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Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Joy Well Never Runs Dry!

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Be generous and share your serving because there’s always more.  The joy reservoir never runs dry because Jesus continually fills it.

            When you think of Jesus, what picture comes to mind?  Is it the baby in the manger?  The crucifixion on the cross?  Today, let’s see the picture of the man in his early 30’s going about His God-appointed mission on earth, sharing The Truth.  Focus for a moment on His face…what do you see?  I hope you see joy!  Because Jesus was a man of joy as He pursued His purpose on earth.

            “He showed (joy) in his attitude; he drew crowds who couldn’t get enough of him.  He showed it in his words; he was a master communicator who impacted those who listened to him in person two thousand years ago and he impacts us today.  He showed joy in his actions; he treated people with good humor and patient understanding of their human flaws, and he was skillful in bringing them to the spiritual realizations they needed.” Kay Warren

            On the subject of joy, as well as every area, we can follow Jesus as our ultimate role model.  We should pray to become more and more like Him…and to do that, we must relinquish control of our lives to Him.  The older I get, the dearer the scripture in John 15:11 becomes. He says: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

            Never fear that the “joy well” will ever run dry because Jesus makes available HIS JOY at all times!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

JESUS: A Man of Sorrow and of JOY

        Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Even in times of sorrow, we can experience joy!

            The reason Jesus can comfort us in our times of sorrow is because He suffered and knew sorrow, himself. Isaiah 53:3 says: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering.”  But let’s not stop there! Jesus was a man of sorrows, but He was, also, a man of JOY!

            In Kay Warren’s book Choose JOY, she makes a crucial point: “In Jesus’s role, he was a man of sorrows.  But in his essence—his unchanging nature—he was man of joy.  In fact, the Bible tells us, ‘The Son of man came, enjoying life.’ (Luke 7:34) The Son of Man didn’t come bent over in pain.  He didn’t arrive with a scowl on his face, a killjoy who couldn’t survive without his box of tissues.  He came,  eating and drinking and loving life.”

            “Jesus was a vibrant, compassionate man, a man of both sorrow and joy who could enter fully into life with all its brokenness.  If he was a man of sorrows AND could experience joy, maybe (we) can too.”

            This brings hope to our hearts—that even Jesus, the divine Son of God, experienced heartache and sorrow—yet, He was joyful. “But He’s God,” someone may point out.  YES!  That’s exactly right.  And because He IS God, He is able to share His joy with you and me!

            Let’s choose JOY in Jesus!  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Joy Gifts from God

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  The joy of the Lord is a true gift!

             We like to receive gifts, don’t we?  Especially those unexpected presents given in love!  God wants to share His love gifts with us.  One of those gifts is JOY in relationship with Him.  BUT…be aware!  Joy is not just the beautiful ribbon tied around our lives to make us look nice.  JOY is an important part of God’s purpose. Let me explain.

            So often we go through the daily routines of life —without thinking a lot about God’s love for us and His purpose.  It’s as if we are on “autopilot”, going through the motions of our busy day. We aren’t tuned in to the joy gifts God wants us to enjoy. Gifts such as: a beautiful sunrise; a new bloom in the flower garden or even the wildflowers along the road; the laughter of a child; the good news of a doctor’s report or strength in the midst of a bad report; a phone call from a friend that encourages us.  All of these are examples of joy gifts…if they are seen through the heart of one who loves the Lord.

            God’s ultimate purpose is that we glorify Him in all that we do; and the more we acknowledge the gifts of joy that He brings into our lives, the more JOY we will receive and share! Psalm 126: 2 should describe every Christian who chooses to accept God’s joy: “Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.  Then it was said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them.’”

         Receive God’s gifts of JOY today and acknowledge that truly “The LORD has done great things for us.”  

Monday, July 28, 2014

JOY: A Determined Choice

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  I’m not asking you if you feel “happy”…but do you have genuine joy?

            It saddens me that many people think joy is beyond their reach.  Maybe it’s because of their bleak circumstances; they feel hopeless and have given up on having joy. Many assume that joy is the same thing as happiness.  It’s NOT!  A few weeks ago our whole family went on a vacation together and I was very happy to have all the children and grandchildren together.  We laughed and played and enjoyed all kinds of fun things. It was a wonderful vacation…and I was one happy “Gigi”.

