Where Is My Happily Ever After?

“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 145:18 (NIV)
It’s hard when a situation doesn’t look anything like we thought it would If you’re like me, and you like a plan. I like all involved to follow along with the plan. And I certainly don’t want any unexpected deviations from or disappointments with the plan at all, ever.

In reality, though, life is highly unpredictable. I keep bumping up against this as I walk through a long season of life not looking like I thought it would.

I suspect many of you are also facing circumstances that have left you feeling caught off-guard and unsure about what tomorrow holds.

Maybe you’re in a job where you feel unsettled, and you think that God is leading you somewhere else, but He hasn’t yet revealed what’s next. So, for now, you walk into an office every day giving it your all, but your heart feels disconnected and your real calling unfulfilled.

Or maybe you’ve been watching everyone else in your life find love, walk down the aisle, and start the life you’ve dreamed of. Then a few months ago you met someone who was everything you’ve been hoping for. You told your friends this might be the one. And then this week you felt that person pulling back. It’s hard to understand. You feel panicked. But the more you press in, the more distance you feel between the two of you.

There are thousands of scenarios that evoke these feelings of uncertainty, fear and exhaustion from life not being like you thought it would be.

Whatever your situation is, you probably feel like you can’t change it, but you still have to live through the realities of what’s happening right now. Sometimes you just have to walk in your “I don’t know.”

The Lord makes it clear in His Word that things will not always go as we wish they would in this life:

“In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33b, NIV).

“Each day has enough trouble of its own”(Matthew 6:34b, NIV).

All this trouble is exhausting. Walking in the “I don’t know” is scary. And sometimes we can be desperate to make things easier than they really are.

We keep thinking, if we can just get through this circumstance, then life will settle down and finally the words happily ever after will scroll across the glorious scene of us skipping happily into the sunset.

But what if life settling down and all your disappointments going away would be the worst thing that could happen to you?

What if your “I don’t know” is helping you, not hurting you?

Remember those verses we just read about troubles? Here they are again in the context of the full passages:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NIV).

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”(Matthew 6:33-34, NIV).

The crucial detail for us to have peace in the middle of everything we face is to stay close to the Lord.

We think we want comfort in the I-don’t-know times of life. But comfort isn’t a solution to seek; rather, it’s a by-product we’ll reap when we stay close to the Lord.

I wish I could promise you that everything’s going to turn out like you’re hoping it will. I can’t, of course. But what I can promise you is this: The assurance of Psalm 145:18 is true,“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

Let’s cry out to God, declaring that this hard time will be a holy time, a close-to-God time. And let’s choose to believe that there is good happening, even in these places. Because wherever God is, good is being worked.

Father God, I’m forever grateful for Your presence and all that You offer me as I rest in You. More than I need You to fix anything in my life, I need You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY

Psalm 34:18, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (NIV)

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Moving past your pain.

We have all been a victim of something in our lives.

A victim of hateful words.

A victim of painful circumstances.

A victim of physical, mental, or emotional abuse.

That abuse may have happened one time and once it happened everything in your world changed.

Sometimes that abuse happens for weeks, for months, and for years and when it stops we don’t even know how to live life normally anymore.

And then we have to make a very important choice: to let it continue to reign in our lives or to do what it takes to overcome it.

We choose whether we will be victorious over our circumstances or whether we remain victims long after the abuse is done.

And sadly, many people choose to live life with a victim mentality believing that once you are a victim you are always a victim.

That once you have been broken you cannot be restored again.

That once you have been hurt you cannot be whole again.

And that’s a mentality that will keep you locked up in a prison longer than any physical prison ever will.

If I think about victims in the Bible and their response to the victimization that they faced I can think of two great examples: Joseph and the Israelites.

Joseph was a victim of taunting words and betrayal by his brothers.

That abuse led him to being locked up in a dungeon cell, but even though he was physically locked up in his mind he was free because he chose not to allow the victim mentality to reach his heart.

He didn’t let the abuse of his past stop him from fulfilling his destiny.

The Israelites had quite the opposite outcome.

They were also abused for 400 years.

They didn’t know how to live a life outside of physical torture and hate.

And one day God divinely stepped into their pain and halted the slavery.

He opened up a door of freedom for them to escape to.

He gave them hope for a Promised Land.

