Sunday, October 31, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
The Greek word for 'joy' is chara, derived from the word charis, which is the Greek word for 'grace.' This is important because it tells us that chara is produced by the charis of God. This means 'joy' is not a human-based happiness that comes and goes...Rather, true 'joy' is divine in origin...it is a Spirit-given expression that flourishes best in hard times.
As we had our family devotions a few days ago, our random discussion word was "JOY".
How do you get it, how do you keep it, does it show if you have it, what happens if you lose it, can you lose it, what brings each of us true joy and can we have it being separate from Christ?
Of course we were not able to answer all of these but we sure left the conversation different than entered in.
If God commands His people to be full of joy, which He does, then who are we not pursue this with every fiber of our being?
Philippians 4:4 (NLT)
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!
He doesn’t say when things are going swell THEN be joyful, He said ALWAYS.
We decided this must be a choice. WE CHOOSE JOY!
This must mean it’s not circumstantial. To keep it means to pursue Him. My husband thoughts… “Joy is both an outcome of our relationship with the Lord and our source of strength because in Nehemiah 8:10 it say’s ‘The Joy of the Lord is our strength”. I need all the strength I can get!
Joy vs. happiness-
Happiness, according to the Oxford English dictionary, is based on luck or good fortune. Joy on the other hand, is described as a vivid emotion of pleasure. Thus, happiness depends on circumstance; joy, on our emotional well-being.
My daughter said ““Joy is soul deep, a deepness that only Jesus can reach”, Right into the vessel of our well being.
~I love that!!~
Joy is as deep and rooted as our faith in Christ is. Immovable, stationary, steadfast, unshakable, unwavering and unyielding!
Happiness although awesome to ‘feel’ can be fleeting and change like the ocean tides. Cinnamon spice candles bring me happiness. A tall vanilla chai tea from SB makes me feel happy.
• Laughing so hard my stomach hurts
• a hot shower
• taking a drive on a pretty road
• hearing my favorite song on the radio
• lying in bed listening to the rain outside
• hot towels out of the dryer
• a text from a friend
• A bubble bath
• a good conversation
• the beach
• Laughing at myself.
~How do we fare?~
Fourth~ How do we get it?
My husband said…."Well you ask”!! Seriously is it truly that easy?
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
The desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.
His Spirit is there to cause things to happen in peoples' lives that bring them more in tune with God's purposes on earth (and beyond). When the Spirit starts changing someone, it shows as a growth in character, a change in their way of life that is good for the people they live among. The fruit of the Spirit is one nine fold "fruit" that characterizes all who truly walk in the Holy Spirit .
~I desire JOY!~
Fifth~ How do we keep it? Again my sweet girl made the good point, “We keep it by concentrating on things outside ourselves and instead on His Word”
I don’t pretend to know the hearts and ways of man. That is God’s job. But for me and my house we are in agreement that being separate from God sounds utterly HOPELESS!
My son who is always very quiet in conversations closed our sweet time with this… “Joy is a way of life”!
You see having a personal relationship with Jesus; it’s a verb an action word.
First repentance of sin, then an acceptance of Him as our Savior. Be thankful, have gratitude, shake off animosity, resentment and grudges. Have empathy and compassion. Have a heart that beats passionately after God the Father!
Romans 15:13 (NIV)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
As Psalm 16:11
Oh to bathe in His exquisite splendor! Oh to be in that immovable beautiful peaceful place of joy he created us to be in.
To be in a state of being so fully overflowing with joy that it permeates our pours and pours forth to those around us.
The post is from BiancaJuarez and though from the perspective of a newlywed, I can vouch after 22+ years of marriage...some things NEVER change. Thank you Bianca for your humorous and insightful view into the male psyche!
Inthenameoflove has produced a language decoder for men! That’s right ladies and gentlemen, after exhaustive research [five weeks of marriage], development [humorous banter], and noted market value [free conflict resolution tips], you can enjoy the ability to understand what your wife really means when she chooses to use words indicating something else!
[This ad has been approved by Olthoff Incorporated. All rights reserved.]
What I said: It’s been a long day and I’m so hungry.
What Matt heard: I’m making something simple for dinner.
What I meant: Can you take me out to dinner?
What I said: Wow, my closet is so empty!
What Matt heard: My closet is empty.
What I meant: I need clothes!
What I said: I’m not emotional and I’m not overreacting!
What Matt heard: I’m emotional and overreacting!
