You Can’t Have My Joy by Kenika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 35:9 And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation.

There’s this old gospel song that comes to mind where the lyrics say something like, “This joy I have the world didn’t give it, (and) the world can’t take it away.”  I have so much to say about joy right now! When you get a minute, read all of Psalm 35. It is super intense, but you will better understand verse 9.  After all that God has done for me, and all that He continues to do for me, I have experienced joy.  I’m willing to fight for this joy, His joy.  I’m willing to hang on with much hope to this joy.  Others didn’t provide the joy that I have, so they can’t take it away.

The day that I gave my life to Jesus Christ I was able to exchange my past for His design for my future. I exited death and received a guarantee for eternal life. Tell me, what’s more joyful than that? There is nothing that can measure up to that joy and there is nothing worth forfeiting living out that joy on a daily basis.  It’s so empowering to know that it cannot be taken from me.  The only way I don’t experience it regularly is if I choose to allow anyone or anything to cause me to momentarily forget.  They can’t have my joy or yours.  Don’t worry about what’s going on around you, relish with excitement and joy the work that’s already been done in you!

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Relaxing This Summer by Sonya

 

 

 

Relaxing this summer is something I am trying to focus on and allow God to do His will for my life and not control and plan everything. I have a hard time relaxing as my family of six keep me busy with all of their activities. I feel the need to keep up with everything to not let anyone I love down. But as I am doing that I realize I am letting God down by giving Him my leftovers and not resting at His feet. This reminds of the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42. Martha was distracted and kept busy with her tasks at hand while Jesus was visiting and Mary chose to sit at the Lord’s feet and listen and relax with Him. The Lord says in verse 41 and 42, “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” This story has so much meaning as we live out our lives because we have the choice to relax at Jesus’ feet or get caught up in the busyness of life.  If we continue to be caught up in the world we miss the opportunity to be with Him. This summer God is reminding me to not miss out on spending time with Him and having that be part of my day and giving Him my attention first. When I do that it has caused my days to be peaceful and be able to rest in His presence and recognize Him each day. I love the verse I have in my living room as a reminder, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Finding the stillness in our everyday and seeking His presence will help us relax this summer. Are you ready to relax with Him this summer? Put on your sunglasses and let’s bask in the SON

 

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Pain Surfing by Bombi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been seven and a half years since my dad passed away and at times it seems like it happened just yesterday. People throw around the saying that time heals all wounds but I beg to differ. The longer it has been sometimes feels like it’s getting harder. Even as I type these words tears are coming down my face and my heart is feeling that pain. Father’s Day came and went this year and while it was spent celebrating and showering my husband with gifts and love, my heart ached for my father. To be able to hug my father again, to see his face again, and to hear his laugh would mean so much. To be in the presence of a humbled man. I miss him so much. Sometimes my heart feels like it’s going to be crushed by the pain. I’m thankful for my husband who is there when these waves of pain and grief hit. He is there to comfort me and hug me. He tells me that if Pops were alive we’d all have chocolate pie with him. Those hand held little pies were one of his most favorite sweets.

I never know exactly when these times of hurt will hit. But when they do I often think of Jesus’ own grief. The shortest verse in the entire Bible of just two words holds a snapshot into the humanity of our Savior. I know that He is well acquainted with grief, therefore He knows just how it feels and just what it takes to ease the pains that come and go. I’m thankful for a Savior that knows my heart and experiences first hand. He knows them, and He has the ability to heal the hurts and the wounds and comfort the brokenhearted like no one else can. And one day He will wipe every tear from every eye, and death and pain will cease to exist. Praise the Lord!

 

Jesus wept.” ~John 11:35

 

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Spring Forth by Kenika

 

Just do it already.  Forgive the ones that hurt you, let go of the situations that disappointed you, release people from the figurative debts they owe you, and forget about the bad things (and the good things) that once were.  Prepare yourself to experience something better, something newer.  It’s not anything you’ve ever seen before, so it will probably be difficult to wrap your mind around.  It won’t come in the way you’re used to, so it may take a while to convince you. But if you stay bogged down in the “should a” “would a” “could a” of life you’ll never experience anything in it’s fullness.

In the book of Isaiah, the prophet, God is speaking through this vessel and trying to get His people back on track, to walk in the full understanding of what He’s done and what He will do. Isaiah 43:19, “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”  He’s trying to let them know that deliverance from Babylon is inevitable and also that ultimate deliverance from sin, through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, will come as well.  (Read the verses surrounding 19) He says “behold” or pay attention; marvel; admire the fact that I’m doing a “new thing.”  A new thing is something that hasn’t been done before.

He goes on to say, “I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” He’s calling to their remembrance how God delivered them from Egypt. The Red Sea was parted for them to walk across on dry land, and God continued to provide and make a way during their 40 years in the wilderness. I don’t know about you, but I would be totally happy if God delivered me in that way again! I’m sure the Children of Israel wouldn’t have minded a repeat either.  This is what makes God great.  He can certainly do the same, predictable, things over and over again but Isaiah is saying, “Stop, pay attention, be amazed” because God wants to do something new. This deliverance from Babylon will be greater than even the most extraordinary ways they were delivered before.  It was probably hard for them to fathom deliverance greater than a sea parting in half, but they are encouraged nonetheless to believe.

The verse goes on to say, “now it shall spring forth” or “already it is springing up.”  It’s already happening! He’s telling them to look at the fact that God is doing a new thing right now, and then Isaiah says it shall spring forth, but a better translation is that it is already springing forth! The new thing they need God to do is already happening! How awesome is that?  That’s why I started out by saying that it’s time to let go and essentially lose some weight. What do I mean by that? Letting go of the dead weight that’s holding you down, whatever it may be, and behold what God is doing.  As Alpha and Omega, God knows our beginning and our end.  He’s already done all that He is ever going to do but to us it will all be new!  It’s already happening, it has sprung forth, perceive it, embrace it, believe it, live it.

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