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Friday, August 29, 2014

Unconditional Love Brings Joy

             Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Go ahead and have yourself a great big  serving of joy…… anytime……anywhere….unconditionally!

            One of the greatest human needs we have is the need for unconditional love and acceptance. No one likes to be rejected! When we experience “love” based on conditions and rules, then that’s really not love at all.

            Do you ever wear a mask?  I’m not speaking literally…I mean do you try to cover up a sensitive or fragile area of your life in order to gain the acceptance of others?  Even in marriage we sometimes do this. But we must realize that it is only as your mate experiences the security of your unconditional love that he or she will risk being real in the relationship.

            If you are married or plan to be one day, here are some reminders about what unconditional love is all about.  It’s found in 1 Corinthians 13:
“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

            If you were treated with all the attributes of love mentioned in this passage, would you not have a heart bursting with love and joy?  And if you demonstrated this kind of unconditional love, do you not believe that your relationship with that person would grow deeper and bloom with a special kind of love and joy?

           Let’s remember to love one another as Christ has loved us….unconditionally!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Be a Joyful Encourager!!!

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Offer some special joy to someone special in your life.
            Are you an encourager?  The Bible exhorts us to be!  In Romans 14:19 read: “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things with which one may edify another.  And then in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 we find these words:
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

            Over and over again in the Word of God, we are told to encourage one another.  This is so important in marriages and in all other types of relationships.  Parents should encourage their children; teachers should encourage their students; friends need to encourage each other.  There is not one person who has ever lived that does not need to hear words of encouragement and experience actions of others which lift them up.

            Pastor Gary DeLashmutt teaches biblical encouragement has four categories:  affirmation, praise, consolation, and exhortation.  Biblical encouragement:

  •   affirms those who do not see their value and potential.
  • It praises those who are taking scary steps of faith.
  • It consoles those who have had their spiritual wind knocked out.
  • It exhorts those who are tempted to give less than their best.

Are you reaching out to others when they need to be affirmed, praised, consoled or exhorted?  If so, you are a joyful encourager!  And guess what?  He who encourages others, receives encouragement! 

       Just to make sure you know, YOU encourage me by drinking your Joy Juice and sharing the joy of the Lord with others!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Diamonds of Joy!

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Focus on the beauty instead of the negative along your way and get ready to experience more joy.

            Don’t you love to find little “treasures” as you go through old boxes?  Maybe you are much more organized than I am, but I confess I have these “treasures” stashed all over the place….and most I forgot I even had! One such “find” last week was a great analogy regarding a good marriage.  I am not sure where I had copied it, but it was important enough for me to hand-write and stick in a folder to be used later.  I guess “now” is “later”.  Soooo I will share with you!  J
             “In South Africa, when they dig for diamonds, they move tons of earth to find a pebble no as large as a little fingernail.  The miners are focused on the diamonds, not the dirt!  They have to move a lot of dirt to find one diamond.

             In marriage, it is far too easy to shift our focus from the diamonds to the dirt.  Yet Jesus always focused on the diamonds.  He sees our intrinsic value and worth even when we’re mucking around in the dirt.

            Each of us needs to undergo a daily attitude check.  We need to choose to see the unpolished diamonds and not to get distracted by the dirt.”

            This truth can be applied to marriage and all other relationships.  Remember, Jesus sees our potential and He doesn’t give up on us.  Shouldn’t we do the same for others?!

            Hope you find lots of diamonds of joy along your way today!  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The JOYS of Marriage

         Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Serve up some joy for that special person who is celebrating a birthday today!

            Yesterday I told you was my birthday!  TODAY is my husband’s! AND it’s our anniversary!  How ‘bout that for some reasons to joyfully celebrate?!  42 years ago we were married, and boy, have we learned a lot since that day.  We’ve learned about ourselves; we’ve learned about each other; we’ve learned some “shoulds” and some “should nots”.  And we are still learning.  Marriage is a constant process of working together and serving one another.

