Tag Archives: God’s blessing

The Joy Of God Rises Up!

the joy of the Lord

Let the joy of the Lord out!

Let the joy of the Lord rise among us. Lord, this is your plan for life. It’s always been – to have a people who love and trust in you, so your joy can rise. It’s a great plan. I like it. Let your joy rise in me. Rise in my house, my city, my nation. There is healing in your joy.

There is wisdom and grace. There is life. Your joy is a dimension we have not yet discovered in ourselves. It’s in us, in our spirits. You put it there when you breathed life into Adam. It lies waiting for the sound of Your voice to rise up. Deep calls unto deep. Let the joy rise.

Teach my spirit to enjoy the joy you’ve given me. Let me give myself to it and give it freedom in my life. How can I respond to life in arrogance if your joy sings in my soul? No matter what happens, no matter what tragedy, let your joy always be my guide. I will follow your joy and sing with you and you will guard my heart and my thoughts.

Be our God and rise among us. We need you. Let joy flow like falling drops of water in the fountain of life. I love your joy. It brings clarity and revelation when we embrace it. You said make a joyful noise all the earth. I want to hear that. I want to hear the earth respond to you in joy. I can’t imagine the sound of that. I”m sure it wouldn’t sound as heavenly as we think it would. I think it would sound like joyful noise. Rise up in me. I’ll make some noise.

Another post on carrying joy: Kingdom People Carry Joy

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Letter To My God

God has a plan for each of us

God has a plan and is waiting to help

Dear God,

I know I just talked to you, but I need to come back again. God, there’s so much to cringe about in the world- floods, joblessness, hopelessness. People are trying to find answers when they don’t really know what the questions are. We need help. We need to know that our lives count, that we matter, just as much as other people who seem to have it all. What will happen when the money runs out? Who will take care of us? How do we deal with cancer and diabetes? How do we deal with loneliness and isolation?

It’s a lot to think about. It can look scary. Really scary. But that’s why I wanted to talk to you. I know you’ve got a plan. For all the issues, all the problems, you have a plan. You have a way to take away all the fear. You can restore what’s been lost and build what’s been torn down. You can make the new better than the old.

The thing is, we’re not good at listening to you. We like to think that we don’t need you. We want to be in control, despite the mess we live in. Silly isn’t it! Help us to see that when we act like stubborn children who won’t let mom help, we have to live with our own decisions. Help us to see that you are close, that all you’re waiting for is for us to ask. So easy. So simple.

I like that you have a plan. Thanks for that. I know that your plan is way better than mine. So much better than mine. Help us, as a community, as a country, to see that you know how to bring food to the table and health to our bodies. You are so much bigger than the issues that hurt us and worry us. I give it all to you. I know I still have responsibilities, but I will listen to you and do what you say. I’ve been pretty happy so far.

Another post on God’s plan for us: I’ve Been Set Apart. Have You?

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I’ll Have A Slice of Self-Control Please

Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit

Self-control can change your life.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. How many times do we talk about love, joy, and peace? Kindness and goodness get thrown in for good measure, but how many times do we talk about self-control? Doesn’t sound that holy. How many times to you hear, ‘God really blessed me with self-control this week!’ Somehow we let that one slip past, like the other parts of scripture that convict us that we really don’t want to deal with.

Self-control would be a pretty good one to get a hold of. Our society is pretty messed up from domestic violence, gang violence, obesity, debt, abortion. Just think how self-control could change so much.  Self-control demands limits to our own wants. We usually know what those limits are, we just choose to ignore them. It’s hard. We feel a rush when we indulge in something that’s just outside our control. It’s a mixture of pleasure and guilt. If our conscious is still sensitive, we’ll feel terrible afterward, but will still be helpless to avoid doing it again.

God has a gift to help with that. It’s free. It’s available. All you have to do is ask for it. Don’t think you don’t need it, you’re human. God knows who we are and provided everything we need to live blessed and happy lives. It’s our responsibility to ask and receive those gifts. He wants us to be proactive in this. How much of Him do you want? I going for the full banquet. All the fruit looks pretty good to me. I want more. There’s only so much I can take in today, so I’m going back for more tomorrow.

I want self-control in my life. About that writing project, will I dedicate my time better to finish it? Yeah, I need help. Will I stop before saying something hurtful and negative? Need help. Will self-control help me walk in kindness and consideration for others? Youbetcha. If there’s a blessing from heaven that’s available to me, I want it, as much as I can take in.

Related Post: Go Ahead, Pray For Patience


Read the first chapter of my book Crucible Heart


Love God With Everything You’ve Got

With all our heart, soul, strength, and mind.

Love God with everything we’ve got.