And although they physically started walking toward that Promised Land the people that left that day never stepped foot into it because mentally they were still trapped in slavery.

Instead of seeing themselves as free women and men walking toward victory they saw themselves as those same victims that had no hope for a life that was better than their abuse.

They didn’t trust God and at one point even wanted to turn back because even though they heard the promise He had made they didn’t think life could be any other way than the way it had always been.

They were free men walking as slaves and because of that they never made it to that Promised Land waiting for them.

And on top of that they chose to complain about Moses, about God, about the food that God provided them with. (Numbers 14:2)

And how often do we do the same?

We blame God for our problems?

We blame our circumstances for getting us to where we are today?

We blame people for the ways that they have hurt us?

And by doing so we reject the responsibility we have to keep moving forward with God.

We remain enslaved to bitterness, to pain, and to an invisible prison cell.

We fail to enter the Promised Land that God has prepared for us and the future that is better than our past because we don’t want to let go of our victim mentality.

If there is one important lesson you can learn from Joseph and the Isrealites it’s this: you may have been a victim yesterday but that doesn’t mean you have to be a victim forever.

What happened yesterday, or last week, or five years ago doesn’t have to determine your destiny.

You won’t be able to erase the pain of the oppression or the memories but every day you can choose to refuse to replay them in your head and be held captive by them.

You may have been a victim yesterday but you can start heading to your Promised Land with God.

Where you will be set free all the way.

It may have been your father, your mother, your leader, your friend, or your neighbor that brought you to your lowest of lows.

They may have made you a victim but it’s up to you whether you will choose to stay there.

And the only way to say goodbye to the victim mentality?

The only remedy for your endless hurt and pain?

It’s found at the cross of Jesus.

It’s there that He will reveal to you who you really are: no longer a victim or a slave but a precious child of God, redeemed, forgiven, and given a new hope to live with every day.

You are the child of a Father who adores you and has the answer to every problem that you face.

A Father that will deliver you, restore you, and heal you from the pain of your past.

A God that will help you get to the Promised Land.

Today… don’t look at your circumstances and see yourself as a victim, instead look at the cross and see yourself as a beloved child of God.

Created to live a full life of joy, peace, and freedom.

Designed to fulfill a destiny that He has prepared for you.

Be like Joseph and hold onto the promises of Jesus regardless of where you find yourself today.

God came to set all the captives free.

He came to break all of the chains that want to keep you locked up against your own will.

He came to take away all of your burdens, your pain, and your shame.

So don’t cling to it because that’s all you’ve ever known.

Let Him make you whole and give you a new hope.

There’s a freedom and a joy waiting for you if you only stop looking backward and let go.

Don’t be a victim anymore.

Be victorious with the Lord.

Be blessed and keep walking faithfully with God!  – Joy…  ♥

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” –Isaiah 61:1

When God is silent.

Can I be honest about something today? Sometimes I just don’t get God.

I don’t get Him because He is Almighty and Sovereign.

He has the power to do absolutely anything in the world.

He can answer the prayer you have been praying for years in a millisecond and yet He doesn’t.

He deliberately chooses not to.

It’s not that He doesn’t hear you.

It’s not that He doesn’t care about you.

It’s not that He wants your future to be bleak and hopeless.

No… He has great plans for your life.

And yet even when you are down on your knees crying out for answers, for healing, for an open door, and for a breakthrough He remains silent.

This is something Mary and Martha knew too well.

Their brother Lazarus had gotten sick so they immediately sent Jesus word to come and heal him.

They knew all it would take is one word from Him and their brother would be up and walking again.

But when word got to Jesus that they were seeking His help do you know what He did? He stayed where He was for two days. (John 11:6)

And that’s what makes no sense to me.

If one of my best friends was dying in a hospital bed and I had the power to do something to heal her I wouldn’t waste a single second in getting to her.

I would quit all my plans and jump on the first plane, train, boat, or car to get to her.

But that’s not what Jesus did.

From the human perspective I would look at that and say “well, Jesus doesn’t really care all that much about Lazarus” but that’s not true.

It says in John 11:5 that He loved Lazarus, and not only that but later when He does come to see him He weeps along with Martha and Mary about his death. (John 11:35)

And yet He chose to wait.