            Though we were young and in love then on that special day in August 1972, we had no idea how much that love would deepen and mature through the years.  In honor of Pat today, I want to entitle this message: "The JOYS of Marriage"!

  • Joy is accepting that marriage takes THREE….God has to be in the center of your marriage for it to be abundantly blessed.
  • Joy is the security of being able to trust each other to keep the wedding vows…in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, in good times and bad.
  • Joy is being transparent with one another---feeling the freedom to express exactly what’s on your heart and in your thoughts. It’s also okay with “quiet” when you don’t feel like talking.  
  • Joy is reaching the stage of life when you’ve raised your kids and you can spoil your grandjoys (and let their parents deal with the hard stuff! J

  Join me in wishing my wonderful husband a JOY-filled birthday and anniversary.  Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:9

Monday, August 25, 2014

Happy (JOYFUL) Birthday to ME! :)

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Pour out the old and drink in the new…the joy of the Lord gets sweeter through the years!

            Today is my birthday!  Yes, I am joyfully celebrating another year and I’m expecting lots of opportunities to share the JOY of the Lord in the days to come.  Notice I’m not telling exactly HOW OLD I am, but it’s great to be a grandmother. I love trying to somewhat keep up with my grandjoys. 

            That’s not to say that things haven’t changed since I was in my twenties or thirties or……well you get the gist!  And though my body doesn’t always want to cooperate with my brain, there are certain things that are better than when I was younger. For example:

  • A sweeter and simpler relationship with Jesus.  I’ve come to realize that there is nothing I can do to make Him love me any more or any less.  His love is everlasting and unconditional.  I can simply “rest” in it.
  • It is a blessing at this age to realize that I don’t have to be perfect.  Not that I ever thought I really COULD be, but I sure did try.  I thought I had to be super mom, super wife, super teacher, super friend, superwoman….. be everything to everyone.  Whew! I get tired just thinking about those days.  At this stage of life, I know that God loves me just the way I am and I don’t have to prove anything. Again, I can rest in Him.
  • Another thing I’ve learned by growing older is that we truly do NOT need to fret about our future.  If we believe in God’s promises, we can “rest” in the truth that He knows the plans He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11),  He will never leave us (Deut. 31:6), and He wants to give us His joy (John 15:11)!

Happy Birthday to me…I think I’ll continue my “thankful list” and joyfully celebrate this special day!

Friday, August 22, 2014

TRUST GOD! And Drink His Joy Juice Faithfully!

           Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Hope it tastes really GOOD!

            What is your definition of “good”?  One dictionary states that good means: "Being positive or desirable in nature; not bad.When we talk about a good book or a good movie, it’s really a matter of who is giving their opinion.  What might be good to me, might not be good to you.  In other words, what is “good” is subjective to the opinion of the person doing the “judging”.

            This week we’ve been posing the question: “Why do bad things happen to good people?”  But let’s change gears for a minute: Why does God allow good things to happen to bad people?”  We are all sinners, right? Romans 5:8 declares, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Despite the sinful nature of the people of this world, God still loves us…so much that He willing paid the penalty for our sins.

          All of that being said, we still deal with instances when bad things happen to people who seem undeserving of them. Whether or not we understand, we must remember that God is just, loving, and wise. When things happen that we simply cannot explain, instead of doubting God's love, our reaction should be to trust Him.

            Trusting the Lord wholeheartedly leads to a life of JOY by having the calm assurance that Jesus is with us always!

Let's drink our JOY JUICE faithfully in the good times and in times of trouble.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Be Joyful?! Why? It Doesn't Make Sense!!!

             Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Do you understand WHY you’re to drink it?

            Many times we don’t understand the “whys”….such as why that terrible thing happened to such good people.

