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Friday, November 29, 2013

Be Grateful and JOYful!

          Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Though Thanksgiving Day has come and gone, let’s not forget to drink our JOY JUICE and count our blessings.

            One of our greatest blessings is the knowledge that God loves us. He tells us in Jeremiah 31:3:  "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” 

I’m sure that each of us is very, very, very grateful for many things, but I know that I'm not grateful enough for everything that comes into my life. As a matter of fact, I have to confess to you that sometimes I catch myself complaining instead of “thanking”! This entire week of Thanksgiving we have been talking about being thankful, but do we carry this thought process into our actions on a daily basis?  Our attitude should always express gratitude.

Gratitude will transform our lives. You remember the story of the ten lepers whom Jesus healed. They all walked away, but one….ONE of them turned around to say, "Thank you." Jesus said to the man, "Were there not ten lepers cleansed? Where are the other nine?"

 Are you a person who easily and readily expresses thanks?  We should desire to be grateful 100% of the time!  Sometimes we have to “practice” being grateful…just as we’ve talked about being intentional and practicing being JOYful.  Let’s remember that a genuine Christian should have a grateful heart….and a grateful heart leads to JOY in the Lord!

I am thanking God for each of you who have faithfully been drinking your JOY JUICE.  Keep sharing that JOY with a grateful heart!

Thursday, November 28, 2013


         Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Hope you have plenty to share with your Thanksgiving guests!

            In America, Thanksgiving is generally seen as a time to get together with loved ones, eat a ridiculously large amount of food, watch some football, and HOPEFULLY, give thanks for all our blessings. Many of our homes are decorated with 'symbols' of Thanksgiving. This past week, schoolchildren across America have reenacted Thanksgiving by dressing as pilgrims or Indians and sharing a “feast” of sorts.

            Today as we gather with family and loved ones, let’s not forget to thank God for our country and the sacrifices our forefathers made so that we might enjoy our many freedoms.  Let’s stand firm in our Christian beliefs and pray that God will allow our country to remain the Christian nation that our forefathers intended it to be. 

            We need to remember that there is a deep connection between heartfelt thanksgiving and humility.  Thankful people recognize their need, and the generosity of the Giver of all our blessings.  When we are truly grateful we are humbled by the amazing gifts we’ve received from God.   So as we prepare for this THANKSGIVING Day, may our hearts be truly humble and filled with gratitude. Psalm 100:4-5 expresses beautifully: 

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
       and his courts with praise;
       give thanks to him and praise his name.

 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
       his faithfulness continues through all generations.

           I am praying that you and your family will enjoy a blessed and JOYful Thanksgiving Day.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thank You, Father, for Our Blessings of JOY

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Don’t forget to say “Thank You” to God for supplying your needs.

            One of the first things we try to teach children as they learn to talk is to say the words “Thank You”.  We realize that it’s very important to express our gratitude; but many times, as we grow older, we forget to use those very words that we were so careful to try to teach our children.  Maybe it’s because we have been sooo blessed, that we take much for granted.  Instead of an attitude of gratitude, we become indifferent.

            Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day…a special day set aside to celebrate our blessings.  Don’t be indifferent to all the good gifts that God has given us.  When we have a heart full of thankfulness, we will also overflow with JOY. 

1 Thessalonians 3:9 says:  How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?

            As you prepare your Thanksgiving meal or make plans to be with family and friends tomorrow, remember the words of this scripture and thank God for your loved ones.  As I anticipate my children and grandchildren, mother, siblings, and extended family gathering together around our table, my heart is bursting with gratitude for how God has blessed us with His love, provision, protection and, of course, JOY!

            Stop long enough to do an inventory of your blessings.  You, too, will likely find there are too many to count.  May our hearts and tongues always be overflowing with thanks and JOY.

           THANK YOU, Father, for our many blessings.  Help us to drink our Joy Juice faithfully as we count our blessings and remember to be thankful.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

THANK YOU! YOU Bring a Special JOY!

Have you had your Joy Juice today?  I have!  Thank you for listening to and reading Joy Juice! And thank you for sharing!

