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Joy Bombs

“In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11, ESV

If there was ever a need for joy in our world, it’s now. But can we really expect anything more than the resonant discord and blatant disregard for humanity that runs rampant in our streets and across our airwaves? It’s true the world with its plentiful array of extravagant resources can bring moments of happiness, but lasting joy—never.

The culpability for our lack of contentment doesn’t lie at the feet of fallen humanity. Can darkness bring forth light? The lack of contagious joy in our world rests at the heart’s door of Christ followers who fall far short of being the conduits of joy we’re purposed to be. If believers adopt the despondent mindset of fallen humanity, what hope do we have for joy to permeate our society?

Christians are called to be lights in the darkness, to exhibit joy in the midst of mundaneness and sorrow. A believer’s heart holds the one necessary ingredient for joy—the love of Christ. Joy issues from an overflow of that love. Galatians 5:22 mentions the attributes of a life filled with the fruit of the Spirit. Love and joy top the list. One does not come without the other, and joy never precedes love.

Earlier this year our women’s Bible study group enjoyed Margaret Feinberg’s study, Fight Back with Joy. We were encouraged to rate our level of joy on a scale of 1-10. It was a sobering assignment and hard to be honest, but God already knew … so why not. An honest assessment was necessary in order to lay hold of a deeper, more abundant joy.

Because true joy is rooted in our sense of God’s fierce love for us, we were challenged to find joy in the commonplace. To look for “joy bombs” that God drops into the ordinariness of our day—a butterfly, that morning cup of coffee, the hug of a loved one, rain pelting the window, flowers dancing in the breeze. We found joy bombs everywhere. We’re still counting.

How about you? On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your level of joy? I challenge you to experience a deep, contagious joy by looking for joy bombs throughout your day. Then to double the pleasure—pay it forward. Be a source of God’s love and drop joy into the life of another.

It’s contagious.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Starr

Something to Crow About

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways”
(1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV)

“I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up. Not me!” —Peter Pan

 

Chiming in on this mantra as a child, seemed like a noble quest—like something I should crow about—but in reality, as an adult, I know this way of thinking is only fun in fairy tales. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for fun and games, but refusing to own up to grown-up attitudes and responsibilities ushers in mountains of hardship and pain, not only for me but for others.

 

God’s word tells us, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways” (1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV).


What childish ways do you hold onto? In what areas do you refuse to grow up? Have you spoken like a child, thought like a child, or acted like a child lately?


I think not, you say?


Think again.


When was the last time you insisted on your own way? Took something that wasn’t yours? Didn’t care what others thought? Wasted time? Talked about someone behind their back or spoke unkind words to their face?


Stings, doesn’t it?


Believe me. I feel your pain.


Perhaps we should change our mantra. How does this sound? “I wanna grow up.

I wanna grow up. I wanna grow up. That’s me!”


Yep! Letting go of our childish ways is definitely something to grow as well as crow about.


Ready? All together now…

Blessings,

Starr

 

STANDING STRONG

Introduction:

As many of our readers already know, Nicaragua is going great turmoil these days. The people are under attack in their own neighborhoods. Hundreds have died at the hands of government officials for peacefully standing for their beliefs. I do not preach or teach politics. I do teach a Biblical message of hope found in and through Jesus Christ. Many people who we have worked with and ministered to for the last nine years are in crisis. This message is written to them, and to anyone else now going through a crisis of their own,

because with Christ,

HOPE IS ALIVE!

For my precious friends in Nicaragua

There are times in our lives when everything seems to be falling apart…when we don’t know what to do next…when it seems like we’ve lost our way, and our strength. When everything is dark it is hard to see, hard to remember. But during those times it is also easy to forget that we have hope. We have hope because the promises of our God never fail! Never. It may feel that way…but the truth is – God Never Fails His Children.

“When you don’t understand what God is doing, you can Trust His heart! “  Jake Thornhill

In a time of deep trial God told Jeremiah in 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

BELIEVE HIM THIS DAY!

This time of upheaval in your country has been a DARK time. But darkness always has to flee when the light appears! And Never forget that our Jesus is the Light of the World. He sees what His children are going through. He is with us in the valley. He will calm the storm. Some storms last longer than others. But the storm always ends! And when it does, and the sun starts to shine again, it is a new day. A bright day, a day of recovery and rebuilding, a day of Bright Hope for tomorrow.

“For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning”
Psalm 30:5

Tonight, as you read this message from my heart to yours, you can know that thousands here and across the world are praying for you. We believe that our God will prevail and your country and your people will be restored. We believe in a bright, hope filled tomorrow for Nicaragua. And we look forward to the day that we can be with you again!

 We stand strong with you, ready to help right now in prayer, and tomorrow when the rebuilding begins. So, you stand strong too! In Ephesians 6:10-11 Paul says;

 10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.

 

Paul points out 5 things to us in these two short verses:

  1. It is his final word to the people.
  2. To be Strong by depending on God’s power in you – through the Holy Spirit who lives in you if you have given your life to Him.
  3. Put on His Armor – not our own fleshly armor
  4. His Promise – you WILL be able to stand firm if you do these things!
  5. Flesh and blood – people – are not our enemy. Our real enemy is the forces of evil in the unseen world. Satan.

 

Therefore, let us come together in unity – using the armor that God supplies – and defeat the real enemy of our souls! We can trust our God and His Mighty Power to bring victory to His people!

God in Peace my friends. God is watching!

Blessings,

Brenda Lancaster

 

 

photo credit: https://www.freeimages.com/photographer/thiagofest-60126