            Dr. James Dobson has written a book entitled When God Doesn’t Make Sense. In his book, he uses Abraham as an illustration of a time when God didn’t make sense. "Abraham and Sarah were infertile, but God had promised Abraham that his descendants would be more than the stars in the sky. So Abraham trusted God, and God proved true by giving them a son even in their old age. Then, when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Abraham again trusted Him and followed God’s instruction. Even when all the facts before him didn’t make sense, God simply asked Abraham to not waver… To put his trust in God’s promise. 

When everything in life is shaken, and makes no sense to us, God wants us to hold onto Him – to hold onto the promise that He will never leave us or forsake us. To hold onto the promise that He knows the plans He has for us – plans to prosper us, not to harm us, plans to give us hope and future (Jeremiah 29:11)."

            At times we have to PRACTICE JOY, even when we’re hurting…even when we don’t understand the “whys”.  

 Even when it seems that God isn’t making sense in your life, practice joy by trusting in Him.  


Wednesday, August 20, 2014


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

             School children practice their reading skills, math concepts and a variety of academic skills.  Musicians must practice their instruments and athletes practice the skills of their sport.  The only way to improve our skills is to PRACTICE! 

            Dove Award winning artist, Cheri Keaggy, 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, August 19, 2014

Did You Forget To Drink Your JOY JUICE?

         Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Even if you going through a troubling time, keep drinking your JOY JUICE….regardless!

            Do you know what often happens when we focus on our problems rather than keeping our eyes on Jesus?  We forget to drink our JOY JUICE and try to take matters into our own hands.  Sometimes God doesn’t move fast enough for us and we give up on Him…..and even get angry with Him!

            Many people think that expressing faith in God should protect them from trouble, so when calamity comes, they question God’s goodness and justice.  That’s when we need to go to the book of Job and read about all the challenges he went through….but never once did he forsake 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.”   (Footnote Life Ap. Bible)

            Some things we will never understand. Instead of panicking and trying to fix things, let’s do as the verse in Proverbs 3:5 says:  Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”

            When we put our complete trust in Him, we can joyfully face each new day knowing that He is in control.  The “whys” won’t matter so much, because we can rest in His plan.  Let’s start now by releasing our worries and practicing JOY in ALL things.

Drink your JOY JUICE faithfully….even when you don’t understand WHY!


Monday, August 18, 2014

His Ways are Higher....So Be Joyful, Regardless!

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

             All of us experience situations that just don’t make sense.  Bad things do happen to good people. Tragic accidents claim productive young lives; loving couples lose children; a Godly Christian who serves the Lord whole-heartedly is diagnosed with a terminal disease.  These circumstances are beyond our understanding.  Do you sometimes feel like crying, “WHY, GOD?”
            Often we search for answers… but come up short.  There is no simple explanation for some of our questions.  However, we must acknowledge that God is eternal, all-knowing, and faithful. 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. 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 these things had happened, but he knew God was good and therefore continued to trust in Him.

When difficult times come, do we react like Job?   Trust in His love and rest in His plan. If we will choose to do this, we will find ourselves “rejoicing in the Lord always”!

           Faithfully drink your JOY JUICE, even in the midst of trying circumstances. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

May We Understand the Mystery of the Gospel

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Enjoy the mystery of God’s love and joy….and drink in as much as you can!

            This week our theme has been the “mystery of God”.  To quote authors Ernie & Mary Kroeger, “Mysteries intrigue us; they challenge our intellect!  The clues are not obvious, and we become absorbed in the search for the solution of the mystery.  Although many people enjoy reading mystery novels, very few are inspired to search for the solution to the mysteries contained in the scriptures.  Many Christians don't even realize that God wants to reveal these mysteries to them while they are still living on planet earth, so they are quite content to wait for the solution until they get to heaven.”

