Tag Archives: joy

Joy in the Storm

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A friend recently asked how I was managing with some challenges and all I could muster was that I was relying on God’s strength.  I said, “All I have is God … and He is more than enough!”  I also said that sometimes you simply keep placing one foot in front of the other.

Of course, my daily devotions spent in the Word of God and prayer are what sustain this weary heart on the difficult days.  Despite the storm clouds that surround, “My anchor holds within the vale.”  I have a deep, wellspring of joy on the inside that is not conditional on my circumstances but is a true gift from God.

It is possible to have peace and joy regardless of the dark clouds that rage.  This world is not our final destination.  During times of struggle, I especially love to listen to some praise and worship music and praise the Lord.  When we worship God, we are inviting His presence into our lives and our situation.  I firmly believe that.  And, how I need Him.

John 16:33 says, “In this world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”

Life continually has its valleys and mountain tops.  We cannot prevent either from happening but we can control our responses to each.  We can determine in our hearts that no matter what happens, we will dig deep in His Word for wisdom, instruction, and comfort.  No matter what, we will pray and praise God for Who He is, not just for what He does for us.

When we focus on our blessings more than our problems, there is a shift in our attitude and perspective.  Whatever we focus on becomes bigger.  What would happen if we focused on God more than our difficulties?

What if we recall the countless times in the past that God has delivered us and answered prayer?  What if we praised Him in advance for all that He has planned for our lives?

What if, even through our storm, others could witness God’s strength and power demonstrated in our lives?

Joy is possible in the darkest of nights.

Peace is available too.

Faith is the seed that makes these a reality in our hearts.

…Instead of searching for the nearest exit during your storm, why not praise God for what He will teach you through the challenging circumstances?  Why not ask Him to shine through your darkness to be a blessing to others around you that they may glorify God?

When we are able to change our perspective, we are able to change our reality.

Trust God.  Pray.  Praise.  Watch Him work in your life as only He can.

Rinse.  Repeat.

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Merriest of Christmases to You!

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“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor,

                                      Mighty God,
                                                          Everlasting Father,

                                                                                                Prince of Peace.”    

                                                                                                                                      ~ Isaiah 9:6

Just wanted to pop in real quick to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

What makes a Merry Christmas?  What are the prime ingredients?

Is it the presents wrapped with beautiful paper and tied with elegant bows?  Is it found in owning the latest in technology?  Or can it be found under the Christmas tree at all?

I have received my Christmas gift already but it wasn’t wrapped or nestled under the glowing lights.

The greatest gift of all is found in knowing the love that God so extravagantly displayed in sending His one and only Son into this depraved world so that He would grow into a man, who would take our sins away and put us in right relationship with the Father.

That is the message of the Gospel.

It isn’t complicated.  It is simple.  God loved.  God gave.

It is up to us whether or not to receive such a priceless gift, the gift of spending eternity with God.

It’s just that simple.

Man tends to complicate matters, but the message of the Bible remains unchanged, unaltered throughout the ages.  It’s the message that you are a valuable soul and God loves you too much to spend eternity apart!

Won’t you accept Him today?

If you already have, then you have all that is necessary to have the Merriest of Christmases!  Jesus, the perfect Gift!

To top it off, on a personal note…

Our family has sold our house and recently moved 1,000 miles to be near our grown son.  We could not be happier to be spending our first Christmas together in the same area.  (More on our big move to come…)

To all my WP friends, new or old, here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year in 2015!

“And, now my brothers, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers.”  ~ III John 2

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God Knows Your Address

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Do you ever feel small?  That somehow you escape the mindful eye of the Creator of the universe?  

“O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!” ~ Psalm 139:1-6

I bumped into two of my dad’s cousins while I was out shopping earlier this afternoon.  One is 77 and the other around 70; both are very sweet.  I hadn’t seen them since our last family reunion a couple years ago.  I should preface this by saying that I live in an area where it’s unusual to see anyone you really know.  It’s a big, busy place.  The pace is break neck speed, always.

I actually rarely pop into the dollar store, but I needed a gift bag for a baby quilt and pillow I just made for a friend.  So, $1.00 is always the right price for me!  🙂  But, I digress…

We had the nicest time catching up on life for a few minutes and then she said she wanted to talk to me about something.  She said that she has a set of my grandmother’s china that she willed to her when she passed over thirty years ago.  They are just sitting in her basement, so she wanted to know if I’d like to have them.  How sweet of her to think of me!  I was overwhelmed at the thought of having a piece of family history and, particularly, a set of dishes my grandparents used.

You see, I was only ten when she passed away and nine when my grandfather passed, so I never really got to know them.  I do have a bracelet she left for me, which is very special.  It’s likely not worth much monetarily; however, invaluable in my heart, knowing she wanted me to have it.  I’m the sentimental one in our family, kind of the family historian of the younger generation.  I’ve done copious amounts of genealogy research and love interacting with long lost relatives, filling in missing pieces of the family puzzle, etc.  So, for my (second) cousin to offer this set of dishes was just so very special to me.  It really filled my heart with pure joy.

Isn’t it just like God to know exactly what you need?  I have found that God has been answering seemingly unspoken prayer requests lately.  They’re just desires of my heart and then before I know it, God “wows” me with a blessing!  I relish when the Lord demonstrates His love for me.

I love giving gifts!  I really do.  It’s who I am.  I’m a giver.  I’m always sewing a little quilt for someone or making up a small gift bag for a friend.  How much more does our heavenly Father enjoy blessing His children, who are walking in obedience to Him?  I am confident that He wants to bless our socks off!

I’ve been meditating on:

“The Lord is compassionate and merciful,

    slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.” ~ Psalm 103:8

As I reflected on the coincidence of meeting my two cousins at the dollar store today, I was reminded that it was totally a “God thing”.  If I had been thirty minutes earlier or later, I would have surely missed them.  In fact, I was running a little behind schedule today and it took me longer to get out the door than anticipated.  It turns out I was operating on the schedule God had planned for me today.  🙂  I love how God orchestrates our lives.  Because I was at the right place at the right time, there were blessings in store for me.  I think God likes surprises, and He certainly surprised me today.  My heart is overflowing with gratitude and praise.

The wonderful thing about God is that He is no respecter of persons.  (Acts 10:34)  What He will do for one, He will do for another.  He has no favorites.  So, just as He planned for me to be at the dollar store today, knowing it would bring joy to my heart, He has great plans for you also!  Trust Him.  Draw near and allow Him to lead and guide you into all truth today, my friend.  When we are walking in the ordained paths He has for us, blessings will follow.  Be blessed!

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