startled in the moment and as I tried to contain my excitement, she ran back to momma and her brother.  What joy as I fumbled to get my phone out to take a picture.  I was able to take 2 pictures and they ran off up the dune.  I stalked them for a few minutes and then I saw what I was lured into the woods to see, the daddy deer appeared, protecting his family.  It was such an awesome sight and in that instant, I saw loneliness dissipate and be replaced with a promise of restoration.

How often does one get to stand 30 feet from an entire family of deer?  I was so filled with joy I could hardly contain it.  As the family ran off into the woods, I knew I would not find them again, yet I felt God was not finished with me yet; so I traveled farther.  As I climbed dunes and tripped over roots, I listened for God’s voice.  Finally as I reached a ridge like area, God had me turn and take in the view.  To my right were treetops and a beautiful landscape of blue sky and just perfectness.

 

On my left was a ravine.

He spoke this to me as I stood there in perfect peace:  I have raised you, shown you the Light.  You have climbed the mountains and now you reside with Me in a place of peace.  From this moment on you will walk along the ridge, not fearing the drop below you, but eyes focused on Me.  No longer will you feel lonely for you are more near Me than ever.  I will keep you from falling again if you just focus on Me and seek My joy that I have for you. 

And now I know why everyone in my life was busy today…God wanted me all to Himself for just a little while, and I am so happy that He did!

Scrapbook Devotional: A Journey of Joy

Psalm 30:5
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.

Devotions…devotions…devotions..a thing I certainly struggle with on a daily basis, kind of ironic I would say as much as I am in love with Jesus.  My life is so busy sometimes I just cannot seem to find 5 or 10 minutes to complete a simple reading lesson and dive into the Word.  Now granted with the revival happening and I am attending church 3 to 5 times a week I get lots of Bible in me, however to spend some quiet alone time is just tough for me.  I would like to blame it on my work schedule since I work a different  time everyday so I can never set up a routine time to read, however, it really boils down to my lack of routine and discipline.

God did send someone in my life to help keep me accountable but that did not last very long on my part.  I tried, I really tried and it lasted about 14 days in a row and I began to slack. So after God’s attempt to draw me in failed on my part, He is trying a different approach, appealing to my creative side so to speak.  In recent prayer it has been prayed by two different men of God that He desires for me to be filled with joy, my past is over and now it is time for joy!  Yesterday during church I was inspired!  I decided I was going to take on a journey of joy.  I would begin to create my own scrapbook of joy and put something in it every day.

As I was creating this masterpiece yesterday afternoon, new revelation came to me and God said,quietly,  “make this your devotion”.  Hmmmm, I thought, this could be a cool idea and so I am going to share it with all of you.  Doing this accomplishes two things, one I learn about joy and two it holds me even more accountable as some of you may be following along.  This is what I did:  I bought a cheap journal, covered it in white duct tape and used nail polish to decorate.  You may use anything you want to make your scrapbook, this is just what I used.

First I found the definition of joy and wrote it in the opening flap.  Next I am doing 7 days at a time and finding 7 verses on joy, writing one verse on each page leaving the back of each page blank.  So each Sunday, my day off, I spend 10 minutes getting my 7 verses for the week written in.  I used an internet Bible and typed in the word JOY and I began my journey from the first mention of joy, Genesis 31:27.  I then wrote out the verse and I made a vow to read the entire chapter from which that verse was found.  Next I write a 1 or 2 sentence thought on what I found joyful in my day or out of the reading and lastly I paste or tape or glue or staple something of joy to the backside of the page. Whala!  I have begun a scrapbook devotional!

I plan on doing this for 30 days and then switching to a new subject.  My ultimate goal is to have a 12 book devotional ready to be published.  How cool is God that He would give me something right on my own level and right where I need to be?  Not only is He attempting to get me to commit to this devotional, He is allowing me to share my journey!  So each day on my Facebook I am sharing this journey of joy, I don’t think it will be a blogging project but perhaps when I get the website up and running, it will be a part of that!

Let me know if you are following along with me on my Journey of Joy!