Time for an Update!

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On April 25th, I wrote about having to take a blogging hiatus. After several months of dealing with various infections (bronchitis, sinus, ear, flu), I ended up in the ER with pneumonia. All of this upper respiratory stuff took a big toll on me and I needed a lot of rest and sleep.

I think I’m finally getting to the other side of this mess, so I will soon resume blogging. I hope to get back to my previous Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday schedule, but if I find my health backsliding again, I’ll  just post once a week for awhile.

Thank you all so much for sticking with me. It means the world to me! Never forget that God is good all the time, all the time God is good!

And my soul shall be JOYFUL in the Lord;
It shall REJOICE in His salvation.
Let them shout for JOY and be glad,
Who favor my righteous cause;
And let them say continually,
“Let the Lord be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”
And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness
And of Your praise all the day long.
—Psalm 35:9, 27-28

A Splinter Tells All {Repost}

Today’s post is by my friend, Patricia Knight. I’m so thankful that Pat shares these devotionals with me so that I can share them with you when I am not physically up to working much on my blog. Enjoy!

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 A Splinter Tells All

By Patricia Knight

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievance you may have against one another and everyone else” (Colossians 3:12-13).

It was only a small splinter in the thumb, but so irritating, like a myriad other things in life that get under one’s skin.  Whenever the thumb brushed against something, the area was painful.  Such is the way of annoyances, disappointments, and consequences in our lives.  We carry them around like prized possessions, allowing their barbs to constantly poke at our weaknesses.

It seems as we progress in life that we would be able to overlook a small infraction or offense toward us because we have far greater issues to confront.   However, our emotions are alive and well, ready to exhibit arrogance and indignity.  Perhaps we cannot dictate our physical aches and pains but we most certainly want to maintain the ability to minimize the emotional and spiritual trauma we experience.

God commands us to love our enemies and to do good to those who hurt us.  He teaches kindness and understanding.  God promotes humility and forgiveness.  We are told to follow His example, mimicking Jesus.

During the years Jesus ministered on earth, He was doubted, ignored, tricked, tempted, and maligned in every possible way.  Not only people’s words, but also the negative motives Jesus could see in their hearts were hurtful to Him.

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Let us minimize the suffering we do by reaching out to others in love even when we don’t think they deserve it.  We have never deserved the love God lavishes upon us.  God’s grace gives us what we do not deserve.  God’s mercy does not give us what we do deserve.  Let us extend similar grace and mercy to others.  If we learn to duplicate but a portion of compassion and forgiveness God extends to us, we may be relieved of emotional anxiety and baggage.  At the same time we could improve our personal relationships, learn the value of peace of mind, and obey our God, who commands us to love others as we do ourselves.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to relieve our emotions of all the splintered relationships we have been nurturing?  The loss would be our gain.

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Sunday Praise and Worship: #Joyful, Joyful

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For the past month or so I’ve been sharing different Scripture passages about JOY on Facebook and Twitter. I started reading Bible passages about JOY to keep my mind focused on Jesus, no matter how I’m feeling. Then it dawned on me that others are probably having the same struggle, so I began searching for passages to share on social media.

Beloved, if you are living with any kind of burdens, you know that holding on to your JOY in the midst of those struggles is not easy. It is a choice that has to be made every single day.

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.
—Psalm 95:1-17

While  you listen to Casting Crowns singing “Joyful, Joyful,” lift up your hands and hearts to “the God of glory and the Lord of love.” How can we not be JOYFUL in the Lord our Maker and the Rock of our salvation?

Joyful, joyful, we adore You
God of glory, Lord of love
Hearts unfold like flowers before You
Opening to the sun above
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness
Drive the dark of doubt away

 

 Please excuse any ads that may appear before the video begins
If for whatever reason you cannot view this video, you can read the complete lyrics here.

