Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving















Yes that is actually my Thanksgiving "Tom" Turkey from 2008! :-) I do love to celebrate and this is a little tradition passed down to me by my Dad's Mom, Anna Kalis. We never sat down to Thanksgiving dinner without the bird being "dressed" with buttons down his chest (cranberries on toothpicks) and wax paper booties on his feet. I have no idea where she got the idea from but as you can see it has stuck with ME! While most people laugh pretty hard at this tradition, it does make a rather pretty picture, don't ya think? :-)


Any one who knows me a bit knows how much I love to celebrate anything and everything, but especially the holidays! On Thanksgiving, my hubby and I usually don some type of "pilgrim" attire to remember our founding fathers the pilgrims who thanked the Lord with a feast after losing many loved ones on the voyage here aboard the Mayflower and then throughout the hard cold winter. In spite of their grief and hardships they celebrated.

Are you going to celebrate this year or are you going to mourn? Holidays are joyful and fun for some but for many holidays are dreaded and painful and emphatically punctuate their sorrows. How can we celebrate when our heart is broken and we've experienced brokenness in a precious relationship - or when our hearts are grief stricken over loss of a loved one - or a tragic diagnosis has just been handed out. How do we celebrate when "happy family time" just points out to our own hearts that we are alone and broken and struggling? How do we celebrate when family is fractured and relationships are strained maybe even abusive? The joy on the one hand augments and emphasizes the pain on the other?

Always we have a choice of how to deal with the holidays. We can choose to run away and avoid all the pain. We can choose to drown ourselves in some diversion. We can put on a "mask" and pretend away that we are not hurting. We can make everyone else uncomfortable with our sullenness and silence. I would like to suggest to you, there may be a better way.

First we must acknowledge and own our own pain. Why do family times make me so unhappy, uncomfortable? It is ok and even healthy to identify the wound. It is ok to say this hurts. Talk to someone you can trust about your pain. If you've lost a loved one in the last year, each one is grieving in their own way. There is comfort in shared grief. Most importantly take your wounds to Jesus. Jesus is trustworthy with any ugly wound you are trying to cover up. He is the GREAT PHYSICIAN. He is actually the only one who can heal your heart. Jesus wants to heal your heart more than you want it healed yourself. Wounds do not heal under wraps they need to be cleaned and exposed to the air. Invite Jesus into your pain, He will dress the wound, ask Him to heal the wound. It will take time - while wounds heal, pain is ongoing, but the pain from a wound that is in the process of healing is bearable.

Family is so important in our lives. We need our families. Our families need us. The greatest gift we bring each is other is ourselves. Yes we are all imperfect and struggling with life - but we are still here and still able to provide comfort and laughter and "home" for one another. So often we are tempted to look at others in our families and think if I were only like them - they have it all together - most of the time that is not even true - they have their own heartaches and struggles just like we do. Home and family is where we need to share our hearts. Now I know you cannot trust everyone with your heart - but I want to suggest to you to find at least one safe family member and take a little time to address your concerns and issues with the holiday stuff! Put a plan in place. If Uncle Joe bugs the life out of you when he starts his rants, create an out for yourself. Take a walk, help in the kitchen, play with the kids - they grow so quickly, sit and listen to grandma or grandpa, they may not be there next year. Actually, we never know when it might be the last opportunity to all be together as family. Life has no guarantees.

There's a little saying, "If you'll think, you'll thank." Stop and think of happy memories you share with your siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, grand parents, etc. No one else loves us, knows us, gets us, and yes maybe annoys us, like our own family! Joy is a choice and its up to us to choose it. We can choose to go on as "poor me victims", "blame mongers", "woe is me", absent ourselves, or we can choose to focus on the blessings. I'm not suggesting we deny our pain but rather that we face it. Face it, embrace it, release it. You will enjoy your family and they will enjoy you. If you knew it was the last time you'd ever be able to celebrate together, your words would be tender and gentle, you'd listen carefully and intently to one another, you'd laugh heartily at family humor and you'd come away comforted rather than depressed and oppressed.

I pray that no matter what is going on in your heart and life, you will celebrate a Joy filled Thanksgiving. I know the pain of celebrating after brokenness and loss of loved ones. I've allowed Jesus to heal my wounds and I've chosen JOY. You can too. If you are hurting and would like to talk with me further, or have questions, please email me at joy@joy-bringer-ministries.org .

When I was a girl Thanksgiving looked like this:
Mom got up early put the turkey in the oven
We all got up and dressed for church
Thanksgiving Service was a big deal - well attended - anyone who came was permitted to share whatever they were thankful for (we had to participate too) - no preaching - special music.
Then home for a feast with relatives and friends and oh joy it was not a Sunday so we could play and when we were older even watch some TV!
Grand mom Kalis dressed the turkey before we sat down to eat it. :-)
At the table we had place cards with our names on them and Bible verses my Mom had written out by hand that had the word Thanksgiving or thanks in it, which we all had to read aloud and then say what we were most thankful for. Someone prayed a long prayer before we ate.
Unfortunately it was all ruined by the heaps of dishes to wash up and put away!

Today Thanksgiving looks like this:
I get up and put the turkey in the oven
We watch the Macy's Day Parade, of course!
Then I cook a lot more food than we can eat
There are a lot less relatives to cook for - many are already in heaven.
We still take a turn and thank the Lord for our many blessings.
We sit and talk a lot longer than when we were kids.
We all help clean up.
Hubby watches football.
I like to end the day by watching "Miracle on 34th Street"
Mom and Gerda go off to Chinese retreat.
Alfred and I go down to Lancaster to meet up with more family on Friday.


Psalms 89:15: "Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance." Whatever or however you do it, CHOOSE JOY and have a truly Happy Thanksgiving!

Joyfully yours,
Ruth Joy
joy@joy-bringer-ministries.org

Thanksgiving















Yes that is actually my Thanksgiving "Tom" Turkey from 2008! :-) I do love to celebrate and this is a little tradition passed down to me by my Dad's Mom, Anna Kalis. We never sat down to Thanksgiving dinner without the bird being "dressed" with buttons down his chest (cranberries on toothpicks) and wax paper booties on his feet. I have no idea where she got the idea from but as you can see it has stuck with ME! While most people laugh pretty hard at this tradition, it does make a rather pretty picture, don't ya think? :-)


Any one who knows me a bit knows how much I love to celebrate anything and everything, but especially the holidays! On Thanksgiving, my hubby and I usually don some type of "pilgrim" attire to remember our founding fathers the pilgrims who thanked the Lord with a feast after losing many loved ones on the voyage here aboard the Mayflower and then throughout the hard cold winter. In spite of their grief and hardships they celebrated.

