JOY Part I
(written early Friday morning)
It feels really
good to be out from under that long period of crisis and catastrophes
since I wrote to you last. You know, the subject line about a storm
coming referred to a meteorological storm, but it was actually an
emotional storm as well. We had two deaths in the family, one
stranded out of town, a fire, sickness and loss (or imagined loss), all
around. Praise the Lord that we've survived, and I hope all of us
are stronger for it.
It seems every
round of troubles brings us up to a higher level and more determination to
stay strong in the Lord. Although the fearful shadows of crisis
increase, and the monsters seem much bigger than before, if we keep our
eyes fixed on Jesus, the shadows melt away with His light, and we know
that joy cometh in the morning.
This joy is a
subject I’m studying with particular interest right now. Remember
that the scriptures say our Joy in the Lord is our strength? Focus
on that thought in the next coming days, my friends, because I believe God
wants to reveal something very precious to us about joy.
I know that
this was true, and I knew it years ago, but I’m understanding it and the
process in much clearer ways now. I know that our thoughts have a
drawing power and that whatever we’re feeling and thinking matches with
other forces out there. We can draw good things to ourselves or bad,
by what we choose to hold in our hearts.
To have a
spirit of thanksgiving and praise (“enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise”), you really have to have an attitude of Joy
or it’s all just false worship.
We were told
that a man must become like a little child to enter the Kingdom of God,
and joy is the natural state of a child. Bubbling, fresh, always
curious and loving unconditionally, - joy.
So if we can
perfect a spirit of joy, we can aid our entrance into the Kingdom of God
and all the blessings that membership there holds. The abundant
supply, the knowing that all is well, and the abiding with Christ.
It is His table, and we are invited to His feast – in Joy.
I thank God
that His promises to us were not all about eternal life and someday in the
future when we die. I’m SO thankful that He was equipping us for
life now and with help for immediate troubles.
Be very careful
what you keep close to your heart, and what thoughts you allow to
“nest” in your head. Shoo away the vultures and the chattering
birds but keep the dove of peace at home with you.
and fears become your reality, and they build barriers between you and
God. They hinder your prayers, or help them. They prevent your
communication with Him or speed your prayers heavenwards, depending on
which you choose.
assaulted at all times by television, radio, the written word and the
background buzz of what others around us say. Then we are especially
vulnerable to the pointed comments and barbs of our loved ones, who in
their well-meaning ways, thwart our plans of joy.
It is very
difficult for those with any spiritual preference at all, to focus on what
they believe and to hold absolute peace in their hearts, when streams of
GARBAGE thoughts and fears march through our eyes and ears daily.
Just THINK of the amount of garbage you are exposed to in just 24 hours!
It is essential
for our growth that we separate ourselves from the streams of words and
opinions that don’t line up with God’s word and with our purpose.
Jesus took himself away to a mountain or out on a lake, and He made time
for prayer. He wanted to be able to hear the voice of the Father,
and couldn’t have done that in the raucous of the crowd or the crowd’s
It is also good
to know that when you find God’s small voice, and you two begin to
communicate, it may seem like you are the only one in the world on that
path or plane of thought. It’s absolutely ok to be different from
your neighbor and loved ones. God finds us each wherever we are, and
communicates on that level, and is very patient. Don’t judge
someone else on their spiritual development because it may not look just
like yours. Trust that God has them in hand, and just say a prayer
of blessing to all you meet or pass in your day. Know that God will
take your prayer and amplify it and apply it to where they have need.
Since we were
commanded to remain in prayer, in an attitude of thankfulness and praise,
and to hold tight to our joy, this must be the key to “getting it
right”. Including good health, long life and finding meaning and
purpose to why we are here.
coming, and we have God with us at all times. Jesus is the LOVER OF
OUR SOUL, and He promised never to leave or abandon us. Not for a
moment, not for forever, and once you accept Him, you are born again into
a new set of DNA or heredity. It is a royal priesthood, a family
built around a throne, and that throne needs to reside in your heart.
Write if you
want to talk, or need prayer. Pray for us as we adjust to doing the
things God needs us to do, like updating the website and remaining in
bless you sweetly,
Lisa and Chris
added on Friday night)
guess we are not out of the crisis time completely. I received a
call from Teresa tonight, with an urgent prayer request. Her
grandmother died this morning and her brother in law died (I believe she
said last week). She is under a tremendous strain and needs her
electric bill paid by Monday. Not only is the bill huge for some
reason, but she will be in Kentucky for
her grandmother’s burial on Monday and worrying if her animals will have
died by the time she gets back home to icy old Texas.
Her health is a
big issue, please pray for her body, and finances, and emotional strength,
also that of her mother’s. Please pray that something will be
moved in the heavens to get the electric bill paid, and that all will be
We know it is in Jesus’ hands and that above all, He cares for us! Praise God! Please keep her in your prayers and her mother Shirley. Thanks!