Category Archives: bible

All this talk of joy really makes me start to think…

All this talk of joy really makes me start to think…

How can I have the joy then in a blink of an eye it is gone? Where does it go? Was I just deceiving myself thinking I was joyful when really I was just happy?

Yesterday, I woke up all full of joy. Could just bust a gut I was so joyful. Then in a matter of minutes I crying out, upset, and stamping around. Why would God let me loose my joy? Where was God in all this? I’m trying to do my part….

There you have it…. I’m one unjoyful lady wondering where God is in the bad things.

Why do bad things happen?

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Running on God’s fuel. Is is cheaper?

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Since the fall of man, humans have been searching for joy in all the pleasures the serpent provides.  In Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis(love the book), he explains that God created us to run on the fuel that He provides.  We were designed to run on Him.  God can’t give us joy apart of him.  People have tried.  They think they know more about what gives joy than the creator of the universe.  The one who created them.  Wacked isn’t it!

Satan knows humans are searching for pure joy.  He also knows only God has the ability to give us pure joy.  The kind of joy that leaves you full, not empty and wanting more.  Satan knows pure joy, from the Lord, is not found in people, money, stuff, drugs or alcohol.  The joy found in the world does not create true happiness; it is only a temporary fix.  It leaves less of you and a craving for more joy.  The joy found in the world does not last, it is temporary. The more of “it” a person has (whatever “it” is, money, drugs, alcohol…etc.) the less of them there is and they become  less of the person Gods wants them to be.  They become more like the world.  So how do I get the joy of the Lord and when do I experience it? 

Step One:  Believe God created you and loves you.  Believe Jesus came to earth to die on the cross for your sins; whatever they might be.  Believe God wants to forgive you and wants you to have pure joy and that only he has the ability to give it to you.  Receive Jesus into your life.  Receive His forgiveness and the gift of His Spirit into your life.  “And all who believe in God’s Son have eternal life.” (John 3:36 NLT)  Bow your head and whisper this prayer:

 “ Dear God, I am sorry for my sins.  I believe your son, Jesus, died on the cross for my sins, so I might be forgiven.  I want to live the rest of my life your way.  Please come into my life to guide and direct me.” 

 

If you have prayed this pray for the first time, Congratulations!   I encourage you to get into a bible based church, read the bible and pray everyday, and find other Christians and spend time with them on a regular basis.  Find a Mary. 

God made us with the desire to be joyful and to look to him for the joy.  You have to believe that the pure joy you are looking for comes from him. “Peter talks about Jesus, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8 NIV).  The pure joy people are looking for comes from Him….believing in Him.  The first step is to believe in Jesus and to surrender your life to Him.  Allow His will to be done not your will.  Trust the plans He has for you are good.  Ask Him to guide you and lead you in all decisions. 

I’m going to tell Syliva about this joy.

 Additional steps to follow.

Healing

I finally called Mary and told her what I did last week-end. She just said, “huh”. Is that is good or bad? She turned in the bible where Peter denied Jesus. We talked about it. I still feel sore on the inside. I feel like I let Jake and her down. More importantly I let Jesus down. She explained there is nothing I can do to earn God’s love. I already have it. He loves me despite of myself. I tried to tell her I’ve done some pretty horrible things. “How could God forgive me?” “He already has”, she replied. Now you need to. I need to reflect on what she said.


Meanwhile…

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what my friend TeriTeri said about the “scent of our home”. I thought about when I go home to visit my parents and the aroma of fresh bread and cookies that fills the air. How I take a deep breath and fill my heart with the love and affection from my Mom. It is pleasing and comforting to enter her kitchen and step back in time. I could not get that thought out of my mind so I decided, just for kicks, to look up the word “aroma” in the concordance of my bible.

There were many passages on our sacrifices being a “pleasing aroma to the Lord”. It caused me to reflect on my life. I don’t really make any sacrifices for Jesus. I don’t have any aroma that is pleasing to the Lord. I started to ask…”What can I sacrifice to make a pleasing offering to God? I came up with an idea. I can help with the church group that feeds the homeless. Once a month, a group of people get together and take food out along the rail road tracks in Phoenix to the homeless that might not make it into shelters. I am going to sign up and help out.

Have a great rest of the week.

What can you do to make your life a “pleasing aroma to the Lord?”

The Secret of Finding Joy

What is it?  Where do you get it?  I want to give it to Amy.  Why does the joy elude so many people?    Why doesn’t every Christian’s cup run over with joy for the Lord?  Where is it?  How can I help people  find the joy of the Lord?  How can I point a hurting world, searching for joy, to the joy found in Jesus? 

Mary showed me how to use my concordance so I looked up Joy.  I wanted to know if joy is different than happiness.  I found this verse…

Consider it pure joy, my brothers,

whenever you face trials of many kinds,            James 1:2

“Pure joy”?  The words just lingered in the air ……pure joy.  What is God telling me?   Lord, pure joy in trials seems ridiculous….What are you thinking?

Are you for real?   I have a lot of questions, but no answers. 

Note to self:   Continue Joy study. 

What do you think pure joy is?  Does God mind my questions?

How to win friends and influence people!

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I brought Amy a Starbucks this morning . Nothing says I want to be your friend like a decadent Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino! We sat in the break room looking at Cosmopolitan magazines and drinking our coffee. I really like her. She has a quick sense of humor when you get past the shyness. And how can you look at Cosmo and not laugh at some of the articles.

I asked her about Richard (He informed me the other day it was not Rich). I told her I think I offended him by calling him Rich. She looked up with surprise. I said, “what?” I responded back to her “ Will the Rickster be mad? Or should I say rick-a- rin-o. How about Ricky…..Micky Ricky….Ric Star….Ricket Man”….and on and on. Her laughter fueled my creative juices. A good time was had by all.

