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Friday, February 27, 2015

"Do Not Grieve the Holy Spirit"

           Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Drink it faithfully so that you won’t grieve the Holy Spirit.

            If you’ve been able to read or listen to our Joy Juice devotionals this week, it’s obvious that we’ve been talking about a difficult subject…GRIEF!  We don’t like to have to deal with it…personally or through a friend….because it’s hard!  It’s difficult to deal with our emotions; it’s hard to know what to say; it’s hard to know the right things to do.  That’s another reason we need to stay saturated in God’s Word. He will give us the wisdom to know what to say, when to say it and when to quietly share His love. When we are allowing God to be in control, we bring Him joy.
            There is a verse in Ephesians 4:30 that speaks of grief….but in a little different way. It says: “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”   Does that mean that you and I can cause the Holy Spirit to grieve? Yes…sadly!

          The fourth chapter of Ephesians tells us that we grieve the Spirit by living like the pagans (4:17-19), by lying (4:25), by being angry (4:26-27), by stealing (4:28), by cursing (4:29), by being bitter (4:31), by being unforgiving (4:32). To grieve the Spirit is to act out in a sinful manner, whether it is in thought only or in both thought and deed.

            Refrain from doing anything that would grieve our Heavenly Father.  Instead, let’s always aim toward bringing Him JOY!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

"I Will Turn Their Mourning Into Gladness"

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It will help you through the grieving process.  And all of us experience that at some point.

            We can all agree that grief is a part of life.  If you are not going through it now, I’m sure you know someone who is.  Many times we find it difficult to know what to say to someone when they lose a loved one.  Especially in the early stages when emotions are so tender and fresh,  we don’t need to say anything…just be there!  If they want to talk, let them talk.  If not, then just put your arms around them and cry with them.

            Consider these suggestions in helping those who are experiencing grief.
  • Acknowledge the situation.
  • Express your concern.
  • Be genuine in your communication and don't hide your feelings.
  • Offer your support.
  • Ask how they feel; don't assume you know how the bereaved person feels on any given day.
And then when it’s our turn and we find ourselves grieving, we should remember one of the best things we can do is turn to the scriptures and focus on God’s Word.  There is where we will find hope…as in  Jeremiah 31:13 “ I will turn their  mourning into gladness. I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.”   

      There is hope in Jesus.  He will give us comfort and a God-sized serving of joy in Him.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"Rejoicing Comes in the Morning"

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?   It can never hurt…and most always helps!

             My first experience with death was losing my grandparents. Some of you have lost husbands, wives or children. All of us have lost loved ones.  Death is a part of life; and though it is not easy, God is there to help us walk through those valleys of the shadow of death…to give us comfort.

            When we have to say “Good-bye” to those we love, it is a heartbreaking experience. But it is easier when we know that they are Christians and without at doubt are joyfully spending eternity with Christ.  What a difference it makes to have the HOPE of heaven. When we lost my father, our family shed lots of tears because we loved him dearly and knew we would miss him. YET we experienced peace…and JOY.  Yes, JOY….in knowing that Daddy was truly “at home” with His Savior.  JOY in knowing that he was no longer sick; JOY in knowing that we will see him again one day.  That’s the kind of JOY you experience when you have a personal relationship with the Lord.

                      You may be grieving right now.  It may seem that your heart is broken into a million peaces.  Let’s pray for joy amidst the tears.   Psalm 30:5 encourages us by saying:  “Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

            This is Joyce Ashley of JoyJoy Ministries empathizing with those of you who are grieving.  Let’s remind each other that we can always drink in the comfort that comes from the Joy Juice of Jesus.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"Draw Close to God"

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Don’t think it’s only for happy days!

            All of us experience grief. If we never had heartache or trials, we’d become self-sufficient, and we might not see the need to call upon the name of the Lord.  Have you noticed that we often wait until that time of crisis before we think to pray? 

            Praying should be our FIRST resort…not our last!  Before the pain of death, before the devastation of a fatal accident or the diagnosis of cancer, before the crushing blow of a spouse walking out….BEFORE these things happen, we need to be praying and drawing close to God.  James 4:10 gives wise instruction: “Come close to God, and he will come close to you.”   

