The Good Samaritans in the Storm

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The forecast predicted storms for “your drive home”.  Yes, my drive home, one day  not too long ago, after work.  My drive usually takes about 12 minutes give or take a few depending on traffic when I choose the freeway route.  This day, though, I needed to run into the grocery on my way home.  Storms approaching, do I run into the Wal-Mart near work hop on the freeway and be home. Or do I take the scenic route and run into the Kroger near my home.  For whatever reason, I felt like the second option was better, even with storms on the horizon and the back roads take about 5 minutes longer.

Let me cut to the chase here and get to the point of all this.  I made it to the store, grabbed what I needed in record time.  Jumped in my car and as I turned the key to start the engine, it made a grinding sound, you know the one that says, “Hey owner of this vehicle something is way wrong and I am not going to start right now.”

And then, drop,drop, then the heavens opened up and the rain came down.  Not just a sprinkle mind you, a deluge!  I tried again to turn the key, nothing. Just… a tap on my window? What?

Yes a lady dressed in scrubs asked, “Do you need a jump?”  “My husband and I are right here and as soon as the car next to us leaves we can move to that space and give you a jump.”  I thanked her and said I have AAA and I can call my husband we live less than a mile away.  She insisted on waiting, and jumped back in her car.

Meanwhile, the rain not stopping any time soon, I called my husband, he was happy to come get me.  I jumped out ran to the ladies window, thanked her again and let her know my husband could come and get me.  This amazing couple insisted on waiting to help me get my car started.  Just then the car next to me pulled out, the lady (I keep calling her this because I think we exchanged names at some point under my umbrella, but it was raining so hard and we were soaking wet and laughing so hard, that if she told me her name, I didn’t catch it.  Lesson for me, remember the names!) jumped out and we were both standing in that parking spot holding until her husband pulled around.

A few minutes later the cars were connected by the jumper cables and my little beetle was running!  I offered to pay the couple or buy them dinner, they declined and her husband told me if that was his wife he wouldn’t want her to be alone in a storm with her car not running.  I thanked them again, we all jumped into our cars sopping wet and went our separate ways.

This couple demonstrated Philippians 2:3-4 that day.  They put other’s interests, needs above their own.  It would have been so easy for them to see my car not starting and say, “Oh that is too bad for her”, and go on their merry way, making it home before the storms.  But they didn’t.  They stayed to lend a helping hand.

Julien B. Weil

God calls us to humble ourselves and put others before ourselves. He made the ultimate sacrifice for us I am not always so good at this, and to be quite honest, I don’t know if I would have rendered help to a stranded motorist in a pour down.  However, since that day, being the recipient of another’s good deed, it makes me more aware each day that I need to humble myself daily and look to others’ interests before mine.

We all have busy schedules and our own agendas, but if we all started following this simple command, can you imagine what stories might open the nightly news or the would be the headlines in our news papers?  Stories of hope, not crime and corruption.  Stories of love not hate.

Matthew 25 35 36

Join me on a journey to be humble daily and to seek out the interests of others before my own,  A journey to live more like Jesus.  One of humility, love, kindness, and giving.

Have you been the recipient of an act of kindness where someone stepped out of themselves to help you out?  Or were you the one that stepped out of your comfort zone and helped another?  I’d love for you to share your story in the comments.

Wishing you dear friend a very blessed Easter!  He is risen!

 

Five Bible Verses To Love Like Jesus

on the contrary_ “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. in doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[b

It’s the last Wednesday in February friend and that means this is the last post on my series on love.  Today let’s dive into what love is, it trusts, protects, hopes, perseveres,  and as 1 Corinthians 13 8 a reminds us, “Love never fails”.

I have been listening on Audible to Bob Goff’s book, “Everybody Always, Becoming Love in a World Full of Setback and Difficult People”.  I love how he tells the stories of all the amazing people he has met and their adventures.  I mention his book one because I think everyone should read it,and because it is a beautiful example of when we follow Jesus’ example of Love, it really never fails.  I gave you a link to his book below (don’t worry, as always, I get nothing for promoting the book, I have never met Bob Goff, I would love too, though, he is  super interesting , hilarious ,and has so much wisdom and knowledge on how we should live to follow Jesus.)

To end our series on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 I am leaving you with five Bible verses that remind us that Love with a capital L, God, can always be trusted, He will always protect us, we can always hope and persevere in Him and He will never fail us.

Precious friend, this is the Love of 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, the love of Christ.  When the people and circumstances of this world hurt and disappoint us, when we feel unloved or we have wronged another, the amazing and never-ending love of Christ is always there for us.  As Lysa Terkeurst says, “We steer where we stare”.  Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus, friend and love as he has taught us to love.

 

 

Psalm 13 5

 

deuteronnomy 31 6

Isaiah 40 31

Romans 15 5

Romans 5 8

Everybody Always By Bob Goff

 

Join me the third Wednesday in March for The Lion and The Lamb!  And be on the look out for a new segment “Living The Joy”

Until then

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy!

 

Hearing God Through Prayer 10 Bible Verses To Pray

_call to me, and i will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know._ jeremiah 33_3

I don’t know about you friend, but one of my favorite times of the day is right when I roll out of bed.  Yes, first thing in the morning. I am totally a morning person, love it!!! Let me fill you in on a little secret why, I get to wake up another day.  Now your guess is as good as mine as to the outcomes of each day, but God let me wake up another day and for that I am ever so blessed!

