Monday 01 December 2014

December JOY Boghop - Reflecting Back on JOY!

I can't say that I went out of my way to seek verses on JOY but I can say that I wondered about JOY or my lack of it, and I tried to understand it more and find it.

This is what I have figured out about JOY as it relates to me:
  • JOY is not happiness
  • JOY is about being in God's will
  • JOY is confidence in the Lord despite what circumstances look like
  • JOY is knowing that God's word is true
  • JOY is that feeling you get when you just know God is in control no matter how things look
  • JOY is that wonderful "INHALE" and "EXHALE" moment you get when you settle down for a quiet time and just know you are at the Father's feet.
  • JOY is knowing that something you have, or don't have, is a gift from the Lord
  • JOY is God's presence, protection, strength, mercy and grace in your life
  • JOY comes in that moment you realize God's forgiveness is real
  • JOY is that moment when you understand God's grace and mercy are for you and new EVERY morning!
  • JOY is watching your children grow in the Lord
  • JOY is realizing that every day is a gift from the Lord
  • JOY is not shallow, but comes from deep within your heart as you rely more and more on the Lord
  • JOY is not fleeting.  As your relationship with the Lord grows you realize that even in tough stuff, one can have JOY.  
  • JOY comes when you leave stuff at the foot of the cross and know God has got this!
  • JOY is evident in those close to the Lord
  • JOY is present when you witness to someone about the Lord, and you see its been heard
  • JOY can be found in realizing the power of God, when watching a storm, admiring a mountain range, seeing waves break on boulders with thunderous crashes


I do believe people can practice JOY.  I think what I have realized this year when I have found scripture about JOY, in moments of silence or reflection I can sense there is JOY in me.  I think I have realized that to still all that is going on in my life, for even a moment, makes my heart be able to recognize that there is JOY inside of me.  And its in recognizing this JOY inside me that I am able to let it grow.  How?  But thanking the Lord for it, by reading more of His word, by trusting the Lord in His word and in my circumstances.

Yes, I have JOY!  JOY that comes from the Lord!  JOY that one can only know by being in the Lord.  JOY is not a pat on the back from the Lord for something good you've done, but its a manifestation of God in your heart, a heart that believes in Him, a heart that is broken and human and far from perfect.  A heart made whole by His presence!

Yes, JOY is a direct result of knowing WHO God is and believing in Him.

1 Peter 1 v 8:  Without having seen Him, you love Him;  though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) JOY.

Instead of a blog hop for a few days every week I am opening this post for the month of December for anyone to link up!

 Lets call this the DECEMBER JOY Bloghop! 


and

its open NOW!

Please feel free to link any God honouring post, one or more, preferably about JOY but any post that gives God the glory is JOYous isn't it?

LINK NOW!



Wednesday 26 November 2014

Winsome Wednesday - What is Christianity?

"Christianity is not a philosophy of life, nor a moral code. It is not a system of social upliftment, nor a way of living by which a person can try to be made right with God! 
Christianity is a life changing encounter with the Living God, through faith in Christ Jesus. It is a revelation of the Love of God & of the forgiveness He has given. It primarily is the experience of Gods power, reaching into the depths of a human soul which profoundly changes the attitudes, intents & desires of the person. It is an exchanged life-Christ's for & Christ's in ours. It is a new knowing of & walking with God, hearing His voice, seeing & experiencing Him move. 
It is a vital relationship of Life, which changes the entire person, creating an entirely new one from the old, with a new Identity & a new purpose for living!"
Powerful words from Andrew Selley (Leading Pastor at Joshua Generation - Cape Town)


To be a Christian is not WHAT you are, it's WHO you are in CHRIST!

God bless
Tracy

BLOGHOP TIME


This is a space to come and be encouraged.  You can link as many posts as you want so long as they bring glory to the Lord.  If you have time, please visit the person ahead of you and I am sure you too will be encouraged.  I look forward to seeing you here.
 Feel free to link up below:

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Winsome Wednesday - Is it Really about Patience?

We have been going through a season of waiting.  Waiting on what the Lord has given us, waiting on things that ordinarily we would just decide and do!  Waiting.... And we have believed that we are in a waiting season and have dug in and decided to learn to wait, learn to be patient (as much as is possible for us impatient people)!

But I'm starting to wonder if the waiting is about, well, learning to wait, or something else!  It obviously is about learning to wait otherwise the learning of it is for nothing.  But I think its deeper than that.  I think its in the learning to wait that the Lord brings us blessing in the form of overcoming, resolving stuff His way, learning to trust Him and His way, learning to have faith in Him.

For example, I am by nature a person who wants to fix things NOW.  I can't rest until its sorted, I'm fidgety and frustrated and I couldn't read a good book if I tried in that moment.  My mind would only relax once the issue is resolved.  This applies to me in relationships too.  And as I am sure you all know, relationships just don't "fix" that easy.  There is all that emotion and history and hurt or anger or misunderstanding to delve through first!  And then once all that has been waded through, there is pride, arrogance, hurt, embarrassment at maybe being wrong, self-righteousness at maybe being right.  Yup, relationships are tough.  And then heaven forbid I have to deal with more than one relationship that needs "fixing" at a time!

It is exhausting.  Relationships are not like cars or a repairable chair , or a solvable puzzle.  They are WAY MORE COMPLICATED!  And I think it is in this that the Lord is trying to teach me patience and learn to wait - ON HIM - I don't need to fix anything.  Actually, when I try to fix anything in a relationship, I make it worse!!!! Am I the only one?  It is really tough waiting on the Lord to deal with the other person, or for that matter, deal with me!


Its in the waiting, and practicing of patience, that the Lord works on the other person, or on me and the real truth of the matter gets attended to.  Now, I am not saying don't work on your relationship because we all have to.  We all have to try our best to be fair, open, honest, pliable, giving and more... But what I am saying, if there is something there that is not an easy quick fix or goes a lot deeper, a situation where there are issues, old or new, that are unfathomable, then we have to wait on the Lord prayerfully.

I'm the type of person who is quick to apologize and because of that I expect others to be the same towards me.  Now, if the other person doesn't feel they did wrong, or won't acknowledge their part in a situation, I tend to try point it out to them.  I am speaking of my nearest and dearests.  But that just makes it worse.  I find it very easy to forgive if a person says sorry, but really difficult if I have to forgive without an apology.  I believe the Lord is teaching me to not fix the situation, but to wait on Him to resolve it because in the waiting, He speaks into the heart of the other person, and mine and so long as there is a desire on the part of both parties, "fixing" occurs God's way, and God's way always works out for the best in the end.

So is the waiting really about learning patience?  Or is there more to it?  Yes, there certainly is more to it, the waiting teaches us patience, yes, but also trust in the Lord, faith in His ways, gets us me into less trouble too.

Ps 27 v 14:  Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring.  Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
Do you see that extra something special in this verse?  Wait with expectation, wait with hope, good courage or good attitude, trusting the Lord to resolve it.  Yes, in the waiting we need to be expectant and positive and hopeful of a good outcome.

So my encouragement to you is to ask the Lord in the waiting to show you what its really about.  He will, because He doesn't want us to keep making the same mistakes we always do, trying to do things our own way.

God bless
Tracy


BLOGHOP TIME


This is a space to come and be encouraged.  You can link as many posts as you want so long as they bring glory to the Lord.  If you have time, please visit the person ahead of you and I am sure you too will be encouraged.  I look forward to seeing you here.
 Feel free to link up below:


Wednesday 12 November 2014

Winsome Wednesday - Stubborn Mind!

For the last few years, stuff that I was really true to in my mind started to change.  Slowly, insidiously, my belief patterns about certain things.....were starting to change.  Now, I have to say that mentally, and physically I denied these thoughts.  I was telling myself that A is what I believe and stand by and not B!  But B kept forming in my mind and becoming bigger.

Sigh... It is very important to realize the devil is a master at mind games, and I, like many others, am not.  I'm not the type of person who can manipulate others by emotionally and mentally bending them.  No, I'm more outright and in your face.  Not always the better option, but certainly the most honest, for me any way.

But in all this I did keep up my quiet times.  I have trusted the Lord and tried to walk the way He wants me to walk.  I will say too, I have failed miserably in many ways but I have not turned my back on my faith.  Its been a tough few years, yes, but I tell myself, "imagine these last few years WITHOUT the Lord!"  Horrifying I tell you.