            But genuine joy isn’t found at Disney World or the beach or any place in particular. It’s found in having a personal relationship with the Giver of genuine JOY…..Jesus.  Here’s a good definition by Kay Warren: “Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right, and the determined choice to praise God in all things.”

            Did you hear that? A DETERMINED CHOICE…no matter what our circumstances!  “Joy is a settled conviction ABOUT God.  It’s a quiet confidence IN God. And it’s a determined choice to give our praise TO God.”   (Kay Warren)

            Don’t confuse happiness with joy…it’s much more than external things. There are many things in life that are uncertain, but the JOY of the Lord is one thing we can count on…when we put our trust in Him.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Walk Humbly (& Joyfully) With God

            Have you had your Joy Juice today? As you’re drinking it, think about how important it is to walk for your spiritual health!

            Micah 6:8 gives us wise instruction:  “And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to WALK humbly with God.”

            Walk humbly…..How do we do that?  Humility is a quality of being courteously respectful of others. It is the opposite of aggression, arrogance, boastfulness, and vanity. Rather than, "Me first," humility allows us to say, "No, you first, my friend." Humility is the quality that lets us go more than halfway to meet the needs and demands of others.

            We can walk humbly with God if we’ll always obey the Golden Rule.  You remember that scripture.  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Treat people the way you wanted to be treated.  Walk in their shoes!  This is a great reminder of how to walk in His ways so that “it may go well with us”.

            As your go about your walk today, no matter whether it takes you around the block, to your workplace, to school or shopping, remember to walk humbly in His ways by treating others the way you would like to be treated.  Try it!  I believe it’ll add some pep to your step and Joy in your heart!

Humbly and faithfully drink your Joy Juice!  And share a double portion with others as you walk through your day.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Personal Trainer of Joy

          Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Aren’t you feeling stronger since you’ve started walking with Jesus?  It makes that Joy Juice taste extra sweet, doesn’t it?

            Walking is extremely beneficial to our health. A personal trainer can give us tips about how to warm up and stretch before walking, how to pace ourselves, what length strides to take to prevent injury.  If we are consistent and committed to an exercise program, we’ll begin to notice a improvement in our energy level and our physical health, in general.  Not only will we feel great, other people will notice a difference, too.

            Do you think you need a spiritual personal trainer?  Well, do I have the one for you!  He’s the best!   His name is Jesus.  With Him by our side, we’ll be able to do things we never thought possible! Not in our strength, but in His.  When we get tired and don’t feel that we can take another step, He will pick us up and carry us.  If we will allow Him, He will show us how to “walk in all His ways” as Jeremiah 7:23 instructs.

            Some days will be easier than others to walk in the Lord.  When you get to a point that you just don’t think you can go on, call in your Personal Trainer. He’ll remind you of all the benefits of walking JOYfully with Him.

 Let’s go walking…hand in hand with our Personal Trainer who knows all about abundant JOY.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Walk Faithfully and Joyfully

           Have you had your Joy Juice today?  It’s time for your daily serving before you start your walk.

            God commands us to walk faithfully in His ways.  That means we are to obey Him.  To be obedient, we must read His Word to learn what His instructions are. The Bible is the only instruction manual we need to get in shape spiritually.

            Why does God want us to “walk the walk” and not just “talk the talk”?  Because He loves us and wants to bless our faithfulness and commitment to Him.  If you are a parent, just think how good it makes you feel when your child obeys your instructions.  We love them so, and it makes us joyful to see our children doing what we’ve taught them to do.  Sometimes don’t you like to reward a child’s obedience and willingness to do as you have instructed?  God does!

            In Zachariah 3:7 we are told, “This is what the Lord Almighty says: If you will WALK in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house, and have charge of my courts and I will give you a place among standing.”

            In other words, God always has our best interest at heart.  And He desires to bless His children when we WALK in His ways.

            Join me as we begin our stretching exercises.  We’re going on a JOY WALK today!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Walk In God's Joyful Ways

          Have you had your Joy Juice today?  If so, you should be energized for your joyful walk with the Lord!

            God commands us in several scriptures to WALK.  Look at Jeremiah 7:23.    Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people.  WALK in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you.”

