Saturday, April 27, 2013

Finding Joy

I have been accused of being a Pollyanna, always being happy no matter what. I have been told I've never experienced the hard knocks of life. Let me state clearly, on the record, neither statement is true. I am not always happy; I've experienced tragedy just as you have.

The USA experienced a bombing in Boston nearly 2 weeks ago, people were injured and killed, the Midwest experienced flooding, and a small town "up the road" from me in Texas experienced an explosion at a fertilizer plant. All of these incidents brought sadness and grief to my heart. I didn't put on a Pollyanna hat and play the glad game; I cried.

No matter what life brings, I try to cling to the joy of the Lord because it is my strength. The Bible tells us:

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

For his anger is but for a moment,and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

If you think your life is lacking in joy, pray about it. Circumstances can anger us, fill us with grief, fatigue us, numb us, etc - but they cannot take away our joy.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Winter of my Discontent?

Southeast Texas received what is probably the winter of 2012-2013's last blast this morning. Does it bring discontent to my heart? No! It delays our main season which is HOT for a few days. The Pansies I planted in my yard last November seem thrilled with it too. However judging from Facebook posts, I am in the minority around my little town.

Many times our emotions are influenced by life's circumstances, the weather, a person driving their car slowly in the fast lane, a baby's laughter, time spent with a precious friend, a phone call, a flood, a terrorist's bomb exploding at the finish line of a marathon. Our emotions can become a roller coaster ride if we let them.

One constant we can depend on is the Lord. When life is hard, we must continue to press into the Word and pray. If we are exhausted, we must ask our friends to carry us in prayer as the paralytic's friends carried him to Jesus. The night of the Boston bombing and then again the night the fertilizer plant exploded in West, Texas I had trouble sleeping. My heart ached for the victims of both incidents. Thankfully I could dwell on Scripture I sowed into my heart which helped me sleep. It is never too late to begin memorizing Scripture. Below are a few of the verses I memorized as my dad was hospitalized for 11.5 months in 2008:

PS 29:11 NIV The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.

Phil 4:8 NIV Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

PS 19:1-3 NIV The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.

Remember He will never leave us or forsake us!

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 15, 2013

My Siesta verse is John 15:4 from the ESV:

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

I pray I abide in the vine and bear good fruit.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Things Left Unsaid

A friend asked if anything was left unsaid between my father and me. I told her no and thankfully my last words to him were I love you and I will see you later. (I meant in a couple of hours after I returned to the hospital from work and his CT Scan was finished and he was in a room.)

I began to think what have I left unsaid to friends and loved ones? Are they words which need to be spoken or are they judgments and opinions I should keep to myself and repent of before the Lord?

As I read through the Bible in a year with a group of women; part of today's reading is the last words of David. (2 days in a row, last words are mentioned, seems to be a theme.) Below are his words from II Samuel 23:

“The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me;
his word is on my tongue.
The God of Israel has spoken;
the Rock of Israel has said to me:
When one rules justly over men,
ruling in the fear of God,
he dawns on them like the morning light,
like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning,
like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.
“For does not my house stand so with God?
For he has made with me an everlasting covenant,
ordered in all things and secure.
For will he not cause to prosper
all my help and my desire?
But worthless men are all like thorns that are thrown away,
for they cannot be taken with the hand;
but the man who touches them
arms himself with iron and the shaft of a spear,
and they are utterly consumed with fire.”

After reading this portion of Chapter 23; I pondered if given the opportunity, what would my last words be? It is my desire they would not be words of judgment and criticism. I want them to be encouraging as well as a testament to God's enduring Love, Mercy, Grace, Truth, and the gift of Everlasting Life.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


March arrived like a lion and went out somewhere between a lion and lamb. I don't recall a windier March in years. The Azalea blooms are fading, Bluebonnets abound around Texas which means our main season - HOT - is around the corner, it will settle here for months. Its friend Humidity will be its ever present company. It can make a woman wish she played the lotto, won the lotto, and bought a summer home in Colorado or Maine.

It is time to prune shrubs, plant summer flowers and vegetables as well as fertilize the lawn. It is also time for another Siesta verse which will nourish my spirit. My verse is John 15:3 from the ESV:

Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.