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Monday, October 31, 2016

Hear Joy?

            Have you had your Joy Juice today? Listen carefully and you might hear “joy” bubbling forth!

            We know that listening and hearing are not necessarily the same thing.  We can hear someone talking to us, but we have to be intent on listening and comprehending their words. 

            When in a group, do you feel uncomfortable when the conversation goes silent? My friend and author, Karen Ehman, is a self-proclaimed “gap-filler”.  I guess that’s why we are friends, because I fall into that same category.  A gap-filler likes continual, easy conversation… no lulls…a steady stream of words….even if it’s just rambling noise.   

            The gift of gab can be great at times, but it can sometimes lead to irritation, annoyance and even conflict. In James 1:19-20, he tells us “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”  Notice that James included ‘anger’ in that passage…along with being “quick to listen and slow to speak”.  Why?

            “Speaking too soon combined with not listening leads to conflict; and conflict often leads to anger.” ( Karen Ehman in Keep It Shut)

            Let’s spread joy….by being “quick to listen” and “slow to speak”.   

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Joy of Friendship

Have you had your Joy Juice today?  It tastes especially sweet when you share it with friends!

            Do you realize what a gift we have in friendship?! Friends are God’s joyful blessings to help us in tough times and celebrate with us in the good times.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says: “Two are better than one, because they have good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up.  But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”

            This verse emphasizes how we need one another!  Two are better than one!!!!  Do you surround yourself with friends or do you prefer to be alone?  PLEASE include your friends in your daily life.  You miss out on so much when you don’t!

            Friends provide support, laughter, encouragement and companionship. They are there to share your tears, to pick you up when you’re down and to pray for your needs and desires. But the key to having friends is that you must first be one yourself.  Make the effort to reach out to people…don’t wait for them to come to you.  “Show yourself friendly” as Proverbs 18:24 teaches. When we do, we will find the blessing of friendship to be one of our greatest pleasures. Good friends will be there when we “fall” to help us up and encourage us.

            Let’s remember that our BEST friend should always be Jesus!  Thank Him for Christian friends who will encourage you to seek the JOY of the Lord every day!

            Be a friend by sharing the joy of the Lord with others.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Tender Heart....Filled with Joy in the Lord!

 Have you had your Joy Juice today?  If you are drinking it “on the go”, be careful to watch your step so that you won’t stumble and fall!

            Proverbs is a power-packed book of wisdom!  Each time I read it, I see something “new”. He gives us certain commands and instructions…for our good!  He loves us and wants to protect us.  What’s sad is that often we think we know better and we run straight toward trouble….simply by not allowing God to be our top priority.

            Look at Proverbs 28:14. “ Blessed is the man who always fears the Lord, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.” In this verse “fear” means to revere and honor God.  It has to do with respecting Who He is! We are to make sure that our hearts stay “tender” toward Him.  We don’t ever want to get to a place spiritually that our hearts are hardened. 

            Do we listen to God? Do we recognize His voice? Can we “rejoice in the Lord in all circumstances”?  If our hearts are tender and we “fear the Lord”, our answer will be ‘yes’ to these questions.  If not, then we need to stop and assess whether are hearts have become hardened.  Remember what our verse for today says: “he who hardens his heart FALLS into trouble.”

            Please listen to God as He leads you.  When we’re in tune with His will, JOY will be ours!

            May we each have a tender heart and not fall into trouble.