Are you going to celebrate this year or are you going to mourn? Holidays are joyful and fun for some but for many holidays are dreaded and painful and emphatically punctuate their sorrows. How can we celebrate when our heart is broken and we've experienced brokenness in a precious relationship - or when our hearts are grief stricken over loss of a loved one - or a tragic diagnosis has just been handed out. How do we celebrate when "happy family time" just points out to our own hearts that we are alone and broken and struggling? How do we celebrate when family is fractured and relationships are strained maybe even abusive? The joy on the one hand augments and emphasizes the pain on the other?

Always we have a choice of how to deal with the holidays. We can choose to run away and avoid all the pain. We can choose to drown ourselves in some diversion. We can put on a "mask" and pretend away that we are not hurting. We can make everyone else uncomfortable with our sullenness and silence. I would like to suggest to you, there may be a better way.

First we must acknowledge and own our own pain. Why do family times make me so unhappy, uncomfortable? It is ok and even healthy to identify the wound. It is ok to say this hurts. Talk to someone you can trust about your pain. If you've lost a loved one in the last year, each one is grieving in their own way. There is comfort in shared grief. Most importantly take your wounds to Jesus. Jesus is trustworthy with any ugly wound you are trying to cover up. He is the GREAT PHYSICIAN. He is actually the only one who can heal your heart. Jesus wants to heal your heart more than you want it healed yourself. Wounds do not heal under wraps they need to be cleaned and exposed to the air. Invite Jesus into your pain, He will dress the wound, ask Him to heal the wound. It will take time - while wounds heal, pain is ongoing, but the pain from a wound that is in the process of healing is bearable.

Family is so important in our lives. We need our families. Our families need us. The greatest gift we bring each is other is ourselves. Yes we are all imperfect and struggling with life - but we are still here and still able to provide comfort and laughter and "home" for one another. So often we are tempted to look at others in our families and think if I were only like them - they have it all together - most of the time that is not even true - they have their own heartaches and struggles just like we do. Home and family is where we need to share our hearts. Now I know you cannot trust everyone with your heart - but I want to suggest to you to find at least one safe family member and take a little time to address your concerns and issues with the holiday stuff! Put a plan in place. If Uncle Joe bugs the life out of you when he starts his rants, create an out for yourself. Take a walk, help in the kitchen, play with the kids - they grow so quickly, sit and listen to grandma or grandpa, they may not be there next year. Actually, we never know when it might be the last opportunity to all be together as family. Life has no guarantees.

There's a little saying, "If you'll think, you'll thank." Stop and think of happy memories you share with your siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, grand parents, etc. No one else loves us, knows us, gets us, and yes maybe annoys us, like our own family! Joy is a choice and its up to us to choose it. We can choose to go on as "poor me victims", "blame mongers", "woe is me", absent ourselves, or we can choose to focus on the blessings. I'm not suggesting we deny our pain but rather that we face it. Face it, embrace it, release it. You will enjoy your family and they will enjoy you. If you knew it was the last time you'd ever be able to celebrate together, your words would be tender and gentle, you'd listen carefully and intently to one another, you'd laugh heartily at family humor and you'd come away comforted rather than depressed and oppressed.

I pray that no matter what is going on in your heart and life, you will celebrate a Joy filled Thanksgiving. I know the pain of celebrating after brokenness and loss of loved ones. I've allowed Jesus to heal my wounds and I've chosen JOY. You can too. If you are hurting and would like to talk with me further, or have questions, please email me at joy@joy-bringer-ministries.org .

When I was a girl Thanksgiving looked like this:
Mom got up early put the turkey in the oven
We all got up and dressed for church
Thanksgiving Service was a big deal - well attended - anyone who came was permitted to share whatever they were thankful for (we had to participate too) - no preaching - special music.
Then home for a feast with relatives and friends and oh joy it was not a Sunday so we could play and when we were older even watch some TV!
Grand mom Kalis dressed the turkey before we sat down to eat it. :-)
At the table we had place cards with our names on them and Bible verses my Mom had written out by hand that had the word Thanksgiving or thanks in it, which we all had to read aloud and then say what we were most thankful for. Someone prayed a long prayer before we ate.
Unfortunately it was all ruined by the heaps of dishes to wash up and put away!

Today Thanksgiving looks like this:
I get up and put the turkey in the oven
We watch the Macy's Day Parade, of course!
Then I cook a lot more food than we can eat
There are a lot less relatives to cook for - many are already in heaven.
We still take a turn and thank the Lord for our many blessings.
We sit and talk a lot longer than when we were kids.
We all help clean up.
Hubby watches football.
I like to end the day by watching "Miracle on 34th Street"
Mom and Gerda go off to Chinese retreat.
Alfred and I go down to Lancaster to meet up with more family on Friday.


Psalms 89:15: "Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance." Whatever or however you do it, CHOOSE JOY and have a truly Happy Thanksgiving!

Joyfully yours,
Ruth Joy
joy@joy-bringer-ministries.org

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Prayer - Thy Kingdom Come








Prayer - just the word itself has a negative effect on many of us. Why? I think because humans have complicated it!

God intended prayer to be simple.


Ask - it will be given
Seek - you will find
Knock - the door will be opened to you


Direct asking, direct receiving
Earnest seeking, abundant finding
Persistent knocking - Doors open



God hears our prayers.
This fact alone is something we all struggle with - we believe we have to be some kind of special perfect in order for God to even hear our prayers. Why do we think that? I want to suggest that we can only think that when do not KNOW our God well enough.


A parent hears their children requests - all of them - yet it is not always good or right or timely to grant the request. We do not give a 6 year old keys to our car. That does not mean we do not love the 6 year old!


God wants to communicate with us - which you can see in my earlier posts. He wants us to hear Him and He wants to hear us.


Notice again in the sample prayer Jesus gave His disciples:

"Our Father, in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

Up to this point notice not one word about ME or MY or GIVE ME!

This is where our prayers need to start also. My Father, You are holy and to be reverenced. I come before you humbly seeking YOUR answers in my life/world. Your kingdom come! This is key! God has answers! Answers that we have not yet even thought of. If we just make up our mind what God needs to / ought to/ should have alredy done and stamp our feet and holler at Him that we are surprised He has not already granted our request we are missing the mark. We need to bring ourselves, our lives, our concerns humbly before Him and invite HIM to answer the needs according to HIS riches in glory through Christ Jesus our Savior and Lord.

God answers prayer!

Another fact that is hard for us to believe! Why? As children coming to parents we understand the answer process. Sometimes immediate, sometimes delayed, but always answered somehow!
Jesus told us that God the Father is anxious to give the answer. We must remember God sees the BIG picture the long haul - He is working - we are believing - the answer is on the way - we keep trusting - sometimes God's answers are different that what we envisioned. Sometimes the answer is exactly the opposite of what we thought the answer should be. That is where again we need to remind ourselves who is God. We are not God! We do not always understand why He answers as He does and so we need to choose to trust His Love. Granted this is not easy.


Jesus said to his disciples: John 16:23-24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full."


Our prayers ascend as sweet incense before God's throne - don't be afraid to pray - PRAY MORE! Submit your life and family and problems and all that concerns you to OUR FATHER and invite HIS Kingdom to come and HIS will to be done and see the answers HE sends.