            When our hearts are aching with pain, anguish and sadness, if we have already learned how to come close to God….then it will be much easier to call upon Him and feel His presence during our grief.  We “come close” to Him by believing and accepting Him as Lord of our lives.  We draw close by reading the scriptures and praying faithfully; by surrounding ourselves with Godly friends who help us to be accountable for our words and our actions.  And when we “come close to God…..he will come close to us”.  That’s a promise!

            The remainder of that verse commands that  we need to “clean up our lives”… allowing the dirt to be put through the cleansing agent called the blood of Jesus.  Let’s clear our minds of any doubts that may cloud and dilute our faith. 

           Draw close to God; you’ll find yourself drinking and serving the JOY JUICE of Jesus….even in the midst of grief.


Monday, February 23, 2015

"The Lord is My Strength"

         Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s something we can choose to drink even when we’re grieving.

            It seems that many of my friends have suffered heartbreaking circumstances lately.  And because of my love for them, my heart breaks, too.  Odds are that each one of us listening to this devotional today is either going through a time of grief or we know someone who is.  Sorrow is never a welcome visitor.

            Can we still have JOY amidst the tears?  Yes!  We find JOY by depending on the Lord. David reminds us in Psalm 28:7, “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”.

             Writer, Micca Campbell explains:
·        David believed God heard his cries.
·        He relied on God’s provision and strength.
·         David trusted in God’s help with all of his heart. This kept him from growing weak, losing heart, and giving up.
·         Finally, because David believed God was for him, in him, with him, and behind him one hundred percent, David was able to give thanks with a joyful heart.

            When you find yourself in a period of grief, can you do as David and call upon the Lord as your strength and your shield?  If we will trust in God, He WILL help us to get through this dark time.  Let’s look toward the rainbow after the storm, knowing that God’s treasure will be peace and JOY.

           We will all experience grief along life’s path, but amid the tears we can also find JOY in the Lord.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Follow the Shepherd Down the Path of Joy

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today? Are you feeling weak and tired?  Let God help you!

            We’ve talked a lot this week about being busy and stretched. Rest is very important but we often neglect that part of our physical health.  The 23rd Psalm tells us that we should rest by letting Him lead us by those “still waters” and by lying down in the green pastures He provides. 

             How does a shepherd lead his sheep? First of all the sheep must recognize the shepherd’s voice; then they must trust him!  Phillip Keller writes: "The strange thing about sheep is that because of their very make-up it is almost impossible to make them lie down unless four requirements are met.
·         Because of their timid nature they refuse to lie down unless they are free from all fear.
·        Because of the social behavior within a flock, sheep will not lie down unless they are free from friction with others
·         If tormented by flies or parasites, sheep will not lie down. Only when free of these pests can they relax.
·        Lastly, sheep will not lie down as long as they feel hungry."

            How does this apply to us?  We must recognize God’s voice and trust our Shepherd completely, so that we are free from fear.  We must allow him to take care of  our pesky problems and our physical needs, to give us wisdom in handling conflict and dissention. And we must stay filled with God’s Word to satisfy our spiritual hunger.

              Psalm 23 begins with  "the Lord," and ends with "the Lord forever." Let us keep our eyes on Him from start to finish.

            Follow the Shepherd as he leads you down the path of JOY!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Too Busy for Joy?

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Don’t get too busy to drink in your own personal serving. 

            If each of us listed our daily activities in a journal, we might truly be surprised at how much we try to accomplish in one day’s time!  Come to think of it, that might not be such a bad idea.  If we kept a log for a few days, then we could pinpoint those things that are “must dos” and those things that could be postponed or completely illuminated!  We’d be able to see where our priorities are!

            May I ask you a personal question?  Without seeing a written list, can you sense that your priorities are out of order?  If GOD is not first, then all the rest will tire us, keeping us running without a purpose.  But if we allow God to be our shepherd, then we can experience a “spiritual peace and rest” that comes from knowing Him.

            The 23rd Psalm says: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.  He leadeth me beside the still waters.”  