Why? Because He already knew that Lazarus would die and it would give Him an opportunity to perform the unimaginable: raise Him back to life.

Sometimes I think God does the same in each one of our lives.

We cry out to Him for help and He deliberately chooses to wait.

He chooses to wait until like Mary and Martha we find ourselves hopeless and helpless wondering how our beloved friend can leave us hanging when we need Him most.

How the God of the universe who has the power to change our circumstances with just one word can choose to seemingly ignore us.

We want our healing, our open door, our answered prayer right now, just like Mary and Martha wanted for Lazarus.

And it would have been good for Jesus to have dropped everything He was doing to run to Lazarus and heal him as fast as He could.

But it was so much better for Him to wait.

Because if Jesus came right away Lazarus would have had a testimony of a healing.

But if Jesus waited as He did then he would have a testimony of resurrection.

And getting raised from the dead is just a little bit more of a bigger deal than getting healed.

I don’t know what you are waiting on today.

Which door is still closed in your life and what prayer remains unanswered,

But I DO know that we have an all powerful Almighty Father in heaven for whom nothing is impossible.

I DO know that if God is making us wait it’s not in vain.

Just because you didn’t get the opportunity you were hoping for doesn’t mean you never will.

You will when the time is right according to God.

And when you do you will have a testimony like Lazarus did because God waited on giving you the answer to your prayers your testimony of His faithfulness will be even greater than if He gave you what you asked you for today.

Sometimes the period of waiting that makes no sense to us is just a huge blessing in disguise waiting to be discovered.

Sometimes the only reason God holds out on giving us what we want today because He has something even better planned for us tomorrow. I think this quote from Mandy Hale’s most recent book sums it up perfectly.

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Copyright: Joy Munor ©

 

Today I challenge you to set aside any deadlines or expiration dates you have given God to answer your prayer for when you’ll get that job, that opportunity, that healing, that husband or wife.

Jesus’ answer to Martha and Mary came way past the deadline they would have given Him.

And yet He still came to them right on time.

On time for the greatest miracle to happen.

And He will come right on time for you too.

If His answer is still “wait” today then trust that there is something better in store for you tomorrow than if He gave you what you desire today.

Mary and Martha would have told you that Jesus coming was worth the wait.

That He came at exactly the right time even though they thought He already came too late.

That He did it out of genuine love for them, as He does for you.

Know that if God is holding something back from you today it’s only for your own good.

Trust Him in your waiting and He’ll be faithful in coming through for you.

Be blessed and continue praying and trusting in God’s faithfulness to answer you at the right time during your season of waiting. – Joy ❤❤❤

A love that goes a long way.

One of the saddest things in this world is that we wait to tell people how much they mean to us until it’s already too late.

When we are standing at their graveside, not when we are sitting across from them face to face.

What do those words of love mean to them when they can no longer hear?

What purpose does it serve to express your gratitude toward them when they are already in their grave?

I’ve heard so many sayings about “appreciating people while you still have them” but the truth is that even though we all know our time on earth is limited, we still seldom do.

Why must we wait for Christmas, for a birthday, or worst, for a funeral to tell someone that we love them when we can tell them today?

Won’t it matter so much more to them when they can hear your words and feel your hug?

We are always so quick to point out people’s wrongdoings and faults, but wouldn’t it be so much better if we were even quicker to point out the times when they did something right?

God calls us to love one another not yesterday, and not tomorrow… but today.

So why not show some love? It’s good for the heart and soul, not just for the person you are showing gratitude toward but also for yourself.

Why not take the time to tell your friend that you appreciate them being there for you through thick and thin?

Why not take the time to tell your parents that you don’t take for granted their hard work and the fact that because of them you have food on the table and a roof over your head?

Why not take the time to tell your pastor, your mentor, or Bible study leader that you appreciate their faithfulness to reaching out to you and blessing you in your walk of faith?

Your words of love may seem insignificant but they can go a long way.

A long way in encouraging a weary mother or father to keep on giving everything they have.

A long way in encouraging your friend to continue to stay by your side and know that they are loved.

A long way in encouraging your pastor or leader to keep on serving selflessly in any way that they can.

I know that words of love have gone on a long way with me whether it came from a friend who sent me a card to say they appreciated me, a blog reader who wrote to tell me that the words God put on my heart blessed them, or a teen who said that the times I spent with them really mattered to them.

