February 28-March 1
The church sign one liners were fun, but what I read the other day on Revive Our Hearts is too good not to pass on.
S. M. Lockridge: The Bible says He’s the king of the Jews. He’s the king of Israel. He’s the king of righteousness. He’s the king of the ages. He’s the king of heaven. He’s the king of glory. He’s the King of kings, and He is the Lord of lords. Now that’s my King!
David said the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork. No means of measure can define His limitless love. No far-seeing periscope can bring into visibility the coastline of His supplies. No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessings.
He’s God’s Son. He’s the sinner’s Savior. He’s the centerpiece of civilization. He stands alone in Himself. He’s august. He’s unique. He’s unparalleled. He’s unprecedented. He’s supreme. He’s pre-eminent. He’s the loftiest idea in literature. He’s the highest personality in philosophy. And He’s the supreme problem in higher criticisms. He’s the fundamental doctrine of true theology. He’s the corner necessity of spiritual religion. And that’s my King!
He’s the miracle of the age. He’s the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him. He’s the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously. He supplies strength for the weak. He’s available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes, and He saves.
He guards, and He guides. He heals the sick. He cleanses the lepers. He forgives sinners. He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He spells the unfortunate. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent, and He beautifies the meek.
Do you know Him? Well, my King is the key of knowledge. He’s the wellspring of wisdom. He’s the doorway of deliverance. The glory is all His. Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever and ever—and when you get through with all the forevers, then amen. (Amen!)
Opening my email, a Dillards' advertisement encouraged me to check out some fabulous Objects of Desire. Turning on HGTV, I became envious of the beautiful home make overs. Wait!
Stop! Be on the alert, these temptations are not from the Lord! Jesus is the object of my heart's desire!
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.
They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
Earlier in the month, a tune came into my head and I added my own lyrics singing "Joy and Jesus, Joy and Jesus….You can't have one without the other."
It was driving me nuts trying to figure out what song the tune belonged to. "Soup and sandwich" is the first combo that came to mind and I thought maybe it was an old Campbell's soup jingle. Typing into Google, "You can't have one without the other" was the needed clue to find this old Frank Sinatra song!
There are so many things in life we can't have without Jesus…inexplicable love, a peace that passes understanding, forgiveness from on high, and life everlasting!
Think about these things that are impossible to have without God: Without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6 Without him nothing was made that has been made. John 1:3 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8
Love and Marriage, Frank Sinatra Love and marriage, love and marriage Go together like a horse and carriage This I tell you brother You can't have one without the other
Love and marriage, love and marriage It's an institute you can't disparage Ask the local gentry And they will say it's elementary
Try, try, try to separate them It's an illusion Try, try, try, and you will only come To this conclusion
Love and marriage, love and marriage Go together like a horse and carriage Dad was told by mother You can't have one without the other
February 25 You know those big foam #1 fingers you can get and put on your hand to cheer for your #1 team? Maybe we need one of those that says "Jesus is #1 in my life!"
This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.
1 John 4:13-15
Yes, we should live life in a way that it points to the way Jesus lived and loved, but if we aren't willing to speak his name, then it would appear to me there is something of which we are ashamed about him. When we introduce one person to another, we share their name.
Have we spoken the name of Jesus lately? Have we given testimony to what He has done for us? Would others recognize Jesus is our best friend? Jesus knows the answers to these questions. The words in BOLD in the verse are verbs…action words. They have awesome definitions: Testify: serve as evidence or truth of somethings existing or being the case Acknowledge: :express or display gratitude for or appreciation of :recognize the fact or importance or quality of :accept or admit the existence of truth of "Go and tell," Jesus says. Open your mouth and point others to Him. As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you. Mark 5:18-19 I know there are those of you who are saying it doesn't do any good to shout from the street corners. That is not what I am saying. I'm saying we need to unashamedly speak the name of Jesus to others in our everyday conversation. It's refreshing, it's encouraging, it's critical to their eternal health! Easter is coming. Be bold. Print out a favorite scripture. Keep it in your wallet. Ask God to place the person in front of you this week, who needs to hear that Jesus died for him!
There is such peace in recognizing God is a "know it all"! One of the most encouraging passages in the Bible is found in Jeremiah 29:11-13
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on my and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Today's church sign quote is "Truce is stronger than friction." Boy did I ever see that play out in real life yesterday. We were greeters at church and a short sarcastic comment made to us made me bristle up. It was definitely a dart from the devil. In less than a minute, God sent a woman, who had already gone into church ten minutes earlier, back outside. She wrapped her arms around me and gave me a hearty thank you for a simple note I had written. I gave her a deer in the headlights look, for little did she know she was being Christ to me. I told her what had just happened and how I was about to fall into the temptation of taking on a not too pleasant attitude, but her kind words and hug brought me back to my senses. God is flat out amazing y'all! He knows not only every beat of our hearts, but every thought we have before it even crosses our minds. I was blown away by His presence.
