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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Practice the JOY of JESUS!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It will help you to remember to PRACTICE!

             School children have to practice their ABC’s, counting, multiplication tables and writing skills.  Musicians must practice their instruments and athletes practice the skills of their sport.  The only way to improve our skills is to PRACTICE!  Do you think the Olympic medalists practice faithfully?  Of course, they do….for countless hours…sacrificing many things.

            Dove Award winning artist, Cheri Keaggy, who sings the introduction for our JOY JUICE radio program, practices more than just her music! There’s a song that Cheri has written that expresses exactly WHY she can sing about the JOY of the Lord, regardless of the circumstances of her life.  The song entitled “Restored” says that we all have times of testing in our lives…there will be times when we feel as if we are “living against the grindstone”.  But it’s at these times especially that we need to PRACTICE JOY!

            Listen to the beautiful lyrics Cheri has written: “I’ve been living against the grindstone, where nothing is sure but the Lord. For He gives me the treasures of darkness, where faith’s greatest riches are stored. And in ways that are quite unexpected, I have learned a most humbling truth….That a faith that has never been tested is just growth that is long overdue. So I’m PRACTICING JOY, choosing it daily, putting it on like a favorite cologne. And when life breaks me down, it won’t even faze me. Some call me crazy, but I’m just in love with the Lord.”
         If we truly love the Lord, everything takes on a new perspective.  Let’s PRACTICE JOY regardless of our circumstances!

 If interested in purchasing Cheri’s  "BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US" CD which includes the song 'Restored’ (The Grindstone Song) visit

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Are you going through a troubling time?  Keep on drinking your JOY JUICE….you’ll need every drop!

            Do you know what often happens when we take our eyes off of Jesus and put them on our problems?  We forget to drink in the JOY of the Lord and try to take matters into our own hands.  Sometimes we give up on God…..and even get angry with Him!

            Many people think that believing in God should protect them from all trouble, so when calamity comes, they question God’s goodness and love.  That’s when we need to go to the book of Job and read what he went through….but never forsook His faith.

            The message of Job is that we should not give up on God…especially in the midst of difficult circumstances.  Faith in God does not guarantee personal prosperity, just as lack of faith does not guarantee troubles.  If this were so, people would believe in God simply to get what they want. God is capable of rescuing us from suffering, but he may also allow suffering to come into our lives for reasons we cannot understand.  (Footnote Life Application Bible)

            Commit to memory and put into practice the powerful verse from Proverbs 3:5….”Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”

            When we put our complete trust in Him, we will quit trying to figure out all the WHYs!  Instead, let’s put our problems in His hands and say, “Not my will, but thine be done.”  Now you are ready to practice JOY in ALL things.

Do you drink your JOY JUICE faithfully? ….even when you don’t understand WHY!  Ask Jesus to help you!


Monday, July 29, 2013

JOY in ALL Circumstances?

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Sometimes we may need an extra serving when things happen that we don’t understand!

             We don’t always FEEL joyful, do we?  That is especially true when situations occur that we can’t understand. Happenings such as tragic accidents that claim productive young lives; wonderful parents who lose a child; Godly individuals diagnosed with a terminal disease.  I’m sure that we’ve all asked the same question: “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” 

            This is one of the most difficult questions in all of theology. And there is no simple answer.  We must acknowledge that God is eternal, all-knowing, and faithful. And His ways are “higher than our ways.”

         You’ll recall in the book of Job that God allowed Satan to do everything he wanted to Job… except kill him. He took away his family, his possessions, his health. But what was Job’s reaction? “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15). “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (Job 1:21). Job didn’t understand why God allowed these things to happen, but he knew God was good and therefore continued to trust in Him.

When difficult times come upon us, is our reaction like that of JOB?   Only when we possess this kind of unwavering love for and faith in God, will we be able to experience JOY in all things!

           May we FAITHFULLY drink our JOY JUICE, even in the midst of trying circumstances. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Thank Goodness It's a JOYful Friday!

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Hope you’ve got plenty for the weekend!

            TGIF!!!!!!!!  Thank Goodness It’s Friday!  Do you ever hear anyone say that? Maybe I should ask: How often do you hear people say that?! Have you ever said it yourself????  I certainly have….especially after a hard week at work!

