Pure Joy

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What is the difference between joy and happiness? I’d venture to say that a lot of what’s going on in the world are people trying to find happiness. . For many that’s the ultimate goal — to “be happy.” The dictionary defines happy as a feeling of showing pleasure or contentment. I started my faith journey looking for happiness. It evolved into looking for joy. The dictionary defines joy as a feeling of “great” happiness. But that misses the mark. . True joy, I have discovered, comes every morning when you wake and recognize God is with you on every step of your day — whether circumstances are good or bad. True joy is not something to “get” or “find.” It’s something to release. When we accept that the Holy Spirit lives in us that means Joy lives in us. It’s our brain and feelings that tend to want to block that joy off from the world. . You see my dog Tucker? He doesn’t know who God is. But he lives out his life with the joy God put in him. He doesn’t question it. He doesn’t look for it. He just has it. I think that’s why humans love to watch dogs play and romp around. It’s pure joy that’s bubbled to the surface. . When we search for happiness we rely on man-made results. When we release the joy in us—our gratefulness to God for his companionship—no matter our circumstances, we are transformed. . #joy #happiness #god #transformation #jesus #holyspirit #puppylove

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Which Side Are You On?

You Are Worthy!

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Do you sometimes feel you aren’t worthy of love? Of God’s Grace? Of His attention? There’s seems to be two kinds of thinking that has drastically divided this world. It’s not political. It’s not abortion, the environment, wealth or whatever else seems at the forefront of the news. It’s how we view our “worthiness.” . On one side there’s the folks who struggle with their behavior and thoughts and want to be “worthy” of God’s love. On the other there’s those that say “I shouldn’t be judged by anyone, human or divine. And I’m free to say and do whatever makes me feel good in this moment. And if what you think or do doesn’t make me feel good i feel free to judge you because, hey that makes me feel good!” Sure there’s some muddling in the middle but this divide appears to be getting larger. . The latter way of living scares the living daylights out of me. Because that leads to behavior that seems so hateful and lacks of a sense of love for community. But about that I can only pray for God’s intercession. . Thankfully for the side of those who question their worthiness in God’s eyes Jesus gave us Luke 12:24. Even the most despised bird of all time, the raven, is cared for by God. Ravens can’t sin. They don’t live in the world of souls. As humans we do sin but that only shows the special place God put us. If he answers the need of a mere soulless creature imagine the love, guidance and blessings He wants to reap on us — creatures He “made in His own image.” His son didn’t die for ravens. He died for our “unworthiness.” . Which side are you living in? The side motivated by self or the side that constantly reaches out to grasp the love and constant forgiveness of God? . #god #forgiveness #worthy #love #jesus #peace

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Just Pray

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Are you afraid to pray for fear of not saying the right things, of not sounding “churchy” enough? Famous pastor Charles Spurgeon once preached, “You do not need to have scholarship, training, talent, or wit for prayer. Ask, seek, knock — that is all.” . It’s unfortunate that some religions make prayer to be a lofty ambition. That flowery words and memorized Bible verses are what our Lord seeks from us. They couldn’t be farther from the truth. I once heard a woman describe her time with Jesus (in other words prayer time) as being with a friend. She talks with him throughout the day, thanking and complimenting for gifts of nature or other blessings. She shares her fears and her doubts. She asks for guidance. Ask, seek, knock. . Jesus, get this, guaranteed the door will be open. So the next time you see something wonderful speak out loud your praise of thankfulness. When you see someone struggling speak out loud a cry for help. When you feel alone, speak out loud for His Holy Spirit to fill you. . “Dear Father, thank you for whatever you bring my way today because I know you are with me at all times. Your strength and peace are inside me and surround me. I pray for your peace to descend on our world. I pray that those that don’t know you will seek you today. I choose to not go through today without you, Lord. Help me to see where my fears cause me to slip away from you. Pull me back tightly in your loving arms. Amen” . #ask #seek #knock #receive #god #love #prayer #jesus #holyspirit #charlesspurgeon #religion

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Searching for Peace

Being Fear-Less

Let’s Talk About Your Faith

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How much do you talk about Faith? I can honestly say that up until a few years ago I only talked about Faith, Jesus, God, etc during my once a week Bible Study group. It was safe. It was comfortable. Everyone there believed about the same. And my own faith showed what little time I put into it. . Today I had an amazing thing happen. I got a text from a friend asking me and my son in law about salvation. That prompted a great conversation with my SIL. He’s a man of strong faith. We spent about an hour looking up Bible verses and commentaries and discussing them. I then texted a summary of our discussion to my friend. We then talked back and forth about salvation. Later another friend and I picked up the same topic. All this led me to think more about my role and responsibilities as a Christian. . And here I am sharing all this with you. I have actively sought out friends that are open to faith conversations. That doesn’t mean they are all Christians. In the past, my conversations with women would’ve looked more like hens clucking. Now, my large circle has some pretty deep, meaningful discussions (peppered with a lot of laughs). . God doesn’t want watered down faith that’s been filtered by culture. He wants us to be “all in.” To do that we need to intentionally seek others who have open minds and hearts and want the best for us. . #openhearts #faith #jesus #salvation #love #heartmindsoul #god #friends

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God Has Not “Evolved” — He is the same today

You Are Unique