The Christmas Hairdryer!

Posted by on Jan 3, 2016 in Blog | 3 comments

The Christmas Hairdryer

Every Christmas, as I gather with family, the story of the Christmas hairdryer emerges.

You see, when I was little girl, my Dad, sister and I went to buy my Mom a Christmas gift. My Dad is such a great guy, but this particular year, he was a little behind on buying my Mom’s Christmas gift. It was Christmas Eve and off we went to the department store in town.

Interestingly, my Mom rode with us. Once my Dad parked the car, my Mom stayed inside the car while my Dad, sister and I went into the store to pick out a gift that expressed our devout appreciation and love for her.

I was four years old and my sister was nine. We did not know what a young wife and mother would want for Christmas so my Dad decided on a hairdryer.

You know, something practical and useful!

We purchased the hairdryer and I was beaming with excitement! I was so happy about this gift that I was about to bust! I thought a hairdryer was the most glorious gift ever decided upon and I could not wait to see the joy on my Mother’s face when she opened it on Christmas morning!

I was so elated that in fact, I could not wait until Christmas morning!

As my Dad carried the hairdryer in the plastic shopping bag to the car to put it in the trunk, I ran and jumped in the back seat. My Mom was still sitting patiently in the front seat of the car.

Before I could even get the door shut, I was overcome with delight and said, “Mama, we bought you a gift. I can’t tell you what we got you, but I’ll give you one hint.” My Mom’s eyes were wide with anticipation as she waited for my hint. Then I proudly said,

“It’s something you dry your hair with.”

Around Christmastime, this story resurfaces in our family. We enjoy a good laugh about that Christmas Eve, but do you know what really makes me smile? The fact that I still remember the joy I felt in my heart over the Christmas hairdryer.

It did not matter to me that it was a hairdryer. What mattered to me was that we had a special gift for my Mom. I loved her so much and I could not wait to give it to her!

When I think a little more deeply about the gift of the Christmas hairdryer, God nudges my heart about the most special gift He gave over 2,000 years ago in His son, Jesus. My heart is convicted because sometimes the weight of the world feels like it is on my shoulders and I lose my perspective about what really matters in this life.

I wonder if you ever feel that way?

Do you sometimes feel the weight of the world on your shoulders? Do you sometimes worry about your life and forget that God is in control?

Do you ever find that you have lost your excitement about your faith?

It’s normal to feel that way from time to time. The important thing is that you do not settle for being in a spiritual slump.

The important thing is that you find the courage to confess your sins, repent and get back on track with God!

As we begin 2016, let’s be diligent to spend more time in prayer, more time reading our Bibles and more time serving others. It won’t happen just because we want it to happen. Like all relationships, our relationship with God takes work!

We can have great intentions but not make any progress because we do not implement a plan. We need to implement spiritual disciplines into our lives that grow us closer to God.

We need to seek after Him with all of our heart!

Here are a few ideas that I have found helpful:

  • Go to bed 30 minutes early or get up 30 minutes earlier than normal so you can study your Bible and pray.
  • Pick a Bible reading plan and stick with it. You don’t have to read the Bible cover to cover in just one year (although that is a great goal to have). Pick a plan that works well for you.
  • Download a Bible podcast or Bible App (like the daily audio bible https://dailyaudiobible.com). Set a time and listen everyday.
  • Start praying with your family or change up your family prayer time to go deeper into God’s Word.
  • Start a “joy jar”. A joy jar is an empty jar you can decorate and place in a prominent place in your home. On a regular basis, have your family write down moments of “joy” where God has answered prayers throughout the year.
  • Memorize scripture. You can use simple 3 x 5 note cards. Write down one verse a week and start memorizing. I have found that posting the verse in my car is a great way for me to memorize scripture. Read and study the verse over and over throughout the week. You’ll be amazed at all the scripture you can memorize in a year.
  • Join a Bible study at your church or at a friend’s church. Plugging in at your local church is so important for your spiritual growth.
  • Get your mind off of your problems and invest in others. Get busy serving!
  • When you feel discouraged, stop and count your blessings!

As a little girl, I was thrilled about the Christmas hairdryer gift, but you know what? As followers of Christ, you and I know the GREATEST gift of all, Jesus!

Sometimes we don’t feel as excited to share Jesus as we once did. This often happens because we get too caught up in the cares of this world. We lose our perspective and drift away from God.

The good news is that we serve a gracious God and we can come back to Him!