            Are you content with what you already know about God and His mysteries?  Or do you want to know more?  God doesn’t hide His truth, hoping that no one will “figure it out”.  He wants us to dig into the scriptures, study, and pray for wisdom.  It’s then that the “mysteries will be revealed” to us. And when they are revealed, may we have a passion and a boldness to share, as the apostle Paul did.  In Ephesians 6:19-20, Paul spoke these words:

19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

            Search the scriptures to find understanding of the mysteries of God.  As they are revealed to us, may we be filled with more joy and boldness to fearlessly share!  


Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Mystery of Joy

               Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s squeezed from the juice of the fruit which grows on the True Vine.

The “mystery of joy”…that’s our topic for today:

·        The mystery of how a person can have peace and joy even when he’s going through heartbreak or grief.
·         The mystery of how one can be diagnosed with a terminal illness, yet still shares joy and encouragement with others.
·        The mystery of how a son can forgive the man who murdered his dad.  These are examples of real people who exemplify the mystery of joy found in relationship with Christ.

            Jesus taught about this special kind of joy in John 15: 9-11:  
 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.  If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

            Jesus used the analogy of The Vine and the branches.  He is the True Living Vine….and when we choose to abide in Him, as branches of the Vine, His joy will run through us…because we are connected to Him.   

            The mystery of His joy is revealed to us when we come to personally know Christ.  His joy is the joy of love, of being loved and of loving. It is the joy of receiving His Father's love and abiding in it, and the joy of passing on that love to others.

            I am encouraging one and all to accept His love and share His joy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Mystery of His Joyful, Love-filled Plan

         Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Drink it and share it…you don’t have to explain it!

            In Job 11:7-9, he expresses some of the questions that capture the heart of many Christians. Let's read these three verses: “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.”
            There are some things that are so magnificent that we truly can’t wrap our finite brains around them.  One of those things is the goodness, the magnificence of God.  Encompassed in His goodness are:
·        Grace
·        Sacrifice
·        Redemption
·        Salvation
·        Mercy
·        Inexpressible love and joy
to name a few.  All of these gifts are saturated in the mystery of His plan. 

While the New Testament speaks of several different mysteries, there is one that stands out in greatness of importance.  It is revealed to us by the apostle Paul, and contains the details of God’s grand redemptive plan. I say the details of the plan, because redemption in general is a theme that pervades the whole Bible.

            Let’s take a minute right now to thank God for the mystery of His loving plan.  Because of Jesus, we can have everlasting joy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

May Your Heart Be Joyfully Encouraged!

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Let the joy of the Lord saturate your heart and your life!

Colossians 2:2: “that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself,”

            Do you see that word “mystery”?  I’m intrigued with that word and I’m on a quest to understand more about the “mysteries of God”.  David Jeremiah teaches that “mystery saturates” certain topics in the Bible (such as angels).  “But mystery is good and healthy for us,” he writes, “and maybe more now than ever.  So many Christians today are lacking in awe and a sense of mystery when they consider the things of God.” (Answers of Questions About HEAVEN by David Jeremiah.)

            Often we take God’s goodness for granted, don’t we?  We have been so blessed that we begin to lose our grateful heart and sense of awe over how much God loves us.  Do we always remember that He GAVE His ONLY SON to DIE for us?  It’s a mystery to me how He could do that!  What love! What sacrifice!  I cannot fathom that kind of love!  BUT I CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT…what about you?  When we do, our hearts are filled with a “glorious and inexpressible joy”!

            May your “heart be encouraged” and may we each receive the “true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is Christ Himself!”


Monday, August 11, 2014

The Mystery of His Joy

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It is a mystery how God continues to stir up an endless supply for all who are thirsty!

             A couple of weeks ago in a Bible study discussion with some of my sweet young friends, one of the ladies used the word “mystery” in regard to many of the things of God that we do not understand.  That word “mystery” implanted itself in my thoughts and heart.  I kept seeing it in my devotional readings and….guess what? EVEN IN THE SCRIPTURES!