It’s those words that pushed to keep on writing when the enemy told me my words don’t matter and no one reads what I have to say.

It’s those words that kept me going when the enemy told me that no one really cared about me at the end of the day.

Yes, in the end it is God that is the One who encourages us through His Word, and who gives our lives worth and meaning, and who proved His unconditional love on the cross for us but this race of faith is hard and it doesn’t hurt to have someone cheering you on once in a while.

It doesn’t hurt to have someone say “Hey what you’re doing is good, keep on staying faithful, and keep on playing your part.”

It doesn’t hurt to have someone say “Hey, I appreciate your hours of cooking in the kitchen, your hours of praying on your bedroom floor, your hours of listening to me spill my heart out, and your hours of time investing into my life.”

We could all be reminded that we are not being taken for granted so why don’t we be the ones to start by saying “I love you” and “thank you” to someone today?

I love and wholeheartedly agree with what John Pavlovitz said in one of his recent blog posts:

“I think we should give people living eulogies; that we should speak lavish, unashamed words of love and praise, not about them, but to them. Speak all the words of love, to those you love. Say everything, while they can still hear.”

So why not start telling people they matter why they can still hear?

You don’t need to do anything too extravagant.

Say a few words.

Send a card.

Bring some flowers.

Honor those you love with your blessings, gratitude, and heartfelt prayers.

Don’t wait until it’s too late.

This week I challenge you to take time to show some love to someone you care about. You never know when tomorrow could be too late – Joy….  ♥

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” –Romans 12:10

Live your best life.

There has been this popular tag of recent “living my best life”

I think it sort of created controversy because many claim to be living their best lives while others argue that those who claim to be living their best barely have their lives together.

I think many people got the phrase miscontrued. They actually believe that living their best lives is tied to all their material possessions and i really don’t blame them

Now the struggle has become so real, everybody trying to live up, but does it have to be so?

I got a major understanding of what it means to live your best life as opposed to social media perception

I think a lot of people wait their whole lives to be happy or for one spectacular event that will change their lives..

They end up living most of their lives in misery, in hopeful anticipation of a happily never after, ignorant of the things they have going for them.

you know, i used to think that getting a university or college degree, getting a good job, being able to travel round the world would change my view about life. 

Don’t get me wrong

Those experiences give you an exciting feeling about life

But they don’t really last forever, do they?

So…..

What happens on the blue days?

The dismal days?

The days you aren’t living your dream?

The days your pay cheque look like an apology letter from world bank for economic recession?

What do you do? 

Are you still living your best life?

Or perhaps your worst nightmare just set in?

To live your best life is to make the most of every phase of life! 

It is not a life of comparison

It’s a decision to enjoy your life despite the odds

It’s seeing the glass as half full, when others are seeing it half empty

In context, it’s an understanding that where you are now is currently where God purposed you to be at that point in time.

When you have that understanding, you won’t struggle trying to figure out life. 

You won’t feel left behind when you see other people doing and going places you aren’t

You would say..

Oh great! Glad ________ have this going for them, i’m where i’m supposed to be right now and i choose to make the most of it”

Many times, we wonder how our “picture perfect” people have got their lives together, how they do it so effortlessly! 😵

Why their lives are so perfect?

why your own life never seem to add or measure up no matter how hard you try?

Does this sound like you?

Halt right there!

Here are 3 facts you need to always remember

First…

Nobody has got it all together

Secondly…

You ain’t the only one with challenges

Thirdly…

Your “picture perfect” people aren’t at all perfect as you envisioned.

They’ve got blind spots and character flaws too.!

Hello?

They have cares like you too, maybe even worse

But maybe more importantly, they have chosen to celebrate their highs with their lows

Hence, it seems like their lives are spotless. 

Choosing to live your best life at each point in time exposes you to many things you weren’t paying much attention to.

It gives you a better perspective

You are happy and content where you are on your way to where you are going.

Now, this doesn’t mean you are accepting mediocrity as a lifestyle, you just simply choose to rise above the odds. 

Prayer: Dear God, help us to understand and appreciate each stage of our lives, give us peace during the storm knowing you are working everything out for our good. Amen. – Joy

 

 

 

Where I should be by now.