Do you want a closer relationship with God? You can have it! You need the right perspective, a plan, and perseverance!

Be determined to make 2016 a year of dramatic spiritual growth!

Grateful for you!
~Joy

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

-Jeremiah 29:13

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A Matter of the Heart!

Posted by on Dec 15, 2015 in Blog | 1 comment

“But Mary treasured up all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”

When we open our Bibles to Luke chapter 2, we find the account of the birth of Jesus, the Christmas story.  The chapter opens by explaining that a census was to be taken and so Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to be counted in the census.  While they were there, Jesus was born.  They had no comfortable place for this baby to be born so they laid him in a manger. 

Meanwhile, there were shepherds living in the fields nearby and an angel visited them, proclaiming the good news that the Messiah had been born.  The angel told them, “This will be a sign to you:  You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  A heavenly host of angels arrived, praising God, and when they left, the shepherds “hurried” to go see this thing that had happened in Bethlehem.  They found Mary and Joseph, and they found the baby lying in a manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what they had been told about the child.  

The Bible says all who heard it were amazed by what the shepherds said, but Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

As a woman, I understand what it means to say “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”  As women, our hearts are special.  It is in our hearts that we harbor our deepest emotions.

It is in our hearts that we tuck away our innermost secret thoughts and feelings.  

Sometimes our hearts are so overwhelmed with emotions that words are not sufficient to describe what we are feeling.  I think that is how Mary was feeling as she watched the events unfold.

At this point in scripture Jesus has been born and God is revealing His son to the world through angels, shepherds, and eventually, kings from the east.  Miraculous things are happening all around Mary.  She knows her baby is the Son of God and the hope of Israel.  Instead of boasting about all that is happening, Mary sits quietly, pondering her expressions privately, in the safekeeping place of her heart.

This Christmas season, I hope you are overwhelmed with the joy of the Lord as you prepare to celebrate with those you love.  I pray you purposefully set aside some special time this Christmas season to sit and ponder, in your heart, what this baby means to you. 

I encourage you to find a quiet place to read your Bible, pray and reflect on all Jesus has done for you.  As you celebrate the baby in the manger, I hope you treasure up in your heart what was finished for you on the cross.  The Son of God has come and He is our hope and our salvation! 

Glory to God!
 
Merry Christmas, my friend!
~Joy

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Control Freak!

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in Blog | 3 comments

I like a routine!  I like a plan!

What about you?

Do you like knowing what is going to happen next?  Do you like to be in control of your life?   Have you ever been referred to as a control freak???

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Now, listen my friend, there’s nothing wrong with a plan.  In fact, there are several scripture references that mention the importance of being prepared.  (Proverbs 6:6-8   Proverbs 27:23  Proverbs 31  Proverbs 15:22  Luke 14:28)

Plans are not bad, but sometimes I get stuck in my plan.  I fall into the trap of thinking I know what is best for my life.  As women, we juggle a lot of responsibilities and I think overall, we are planners.  There are only so many hours in the day, and so we have things planned out to ensure everything gets done.

I don’t like it when my plans are interrupted.  I don’t like to feel out of control, but the truth is….I am not in control, God is.

In Exodus 3:2 we read about a time when Moses’ life was interrupted by God.

“And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”

As Moses was tending his flock, accomplishing his daily “to do list”, God showed up and announced a specific calling on his life.  God divinely interrupted Moses’ life and boy did He have something important to say!  God said to Moses, “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10)

What a task for one man!  An extraordinary assignment—to approach Pharaoh and to free an entire nation of people!  There were about 600,000 men, plus all the women and children. (Exodus 12:37)

It was never in Moses’ life plan to go to Pharaoh about freeing the Israelites.  He did not feel qualified for this task.  He did not ask for this assignment.  In fact, he gave God excuses on why he was NOT the man for the job.

But God’s plan prevailed because God is God and He makes the plans!  (Jeremiah 29:11)

For most of us, God does not typically show up in the form of a burning bush, but:

  • God still speaks!
  • God still calls ordinary people to do extraordinary things!
  • God still divinely interrupts the lives of His people!

Our desire to control our lives could be the very thing that prevents us from living the life God has planned for us to live.

As you make plans for your life my friend, hang on to your plans loosely.  Keep your main focus on loving God and seeking after Him.   

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

God is at work all around us.  Let’s be looking for Him to divinely interrupt our lives and let’s be ready and willing to go wherever He leads!

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”   James 4:13-15

Thankful for you!

~Joy

 

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