Saturday, August 29, 2020

Need Some Joy?

Job 8:21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.  

We all need joy in our life in order for life to make sense, right? Otherwise, how miserable it would be to just exist and feel no joy at all. We have all met people from time to time that have been robbed of their joy due to life's circumstances. I think it is disheartening  when I meet people who rob themselves of their own joy. No matter how much you try to help them see the good in life they see the negative, always complaining and in a state of major self pity. Let's be honest, we are all guilty!

There are people who should not have any joy because of life's circumstances and yet they do have real joy.  That is amazing to me because they manage to enjoy God's blessings in the midst of it all. 

Joy comes from God and He gives it to anyone who wants to receive it and even when life happens and bangs us up, it will be where we least expect it. 

Joy has come to me in many forms....some times from a scripture, a child, a friend, a flower, a butterfly, the ocean, artwork, etc....and when I least expect it! 

In times of joy, all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag. - W.H. Auden
 This picture was taken on one of my walks on March 31, 2008.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

A Different Path

When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. Exodus 13:17a

As children we begin to dream or plan of what we want to be when we grow up. When I was young I believed that I would be a missionary in some far away country leading people to Christ and a better life. I never saw myself married or having children. Instead I have been married, divorced, re-married with 4 children and 11 beautiful grand~kids. I have served in ministry since the age of 21 here in South Florida and to some people this is a far away country. God had a different plan for my life and it is not at all the plan I was making in my head. 

When I read the passages of scripture in Exodus it reminds me that God controls our destiny as He did the destiny of the Israeli nation. Life brings us things that we do not always understand what the purpose is in our lives and the lives of those around us. This is where our faith comes in and we must trust God in what He is doing. 

Everything God does in our lives is about His Kingdom so I have learned not to take it personally when my life takes a different path. There are many things I did not plan such as dealing with alcoholism and drug addiction. This is an area of difficulty for me to watch family and friends who are ruining their lives with their addictions. I used to believe I had all the spiritual answers to assist them to change their behavior only to be disappointed. I now realize I can't change anyone not even myself but I can continue to pray for them and help when they ask.

An unplanned route will often strengthen your faith!


Saturday, August 15, 2020

Home is a Sanctuary

II Corinthians 6:18 "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters," says the Almighty.

written July 22, 2001:
My 21 year old daughter told me today at church that during her devotions this week she found a verse that reminded her of me. Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence, and his children shall have a place of refuge. She said to me after I read the verse, "that is why I come home so's my refuge."

Our home should be a sanctuary for every family member, parents, children and even the dog. Thank you Lord for allowing my home to be a sanctuary, a refuge, a safe place.

 This picture was taken in my home March 18, 2012. The Amaryllis are from my garden.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Who Am I?

Written May 2013:

I Peter 2: 9-10 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

 There have been years of my life where I have been a wife, a mom, a grandma, etc. Also, a time in my life where I felt like my life consisted of being a taxi driver for my kids and all their social events. As a wife and a mom you tend to lose your identity in the family and forget who you were or why God created you in the first place. 

In order to gain perspective and find myself again I would take a trip with my own mom or visit my family and friends in Tennessee. There I would find myself again. It was always good for me, refreshing and gave me the strength to come back home and begin again with a renewed spirit.

My mom is great to travel with because she makes it a fun and enjoyable time for me and for everyone who comes along.Visiting family and friends consist of laughs and memories that we all share. Laughter is always good for the soul and this is just one way to keep me balanced! 

John Maxwell wrote: If you desire to change yourself, then start with your mind. Believe you can improve, that you can change into the person you desire to be. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." If your thinking changes, then everything else can follow.

I've always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should have been more specific.~Lily Tomlin

This picture was taken from my driveway watching the sun set in 2012.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Surrounded by Joy Takers!

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:27

A prayer I wrote on February 11, 2004:

Dear Lord,
I appreciate the scripture up above because today I have a wounded spirit. My day began with a reprimand from a loved one that was not deserved and very hurtful. Other situations arose today and now I feel beaten down. Lord, give me the strength to do what needs to be done. I am tired, sad and discouraged - only emotions that I know you can heal. So will wait and continue on to do what needs to be done. 

Lord, give me the strength to keep going and to want to keep moving forward. I cry, I pause, I pray, I wait! It's only pain, it's real but nothing compared to the pain Christ suffered for me. I don't always understand what plan God has for me but I just trust in faith and continue to walk in His will for my life. 

My heart is broken today! I have been surrounded by "joy-takers". Too many for me to handle all in one day. I remind myself that even though I may be down I know God is still working. So I cry, I pause, I pray, I wait. Lord, only you can restore my joy! Thank you Lord.....

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

This picture was taken at Bethesda by the Sea Church in April 2013.