            How often do you say “Thank You”?  It’s a personal indicator of whether we have an attitude of gratitude or whether we take God’s blessings for granted.  When you wake up in the morning do you thankfully say “Good morning, Lord! Thank for this new day!”  Or do you start complaining about all you have to do? 

            When you eat at a restaurant, do you thank the waiter for serving you, or do you find fault with the service?  What about your family….do you thank them for the things that they do or do you point out all the things they have NOT done!

            The scripture tells us in Ephesians 5:20 “At all times and for everything give thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
YES….it says “At ALL times… give thanks….”

  • We should be thankful for the difficult times. It’s during those times that we grow.

  • Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement.

  • Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character.

  • Be thankful when you’re tired and weary! That means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles and they can become your blessings.

        Let’s drink the JOY JUICE of Jesus so that we’ll be aware of all our blessings!  Thank God for each and every one!

Monday, November 25, 2013

JOYful THANKSgiving Week!

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today!  Thank you for drinking it faithfully.

            THANKSGIVING week is here! And what a time to express our JOYful thanks!  There are so many blessings for which we should be grateful!  Your list and my list will be similar in some areas and very different in others…but the bottom line is: WE ALL should have thankful, joyful hearts..

            Why don’t we start our week by saying “Thank you”?  I’ll start and you can follow.

  •  Thank YOU for listening to JOY JUICE faithfully. Do you know what a blessing that is for me and how your encouragement brings JOY to my life?
  • Thank you radio staff for being so helpful; and sponsors for your generosity.  It takes a team to accomplish our “mission of JOY”! 
  • Thank you family and friends for being so supportive.
  • Thank you, Father, for opening doors of opportunity to share about the JOY of Jesus.

         Who’s on your list that you need to thank today?  Never assume that they know that you’re grateful!  TELL THEM! And always remember that God should be at the top of everyone’s list, for He is the Giver of all our blessings!

           1 Thessalonians 5:18  reminds us to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”  A sincere, thankful heart leads to a JOYful heart!

            THANKFULLY drink your Joy Juice. Make a special effort to thank God for the people He has brought into your life. I am thanking God right now—for YOU!

Friday, November 22, 2013

"A Cord of Three Strands" Brings JOY

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Sharing with another is a true JOY!

            In Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 we read: Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

            God created us to need friends.  He especially wants us to be in relationship with Him.  But special friendships with others is a gift! Friends who work on a project together can rejoice together when the project is successfully completed.  Friends can bear each others burdens and celebrate the triumphs! Friendship is about giving, but it is also about receiving. How do we balance that?

            When the scales of a relationship are unbalanced—when one is always receiving and one is always giving—both people will eventually feel cheated.  In healthy relationships, people meet each other’s needs.  There is a give and take that keeps both people in balance.   We must not fall into the trap of thinking that in order to be a good friend we have to do all the giving.  (Bible for Hope)

            If you have a hard time “receiving”, please know that you may be stealing someone’s joy by not allowing them to bless you. It’s great to be a giver; but it’s also such a blessing to graciously receive.  Experience both “flavors” of joy!

            "A cord of three strands is not quickly broken!Share the JOY of friendship….you, a friend and God!  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Encourage One Another with Love and JOY

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Be a friend by sharing God’s joy by lending someone a hand and walking in their shoes.

            In rewarding relationships, the gifts of security and caring are ever-present.  Don’t you feel safe with your best friend who has proved their trustworthiness and loyalty through the good times and the challenges?  A close friend is one who will lend you a hand even when you don’t ask.  They can “sense” the need and jump in there to help.  It may be in a tangible way, like taking a meal to a friend who is sick or giving someone a ride when their car is in the shop.

            Sometimes the helping hand may be simply giving reassurance when they are feeling discouraged.  Maybe they are preparing for a job interview and they are really nervous.  A word of encouragement and telling them that you “believe” in them are praying for them can mean so much.  1 Thess. 5:11 says it well:  
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

            What kind of friend are you?  Are you an encourager or a DIScourager?  Maybe it would help if we tried to “walk in their shoes” and see the circumstances from their perspective.  Once we put ourselves in their situation and try to empathize with them, we may be able to understand why they react, feel and think the way they do.

