For the last month or so I have been thinking about what it means to “rejoice in the Lord always,” and in this process I was reminded that the Lord rejoices over me. (Zeph. 3:17) During this time my husband and I were asked to babysit for our two granddaughters while my son and his wife attended their denominational conference. Because they were traveling to California and the kids were still in school they asked us to take care of the kids’ during the school week. They asked their other grandparents to take the next shift until the parents got home so no set of grandparents would be overwhelmed and the kids would get to enjoy both sets of grandparents. God used this time to speak to me about “enjoying God.” Continue reading
How many times have you thought of Nehemiah? Do you remember who he is and what he did? The verse, “The joy of the Lord is your strength,” popped into my head the other day. I wasn’t sure where to find it, but after checking it out I found it in the midst of Nehemiah’s story. (Neh. 8:10) I then checked out that verse in other Bible translations and was surprised that they were all exactly the same except for the Amplified Bible which only added “and stronghold” to your strength. It seems if we want strength for our daily walk we need to receive “the joy of the Lord” or is it “the joy in the Lord?” Let’s look at Nehemiah for a moment to see if we can get some insights into this. Continue reading
After 430 years of slavery the Israelites were led out of Egypt by Moses only to be caught between the flood waters of the Red Sea and the Egyptian chariots bearing down on them. In a moment God intervened and rolled the waters up on either side, dried the river bed, and caused the people to walk (or maybe it was run) across unto dry land. Then God waited until the whole Egyptian army was in the river bed and then rolled the waters over them completely destroying the army and their king. Exodus 15 tells the story of Moses beginning the worship service by singing and then later Miriam leading the women in singing and dancing and rejoicing with their tambourines. The question I have is “Where did the tambourines come from?” They must have been readily accessible. When the Israelite women were packing in a hurry to leave Egypt they must have been scared. They knew what the Egyptians were capable of, they saw what God was capable of, and they were leaving to go to go where? So what did the women think while they were packing that caused them to put the tambourines on top? This was a people who hadn’t seen God move their whole lives until now and how did they know that they might need a tambourine, an instrument of rejoicing? Continue reading
The Princess was basking in the warmth of the Prince’s love. Every day seemed brighter and better knowing that she was loved completely in all her strengths and despite all her weaknesses. The Princess was filled with so much love for the Prince that her heart felt overwhelmed and she spent most of her time trying to think of something that would please the Prince, a present that she could give to him. But, since she had no money, she felt that there was nothing of hers that she could give to him, and it broke her heart.
One day the Princess asked the ladies-in-waiting if there was something she could do to please the Prince, to say “thank you” for all he had done for her. It was then that Arika came up with a plan. Arika told the Princess that there was a dance team that often performed for the King, and the Prince was always pleased when his Father was glorified through the worship and dance of the women in the Kingdom. Continue reading
My 4 year old granddaughter likes to play with the magnets on the refrigerator. One day she finished playing with them and said, “Grandma, look a smile!” She had arranged all the magnets into a smiley face. I’ve left them like that as sometimes with all the worries of this life I need to remember to smile. Years ago, when I taught in a public school, I decided that not only would I enjoy and smile with my class, but each time I ventured out to walk the halls I purposely put on a smile to greet whoever I met there. It made a difference in my attitude and the Continue reading
What great joy we experience at the birth of a new baby. It doesn’t matter if it is our child or another’s. We rejoice. I imagine both Mary and Joseph were full of joy and marveled over this new little one. Add to the normal parental response of a new baby the wonder at knowing that this child was to become the long awaited for Savior of the world and the immense wonder at being responsible for His well being until He was able to take over that role.
In this scripture we also see the angels’ joy at announcing this birth to the shepherds. After the shepherds got over their fear and understood the angels’ announcement, they were filled with joy at the prospect of seeing the fulfillment of the prophecies of old with their very eyes. When they reached the manger scene their joy was so overflowing that they just had to spread the news, which reminds me of my son’s favorite song, “Go Tell It On the Mountain,” for this is what they did.
This is the week to think on the joy of knowing our Lord and the joy of this life God has given us. It is the week to be filled with gratitude for all of the people in our lives that we so dearly love and often forget to tell them. Take some time out this week to ponder the joys of your life. “…Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” (Luke 2:19-20) Take a moment to thank God for all He has done and all He means to you. Take joy in God’s provision for your salvation (Jesus).
My husband loves roller coasters. For Father’s Day I gave him a present of tickets to three roller coasters in an area theme park. That seemed to thrust us into a summer theme of roller coaster riding. Some of our 6-year-old granddaughter’s Grand Camp days included two trips to theme parks for her Grand Camp fun. Alan rode all the rides with her, but their favorites were the roller coasters. Mine, on the other hand, were made up of carousels, trains, and Ferris wheels or just watching the smiles on their faces as they enjoyed rides that scare me. I did go on the log ride which had two very long dives into the man-made stream. That was enough thrill for me. As I always say, “I don’t need to ride a roller coaster, my life is a roller coaster.” Continue reading
In the past year since my Mom died I’ve been thinking a lot about my future demise. She was just twenty years older than I and I’ve heard the devil say, “You’re really getting old. See how your body hurts and you don’t have the energy you used to. Look at those wrinkles and that gray hair peeking out from under the color you pay the hairdresser to put on.” I’ve also heard the tick of an imaginary countdown clock as one birthday has rolled into another. “20 years left, 19 years left.” Never mind that the Bible teaches that no man knows his time. (Before you think this nugget is too depressing to read I’d like to urge you to stay with me a little while longer.)
They say that age is just a number, but I can’t believe I’m 67 years old. Even my 5 year old granddaughter thinks I’m old as she anxiously asked me if I’d still be alive when she got married! (Preacher’s kids hear a lot about death and funerals.) Yet there seems to be a part of me that still feels young. Most of the time I feel as if there is a young woman in me that still loves the joy of life. Alan’s 80 year old grandmother felt the same. She told us decades ago that, “You are only as old as you feel.” I also remember my mother telling me Continue reading