Prayer is our secret weapon against Satan and his kingdom, there's on old rhyme, that says:

Satan trembles when he sees, the weakest saint upon their knees. Let's pray more!

Joyfully yours,
Ruth Joy
http://www.joy-bringer-ministries.org/

Prayer - Thy Kingdom Come








Prayer - just the word itself has a negative effect on many of us. Why? I think because humans have complicated it!

God intended prayer to be simple.


Ask - it will be given
Seek - you will find
Knock - the door will be opened to you


Direct asking, direct receiving
Earnest seeking, abundant finding
Persistent knocking - Doors open



God hears our prayers.
This fact alone is something we all struggle with - we believe we have to be some kind of special perfect in order for God to even hear our prayers. Why do we think that? I want to suggest that we can only think that when do not KNOW our God well enough.


A parent hears their children requests - all of them - yet it is not always good or right or timely to grant the request. We do not give a 6 year old keys to our car. That does not mean we do not love the 6 year old!


God wants to communicate with us - which you can see in my earlier posts. He wants us to hear Him and He wants to hear us.


Notice again in the sample prayer Jesus gave His disciples:

"Our Father, in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

Up to this point notice not one word about ME or MY or GIVE ME!

This is where our prayers need to start also. My Father, You are holy and to be reverenced. I come before you humbly seeking YOUR answers in my life/world. Your kingdom come! This is key! God has answers! Answers that we have not yet even thought of. If we just make up our mind what God needs to / ought to/ should have alredy done and stamp our feet and holler at Him that we are surprised He has not already granted our request we are missing the mark. We need to bring ourselves, our lives, our concerns humbly before Him and invite HIM to answer the needs according to HIS riches in glory through Christ Jesus our Savior and Lord.

God answers prayer!

Another fact that is hard for us to believe! Why? As children coming to parents we understand the answer process. Sometimes immediate, sometimes delayed, but always answered somehow!
Jesus told us that God the Father is anxious to give the answer. We must remember God sees the BIG picture the long haul - He is working - we are believing - the answer is on the way - we keep trusting - sometimes God's answers are different that what we envisioned. Sometimes the answer is exactly the opposite of what we thought the answer should be. That is where again we need to remind ourselves who is God. We are not God! We do not always understand why He answers as He does and so we need to choose to trust His Love. Granted this is not easy.


Jesus said to his disciples: John 16:23-24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full."


Our prayers ascend as sweet incense before God's throne - don't be afraid to pray - PRAY MORE! Submit your life and family and problems and all that concerns you to OUR FATHER and invite HIS Kingdom to come and HIS will to be done and see the answers HE sends.


Prayer is our secret weapon against Satan and his kingdom, there's on old rhyme, that says:

Satan trembles when he sees, the weakest saint upon their knees. Let's pray more!

Joyfully yours,
Ruth Joy
http://www.joy-bringer-ministries.org/

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Jesus Calls Us









Myriad voices clamor earnestly and unceasingly for our attention! WHO are we listening to?


"Tweet, tweet, tweet, ringtone, ringtone, ringtone, beep, beep, beep, ding, ding, ding, Mom, Mom, Mom, Hon, Hon, Hon, ......."


From:
TV
Ipod
News Media
Magazines
Newspaper
Blogs
Twitter, FB, MySpace, etc.
Entertainers
Sports
Politicians
Economists
Health Alerts


Has there ever been such a time of CLAMOR for our attention?


How about God's voice? tweet, tweet.....this is God speaking..... "delete" ? ? ? "skip" ? ? ?


How about the voices within:
I'm not important
My life does not matter
I'm basically blowing it
I'm definitely on plan x, y or z certainly not "A" anymore
I'm ugly
I'm too fat
I'm worthless
and on and on those voices drone....


Here's actually a hopeful thought!

"Jesus calls us; over the tumult of our life's wild, restless sea,
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth, Saying "Christian, follow Me."



"As of old the apostles heard it by the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and kindred, leaving all for Jesus' sake. "



"Jesus calls us from the worship of the vain world's golden store,
From each idol that would keep us, Saying, "Christian love Me more."



"In our joys and in our sorrows, Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls in cares and pleasures, "Christian, love Me more than these."



"Jesus calls us; by Thy mercies, Savior, may we hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thy obedience, Serve and love Thee best of all."
~~Cecil F. Alexander, 1818-1895



It's an old hymn from the hymnbook but the words are comforting!



Ever notice that when God was preparing to send His Son into the world He sent "A VOICE"... out in the dessert saying "Prepare ye the way of the Lord..." That "voice" was John the Baptist whose message was "Repent, the Kngdom of Heaven is at hand."
Anybody listening?


A VOICE? God who could send lightening bolts, whirlwinds, earthquakes, etc., starts with.... a VOICE?



Clearly all the social networking in our world make it obvious that people love to be heard and have a lot to say!
Anybody listening?



Later, in Jesus' life while He was transfigured on the mountain top with 3 of His disciples, the Father spoke from heaven: "This is my beloved Son, HEAR HIM."!
Anybody listening?



Astounding that the God of Heaven and Earth should need to tell us that we need to listen to HIM! Is it possible that we could go on living our lives without listening to God? While it seems like a "no brainer" to me - I see clearly in the world all around me that listening to God and for His sweet voice has become a lost art. Our lives are so full of so much other noise that who even has time to think about listening for God to speak? Actually, it may be the most important voice of all!
Anybody listening?



So I ask, whose voice ARE you listening to? When is the last time you actually heard the "sweet sound of HIS voice" speaking to YOU personally? Hearing God speak is not just for some strange "mystical" creatures but rather for each and every one of us. Clearly being "heard" is a basic human need. Let's take it a step further and say clearly, it must be a "God need" as well - to be heard! No surprise there either since we were created "in His image." :-)



HOW- that is the question!
Start with reading God's Word -
Pray - ask Him to speak to you as you read
Listen - !
Remember the little song from Kindergarten - "STOP - LOOK - LISTEN, those are the three commands, You must stop and look and listen, ......" ?
Same with God - STOP - LOOK - LISTEN!
When we desire to hear His voice He speaks!
Anybody listening?



I pray we will all grow in our desire to HEAR the voice of the Lord - however He may choose to reveal it to us today!

Joyfully yours,
Ruth Joy
www.joy-bringer-ministries.org

Jesus Calls Us









Myriad voices clamor earnestly and unceasingly for our attention! WHO are we listening to?


"Tweet, tweet, tweet, ringtone, ringtone, ringtone, beep, beep, beep, ding, ding, ding, Mom, Mom, Mom, Hon, Hon, Hon, ......."


From:
TV
Ipod
News Media
Magazines
Newspaper
Blogs
Twitter, FB, MySpace, etc.
Entertainers
Sports
Politicians
Economists
Health Alerts


Has there ever been such a time of CLAMOR for our attention?