By now I should be… traveling the world and fulfilling my high school dreams.

By now I should be… higher up in the chain in the world of business and using that fancy degree.

By now I should be… fulfilling that great call God has upon my life in church and in ministry.

By now I should be… doing something important.

Going somewhere I’ve always wanted to go.

Fulfilling that ambition that’s been on my heart for years.

And yet I am still here.

Have you ever felt that way?

Like where you are at in life right now… well, that wasn’t really part of your original plan.

In fact, sometimes you feel like a character in a play called life and you are reading the wrong script.

You find yourself at a place you don’t think you should be.

And you wonder why in the world your storyline has not changed yet.

Why you still find yourself at “that” job.

Why you still find yourself in “that” situation.

Why you still find yourself in or without “that” relationship.

See in high school they tell us to set goals and create five-year plans.

In youth group they tell us to pray big prayers and dream big dreams.

But what they forget to tell us is that we should write those plans in pencil and hold them very loosely because at any given moment God can throw all those plans away.

And you will find yourself far from where you think you “should be”.

If you feel like you’re not where you are supposed to be in life then you are not the only one.

I’ve felt that way too many times to count.

As I’m sure many of the men and women from the Bible felt in their time.

I wonder if David thought “by now I should be King” after being anointed years ago by Samuel.

And yet there he was, still running away from Saul in the desert.

I wonder if Joseph thought “by now I should be a leader and fulfilling those big dreams I had as a child.”

And yet there he was, still sitting alone in a prison cell.

I wonder if Abraham’s wife Sarah thought “by now I should be raising that Promised child of God’s”.

And yet there she was, still barren year after year.

Thinking that if God was so faithful wouldn’t He have come through by now?

If God was so good wouldn’t He have answered her cries by now?

If God was so sovereign wouldn’t He have stepped onto the scene and made the impossible happen by now?

For you

For me

For each one of them.

I used to have this idea that being in the center of God’s Will meant that you always found yourself in a “good” place.

You know, in that place where you’re always moving forward and life seems to be full of joy and peace.

Obviously, what else could be God’s Will?

It can’t possibly be in a place where I question why in the world why I am even there.

And it has only been recently that I have been learning that being in the center of God’s Will doesn’t always mean my life is going smoothly every step of the way.

In fact, sometimes you find yourself in the center of God’s Will in a very dark place just as much as you do when you find yourself in a good place.

Joseph was in the center of God’s Will in the prison cell just as much as he was when he was sitting on the throne right next to pharaoh.

Abraham’s wife Sarah was in the center of God’s Will being barren most of her life just as much as when she finally had little Isaac in her arms to carry.

David was in the center of God’s Will being chased by his crazy father-in-law and king Saul just as much as when he was finally ruling as Israel’s greatest king.

And you are in the center of God’s Will just as much in the hard times as you are in the easy times.

Just because the place you are in today is less than ideal doesn’t mean it’s not where God wants you to be.

It’s easy to see the blessing in the receiving and fulfillment of a hope, a desire, or a dream.

But sometimes the greatest blessing isn’t when you finally reach your destination and get to where you want to go.

Sometimes it’s in the waiting.

It’s in the not knowing.

It’s in the not having it all figured out.

Because it is in that place that you learn to really trust God for who He is.

“Sometimes, it’s in the biggest question marks of life where we learn to really trust God the most. Trusting that He is good, trusting that He really loves us, and trusting that His plan for our lives (with the ups and the downs and twists and turns) is better than anything we could have planned for ourselves. With, or without all the answers.” –Debra Fileta

Life will never go according to your scripted plan not because your plan isn’t good but because it was never yours to write in the first place.

Don’t worry if the road ahead looks uncertain, if you’re far from where you “should be”, and if you have a big question mark instead of a plan.

God is in control and HE has the plan. And sometimes He only reveals it to us one step at a time so that we can trust Him in the process.

You’ll never see the big picture like He does, but that doesn’t really matter, because as long as you see Him that’s all you need.

He’ll make your life unfold just the way that it needs to.

If God is making you wait for something it’s because He is still preparing you for it.

And sometimes that preparation process takes a lot longer than we think.

But until you finally reach the finish line… trust the One that is leading you to it.