            God wants us to JOYfully obey Him because of our love for Him.  He commands us to walk in His ways….Because, you see, He has a plan for each of us. As the scripture says, He wants us to be obedient “so that it may go well with us.”

            As a loving Father, He wants only what is best.  But he will not force us to obey. He gives us choices.  We can choose to walk in the opposite direction from Him, making decisions that are far from His best plan for our lives.  When we fail to walk in the right direction, we will suffer consequences of those choices.

            Other times we are determined to walk in His steps, but we get tired or discouraged and end up taking a detour---which can also lead to unwise choices.  BUT there’s good news: God is always ready and willing to pick us up when we stumble, and lead us back to the proper path…..and that’s the path of JOY!

Walk in His ways and spread His joy every step of the way.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Let's Go On a JOY Walk!

          Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Take a bottle with you as you go on your morning walk. 

            There are many benefits to walking, you know…as well as drinking your Joy Juice!   A consistent walking routine can reduce your risk of heart attack, manage your blood pressure and weight, reduce stress, and help you stay strong and active. 

              With all those benefits, why wouldn’t we all want to begin a daily walking routine?  Could it be that we lack discipline and commitment?

            The same may be true as we consider our spiritual walk.  Deut. 5:33 instructs us to: “Walk in all the ways that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.” These are words straight from God.  If we believe that God speaks truth, then why would we not want to “walk in all the ways that He has commanded”?  We know it’s for our good!

             The key to “walking with the Lord” is surrendering each new day to Jesus.  We should be intentional about developing an active prayer life in which we bring every decision, large and small, to Him.  Let’s study His commands by reading the Word on a consistent basis.  These habits will lead you to a daily, JOYful walk with the Lord!

Drink your Joy Juice and, as you’re walking faithfully, spread God’s love and joy!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Enjoy the Journey!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Make time to enjoy some with a loved one!

            My childhood memories are filled with lots of laughter and joy.  This week I’ve shared with you lessons modeled by my dad, like how important it is to have an authentic relationship with the Lord, a heart of gratitude, to presevere even when the going is tough, and to live a life of integrity.  Now, tie all those lessons up with a JOYful bow and you’ll discover a priceless treasure: The understanding that we should enjoy the journey that God has set before us. 

            Look at these words from a letter my dad wrote more than twenty years ago: “If you’ll notice, a lot of people who seemingly “have it made” are really discontent spectators…not participants in life. More often than not, they look back and yearn for the days when life held greater meaning.  It’s the journey of life that counts… not the arrival at any (earthly) destination.”   

            If my dad were here today, I think he might add….”so enjoy the journey”! Life on earth is short and we must take advantage of every opportunity to tell others about the love of Christ.  As James 4:14 reminds us:  “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”

            Let’s enjoy the journey God has prepared for us and leave generous portions of JOY for others along the way! 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Leave a Legacy of JOY

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Be a person of integrity and share the joy of the Lord everywhere you go!

            Thank you for allowing me to reminisce this week about some of the lessons my dad taught me. We’ve talked about faith, gratitude and perseverance.  Something else that easily comes to mind when I think of Daddy and other Godly fathers is the word INTEGRITY!

            According to one dictionary---integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, principles and expectations. In Christian ethics, integrity is regarded as the quality of having an intuitive sense of honesty and truthfulness..  Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy.  Simply put---in the words of my daddy, “Be as good as your word.”

            As a young gal, I can remember my dad making business deals on “his word and a handshake!”  That was as good a contract.  Isn’t it sad that things have changed so much!  Why can’t we still do business this way?  Because of the lack of integrity we find in our society today.

Proverbs 11:3 wisely informs us: “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.”
            May we follow the examples of Godly men who are men of integrity. They demonstrate how to leave a legacy of JOY!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Joyfully Persevere

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Generously share with your family!

             When we get to the end of our lives, what do we want our loved ones to remember about us?  Will it be how successful we were in our careers? Or how many awards we won along the way?  Will it be all the “stuff” we’ve accumulated or the money in our bank account?  No…..I don’t think any of that will be important! Instead, wouldn’t we rather leave behind a legacy? One filled with joyful memories and lessons which can be passed on from generation to generation?
            One of the lessons that my own daddy taught my siblings and me was to always finish what you start!  Persevere—even when the going gets tough and you don’t FEEL like it.  Let me give you an example.  Several years ago, my parents’ church was having  Homecoming Sunday.  Since Daddy was one of the oldest living members, they had asked him to tell a little history of the church.  Though his health was failing, he seemed to be strong and doing fine as he began to speak, but after a few minutes he grew very weak, his voice began to fade and falter. As in slow motion, he fell to the floor!   I can remember my heart pounding, fearful that we were about to lose him.