             That scripture portrays a vision of peace and rest….to lie down in green pastures and to stroll beside the quiet, still waters.  That’s where God wants to meet us each day.  Let’s be intentional about taking time out of our busy day to commune with the Lord; then maybe our day won’t feel so much like a treadmill---Running fast, but going nowhere!

           Take the time to “lie down in those green pastures” and experience God’s rest and JOY.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Focus on Your Joy Gifts by Resting in Him

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Focus on the joy gifts God has especially for you!

             Sometimes I find it very difficult to focus, do you?  It’s especially hard when we’re tired or when our mind is cluttered with so many things.  Many of us are caught up in such a busy lifestyle, that we try to pack 36 hours into 24 on some days.  And the result is often: exhaustion!

Sleep deprivation is common in our busy society. Sleeping disorders are on the rise and the impacts can be seen in the increased caffeine consumption, lack of production on the job, and the more widespread cases of diabetes and depression.  How much rest we get is also an important safety issue.  Sleep deprivation is blamed for approximately 100,000 automobile accidents and 1500 fatalities each year!  We should never underestimate the importance of a good night’s rest!
Let’s think about this from the spiritual standpoint!  Psalm 16: 9 sums it up beautifully:
           "Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure."

            When David penned these words, his heart was glad. He knew the secret to JOY…a relationship with God.  When we have a daily walk with the Lord, our heart will be filled with gladness and we will find ourselves rejoicing in His presence.  When our hearts are joyful, our bodies and minds are much more “at rest” because we are focusing on what is TRULY important.

            REST IN HIM and let Him fill your heart with unspeakable JOY!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Find Rest, Peace and Joy in Christ

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Don’t tell me that you’re so tired that you forgot!

            Do you ever find yourself really having a hard time concentrating and remembering things, simply because you are so weary?  There are many things that demand our time.  Some of you who are listening have a young family and that in itself is a major responsibility.  If you have a job outside the home, you are expected to give your best efforts to your employer.  There are church activities, civic organizations and many good things that we desire to be a part of.

            Though our reasons are different, every one of us experiences weariness.  Our bodies get to the point where we crave rest.  Young moms, sometimes I am sure you wonder if you will EVER get to sleep through the night again!  But those times do come and go…and then we fill our days with other “busyness”.  

            If we’re not careful, we’ll find ourselves running in circles….staying busy but really not accomplishing much!  As in everything, we should seek God’s wisdom in determining His will and purpose for each day.  Sometimes He may simply want us to “rest” and get renewed in Him.

            In Matthew 11: 28, Jesus tells us to “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” 
            If you find yourself weary and “heavy laden”, do as Jesus says and “Come to Him.”  He is waiting with arms open wide, to renew your spirit and fill you with His strength and JOY.

            Find rest in your relationship with Jesus as your drink in His love and joy.

Monday, February 16, 2015

"The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength"

           Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It may be just the thing to boost your energy level!

            Most of us try to pack so many things into our day that by the time the sun goes down, we are physically exhausted!  Some of us may even admit that we wake up tired!  Though there are those who truly do have health issues that sap their energy and make them weak, many of us simply don’t make wise choices.  We overbook and over-extend  ourselves---misjudging what we can realistically get done in one day’s time.

            We need to realize that our physical condition and our spiritual health are connected.  If we are healthy spiritually…by consistently spending time in prayer and Bible study, it will help us to make wiser decisions regarding our choices.  We need to give ourselves permission to say “no” to things that are going to stretch us too far physically & emotionally--- and keep us from being what we need to be for our family.

       The truth is: we all need a large daily serving of that “booster” I like to call JOY JUICE!  Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that “The JOY of the Lord is our strength.”   We all experience times of weariness.  But God has given us His Word which, when applied in our lives, provides renewal and strength for our hearts and minds.

            So as you look at your schedule of things to do today, make sure that Bible study and prayer are on the top of you list.  Don’t get too busy to sip the JOY JUICE of Jesus throughout your busy day.

            Slow down long enough to experience God’s JOY as He fills you with strength & wisdom.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Give the Valentine's Gift of Love and Joy

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Hope you have plans to share with someone special!

            Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day….just in case you needed a reminder!  There will be gifts of flowers, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, cards, jewelry and a variety of special expressions of love being exchanged throughout this day!

             Everyone loves to be remembered…whether it’s by a friend or a sweetheart; but… those flowers won’t last forever.  The candy will be eaten and enjoyed, and all that will remain are the extra pounds!  Each gift, though much appreciated, will one day fade away.  BUT there is one gift that will NEVER lose its value…and that’s the love of Christ!

            Jesus willingly gave His life for us!  Knowing that we are sinners, He still allowed Himself to be nailed to that cruel cross to pay our sin debt.  Now that’s a love gift that can never be equaled. 

            Because of His sacrificial love, we can look forward to an eternity of JOY!  Can you imagine anything more wonderful than spending forever and ever and ever with Jesus?  Heaven will be beautiful…beyond our comprehension; and all we have to do to be sure that we spend eternity there, is to freely accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.

            Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13   What a delightful cup of JOY JUICE filled with love!

           Be ever mindful of the love of Jesus! That’s a Valentine’s gift that can be enjoyed every day of the year! 


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pray with Joy!

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  I’m sure you have---if you’ve spent time with God in prayer.

            “Prayer is a two-way conversation with God the Father and one of us, his children.” Peter Lord writes in his book Hearing God, “Prayer is one of the primary sources of fellowshipping with our Lord, but we must open our hearts to what he has to say.”

            “Do you talk very long on the telephone when you are not sure there is somebody on the other end?  Of course not! You need to hear the other person’s voice to have a meaningful conversation.  So, too, is prayer transformed when it moves from a monologue to a dialogue---when you listen to God speak after you have spoken to him in prayer.”

            Someone has wisely said that God gave us two ears and one mouth so we could listen twice as much as we talk.  When we learn to listen to God, prayer is vitalized.  It is valuable in our lives, and it becomes very exciting.

            Let’s evaluate our prayer life.  Is it dull and routine?  For many of us, it may even be nonexistent on some days.  It should be a worshipful experience when we go to God in prayer because we recognize the voice of the One Who loves us supremely.  When our prayer life is a personal exchange with our Father, then it will be overflowing with JOY!

            Drink the Joy Juice that comes from an exciting prayer life and a personal relationship with Jesus.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

God Speaks! Will You Joyfully Listen?

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  I pray that you have, because it will help you to hear God’s voice much more clearly!

            It is important that we read the Bible consistently because God speaks to us  through His Word.  We know we should read it, but sometimes we don’t FEEL like it, do we? We should do it anyway!  Sometimes we don’t think we have time!  We should make the time! I saw a church sign just this week that said “When it’s the hardest to pray is when we need to pray the hardest!” I think the same thing is true about reading God’s Word!

           Think about it like this:   When you want to have a conversation with someone, how do you begin? Do you stand in front of the person and hope they will talk to you? That might work, if the other person is outgoing enough, but usually we begin a conversation by engaging the other person by speaking first. It's the same with God! He loves to hear us talk to Him, and it's in those moments that we prepare ourselves to hear the voice of God.  In an ordinary conversation, we speak, then listen for the response of the other person. With God, once we've prepared our hearts to listen through prayer, we're more likely to hear His voice.  He may not speak to us through an audible voice, but He does speak to us in many ways. 
  • He speaks through His Word
  • He speaks through our thoughts
  • He speaks through conversations with others
  • He speaks through circumstances
Be attentive and learn to recognize His voice!  You’ll then be able to experience that indescribable JOY in the Lord!

           Let's pray for each other to  hear His voice today.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Joyfully Open God's Word

Have you had your Joy Juice today?   Listen carefully and you may be able to hear God speaking His JOY right into your heart!

Do you recognize God’s voice when He speaks to you?  You do know that He still speaks today, don’t you?  I’m not talking about an audible voice, but that “still small voice” as is mentioned in scripture. God wants us to hear His voice! As one author puts it, “He doesn't speak to us through a quiver in our liver or through vibes or mediums.  He speaks to us in the natural moments of life.”  Do you want to hear God's voice? Then you must be ready to listen.