            Today....I want to encourage you to be an encourager! :)  Lend someone a helping hand and walk in their shoes.  In doing so, you may find a special flavor of JOY!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Joyful Security in Knowing Jesus Christ

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s safe to drink, to share and even to bathe in!

            This week we are taking about relationships and how important it is to have friends and to be a friend.  At the heart of every good relationship is the ability and willingness to listen and understand.  We must listen…not only with our ears…but also with our heart.  When we listen with our heart that shows we truly care about the person and we validate the relationship.

            Another important aspect of friendship is the gift of “security”.  If people don’t feel safe with a person, there is no hope of being transparent, honest and authentic.  Those who keep their word , who are trustworthy, create a sense of security in a friendship.  They don’t break promises. Trust is a valued, treasured trait to share with another person.  Sadly, there are few that we totally trust.

            May I remind you that there is One “Friend” who we can always trust?  He’s a good listener, too!  I’m speaking, of course, of our Friend, Jesus.  Proverbs 3: 5-6 says: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

            Relationships are very important and we all desire to have close friends.  But may we always remember that if we have Jesus, we’ve got the very best friend we could ever desire!

            Be a good listener and be trustworthy! Make Jesus your best friend today by giving Him your complete trust and He will give you His JOY.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rich in JOYful Relationships

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Let’s be thankful for our joyful relationships and be sure to share the JOY with our dear ones.

            Researchers have studied the age-old mystery of what makes people happy and content in life.  What consistently comes at the top of the charts is not success, nor good looks, or any of the enviable assets that you may think would be a priority.  Instead, the clear winner is “RELATIONSHIPS”.

            How do we build good relationships?  It is not really about technique.  Healthy, thriving relationships evolve out of BEING a good friend.  Our focus should be on who we are in a relationship rather than on what we do.

            This week, I’d like to share with you some of the “joy gems” I’ve learned through the years about special, cherished relationships.  Some of my dearest friends are those who are good listeners. Without the ability and willingness to genuinely listen, a good relationship can’t be built.  It takes time and effort.  A good listener doesn’t interrupt or jump to conclusions.  He listens to the message, the feelings that are being expressed and responds accordingly.  We should be like a mirror, reflecting the person’s message back to them so that they will understand that we understand.  And that we care!

            Are you a good listener?  Do you listen to your spouse, your children, your working colleagues?   If so, you are sure to be “rich” in relationships..and that is a blessing of JOY!


Monday, November 18, 2013

The Season to be Thankful and JOYful

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  To everything there is a season and THIS is the season to be THANKFUL and JOYful!

             In a little over a week we will celebrate Thanksgiving Day.  Truly this is the season to count our blessings of joy.  Ecclesiastes 3 never grows old. Let’s read just a short portion of that chapter, verses 1-4: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;"

            In the beautiful poetic style of Solomon, we are reminded that life continues to march on…through all kinds of inevitable situations.  Many are completely out of out control and our reactions vary from laughter to tears. Without God, people may see life as meaningless.  But by trusting Him through the difficult times, we can KNOW  that each new day is an opportunity to grow in relationship with Him…as well as bringing us closer to eternity with Him! That gives us a joyful hope and reassurance.

            As Solomon observed in that same chapter, God “has put eternity in our hearts”.  Nothing short of the promise of eternity can give true meaning to the challenges and transitions of this life.

             “To everything there is a season”…and this is the season for giving thanks and sharing the JOY of the Lord.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bless Others with JOY

             Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Your faithful example will be a blessing to those who are looking to you as a role model.

            Whatever stage of life you are in, you are an influence on someone!  If you are a parent or a grandparent or a great grandparent, your children are looking to you for an example.  Many of you are brothers or sisters, aunts or uncles…and all of us are friends of young people who are modeling themselves after us---whether they even realize it or not.

            We need to live each moment of every day with the heart and mind-set that we should be a blessing to whoever is watching.  Need a little help in knowing how to do that?  How do we bless others?