            Thankfully, a few minutes we heard my father’s distinctive, yet weak voice, say: “Help me up.”  He asked to be seated in the chair on the platform and then he FINISHED HIS TALK!  He modeled before us James 1:2-3:

 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

            Let’s be reminded that we should never give up…but JOYfully persevere in Christ!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Note of JOY

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Write someone a note of joy today and see if that joy is not multiplied in your own heart!

            It seems that the art of letter-writing is becoming a thing of the past!  May I urge you not to neglect this privilege.  Not only does it bring joy to the person as he reads it NOW…but in years to come, it may be a priceless treasure! 
          That’s what recently happened to me.  I was going through some of my dad’s keepsakes and  discovered priceless gems in the form of my daddy’s handwriting: notes of things he deemed important; quotes that he’d found along life’s path; and then there were the personal letters.  One such letter, he had written especially for his children years earlier…(July 30, 1991). 

              On the pages of that letter were his thoughts, penned from a heart of love, reemphasizing lessons he had taught us by his example…one being GRATITUDE.  Here is an excerpt from this special letter:  I am so grateful for the many things God has blessed me with, much that I have not earned or deserved.  I am grateful for a loving wife and children; You have brought me so much pride and joy…and those grandchildren have given me a new zest for living; I am grateful for good health, good friends and freedom……”

            This brief portion of his letter demonstrates that GRATITUDE was a big part of his heart.  Psalm 136:1 could have been his life verse: 
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” 

           Let's thank the Lord for all fathers who take the time to teach their children about being grateful for God’s blessings.  That’s a sure way to serve the JOY JUICE of Jesus!

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Joyful Birthday

             Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  I’m drinking mine in celebration of  a special birthday!

            Today was my daddy’s birthday!  Oh, how he loved to celebrate special occasions with his family.  His gift to us: a true legacy of joy…one of love for the Lord, love for family and love for our neighbors.  On one of his birthdays—thirty seven years ago—my husband and I decided to give Daddy a VERY special birthday gift, so we birthed our second son on that very day! J   Birthday celebrations were extra special for my daddy after that, because he got to share it with his grandchild.

            In honor of my dad, this week I’d like to share with you some of the lessons he left behind— by his words, but mostly by his consistent example.  His faith in God was a priority.  Truly he lived out the verse in Ephesians 2:8-9:  “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

            Daddy was an humble man who was careful to give God all the glory for the many blessings of life.  He believed the truth of scripture and that faith is a gift from God…nothing that we have to earn but just “freely accept”. As D. L. Moody once said, “Faith takes God without any ifs.”   That is the simple, basic foundation that we need in order to leave our own legacy of joy!

          Whether you are celebrating a birthday or any other special occasion, may this day be filled to overflowing with JOY in the LORD!


Friday, July 11, 2014

Seek His Face ALWAYS....and You Will Find JOY!

           Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Seek the joy of the Lord…and I promise, you will find it!

            Psalm 105: 3-4 reminds us why we should seek the Lord at all times. Listen to David’s words: “Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.”

Did you hear the words seek and look?  What are we to seek and look for? 
  • Wealth?
  • Power?
  • Possessions?
  • Popularity and prestige?
 None of those are mentioned in these verses.  We are instructed to seek one thing…..the LORD!  We are to “glory in his holy name”.  When we “seek the Lord” we will “rejoice”.  We will find “strength”!  “Seek his face ALWAYS!” the scripture says.

            Do you realize that “always” means……ALWAYS?  Even in times of heartache and loss; even when our life takes an unexpected turn; even when we feel anything but “happy”, we can still find joy if we seek the comfort, strength and presence of God in our life.

            Jesus promised in Matthew 7:7: “Seek and you will find.”  If you are a place in your life where God seems far away, persist in seeking Him.  God rewards those who sincerely look for Him. (Hebrews 11:6).