Many times we hear intellectuals express that the Bible is just a book written by men, but the Bible itself claims to be God's Word! Can we rely on it? You bet we can! The evidence of history, archaeology, fulfilled prophecy and personal testimony over thousands of years is overwhelming that the Bible is, indeed, God's Word. Do you want to hear God's voice? Then read the Bible.

How many times have you been faced with a problem or difficult circumstances and you so desire to have wisdom and guidance regarding how to handle the situation.  You pick up your Bible, open and begin to read, when you are blown away with what the scripture is saying which relates to your very circumstance.  THIS IS GOD SPEAKING through His Word. Joyfully open your Bible and begin reading it faithfully today!

  Listen to God as He speaks to your heart. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

God's Joyful, Outrageous Love

         Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  My cup is overflowing this morning with an outrageous and contagious flavor of JOY in the Lord.

            Have you experienced the JOY of worshiping with people who are not ashamed of their love for the Lord and who openly give Him praise and honor?  There is nothing that compares with the sweet, contagious spirit of glorifying the Lord together, lifting our voices and hearts before Him!  Differences seem to fade and the focus is on one God! 

            I experienced that this weekend…… and that’s why my heart is bubbling over  today!  At the OUTRAGEOUS & CONTAGIOUS Women’s Conference, women from all over our state (and beyond) joined hearts and received joyful blessings of God’s love.   Though each person came from a different background and stage of life, we were sisters in Christ and accepted each other as family.  Because of that sweet spirit, God was able to move in our midst, touching hearts and drawing us closer to Him. 

            The theme verse for this year’s conference was from Jeremiah 31:3: "I have loved you with an everlasting love.”  That’s God’s message to you, regardless of where you are today.

         Open the eyes and ears of your heart and be ready to hear His message of love and JOY. 

        Be an outrageous and contagious Christian by soaking in His love and by splashing others with  HIS JOY!

Friday, February 6, 2015

IT'S TIME for a Joy-filled O&C 4!!!!

         Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  If your supply is getting low, I’d be more than happy to tell you where you can find a generous serving!

            I hope that by now most of you have heard the news about the OUTRAGEOUS & CONTAGIOUS Women’s Conference that’s being held February 7 at the Grand Theater in historic downtown Fitzgerald, GA !  Our prayer is that this will be an outrageously JOYful day, filled with praise and worship, fun and laughter, and wise messages from the Lord which will minister to the hearts of the hundreds of women who will be attending.  May I share some prayer requests with you?  Please pray:

  • For each person who will be involved— those on the program, behind the scenes and all those in attendance!
  • Ask God to speak to our hearts and draw us closer to Him.
  • Pray for safety as the ladies travel from long distances or just a few miles down the road.
  • Pray that there will be a contagious spirit of love and joy which will spread throughout our community
  • And ask that GOD will be glorified in every detail of the event.

Our desire is that through this women’s conference, God will begin a healing process in many hearts and that we will catch that contagious JOY that comes from a personal relationship with Him. Our theme verse for the day: “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”  Jeremiah 31:3 May each person there  experience God’s love & joy; and may they leave that place with a desire to share it with others.

     Be OUTRAGEOUS and CONTAGIOUS by drinking in God’s love and sharing His joy with others.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Radiate His Outrageous Love and Joy

         Have you had your OUTRAGEOUS and CONTAGIOUS JOY JUICE today?  If so, you should be bursting forth with His love and joy! 

            When your heart is full of joy, there’s still room for God’s love and gratitude!  But there’s no room for garbage! Let me explain: When we are overflowing with the JOY of the LORD, we don’t have time (nor desire) to grumble and complain.   Don’t’ you think that’s where Paul was coming from when he wrote in Philippians 2:14-15:

            Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.”

            How often do we find ourselves grumbling about the weather?  When we do, we should be aware that we are criticizing God’s ordering of creation.  What about when we complain about problems on the job or any unexpected situation?  Are we saying that God isn’t handling our affairs very well?

