Devotion

The Promise of the Faithful is JOY!

Have you ever thought about the relationship between our level of thankfulness and joy? How about the posture of our attitudes, especially during these times of uncertainty?

I have to admit, most of the time I am a positive, glass half full kind of gal. I keep up with my gratitude journal, thanking God for all of the many, many blessings He has provided me. Lately, though, I have felt a bit lagging in the Joy department.

Now when I talk about Joy, I’m not speaking of being happy, like I am happy the sun is shining today or jumping around all giddy because our local grocery store actually had toilet paper on the shelves today. No, Joy is deeper. As Cardinal Timothy Dolan writes in his book, “Who Do You Say I Am”, “Joy is not a hyperpositive mania about everything and seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. That would tend to be very annoying wouldn’t it?” He continues, “By joy, I’m talking about interior peace. This, Saint Paul teaches, gives rise to exterior happiness. Joy gives us freedom but doesn’t make us reckless. True joy won’t get on your nerves.”

I have read this description of joy several times and just let the words, “interior peace” sink into my soul.

Living joy today means we live with inner peace daily.

How do we then obtain this inner peace each day of our lives?

Jesus died a painful death after living a blameless, sinless life so we could be free of our sins. He invites us everyday to wear the clothing of salvation with overabundant joy.

A sure fire way to level up our joy is to fortify it with gratitude. Start each day with an attitude of thankfulness for all God has and will continue to do for us. This type of attitude allows us to live according to God’s will and not our own. We will be more “God-Conscientious” and as we move throughout our day we will turn to Him for more strength.

He is the fuel for our Joy.

He can and will bring the inner peace, Joy, we so desire and want. It is also His desire for us. As 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

What are you thankful for today? I can’t be more thankful for an amazing God who loves me unconditionally, forgives me of my sins, strengthens me when I am weak, all when I am not deserving.

Oh, and not to forget an amazing mom who talked me off the ledge today during a little break down. Listing your home during the Covid-19 can be a bit overwhelming, as if selling a home during “normal” circumstances isn’t stressful enough! I know God’s got this too if I just remember to:

Look up, Let Go, and Live Joy! And start and end each day with Thanksgiving.

Verse of the Day

Finding Strength

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy!

How can I pray for you this week? Send me an email in the contact section. I promise not to put you on a list and send you tons of mail.

One of the joys I am finding during this crazy time in our world and having to “shelter in place” is the time I am getting to spend with my husband and two of our kids. We are playing old board games, watching Jeopardy together, and getting out in the backyard throwing the Frisbee and playing an old shoot around favorite “HORSE”. (If your’re not familiar it’s a basketball game) . Oh and we are laughing, a lot. Even when it appears there is not a lot to laugh at these days, we are finding laughter in ourselves, movies, and frankly we laugh just to laugh. Medicine for the soul.

I mentioned we get to be with two of our kids, one of the four is out in California. He calls weekly to give us updates and we got a rare “Face Time” with him a few days ago which was a welcomed treat. He is doing great and though he has been staying in he has been able to do what he loves, read, read, and read some more!

The fourth, well I hate to say as a mom who loves her son with all her heart, I’m not so sure how he is doing today. He made the choice to “social distance” himself from his family long before “social distancing” became a “thing”. I “Look to the Lord’s strength” daily and know deep in my soul that He has this child of His under His loving wings. God doesn’t have grandchildren, only children. I have faith today that I can let go and let my heavenly Father take care of his wayward son. That brings me peace and an odd sense of joy. And just maybe one day he will come home.

My prayer today is for our world to be able to get back to running again but better than we were before. I pray we will be more compassionate, more caring, more loving, and more sharing. I pray we will find more ways to bring each other joy and laughter.

What are you doing to find joy during these days. Let me know in the comments.

Devotion

The One You Need to Complete You This Year

Happy New Year! it is super exciting to begin another year of devotions, sharing the love and joy of Christ with you. Last year I started the year by choosing a “Word of the Year” for myself in which I would embrace and connect with throughout the year. The 2019 word “Grow” worked well for me in so many areas of my life that I decided to give this word thing another go this year. My word for 2020 is “Present”.

Now for all of you that know me well, I am sure you are thinking the worst here. And I hate to tell you, “You are wrong.” I am not asking for gifts this year by choosing this word just because I do love presents! (Secretly I do believe I am an elf all year long. My favorite food being sugar, shopping being one of my favorite hobbies, for a deal of course, Christmas is my favorite holiday and I love getting and giving gifts, celebrating people for their accomplishments and mile stones.)

But seriously this year I want and need to be “present”. Every day. First and foremost with Jesus. Life gets busy, fast. I tend to get easily agitated and out of sorts, being pulled in so many directions, looking for the answers here, there, and everywhere, except for where I should be looking for them, up. Looking up to Jesus.

Colossians 2:2-3 reminds me:

All the answers I am ever seeking are with Jesus, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” When I am “present” with Him daily and throughout my day, I will be given the wisdom and knowledge I need to make the right decisions I am seeking.

In the beautiful daily devotional, “Jesus Always” by Sarah Young she writes, “Remind yourself of this glorious truth frequently whispering: ‘Jesus, You are my Treasure. In You I am Complete'”.

By turning my thoughts to “The One Who Completes Me” allows me to give my life focus and purpose.

And with focus and purpose I find the Joy that John writes about in Chapter 15 verses 10-11:

I don’t know about you friend, but I sure want the Joy of Jesus completing me! So this year my word, “Present” is leading me to be present with Him everyday, all day.

