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Word Active
Word Active

Many of us live our lives and truly believe that we are saved and that we will go to heaven one day, but so many people are not living the life that Jesus died for them to have.   Jesus died so that you may have and enjoy your life. He didn’t suffer on the cross for you to live a ho-hum, meager existence.  No, when He shed His blood on the cross for you, you were given a tremendous opportunity- an open door of blessing and favor.

God is so good and He blesses us richly.  So, why not take this authority He died for us to have?  The bible is an ever powerful teacher.  It is a book that you can never study too much.  Every time you open the Word, life seed is poured out upon you.

We are commanded to preach the Word.  2Corinithians 2:14 “Now wherever we go he uses us to tell others about the Lord and to spread the Good News like a sweet perfume.  Our lives are a fragrance presented by Christ to God…We preach God’s message with sincerity and with Christ’s authority.  And we know that the God who sent us is watching us.”

You see, Jesus is the Word.  John 1:1-14 “In the beginning the Word already existed.  He was with God, and he was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  He created everything there is.  Nothing exists that he didn’t make.  Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone.  So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us.  He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.  And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father. 18 No one has ever seen God.  But his only Son, who is himself God is near to the Father’s heart; he has told us about him.”

So, if Jesus is the Word, and God and Jesus are as one, why are we not living our lives to the fullness He died for us to have?  God’s blessings are plentiful, and they are for each one of us.  The Bible, the Word is filled with scriptures of life and blessing.  Seek them out on a regular basis.  You will never know what you are missing if you don’t look inside.

Blessings:  Heather Joyner

 

JOY
JOY

Why do some find it so hard to get through the day with any joy and others seem so full of joy?  Hmm.  Don’t you just love it when you are having a full out yucky day and the person next to you is laughing and joking?  Well, I have learned this for sure….life is way too short to even let one minute go by in anguish, self-pity, regret, anger, envy, fear or if-onlys.   You see, when God created us, He saw the end.  He didn’t just look at one instance, one moment in time.  No, he saw the big picture and it is time we do too.  We, definitely talking to myself here too, need to get our minds off of ourselves.  When we take the time to look around and truly see what is going on around us, we can see what God sees.   We were created to love one another.  Jesus tells us that the greatest of all is love, and this love will last forever.  So, what exactly is love as Jesus dictates.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  Love does not demand its own way.  Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.  Love will last forever….14 Let love be your highest goal.” Woe…that’s a big order.  So what we can see here is that God has given us a heck of a job.  And if we keep our focus where He wants us to keep it, none of the mundane every-day tasks will seem so draining.  That joy that is seen in others can be seen in us.  We can be that person that others look to and wonder, “Why on earth is he or she so happy all of the time?  I know she is a single mom with two kids just barely making it by, or I know he just lost a loved one, or I know she is up to her ears in work or just lost his job…..so where would there ever be a time to be so joyful?” Here is the answer…..dun dun dunnnnn…..get your mind off of yourself and onto ways to love others.  Yup, it really is that easy.  So, today when the pressures of life fold in around you, get your mind off of yourself.  Look up and look around.  There is a whole lot of something other than yourself going on around you.  What can you do to make someone’s day?  Dare to be that person that is always smiling, regardless of the circumstances; dare to be that happy go lucky person that others wonder about and dare to be love! I encourage you to live a life filled with love and be the person God created you to be.  Your job and your circumstances don’t define who you are.  The way you love is the answer!  “For God so loved the world that He gave  His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”   Trust me…you have serious reason for joy!  So, look up, pray often, and love others….because you were made to be JOY.

Blessings:  Heather Joyner

Living a Life Pleasing the Lord
Living a Life Pleasing the Lord

Wow, now that is a powerful title.  So many times we long to please the Lord; to live a life that is good and pleasing to Him.  We wake up in the morning with such high expectations.  We may even tell the Lord that we are going to live a day just for him.  We are gong to be nice and kind to everyone.  We are not going to lose our temper.  We are not going to think or talk bad about others.  We are not going to use bad words.

Now is time for a reality check.  Our world comes to a screeching halt!  Your son has just hit your daughter and she in turn bites him, the neighbor let their dog poop on your yard, someone cut you off while driving then slowed down to below the speed limit, an irate customer blames you for something that wasn’t even your fault, your boss belittles you in front of co-workers, and your loving husband once again forgets to put his dishes in the dishwasher or bother to thank you for the gourmet dinner you made.