            Instead of complaining about the weather; rather than questioning why a certain situation was allowed to happen ….let’s understand that nothing catches God by surprise and He has a plan that includes His love for us!  Someone once said, “It’s impossible to keep an eye out for God’s blessings while harboring a complaining spirit. When we grumble and complain, we’re blocking our expectation of good things”…and we’ll probably miss seeing them when they do come!

            In order to be an outrageously JOYful Christian with a contagious spirit of love for the Lord, remember to do everything without complaining… that you will SHINE like stars in the universe!

            Praying that we will find the joy in this new day and RADIATE His love into the lives of everyone we meet!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Choose to begin this day with an outrageous and contagious JOYful spirit!

            Genuine joy comes from a relationship with Christ.  Galatians 5 teaches about the “fruit of the Spirit”.  Many times as we read that list, we are determined to cultivate each of those traits in our own lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control.  But….we can’t do this in our own strength!

            Let’s not misunderstand what Paul was teaching about the “fruit of the Spirit”.  He wasn’t merely giving us a list of traits to pursue and cultivate, but he was offering wisdom about what happens as we give our lives totally to Christ and allow Him to mature us in our Christian walk.  Lydia Brownback writes that “as we crucify all that belongs to our sinful nature, we are characterized more by Christ than by the passion and desires that governed us before we knew him.  As this process takes place, the fruit of the Spirit is manifested in us.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t give us more love or more faithfulness or more joy.  He gives us more CHRIST, and as he does, joy and all the rest are produced within us as the fruit of that union.”

            So let’s get ourselves out of the way and give Christ the freedom to reign in our lives.  The more of us He has, the more joyful we will be…True joy—fruit of the Spirit joy—comes as we pray to know Christ, and to be made more and more like Him!That’s what it means to be an “OUTRAGEOUS and CONTAGIOUS” Christian!

            Allow God complete control of your life and overflow with the contagious fruit of JOY!


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

An Outrageous Day of JOY in the Lord

           Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  That’s exactly what you need to make certain that your day is outrageously joyful!

            Do you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed and stressed even before your day gets started?  I have a suggestion for you this morning.  Let’s make up our minds from the get-go that no matter what happens today, we’re going to “count it all joy”.

            Often I refer to the passage in James 1:2: “Count it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

            When we get to a point in our lives that we are spiritually mature enough to accept whatever God brings or allows into our lives, then we will be able to face each new day with an OUTRAGEOUS joy because of our faith and confidence in Him.    Do you realize that God cares more about our joy than we often do?  It’s for that reason that he does not leave us alone in our misery. According to author Lydia Brownback, “God orchestrates for us and in us the humility we need in order to see that God is a kind Father and compassionate friend who allows hard situations into our lives so that he can show us our need for grace and deepen our relationship with him.  Such humility is necessary in order to count it all joy.”

            We can choose to have an OUTRAGEOUS day of JOY in the LORD by putting our complete trust in Him!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Be Joyfully Contagious!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Is your outlook on life contagious…in a positive way?

            Whether you realize it or not….people are watching you! Whether it’s a friend or colleague, a child or an adult, a family member or simply an acquaintance….YOU make a difference in someone’s life! 

            To be a positive, joyfully contagious example, we need look into the Word of God. The Bible provides us with a wealth of guidance in the form of Godly principles.

            One such example is in 1 Thess. 5:16-18. This is one of my most favorite passages and I use it often when I speak & write. Paul tells us to: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  Joy! Gratitude! Prayer! Those three are always linked! Lydia Brownback in her book JOY, A Godly Woman’s Adornment says:  Joy springs from a heart of gratitude and prayer.”  I totally agree!

            The opposite is also true; pessimism and grumbling are linked to depression.  We can choose to see our glass half-empty and complain about our lives….and the price we pay is our joy and peace. On the other hand, we can choose to rejoice and give thanks no matter what. When we do this we are saying, “Not my will, God, but yours be done.”  We’ll find our glass not just half full, but overflowing with JOY in the Lord!

           Let’s fill our JOY JUICE glass as full as possible today by following the contagious example of Jesus!