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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Christ's Passionate Love = Joy of Easter

         Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Please be passionate about drinking your portion this week of Easter.

            When you hear the word passion or passionate what thoughts come to mind? 
Webster’s Dictionary defines passion as "extreme, compelling emotion or intense emotional drive."

This week we are focusing on the JOY of Easter.  We can’t talk about Easter without recognizing the passion of Christ.  What was the source of His passion?  It was His intense love for mankind. Because He loved you and me so much, He gave his life for the sake of restoring us to fellowship with God.

 Philippians 2:6-7 tells us: “he made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant by being made in human likeness.”  His passionate love caused Him to leave the glory of heaven to take human form and live an obedient life of self-sacrifice required by the holiness of God. Jesus was dedicated to accomplishing the requirements foretold by prophecies and the will of the Father.  All of this…for us! That’s the JOY of Easter. 

         The final words of Jesus from the cross were a triumphant proclamation. Like a runner crossing the finish line in agony, yet with great emotion in overcoming obstacles, Jesus said “It is finished!” (John 19:30) He had accomplished His purpose on earth.

            May we never take Christ’s passionate love lightly.  Instead of focusing on egg hunts, parties, and new clothes, let’s drink in the passionate love of Christ and experience the sweet JOY of Easter.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Fix Your Eyes on the JOY of Easter

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today? In preparation for Easter, we need to drink in the fresh joy of the Lord!

            Sunday we will celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.  That’s the part of the story that brings such JOY!!  But for this to occur, He first had to die. That’s the sad part of the story…until you realize the significance of that death on the cross.   

The joy for us as Christians is that His love was so great that He WILLINGLY did this for us.  John 3:16 tells us clearly that:  "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that  whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

According to that scripture, the purpose of his life was to offer Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. The Bible says that Jesus became sin so that we could be forgiven and found righteous in God’s sight (2 Corinthians 5:21). 

As Hebrews 12:2 says: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Jesus looked beyond the suffering, shame & death and focused on the joy that would come.

            Join me as we “fix our eyes on Jesus”….especially this week leading up to Easter.  It is only because of Him that we can drink the fresh Joy Juice of Jesus every day!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Cowboy Joy Jewels...GOLD NUGGETS!

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Let’s go mining for some gold nuggets of joy.

            We’ve talked a lot this week about cowboys and some to similarities between the lingo surrounding their ways and a person who is trying to walk the Christian walk.  To close out our week, I’d like to share seven “Cowboy” Joy Jewels.  We’ll call them GOLD NUGGETS:

  1. As you wet your whistle from your canteen filled with the Joy Juice of Jesus, share with others & watch it naturally replenish! (You’ll be dancing a joy jig and causing a hoedown everywhere you go! ) 

  1. Wear your cowboy Hat of Hope from daybreak to the set of sun, knowing that regardless of where your path may lead(---over the mountaintops, through the deep valleys or across the wide-open plains---)God is in the saddle with you!

  1. Bridle your tongue with the Master’s love and truth. Allow Him to guide you with the “bit of blessing” and the “reigns of radiant joy”!

  1. Let the saddle blanket of God’s peace cover you as He goes with you along each troublesome trail of life.

  1. Practice consistently with your Lasso of Love and be ready to rope in even the most resistant of rouges in the Rodeo of Life.

  1. Are you branded by the past or blessed by forgiveness? Are you marked by guilt or giddy with God’s goodness and grace? Are you jubilant in His joy because you are truly, willingly branded by Christ? Only then, can you take the victory lap as your ride the White Horse of Faithfulness and yodel His love song with joy!
 7.   When the Holy Spirit “spurs” your heart….Don’t be namby- pamby….SKEDADDLE! You’re in “cahoots” with God so…..go spread His joy!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Never Let Your JOY Tumble Away!

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Don’t let your personal serving tumble away!

            If some of you are “cowboy” fans, you may remember the old song written by Bob Nolan and made popular by the Sons Of The Pioneers entitled “Tumbling Tumbleweeds”.

