Tag Archives: joy

God’s Pleasure, A Prayer for Mi Familia

Before I forget ~ I love you, mi familia. That has been my heart motivation towards you from the beginning. Some days my motivations were obvious. Some days, I am certain, they were a total mystery, and had you scrambling to understand.

But if I could exchange, in your mind, the times you got the “mom look,” which made you squirm or feel anything less than the true brilliance I saw in you, if I could trade that out for the gazes you didn’t see, for the times I was pondering you in my heart and I was beaming out of sight when you were singing at the top of your lungs in your bedroom or being nice to that rascal-of-a-neighborhood-kid who needed a friend and I just thought, wowmy children are the most amazing ones ever...Yes, if I could trade some of those moments so you would know the depth of my admiration, my respect, and my abiding love for you (still, more than ever), so that there would never be a way for you to doubt how proud I am of you, well, then, I would. I would do it in a flash.

Meanwhile, this is true: your dad and I pray for you and we pray for your {JOY} because the JOY of the LORD will be your daily, ever-present, help-in-time-of-need, STRENGTH for all the life and living ahead! If you’re choosing between utilizing your own gifts, talents and abilities to achieve successful living, life and love (which you could do, because you have so much in you), versus living a Holy-Spirit-empowered joy-strengthened life, and an abundant joy-strengthened life at that, well, please, my darlings – choose the JOY-strengthened life for sure!

A & G, summer 14

What does that look like? It looks like when Averi and Gemma start doing cartwheels all over the lawn. Here they are, sweet littles and they just start going. And it takes all their arms and legs and gravity and muscle-control and trust and having their hearts and arms opened wide. But when they start and we clap and cheer, those two girls just keep going and going and going like it is nothing at all. They are filled with joy in the moment and the only reason they usually stop is that it’s time to leave or night has fallen. There is no worry about how they will feel tomorrow, for they know tomorrow, they will more joy-strength for many more cartwheels! That is some joy-strengthened living!

Let’s plan to get more {joy}. We are praying that for YOU!


“Since we first heard about you, we’ve kept you always in our prayers that you would be filled to overflowing with the revelation of God’s pleasure over your lives. This will make you reservoirs of all wisdom and spiritual understanding. We pray that you would walk in the ways of true righteousness, pleasing God in every good thing you do. Then you’ll become fruit-bearing branches, yielding to his life, and maturing in the rich experience of knowing God in his fullness! And we pray that you would be energized with all his explosive power from the realm of his magnificent glory, filling you with great hope and {JOY} in the Holy Spirit!”
Colossians 1:9-11 The Passion Translation

AMEN! Oh, yes – Amen!!!

Before I forget to tell you ~ God is pleased with you.

And so am I. {mom}


For the J O Y !

I’m dark, moody, crabby, hopeless, helpless, broken, undone, flawed and worse.  This is why I so need a Savior.  Jesus came – good news and great joy {great-great joy}!

“Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared.

This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve,

for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Nehemiah 8.10 niv

“…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

For the joy set before him

he endured the cross, scorning its shame,

and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12.2 niv

On a joy-quest.

Joyful-Joyful // Song for a Sunday

Laura Hackett from the JOY album.



It’s fine.  Nobody is looking.  Get up and dance a little!  I’ve got the J O Y !

A Hymn of Faith from Habakkuk 3

17 Though the fig tree may not blossom,

Nor fruit be on the vines;

Though the labor of the olive may fail,

And the fields yield no food;

Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,

And there be no herd in the stalls—

18 Yet I will rejoice {I will JOY} in the Lord,

I will joy in the God of my salvation.

19 The Lord God is my strength;

He will make my feet like deer’s feet,

And He will make me walk on my high hills.

To the Chief Musician. With my stringed instruments.

Festivus for the Rest of Us!

God’s Plan: Sabbath Rest.  Reeeeeeeeesssssssssst.

Rest = Restoration, recovery, healing, rebuilding, reclamation, renewal, rejuvenation.

Rest = revival = rebirth/awakening, literally coming alive again.

Sabbath heals me.  Rest renews me.  Sabbath rest?  So good that Hebrews 4 tells us, “…let us make every effort to enter that [Sabbath] rest so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.”  Whose example?  The people who didn’t receive and celebrate Sabbath rest as an offering from and to God.  I don’t want to be one of those sinners!

Sabbath is good times and a gift from God to man, for man!

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” – Jesus, in Mark 2.27

But guess what!!??!!

“…celebrate with joy…this festival to the LORD…”

Huge, raucous, loud, days-long celebratory festivals are also an offering to the LORD!  God Himself gave mandates for big celebrations in the OT and baby, those people partied like it was 1999!  How do I know those OT’s knew how be happy and LOUD?

Nehemiah 12.43  “Also that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women also and the children rejoiced. The joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.”

I was contemplating the rejoicing and celebrating of the Israelites and I saw in my mind’s eye the final scene of Star Wars-Return of the Jedi, where the whole village of Ewoks broke into dance and song at the defeat of the enemy (the Death Star was obliterated and Darth Vadar was defeated).  Kinda like the victory WE have in Jesus Christ!



It is hard work, as massive worship and music festivals tend to be.  It is overwhelming and there are many details.  I am physically tired and filled with anticipation.  And this? Is my offering to the LORD. I am aware of His smile…

Come to Heaven Fest.  We exist merely to get to share the Father heart of God with a world which needs to know…

Repeat the Sounding Joy!

I LOVE Christmas!  I am not a very exuberant person by nature, not easily just all happy and light-hearted, but give me a vision and some understanding and I come alive.  My Holy-Holiday-Calling is to remember and release a spirit of rejoicing in myself and in others as we make Jesus Christ and worshipping Him central to our sincere and over-the-top Christmas celebrating!  And for all of the days of the year to follow…


“Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared.  This day is sacred to our Lord.  Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8.10

The joy of the LORD is your strength.  Are you hearing the sound?


This is the truth of this Christmas season for me.  This is the message of hope God has directed me to over and again.  This is the revelation of the gospel I am just beginning to understand.  This is what the Apostle Paul tried to get through to the Philippians when he said “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again, Rejoice!” (Ph 4.4).  This is what I heard for the millionth and the very first time this Christmas season.  It is the words you hear Linus recite in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and a sweet child’s voice inserted into Amy Grant’s 2008 Christmas hit, “I Need a Silent Night.” It is the truth above the roar of busyness and my epiphanic-fervor:

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of GREAT JOY which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the City of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord.'”  Luke 2.8-11 NKJV

The revelation of Jesus Christ and His arrival as our Savior was good news of great joy!  Our strength indeed!

The Jesus and joy connection?

“I have told you this so that My joy may in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15.11).

“Ask and you wll receive and your joy will be complete” (John 16.24).

“But I say these things…so that they may have the full measure of My joy within them” (John 17.13).

God set forth  (even commanded) celebrations for the purpose of joy for the people.  One example:

“And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy.  The women and the children also rejoiced.  The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away” (Neh. 12.43)

Joy is a verb.  You gotta take action.

“I will rejoice in the Lord.  I will JOY in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3.18).

Jack Hayford’s notes in The Spirit-Filled Life NKJV Study Bible gives this on the word “joy” in Habakkuk:

JOY: Strong’s 1523: To joy, rejoice, be glad…contains the suggestion of “dancing for joy” or “leaping for joy” since this verb originally meant to “spin around with intense motion.”  This lays to rest the notion that the Biblical concept of joy is  only a “quiet inner sense of well-being.”…altho everything is wrong in Habakkuk’s world-he is leaping for joy over his relationship with God …

These can be joyless times.  The “holiday season” may have just been one more drain on you after a year of disappointment or lack.  The condition of our nation may be bringing fear.  Religious duty, a significant loss in our lives, strain in our marriages, unhappiness at work or any number of things may cause us to put on the smile-mask a Christian “should” wear and yet feel as flat and used up as the neighbor’s giant inflatable Santa looks on the lawn this morning.

But the good tidings of great joy are for me and for you.  So how do we appropriate it?  How do we walk in the kind of joy that gives us the strength we need to endure?  Repeat the sounding joy.

The sounding joy?  Good news!  Great joy!  I have a Savior!  He came to save me!  I think I’ll jump up and twirl and spin around like a madwoman while I echo the angels as loudly as I can: Glory to God in the highest!  Glory to the God of my salvation!  And peace to us here on earth, goodwill towards us from You, Father!

It is possible, I truly believe, that this act of joy as a verb – to joy – may actually begin to bring true giddy life-giving happiness to my soul.  The sounding joy: God is God!  He is faithful! He rules!  He reigns!  I receive my King!  I join with all heaven and nature in rejoicing that the curse has been broken on my behalf!   He has saved me from certain death and a joyless existence!  Glory to God in the highest!

Repeat the sounding joy.  Repeat the sounding joy.  Repeat, repeat the sounding joy! 

Not just at Christmas, but – as needed!

Joy!  Seriously – be glad and dance a little!…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  Don’t let the enemy steal my joy!  Not one day.  Worship and crazy praise a must!

pictured: an etsy.com image, Stephanie on Christmas morning (in the midst of physical joy!) finding out she had received the antique oak dining table and chairs she really wanted, and the chalkboard in the kitchen with my “epiphanic” stuff on it (and I am preety sure I invented that word this Christmas!)

Casting Wreaths

Christmas is everywhere!

Even this morning as I was reading about how Solomon was building the Temple for the reknown and glory of the Name of the Lord and to establish his own house, I read this, surely a precursor to our Christmas ornamentation:

“He made wreaths of [gold] chainwork, as in the inner sanctuary, and put them on top of pillars; and he made one hundred pomegranates and put them on the wreaths of chainwork.”  2 Chronicles 3.16

I sigh wearily of hearing Christians who attribute all the symbols of Christmas to ancient pagan traditions.  The tree, my brothers and sisters (created in the Garden where God walked first), the lights (Jesus IS the Light of the World, after all), the gift-giving (must I mention John 3.16 and the inspiration to all-gift-giving ever for all times based on this, THE most amazing gift ever?), and all the rest seem to be up for scrutiny every year.  If I act a wee bit too joyous they remind me, like the father-in-law at Clark Griswold’s Christmas Vacation, “The little lights aren’t twinkling.”  The bah-humbuggers want to drop-kick the joy and the meaning we have tried with our little human efforts to capture right out the door.

I don’t think the Advent wreath on which I light a candle is some all-holy-get-me-into-heaven thing.  Nor do I believe God is displeased that I annually string lights and drag out the Nativity set and wrap gifts for the people I love.

What is a wreath after all?  It is something woven into a circular shape and hung purely for its beauty.  Or placed on the head of some one royal.  It is part of my Christmas, my Christ Mass, my worship of the Christ (Christmas=Christ worship).  While I am living to proclaim the reknown of the Name of the Lord on the earth, I am also establishing and decorating my home at Christmas.  Solomon did it for the love of God. And so do I.  His were real gold, heavy in richness.  Mine are simple branches woven and beribboned.

Someday, the wreath of my life, the things I have feebly woven together in honor to God will be the crown on my head.  But like the twenty-four Elders in Revelation

“[they] fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives until the Ages of the Ages and they cast their wreaths down in front of the throne…” Rev. 4.10 wey

The traditions we keep aren’t sacred.  They are just our ways of celebrating and enjoying the story of our redemption, God’s plan, a Savior!  They just mark our deliverance from darkness into His marvelous light.  They are only the symbols we use to try to depict a God so great that even our words fail us.

Let me have my wreath and worship with it, too…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  Weave golden moments and bejeweled treasures together into love-wreaths for people all around-even and especially the bah-humbuggers.

pictured: the front door one night last year…