Friday, October 26, 2012

What Joy Is

From The 4:8 Principle: The Secret to a Joy-Filled Life by Tommy Newberry:

"Being joy filled does not mean that your life is perfect.  Who could claim that? It doesn't even mean that your life is great.  What it does mean is that you emphatically trust God and believe that he has great plans for your life, regardless of what is happening right now.  Joy is the infectious and uncontainable fruit of divinely inspired growth.  It's a deeply entrenched, unshakeable belief, the result of sustained right thinking and dwelling on the nature and character of God.  Joy is an outward sign of inward faith in the promises of God.  It is a way of acting and it is evidence of spiritual maturity.  Joy is not a distant destination at which you arrive; rather, it is a path you choose to travel each day."

As I continue to read this book that definition of joy has convicted my heart. Joy is an outward sign of inward faith in the promises of God. 

Either I believe that God is who he says he is and can do all he says he can and will do, or I don't.  If I truly believe, peace and optimism despite any circumstance will be my companions.  If I don't, then hope for my welfare will fade.  It all depends upon what (or rather, who) I choose to set my thoughts on.


"We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."
2 Corinthians 10:5

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Values Matter

"In many ways our culture has lost its sense of values; I worry about a generation that's been brought up afraid to make choices for fear of offending someone. 

Multiculturalism teaches us that all cultures should be valued at the same level.  Society teaches us that there's no such thing as evil, it all depends on your environment.  School leaders try to tell us that boys and girls are the same, when any parent knows better.  We've become a culture afraid to make judgments and proscribe values to anything because of our overwhelming fear of offending. 

But something inside knows that's not true.  Some choices are better than others.  Some decisions make sense and others don't.

Values matter."

From One Big Thing by Phil Cooke (p. 69)


Right is still right even if no one else is doing it; wrong is still wrong even if everyone else is doing it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What Home Reflects

"It comes down to this.  Your home is a reflection of who you are.  I don't mean this in the sense that you need a showy home to prove to the world how great you are.  Your home reflects your inner life.  How content you are.  How fulfilled you are.  How loving and loved you are.  Your home is the outward expression of what you value, what you enjoy, and what is important to you."  - Peter Walsh, It's All Too Much

Thinking about what my home says about me.  I think it says I'm someone who likes doing things other than housework.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Kind of Person God Uses

From Eyes Wide Open by Jud Wilhite:

"Here's a bit of reality. When we become believers, many of us think, Well, yeah, I have certain gifts and abilities. But then we begin to stall. We start thinking like this: You know, I don't have my life all together yet. I still have bad habits. I still have issues. If the people at church knew what they were, they just wouldn't believe how I keep messing up. I need a little time because right now God isn't ready to use me.  Or we think, After I get my life together, once I get perfect, then God will use me. Good luck with that!

That's not the way God works. Look through the Bible - God uses imperfect, broken, hurting people everywhere. Being broken and hurting and imperfect is the human condition. It's what being human means in a fallen world. Who else is God going to use?"

This is good news because it means God can use me now instead of waiting until I become perfect, something that won't happen until my life here on earth ends.  With that in mind, I need to get out of my own way and become more available for Him to use me.  I need to let go of my insecurities and rest in the confidence that He created me for a specific purpose and will give me what I need, when I need it, to accomplish that purpose.  I need to let go of my weaknesses and understand that in those weaknesses He is strong and will suppply what is needed for any assignment He sends my way so that He is glorified in it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Following With Consistency and Confidence

One of my struggles in my faith is feeling that I'm not consistent in my walk with the Lord and I think that comes from my lack of confidence in who he is at times.  I've been focusing on the names of God because through them, I discover more about his character, and as I discover more of who he is, I am able to respond in faith.

I like how Renee Swope says it in her book, A Confident Heart:
"God's names are a promise of who He is.  We learn to trust Him as we come to know Him in the way He is described in the Bible, based on His character.  We will not know God as Jehovah Rapha, our Healer, until we experience and recognize His healing in our lives, whether spiritually, emotionally, mentally, or physically.  We cannot know Him as Jehovah Jireh, our Provider, if we are not in need.  We will not know Him as Jehovah Nissi, our Banner, unless we need Him for victory."

As I seek to follow God more consistently, my confidence to do so will come from knowing who He is.  My prayer needs to be, "Lord show me who you are as I seek to know you better."  I do desire to know him better because after all, he already knows me intimately and not only that, he also sees me as who I am becoming instead of who I am now.  When he looks down at me, he doesn't see me as just one of millions but rather as someone he already knows, and in a good way.  It's like recognizing a loved one across the way in a room full of people.  Just as we seek out those we love, so does the Lord seek me out.  The better I know him, the quicker I'll recognize His presence in every situation.