            It went like this:
See them tumbling down
Pledging their love to the ground
Lonely but free I'll be found
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds
Cares of the past are behind
Nowhere to go but I'll find
Just where the trail will wind
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds
I'll keep rolling along
Deep in my heart there's a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.

            While the song was a great “cowboy anthem”, do we really want to just “tumble along” through life?  God has a purpose and a plan for each of us. He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11   For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

            If we tumble along through life….outside of God’s plan….we will not experience a life of JOY.  However, abundant joy can be ours by allowing God to take our past mistakes and transform us into  JOYful Christians with a song in our hearts.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Horseshoes or JOY Shoes?

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Even before you put on your shoes, you can drink in the joy of the Lord!

            There are sandals, boots, flip flops and tennis shoes.  Baby bootees, bedroom slippers, loafers and high heels. We can buy running shoes, swim shoes, cleats and clogs. Ballet slippers, tap shoes, mountain climbing shoes and moccasins.  Why, there are even shoes for horses. The main purpose of the horseshoe is to provide protection for the horses’ hooves against abrasion and breakage as they gallop along rough paths.  I guess that’s really the purpose of most all shoes…to protect our feet.

            There are 36 Bible verses that refer to shoes. One is found in Ephesians 6:15. The New Living Translation says: “For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.”  In this passage, the shoes are part of the Armor of God that we are to put on daily.  And then in Isaiah 52:7 we find:  How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings…”

            Our question of the day is: What kind of shoes are you wearing?  Are they shoes that cause you to tap dance through the day, avoiding taking a firm stand for Christ?  Could they be flip-flops which cause you to change the way you speak and act according to who you’re with at the moment?  OR are they the beautiful, shoes of peace which give you boldness and protection as you share the Good News of Jesus Christ?!

            "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the (joyful) Good News"! Put on your Jesus shoes and start sharing!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

HOWDY, Partner of Joy!

           Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Howdy partner! Hope you’ve had time to wet your whistle with the delicious “sauce of joy”?

             In preparing for a fun banquet with the cowboy theme, I’ve enjoyed reminiscing about growing up in the Roy Rogers/Dale Evans era.  Many of the tv shows (on our black and white television set in my childhood home) were good, wholesome cowboy westerns.  My brother and I got cowboy outfits for Christmas one year!  Talk about fun! Though my cowgirl outfit had a skirt, my brother’s suit had “chaps”. 

            Real “cowboy” chaps are leather coverings to protect their legs as they ride their horses through the rough terrain.  The thorns on the shrubs and bushes around the ranch can tear into the cowboy’s legs if they are not properly protected.

             Do we need protection in our daily walk? You bet we do! And God gives us “spiritual chaps” in the form of His Word. The Bible is filled with instruction and wisdom to protect us from the “rough terrain” of everyday life. BUT we must choose to put on that protection. Without it, we will be ripped and torn by disobedience and poor choices.  Ephesians 6:13 instructs us….

 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

            Put on your “spiritual chaps” and face today, boldly and joyfully!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Are You "Branded" for Christ?

          Have you had your Joy Juice today? Even tough cowboys need daily canteens full of joy!

            I had the privilege of attending a ladies’ banquet a couple of weekends ago. The theme was “Branded For Christ”.  The creative decorations, the delicious menu and the charming attire of the attendees all revolved around the Western theme. It was a joyfully fun night! My thoughts were “spurred” about the similarities between cowboys  “branding” their livestock and being a Christian who is “branded” for Christ.

            Branding is a term that is used when ranchers mark their property. A branding iron is often used. That involves pressing a heated metal shape against an object or animal to signify ownership.   

            Let’s consider how Christ “brands” us.  Instead of using a painful, hot iron to leave His mark, God, instead sent Jesus to die a cruel death on the cross for you and me. He took the pain for us. His “brand” is the sacrifice of love…The Cross. When we are truly “branded for Christ”, His mark of love, salvation and joy should be evident in our lives.  

            May we live by Joshua’s words in Chapter 24, verse 15:

”… choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

           Are you “branded for Christ”? Then, giddy-up and serve Him with gladness & joy!

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Joyful Journey and a Joyous Eternity!

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Don’t be timid in sharing the joy of the Lord!