My memory verse for this week is Joel 2:13…Return to the Lord your God for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
That is the exact equipping I needed yesterday…to be so in the Lord that no matter what smacked me in the face I would be
In Order to understand God, you must stand under God."
Ha! I heard some of you just say, "I'd rather stand under the mistletoe." You might think that, but if you stop to think out of this world thoughts and ponder who God is and the promises he has for us you'd be happy to be under him!
To know God is to love God!
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:8
The other day I overheard someone saying how she was still learning new things about her husband, which amazed her. What if we set out to learn something new from God's Word every day? What if we went a step further and shared that knowledge with others? God totally understands us and although he stands over us, he carries us in his arms a good part of the time!
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. but we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves just as he is pure.
Yesterday, began the Lenten season, traditionally 47 days of examination with fasting and repentance, which lead up to the grandest celebration of our faith..EASTER!
I'm doing an online study with a group of women, using a guide called Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross,
by the She Reads Truth Ministry. If you'd like to join us, email me and I will put you on the forwarding list. firstname.lastname@example.org
The introduction to the study states:
"We will RETURN, kneeling at the cross of our Lord.
We will REPENT, mourning the depth and reality of our sin.
We will REMEMBER, tracing the path of Christ on His journey to the Cross."
I've printed off the Psalm below as a prayer to the Lord in preparation for a time of seeking to draw closer to Him in these weeks ahead!
Message A David Psalm, After He Was Confronted by Nathan
About the Affair with Bathsheba
love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record. Scrub
away my guilt; soak out my sins in your laundry. I know how bad I’ve been; my
sins are staring me down. You’re the One
I’ve violated, and you’ve seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil. You
have all the facts before you, whatever you decide about me is fair. I’ve been
out of step with you for a long time; in the wrong since before I was born. What you’re after is truth from the
inside out. Enter me, then;
conceive a new, true life.
Soak me in
your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set
these once-broken bones to dancing. Don’t look too close for blemishes, give
me a clean bill of health. God, make a fresh start in me; shape a Genesis week
from the chaos of my life. Don’t throw me out with the trash or fail to
breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my
sails! Give me a job teaching rebels your ways, so the lost can find their way
home. Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God and I’ll sing anthems
to your life-giving ways. Unbutton my lips, dear God. I’ll let loose with
"We accept all denominations: 10s, 20s, 50s, 100s…"
While this church sign spoof is intended to get an offering laugh, we can read this and hold to the truth that all church denominations will be accepted into heaven as long as the individual who has worshipped, in said place, has surrendered to Christ and calls him Lord of all!
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Romans 8:35, 37
All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.
seek to extend as much grace to your husband as God has extended to you.
For this is the original message we heard: We should love each other.
1 John 3:11 (MSG)
The woman in the photo above is a teacher in our area and a member of our church. I look forward to her glowing smile and warm hug each Sunday. We've been privileged to get to know her fiancé, before he popped the question, and are excited for this period of engagement for them.
Engaged..what a KOOL word for a precious, yet practical, God ordained process.
Some Merriam Webster definitions, which hold critical elements for a successful marriage are:
Pledged to be married. Betrothed.
Greatly interested. Committed
Being in gear. Meshed.
Involved in activity. Occupied
A good synonym and new word for my vocabulary is affiance: trust, confidence.
As husband and wife, we are called to love one another, but the actions listed above are the instruments which create the depth of that love (along with Christ being our first love, scripture being honored in the union, and prayer and forgiveness being the glue that holds the love together forever)!
Oh, the depth of the riches of both the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
Hmm? So why do we even seek God's direction if it is beyond us. Finishing up a study on Jonah with some sweet, sincere, sisters in Christ today, we gain insight from Priscilla Shirer. "If we lean on our own understanding, logic and wisdom, divine perspective will reman hard to come by. But to those willing to become like children and submit to an object lesson broken down into its most simple parts, God promises to reveal His will and his perspective with startling clarity."
On this Valentine weekend, I hope you take time to reflect on the deep, deep, unimaginable love God has for us.
A quiet heart
is content with what God gives.Matthew 5:8
us too much to want us to go our own way.1 Corinthians 13:13
God's way of helping us descend with the mind into the heart.Psalm 51:10
At the heart
of God is the desire to give and to forgive.
A rather bold aside, but a burden which you may be saying is really none of my business, is that I'm praying you will keep your heart and mind pure and that you will not go see the movie luring many into theaters this weekend. What we view with our eyes stays in our hearts and minds.