           As you seek the Lord…always…you will find extra servings of JOY created especially for you.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Cool Cup of Joy Juice

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Offer someone a cupful of cold water on a hot summer day!  How joyfully refreshing!

            In the book of Matthew, we can learn much about the teachings of Jesus.  It seems there is always something new to learn, each time we read the scriptures. In Matthew 10:42, I recently saw something I’d not comprehended before. Jesus said:

“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”

            Jesus’ example of giving a cup of cold water to a thirsty child is a good model of unselfish love.  A child usually doesn’t return a favor because he is too young to think about reciprocating. God notices every good deed we do as if He were the one receiving it.  This should remind us to serve others unselfishly…regardless of whether they return the favor….regardless of whether they even acknowledge the act of kindness. That’s hard to do, isn’t it?  Because our human nature is to want to be appreciated.

            Turn the tables just a minute:  Do we thank God for all of our blessings? Are we continually appreciative of His love and sacrifice?

            Find every opportunity to share a cool cup full of JOY JUICE with all those God brings into your path….regardless of whether they seem to appreciate it or not!  God notices and He promises a JOYful reward!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sing to the Lord and Be Full of His JOY!

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  I hope so, because it shows in your daily life.

            Psalm 104:33-34 tells us what we should strive to do…..daily! 
“I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.”

            The Psalms are filled with references to “singing praises”. But no place do I find where it says that we have to have a beautiful singing voice.  It’s not HOW we sound….it’s the attitude of our heart! 

            What God desires is our worship. And by worship I mean, humbling ourselves before him…regardless of where we are.  We can be at church and still not worship… if we don’t come before God with the right spirit and humble heart.

          The meaning of the Greek word “worship” (proskuneo) is “to fall down before” or “bow down before.” Worship is an attitude of spirit. Since it’s an internal, individual action, it should be done all the time in our lives, regardless of place or situation. When Christians formally gather together in worship, still the emphasis should be on individually worshiping the Lord with an humble, joyful heart.        (
            May we each remember to worship the Lord with JOY every day…no matter where we are! Sing out and make a JOYful noise of praise!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

May Our Hearts Leap for Joy

           Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Please drink in your special serving so that you can “leap” through the day with JOY.

            Psalm 28:6-7 is such a source of encouragement…especially when we’re down or discouraged.  Drink in these uplifting words as I read them to you:  “Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy.  The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”

            When we are surrounded by problems and feel overwhelmed with what’s going on in our lives, we should follow David’s example in this Psalm. Let’s study it a little more closely to find spiritual truths that will enlighten us and lift us up. In these two verses alone, we find 5 good lessons from David:

1.      Praise the LORD….no matter what our circumstances.
2.      Trust that He, indeed, hears our prayers.
3.      When we are weak, we can depend on HIS strength to carry us through.
4.      Like a shield, He protects us from evil.
5.      We can trust Him whole-heartedly and know that HE will help us.

       When we praise Him, trust Him, and rest in the shelter of His protective arms, our hearts will be leaping with JOY in the Lord and we will be singing thanks to Him.

       Open the Psalms and find your special serving of JOY JUICE today. We should be leaping for joy that He hears our every prayer.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Rejoice! (even on those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days!)

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Some days we need a concentrated serving…is today one of those days?

            It seems that when we feel like expressing joy the least, we truly need it the most!  We all have “those days” when we may not be feeling our best…may I suggest a good remedy? Turn to the book of Psalms and begin to read.  There we find reference after reference to joy and rejoicing and gladness.

          I recall a time recently when I was fighting an old summer cold. I felt pretty wiped out!  As I opened my Bible, almost immediately the verse in Psalm 32:11 caught my attention!

             “Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!”

             I didn’t feel like rejoicing; I’m certainly not always “upright in heart”.  And I definitely wasn’t glad to have that pesky cold; but this verse reminded me of HIS righteousness in me…and in you! We are to rejoice and be glad for no other reason but our relationship with Him. 

            We are not going to always have “good days”.  Some are going to be downright rotten… like in the children’s book by Judy Voirst…..Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!.  But even on “those days”, our Father is with us, going before us, standing behind us and walking beside us.  Now, that’s the best reason I know to “rejoice in the LORD and be glad!”