Wow-sound pretty typical in your life—well, it sure does to me!  Just when I’m feeling oh so “spiritual” life happens.  And sometimes you just look around and feel like your life is in utter chaos.  You have so much on your mind, so many worries about the future, so many questions, doubts and concerns.  You are always wondering—when God when, why are you waiting so long to come through for me.  I feel like I’ve done what you have asked me to do.  I pray, I give, I study the bible, and I seek your will— but nothing.  I feel like I hear nothing.

There were so many times I cried out to the Lord, then I heard it, just one sentence—“I am proud of you.”   Huh, very interesting, the Lord is proud of me.  How can that be?  I do so many things that seem so very wrong.  I yelled at my kids.  I cursed at someone under my breath.  I let my husband’s habits annoy me.  I noticed every fault in myself.  Wait a minute.  Wait a minute.  The Lord is proud of me.  That’s right me.  He is proud of me.  Little ole me, messed up me—faults and all.  He is proud of me.  Oh thank you Lord for loving and being proud of me.  And the Lord is proud of you.  Yes, really he is!  He is proud of you.  You are his sons and daughters.  You have a promise of everlasting salvation through Christ our savior and He loves you.

No, we may not live even one single day of our lives doing everything right; but thank God for sending His wonderful son Jesus Christ.  (Romans 3:22) “We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins.  And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.  For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard.  Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty…We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us…our acquittal is not based on our good deeds.  It is based on our faith.  So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.”  It is only through Jesus that we have this eternal hope.  We have favor and grace.  We can come boldly to the throne before God.  We are God’s partners.  So, don’t give up hope.  Even though it looks like our hopes and dreams may never be answered, God says in (2Corinthians 6:2) “At just the right time, I heard you.  On the day of salvation, I helped you.”  Indeed, God is ready to help you right now.  Today is the day of salvation.

Turn to God, cry out to God.  He will hear you and he will answer you.  Live a life to please God.  When life tries to bring you down—look up.  Look up to God and know that you know that there is so much more to living than just this life.  There is hope.  That hope lies in Jesus Christ.  As the apostle Paul wrote in (2Corinthians 13:11) “Rejoice.  Change your ways.  Encourage each other.  Live in harmony and peace.  Then the God of love and peace will be with you.”

The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 7:14-25 “I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it… No matter which way I turn, I can’t make myself do right.  I want to, but I can’t.  When I want to do good, I don’t.  And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway… It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong…Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin?  Thank God!  The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”  You see, we are not all perfect, and we don’t always say and do the right thing.  But it’s okay.  God loves you and He is proud of you.  Yes, you, faults and all.  So trust Him.  Turn your heart and your life to him, and know that through Jesus you are living a life pleasing to Him.

Blessings:  Heather Joyner

Bubbles and Butterflies
Bubbles and Butterflies

We have a wonderful little saying we use for the children at school when walking through the hallways: bubbles and butterflies. This means put your hands together, put a bubble in your mouth and listen quietly. This reminds me of how we need to be in our lives. We should put our hands together in prayer, close our mouths and listen to the Holy Spirit. Sounds like this should be an easy task, right? Well, this is wrong, very wrong. This is probably one of the most difficult tasks for us as adults.

If you are anything like me, you have a difficult time keeping your opinions and your thoughts to yourself. Or perhaps you are one of those people who only think of good and wonderful thoughts and you are never challenged to speak your mind. As Jesus so lovingly put it in Matthew 7:3-5 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, ‘Friend let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”

Me, have a log in my eye, never! Please, everything I do is perfect—yeah, right. It is so easy to think we are always right and that everyone else is wrong. Well, did it ever occur to me or to you that we just might be wrong once in our life? Of course not, we are always right. Then the humble attitude kicks in. Perhaps, just maybe I might be wrong every once in a while. Uggh, it’s like a stab in the heart. Don’t you just love when the Holy Spirit steps in and tells you to catch your bubble? Then after catching your bubble, he tells you to catch your butterfly.

Listening to and following the Holy Spirit is exactly what we need to do. We need to spend our time turning to God, listening to His Word and turning to prayer. Instead of turning to God, so many times we turn to our friends instead. We love to gossip and make sure someone else knows what we know. Well, I challenge you today. Just as we expect our children to catch their bubbles and butterflies, you can make a conscience effort to choose to do the same. So, the next time you feel challenged to “express” yourself, remember that we should be (Romans 14:17-19) “living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God. And other people will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony and try to build each other up.” (Romans 15:7) “So accept each other just as Christ has accepted you; then God will be glorified.”

Blessings: Heather Joyner