Here are some excellent articles well worth the read, related to this new movie release.
Oh, yeah, I will be getting me some baby love this weekend. I'm heading off to grab some grands today and bringing them home to play! The weather prediction for outside is frightfully cold, in the teens, but inside we will be warming things up!
Hopefully, we will talk about life and Jesus everyday! I've laminated some heart shapes with scripture verses on them so we can play "Hide and Seek the Hearts." If the NSA is peeking in, they will be finding praise parties in our pajamas in the bounce house with maracas and tambourines!
In Matthew 18:1-5 Jesus gives us some advice on Childlike faith! This is the Message Translation.
At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, "Who gets the highest rank in God's kingdom?" For the answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, "I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom. What's more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it's the same as receiving me.
"A true Christian could give their parrot to the town gossip."
Also, a true Christian could own a Samsung TV without concern for who the third party monitor was. (The news broadcast this week that possibly your TV is watching/listening to you!) It's a challenge to go through a conversation without the discussion of another person coming up. Even our Bible Study and prayer groups can get off track and turn gossipy in our requests for others. A good rule of thumb is to say nothing you wouldn't want repeated to the person being discussed. God knew this would be a problem, so he had advice laid out for us in Proverbs. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trust worthy person keeps a secret. Proverbs 11:13 A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends. Proverbs 18:8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts. Proverbs 16:28 Instead: May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:5-7
"It would appear we are entering a time of persecution," a young woman shared over dinner the other night.
"Christians are in the minority now," a godly mentor spoke over me yesterday.
"God's Word tells us to expect trials and attacks, but it's shocking when those come from within the Body of Christ," a treasured friend shared over lunch.
A text from a BFF concerning false accusations a fellow believer launched against her husband has had me wanting to take a paddle to the skies in hopes of knocking a few demons down.
All four of these sisters, while discouraged at times, recognize the attacker. They share the spiritual knowledge of a sacred ceremonial shake down they can call upon at times of attack…Giving glory to God! Speaking the name of Jesus! After this (Jesus had chosen the Twelve)the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few…Go I'm sending you out like lambs among the wolves…The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." Luke 10:1-3, 17
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
February 10 Isn't it a comfort to know that God created each of us uniquely and has no desire for us to become like any other human being? When our children were school aged, a mother from the school called me irate one afternoon and needed to vent her anger. While picking up her children, one of the middle school teachers said to her, in front of her daughters, I wish this one could be like her sister. UGH! We may have great admiration for another person, but God only wants us to desire to be like Jesus!
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son. Romans 8:28-19
God had these words for the prophet Jeremiah, but they are equally true for the way he knows each of us and created each of us with a purpose.
The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born…
"Prayer is asking for rain. Faith is carrying an umbrella."
Out of our 24 hours in a day, how many of those hours do we spend in prayer?
It is the most powerful tool we have in our human arsenal.
Out of the prayers we pray, how many do we believe by faith God will answer?
Lord, we pray this day filled with faith from your Word which tells us you hear and we pray with elated expectancy that the way you answer will behold your best for our lives. In Jesus Name, Amen Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God. Matthew 21:22 (MSG) If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get this help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, with a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open. James 1:5-8
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.
Earlier in my chaotic week, I had jotted down the phrase sorting out life's details on a sticky note. I'm certain at that moment I was in a prioritizing process. After looking at that note, I prayed and asked God if there were things I should not be doing. His answers are always insightful…Check your heart, if you are really doing something for Jesus there will be joy.
An hour later, while listening to an old podcast by Alistair Begg, he reminded his listeners that only the things done for the Lord will withstand time. All other activity is like rubbish. Let's check our joy barometers today! May all we do be done to the glory of God and reflect the Son!
I'm sympathizing with how our oldest grandson felt at this photo shoot!
I really don't have time to write this morning, but I am halting here before Jesus.
God knew exactly what he was doing when he placed Charles Stanley's devotional before me yesterday, suggesting we be aware of our mental state. I had never seen the "H.A.L.T." acronym before.
"The acronym “H.A.L.T.” stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired—four states in which we will likely make poor choices. When considering options, it is well worth waiting until a better time.
Our choices determine our direction, so consider carefully how you make decisions. Scripture is clear that we see dimly (1 Cor. 13:12); God alone views the whole picture. It is vital, therefore, to rely upon His wisdom, truth, and direction every time we select an option before us."
All four of those states had entered my world yesterday, because I had over committed myself and believing Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," was going it alone!
The hunger was the easiest to overcome with some healthy chocolate a friend gave me for my birthday!
Then emailing a cherished friend, I began to angrily unload about the aloneness and exhaustion. Fortunately, after typing ferociously, I deleted the text, cried out to God and instead asked my friend for prayer. I felt guilty for even asking for prayer, knowing she has more reason to be closer to the end of her rope than I do. She wrote back reminding me it's a privilege to pray for one another!