Then one of the scribes . . . asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord your God is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ ” (Mk 12:28)

I’ve been a Christian for years and years and years. I thought that meant that I loved God with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind and all my strength. I believed Him. I loved Him. But I was wrong.

Knowledge of and passion for are two different things. God showed me very clearly that I did not love Him totally, passionately. In fact, there was nothing in my life that I was passionate about. Nothing. There were things that I liked, even loved, but nothing that burned with passion inside me. I was all words, no fire.

I became ashamed of my faith because it was weak and valueless. I asked God to forgive me. I confessed the sin of my self-indulgence and arrogance. I shook off the platitudes of pretense and lay before Him stripped of my self-assurance. He gave me back a heart full of blessing and hope.

I tell Him everyday that I love Him with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind and all my strength. He can have all my dreams and hopes. There is nothing I love or want more than Him. He is my heart, my soul, my mind and my strength. And the more I love Him, the more He shows His love for me. I lose nothing and I gain all of heaven. And He still chooses to give me the desires of my heart. He makes my dreams come true.

Related Post: Everlasting Love

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Creation Mode: On

God put His creativity in all of us.

God put His creativity in all of us.

I’m a Christian, so I’m just going to step over the primordial soup theory and say that I believe that God created everything–and I love the way He did it. When He made Adam, He breathed life  into him. By doing that, He put something of Himself into us. No, I’m not saying we’re little gods. Adam wasn’t made of God’s rib, he was made of clay. But that breath of life was as creative as saying, “Let there be light.”

Now this is all my theory, of course, but I believe that, just as everyone has some amount of faith to believe, everyone also has some amount of creativity in them. They have to, it came from that first breath of life. And just like faith, we have to get serious sometimes to take hold of it. It’s amazing to see people like Akiane, who seemed to be born with a full understanding of their talents, but even Michelangelo spent time as an apprentice before creating his masterpieces. It’s there, but it may need cultivating. It may need some classes to understand how it works and years to bring into full development. Think about a normal child, not Akiane, who starts off coloring with crayons, then learns to use colored pencils, then watercolor, then oils. The talent is developed along with learning to access the creative part inside.

I’m sure that scientists can point to where creativity lives in our brain. “It’s right here on this brain map in what we like to call the Anterior Darwinian Lobe.” I don’t know where it lives, I just know it’s there. It’s hiding with all those other gifts we’ve been given and forget to access: peace, joy, patience, faith. Sometimes we have to just get quiet and ask God to help us find them.

Hmm, someone must be working on a new plot for their book! Someone must be pretty happy right now that said plot came after spending some time meditating on the good things of God! Hey, how did you know that? Yeah! It works. And I believe that it works in all kinds of ways. Just because you’re an artist or musician, doesn’t mean that that’s the only area of creativity you’ve got. In fact, I think the more you access that creativity, the more it spreads to other areas of your life. It might show up in the kitchen or garden or torturing your kids.

I’m glad happy about this and I want more. And God is just sweet enough to give it if we ask. What’s cooking inside of you? What ever it is, it’s yours and unique to you. Don’t hide it, it would be such a waste.

Hoping It Won’t Be Work

Hope. It’s a new year and new year’s always inspire hope for the future. It does sound a bit like wishing for world peace, but hope is alive and well, if we dare to believe. I have so much to hope for. I have personal hopes and hopes for other people. I have hopes based on promises from God and hopes I want Him to touch.

When I think of those hopes, it makes me think of dancing. Not just dancing, dancing, but ballet. I remember, back in the day, when I took ballet. The teacher would say, “You have a string tied to your wrist. At the other end of the string is a balloon, lifting your wrist light as air.” We would move our arms through first, second, third and fourth positions, trying very hard to have balloons tied to our wrists. Ninety-nine per cent of the time we were tied to anvils not balloons. The truth is, it was very hard to move that “effortlessly”, especially when equal concentration had to be made to moving our feet at the same time.

My point is that hope sounds wonderful and fluffy, but it comes with a good deal of hard work. We look forward to open doors to part before us, but it is our feet that move us through them. You can’t move across the floor with grace without putting in hours of practice to develop it. Hope is only hopeful when we put ourselves in position to grab it. And when there’s nothing in the world that we can do, we position our hearts to expect what we need. That takes work. Hope is not trusting that a fairy godmother will show up to take us out of our misery. Real hope is based on reality. Do you hope to be a great writer? Then work your craft. Do you hope to lose thirty pounds? Then knock off the cookies and go walk.

Hope is not a band-aid, it’s the carrot to get us working toward our own goals. I have a lot to hope for this year. That means I have a lot to do. The rest is up to God to bless. I’m so thankful that He puts those hopes in me because He does like to bless.