Never lose hope in your walk with Christ no matter how dark the road gets. He will be faithful in taking care of you. – Joy

Idol of Social Media.

Yesterday I discovered something that I had no idea could even be possible.

Something that might bring you such profound revelation that you’ll have to rethink about how you live your entire life.

Something you probably won’t believe.

You might need to sit down for this:

Here it is.

You can survive a day without your phone.

Crazy i know.

It’s a miracle that even I can hardly believe it.

Of course, I only know this incredible truth because I unintentionally happened to leave my phone at home in the morning yesterday.

Otherwise my precious phone would have been faithfully by my side all day long.

(As I’m sure yours is too.)

But putting all sarcasm aside when I think about technology and our addiction to it I always say “well, that’s just the world we live in now, you need a phone and every single social media account to stay connected and to survive these days.”

But that’s far from the truth, because I have a friend who has no social media accounts whatsoever and she’s living and breathing just fine.

Maybe even a little bit better than the rest of us.

The sad thing about phones isn’t that they exist, but the fact that they steal away precious moments that can never be replaced.

Sometimes I get so tired going to group gatherings because I feel like I hang out less with the people themselves and more with their phones.

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And the saddest thing is that it not only steals moments, sometimes it even steal lives.

Countless people have died from texting and driving.

Because obviously sending that tweet, posting that picture, and responding to the message was so important.

It’s always entertaining to watch people come to a place where there is no service available as they are frantically sending that last message online and acting as if running out of phone service is like running out of their last bit of food to eat and water to drink.

I may be exaggerating a little.

But not too much.

Technology has been revolutionizing and changing the way we go about our daily tasks, how we communicate and connect with people, and simply, how we live.

And I don’t want to paint it out to be all negative because there are tons of positive aspects of it.

But I think we can all agree that there is a problem when lives are lost due to the addiction to this tiny little gadget in our hands.

I think we can all agree that there is a problem when we get so consumed at looking at our bright cell phone screens that we forget to look up at the people we are spending time with.

I think we can all agree that there is a problem when we wake up in the morning and the first thing we reach for is not our Bible, but our phone.

How is that such a small technological gadget that barely anyone owned a mere twenty years ago dramatically affect how we live today?

Believe me if I’m pointing any fingers, I would first be pointing at me because I’ve done everything I’ve listed above.

I’ve been interrupted in my Bible study or prayer time by the buzzing of my phone.

I’ve missed moments with people I love when I was too busy scrolling down social media feeds.

I’ve probably had gotten close into getting into car accidents because I just had to respond to the text message that seemed so urgent at the time.

It all made sense back then but now it seems silly to me.

Often times the reason we have this tendency to be addicted to our phones is because of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out.)

We think that somehow by not logging online for an hour or two and checking up on what the world is up to will miss something.

Something big like our best friend getting proposed to, a new invention that will transform humanity, or the start of World War 3. (Or more like pictures of what your friends ate for lunch, what outfit someone wore, and how that one person you randomly met at some event three years ago feels.)

Is all that really important?

We obviously think so.

But the truth is while we are “missing out” on what’s happening in our social media worlds what we actually miss out on is something much more greater: real life.

While we are busy staring at our phones we pass by that person on the street that could have used a smile.

While we are busy staring at our phones we miss out on having deep conversation about things that matter with our friends.

While we are busy staring at our phones we miss what the pastor said during his sermon on stage and what God said in His Word when we were so (inconveniently) interrupted.

While we are busy staring at our phones we traded what was happening in front of us for what we saw on a screen.

That is what I call some REAL missing out.

I don’t want to look back and remember how many moments I wasted being glued to a little plastic thing in my hand when I could have been spending quality time with loved ones, growing in God, and pursuing my dreams.

Because life is more…

It’s more than always being up to date on what the latest famous person on twitter said or what your friends are posting on instagram.

It’s about living life in the here and now, fully embracing the moment, without being attached to a screen.

Yes, I know social media is all about sharing.

And sharing I love to do and sharing I love to see.

I love seeing pictures of people’s little children growing up, I love seeing pictures of new adventures someone was on, I love seeing pictures of special moments shared between friends and family and loved ones.

But you know what would be better than seeing what people are doing on a phone screen?

Experiencing life with them.

Playing with that little baby that is growing up too fast.

