Splish splash taking a bath.

Oh, my gosh…I forgot to tell you the other day about our week-end. We had tons of people over from Jake’s work. Jake is a regional manager for a popular hardware chain so he invited people who were without family for the week-end to come over. It was mostly men.

Amy and Richard also came over to help out. I was in charge of grilling the burgers and hot dogs. I lost count after 100! It was good for Jake to get to know some of the team better. Amy and I cooked, cooked, cooked and cooked. I spent the week preparing for Friday. They brought their swim suits or just swam in shorts! Picture this….grow men jumping off the roof into the pool. I am sure the neighbors are still talking about the couple that moved in next door (us)!

I would not have been able to do it all without Amy. I worry about her though. I think she needs to see a doctor for her moods. She seemed really distant this week-end. I don’t think Richard is abusing her. He is such a religious man. I just don’t see that could be. How could someone who prays to God and wears a cross beat a woman? Just doesn’t fit. It must be her. I think I am going to find the time to sit down and talk to her.

Question: Are you still reading the book of John? I am.

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What treasures did you inherit?

Steps to having pure joy (cont.)…

Step 4. Celebrate your heritage.

 If you were happy about salvation think about this one. We are God’s children. “ Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13, NIV). You are a child of the King! That makes me a princess! Shut up!

Do you remember the Carol Burnett show where she is doing a skit on the Princess and the Pea fairytale?   The way to tell if she is a true princess is if she can feel the pea under her mattress. The groom’s parents stack up a bunch of mattress so she will fail (not feel the pea) but she ends up tossing and turning all night. She doesn’t get any sleep and ends up marrying the prince. I wonder if people can tell I am the child of the King? Your joy is one sign of your heritage. It’s kind of like sleeping with the pea under the mattress. When trials come (and they will) will I pass? Will people know I am a child of the King? Will I be allowed to marry the prince?

Celebrate and have joy in the knowledge; God is our creator and father. He takes pleasure in us. He loves His children and he wants us to be joyful. Stop and think about it…God takes pleasure in His children. That just blows my socks off! Doesn’t that make you just want to leap and spin around with pleasure and joy knowing that God loves us. He takes pleasure in me and wants me to be joyful. You get joy meditating on who God is and all of His loving kindness and mercy, but one can’t know those qualities about Him until they know Him. They need to have a relationship with Him before you can get to know him and how loving he is. This takes time ……means giving up some things of the world to put getting to know God first…..not last. It means having less of the world and more of God inside. Let the world have less of an influence on you and God more. Focus on God.

The other day I had a problem with a credit card charge and I was trying to get it removed. The person on the other end couldn’t (wouldn’t) help me. I wanted to talk to the manager. After several attempts at calling in and trying to get a different person, I was still not allowed to speak to a manager…they are off limits. I wanted to say “Do you know who I am….I am the daughter to the King. That makes me a princess! Now let me talk to somebody in charge…NOW”. But then that would have allowed the world to steal my joy. The world and people will try to trick you and try to steal your joy…..but you are the King’s child and believe it! Don’t let the world steal your joy.

Thought for the day:  Does your life reflect your inheritance?

P.S.  Thank you Mary for your help.

Where are the keys?

It was the craziest week-end. Let me explain. I had a closing on a house. The sellers were going to stay in the home an extra day to get moved into their new home. They had until midnight Sat. to get moved out. They were pretty much completed by lunch time because I stopped by to check on the progress. The other agent said he would call and let me know the time. About 9 p.m. I called to see if they were out. He replied, they were out, but we could not have keys until midnight. WHAT! I called Sylvia and off we went to search for keys. We searched all the usual hiding places, under rocks, mats, electrical boxes, the obvious lock box…nothing. We waited…..and waited for him to call. It was as if we were on a police stakeout; sitting in the car with the lights out, hiding just out of sight. Waiting for the “perp” to show. One slight difference, we had Starbucks instead of Dunkin Donut’s.

While on the stakeout, I told Sylvia about my experience with God. The night I jumped on the bed and all. She replied with a weird comment. She said she doesn’t have to do anything to be a Christian because she was born a Catholic. What does that mean? What’s the difference? I thought the Bible says, believe in your heart and confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord. I didn’t know some got in just by being born.

Midnight rolls around and the agent did call and explain the keys were hidden in the front yard…..someplace. It was up to me to figure out where…click. What a jerk! So here we were in the middle of the night with flash lights in the front yard of a vacant home, searching for keys. We were crawling around on hands and knees looking for recently overturned soil. Just like on Law & Order. I should save this story for the happy hour crowd….you remember the game…CCC (Crazy client competition). We did find the keys after several hours of searching. They were tossed in the shrubs along the road.

Important to Remember: Never to drink coffee on a stakeout.

P.S. I would like to take the time to apologize to a friend Rosie and the Butcher who I might have offended. I do not consider you a religious person, nor was it my intent to upset you. If you are upset please accept my apology.

Ten Steps to pure joy. Continued.