Walking back to the office I noticed she was limping. I looked down and her ankle was swollen and bruised. She said she dropped something on it moving furniture. “What did an elephant step on it?” She laughed.

I wanted to tell her about what happened to me the other day. About my joy. But is it joy or happiness? How do I explain it? What is joy? How is that different than happiness? I know I can tell my good friend Katie. She knows everything.

Note to self: I need to try to be friends with Richard. He seems like a nice enough guy. Maybe we could go out together as couples. I know I will ask them to church on Sunday.

Are you doing your 7 minutes a day in the bible?  Mary suggested I start with the New Testament.

Are you sure you can trust the Bible?

This was the question I asked Mary as she looked at my bible. She liked it….said it was a good choice not to get the type with the commentary on the pages. Then I would get in the habit of getting my information from the commentary instead of God’s word. I rephrased my question…

“How can you be sure what we have today is what was written down originally?”

Looking back at the bible she looked at the concordance in the back. She showed me how to use it. Thinking she did not hear me…

I asked “How do we know what was written down is true?”
Mary did not seem the least bit flustered by my questions. In fact she seemed to enjoy them. She next turned to the index….”yes, yes I know how to use the index.” Getting a little impatient. She reassured me that this page will become the most worn page in the book. “It’s ok to use this page. Everyone does when they look up various books. Don’t let them fool you.

She then asked. …”Did you ever read the Iliad?” “Yes of course, in college.” I replied. Then she asked “ How about Gallic Wars, by Julius Caesar? Do you know who Herodotus was?” “Slow down. Let me think about it”, I said. “I remember learning about this. Herodotus is like the head honcho of history….The man”.

She then asked “Why do you believe his work?” “Well, Duh. He systematically collected materials and we know their work is accurate because it is cross-checked to other manuscripts to verify their accuracy!” Feeling very confident of my education. Thinking money well spent.

Mary said, “Very good”. In her calm quiet voice she reports there are 8 copies of the historical works of Herodotus and 10 copies of Julius Caesar. She also goes on to say there are 24,633 copies of the New Testament alone! “Shut up” “For real, Mary?” “For real, Sam.” More surviving early manuscripts means more cross-checks for accuracy.

“But, how accurate is the actual account?” Feeling a little smug – thinking I stumped her.

“Good question” (Folks that only means she was anticipating the question) “Would it be reasonable to assume the closer to the actual account the book was written the more accurate it would be?” Slowly I respond “Y..e..s”. I feel a set-up. Here it comes, “Did you know that the Iliad was written some 500 years and Herodotus 1300 years after the events?” Once again I respond cautiously, “N..o”. She goes on, “But some biblical books were written within 25-30 years of the actual events and show eye witness confirmation.” I am shocked. “WOW”.
“In fact”, she replies, “the bible is made up of 66 books written by at least 40 authors, from different cultures and different backgrounds. Yet the bible is consistent throughout on thousands of highly controversial issues.” “Why do you think that is Sam?” “Why? indeed, Mary” , throwing the question back at her. “Because it had just one author Sam….God” “The Holy Spirit not only directed the lives of the writers and organizers of the bible, but the very words themselves”. “The bible is the tool God uses to communicate to his children. “ She adds, “It is the number one way He speaks to me today.”

I was a little overwhelmed with the conversation. I don’t think I did her explanation justice, but you get the jist. I can read the bible and know that it is God speaking to me. I can trust what it says. It has stood up to the evidence.

She asked me to start reading just 7 minutes a day. Since I am going to try this God’s way…..I told her I would do it. I need to find out what that “way” is. Seven minutes….who can’t fit that in? I am to report back next week- what I read and what God showed me. Oh yeah, she also told me it was ok not to understand everything I was reading. Don’t get hung up on it. Just keep going.

Let me know if you try it and what God has showed you? I will keep you posted.

And remember, Run The Race for Jesus!
Sam

How to jazz up your life in 2 easy steps!

How I jazzed up my life in just 2 easy steps.  Does the fun ever quit!

Step One:

  1.  We went out and bought a new bible. The man at the store suggest several so I sat down and read verses out of them all to see which one I liked. A real ordeal. I had no idea. In my panic stricken state I asked him “what do most people buy?” Not wanting to make the wrong decision. You know, like at a restaurant, you ask the waiter what is the most popular dish. Always a good tip. So the man suggested most people get NIV (New International version) and many bible studies use the same version. Wait a minute…nobody ever said nothin bout no bible study. So anyway after the panic resided and my nerves calmed we headed off to Starbucks. Caffeine always settles my nerves!

Step Two:

  1.  Last week I was sitting around with a group of friends discussing what foods we missed most. Mine was White Castle Burgers. Right off the grill. I know they sell them in the freezer section here but that is a cheap knock-off of the real burger. There is nothing like a hot White Castle burger with grease oozing into the bun turning it almost moist! I heard they put holes in the burgers so when they cook them the grease oozes up through the hole and cooks the other side. No need to flip. What a work of process improvement! The person who thought of that idea must have been a Six Sigma Graduate! I’m digressing….sorry. Anyway, several of them mentioned they had not eaten fried bologna sandwiches in ages. “What?” I said. Fried bologna? That sounds creepy. They reminded me I eat 1/8 oz of meat sandwiched between bread and ½ lb. of lard. Oh yeah, right! But that’s called a burger not a sandwich. I guess what you do is, fry up a piece of bologna, put it on bread with ketchup and voila…..a meal. I tried it and my stomach is still Kräusening up something for me later. It is working real hard because there is a lot of noise in there. Just look at the positive side…another surprise! Did I just say that?! 

Well, there you have it folkes.  How I jazzed up my life in just 2 easy steps!

Have a great day!  Oh by the way…What version of the bible do you prefer?