Going on that adventure with that friend you haven’t seen for so long.

Sharing your own moments with loved ones.

Without the distraction of a phone nearby.

I challenge you to intentionally and purposefully choose to put your phone down every moment that you can.

Hide your phone in the other room if it distracts you from your time with God.

Turn off your WiFi in the morning when you wake up so it’s not the first thing you check before you crawl out of bed.

Leave it in your purse or set it aside when you’re spending time with friends.

Have it out of sight when you are driving in your car.

And maybe just maybe… you will see that you are not at all missing out on life when you don’t know what’s happening in your phone.

You are finally living it more fully.

With love,

Joy.

Developing an Attitude of Gratitude.

What is more gracious and heart-warming than a person who greatly appreciates every little thing you do for them. I bet you would be encouraged to do more for such a person.

But nothing more discouraging than someone who never seems to appreciate anything.

I remember when I got my very first dolly as a kid. I also remember how I jumped for joy as I unwrapped the very primitive looking doll. The very next kind of doll I got was the electronic kind.

If I had sulked and complained about the kind of dolly I got, I probably would have been scolded at and in turn, wouldn’t have gotten anything for a long while.

This is exactly how God feels about the gifts he gives. 

In Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus (Eph5:20) says “always giving thanks to God the father for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”

We are expected to have an attitude of gratitude for everything God does for us. Even when we feel God may not be doing what we want or giving us what we asked for.

Never the less, give thanks! 

Infact, every prayer, every communication with God should always start with thanks giving, even when you don’t feel like it.

Most times, our attention is always on the things that aren’t working out in our lives, that we neglect the new blessings God gives us.

We focus so much on that boss constantly breathing down our neck that we forget to thank God for giving us a job.

We constantly complain about that window that rattles with the wind that we forget to thank God for putting a roof over our head.

We constantly complain about our physical features that we forget to thank God for life.

We fuss so much about every little incovenience that we forget to enjoy life.

We brood and worry about our kids not doing well in school that we forget to say a word of thanks to God for those kids.

We complain about this, we complain about that..

But do we take a moment to say “Thank you Lord for… ”

Remember God is moved to do more for us when we acknowledge what he has done.

1 Thess5:18 “in everything, give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

That means our fore most duty to God is thanks giving in everything, everywhere and in any situation.

The wonderful thing about giving thanks to God is that it brings peace into our hearts and when we have peace, we can connect to God easily. We also get clear instructions and directions from God for our lives when we are at peace.

Most times, the devil wants us to believe God does not care for us, and he will strategically and constantly bring to our memory the challenging areas of our lives but God is never slack concerning his promises.

(Ecc 3:11a) says “he has made everything beautiful in it’s time”

God is a God of orderliness, A God of time, seasons and reasons.

If our requests are not granted today, it could be granted tomorrow or the next. It may not be necessarily when we want it  but it will definitely be at the right time.

Let us cultivate an attitude of gratitude in every area of our lives as we keep our hearts stayed on God who is able to make all peace abound.

With love,

Joy.

 

 

 

Make the most of the Season.

It’s that time of year again.

The leaves are beginning to change colours. Clouds are starting to fill the sky and replace the sunrays with rain. My sandals and my sundresses are going back into the back of my closet for the remainder of the year.

The rains are officially here.

And just like any season, it means I must say good-bye to what once was and embrace the changes at hand.

I think if there is anything that the changing of seasons teaches me it’s this: nothing really lasts forever and, as long as I find myself in a certain season in life, I need to make the most of it.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens,” and those words are true not just for the environmental seasons in our lives, but even more so our personal seasons.

There was a time when I was a child and had to learn all there was to know about the world around me.

There was a time when I started going to school for the first time and my mind expanded every day with new knowledge and experiences.

There was a time when I was going through my teenage years trying to figure out my identity and where exactly I fit in.

And with every new season in life, I grew and matured and became the person I am today.

Each season has its own challenges and its own unique blessings and even more so, lessons to learn if we are careful to face each one with the guidance of Christ.

The problem is sometimes when we don’t find ourselves enjoying the season we are in, we waste our time wishing we were in the season we were before or waiting for the next season to come, and by doing so we end up missing out on the moment we have at hand.