Ephesians 1:9-10 NIV
…”he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment--to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”

            God’s ways are higher than our ways---we are told that in scripture, too.  But as this scripture in Ephesians says, certain things He will reveal to us when the time is right. According to Cooper P. Abrams III:
       "The word 'mystery' appears twenty eight times in the New Testament.  The Greek word 'musterion', translated 'mystery' did not mean something that is obscure or incomprehensible; rather it meant a truth given and revealed to a select few that was unknown until it was revealed.”

            The key words: “until it was revealed”.  God’s timing is perfect and He knows when we are ready, when the circumstances are right and when all things come together to accomplish His purpose.

           May God reveal to us the mystery of His unending JOY!

Friday, August 8, 2014

FALLING UP by Connie Carey

Today I would like to encourage you to visit the blog of a precious, vivacious, joyfully "sold out to Jesus" gal....and a special friend of mine.....CONNIE CAREY!  After reading her blog, I'm SURE you will want to order her new book, Falling UP!  It is not only a great read, but is an excellent resource for times of grief and emotional battles.  Okay...enough from me.....go to Connie's  blog NOW!  :)

To order Connie's book TODAY:

What a Friend We Have in Jesus! WHAT JOY!

            Have you had your JOY JUICE?  Be a good friend and share a serving of Joy Juice with someone today.

            We have talked a lot this week about friendship.  It is my prayer that you are blessed with many good friends and that you, too, are the kind of friend who others can count on to be loyal during times of happiness and times of sorrow & difficulty.

            Jesus is the greatest example of true friendship! The words to the classic hymn “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” remind us that, indeed, we can depend on Him at all times and in all things.

One verse of that hymn says:

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Yes, Jesus is our forever faithful friend! He tells us in John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

Jesus has called you FRIEND!  That should be enough to make you jump for joy!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Be A Friend of Joy

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  If you’ve chosen your friends wisely, they may remind you when you forget to drink in the JOY of the Lord! 

A good friend can be highly motivating! Don’t you enjoy being around a person who builds you up and encourages you to be all that God created you to be…yet keeps you accountable?  You are blessed if you have someone in your life that can see your strengths and gifts, and encourages you to use them.  Sometimes our close friends can see potential in us that we don’t see ourselves. 

Though not one of us is perfect, a genuine friend looks past our imperfections and loves us anyway. Godly friends push us closer to Jesus, sharing what they are learning from the Word of God and from personal experiences as they try to apply those principles.  They help us to walk through the tough times by being beside us, praying with us and reminding us that “we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us”.  Philippians 4:13

When one of my best friends found out she had cancer, she called me on the phone.  I knew by the sound of her voice that the news wasn’t good, so I dropped everything and went to her house.  Do you know what we did?  We sat on the sofa and cried together. And when we got past that, we prayed together.  In the months to come, we had some tough times, but God was always there and we found His joy in the midst of it all.

Reach out to the wonderful friends God has placed in your life and let them know how much you love and care for them.  Be an instrument of joy in the Lord and grow together in His wisdom and love.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Listen to Wise Advice: Drink Your Joy Juice!

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s clear, transparent and bubbly.  Tell all your friends about it!

            When you know some good news, don’t you want to share it?  “I got the job!”  “He asked me to marry him!”  “We are going on a cruise!!!” When good things happen, we want to shout our news to everyone who will listen….especially our good friends!

            What about when we are going through tough times?  Who do we want to confide in?  Someone who will understand how we are feeling and give us wise counsel, right? Consider yourself blessed if you have a friend or two with whom you can be totally transparent--free to tell them anything.  It’s those friends who give you permission to share, without fear of condemnation or judgment. And hopefully, they will motivate you to grow spiritually.

            We should choose friends who will pray with us and for us; friends who know the Word of God and apply it in their daily lives.  When we choose Godly friends, their example encourages us to grow in our relationship with in the Lord.

            As Proverbs 19:20 says:  Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.”     