            2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”  True courage is displayed when we move through our fears & take action. We should ask God for His help in all situations…especially the scary ones!  

            In Paul’s 2nd letter to Timothy, he gave helpful advice to remain solidly grounded in Christian service and to endure suffering during the difficult days.  My Bible footnote explains that “Timothy’s  youth, his association with Paul and his leadership had come under fire from believers and nonbelievers alike.  Paul urged him to be bold.  When we allow people to intimidate us, we neutralize our effectiveness for God.  The power of the Holy Spirit can help us overcome our fear of what some might say or do to us, so that we can continue to do God’s work.” (Life Application Bible, NIV)

            Look at verse 7 again…..Paul mentions 3 characteristics of the effective Christian:
  • Power
  • Love
  • Self-discipline.
These are given to us by the Holy Spirit who lives in us. We can be bold!  We can live without being paralyzed by fear!  We can follow in His footsteps and be a bold witness for Christ.  The reward for that….a joyful journey here on earth and a joyous eternity spent with Jesus!

             Don’t give in to the spirit of fear & timidity!  Share the joy, boldly, in His Spirit of power, love and self-discipline!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Boldly Share the Good News of Great Joy

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Boldly share the Good News of joy with others everywhere you go.

            It seems than more often than not lately, when we turn on the news, we hear another story of Christians being persecuted.  It has caused me to examine the depth of my faith and wonder if I would stand strong if my life or the lives of my loved ones were in danger.

            Andrew White, an Anglican priest known as the “Vicar of Baghdad” told about some Iraqi Christian children who were told by ISIS militants to convert to Islam or they would be killed. Can you guess their response?  They said, “No, we love Yeshua (Jesus).”  Would we be so bold if our lives were being threatened? (Do we even take a stand for Christ in the everyday workplace where we are safe, among our friends & acquaintances?)  Oh, to have the boldness of those precious Iraqi children who loved Jesus no matter the cost!

            Let’s pray for God to give us boldness. As Ephesians 3:12 tells us, our God is always with us……”In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.” 

Boldness is NOT reckless, impulsive behavior.  Boldness requires courage to press on through our fears and do what we know is right. We Christians have an excellent opportunity at this time in our lives to speak up in love.

            Take a bold stand for Christ and share the joy of knowing that God is our provider and protector.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wave Your Banner....Boldly and Joyfully!

           Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Wave your "Joy Banner" proudly and don’t be ashamed to share with others!

             We’ve talked about the Lord’s name “Jehovah Nissi” which means: "the Lord is my banner".  Do we boldly step into each new day holding that Banner?  The Banner of love?  The Banner of joy in the Lord?   The Banner proclaiming Christ as our King?  Or are we embarrassed to do so?  Do we try to hide the sign of our faith or do we boldly walk behind that banner?  Is it hard to talk about your love for the Lord  because you are afraid that it may “offend” someone?

            In 2 Timothy 1:8, Paul challenges us: “So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don't be ashamed of me, either, even though I'm in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News.”

            When Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, it was a time of mounting persecution.  Timothy may have been afraid to continue to preach the gospel.  Believers were being arrested and executed.  Today we hear more and more instances where Christians are being persecuted all over the world.  

            What about here in our country, our state, our community? Are we willing to stand strong in our beliefs?  We should remember that the Holy Spirit is always there to give us courage.  We should never be ashamed to testify of our love for the Lord.

            The Lord is our Banner….may we never be ashamed to tell others about the joy that comes from a personal relationship with Him.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Joy in the Battles of Life

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Joy Juice has several names….it can be called “The Joy of the Lord”, “Salvation in Christ”, “Relationship with Jesus”…among other names.

            In ancient times, a person’s name revealed much about his character. When we study the names of God, His names tell us a great deal about the person and character of God.  We discussed yesterday one of those names --Jehovah Nissi---The Lord is my Banner. This name for God is found in Exodus 17:15.