Often times college students dream of finally graduating and starting their careers that they miss out on the opportunities they have to not use their years wisely not only to get educated  in a certain field of study but also to minister on campus as Christ’s light to everyone around them.

Often times singles can’t wait to finally get married and all they worry about is looking for “the one” and what they seem to be missing in their life that they waste precious time worrying about the days ahead when they could instead be devoted to serving those around them with the time they have and developing their relationship with Christ.

Often times married parents are so excited for their children to grow up and get out of the house that they forget they only have a very limited period of time to invest into the futures of the next generation, and they don’t devote as much energy as they could to building their children up.

Which season do you find yourself in today and are you making sure to use it wisely for God?

If you are a college student then your college campus is your mission field. Don’t miss out on sharing the gospel because you’re in a hurry to graduate and get out.

If you are currently single then everyone around is the mission field. Use your time wisely to minister effectively because when you’re married your time will be a lot more restricted in ways in which you can serve.

If you are married then your children are your greatest mission field. Teach them wisely during their developmental years because they won’t be under your roof and your guidance for too much longer.

Whatever season you find yourself in today, make the most of it.

Don’t wish for your yesterdays to come back and don’t start pining for what tomorrow might bring.

God has specific ways that He can use you during this season in your life.

Don’t allow this one to be one that you will remember as being the season you just couldn’t wait to move on from.

Let it be the one you gave wholeheartedly to God to grow in and to serve in.

Just like the sun comes after the rain,  so eventually the season you find yourself in will one day end, whether it’s a fairly easy season or a challenging one.

Don’t waste a single moment of it.

Like Paul says to the church in Ephesus “Be careful with how you live and make the most of every opportunity” (Ephesians 5:15-16) because tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone.

Dear Jesus, please help each one of us remember that the season we find ourselves in today is only temporary and we need to serve you wholeheartedly in it. Please show us daily how we can make the most of our time during this season so that when we look back we can say we spent it all for your glory. Thank you. 

Amen.

With love,

Joy💓

Fellowship of his sufferings and the Glory of the Messiah.

God’s word is not contradictory and it makes little or no sense to the carnal eye but we have the mind of Christ and the spirit of of him that dwells in us reveals unto us and gives meaning to those things that seem foolish to the world. The hope that God’s word gives us is in any circumstance is that ‘all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose (Rom 8:28).

Apostle Paul said said that he gave up all the inferior stuff (self significance) so that he could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his sufferings, and go all the way to death itself. Just like Paul, we are expected to partner in Christ’s sufferings and death on the cross through the sufferings we endure here on earth with the resurrection power in view knowing the glory of God will be revealed in our lives.

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Purpose is what gives any event some sort of meaning. Jesus didn’t die in vain, every biblical event recorded had their ‘whys’ so every of life’s circumstance have their respective whys too.

Rom 8:18-25 gives an overview of this topic, though for lengths sake, i won’t be putting down the entire text. You can always follow along with your bible. 18″ for I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”. Compare heb 10:36 “for you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise”. and 1pet5:10 “but may the God of all grace, who called us to his eternal glory by Jesus Christ after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you”. These scriptures spell one meaning, that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

Our sufferings here on earth is not purposed on diminishing us, but to expand us in all facets of life and give more Joy to our expectancy according to verse 25. When God subjected his son Jesus to die, he didn’t subject him in futility, but in hope he subjected him, that the whole creation being lost may be recovered and reconnected back to their maker. Now, Christ’s sufferings even though great, could not equal the glory of the resurrection and this is our hope. That him who subjected the entire creation, even we, the sons of God, will deliver them(us) so that through the period of suffering, the body will be rid of earthly corruption.

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So… The glory of Christ’s resurrection is our hope- the ultimate reason for our salvation. Someone with a deep spiritual insight recently wrote and i quote “sometimes God will prepare and equip you for a victory that he has already won for you. it might look like an arduos process at the start but in his heart’s agenda, you were actually running your victory-lap at the finish line”. Wow! Isn’t that wonderful knowing  you have the last laugh?

Dearest, no matter what you may be going through, stay encouraged, don’t lose hope, for it’s hope that makes us wait eagerly for that which we havn’t yet seen. Let us also consider our earthly sufferings as carrying our daily crosses and following him as we do it all in rememberance of him who subjected us.

With love,

Joy.