Over the years to celebrate, and I love a celebration, this blessing of a new day I take the first hour of it with Jesus.  As I continue to grow in my faith that time has looked different over the years and for sure, my prayers have definitely changed.  Early on I would pray quite selfishly.  My prayers often sounded like, ” God, why don’t teachers make enough money, I pray God for a better job, will you please bring me one that makes more money”  Or this is a good one, “Heavenly father, everyone around me drives a much nicer car than I do, so when you bring me that better job with more money, can I also have a bigger, better car?”

Let me tell you friend, from my own experience, the title of this blog is “Hearing God Through Prayer”, but watch out for what you ask for in prayer, because He is listening.  I got that better job, it caused me to travel and be away from my family days at a time. No more two weeks off at Christmas or summers off with my son.  Oh and did I get the car!  Yes indeed I did.  A brand new X Type Jaguar, (which didn’t get hit just once, first time by a deer on the highway and a second time by a man having a medical emergency.)  Be careful what you pray for friend!  God is listening, and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side either.  grass

There are numerous methods out there on how to pray and in a minute I am going to share a super easy one with you and some verses you can actually pray. So that’s really two methods of prayer right there. Usually when I follow a method of prayer it takes the selfishness out, most of the time because I can always slip a little selfish in because I am still on this journey growing to be more like Christ every day.

Let’s talk a minute about hearing from God when we pray.  I personally have never heard His voice audibly in my life or have I come across a cloud or burning bush that have spoken to me.  Super cool, I would love to experience all three, however I know when I pray God answers when I am still, when I wait for His timing, and when I am paying attention to my circumstances and surroundings.  He answers.

Psalm 91:15 reassures us of this, “He will call upon Me (says the Lord), and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.”  _he will call upon me, and i will answer him; i will be with him in trouble; i will rescue him and honor him._ psalm 91_15

So here is one method I have used to help my prayers stay focused as I can be a squirrel in traffic when I start praying.  It’s called the ACTS method.  Doing a little research I found this method goes back to the 1880’s!  (ACTS Method of Prayer’s first use).  I have included bible verses to pray for each type of prayer.

A: Adoration: Pray to God with Adoration, Give him praise and honor. Pray Psalm 145:14, 17-20, Psalm 84, and Psalm 27:4

C: Confession: Confess your sins to God.  Be open and honest with him.  Pray Psalm 32:5-7, Psalm 69:5

T: Thanksgiving: Tell God what you are thankful for in your life and in the lives of others. Pray Psalm 9:1, Psalm 86:12, Psalm 30:1, 11-12

S: Supplication: Pray for the needs of others and then yourself. Pray Psalm 143, Matthew 6:11.

Be still, be patient friend, I have to tell myself this daily.  God will answers our prayers according to His Will not our’s and in His perfect time.

Just keep praying!

I hope this series has been as much of a blessing to you as it has been to me as I have studied God’s word to share these devotionals with you.  I will finish it up next week with hearing God through the teachings of Jesus.

I will be taking a little break for the month of February to make a few changes here at Living Joy Today.  I will still be posting a short devotional once a week. And then just as March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, I will be writing a series about Jesus as The Lion and The Lamb.

Today I will be giving away a copy of Lysa Terkeurst’s latest book, “It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way, Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered.”

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Just leave a comment with a bible verse about Jesus as the lion and the lamb to be entered to win.  And I will use your verse in my upcoming blogs!

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy!

 

Motivation for Your Monday! Take It To The Lord In Prayer

the lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. psalm 145_18

It’s Monday and that means its time for some motivation to get us going and to be the best we can be today!

I say we take it to the Lord in prayer and see what His Will is for us.

Jeremiah 42:3 reminds us: “that the LORD your God may tell us the way in which we should walk and the thing that we should do.”

What are you praying for today?  I’d love to pray for you.  Leave a prayer request in the comments.

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy,

Jane Ann

Motivation for Your Monday is Back! Happy 2019!

MS Lowndes poem

 

Happy New Year’s Eve 2019 Friend!  I pray that this year brings you closer to our Heavenly Father.  In January I will be writing about hearing from God.  I hope you will join me.  I am also super excited to get this year rolling as God has placed a few messages on my heart I feel blessed to share with you.

Praying your first week of 2019 is blessed to the fullest!

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy!

Jane Ann

6 Mighty Verses To Meditate On This Thanksgiving Season

Collage 2018-10-14 15_22_59

Meditating on scripture is a great way to make us slow ourselves down and be still with God.  When we take the time to meditate on God’s Word, we discover the meaning and how we can apply God’s wisdom and discernment in our daily lives.

“How does one meditate on scripture?”, you might ask. There are no right or wrong ways to meditate on Bible verses, like exercising, you just have to start.

A few ways I enjoy meditating on scripture are:

  1. Reading through the passage 3 times slowly.
  2. Write the verse in a journal.
  3. Rewrite the verse in first person using the pronouns I, me, and my.
  4. Circle or highlight important words or words that stand out in the verse.
  5. Praying the verse back to God.

There are tons and tons of other ways to meditate on scripture.  Verse mapping is another great way, I will be posting a blog in January on this concept.

What a better season than Thanksgiving to start (or if you are already meditating on scripture) trying a few ways to let God’s word soak into our souls.  Here are 5 mighty verses of Thanksgiving for you to focus on this month.

2 Corinthians 4:15:  All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Psalm 9:1:  I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

1 Thessalonians 5:18: Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 28:7:  The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

2 Corinthians 9:11:  You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

What other verses of Thanksgiving do you love?  Share them in the comments.

Happy meditating.  May you be blessed with God’s grace and love as you spend time in His word and live the Joy that He so graciously gives us through is Word and Holy Spirit.