Poor God, did I ever unload on Him yesterday. I vowed to just keep the details between the two of us and not burden my husband, but instead be sure I was showered, dressed nicely and in Boojoyful mode when he walked through the door. Bless his heart! His day was equally as drastic! He threw out the idea of us both just disappearing and not telling anyone where we'd gone! Little did he know I was already in a Runaway Bunny state of mind.
With his insisting I share first, I let it all out. Then after sharing his story, I said, "Let's pray!" "Oh, no! There's more he said." The hour flew by and then he headed back into his hole (as we call it). "Wait!" Let's pray." By the time he reached his office we had BOTH had answers to prayer waiting on our computers/phones! Specific answers beyond belief! Praise the Lord!!!!
Today, I still have more on my plate than I can fathom getting accomplished. I don't want to answer my phone or go online, as I fear the needs others may have and me not being able to say "no." Opening another devotional it is as if God is saying, "Baby Girl, sometimes you need help."
The important thing is that in all that we do, we reflect Christ. The verses in the devotional I just read have spoken volumes to me. Tomorrow we are fortunate to be hosting a ministry event here. While I want the house to look nice, the food to be amazing, and some creative niceties to uplight the leaders who are coming here, it is most important that I be in a state of mind to love these people well. To do that I must remember.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
By their fruits you will know them.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit itself,
unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you,
and that your joy may be full.
Will you please pray for us today? We need the fruit of the Spirit, wisdom, strength, cakes and cookies not to burn (Ha), groceries to fall out of heaven, our time to be multiplied, to not become resentful and to prioritize in a way that is pleasing to the Lord.
"A friend may be waiting behind a stranger's face."
Be on the alert! God may have the best friend you've ever had enter your world today!
I laughed as I read this quote. There are two Boojoyful readers who came into my life as strangers. They began reading after a friend of their's told them about this devotional. When reading one day they learned I was coming to visit near their homes, which were in SC at that time. My sister had graciously invited several of my friends and me to her vacation home in that area for my 50th birthday. These two women threw the loveliest birthday luncheon for a bunch of strangers! These women, still to this day, encourage me weekly to keep on keeping on in my faith! Oh, how I hope our homes in heaven are close together!
I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts.
If we keep our hearts open, happiness can come in when we least expect it. Let's get looking for that camaraderie today! Remember, God is always doing a new thing and it just might be a new friend.
Oh, Lord, turn a stranger into a sweet spot of friendship in our lives today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
For me, one of the financial perks of living in a rural community is the lack of shopping. The temptation of my favorite shopping ground, Home Goods, is far away and not available online. Merriam-Webster says to yearn is to have a strong desire or wish for something or to do something. Chris Tomlin wrote a song called Better Is One Day referencing Psalm 84. How lovely is your dwelling place, Oh, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, it even faints for You…my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. WOW. The presence of the living God, now that's something to yearn for! The temptation for things is tough The temptation to be accepted by what appears to be the in crowd is a lure. Paul shares with us, in Philippians 4:11-13 a secret he unlocked. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength. Lord, may our greatest yearning be for you. In Jesus' Name. Amen
Continuing with the church sign statements, this one carries a Difficulty Level of 10. While we need the strength of the Lord and equipping of the Holy Spirit to pull this one off, it is good for our health!
"Learn to accept the apologies you never get."
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone,
forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.
February 2 Awakening to the Lord's day yesterday, I said to him, "Father may my praise be passionate and my worship of you be pure today. May I feel Your love and clearly hear where you are guiding. In Jesus' Name." Then I thought: Who am I to seek His presence with such confidence? I disappoint Him time and time again. Mess up, after mess up, yet the love of The Father is so deep, his forgiveness so convincing, that I keep coming to him.
"Jesus turns a mess into a message."
This statement may take us to the thoughts of Bible heroes like Rahab the harlot, or the woman at the well, who was sleeping around. Maybe head liners like Paul in his Saul days or David and his downfall moments, who left us amazing life messages.
We each have a "Messages from Moments" woven into our lives. The question is…Are we telling them and giving God the glory for the transformations he has brought about in our lives?
We will not hide them from their descendants;
we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord.
For Christmas, a friend gave me a "Church Signs Calendar" with catchy phrases. Instead of focusing on a love theme for February, I'm going to tap into some of these quotes and see where the Spirit leads us.
"Check out our pray mate of the month!"
Snuggled up next to my husband early this morning and said, "You are an awesome pray mate."
I'm so thankful many of you, who read Boojoyful are my passionate pray mates!
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:20
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation' the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41