Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Fair Trade

What is joy?  Does joy require happiness or happiness require joy?  Not in my opinion.  Look at this verse:

“…as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.”  2 Corinthians 6:10

This verse says a person can be sorrowful yet rejoice, poor yet rich, have nothing yet possess everything.  Lots of contradictions…so in other words, a person can be joyful without exactly being happy.  Happiness, according to my definition, is something that you have when life is going well.  Joy, by my definition, is something that wells up within you, regardless of life’s circumstances and it can’t be contained.  So, you may not always be happy – but you can always be joyful.  Here’s another verse that says the same thing:

“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”  Habakkuk 3:17-18

How does a person get this joy?

“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and a delight of my heart…”  Jeremiah 15:16

No – don’t eat your Bible.  Just kidding!  But seriously, reading God’s Word is joy.  And the joy of the Lord is my strength.  In the presence of God, there is joy unspeakable…and yes, reading God’s Word means being in His presence!

“…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10b
“…in your presence there is fullness of joy…”  Psalm 16:11

With that said, when you or I feel less than joyful – what should we do?  Well, pick up a Bible and start reading or pick up a hymnal and start singing or turn on the Christian radio and start listening.  Our sorrow is temporary, but joy always comes….

“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”  Psalm 30:5

                                                 (One of my all-time favorite praise songs!)

I had to include this last verse because it speaks of Macedonia – and you know that I love Macedonia!  True joy leads to a cup that runneth over and joy unspeakable leads to an overflow of the heart!

“We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.”  2 Corinthians 8:1-2
You know - with all this said, there is ONE thing that would bring the greatest joy in my life.  There is a song, that isn't so well known that says it perfectly:  "Oh, what a joy it would be just for a moment to lay at the feet of the Lord.  Oh, more than anything, that's whatI long for.  Oh, what a change it would bring just to look deep in the face in the King who gave all, you gave everything so you could meet with me.  Will you meet with me?"

With Joy,

And I Praise Him

An eye opening study.  Today, I looked at God as the Healer and read multiple passages about that.  Funny thing though – I didn’t find myself drawn to the verses that spoke of physical healing, but rather of spiritual healing.  It didn’t take me long before I realized that my focus should be on the healing of my faith rather than the healing of my body.  So often, we look for physical healing when God just wants us to have a healthier faith.  I need a faith healing to believe and know that God’s will is good all the time.  This is the sickness I have and this is the healing I need.  In this world today, doctors heal our physical bodies – but God does something totally different…He gives something that the world cannot give.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  John 14:27

And so, I started reading about healing, from a different perspective.  Simply reading the Bible can alone be healing because it puts my mind at ease, knowing and remembering that God’s got it all figured out.  So all I need to do is read and believe…and it will be life and healing to me.

“My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.  Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart.  For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.”  Proverbs 4:20-22

I read a while longer and came across this verse, and just paused to think about it.  Crying out to the Lord for help will bring about healing.  Oh sure, not the kind of healing that we often think of – but this faith healing, I want that!  A silent time of prayer, a pleading to God for mercy, a peace that passes understanding – all because I read my Bible and prayed.

“O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.”  Psalm 30:2

I raise my bowed head and open my eyes.  I feel the peace that only comes from Him.  I feel the near presence of the One who has ordained these events in my life.  And I praise Him…and know that He will heal my faith in ways I can’t even imagine.

“And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”  Mark 5:34

For those who need true healing,

Sunday, February 17, 2013

5 Years Ago Today

I know this late but didn't get it done yesterday...too busy!   Shawn and I are celebrating our 5th anniversary!  So, I thought I'd tell a picture story of the beginning of our lives together.  Enjoy!

*Note:  I give all credit for these pics to Jenny Shain - a wonderful friend who offered to be our photographer...the best wedding gift we could have gotten!  Thanks Jenny - you're the BEST!

Warning:  This is kinda long - I was having fun looking at all the pics!  lol

                           We got some practice for the wedding day by taking pics at our rehearsal.

                             Fun times with good friends...Brooke wins the prize for having the
                           greatest reaction to our engagement.  Brooke, I'll never forget that!  lol

                                                             Practice, practice, practice!

                             Shawn and his guys - Jenny said getting pictures of these guys was
                                           like trying to herd cats.  I believe it!  They're crazy!

                Last night for Aunt Melissa to be "all his" - so he made the most of it, and so did this guy!

A new whistle for the best pastor ever!

                                                                  Just being happy!

                                                                   Time to go home!

                                                       Our beautiful flower girl - Trinity

                                                     Mom's hair looked SO good!

                                                     Me and my Mom - both looking kinda tired!

                                                    We all know why Shawn needs a bib!  lol
                                                                   Very impressive!

                                               This is why their pics took so long!

                                                         Happy parents, happy son!

                                                Getting ready and being silly!

                                                               My two lovely Grandmas!

                                                                          Happy again!

                   Had to hunt down the lint roller to figure out the hair problem on the dresses - still a mystery!

                                             Praying before heading to the back of the church

                                                         There's no looking back! So happy!

                                                          Roses for my parents...

                                                                  Roses for his parents...

                                                              What a fun day!

                                                              Smiles all around!

                                                      And even some kisses!

                                                During ceremony - obviously not in order

                                                               We DID it!

                                                                  The new couple

                                                           A never-to-forget moment....
                                                             Fun with pictures!

                                                         Part of a new family...

                                      They promised they wouldn't drop me - and they didn't... and THEN...

                                                              It was VERY funny!

                                         Notice my lovely bridesmaids - *payback*  lol

                                                               Love this man!
                                                  Thank goodness for Mom...

                              The button holes for my bustle were sewn too small - my amazing mom fixed it!

                                                          Two VERY important guests!

                                                   Part of a new family...

                                                               The Boyce clan

                                       Announcing Mr. and Mrs. Willis - Wa-hoo!!


                                                      Our best man....kinda scary, Dave!

                                        Speech from my wonderful sister!

                                               Speech from our wonderful friend, Dave!

                             Notice the face:  "Don't you dare shove that in my face!"  lol

                                                    We got one bite - but it was GOOD!

                                       My lovely bridesmaids entertaining themselves at the reception!

                                                 Hilarious and kinda scary!  lol

                                                           I LOVE her!

                                                           Mom and Dad

                                          It's been a long day and we're sleepy...

                                                                      Dave and Linda

                                                                   First Dance - "Feels like Home"

                                          Father-Daughter Dance - "I Loved Her First"

                                                             Sweet moment...

                                                  Mother-Son Dance:  "What a Wonderful World"

                                                               Another special moment...

                                                    Yeah, we're that cool!  lol

                                           The beginning of a whole new relationship...and happy about it!  lol

                                                       Really guys????   haha

                                                          It was a COLD night!

                                                      And they lived happily ever after...