How about God's voice? tweet, tweet.....this is God speaking..... "delete" ? ? ? "skip" ? ? ?


How about the voices within:
I'm not important
My life does not matter
I'm basically blowing it
I'm definitely on plan x, y or z certainly not "A" anymore
I'm ugly
I'm too fat
I'm worthless
and on and on those voices drone....


Here's actually a hopeful thought!

"Jesus calls us; over the tumult of our life's wild, restless sea,
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth, Saying "Christian, follow Me."



"As of old the apostles heard it by the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and kindred, leaving all for Jesus' sake. "



"Jesus calls us from the worship of the vain world's golden store,
From each idol that would keep us, Saying, "Christian love Me more."



"In our joys and in our sorrows, Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls in cares and pleasures, "Christian, love Me more than these."



"Jesus calls us; by Thy mercies, Savior, may we hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thy obedience, Serve and love Thee best of all."
~~Cecil F. Alexander, 1818-1895



It's an old hymn from the hymnbook but the words are comforting!



Ever notice that when God was preparing to send His Son into the world He sent "A VOICE"... out in the dessert saying "Prepare ye the way of the Lord..." That "voice" was John the Baptist whose message was "Repent, the Kngdom of Heaven is at hand."
Anybody listening?


A VOICE? God who could send lightening bolts, whirlwinds, earthquakes, etc., starts with.... a VOICE?



Clearly all the social networking in our world make it obvious that people love to be heard and have a lot to say!
Anybody listening?



Later, in Jesus' life while He was transfigured on the mountain top with 3 of His disciples, the Father spoke from heaven: "This is my beloved Son, HEAR HIM."!
Anybody listening?



Astounding that the God of Heaven and Earth should need to tell us that we need to listen to HIM! Is it possible that we could go on living our lives without listening to God? While it seems like a "no brainer" to me - I see clearly in the world all around me that listening to God and for His sweet voice has become a lost art. Our lives are so full of so much other noise that who even has time to think about listening for God to speak? Actually, it may be the most important voice of all!
Anybody listening?



So I ask, whose voice ARE you listening to? When is the last time you actually heard the "sweet sound of HIS voice" speaking to YOU personally? Hearing God speak is not just for some strange "mystical" creatures but rather for each and every one of us. Clearly being "heard" is a basic human need. Let's take it a step further and say clearly, it must be a "God need" as well - to be heard! No surprise there either since we were created "in His image." :-)



HOW- that is the question!
Start with reading God's Word -
Pray - ask Him to speak to you as you read
Listen - !
Remember the little song from Kindergarten - "STOP - LOOK - LISTEN, those are the three commands, You must stop and look and listen, ......" ?
Same with God - STOP - LOOK - LISTEN!
When we desire to hear His voice He speaks!
Anybody listening?



I pray we will all grow in our desire to HEAR the voice of the Lord - however He may choose to reveal it to us today!

Joyfully yours,
Ruth Joy
www.joy-bringer-ministries.org

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Golden Portals








Sweet is the promise, "I will not forget thee,"
Nothing can molest or turn my soul away;
E'en though the night be dark within the valley,
Just beyond is shining an eternal day.


Trusting the promise, "I will not forget thee,"
Onward I will go with songs of joy and love,
Though earth despise me,
Though my friends forsake me,
I shall be remembered in my home above.


When at the golden portals I am standing,
All my tribulations, all my sorrows past;
How sweet to hear the blessed proclamation,
"Enter, faithful servant, welcome home at last."



Refrain
I will not forget thee or leave thee,
In My hands I'll hold thee,
In My arms I'll fold thee,
I will not forget thee or leave thee;
I am thy Redeemer, I will care for thee.
Charles H. Gabriel

Today I was part of a miracle. I had the feeling of standing "at the golden portals" of heaven as I stood with a precious forgiven post-abortive mommy as she released her babies into our Heavenly Father's care. It was a memorial service. Heaven seemed to draw near as we honored and valued and gave dignity to her children. She was able to testify "the holes in my heart have been replaced with wholeness."


I am overwhelmed and humbled that I was allowed to be part of that experience with her and walk a piece of her healing journey along side of her. The very old song I quoted above is what was rolling around in my heart, so I've shared it. I was part of a miracle today.

The Golden Portals








Sweet is the promise, "I will not forget thee,"
Nothing can molest or turn my soul away;
E'en though the night be dark within the valley,
Just beyond is shining an eternal day.


Trusting the promise, "I will not forget thee,"
Onward I will go with songs of joy and love,
Though earth despise me,
Though my friends forsake me,
I shall be remembered in my home above.


When at the golden portals I am standing,
All my tribulations, all my sorrows past;
How sweet to hear the blessed proclamation,
"Enter, faithful servant, welcome home at last."



Refrain
I will not forget thee or leave thee,
In My hands I'll hold thee,
In My arms I'll fold thee,
I will not forget thee or leave thee;
I am thy Redeemer, I will care for thee.
Charles H. Gabriel

Today I was part of a miracle. I had the feeling of standing "at the golden portals" of heaven as I stood with a precious forgiven post-abortive mommy as she released her babies into our Heavenly Father's care. It was a memorial service. Heaven seemed to draw near as we honored and valued and gave dignity to her children. She was able to testify "the holes in my heart have been replaced with wholeness."


I am overwhelmed and humbled that I was allowed to be part of that experience with her and walk a piece of her healing journey along side of her. The very old song I quoted above is what was rolling around in my heart, so I've shared it. I was part of a miracle today.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

In this manner pray..."Our Father, in heaven"....








Jesus said, "In this manner, therefore pray, "Our Father, in heaven..."

How easy it is to forget about heaven! Our lives are so filled up with the daily-ness of life. Many chores we do over and over and over and over and over. Routine days filled with mundane tasks. How differently would we live our daily routine if we really kept heaven in our focus? Jesus wanted his disciples (and us) to remember that we are on our way HOME! The details of our life are not all there is to our whole existence! Heaven is real and we are going there. Our heavenly Father is in HEAVEN!

Our Father loves us extravagantly! Our life is meant to be a love affair with our God and Savior! A life of passionately awaiting the marriage supper of the Lamb when He will claim us as His bride! Somehow the sameness of daily existence tends to cloud that truth.

We have been led to think of heaven as puffy white clouds with little cherubs sitting on them strumming harps. :-) However, when you read the Bible and pay attention to what it says heaven is like - WOW! Not so much about puffy clouds! :-)

When we pray do we remember that we are praying to our Father who lives in a very real place called HEAVEN!!! Jesus recommended we start there - so we might just give it a try next time and see how it changes our praying!

This post reminds me of a poem my granddad used to quote.

We can only see a little of the ocean,
Just a few miles distant from the sandy shore,
But out there way beyond our eyes horizon,
There's more, immeasureably more!

We can only see a little of God's loving
Just a few rich treasures from His mighty store,
But out there way beyond our eyes horizon,
There's more, immeasureably more!

Today pray with heaven on your mind and in your focus!