  • By praying for them!  Let them know that they can depend on you to pray with them and for them.  Pray for them even when they don’t seem to care if you are praying for them.
  • Encourage them! A pat on the back and an uplifting word can make such a difference in a person’s attitude and choices.
  • Explain to them that they are special and God has a wonderful plan for them.
  • Show them, by your own example, the JOY of pursuing God’s best plan in life.
  • Spend time with them, taking care to expose the truths of the Bible and demonstrating how to apply those truths! *
When we live out these very practical disciplines, we will discover the power of  blessing… both in our own lives and in the lives of our children and all those who are looking to us for guidance.  Ask God’s JOYful blessing on these dear ones who look to you as an example.

            Be a blessing to someone today by drinking your JOY JUICE and sharing God’s love.

*Claude Thomas is pastor of First Baptist Church in Euless, Texas. For more of Dr. Thomas' resources, visit LifePoints at,1703,A%3D153666&M%3D50018,00.html

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lift Your Voice in Praise and JOY

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Turn on some good praise music as you drink a healthy serving of your JOY JUICE today. Praise and JOY go together perfectly.

            All through the Bible we read about people lifting their voices in songs of praise to God.  Sometimes our hearts are so full of excitement and gratefulness for the wonderful blessings the Lord has poured on us that it’s easy to sing his praises. We feel like the Psalmist in Psalm 13:6 that wrote: "I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me." (NIV)

            But what about those times when we find ourselves in the valley of depression or despair?  It’s not nearly as easy to “sing to the Lord” and praise His name, is it?  That’s when our faith should kick in and instead of going with our “feelings” we should make intentional choices to obey the scriptures and continue to believe that God is in control.

 Rod Best explains it like this: When we make a conscious decision to praise God no matter what, even though we may be going through a night season in our lives, God brings His Joy and His Peace and we enter into that rest which is ours as children of God. Sometimes heaviness of spirit will rob us of God’s joy. We are to put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. (Isaiah 61:3)
            Wow!  What a blessing to realize that our “garment of praise” is always the perfect accessory to our wardrobe of JOY.  Be sure to wear it everyday…and be blessed!

            It’s always perfectly okay if you spill some JOY JUICE on your “garment of praise” as you share His JOY with others.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Heavenly, JOYful Blessings

           Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  You’ll be blessed by drinking in a huge serving of His JOY!

            God continues to pour out His blessings on us, doesn’t He?  However, many times we miss them because we are consumed with our problems and distractions.  Often we’re so busy that we are oblivious to His goodness and graciousness.  Ephesians 1:3: says:  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (NIV)

            In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he explains the wonderful things that we have received through Christ.  He says that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing IN CHRIST.  Does this mean that we will never have tough times or problems?  NO!   But when we do go through the difficult times, we can face those challenges knowing that we have the blessing of God’s strength and wisdom and comfort.

            If we choose to depend on Him, we have to look beyond the mountain of crisis and let Him carry us through to the other side. The scary part is that we can’t see what’s on the other side…and we have to move forward in obedient faith.   Many times God requires us to defy human logic and reason.  But in Isaiah 55:8 He reminds us: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.

            Allow Jesus to carry your burdens and watch Him pour out His blessings of love, compassion and JOY.  Be blessed by trusting in Jesus (even when you don’t understand). And drink your JOY JUICE faithfully!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Slow Down and Sip your JOY JUICE!

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Too busy?  Well, bless your heart!  Slow down and enjoy a serving so that you’ll realize that you’re too blessed to be stressed!

            Our world is face-paced and I fear that many times we miss out on the blessings that God wants to pour out us.  We hit the ground running most mornings and don’t slow down long enough to give much thought to our relationship with God.  But that’s exactly what we need to be concerned with: simply “BEING STILL” before God and growing in our personal relationship with Him!   

Listen to Psalm 128:1-2 : “BLESSED are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.” When we fear, respect, love the Lord, we will choose to walk in His ways.  How do we know “His ways”?  But studying His Word, reading the Bible, and being obedient to His instruction. God should be the true head of our homes.  He will reward our devotion with inner peace and blessings beyond measure. 

The values outlined in God’s Word include love, service, honesty, integrity, prayer and of course, JOY!  Let’s determine to “walk in His ways” and joyfully anticipate eating the “fruit” of blessings that He promises will be ours!  That’s where genuine JOY JUICE is can be found!  

Slow down and sip your JOY JUICE so that you’ll be able to share the blessings of love and JOY with others.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Blessings of JOY

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Drinking it faithfully helps us to see our blessings more clearly.