            I don’t think I’ve ever heard many people say, “Thank Goodness it’s Monday!”  But…that’s not a bad idea! I think it might even make God smile!!!   When the Psalmist wrote “THIS is the day the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be GLAD in it!!!!(118:24)”, he wasn’t referring to just Friday…..He meant EVERY day!

            Why don’t we  try to catch up on our rest this weekend and begin the next week with a new twist. Every morning when we wake up, let’s take a big swig of JOY JUICE and gladly proclaim: “Thank goodness it’s this day!  And this is the day the Lord has made!  I will choose to REJOICE and be glad!”  I believe that if we were to develop a habit of beginning our day with a heart full of gratitude, JOY would jump out of bed with us and stick with us like glue throughout the day!   Try it for 21 days and it’ll become a habit……one that will bring YOU and those around you lots and lots of JOY!

          Come on, now! Let's drink our JOY JUICE faithfully and share a double portion of that JOY with others as we REJOICE in this wonderful day God has made! 

Thursday, July 25, 2013


          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  You will notice a remarkable difference when you start your day with a great big serving!

            How many of us begin our day tired… with our “wagon draggin”? Often we need something to put some “pep” in our “step”.   I’ve got just the remedy…’s JOY JUICE flavored with HOPE!

            Isaiah 40: 31 tells us that “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

            Do you know what I’ve discovered?  When I’m exhausted, most of the time it’s because I’ve been busy with things that are not truly God’s best for me!  A hard day’s work is not nearly as grueling if it’s what God has instructed us to do…and if our HOPE and our trust are in Him.  When we pick up problems and try to handle them in our own strength, our energy level is sapped!  What we need to remember is that we don’t EVER have to handle things by ourselves.  God is ALWAYS near and ready….Our hope should remain in Him.

            Hoping in the Lord is expecting that His promise of strength will help us to rise above life’s distractions and difficulties.  It also means trusting in God. 

            If you find yourself weary and tired more often than not, please reach out for the hope that is found in relationship with God.  It comes with a side order of JOY!

Drink your JOY JUICE faithfully and share a double portion of HOPE & JOY with those God brings into your path today!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  If you have a busy day planned, don’t forget your JOY JUICE because it will help to sustain you!

            So often we seem to get in a rut! We get up, go to work, take care of our daily responsibilities, run errands, attend meetings, come home, fall into bed exhausted, and then get up and do it all again the next day. Many of us try to pack too much into our days!

            I’m trying to learn the lesson that though there are many good things that we can choose to do, God’s BEST is what we should strive for.  We are instructed to do everything “as unto the Lord”. When we are consumed with our work at the expense of neglecting our personal relationship with Him or not having time for family, then we’re too busy.
          There always seems to be plenty to do and not enough time to rest.  Yet God demonstrated that rest is appropriate and right.  Genesis tells us that on the seventh day, God rested.  Now, He didn’t do this because He was tired.  He was setting an example for us!  Our times of rest should refresh us for times of SERVICE.

            Take the time to evaluate your schedule.  Ask God to show you the difference between what is good and what is truly His best!  When we are in the center of His will, He will guide and equip us.  As Isaiah 40:31 says: “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” And renewed strength brings much renewed JOY!

Drink your JOY JUICE faithfully and share a double portion of that JOY with all those who need extra strength today!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

He Gives Rest and JOY to the Weary

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  We all need to remember our daily serving so that we will not grow tired and weary.

            Most of us would agree that vacations are great!  We all need to rest and refresh.  But aren’t we thankful that God never has to take a few days off.  He’s always on duty….just waiting for us to call.

             Think back to the account of creation in Genesis.  On the first day God created LIGHT; on the second, SKY and WATER; on the third day He made LAND and the SEA and VEGETATION; on the fourth it was the SUN, MOON AND STARS;  on the fifth day He formed FISH and BIRDS to fill the waters and the sky; on the sixth he created the ANIMALS….and ADAM and EVE. 

            Now, what did He do on the seventh day?  HE RESTED! But didn’t we just decide that GOD doesn’t need to rest?  A brief look at the original word translated “rest” or “rested” shows that God did not get tired, nor did He need a day to convalesce or build up His strength. He simply stopped creating the Universe. He finished in six days and stopped on the seventh day which set a pattern for our seven-day week. God does not need to rest or relax.   But he knows that WE DO!  So, as always, He was thinking of us!

            Isaiah 40:29 says: "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.He can do this in an infinite number of ways! Simply call out to Him!