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#JOY Mishmash

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Today’s mishmash is brought to you by the word JOY. The dictionary describes JOY as:

  • the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires
  • a state of happiness or felicity
  • a source or cause of delight

However, this definition of Christian JOY by John Piper is the kind of JOY I’m writing about:

Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the Word and in the world.¹

I haven’t done this in awhile, so today I’d like to share another of the devotionals I wrote for the anthology titled Anytime Prayers for Everyday PeopleThis particular devotional was included in the section titled “Prayers of Praise and Thanksgiving.

When I want to thank God for His joy . . .

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

—Psalm 100:1-2
 

[The  LORD says] The joy of the LORD will fill you to overflowing.
You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.

—Isaiah 41:16 NLT
 

We are praying . . . that you will be filled with his mighty,
glorious strength so that you can keep going  no matter what happens—
always full of the joy of the Lord.

—Colossians 1:11 TLB
 

You will make known to me the path of life;
in Your presence is fullness of joy.
—Psalm 16:11 NASB
 

Be full of joy in the Lord always.
I will say it again, be full of joy.

—Philippians 4:4 NCV

. . . I will pray.

Glorious Father,

Today I woke up singing a praise song that I heard on the radio yesterday. I guess it must have settled into my mind because I remember hearing it play through my dreams during the night as I slept. What a wonderful way to start the day! No matter how tired, cranky, or achy I feel when I wake up, praising You in song overcomes any pain or irritation I may be experiencing.

There are so many reasons to be joyful when thinking about You. Knowing I can always turn to You for guidance makes me smile with gratification. Your comforting arms holding me close make me sigh in blissful contentment.

Your heavenly joy becomes visible when I hear the delighted giggling of a child or see the tiny hands and feet of a newborn baby. And how can I not rejoice with You when a glorious rainbow paints the sky? I always appreciate Your readiness to show me the joys in life, especially when I’m at my lowest. You give me joy enough for each and every day. Thank You for Your gracious gift.

Amen.

I have no understanding of a long-faced Christian.
If God is anything, He must be joy.

—Joe E. Brown

¹ How Do You Define Joy?


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[From Anytime Prayers for Everyday People. Copyright © 2006 Bordon-Winters LLC]


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Sunday Praise and Worship: Even So Come

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Beloved, are you tired of all the stuff of life here on earth these days? Are you longing for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ as much as I am? If so, you will love “Even So Come” by  Chris Tomlin if you haven’t heard it yet. If you have heard it before, you can sing along with me as you joyfully anticipate His coming. In fact, this song has been playing through my mind and heart for quite a while, especially this part:

Like a bride
Waiting for her groom
We’ll be a church
Ready for You
Every heart longing for our King
We sing
Even so come
Lord Jesus come

Let’s not become weary of the storms of life as we wait for the return of Jesus. Instead, believe and trust in the prophetic words of God in the Book of Revelation:

He who testifies to these things says,
“Surely I am coming quickly.”
Amen.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
—Revelation 22:20-21

 Please excuse any ads that may appear before the video begins
If for whatever reason you cannot view this video, you can read the complete lyrics here.

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#Joyful Singing: I Love You, Lord

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Life has been interesting lately. I have been trying to escape the grip of bronchitis and its associated ear and sinus infections for a couple of months. I’ll have a day or two when I feel that finally I’m getting over it. And then, wham! I am back to almost where I started. And this is in addition to my chronic pain illnesses.

There have been times I’ve been tempted to cry out in despair. Will I ever get over this sickness? Why do I seem to pick up every bug that’s going around? Why can’t I lead a more normal life?

That’s when this simple song comes into my mind. It is my very favorite and has been for some time. I find myself singing it in my heart and mind at all times of the day, as well as during the night and it is still playing there when I wake up during the night to change position or if I have to get up to take meds. 

The lyrics are so soothing to me and are a constant reminder that I can always count on my King for comfort, peace and joy. What I really love about this song is that I am singing it to my Lord and Savior Jesus as I praise Him for who He is and what He has done for me.

The song “I Love You, Lordwas written by Petra.

But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
    let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
—Psalm 5:11

Please excuse any ads that may appear before the video begins

If for whatever reason you cannot view this video, you can read the complete lyrics here.

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