            I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the word “blessing”.  Maybe it’s the season of the year with Thanksgiving approaching.  Maybe it’s that I’m another year older! But I have come to realize that God truly does enjoy blessing His children.  For years I didn’t think too much about that word “blessing”. It was a short canned prayer that we said before each meal; a habit…a good habit…but words recited without much thought. It was just ritual and routine.

            Often our prayer life does get stale and meaningless.  We throw up a “God is great, God is good; let us thank Him for our food” and we don’t stop to think about truly how blessed we are!  May I challenge you…and you can challenge me…to begin to be more sensitive to the many “blessings” that are ours.  To name a few:

  • Family
  • Good health
  • Material comforts
  • Our home
  • Dear friends
  • And most importantly, a God who loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us.

My prayer for each of you today is the scripture found in Numbers 6:24-25 NLT:
May the LORD bless you and protect you. May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you.”

             I'm feeling blessed that you, my friend, have joined me for another serving of  JOY JUICE! Let’s not take any of God’s blessings for granted. When we are grateful for His blessings, our hearts are filled with JOY!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Pass the "Giving Test"....with JOY!

             Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Are you drinking it cheerfully?  IF you’ve gotten into the habit of giving to others, you can count on a cheerful heart.

             In the Bible there is a direct link between generosity and cheerfulness. Remember the verses in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 that say: "Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
Are you a CHEERFUL giver?  How much does a "cheerful" giver give?  Many times we fear that we just won’t have enough left for our own needs if we give “too much”. But if we could only realize that NOTHING we own is really ours!  It all belongs to God!  Psalm 24 reminds us that:  "The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it."  Whatever we consider “ours” is simply on loan from God.
We will give cheerfully when we understand the nature of stewardship. You see, it's not that we give God 10% and keep the rest. Rather, He gives us 100% to manage for Him and asks us to voluntarily give back 10% or more to test our hearts.

Does your heart pass the “giving test”?  Remember: You can’t outgive God! Express your love for Him today by offering him, not only your tithe..but also a JOYful offering!

I encourage you to be a giver…and begin by sharing your JOY JUICE with others that God brings into your path today!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

God Gives JOY So That We May Share

                   Have you had your JOY JUICE today? Drink your fill and then get ready to give some to others!

        With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we should be counting our blessings and finding ways to share God’s love with others.  Giving is a great part of showing your thankfulness to God…and what better season of the year to consciously make an effort to share with others.

            Let’s be reminded that “sharing” is not always about material things and money.  It can be, of course, but it goes far beyond that. Listen to this anonymous poem I found that explains this concept so well:

God gives us joy that we may give;
He gives us joy that we may share;
Sometimes He gives us loads to lift
That we may learn to bear.
For life is gladder when we give,
And love is sweeter when we share,
And heavy loads rest lightly too
When we have learned to bear.

        In other words: Let’s be on the look-out for opportunities to share! When we share our joy and love, our energy and vitality, and our time, resources and talents with other people…we are the ones who gain the most! Luke 6:38 "Give, and it will be given to you."

Give some JOY away today so that it will come back to you…multiplied!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Store Up Treasures of JOY

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Please share generously with others!  

            In the Christian community, especially, there’s a lot of talk about sharing.  We teach our children to share, though it really does not come “naturally” for most.   Generosity is a quality that has to be practiced and encouraged and most of us have a hard time with always having a “giving” spirit.  

             It is much easier to give to those we love….our children, our grandchildren, special family members and friends.  We like to see their smiles when we give to them because we have a special place in our hearts for them.  But it’s a little more difficult to give to those who are not so close to us, people who have hurt us, those who never seem to appreciate our kindness or even strangers. But God’s Word tells us to that how we give to others regardless of who they are…demonstrates what is in our heart.  

Matthew 6:19-21 says: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

            Where is your treasure?  I hope it’s your faith in God!  Show your love for Him today by giving from your heart and get ready to experience true JOY!

            Generously give your JOY JUICE and store up for yourself treasures in heaven!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sow JOY Generously!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Give generously to your neighbors and friends so that your supply will continually multiply!