Joyfully,
Ruth Joy
http://www.joy-bringer-ministries.org/

In this manner pray..."Our Father, in heaven"....








Jesus said, "In this manner, therefore pray, "Our Father, in heaven..."

How easy it is to forget about heaven! Our lives are so filled up with the daily-ness of life. Many chores we do over and over and over and over and over. Routine days filled with mundane tasks. How differently would we live our daily routine if we really kept heaven in our focus? Jesus wanted his disciples (and us) to remember that we are on our way HOME! The details of our life are not all there is to our whole existence! Heaven is real and we are going there. Our heavenly Father is in HEAVEN!

Our Father loves us extravagantly! Our life is meant to be a love affair with our God and Savior! A life of passionately awaiting the marriage supper of the Lamb when He will claim us as His bride! Somehow the sameness of daily existence tends to cloud that truth.

We have been led to think of heaven as puffy white clouds with little cherubs sitting on them strumming harps. :-) However, when you read the Bible and pay attention to what it says heaven is like - WOW! Not so much about puffy clouds! :-)

When we pray do we remember that we are praying to our Father who lives in a very real place called HEAVEN!!! Jesus recommended we start there - so we might just give it a try next time and see how it changes our praying!

This post reminds me of a poem my granddad used to quote.

We can only see a little of the ocean,
Just a few miles distant from the sandy shore,
But out there way beyond our eyes horizon,
There's more, immeasureably more!

We can only see a little of God's loving
Just a few rich treasures from His mighty store,
But out there way beyond our eyes horizon,
There's more, immeasureably more!

Today pray with heaven on your mind and in your focus!

Joyfully,
Ruth Joy
http://www.joy-bringer-ministries.org/

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bountiful Care







"Thy Bountiful Care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light,
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain."
from the hymn ~~ O Worship The King
by~~Robert Grant 1779-1838


Today is one of those "stellar" days - my dad used to call them "one of the 10 best days of the year" - not a cloud in the sky - mild temps - mid 70's - you just feel drenched in comfortable sunshine no matter where you look. Days like this always make me think of the words I quoted above from the old hymn "O Worship The King"


Bountiful Care - now there's a kind of care I am interested in! It will take us eternity I believe to rehearse all of God's bountiful care over our lives. No matter where we are - how good or how evil our surroundings - no matter how hurting our heart might be at the moment - we can still bank on HIS bountiful care shining through it all. At the darkest time in my life when I thought not even God could show me what to do - HE DID! Our part is to ask Him for it - He likes to be asked. God is just waiting to hug us with His extravagant, loving bountiful care! LET HIM!

Joyfully,

Ruth Joy

Bountiful Care







"Thy Bountiful Care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light,
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain."
from the hymn ~~ O Worship The King
by~~Robert Grant 1779-1838


Today is one of those "stellar" days - my dad used to call them "one of the 10 best days of the year" - not a cloud in the sky - mild temps - mid 70's - you just feel drenched in comfortable sunshine no matter where you look. Days like this always make me think of the words I quoted above from the old hymn "O Worship The King"


Bountiful Care - now there's a kind of care I am interested in! It will take us eternity I believe to rehearse all of God's bountiful care over our lives. No matter where we are - how good or how evil our surroundings - no matter how hurting our heart might be at the moment - we can still bank on HIS bountiful care shining through it all. At the darkest time in my life when I thought not even God could show me what to do - HE DID! Our part is to ask Him for it - He likes to be asked. God is just waiting to hug us with His extravagant, loving bountiful care! LET HIM!

Joyfully,

Ruth Joy

Saturday, August 29, 2009

When You Pray II







Overheard in an Orchard

Said the Robin to the Sparrow:
"I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so?"

Said the Sparrow to the Robin:
"Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me." ~~Elizabeth Cheney

This poem was one my Grandfather quoted frequently. It reminds us that we have a Heavenly Father. I want to pick up my thought from a previous blog about prayer. Jesus told His disciples to start by praying "OUR FATHER".... Now I know for many the thought of FATHER does not conjur up good memories or positive images - but I was blessed with a good Father - I knew he loved me and that he would provide whatever he possibly could for me. When he died I felt forlorn. One of the things I missed sorely was being able to go back home and sit at his table and talk with him. I think I still miss that to this day. Now Jesus called God "OUR FATHER" so that we could understand His heart. A good father is looking for ways to provide for his family and does not expect them to be all worried and concerned about day to day necessities. Another Bible verse tells us to "take NO thought," about where our next meal is coming from or how our clothes will be provided for, because our Heavenly Father knows we need these things. I wish I could say I have always lived like that, but I have not. There have been times when I have been extremely concerned about how those needs would be met. Yet this is the place where prayer BEGINS - !

OUR FATHER who is in heaven - not merely on earth - but one who has resources beyond our wildest imaginations! Once we belong in His family (and He is not wililng that any should perish but that ALL should be family members!) well He takes on the responsibility of caring for us on a daily basis!

Now it is my job to make sure I'm living like I believe that. I don't know if that helps you or not - but I know it sure has quieted my own heart many a time.

May thoughts of OUR FATHER quiet and comfort your heart too.
Joyfully,
Ruth Joy
www.joy-bringer-ministries.org

When You Pray II







Overheard in an Orchard

Said the Robin to the Sparrow:
"I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so?"

Said the Sparrow to the Robin:
"Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me." ~~Elizabeth Cheney

This poem was one my Grandfather quoted frequently. It reminds us that we have a Heavenly Father. I want to pick up my thought from a previous blog about prayer. Jesus told His disciples to start by praying "OUR FATHER".... Now I know for many the thought of FATHER does not conjur up good memories or positive images - but I was blessed with a good Father - I knew he loved me and that he would provide whatever he possibly could for me. When he died I felt forlorn. One of the things I missed sorely was being able to go back home and sit at his table and talk with him. I think I still miss that to this day. Now Jesus called God "OUR FATHER" so that we could understand His heart. A good father is looking for ways to provide for his family and does not expect them to be all worried and concerned about day to day necessities. Another Bible verse tells us to "take NO thought," about where our next meal is coming from or how our clothes will be provided for, because our Heavenly Father knows we need these things. I wish I could say I have always lived like that, but I have not. There have been times when I have been extremely concerned about how those needs would be met. Yet this is the place where prayer BEGINS - !

OUR FATHER who is in heaven - not merely on earth - but one who has resources beyond our wildest imaginations! Once we belong in His family (and He is not wililng that any should perish but that ALL should be family members!) well He takes on the responsibility of caring for us on a daily basis!

Now it is my job to make sure I'm living like I believe that. I don't know if that helps you or not - but I know it sure has quieted my own heart many a time.

May thoughts of OUR FATHER quiet and comfort your heart too.
Joyfully,
Ruth Joy
www.joy-bringer-ministries.org

Friday, August 28, 2009

Connecting the dots / Trust!