I have been starting my mornings reading again this year “Jesus Always” by Sarah Young. https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Always-Embracing-Presence-Calling%C2%AE/dp/0718039505/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3P3W8XJE1UZ86&keywords=jesus+always&qid=1579440771&sprefix

If you have not read any of her daily devotionals, I highly recommend them. It’s like a little message directly from Jesus everyday. I have also gone back to something I had slipped away from doing regularly in my morning quiet time, meditating. Depending on the day, whether I have to go to work or its a weekend, I spend 10-20 minutes in quiet meditation. I love being still with Jesus. Being present. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. Find a comfortable position, and be still. Start with 5-10 minutes and gradually you can increase your time. I personally find myself refreshed and ready to start the hectic part of my day after this intimate time with Jesus.

One of my favorite ways to stay connected to Jesus throughout the day is to listen to many great Christian artists. I play them while I am getting ready for work, driving to work, and during my work day.

I also tune into my favorite podcast that focus on Christian living for recovering perfectionists and sensitive people. Check out Grit ‘N’ Grace Girls with Amy Carol and Cheri Gregory. https://gritngracegirls.com/

Another favorite podcast is Joyce Meyer “Enjoying Everyday Life” https://joycemeyer.org/todaysshow/takejoyceeverywhere#podcasts

There are tons of podcasts out there. I’d love to here from you. What podcasts do you listen to that encourage and motivate you to live your best life in Christ. Leave me a comment.

I tend to be a “Squirrel in traffic”, focusing on many agenda items at once. My goal, by having “Present” as my word of the year, is to help me to be “hands-on” and “in-tune” with each person individually I come in contact with. I believe by being present with Jesus, first, letting Him be the One who Completes me, I can accomplish this goal, and anything. Because All things are possible with Jesus!

I want to give a little shout out here to Joy A. Mead. She nominated me for a Blogger to Blogger Award called the Versatile Blogger Award. Please check out Joy’s blog here: https://joyamead.com/ Joy is a beautiful Christian woman from California now raising her family just outside of London with her Englishman husband, Charlie. You can also see the other blogs she nominated.

I will be participating in this award next month so please check back to see my nominations!

Until then,

Look Up, Let Go, Live JOY!

Devotion

Irritable…Discontent…Restless… Help Is Not Hidden

Isaiah 46_4

Friend, It is so easy in our ever so busy lives today to get irritable, discontent, and restless, so much that we can start to spin out of control. Maybe not just start to spin but whirl like crazy.

God’s Word is living and breathing! It fills my soul and brings me peace and calm when I start to twirl and whirl in this world.  Meditating and praying Isaiah 46:4 can take me from the crazy of a Tilt-a-Whirl to a front porch swing in a matter of minutes.

Heavenly Father,

I know that you have created me and you are with me until my hair is gray, and grayer than it already is!  I have witnessed you carry me through other turmoils and I know you will carry me through today, hour by hour; minute by minute.  Father, thank you for your life sustaining Word, love, grace, and forgiveness.  I have faith that in your time, Father, you will rescue me from the whirling and twirling I am feeling right now.  In the meantime, I will keep my eyes laser focused on you.  My ears and heart open to hear your word.  And I will rise up and go on with the God assignments you have already planned for me today, living and breathing your word and truth.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

Devotion

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!

 

Devotion

Six Bible Verses To Hear God Through Jesus’ Teachings

in the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven. (1)

Well friend, I have to say I have really enjoyed writing this series about hearing from God.  It has helped me personally do dig deeper into His Word, pray differently, and to pay more attention to my surroundings and circumstances to hear God’s voice in my daily life.  But this isn’t just a one month thing, I have to make this a life style, which isn’t that what God intended for us? Romans 10:17 reminds us, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”  Continued faith, continued presence in His word.

I have Six verses today to share with you that give us a glimpse of the person God is through his Son Jesus.  We can hear God through the teachings of Jesus, which is one of my favorite ways to hear God’s voice.

When I need the strength of God or to hear His Will for me I can turn to John 5:30:

“you have heard that it was said, ‘love your neighbor and hate your enemy._ but i tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you._ matthew 5

When I feel like God is far away I can read John 18:20 and know that God is near and keeps nothing secret.

“you have heard that it was said, ‘love your neighbor and hate your enemy._ but i tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you._ matthew 5

When I need to hear from God because I am worrying I flip in my Bible to Matthew 6:25-27 and hear His voice say :

“you have heard that it was said, ‘love your neighbor and hate your enemy._ but i tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you._ matthew 5

Feeling hurt, I can hear God guiding me to Matthew 5:43-44:

“you have heard that it was said, ‘love your neighbor and hate your enemy._ but i tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you._ matthew 5

God’s authority can be heard in Matthew 28: 18-20

“you have heard that it was said, ‘love your neighbor and hate your enemy._ but i tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you._ matthew 5

 

As I mentioned sweet friend, this is only a few verses of Jesus’ teaching where we can hear God speaking to us.  Dive into The Word daily any time of day or night to hear from God.  The Bible is the living word, it is hope, peace, and guidance for your soul.

Finally, here is a little take away for you, a prayer to hear God’s voice.

A Prayer Asking To Hear God’s Voice:

a prayer pictr

Click on the pink link to down load your free copy of this prayer: A Prayer to Hear God’sVoice

Join me on Wednesdays in February for Devotions of Love!

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy!