Thankful for Joy

First of all, I had to get over the idea that joy is simply happiness and a smile on my face. According to the site, joy is “extreme happiness as the believer contemplates salvation and the bliss of of the afterlife.” It is described as rejoicing over unexpected benefits. And very importantly, joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit. So, I am thankful for joy and for the discovery that it’s not just a feeling but it is so much more. It is a constant sense of knowing that you belong to the Father and therein lies great joy. I have discovered in my aged wisdom that joy comes from within. Things, people and places don’t give me joy. It resides deep in my heart and is indeed a special gift from God. I may fleetingly be happy but I can always have joy if I choose to acknowledge that it’s a gift from God and not just a feeling. Joy bubbles up inside me at the most unexpected times. I may be thinking about a friend who has passed away or a circumstance that seems overwhelming. And suddenly, there is the joy bubbling around inside me as I contemplate the good times I had with my friend or the fact that circumstances change but God doesn’t.

Crying and weeping are a part of the natural order of things in life. We get sad due to circumstances beyond our control or due to our own poor choices. But joy is there, always waiting for us to recognize that it never left us; we just had it on “simmer” for a season. I look forward to the day when there is no more sorrow or weeping, but until that day, I am thankful for joy and the fact that I can acknowledge that God gives me joy just as He gave me His Son as my Savior and His Spirit to guide me.

May your day be blessed with joy!

Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory


The inspiration for today’s post came from Dr. Denison’s Forum on October 13, 2022. You can read the entire article here: Dr. Denison’s Forum, 10-13-22

This is kind of a different way of saying “What would Jesus do?” But this quotation made me ponder deeply. None of us knows when we will take our last breath, so it’s worth noting that our choices might be different if we had an inkling that our end is imminent. Food for thought, for sure!

We definitely learn from our choices, both good and bad. I think of life as a test with a steep learning curve. It is up to us to use what we have learned to grow spiritually so that we don’t continue to make the same mistakes over and over. It is not a coincidence that the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years; they made bad choices and didn’t learn from them. God was patient in continuing to lead them, in my opinion. It’s a good thing that He is also patient with me because sometimes I get stubbornly stuck in trying to force Him to accept my way instead of accepting that His way is best.


Yes, we make choices daily and those choices have consequences, but I go back to the first question that I asked. “Would you change what you are about to do if you knew it would be the last thing you would do?” Think about it as you listen to the song below. If you read the “Forum” article, you know that this is the last song that a twenty-three year old sang before he died in an accident. May we ever be mindful that tomorrow is not a promise, but a gift.

“You Are My Hiding Place”-Selah

Take a Step

Sometimes it’s hard to make a decision about something and take that first step into the unknown. I faced that after my stroke. The neurologist who was treating me in the ER was on a Zoom call rather than in the room and he told me and my husband that he was 99% sure that I was having a stroke. He gave us the option of my having an injection that could help me (30% chance) or could kill me with about the same percentage. Those didn’t seem like good odds to me, but in my foggy brain, I knew that we needed to pray and call our daughter to pray with us about it. The doctor told us that time was limited because if I did not get the injection within an hour of my symptoms beginning, it would not work. We prayed and asked God for wisdom. Actually, Hope and Harry prayed while I listened since I could barely stutter words at the time. We talked and decided that I would take the injection since the doctor told me that without it, I would not improve at all and may never walk or talk normally again. Was I frightened? Honestly, yes. But I had to take that step in order to ever be able again to take others. That TPA shot, also called a clot buster, saved my ability to function and may have saved my life. But the decision to take it was like standing on the edge of a precipice and knowing that whatever happened, God would be there to catch me.

God has been faithful to take care of me since that first scary step. And, of course, there have been other scary steps along the way of life. That’s what life is about…seeing the choices and taking a step in what you hope is the right direction.

Like Moses, we couldn’t just stay in the wilderness of indecision. We had to take a step. Just, move on. Pray, decide, move.

Once the decision is made, God walks with you and makes His glory shine through whatever choice you have made, provided you have consulted Him and are truly trying your best to follow Him and His will. Delighting in God is more than a happy smile on your face saying that you love the Lord and know that all will be okay. It is a deep feeling that springs from your heart that no matter what happens, God will still be there.

That word “whatever” is important. We have a tendency to make our plans and then ask God to give what we have decided His “rubber stamp of approval.” It just doesn’t work that way. First, we talk to God about the choices we have and ask for His guidance, then we step out in faith and move in the direction that we think He is leading us. If we go the wrong way, we can be assured that God will let us know and get us back on the right pathway, usually after learning a valuable lesson that He is trying to teach us. The most important thing is to make sure we include God in our decisions before we make them rather than asking Him to bless the decision that we have already made.

Each Step I Take

Reason to Hope

No matter what happens to us here on earth, we have an eternity with God to look forward to. I needed that encouragement this morning since I heard last night that the CDC is no longer planning on prioritizing giving vaccines to the elderly, but instead plans to prioritize giving it to non-essential people of color. Another race baiting thing, in my opinion. Our government seems determined to divide us, but I am not falling for their trap! God wants us to hope in Him and to know that our days are numbered by Him, not by the CDC.

I also read a quotation this morning in an Advent Devotional that I started at the beginning of this month.

But, every crisis demands a response that will shift the situation or maintain the status quo. Crisis is never a passive place, but is always a turning point, where responses can result in the circumstances ending for better or for worse. One of these critical and essential responses must be hope. –Advent Devotional, “Our Present Hope” Dec. 19, 2020

I think that our nation has reached a crisis point in which we need to make a turn. My prayer is that we turn towards Jesus and hope. Regardless of the ungodly choices that our government makes, including one that sounds a lot like eugenics, God is still on the throne of His eternal kingdom, and one day we will be with Him there. That is the promise of salvation that Jesus gave us. Celebrate with me today the freedom that comes from knowing that the Lord will take get of us, regardless of what the government does.

May you be blessed today with the assurance of God’s eternal love and the knowledge of His loving sacrifice.