  • Be willing to share your heart-felt concerns with a trusted friend. 
  • Be open and transparent so that God can minister to your heart through the wisdom of that Godly friend. 
  • Be cautious & seek wise counsel from God and Godly people.  
  • Be joyful!  When we are surrounded by Godly friends, our relationship with the Lord grows deeper AND our serving of Joy Juice will be ABUNDANT and sweet!
                    A relationship with Jesus + Godly friends =  Delicious JOY JUICE!


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Godly Friends Bring Joy!

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  May I recommend a double serving— shared with a friend?

            A good friend…a genuine friend….one that sticks with you through the hard times, as well as the good…a true friend is one of God’s greatest gifts.

            To quote C.S. Lewis: “Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?”   I agree!  The company of Godly friends brings joy, support, comfort, assurance, more joy, encouragement, accountability…and did I mention JOY???!  As Proverbs 27:17 points out : “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”  God places different people in our lives at different points in time to “sharpen” us.  We should be grateful for those Christian friends, learn from them and be positively influenced by them.  AND we should be willing to be used of God in their lives as well!

            Another quote by C.S. Lewis addresses this truth: “The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.”   Does someone in particular come to mind when you think of a wise friend?  Thank the Lord for this treasure and ask Him for more opportunities to soak up this person’s wisdom that comes from a close walk with Him.

            May I encourage you to be “joyfully sharpened” by the Godly friends in your life; and be willing to be that kind of friend to others.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Double, Triple Scoop of JOY

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  It adds much flavor to your life!

            One thing you can just about ALWAYS find at our house is ice cream!  Our grandjoys know that Papa and Gigi will have a stash waiting for their visits!   Friends who come for a meal  are sure to be offered ice cream.  We have one young friend, Hayden, who feels “at home” enough to go to cabinet, find his ice cream bowl, open the freezer and get his scoop or two or three!  That brings me joy!

            When on a road trip or vacation, you better believe we can spot an ice cream shop from miles away!  Baskin Robbins is our friend! One source tells us that Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins began making ice cream in 1945. Their mission was to create delicious ice cream concoctions with loads of ingredients and fanciful names…one for every day the month…thus their “31 flavors” initial concept.  Since then, over 1,000 different ice cream flavors have been created and enjoyed.  (

            So why all this talk of the many flavors of ice cream?  Because as much as I like ice cream and as many different flavors from which we can choose, it pales in comparison to the multitudes of flavors God created when He made people. Just think about the many awesome “flavors” of friends He has put in your life!

            Perhaps one of the most quoted verses in the Bible regarding friendship is
Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times…”   Are you that kind of friend?

            Be a genuine friend who adds flavor to other’s lives.  Not only will you bring joy to their lives, but you’ll receive joy in double and triple scoops!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Who For the JOY Set Before Him.......

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today? Choose to drink it consistently and faithfully! 

            Many of you may be carrying a burden of grief. You may be consumed with health issues, financial challenges, or a variety of other difficulties.  When we are burdened and hurting, it can be easy to give up on joy.  The comforting Truth is: God understands.  And He is always there to help us move through the pain and give us the courage to choose a life of joy in Him.

            Jesus, Himself, endured a lot of pain.  He was beaten, scourged and nailed to a cross.  Do you know why?  Hebrews 12:2 says: “…who for the joy set before him endured the cross.”  What was the “joy that was set before him?”  Kay Warren writes: “What joy was so rich, so satisfying, so deep that he was willing to suffer such terrible abuse?  YOU were the joy set before Him. I was the joy set before him! He suffered so he could be reconciled with you…with me.”

            I don’t know about you, but that gets my attention and makes my heart overflow with humility and gratitude…knowing that He loves me that much! THAT is what genuine joy is all about!

            Let’s offer a prayer of thanks: Dear Jesus, thank you for loving us and considering us worthy of your supreme sacrifice because we are “joy” in your heart.