            Writer Leah Adams explains: “In this passage Moses held God’s staff in his hand and as long as his hands and God’s staff were raised, Joshua and the Israelites won the war with the Amalekites. What I want us to pay particular attention to is that this battle was all about God. Joshua, Moses, Aaron, Hur, and the Israelite armies were simply vessels God used, but the battle itself was orchestrated by God. Moses knew this and wanted to make certain the Israelites knew it and remembered it. Nothing that he or they did in the physical realm brought about victory. God’s presence and power took them into the battle and assured the victory when the battle was done.”

             Each of us finds ourselves in a battle from time to time.  Some battles are chosen for you by the Lord….some we choose for ourselves.  Either way, we need to be sure that we are allowing Jehovah Nissi to lead the way. 

            The only way to know the joy of certain victory is the let the Lord go before you as your Banner.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Raise Your Joy Banner

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Raise your “joy banner” and march forward into a joyful day!

            In Exodus 17:15 we read:  “And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The Lord Is My Banner.”

            What is meant by “banner”?  All kinds of banners are available on the internet:

  • Backdrop Banners
  • Mesh Banners
  • Adhesive Banners
  • Fabric Banners
  • Event Banners
  • Birthday Banners
  • Real Estate Banners

Somehow I don’t think that’s quite the kind of “banner” that scripture is referring to!  However, each banner is an indicator of what’s being “promoted or announced”.  If the Lord is our “Banner”….we are announcing our love and commitment to Him.

            Another way to think of the word “banner” is that it is a standard that bears the colors by which a military unit is identified and behind which troops rally. When Moses built the altar spoken of in Exodus, he named it Jehovah Nissi…..The Lord is my Banner.  He was proclaiming, “I rally behind my God. I trust Him and will look to Him for leadership.  I will faithfully follow Him.”

             May we march boldly and joyfully behind The Banner.   As one writer puts it, “To be distracted, look around. To be distressed, look within. To be defeated, look back. To be discouraged, look down. To be delivered, look up. To be delighted, look to Christ.” HE is our Banner of love and joy! 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Be Filled with Joy

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  May our thoughts, our actions and our words be filled with joy as we go along our way each and every day!

            One sure way to experience more genuine joy in our lives is to continually recognize and give thanks for our many blessings.  Let’s memorize the beautiful scripture passage in Psalm 126: 2-3 that says: “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.’ The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”

            Though our circumstances are not always going to be “filled with joy”…our hearts can be.  When we focus on all that God has done…His faithfulness in the past as well as today---when we can praise Him simply because HE IS GOD, then our hearts will be filled.  A thankful heart is a joyful heart.

            When you find yourself in a dark place and you are struggling to find joy, open your Bible to the book of Psalms and find encouragement.  Listen to some good Praise & Worship music. Recall the way God has faithfully taken care of you in the past. “The Lord HAS done great things for us.”

            Strive toward a deeper relationship with the Lord by praising Him for His faithfulness and letting your heart overflow with gratitude and joy.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Practice Joy

          Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Practice drinking in the joy of the Lord every day!

            “Practice makes perfect.” We’ve heard that throughout our lives.  What we mean is…the more we practice something, the better our skills will be.  Such as practicing a musical instrument, a sport, speaking a foreign language.  If you don’t practice, odds are, you won’t improve.

            A very devout Christian, Brother Lawrence, lived in the 1600’s.  He is remembered for the intimacy he expressed concerning his relationship to God. A book was compiled after his death called  The Practice of the Presence of God.  That concept…of “practicing the presence of God” is the key to living a life of joy. How do we “practice His presence”?  For starters:

  • By making God our top priority.
  • By committing each minute of every new day to His will.
  • By loving others with the Lord of Christ.
  • By applying the instruction of scripture.

Listen to this beautiful Doxology in Jude 1:24-25 
 "To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen."

            Let’s practice the presence of God and experience His glory with great joy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Treasure of Pure Joy

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Sincere joy in the Lord is a valuable treasure!

            Don’t you love to discover a treasure?  Treasures come in all shapes and forms.  There is the treasure of:

  • Family
  • Friendships
  • Old letters with personal messages
  • Pictures of times gone by
  • Sweet memories
  • Hugs from loved ones
  • Shared laughter with friends
  • Kind words of encouragement

Each of these treasures doesn’t hold monetary value but something much deeper and more valuable.  Money and material possessions pale in comparison to treasures of the heart.