We went to dinner tonight with my brother and sister-in-law. What a time we had just conversing about life and things we've been through. It was comforting, uplifting, healing and just plain enjoyable! Have you ever noticed, God just has this amazing way of connecting the dots for us? You know, you struggle through days that are filled with sameness or sometimes madness, or heartache and grief - you know God has ways of working things out - yet it all seems like a bunch of disjointed dots on a page. Then one day out of seemingly nowhere, God just draws a line from one point to the other like one of those "connect the dots" pictures and we get a little glimpse of the truth that HE IS GOD - and He actually does know what He is doing in my life - and He cares, very much! We suddenly realize He is actually working on a bigger picture that we cannot see fully yet but are realizing they are not just random dots without meaning!

Well, that's our God! You may have guessed - tonight HE connected some dots for me! :-) Truth be told, if we really stop and think about our lives, God is about a lot more than meets the eye. He is at work in all of our lives doing things that are not humanly possible at so many levels. The hard part is hanging in there while the dots are totally unconnected. That brings us to TRUST! The life long lesson we are ever learning! God was always looking for the Israelites out in the wilderness to learn that lesson. HE was GOD! He was trustworthy! They didn't get it. I want to get it! I hope you do too.

There is so much tumbling about in my heart and mind - but it'll have to be for another time and blog. If you happen to find yourself in one of those disjointed places - don't lose heart - don't give up - keep trusting God and HIS love and plan - one of these days you too will start to see those dots getting connected!
Joyfully,

Connecting the dots / Trust!








We went to dinner tonight with my brother and sister-in-law. What a time we had just conversing about life and things we've been through. It was comforting, uplifting, healing and just plain enjoyable! Have you ever noticed, God just has this amazing way of connecting the dots for us? You know, you struggle through days that are filled with sameness or sometimes madness, or heartache and grief - you know God has ways of working things out - yet it all seems like a bunch of disjointed dots on a page. Then one day out of seemingly nowhere, God just draws a line from one point to the other like one of those "connect the dots" pictures and we get a little glimpse of the truth that HE IS GOD - and He actually does know what He is doing in my life - and He cares, very much! We suddenly realize He is actually working on a bigger picture that we cannot see fully yet but are realizing they are not just random dots without meaning!

Well, that's our God! You may have guessed - tonight HE connected some dots for me! :-) Truth be told, if we really stop and think about our lives, God is about a lot more than meets the eye. He is at work in all of our lives doing things that are not humanly possible at so many levels. The hard part is hanging in there while the dots are totally unconnected. That brings us to TRUST! The life long lesson we are ever learning! God was always looking for the Israelites out in the wilderness to learn that lesson. HE was GOD! He was trustworthy! They didn't get it. I want to get it! I hope you do too.

There is so much tumbling about in my heart and mind - but it'll have to be for another time and blog. If you happen to find yourself in one of those disjointed places - don't lose heart - don't give up - keep trusting God and HIS love and plan - one of these days you too will start to see those dots getting connected!
Joyfully,

When You Pray







Jesus' disciples saw that when Jesus spent time in prayer He received heaven's answers. They saw the importance He placed on getting alone with His Father and so one day they asked Him, Lord teach us to pray.

Jesus said, when you pray.... and then He gave them a pattern to follow which most of us know as "The Lord's Prayer". Sadly The Lord's prayer has been used as a nursery rhyme to soothe us into a religious feeling.

Jesus said, when you pray say, "Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Notice where Jesus wanted them/us to start. OUR FATHER who is in heaven. Our heavenly Father who is holy, separate, awesome to be reverenced and honored and adored. Have you listened to yourself pray recently? Now I know prayer is simply conversation with God - but God is not a God of random disorder - anything kind of goes kind of God. Just look at the excruciating lengths of order and precision that the Israelites went through to set up worship to God in the wilderness tabernacle. God cared about the tiniest details down to the spoons, garments to be worn, how many pegs in the boards, etc. etc. - Clearly we see there a God that is VERY attentive to details. So when Jesus teaches His disciples about prayer He instructs them to begin with focus on the Heavenly Father. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be THY name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is done in heaven. Notice up to this point not one thing is mentioned about our needs.

When I listen to people pray, I am astounded! If I did not know better I would think they were writing a letter to Santa Claus or maybe a "to do list for Superman. God is neither one of those - He is not just waiting for our "wish list" and then one morning magically going to deliver it all in our living room with bows and shiny paper because we wanted it. Nor is God going to jump when we say jump to zap all the people in our lives into line as we perceive that to be. God is interested in relationship with us. He loves us extravagantly and has already given us the most lavish gift imaginable - the life of His only begotten Son. When we approach Him, He does expect reverence and our focus is to be on Him and His Kingdom. God needs us on this earth to accomplish HIS will and His purpose and that only can happen by our having the heartbeat we see here in this prayer ... THY KINGDOM COME - THY WILL BE DONE... here in my life, in our world, in my community, in my family, in the lives of all those He has placed around us, those hurting and grieving and suffering. That is where our praying needs to START.

I'll continue this thought tomorrow.

My fortune cookie tonight said I was to write my life events in a journal :-) I'm not sure I've added any life events but I am at least journaling.

Joyfully,
Ruth Joy
www.joy-bringer-ministries.org

When You Pray







Jesus' disciples saw that when Jesus spent time in prayer He received heaven's answers. They saw the importance He placed on getting alone with His Father and so one day they asked Him, Lord teach us to pray.

Jesus said, when you pray.... and then He gave them a pattern to follow which most of us know as "The Lord's Prayer". Sadly The Lord's prayer has been used as a nursery rhyme to soothe us into a religious feeling.

Jesus said, when you pray say, "Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Notice where Jesus wanted them/us to start. OUR FATHER who is in heaven. Our heavenly Father who is holy, separate, awesome to be reverenced and honored and adored. Have you listened to yourself pray recently? Now I know prayer is simply conversation with God - but God is not a God of random disorder - anything kind of goes kind of God. Just look at the excruciating lengths of order and precision that the Israelites went through to set up worship to God in the wilderness tabernacle. God cared about the tiniest details down to the spoons, garments to be worn, how many pegs in the boards, etc. etc. - Clearly we see there a God that is VERY attentive to details. So when Jesus teaches His disciples about prayer He instructs them to begin with focus on the Heavenly Father. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be THY name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is done in heaven. Notice up to this point not one thing is mentioned about our needs.

When I listen to people pray, I am astounded! If I did not know better I would think they were writing a letter to Santa Claus or maybe a "to do list for Superman. God is neither one of those - He is not just waiting for our "wish list" and then one morning magically going to deliver it all in our living room with bows and shiny paper because we wanted it. Nor is God going to jump when we say jump to zap all the people in our lives into line as we perceive that to be. God is interested in relationship with us. He loves us extravagantly and has already given us the most lavish gift imaginable - the life of His only begotten Son. When we approach Him, He does expect reverence and our focus is to be on Him and His Kingdom. God needs us on this earth to accomplish HIS will and His purpose and that only can happen by our having the heartbeat we see here in this prayer ... THY KINGDOM COME - THY WILL BE DONE... here in my life, in our world, in my community, in my family, in the lives of all those He has placed around us, those hurting and grieving and suffering. That is where our praying needs to START.

