Category Archives: grace

Get On The Joy Bus!

Joy is more than just a happy word. Joy is a spiritual principle, a process of growing and maturing in your faith that allows you to not just survive life, but to thrive in the living of it. Joy can be found in the simplest of things, such as recognizing and feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin, seeing the smiling face of a cute baby or hearing the words “I love you!” Joy is so much more than just a feeling, it is a deep down assurance that you are okay and life is good.

I have found that the greatest sense of joy flows into and through my life, when I move beyond myself and begin to consider others. Serving others opens up my physical, mental and spiritual life, so that joy can flow to and through me. I am discovering that joy is not the result of a life well lived, but the cause. In other words: Joy helps me to live the life of blessing I was created to live.

Live life long enough and you are going to do battle with worry. If we are not careful, worry will act as a weed and grow all over the place before we know it. Just like we have to get rid of weeds are they get out of control, we must get rid of worry or it will take control. We cannot simply ignore it and wish that it would go away.

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-7

So we need to eradicate the weed of worry and cultivate the growth of joy in our hearts and lives. This does not happen by accident, but by our intentional effort to create the right circumstances uses the tools God has given us.

The Solution To Worry Is Joy!

Joy is not something we manufacture, joy is something we discover. We find Joy when we find God. We grow joy, when we grow our relationship with our Creator. We should have joy in who God is & what He has done! God is our loving Heavenly Creator. He wants to walk with us, talk with us and guide us to blessings in this life and the everlasting life to come. God has made a way where there was no way, because He love us and genuinely desires to have a personal and meaningful relationship with us.

Real joy praises, thanks and talks openly! It is easy to pretend you have joy, but real joy is not something you make yourself feel. It is something that bubbles up from deep inside of you. Real joy flows from our relationship with our Creator and focuses on what is right over what is wrong and creates more of the good stuff. Real joy is grateful for everything that life brings our way, knowing that God uses is all for the blessing of those that love Him and who are called according to His purposes. Real joy is honest, real and able to take on and take out anything that does not belong.

Real joy is ours because: God can and will hear and answer our prayers! God loves you, has an amazing plan for your life and wants to give you more and better than the desires of your heart. Instead of focusing on your problems and suffering the loss of joy, focus on God and His goodness and joy will find you. Once joy finds you, allow it to flow to and through you and it will grow into something truly special – a gift that keeps on giving…

You’ve Tried It Your Way???

In this thing we do called life, we all need someone we can trust. And most all of us have lived our lives long enough to have trusted and had that trust broken. Once trust is broken, it is hard to ever give it again to anyone, so we just sort of mettle through doing the best that we can. The problem with that approach to life is that we were created for relationship and we can’t really have a growing and meaningful relationship without trust. In other words: To get the most out of this life, we have got to trust someone!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” -John 3:16

God loves you and He created you for relationship. The purpose of the relationship is so that God can bless you and you can glorify God. We glorify God by trusting Him. We trust Him by receiving His blessings and we glorify Him by sharing those blessing with one another. We can call it whatever we want to: “trust/faith/belief”, but regardless of what we call it, the results are the same, it allows the stuff of God to flow to us and through us…

If Not God, Then Who?

I hate to say it, but others don’t have your best interest at heart and even if they do, they can’t even get themselves to where they need to be. There is an old saying that “Misery loves company!” Others don’t really want you to be blessed and succeed, because then they would have to feel bad because they are not being blessed and succeeding. The truth is: We can all be blessed and succeed, but someone has to be willing to trust God and start the process.

You’ve Tried It Your Way!

You’ve tried and failed, so when are you going to learn? If we will take a moment to get still, quiet and look into ourselves, we will know that we can’t, but God can and has and will if we will just trust/believe/have faith in Him. We know our ways don’t work, so let’s honestly and wholeheartedly give God’s way a try!

God has always been the way, is the way and will be the way! The Bible teaches that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. I challenge you to trust Him in all things, not just some things and watch your life line up with His blessings and before you know it – you will be blessing others for His glory…

The Benefit Of Worry!

According to the dictionary: Worry is giving way to anxiety or unease; allowing one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles. Most all of us know worry up close and personal. At some point in our life and living, we have met and started an on again, off again relationship that comes and goes. For some folks it is frequently and for others it is seldom, but for all of us, it is reality.

Worry is actually a lack of faith, which is why the Scriptures teach us not to do it. Yes, I know that’s heavy, so go back and read it again: WORRY IS A LACK OF FAITH! Faith/Trust/Belief is what allow us to have and grow in a meaningful relationship with God our Creator. The Scriptures teaches us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. So worry is a lack of the thing that we need to please God, because it is by faith that we are saved and have relationship with God.

I know this is a strong statement and I know it stings, because I have been stung by it many times in my life, but the truth is: Worry Is The Result Of Not Trusting God! We either believe what we say we believe or we don’t. There will be times that this requires us to do battle with ourselves, because our spirit is believing and pushing for one thing, while our flesh and mind are believing and pushing for something else.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are doing battle with worry:

1.) God does not promise happiness, but he does promise joy! We are not always going to be happy and not everything in this life is going to go the picture perfect way that we think it should. We will have good days and bad days. I once heard an Army Chaplin say: “All sunshine and no rain produce a desert!” Some days, life is exactly as you hoped it would be and other days you feel like you are bailing water on a sinking ship. On the good and bad days, especially the bad days, we need to look for and embrace the JOY of the LORD. If you can discover the joy of the Lord in your relationship with Him, then that joy will lead you back to happiness by teaching you that God’s ways are higher than your ways. The joy of the Lord ultimately leads to happiness, if we are paying attention…

2.) Remember: You Have A Choice: Your Way Or God’s Way? The Scriptures teach that the joy of the Lord is our strength to live life God’s way, but God never forces His way on us, we always have a choice. The problem with the choice is allowing the wrong part of ourselves to make it. We basically have two competing forces within us and often they are contrary to one another. Our head tells us one thing and our heart tells us another. Which one do we listen to? Both and neither! What we really need to be looking for is: WHAT IS GOD UP TO? God is always working to bless us, grow us and mature us, but we often get in the way of the great things he has in store for us, because things are not the way we think they should be. The good news is that because God loves you, God gives you the power of choice and you get to decide for you!

3.) Joy is choosing to trust that God is faithful no matter what! No matter what choice you make, right or wrong, God is with you and He has a plan, even when we wander off of the path that He has marked out for us. It would be easier in the long run to stay on His path, but He gives us the flexibility of learning the hard way if that is our choice.

So what is the benefit of worry? When I am worrying, it is a sure sign that I am not exercising my faith/trust/belief. It is a reminder that I need to get my attention and focus back on God and the amazing love He has for me. So the next time you find yourself in a battle with worry, let that be a reminder to you to get the focus off of self and onto God…