      In Matthew 13:44 Jesus refers to treasure: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.  When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”

            Have you discovered your hidden treasure?  Do you know that God has prepared special treasures just for you?  One of those treasures is the joy you will find when you have clear direction in your life by following Him. The joy jewels from His treasure chest are priceless!

           May we live out  Psalm 16:11 that says, “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence…”

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Joy of Jesus

           Have you had your Joy Juice today?  I’m talking about the real stuff…not some artificial substitute!

We know that we will NOT always feel joyful. Sometimes we can’t even “fake it til we make it”.  If we equate joy with being happy all the time, then we will lose that feeling when our circumstances are hard and less than desirable.

            On the other hand, if our understanding of “joy” is built on the truth of scripture, that God never changes and He never breaks His promises, then we can trust in the joy of relationship with Him.

             True, genuine, authentic joy comes from putting our trust totally in God.  As David said in Psalm 3:3,  “But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.”   Do you, like David, see that He is the shield about you, to protect you in the midst of life’s hardships?  Do you recognize His glory in every part of your day?  Do you sense His loving hand of comfort and His ability to sustain you when you are weak?  If your answers to these questions are yes, then you know what genuine joy is all about.

            If you are not sure, then open the Word of God, begin to search the scriptures for truth and ask the Lord to open the eyes of your heart.  Jesus wants you to have joy…He says so in John 15:11: “ I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

           Drink in the genuine Joy Juice of Jesus and walk step by step in faith.

Monday, March 9, 2015


            Have you had your Joy Juice today?     Joy… the word itself has a cheerful ring to it. 

     I think it’s pretty safe to assume that most of us desire to have “joy” in our lives….but what kind do you desire? 

  • The kind of “joy” that comes from being happy?
  • The kind of excitement you feel when you get something new?
  • The kind of satisfaction in job well done?
  • The kind of feeling you get from a special friendship?

While all of these are good things, they can change in minute’s time.  They are temporary.  Let’s talk about genuine joy…joy that lasts….joy that will be with us through the valleys, as well as the mountain top experiences.

            One dictionary gives this definition of joy: “The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying.” Hmmmm….that describes chocolate in my book!  I prefer the definition that I found by Patti M. Hummel: “Joy is setting the soul upon the top of a pinnacle; it is the cream of the sincere milk of the Word (of God).  Spiritual joy is a sweet and delightful passion, arising from the apprehension and feeling of some good, whereby the soul is supported under present troubles and fenced against future fear.”  WOW!  I wish I’d written that!

            This definition lines up perfectly with the scripture in Nehemiah 8:10 when we are reminded that “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”  

            Focus on the real meaning of joy…and find genuine joy in your relationship with Jesus!

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Secret to a Heart of Joy......

           Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Even if you are fasting, you can drink in the wholesome joy of the Lord!

            Some people fast to prepare for medical tests.  Others fast to lose weight or for health reasons.  But what about the spiritual aspect of fasting?  It’s really not a popular subject because it’s something we’d rather not do!  BUT we can’t take part of what  Jesus teaches in scripture and not the rest. 

            Look at verses 16-18 of Matthew 6.  Jesus does not say IF you fast…He says; WHEN…. 

 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting.  Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,  (clean up, comb your hair, brush your teeth, look your best)  so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

           During Jesus’ lifetime, fasting from food was an opportunity for displaying one’s piety; many would go about disheveled and visibly hungry to show others how “spiritual” there were.  Of course, there are other types of fasting, as well, but for today’s discussion, we are focusing on food.

            Our fasting is to be so secretive that we appear clean and joyful. If we are going on about our business with a smile on our face and not complaining about being hungry, who, but God, will know we are fasting?!  And He is the only One who needs to know.

.          I’ve got a secret!  And SO DO YOU!  The secret to a heart of JOY is in our LOVE relationship with The Lord.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

"The Secret of Praying is Praying in Secret"

           Have you had your Joy Juice today?  I pray that you have…even if you want to drink it in secret!

            The Bible is filled with wisdom for us to apply in our daily lives.  It’s a continual spiritual learning process. And it takes a lot of prayer and commitment.   