            2 Corinthians 9: 6-8 is a clear explanation of why we should give generously.   Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work”.

            Paul was teaching that if our heart attitude is right, we will give because we want to, NOT because we have to.  When we feel obligated or compelled, there is no JOY in giving. But when we “sow generously” out of love for our Father, we will “reap generously”.  God promises that his grace will abound in our lives. 

            How can we do as the scripture says and be a cheerful giver? It starts with a personal relationship with Christ! Allow Him to fill your heart with God’s love and joy and you will be looking for ways to share it with others!  Ask Him to show you who, what, when, where and how to share.  Then, get ready for an EXTRA personal serving of HIS JOY!!!!!

            Drink your JOY JUICE faithfully, but don’t forget to give generously to others!

Monday, November 4, 2013


            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Let’s remember to cheerfully give some to others!

            November is already here! And that means Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching.  Let’s make this season JOYfully special by finding ways to express our gratitude for all the blessings God has poured out on each of us.  Our God is a giving God!  Each of us benefits from His generous nature!

            Acts 14:17 says: “He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy!”

            God delights in giving good gifts to His children. Remember what James says in Chapter 1, verse 17? “Every good and perfect gift comes from above.”   So in order to express our thankfulness for His generosity, let’s determine to be a “cheerful giver”  and pass along the love of the Lord to others! Any time we give in the name of the Lord, whether its our money, our time, or our efforts…and we give with a JOYful attitude, then we are bringing Joy to our Father.  He doesn’t want us to give grudgingly…but cheerfully.

            Ask God to show you where He would have you “give back” to Him.  And then be obedient and generous as He leads you.  Not only will you have the peace and satisfaction that you have done as the Holy Spirit has lead you, but you will also experience that JOY in the Lord that fills us up and makes us want to keep giving for Him!

            GIVE JOY today by offering some JOY JUICE to those who God lays on your heart! a blessing!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Be a Cheerful, Joyful Giver

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Are you drinking it cheerfully?  IF you’ve gotten into the habit of giving to others, you can count on a cheerful heart.

          In the Bible there is a direct link between generosity and cheerfulness. Remember the verses in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 that say: "Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
Are you a CHEERFUL giver?  How much does a "cheerful" giver give?  Many times we fear that we just won’t have enough left for our own needs if we give “too much”. But if we could only realize that NOTHING we own is really ours!  It all belongs to God!  Psalm 24 reminds us that:  "The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it."  Whatever we consider “ours” is simply on loan from God.
We will give cheerfully when we understand the nature of stewardship. You see, it's not that we give God 10% and keep the rest. Rather, He gives us 100% to manage for Him and asks us to voluntarily give back 10% or more to test our hearts.

Does your heart pass the “giving test”?  Remember: You can’t outgive God! Express your love for Him today by offering him, not only your tithe..but also a JOYful offering!

I encourage you to be a giver…and begin by sharing your JOY JUICE with others that God brings into your path today!

Friday, November 1, 2013

May You Be Drenched in His JOYful Blessings!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today? God wants to drench you from head to toe with His abundant love and JOY!

            From an early age, we’re taught about “keeping score”.  In sporting events, the way to tell who wins the game is to keep score. In business, ledgers help to keep score of how the company is doing financially.  Families often make a list in order to keep track of chores. And in many relationships, sadly, some keep score of all the negatives.

            Because of our experience with “keeping score”, we sometimes have a skewed mindset of how God keeps track of whose turn it is to receive a blessing. Aren’t we glad that He does not work the same way we do?  He doesn’t have a bookkeeper angel who says: “WAIT, God, you already blessed him three times this week.”  Or “Pardon me, God, but don’t you think you’re over-blessing her?”

            God doesn’t set a quota for His goodness and blessing. We must never hesitate to go to our loving Father and present our requests to Him. I’m not talking about selfish requests….but prayers which indicate that we desire HIS BEST for us. (Just keep in mind that HIS best might not be a six figure income or a vacation in paradise!) If our heart is in tune with His heart, then we will ask for blessings according to his will.

            Listen to this verse from Malachi 3:10: “And try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”

            Pull out your umbrella and put on your raincoat! Get ready to be drenched with blessings of JOY!