Drink your JOY JUICE faithfully and share a double portion of that JOY with all those that look extra weary today!  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Never Take a Vacation from JOY

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s the perfect refreshing drink to take with you on vacation!

             Many people look forward to the summer when the kids are out of school and the routine slows down a bit.    Throughout the school year, the children aim toward “summer vacation” when they can take a break from the studying and the tests and all the school work that keeps them busy.  They can sleep a little later and do fun things like playing ball and going to the swimming pool.  Some may visit grandparents or spend a few weeks with extended family or go on a trip.

            Though the term “vacation” takes on different looks to different people, we can all agree that it means taking a break from the normal routine…time to refresh, re-energize and catch our breath….time away from problems and hassles. 

            Have you ever wondered if God would like a vacation?  Talk about someone who’s busy!!!!  The wonderful truth is….He never needs to “check out” for a sabbatical.  He never grows weary.  Listen to the words of Isaiah in Chapter 40, verse 28:  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary.”

            Isn’t it such an encouragement to know that our God is always on call?!  He never leaves an answering machine or voice mail to take our messages.  He’s always there to talk with us personally.  That should bring JOY to our day whether we’re on vacation or not!

           Drink your JOY JUICE faithfully and share a double portion of that JOY with all those you meet on your next vacation.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

A JOYful Truth: God's Amazing Grace!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It tastes amazingly good when you are in the center of God’s will!

            Most all of us recognize the song Amazing Grace!  It’s sung all over the world, in a variety of languages.  Many people choose to use it at funerals and solemn occasions.  But it shouldn’t be reserved for sad times!  It’s a song of hope and praise.

Amazing Grace was written by the Englishman John Newton (1725-1807.) Once the captain of a slave ship, he converted to Christianity after an encounter with God during a violent storm at sea. He eventually became an ordained minister in the Church of England.  The words of this beloved Christian hymn are from a heart of love for the Lord.  Listen to a few of the verses and see if you can truthfully understand.  If so, you have also, experienced God’s amazing grace in your life:

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

The last verse says:
When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

            Oh what a glorious time that will be when we JOYfully sing God’s praises throughout eternity!

            What a sweet, JOYful truth:  God’s amazing grace!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Unlimited Grace and JOY

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Drink as much as you’d like!  There is no limit to how much you can have!

            God’s love and grace are unlimited! It’s hard to absorb that truth! God looks at us through eyes of grace…..He doesn’t judge us on our performance.  We could never meet His Holy standard, so what a loving blessing He offers us with His grace.

            Sarah Young in her book Jesus Lives imagines what God would say to us on this subject. Listen as if God were speaking directly to you:

            “Here is what I see as I view you through eyes of grace: You look regal, for I have clothed you in My royal righteousness.  You are radiant, especially when you are gazing at Me.  You look lovely as you reflect My Glory back to Me.  In fact, you delight Me so much that I rejoice over you with shouts of JOY!  Because I am infinite, I can see you simultaneously as you are now and as you will be in heaven.  The present view helps Me work with you on things you need to change. The heavenly vision enables Me to love you with perfect, everlasting love.”

            Much of this comes straight from scripture.  He covers us in His grace because of his unfailing love for each of us.  Doesn’t it encourage you to know that He doesn’t give up on you, but loves you with an everlasting love?!

           Be reminded that God loves YOU! It’s evident by his amazing grace that He JOYfully pours out into your life each day!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

God's Riches At Christ's Expense = JOY

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It tastes even sweeter when you serve it with GRACE!

            James 4:6 tells us: “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
   ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’”

Grace is God's unmerited favor. It is kindness from God we don't deserve. There is nothing we have done, nor can ever do, to earn his favor. It is a gift from God.
I have heard grace explained by using this acronym: 

            In other words, Christ paid with his very life, so that we might become heirs of the Kingdom…..children of the King.  And as His children, we inherit the King’s riches!  Like ETERNAL LIFE with Him!  Doesn’t that make you want to sing with JOY?

Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

            The words of the beautiful old hymn says it well.  Won’t you accept His forgiveness and grace today?  HE’s the only way to experience a JOYful eternity.

            Sing of God’s grace because of the JOY He has brought to your heart!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  And are you drinking it gracefully!?