           Matthew 6:5-6 teaches:
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.  Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
                  Dr. Leonard Ravenhill once said, “The secret of praying is praying in secret.”  In this passage from Matthew 6, Jesus teaches about the issue of sincerity. God wants us to be real, authentic in our walk with him…and that includes our prayer life!

               We are to come before the Lord with a pure heart – a heart that says, “Lord, I’m coming before you with the intention of drawing closer to You in an intimate, personal way.”  When we move with a pure heart, God will move, because our God is a motion-sensitive God.
                What’s the prerequisite?  Transparency.   As you go into your time of prayer, confess your heart, your feelings, your thoughts. It is a beautiful thing to experience that intimate place of joy with God.

                Pray in secret and experience authentic joy.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Give in Secret and Experience True Joy

                    Have you had your Joy Juice today?  God continues to stir up fresh batches just for you! 

          We are talking this week about “secrets”.  God knows our secrets and loves us through them all….even the hard ones. Let’s go to the book of Matthew, Chapter 6 and read about some secrets to a heart of joy.

The first four verses say:

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others.  Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

            In most cases, it’s not our human nature to be “givers”.  And when we do, we want everyone to know! We want recognition! THAT is why we need to give God control of that area of our lives (as well as all areas). When God’s in control, we will learn to give cheerfully and generously for the right reasons…out of our love for Him.

          Look for opportunities to share the love and joy of Jesus…but let’s remember: “Do not tooteth thine own horn!”  Instead, give in secret and experience true joy.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Give Your Secrets to God and Find Peace & Joy

           Have you had your Joy Juice today?  The secret ingredient to the recipe of “joy” is the love of The Lord! 

            Jeremiah 23:24: “Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?" declares the LORD. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" 

            Sometimes we make unwise choices and later, we realize what foolish mistakes we’ve made. We want to put them in the past and leave them there, but it seems they keep haunting us. Secrets from our past…… We may be able to hide them from other people, but as the scripture tells us, we can never hide from God.  He knows all…and continues to love us.  Yes, some of our choices grieve Him, that’s true.  He desires for us to be repentant and seek forgiveness so that our lives will be free from the guilt and burdens of the past.  When we give those “secrets” to God, He will replace them with a joyful peace.   

            Let me remind you of something: God knows all of our secrets, our good secrets, our embarrassing secrets, our tiny secrets, our big secrets, our silly secrets, our sinful secrets….YET HE STILL LOVE US!  Let’s confess those secrets to the Lord.  He already knows them, but He wants to make sure that YOU & I know that we need forgiveness and his strength to be able to release them to Him….and  focus on His will and plan for the rest of our life.

            It’s no secret that God loves you! Accept His love & forgiveness and be bathed in His fresh joy.

Monday, March 2, 2015

I've Got a Secret...and It's Joyfully Amazing!

             Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Can you keep a secret?  I’ve got one to share with you!

             Some of you may remember the television game show entitled, “I've Got a Secret!”   The show was produced by Mark Goodson & Bill Todman for CBC ; it  premiered in June of 1952…(the year I was born! That was a loooong time ago!)

               The object of the game was for celebrity panelists to determine a contestant's "secret"---something that was unusual, amazing, embarrassing, or humorous about that person.  It provided much entertainment, because there is something intriguing about finding out a secret! Benjamin Franklin once said, "Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.”

            Today…..I’ve Got a Secret…but it not embarrassing---far from it!  It is JOYFULLY AMAZING! It can be found in the archives of the greatest Book of all times (the Bible).  I’m not going to make you guess the secret!  I cannot wait to share with you!  The secret is about secrets…..God knows the secrets of our heart and loves us unconditionally!
Psalm 44:20-21 says:
 If we had forgotten the name of our God
    or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
 would not God have discovered it,
    since he knows the secrets of the heart?

             Though these words were written long ago….they are meant for us today.  God is the same yesterday, today and forever! His Word NEVER changes. That means, He knows the secrets of your heart and mine.  He knows and He cares!  

              Listen as God whispers His “love secrets” straight into your heart and be filled with joy.