I'll continue this thought tomorrow.

My fortune cookie tonight said I was to write my life events in a journal :-) I'm not sure I've added any life events but I am at least journaling.

Joyfully,
Ruth Joy
www.joy-bringer-ministries.org

P.S. God's Word FIRST!








I have to balance what I've written about listening for God to speak to us and having a hearing ear with this. There are well meaning people running about saying they hear from God for themselves and do not need God's Word or any one else. That is error. I too have seen people use God for exuses to do all sorts of things that are not Godly at all, or are simply just what they want to do. God is not a fool and will not be mocked. I do believe we can hear God in our daily lives as I have already posted, but do not support the abuse of that concept! When God speaks to our hearts it will always line up with Word which is the FIRST place we should hear from Him anyway. Secondly, people who tell others that God gave them a message for someone else - well again - God is not a gossip or a fool. I believe there are many today that call themselves prophets that just deal in "familiar spirits" and it has nothing to do with GOD! When we know God's Word and are in relationship with the Good Shepherd we learn to "know His voice" and cannot be easily led astray or fooled.
Joyfully,
Ruth Joy

www.joy-bringer-ministries.org

P.S. God's Word FIRST!








I have to balance what I've written about listening for God to speak to us and having a hearing ear with this. There are well meaning people running about saying they hear from God for themselves and do not need God's Word or any one else. That is error. I too have seen people use God for exuses to do all sorts of things that are not Godly at all, or are simply just what they want to do. God is not a fool and will not be mocked. I do believe we can hear God in our daily lives as I have already posted, but do not support the abuse of that concept! When God speaks to our hearts it will always line up with Word which is the FIRST place we should hear from Him anyway. Secondly, people who tell others that God gave them a message for someone else - well again - God is not a gossip or a fool. I believe there are many today that call themselves prophets that just deal in "familiar spirits" and it has nothing to do with GOD! When we know God's Word and are in relationship with the Good Shepherd we learn to "know His voice" and cannot be easily led astray or fooled.
Joyfully,
Ruth Joy

www.joy-bringer-ministries.org

An ear to Hear







"Speak, Lord, your servant is listening." 1 Samuel 3:9

Those words were what Eli the priest told the boy Samuel to say when God was attempting to speak with him. God had stopped speaking to Eli due to his failure to discipline his sons. It's a serious thought - Can our disobedience to God stop up our ears? Hearing requires action.

Listening is an art. A long time ago I heard someone teach about "listening" for God's voice. They encouraged us to imagine ourselves as large receivers ready and waiting to pick up any communication that might come through the air waves. You know the receivers I mean - sometimes you see a huge one on someone's lawn or out here in the country on the top of a hill - strategically placed to make receiving signals possible as well as prolific! So maybe we need to place ourselves strategically too in a state of readiness to receive whatever message God would like to communicate to us.

We live in a world that is full of more sound than perhaps ever before - from channels to tweeting, ipods to blackberries, the sounds are endless. How in the world are we going to be able to tune in to hear God's voice through all that competition? It takes some training, time and attentiveness for sure as Samuel learned. It also required his willing heart. "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening."

Have you ever been speaking with someone and midway they start looking across the room at someone else and focusing on another conversation and you realize they are no longer listening to you? I'm afraid I've been guilty of that myself. It does not help the conversation! We all have that basic human need to be HEARD. Many times Jesus said, "he who has ears to hear let him hear" ... Jesus wanted to be heard! Now I'm not just talking about hearing "audio" sound either. Jesus wanted people to hear him with their hearts in such a way that it would affect their daily living.

We do not need multitudes of people to hear us - matter of fact if we have one person who really listens to us and hears our heart it is usually enough. Not so with God, He actually wants ALL of us to really HEAR Him and get His heart and allow it to transform our daily living. Wow! When I believe that it makes me want to say along with Samuel, "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening." I remember as a child on the way home from church my Mom would ask us to tell her what we had heard in the sermon that day. It was easy for us to remember the humorous parts but she was not satisfied with that - she was trying to train us to listen to what was actually being said as young as we were. I am thankful for that training today and can still remember many things I've heard in sermons throughout the years.

You've heard a Mom tell her child "now you need to listen to me" she does not just mean "hear my audible voice" she means DO THIS NOW! God has spoken to us through His Word very clearly and HE want us to hear it in such a way that we will stop everything and DO what we have heard from His word NOW! Do I have an "ear to hear" what God is saying to me today? It is the most important message in the universe. He has literally moved heaven and earth to rescue us from eternal death and give us instead eternal life. It's a message of extravagant love that never changes and never ends. It requires our attention and demands our response. It requires daily obedience to live in a way that shouts to those around us that God is alive in us. It will move us to love those around us as HE loves! A tall order but possible because of Calvary! May our hearts always bow in "speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."
Joyfully,
Ruth Joy
www.joy-bringer-ministries.org

An ear to Hear







"Speak, Lord, your servant is listening." 1 Samuel 3:9

Those words were what Eli the priest told the boy Samuel to say when God was attempting to speak with him. God had stopped speaking to Eli due to his failure to discipline his sons. It's a serious thought - Can our disobedience to God stop up our ears? Hearing requires action.

Listening is an art. A long time ago I heard someone teach about "listening" for God's voice. They encouraged us to imagine ourselves as large receivers ready and waiting to pick up any communication that might come through the air waves. You know the receivers I mean - sometimes you see a huge one on someone's lawn or out here in the country on the top of a hill - strategically placed to make receiving signals possible as well as prolific! So maybe we need to place ourselves strategically too in a state of readiness to receive whatever message God would like to communicate to us.

We live in a world that is full of more sound than perhaps ever before - from channels to tweeting, ipods to blackberries, the sounds are endless. How in the world are we going to be able to tune in to hear God's voice through all that competition? It takes some training, time and attentiveness for sure as Samuel learned. It also required his willing heart. "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening."

Have you ever been speaking with someone and midway they start looking across the room at someone else and focusing on another conversation and you realize they are no longer listening to you? I'm afraid I've been guilty of that myself. It does not help the conversation! We all have that basic human need to be HEARD. Many times Jesus said, "he who has ears to hear let him hear" ... Jesus wanted to be heard! Now I'm not just talking about hearing "audio" sound either. Jesus wanted people to hear him with their hearts in such a way that it would affect their daily living.

We do not need multitudes of people to hear us - matter of fact if we have one person who really listens to us and hears our heart it is usually enough. Not so with God, He actually wants ALL of us to really HEAR Him and get His heart and allow it to transform our daily living. Wow! When I believe that it makes me want to say along with Samuel, "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening." I remember as a child on the way home from church my Mom would ask us to tell her what we had heard in the sermon that day. It was easy for us to remember the humorous parts but she was not satisfied with that - she was trying to train us to listen to what was actually being said as young as we were. I am thankful for that training today and can still remember many things I've heard in sermons throughout the years.