            As I was reading my Bible, I found a verse that made me think of YOU!
  2 Peter 1:2 says “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord!” Why did I think of you?  Because that’s my prayer for my listeners and readers: that you would experience grace and peace AND JOY….in abundance!  Listen to the verse as I read it again: “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord!   

            Many people want an abundance of God’s grace and peace, but they are unwilling to put forth the effort to get to know Him better through Bible study and prayer.  To enjoy the privileges God offers us freely, we must seek the knowledge of Him, as Peter states in that verse.  It’s not hard…just a few minutes a day reading His Word and spending time communicating with Him in prayer. You can’t get to know someone if you never spend time with them!

            Now, what does abundant GRACE and PEACE have to do with JOY?????  Everything!!!!!  They are like fingers on the same hand…..the loving hand of God! So pull out your Bible right now and feel His tender hand caressing the hurt spots of your heart.  Accept His grace so that His peace can take control of your life….which will lead to that JOY of the Lord that we’re always talking about!

            Let's pray for each other...that abundant grace and peace will be ours ….and, of course, the sweet JOY that accompanies them!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Grace and JOY to You!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today? When you’re full of JOY, you’ll be more aware of God’s grace.

            Grace….we hear the word used often.  Sometimes its used as a girl’s name; at meal- time, we say “grace” by asking God’s blessing on our food.  When someone moves with poise and confidence, we say they are “graceful”. But what do we really mean when we talk about GOD’S GRACE?

            It must be really important because “grace” is mentioned at least 170 times in the Bible. Simply put: Grace is God's unmerited favor…God doing good for us that we truly do not deserve.  God's grace offers us eternal life and a promise of heaven--- and it’s all because of the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.

            Lysa Terkeurst writes: “Grace doesn’t give me a free pass to act out how I feel, with no regard to His commands.  Rather His grace gives me consolation in the moment, with a challenge to learn from this situation and become more mature in the future.  Grace is the sugar that helps the bitter pills of confession and repentance to go down without choking.”  

            That’s why the writer of Hebrews says in the 4th chapter, verse 16, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

            God’s GRACE and JOY go hand-in-hand!  Share both with others today!

Friday, July 12, 2013

JOYfully Recall God's Faithfulness

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  If we will remember God’s faithfulness through the years, we will be overflowing with JOY in Him!

            Why is it that we often forget what God has done for us in the past?  Especially when we are facing a new “trial”….  Maybe we get caught up in the present circumstances and are focused on how we can solve the problem ourselves.  Instead, let’s choose to remember the faithfulness of God!  

            Psalm 77 is a beautiful psalm in which the writer so eloquently expresses that we can find God’s comfort through the difficulties of life by remembering how He has helped us faithfully in the past.  When we get discouraged and feel like giving up, we should recall the miracles and previous unexpected blessings that God has poured out on us….and this will give us the courage to continue.

            In verses 13 & 14 of Psalm 77 we read:  Your  ways, O God, are holy.  What god is so great as our God?  You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.”

            God’s power is what we should depend on…..not our own! He is capable of handling whatever comes our way…and He is trustworthy.  Thank Him in the midst of the trial for His power, His protection and His love.  You might just find that your heart does an about-face and goes from being filled with anxiety to a heart of peaceful JOY!

           Let’s choose to recall God’s faithfulness; and get ready for a great big serving of JOY JUICE!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Create in Me a Pure (Joyful) Heart"

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s created with pure ingredients and is sure to help you have a JOYful heart!

            Many of us may recall the prayer effort of intercession for our country led by  Dr. Charles Stanley a while back.  He challenged us to pray for 20 weeks…that’s 140 days…..about a variety of issues related to our country. This is a habit that all Christians should continue…praying for our nation every day.

            Dr. Stanley suggested that we begin our prayer commitment by reading Psalm 51 in personal preparation.  This psalm was written by David and is a plea for mercy, forgiveness and cleansing.  David realized that his heart needed to be right with God and the words of this psalm indicate a broken, repentant heart, acknowledging the sin in his life. 

            Listen to David’s words in verses 10 – 12: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the JOY of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.”

            Like David, we should be on our knees before God asking for a pure heart.  Twice in this short psalm David asked for JOY because he had lost it due to his indulgent sin.  That’s so indicative of what’s happening in our country today.

           Let’s join together asking God to give us pure, repentant hearts and a personal, JOYful renewal!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

May the JOY of the Lord Be Our Strength

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Sometimes we have to humble ourselves before we can enjoy the delicious taste!