Step Two.  Pray. If you are a Christian and are missing the joy of the Lord in your life go to God who is the source of joy. “l go to the altar of God, to God — the source of all my joy” (Ps 43:4 NLT).  Pray as David prayed in the Psalms “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul” (Ps 86:3-4 NIV).  Ask God to fill you with His joy to show you how to have joy…to teach you.  Ask him, “Lord, help me to get to know You better.  Help me to believe You are the source of my joy and that only You can fill my soul with the inexpressible joy I yearn for”.  Then believe that God will answer your prayer.  Watch as he fills your life with the joy.  David knew the joy from the Lord was far greater than that of the world.  “You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and wine” (Ps 4:7 NLT).  He turned to God for his joy.  He asked him for it in his time of trouble.  In your time of trouble turn to God.

 

Step Three. Celebrate the Lord.   Start with celebrating the gift of salvation.  Don’t just think about these things but celebrate them…rejoice in God.  God takes pleasure in His children and wants them to rejoice in Him. God wants us to be joyful. To sing for joy in His honor. I love Psalms 98…

Sing to the LORD a new song,

for he has done marvelous things;

his right hand and his holy arm

have worked salvation for him.

2 The LORD has made his salvation known

and revealed his righteousness to the nations.

3 He has remembered his love

and his faithfulness to the house of Israel;

all the ends of the earth have seen

the salvation of our God.

 

4 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth,

burst into jubilant song with music;

5 make music to the LORD with the harp,

with the harp and the sound of singing,

6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn —

shout for joy before the LORD, the King.

 

7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it,

the world, and all who live in it.

8 Let the rivers clap their hands,

let the mountains sing together for joy;

9 let them sing before the LORD,

for he comes to judge the earth.

He will judge the world in righteousness

and the peoples with equity. NIV

Pure joy comes from the celebration knowing who our Lord is and all he has done for us.  It comes from knowing that your salvation and eternal life has been won by Jesus; knowing that he is a faithful loving Lord.

He is the creator of the universe and He has good plans for us.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer 29:11NLT).  Knowing that just makes me want to jump up and down for joy.  Think about it, God takes pleasure in us and wants us to be joyful.  “For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation. Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds” (Psalms 149:4-5 NIV). They sing for joy on their beds!  I can just picture the saints jumping up and down for joy to the Lord on their beds and God smiling at their joy.  Actually He is probably doing a belly laugh with them. 

We should be joyful and celebrate our Lord and all he has done for us….but we can’t know who He is and all He has done for us until we study the bible and pray to get to know Him.  Ask and the door will open.   He is a good patient father.  Celebrate that He is your father and that you can know Him and experience His love.  He wants to share it with you.

P.S. Can’t take credit for all of this material.  Mary helped a ton.  Love ya Mary.

Running on God’s fuel. Is is cheaper?

Copy (2) of IMG_1436

 

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.

What traits do we get from God?

I’m sitting here thinking about Fathers day and how much I would like to be with my father today. Everything I am I owe to Mom and Dad. He and Mom live back home so we see each other about once a year.   Thank you Dad.

I was reading my friends blog (well, it is written as if her daughter is writing it, but I think she is a little young.  Check it out it is pretty funny.) and I starting thinking about all the traits we get from our fathers. Some things I get from Mom and some from Dad. I get my ability to laugh at all times from Dad. I get my voice and enjoyment of art from my Mom’s side. I get my positive outlook from Dad. I get a little from both sides. What traits do we get from God?

Well, if God is only good than we must only get our good traits from Him. Maybe the traits we get from Him are the fruits of the Spirit which we talked about before. As we grow up as a Christian we begin to look more and more like Jesus. Oh, I get it. As I develop into a spiritual athlete I reflect more and more of Christ’s image. But, why are there so many Christians walking around that don’t resemble Jesus? That is probably because I don’t resemble Jesus!  Can it be?

If we get fruit of the spirit (joy) from God …how do we get it? We know believers get it, but how?

When can we experience the joy of the Lord? When Lord….When?

More Jesus…Less Religion

My friend, Angie, said something in her post that really made me think. She reported that people say, they are “losing their religion” , as if in a desperate plea to hang on to it. I thought religion was man made? Shouldn’t we want to get rid of it or “lose our religion” and just follow Jesus? I have seen “religious” people hurt God’s children, all done in the name of Jesus. For example, the way my friends Jenn and Mary have been treated by “religious” people. I have seen, so called religious people, wearing robes, parade around on Sunday as some sort of holy movie stars yet on Monday act no different than the worst of us. It appears to me, as only a spiritual walker, that religion pushes people away from Jesus. It’s as if church people build walls around Jesus and make it difficult for the world to see his love.

How many of them leave their sterile environment go out into the world to harvest crops for Jesus?

Religion doesn’t look anything like the love of Christ or grace. It’s almost like religious people …..church people….. are in love with the religion and what that symbolizes to the world rather than following Jesus. If they were following Jesus, shouldn’t we see more joy? More of the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

Oh,….I think I understand. As I’m writing this to you my thoughts are becoming clearer and I’m sitting here broken hearted. I just realized they are using their position, title, and place in the religious environment to fill a void in their life. Just like I did, but the only thing that can fill that void is following Jesus. Not following man made religious businesses. It makes me sad. I know what they are going through. I feel their pain. It is so hard to learn that lesson.

I will pray for them. We should all pray for the religious people we know to have more Jesus and less religion in their lives.

Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion—several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight. –Mark Twain

What has God showed you this week?