            Even when we don’t FEEL joyful and glad, we can still rest in the strength of the Lord and find His joy!


Friday, July 4, 2014

JOYOUS 4th of July to You!!!

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

            It’s the 4th of July! Though this is America’s Independence day, truly, we should celebrate every day!  We are so blessed to live in the grand ole USA!  Though we often complain about our “state of affairs”, we have much for which to be thankful.  There are many freedoms that we enjoy in our country that others across the world could only dream of!  Don’t you appreciate our men and women of the armed forces who continue to fight for that freedom?!

            Let’s be reminded today to say a special prayer for the all the soldiers, both past and present, who willingly have put their lives in harm’s way because of their love for our country.  Let’s pray for the families of those who have husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters and other family members who are on foreign soil representing and defending our American freedoms.  That freedom is a treasure and we don’t want to take it for granted.  Neither do we want to let it slip away from us.

            Let’s also pray for our country and our leadership...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 the many freedoms that are ours. Have a joyfully blessed 4th of July!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Double Portion of JOY JUICE Needed in the Dry Spells

           Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  If you are finding yourself in a “dry spell”, remain faithful.

            Every Christian, no matter how mature in their spiritual walk, finds himself/herself in a “dry spell” from time to time.  Let me describe what I mean by “dry spell”:

  • You don’t sense the warm presence of God.
  • There is no great yearning to read the Word of God.
  • You have no compulsion to pray.
  • You don’t hear Him speak.
 David Wilkerson explains it like this:
          “Have you ever sat in church and watched those all around you getting blessed, while you feel nothing? They cry; they pray; they worship with tremendous feelings. But you are not moved upon - at all. You begin to wonder if there is something wrong with your spiritual life. Christians all around you are telling these great stories about how God is blessing them and answering all their prayers. They seem to live on a mountaintop of happy experiences, while you just plod along, loving Jesus, but not setting the world on fire. Some of your prayers have still not been answered. You don't shout or put on an emotional display. You have no big stories to tell about some fantastic miracle you've witnessed. It almost makes you feel like a second-class believer.” 

Be encouraged! Even Jesus felt isolated…remember Him crying aloud,  "Father, why have you forsaken me?" 

Let’s encourage one another to stay faithful and drink a double portion of Joy Juice in the dry spells.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Drink Your Joy Juice Even in Dry Valley

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  When we hit a “dry spell”, we should earnestly seek the joy juice of Jesus!

            In our lives, we will have “mountain top” experiences and we will go through some deep valleys.  If we stayed on the mountain top all the time, we would begin to take God’s blessings for granted! It’s in the valleys that we learn the most about God’s faithfulness.

            One valley that we may “visit” from time to time is “Dry Valley”….that place where we feel alone and as if God may have forgotten us.  We try to pray, yet we see no evidence of our prayers being answered.  In the pit of the valley, we feel a distance in our relationship with God. 

            David visited Dry Valley when he was in the wilderness of Judah.  It was there where he penned these words found in Psalm 63:1: “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

             Sounds as if David was truly thirsty, doesn’t it?  Thirsty for God! When we  find ourselves in “Dry Valley”, instead of pitching our tent and staying there, let’s remember David and cry out to the Lord, as he did.  May we earnestly seek Him….and find JOY in Him!

             If you are in Dry Valley, do NOT build a home there! Find the streams of Living Water and be refreshed as you bathe in the rivers of His JOY!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"BUT I TRUST"......Joyfully!

           Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s especially good when you are thirsty for a taste of JOY in the Lord!

            When we go through a spiritual “dry spell” and we don’t hear God speaking to us or see Him answering our prayers, what do we do?  What we SHOULD do is remain faithful; continue to obey His word. We should love God and love others. AND remember, it’s perfectly okay to cry out to God.

             In Psalm 13, David did just that!  He poured out his innermost thoughts and was totally transparent before the Lord.  Listen to his words in those six verses:

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.

            Perhaps the 3 most important words in that passage are in verse 5: “BUT I TRUST….”  No matter what David was feeling, whether he heard the Lord speak to him or not, he continued to trust in God’s unfailing love.  THAT, my friend, is the sweet “taste” of JOY in the Lord.

           May we remain faithful and sing the LORD’s praise…"for HE HAS BEEN GOOD TO US"!