What I meant: Don’t look at me like I’m crazy!
What I said: How much do you love me?
What Matt heard: How much do you love me?
What I meant: I’m going to ask for something expensive!
What I said: What do you think of this outfit?
What Matt heard: What do you think of my outfit?
What I meant: Tell me you think I’m beautiful.
What I said: Sure. Do it if you want to.
What Matt heard: That’s a great idea.
What I meant: I don’t want you to.
What I said: Are you serious?!
What Matt heard: Are you serious?!
What I meant: You can’t be serious.
What I said: I love you so much.
What Matt heard: I want you.
What I said: You look so handsome today!
What Matt heard: I want you!
What I said: I missed you today.
What Matt heard: I want you.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
"Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, The LORD has done great things for them.”
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
The feel of her thin warm hand in mine, the fine soft hair running through my fingers as I so carefully place the pin curls.
I love the caress of her arms around me but I most especially love to listen to her pray. She is a
prayer warrior no doubt and when she prays I can almost hear the rush of angel’s wings in motion. Oh
her mind strays now from time to time, but when she prays, she is as sharp as a soldier in battle.
She was and is a fighter, being born with a heart condition and bed bound as a child. A life time of 80+ years, two open heart surgeries, 4 children, 11 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren and a stroke.
Looking into the eyes of my mother-n-law I still see the young vibrant woman she used to be. The strong will, sometimes stubborn set of her jaw. Oh so funny and spontaneous. A politically right woman who is not shy to passionately share her opinions, a devout and wholly given to her Lord, kind of woman. A don’t walk out of the door without her hair just so; kind of woman.
I watch her as she cares for my father in law who is crippled with Parkinson’s. His body no longer obeys his command. It betrays his alert mind. I note the way she tenderly wipes his mouth as he no longer is able control his saliva.
I study them hold hands and pray together. I pay close attention as she tenderly lifts the spoon to his lips. I listen to him remind her what she was trying to say as now, after having a stroke, her thoughts have slowed and well she forgets from time to time what she is trying to say or just plain forgets how to say it. Her humor still shows through though.
"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." Psalm 82:3-4
Our decision came on the heels of a crisis. March of ’09 changed our fabric of our lives. My husband and I are not alone as we daily raise our children, work, and care for his aging parents.
More than 20 million in the U.S. alone provide care for an aging parent or in-law.
I'm astonished as I pour over the statistics.
We have so many stolen moments together of LAUGHTER, PRAYER, TEARS, STORIES, BOARD GAMES (she is a beast with a pair of dice) AND JUST DOING LIFE TOGETHER.
It's not glamorous; it's not perfect, it's not easy, but I wouldn't have it any other way!
I know, that I know, that I know He is here. His love abounds in this home, He is full of grace and mercy and we are just where He would have us.
As for me and my house we will serve the Lord in such a time as this.
"Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come." Ps 71:17-18
We honor them and in doing so experience premiere fruits of true worship.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
But blessed is the man who trusts me, God,
the woman who sticks with God.
They're like trees replanted in Eden,
putting down roots near the rivers—
Never a worry through the hottest of summers,
never dropping a leaf,
Serene and calm through droughts,
bearing fresh fruit every season
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~ Marianne Williamson
Saturday, October 9, 2010
I don't remember a time I haven't been fascinated by the night sky and the heavenly bodies. Even as a child I could lie for hours staring into it. Somewhere in Genesis there is mention of the "stars number being as great in number as the sands of the seashore".
It fascinates me that this book we hold that was written by man’s hand....the inspired Word of God, some 4,000 years ago, foretells us what we are just beginning to find out.
It proves to me that the vast reaches of the heavenly spaces were—and are—utterly incomprehensible to man. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" Isaiah55:9
If fascinates me to think that possibly there are others out there that He has revealed Himself too in the same manner. We see the physical realm through telescopes but what of the spiritual realm......holy cow. And the above video was pointed at ABSOLUTLY NOTHING!!!
"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2Corinthians5:6-8
He set the earth on its foundations and flung the galaxies into the orbit of the Heavenlies. It makes me long for eternity to explore the mysteries He has so perfectly set in place. Like Captain Kirk or Jean Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise....
My all time favorite TV.
It affects my faith journey in that it validates that mans intellectual and finite means cannot wrap itself around an INFINITE CREATOR. It proves to me that Darwinism has nothing on Creationism....It affects me like a little kid standing at the gate of Disney World.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory"