When I was a kid, I would take a salt shaker to the garden and pick the reddest tomato I could find, stand in the tomato patch and eat the first fruit of the season. Helping Daddy plant, weed, and water the garden every summer was not work to us. To me, the work came after the harvest with all the cutting, chopping, boiling jars & lids, and being confined to the kitchen. Listening for all those lids to pop as the jars cooled meant good eating when winter came. Planting meant getting our hands dirty, but anticipating the harvest kept us working!
As we continue to plant the Word of God, till the ground where it was planted, and weed out things that choke spiritual growth, we anticipate the greatest Harvest of all ! I can hear those lids popping now.
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! – Revelation 22:20 NKJV
I’ve got the joy joy joy down in my heart! Down in my heart!!
Joy to the world!! The Lord has come!
Joy is a gift from God when we ask Jesus to be our Lord & Savior.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit! Did you know we all have every fruit of the Spirit in us? These gifts are in us! All of them, find them & use them!!
Joy is, as defined by the dictionary as the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation! (Noun)
This year my plan is to find the joy in everything. To Gloify God & enJOY him forever. I never knew what joy was until I asked Jesus into my heart. My life has not been the same since I became a Christ follower about 8 years ago. 9 years ago I had severe depression. One morning I woke up & brought my daughters to school. When I got home from bringing them, I drove into our garage, I shut the door to the garage & thought about how bad my life was. As I was thinking this I was breathing deeply to make sure I was breathing in enough exhaust. Just as I was starting to loose consciousness I clearly heard God say to me “this is not the plan I have you for you my child”, I opened the garage door ran out of my van & called my husband to ask him for help. I was in the hospital for 8 weeks. God led us to wonderful doctors who helped me. I told you that to tell you this, I found the joy! I found the joy! I found the joy in that God spoke to me. My weak belief that God actually exists & that He loves me! I was healed. He healed me!! God never leaves us! Even when we fall flat on our faces we can take comfort that we have fallen into His lap. How great is that?! I find joy everywhere now.
When I am having a horrible, awful day, I stop & think “find your joy”. Find your joy today. Back in March my Nana went to Heaven. As sad & broken hearted as I was there was joy knowing she was with God. I found the joy in how much she loved us! Yesterday I was overworked, stressed out & needed a break from everything. This morning I was reminded of my joy. I watched my daughters sleep.
I think we confuse joy & happiness. When I was much younger I was happy to drink & do drugs & not care about anyone but myself, my children & my husband, in that order. No one else mattered. That’s what made me happy, only doing for me & my family. I was all about number one. The website I am second uses the phrase I am second, I say that all the time. I’ll say to my husband, kids, friends, my youth group youth-thanks you’re 2nd best! Or we’re #2. Someone was mortified I said that, she asked me why wouldn’t I tell the person they are #1? I then have the opportunity to tell them about Jesus! He is #1 we are #2
Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Mark 12:30&31- 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
That’s where our joy is! Loving God with everything we have. In doing that we can love our neighbors. By reading God’s word we know we can trust Him. His deeds reveal His character. We love because He first loved us!
There is joy in everything. Watching your children sleep, seeing the sunset over the ocean, watching the snow fall, watching the birds fly & hearing them sing! Watching a baby & I’m just astounded by His creation!! As hard as it is when things are bad for us there is joy hiding there we just have to find it, sometimes it takes such a long time to do so.
My goal for #2014 is to seek out the joy. Look for it & if I can’t find the joy I remind myself- for God so loved Danielle He gave up His only Beloved Son! I frequently post on Facebook this simple reminder- you are Loved!!! you are Loved!!! Once for you & once for me. The excessive exclamation points? One for the Father, one for the Son & one for the Holy Spirit. Today my joy was watching my girls asleep. I am constantly amazed by my children & the gift that they are. Where is your joy!!!
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Have a wonderful day dear ones!
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First of all, I want to make it clear that I am not trying to sound uber-spiritual or profound by choosing the word “serve” for my One Word for 2014. Trust me, I am far from being near as spiritual (or profound) as I would love to be. I’m way too human for my own good, in fact, which is part of the reason I have chosen this word to base my year upon. I want to get back to basics, and to fully humble myself I need to serve.
The word serve has very many meanings. Just go to your favorite dictionary and you’ll see. All but a few are what I would like to do or be this year. (I could do without being a volleyball bouncing between two hands, thankyouverymuch.) In all seriousness, I want to serve instead of be served. To help instead of be helped. I want to do everything that God would have me to do. My heart, soul, and mind want to intentionally be everything I am meant to be: A good wife, a strong mother, a friend, and more. I want to give my time to battle for the Lord the way our military battles for our country. I want to serve.
I don’t want recognition. In fact, if you know me personally then you know that I hate to have any sort of attention brought to me. I’m shy, awkward, and terribly clumsy. I just want to know that someday when I look back at this life, I will honestly be able to say I did everything I could. I told everyone that I was able about God’s love. I shared Jesus with those who needed Him. I helped the ones who couldn’t help themselves. I served the Lord with all I had and never took Him for granted.
24Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. 25And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ 26But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.28“But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. 29And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, 30that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”– Luke 22:24-30 NKJV-
Will I be able to say those things? Not likely. I’ve already made more mistakes than I can count. But I want to know I did my best to serve Him the best ways I know how.
To put this into action will take a lot of careful listening on my part. In order to serve God, I need to know what He asks of me and be lined up with His will and calling for my life. In order to serve my husband, I need to listen to what he needs me to do in order to be his helpmeet. To serve my children and family, I need to know what they are in need of so I can provide it (or say no as needed). I can’t just run around willy nilly doing things that I feel are helping to serve a purpose. I must line up with His purpose. Even when I might think I’m doing a good thing for someone else.
When I was a little girl I sang a song in church. If you were a kid in church in the 80’s you probably know it. The first time I heard it on a Psalty Kid’s Praise VHS, I begged my Mom to buy me the accompaniment track on cassette so I could stand in front of the church and sing it. I memorized those words, walked up to the platform, looked at the floor, and belted them out as shy as I could without once looking out at everyone in front of me. “If you want to be great, in God’s kingdom, learn to be a servant of allllllll…”
While trying to decide on a word for this year, my family and I sat down and watched the old recording and the memories flooded back to me, as did words that I memorized. I want to be a servant of all for Him. Just like that little girl did 20 years ago. Time to get back to basics…
How about you? Do you have One Word for 2014?
For more posts about how we are Starting The Year Off Right, click here!
Yes, I know that compared to others, my One Word for 2014 is a little… Well, fruity… For lack of better words. What I mean is, I realize my word may not seem to be very profound or Spiritual, but stay with me. I’m gonna explain.
As I was praying about what my One Word should be, I thought I was going to have to dig deep, do some serious soul searching. I figured I would be waiting until sometime in the middle of January before my word would reveal itself to me. I was gladly mistaken. As I prayed about my word, it seemed to all of a sudden jump out at me.
Now, due to the lack of ‘wow factor’ surrounding my word, I thought for a moment that I was crazy. This couldn’t possibly be my One Word. Maybe I was hearing wrong. Yet, as I pondered the why, it began to make sense for me.
“16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.“
No matter where I am or what I am doing, I am producing fruit. Everyone that comes in contact with me also comes in contact with my fruit. What kind of fruit are they seeing? What kind of fruit am I producing? Any and everyone I meet will know me by my fruit. My husband will know me by my fruit. My children will know me by my fruit. My fellow church members will know me by my fruit. The cashier at Wal-Mart will know me by my fruit. All of you that read this will know me by my fruit. And most importantly, God will judge me by my fruit.
FRUIT is my One Word 2014 because I want to constantly be reminded that I am producing fruit. I want to be aware at all times of what type of fruit I am offering. I don’t want to be rotten and squishy. I don’t want to be cut down and thrown into the fire. I want to bear good fruit. I want to be pleasing to the Lord. I want my fruit to be a sweet smelling savor that rises to the throne room of the Father. On December 31, 2014, I want to be able to look back over the year and not be ashamed of the fruit I produced.
Do you have a One Word 2014? Be sure and share it with us!
Want to see more posts about how we are starting the year off right? Click here!
As a part of our “One Word” series for this year, I thought long and hard to find the right “one word” for me. I had so many come to mind, like Redeemed, Forgiven, Blessed, but didn’t really feel drawn to them. Then as I was reading my Bible, “one word” struck out at me: LOOSE
There are many definitions of the word loose, but the versions that I chose, was the verb form.
loose – (in verb form) free from a state of confinement, restraint, or obligation
Loosed – released; to be free from restraint
Matthew 18:18 says,
“Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on on earth shall be bound in Heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.”
It goes on to say that if two or three touch and agree, it shall be given unto them. It got me thinking about the many different chains of bondage that are holding people prisoner today. Chains of darkness from sin and they don’t know what to do or where to go.