But this mental war, that's been building.... finally came to a conclusion this week.  I have been reading Psalms.  Kind of like I have to.  I carry on doing what I suppose I should be doing... and then this week, at least 7 times...yes, that's right!  At least 7 times, in different places, this scripture popped up....
Psalm 51 v 10:  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.



Well, eventually I started saying to myself, oh, there it is again.  Then I would see it again, and I started pausing and reading it properly.  Really reading it.  Oh my word!  Yes, that is exactly what I need.  I knew my thinking was skewed, but I was starting to not care.  Maybe even justify it a little.  And WAM!!!!!  God's word hit me between the eyes!  Yes, Lord, create in me a clean heart!  O yes Lord, renew my heart, my thinking to Your way of thinking.  Let it be a steadfast thinking, let it be a persevering thinking, a spirit of You within me!  Yes Lord, a clean heart!

Firstly, I felt like the Lord had confirmed what I knew to be true!  "You're thinking wrong Tracy" and secondly I felt relief, because the Lord cares enough about me getting my thinking straight so instead of punishing me for it, He made sure I found the answer, even if it was more that the answer found me!

It must be said that this train of thought has been growing steadily for a couple of years so it was not an overnight thing.  So be encouraged if your answer still evades you, it is out there, and the Lord will let it be found by you.  Having said that, when the answer presented itself, and hit me in the face, immediately that thought pattern straightened itself out.  Yes, I am dousing that particular thought pattern with the Love of the Lord and His word.  Replacing it with His truth.  I suppose that although I knew it to be skew, I did not want to acknowledge the offness of it because truly, I wanted to think like that.  No more!  Its not worth it to be anywhere but where God wants you to be, even in your thinking.

God bless
Tracy

BLOGHOP TIME


This is a space to come and be encouraged.  You can link as many posts as you want so long as they bring glory to the Lord.  If you have time, please visit the person ahead of you and I am sure you too will be encouraged.  I look forward to seeing you here.
 Feel free to link up below:

Wednesday 05 November 2014

Winsome Wednesday - The Highs and Lows

I've had a rough few weeks.  So many highs and a good many lows, emotionally.  I understand why they say moving is close to the top of the stress list!  Today my fur babies came home after being away for nearly a month as we waited for the house sale to go through.  I had to re-home two of my fur family because I am only allowed 4 dogs and I had 6!  I've had a random stranger judge me for that, and that just adds to the lows!  But on the other hand, I have had a special friend and another stranger reach out with grace and kindness, and well, that kind of softens the heart.....adding to the highs!

Anyway, I decided to have a proper quiet time this morning and read this scripture:
Psalm 143 v 11:  Save my life, O Lord, for Your name's sake; in Your righteousness, bring my life out of trouble and free me from distress.

Immediately the thought came to replace "life" with whatever it is that is troubling you.  For example:
"Save my house, O lord,..." or "Save my marriage, O Lord,..." or "Save my child, O Lord,..." yes Lord, for Your name's sake...."


God will save our lives, our children, our marriages, our hopes, our dreams.  But not necessarily because we WANT Him to!  But He does it for His name's sake.  He rescued Israel, for His name's sake many times.  And just btw, He will do it again.  Just putting that out there :)

And as I continued into my quiet time I was led to Psalm 16 v 11:  You will show me the path of life;  in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.

Doesn't that almost answer the previous Psalm?
  • Lord save my life..... You will show me the path
  • For Your name's sake .... In Your presence is fullness of joy
Oh Lord how great thou art!  

So, when we seek Him, He will be found.  When we read His word, He does guide us.  Yes, I know and have experienced what seemed to be silence, but its just a matter of waiting on the Lord for His timing.  

My encouragement to you is no matter what you're going through, a high, a low, He is there.

God bless
Tracy

BLOGHOP TIME


This is a space to come and be encouraged.  You can link as many posts as you want so long as they bring glory to the Lord.  If you have time, please visit the person ahead of you and I am sure you too will be encouraged.  I look forward to seeing you here.
 Feel free to link up below:

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