You've heard a Mom tell her child "now you need to listen to me" she does not just mean "hear my audible voice" she means DO THIS NOW! God has spoken to us through His Word very clearly and HE want us to hear it in such a way that we will stop everything and DO what we have heard from His word NOW! Do I have an "ear to hear" what God is saying to me today? It is the most important message in the universe. He has literally moved heaven and earth to rescue us from eternal death and give us instead eternal life. It's a message of extravagant love that never changes and never ends. It requires our attention and demands our response. It requires daily obedience to live in a way that shouts to those around us that God is alive in us. It will move us to love those around us as HE loves! A tall order but possible because of Calvary! May our hearts always bow in "speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."
Joyfully,
Ruth Joy
www.joy-bringer-ministries.org

Listening








I don't know how it is for you, but I find myself amazed repeatedly at how, when and where God finds ways to speak to me when I am listening.

I grew up in a good little box that forbade viewing movies especially at the movie theatre! Eventually I got over it and decided to go to the movies ocassionally. I think that is why it gives me a hearty chuckle that when on the rare ocassions I do go to see a movie God speaks to me from the BIG SCREEN! I do realize most people do not go to the movies to hear God speak to them, but it's a vehicle He uses with me for sure!

I went to see Julie & Julia the other day and you guessed it - there God was speaking to me! Now it's not like I don't attend church so He has to get my attention somehow. I am the wife of a Pastor and a Pastor's daughter, etc. I can say that quite honestly, by the time I was 20 I had attended more church services than most people ever attend in their whole lives! :)

Back to Julie - she was struggling to believe she was a writer, she was struggling to finish what she started and that is where we started to connect and God started nudging me. My husband tells me to write - no, I would have to say, urges me to write. I did start writing a book for women in abuse relationships almost 2 years ago but have stopped. Lately I've been praying that He would help me to finish what I've started and show me how to get myself going again. Well there was the answer in the movie, Julie started a blog and kept it going until she was done. So here I am - I've decided to LISTEN to God's message from the big screen to me. I've started this blog and intend to continue as long as necessary - or at least until I finish that book and maybe beyond!

Hearing from God is not as difficult as we sometimes make it. When we look and listen for His voice, He will speak. Sometimes it's the tiniest whisper in our heart of hearts. Sometimes He's laughing out loud with us from the big screen. Sometimes He's just shining on us through His creation. Sometimes He's singing to us through the song we are listening to. However it comes, when we are listening for Him, God does speak! Even when my life was filled with grief, God found ways to speak to me in the most unlikely ways, but that's another blog. I think too we need to want to hear HIM.

We all have that thing called "selective hearing" - remember when Mom would call us to do some chore that we absolutely did not want to do? We found it easy to tune that right out! Remember how we could hear the things we LIKED to hear, the telephone ring when we were waiting for a call from our sweetheart (could run a marathon to get to that phone) that was before the age of cell phones! :-) Or remember the tune of the ice cream truck on a hot day even when it was still 7 blocks away!? I guess we need to make God's voice one of our "selections" is what I'm trying to say. He loves to be "selected" by us.

I love to listen to people and their stories - I know now that it is a gift I can give others - to LISTEN to them. I do listen and respond to women all over the country who reach out in painful circumstances looking for answers as they struggle with abuse in their relationships. They are looking for someone to listen to them and hear their anguish. God loves to listen to us too. If we desire Him to speak to us - He will - it will not always be what we want to hear but He will speak!

I don't know where this blogging will lead - but now at least I have begun. It is my prayer that you too will hear God speak to you no matter where you are or what is going on in your life, because He does still speak! Are you listening?


"Speak, Lord, your servant is listening." 1 Samuel 3:9
Joyfully,
Joy
http://www.joy-bringer-ministries.org/

Listening








I don't know how it is for you, but I find myself amazed repeatedly at how, when and where God finds ways to speak to me when I am listening.

I grew up in a good little box that forbade viewing movies especially at the movie theatre! Eventually I got over it and decided to go to the movies ocassionally. I think that is why it gives me a hearty chuckle that when on the rare ocassions I do go to see a movie God speaks to me from the BIG SCREEN! I do realize most people do not go to the movies to hear God speak to them, but it's a vehicle He uses with me for sure!

I went to see Julie & Julia the other day and you guessed it - there God was speaking to me! Now it's not like I don't attend church so He has to get my attention somehow. I am the wife of a Pastor and a Pastor's daughter, etc. I can say that quite honestly, by the time I was 20 I had attended more church services than most people ever attend in their whole lives! :)

Back to Julie - she was struggling to believe she was a writer, she was struggling to finish what she started and that is where we started to connect and God started nudging me. My husband tells me to write - no, I would have to say, urges me to write. I did start writing a book for women in abuse relationships almost 2 years ago but have stopped. Lately I've been praying that He would help me to finish what I've started and show me how to get myself going again. Well there was the answer in the movie, Julie started a blog and kept it going until she was done. So here I am - I've decided to LISTEN to God's message from the big screen to me. I've started this blog and intend to continue as long as necessary - or at least until I finish that book and maybe beyond!

Hearing from God is not as difficult as we sometimes make it. When we look and listen for His voice, He will speak. Sometimes it's the tiniest whisper in our heart of hearts. Sometimes He's laughing out loud with us from the big screen. Sometimes He's just shining on us through His creation. Sometimes He's singing to us through the song we are listening to. However it comes, when we are listening for Him, God does speak! Even when my life was filled with grief, God found ways to speak to me in the most unlikely ways, but that's another blog. I think too we need to want to hear HIM.

We all have that thing called "selective hearing" - remember when Mom would call us to do some chore that we absolutely did not want to do? We found it easy to tune that right out! Remember how we could hear the things we LIKED to hear, the telephone ring when we were waiting for a call from our sweetheart (could run a marathon to get to that phone) that was before the age of cell phones! :-) Or remember the tune of the ice cream truck on a hot day even when it was still 7 blocks away!? I guess we need to make God's voice one of our "selections" is what I'm trying to say. He loves to be "selected" by us.

I love to listen to people and their stories - I know now that it is a gift I can give others - to LISTEN to them. I do listen and respond to women all over the country who reach out in painful circumstances looking for answers as they struggle with abuse in their relationships. They are looking for someone to listen to them and hear their anguish. God loves to listen to us too. If we desire Him to speak to us - He will - it will not always be what we want to hear but He will speak!

I don't know where this blogging will lead - but now at least I have begun. It is my prayer that you too will hear God speak to you no matter where you are or what is going on in your life, because He does still speak! Are you listening?


"Speak, Lord, your servant is listening." 1 Samuel 3:9
Joyfully,
Joy
http://www.joy-bringer-ministries.org/
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