One of the references of “LOOSE” that stands out in my mind, is when when Lazarus had died. Jesus came the two miles from Jerusalem to Bethany, to raise him from the dead. The body of Lazarus has already been wrapped in graveclothes and the burial preparations already made. Jesus call Lazarus forth, out of the grave!
John 11:44 says: “And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.”
Just like that, his bondage was loosed and he was able to live again!
Isaiah 58:6 “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?”
God doesn’t want us to be oppressed or wear the chains of heavy burdens on our lives. He wants us to be free of anything that is not of Him that adds extra burden to our lives.
Daniel 3:25 “I see four men loosed, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
Could you imagine seeing Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walkin around in that fiery furnace, which was set to be 7X hotter than normally set? Not only that, but the Son of God walking with them? Wow! They went in bound and God broke their chains of bondage!
Luke 13:11-13 “And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. 12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, ‘Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.’ 13 And He laid His hands on her: and IMMEDIATELY she was made straight, and glorified God.”
Put yourself in this woman’s shoes. Bowed over for 18 years! What pain her body must have been in, from the contortion, but Jesus healed her and loosened her from the infirmity.
Acts 16:26 “And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bands were loosed.”
Paul and Silas were in prison and were singing praised unto God at the midnight hour, and all of the prisoners heard them. While they were singing, the earthquake happened and ALL of their bands were loosened. God showed Himself to the prison guard since all of the prisoners stayed were they were instead of fleeing.
God has showed Himself strong in all of the above references. I encourage you to look up each one for yourself and see what happens before or after. If you have any chains of bondage of any kind, whether it be drugs, food, alcohol, pornography, unforgiveness, hatred, distrust, anything that caused extra weight to bare down on your spirit, God is able to break EVERY strand of bondage that is holding you captive. He is already waiting on you to call on Him! Let Him LOOSE you from everything that is keeping you bound.
As I walk in this world, I want to be recognized as a light in the midst of darkness. I don’t want to blend in. Period. However, I’m human, so I have to check myself daily…aka….crucify that flesh!
I shouldn’t have to wear a Christian t-shirt to be identified as a child of God. I shouldn’t have to carry around a salt shaker or flashlight for people to know that I’m the salt of the earth and the light of the world. If I’m talking the talk, I shouldn’t have to defend my walk.
I’ve made up my mind. I refuse to compromise to fit in. I refuse to compromise to have friends. I refuse to compromise. Period.
I may get down and I may get lonely, but I’ll never be alone. Like Angie, I plan to put my focus on being a Jesus Pleaser instead of a People Pleaser. And as much as being a Martha is needed and required, I’m refuse to feel guilty for being a Mary. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not letting go of the Martha in me, but I do tend to feel guilty when I’m in the Mary zone. Not any more. Why? Because it’s all about Him. And He is holy, therefore I must be holy.
You may have heard of this trend, as many bloggers have taken part. Picking one word to be who/what they’d like to become/represent for the year 2013. Not a resolution, but a goal, whether it be for change or growth. I’ve read many “words” this year and last, and found many to be inspiring.
So, yes, I jumped on the bandwagon. This seems like my cup o’ tea… or thermos of coffee… and I need a word desperately.
(Stop laughing! I mean it! Everyone knows I talk a lot… and every chance I get. But really, this time, I’m only picking ONE word!)
I put a lot of prayer and thought into my word, and I believe God has been trying to get this word into my thick skull for awhile. The difference now is that I was sitting quietly, listening to Him, and :gasp: not distracted. (Shocking, I know.)
So without further ado, here is my one word:
You see, I have this
little itty bitty HUGE problem of people pleasing. I want everyone to be happy, and sometimes put that over making GOD happy. Naturally, others are let down in the process and in the end: no one is happy. Not me, not the people, not my family, and especially not Christ.
This year, I only want to please and hold my accountability to the Lord. No one and nothing else. Just Him. I want to live accountable to His Word, His Will, and His Lead. When I do that, I know that everything else will fall into place. And I do mean EVERYTHING!
Already, just a few days into the year, I am facing many changes and challenges. I plan to apply Romans 14:12 to each and every circumstance: So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
Someday, I’m going to stand before my Lord and Savior. I want to hear Him say “Well done!” with the biggest and most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen. Soon, I’ll drop that title of “People Pleaser” and replace it with “Jesus Pleaser”. (Though I’ll still be human, so grant me some grace, please. 😉 )
Have you chosen One Word for your year? If so, please leave a comment or link to your blog post! Please and thank you.
This post is part of the WORD 2013 Blog Carnival hosted by Ben and Me.
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