            2 Chronicles 7:13 – 14 says: “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

            Do you think our “land” needs healing?  We don’t have to look far to see that people throughout our country are suffering in countless ways.  From natural disasters to those of our own making, people all across America are hurting.. 

            Let’s go back to that verse again in 2 Chronicles……..IF my people (IF is a big word) IF my people will do what?   IF we will:

  1. Humble ourselves
  2. Pray
  3. Seek God’s face
  4. Turn from our wicked ways

THEN…THEN He will hear us, forgive our sin and will HEAL our land!  God is willing to do His part, but we must do our part….not out of obligation, but out of love for him, love for others, love for our country. 

             Let’s humble ourselves before God in prayer, seeking His face, asking for forgiveness and wait expectantly for Him to heal our land!  May the JOY of the Lord be our strength!!!!!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Exceeding Abundant JOY

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  I pray that you have; and that we will receive JOYful answers to our prayers!

            When God answers our prayers with a “NO” or a “NOT NOW”…..why do we assume that he has not answered our prayer at all?  Do we truly trust Him to do what is BEST for us….or do we just want our own way?  Many times we pray asking for something that we perceive as a NEED in our life.  But God, in His infinite wisdom, knows that it is not what we need at all.

            Ephesians 3:20-21 says: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us… to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.   If we will allow God to take complete control of our lives and PRAY for HIS WILL….then, through His power, He can do immeasurably more…..“exceeding abundantly” more than all we ask or imagine!

         Dr. Wayne Barber explains it well:
When does God move in and do those things that are exceeding abundantly beyond what we ask or think?  When the Holy Spirit has empowered us, when Christ has indwelt us, when His love has mastered us and when His fullness has filled us.

            I am praying for exceeding abundant JOY in your life….and mine…so that Jesus may spill out into the lives of others!

Monday, July 8, 2013

PRAY For An Extra Measure of JOY

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  As you sit quietly during your prayer time, drink in the JOY of Jesus and bask in His love.

            Prayer is such an important part of developing a loving relationship with God.  Over and over again in His Word, He exhorts us to pray.  What are we to pray about?  EVERYTHING!!!!   All of us having probably been tempted to think: “Some things are not important enough to bother God.  He has more urgent things to attend to than my insignificant problem.” 

            Well, let’s all be reminded…If it’s important to you, it’s important to GOD!  AND NOTHING is too small or too big to bring to the Father in prayer! 

            The New Living Translation tells us in Philippians 4:6: “Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” 

            Do I need to repeat the part of the verse that says PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING!?  Pray about:
  • Your family
  • Your relationships
  • Your health
  • Your job
  • Your spiritual growth
  • Your major and minor decisions
  • Your problems…..large or small
  • I’ve even found myself praying about parking spaces and the right pair of shoes!

And let’s not forget to ask God to use US as His instruments to deliver the JOY of the Lord to those we meet today and every day!

            Pray about everything…..Let’s ask God for an extra measure of JOY to share with others along our way!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Rest and EnJOY His JOY!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Sit back, relax and enjoy a refreshing drink on this hot summer day!

School children (and their teachers) look forward to summer.  No more setting alarm clocks and racing to stay on schedule! It’s a different pace than the rest of the year!  Hopefully, there will be time for some R & R… and relaxation!  Time for “chilling” with friends and family!  Maybe tackle a fun project or read a good book. Even God set aside a day for rest, you know!  Genesis 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (NIV)
Summer!  Time to make sweet, JOYful memories.  Whether we go out of town on a vacation or stay home for a “stay-cation”, we need to take some time to rest.  The Bible tells us repeatedly that rest is a good thing!

Hebrews 4:10: “for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.” (NIV)

Genesis 49:15 And he saw that rest was good (KJV)

Exodus 33:14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. (KJV)

            God created us to need rest!  He knows that if we keep pushing ourselves beyond what our bodies are capable of doing, then we are going to suffer physically, emotionally, mentally….and even spiritually.  So, pull away from the hurry and worry, the hustle and bustle….slow down and REST in Him. 

            EnJOY your summer by finding time to rest and cool off with the JOY JUICE of Jesus!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A JOYful 4th of July!!!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Come on, let’s celebrate!

            The 4th of July is here….good reason for celebration! Some of us are celebrating with family and friends! Others will celebrate quietly by staying home. But all of us should remember to celebrate! We are so blessed to live in the grand ole USA!  Though we often complain about the direction our country is headed, we still have so much for which to be thankful.  There are many freedoms that we enjoy in America that others across the world can only dream of!  And those freedoms don’t come without a price!  

            Let’s be reminded today to say a special prayer for all the soldiers who willingly have put their lives in harm’s way because of their love for our country.  Let’s pray for their families who bravely press on as their father, mother, husband, wife or other family member is away from home, protecting our country.  Our freedom is a treasure and we don’t want to take it for granted. 

            Let’s also pray for the leadership of our country...asking God to intervene and help our leaders to make wise decisions.  2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us clearly why we should pray:

            “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

            Join me in celebration of our country and our freedom; may we remember to pray diligently for God’s blessings and for God to rain down HIS JOY onto us.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone and Find JOY

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s good to drink whether you’re indoors or out in the summer heat!

            One tip I read about surviving summer was: “Don’t let the weather keep you inside all the time!”  Though summer temperatures sometimes reach into the high 90’s and even 100’s, we can still look for inexpensive ways to have fun and enjoy the outdoors.  Of course, we have to use good judgment in staying hydrated and wearing our sunscreen, and not choosing the hottest part of the day to do strenuous outdoor activities.

            It’s tempting just to stay inside in the air conditioning, isn’t it? But think of all the things we might miss out on!  Sometimes we have to step outside our “comfort zone” spiritually speaking, too.  Have you ever felt prompted by the Lord to do something, yet you were afraid….maybe of failing or of what others may think?  So you talk yourself into just doing what feels comfortable.  Many times we cheat ourselves right out of a blessing simply because we won’t step out on faith.

            Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failures, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat.”

Sometimes we’ve simply got to “Trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) Until we step out of our comfort zones, we may never know the abundant JOY that God intends for us. 

Today, I invite you to jump out of your comfort zone and dive into a refreshing pool of JOY JUICE!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Wear Your SONscreen and Drink Your JOY JUICE

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  To combat the summer heat, you need to make sure you keep plenty on hand!

            We’re talking this week about how to survive the hot summer days!  Of course, we want to stay hydrated by drinking of plenty of water.  And according to the American Academy of Dermatology, everyone….all skin types should wear sunscreen year round! More than 1 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States every year.  

            Just as we need to protect our physical bodies, we should be diligent in our spiritual lives to make sure we are using sunscreen….S-O-N-screen, that is.  The SON of God, Jesus, is ready for us to “put him on” every day (as Paul reminds us in Galatians 3:27).  We should slather on a generous portion to protect our minds from evil thoughts, to prevent our tongues from uttering burning words and our actions from causing pain to others.  The SONscreen of Jesus includes an attitude of humility, service and love.

            Even on those days when it appears that everything is “cool”, we should faithfully apply this SONscreen to every area of our lives.  It will prevent the cancers of bitterness, jealously, resentment and hatred.  Your life will have a healthy glow because of the JOY that will radiating from you because of your faithful application of the “Jesus” brand of SONscreen.

            Let’s remember to get into the habit of always wearing our SONscreen and drinking the JOY JUICE of Jesus!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Beware of Physical AND Spiritual Dehydration! Drink Your JOY JUICE!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s just the thing to help you survive the summer heat!

            Some time ago I read an article (from the Women of Faith website) on how to survive the hot summer days.  The writer gave tips that we all should consider…the first one being:
 Drink more water.  With the high temperatures of summer, we all should be aware of how important it is to stay hydrated!  

        Water is essential for good health.  Our arteries and veins depend on the water we drink, otherwise our blood would be too thick for our hearts to pump oxygen and nutrients throughout our body. Without water, our body could not rid itself of the toxic build-up of waste…our skin could not produce sweat and we’d become overheated. Without water, the balance of chemicals in our brain would be upset, altering our personality and our ability to think clearly. A person will die more quickly of dehydration than he will of starvation.

            That’s our PHYSICAL body we’re talking about….but what about our Spiritual condition?  When we are put through the heat of daily struggles, heartaches and challenges, if we don’t keep ourselves hydrated with the “Living Water”, then we’ll find ourselves in a deadly, spiritual draught. 

        In John 7: 37-38, Jesus said, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

            Drink plenty of the JOY JUICE of Jesus to make sure you stay hydrated with His love & JOY!