Believing the Promises of God - in His Word

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed… Without weakening in his faith… Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. ~ Romans 4 [selected 18-21]

Friday, January 30, 2009


Colossians 3:1-4
Rules for Holy Living
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

2 Corinthians 1:20-22
20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through Him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

1 Corinthians 2:6-10
Wisdom From the Spirit
6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love Him"—
10 but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

May the TRUTH of God's Word speak to your heart today!

Looking Upward and Choosing JOY,
[Flying High]
[Today is my 39th Spiritual Birthday IN CHRIST!]

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Isaiah 43
Israel's Only Savior
Read this Scripture with your name inserted and see how personal our God is toward those He calls: His Own

1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
He who created you, [ Stephanie ] O Jacob ,
He who formed you, [ Beth ] O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you [ Sandy ];
I have summoned you [ Kim ]
by name; you [ Caroline ] are Mine.
2 When you [ Lisa ] pass through the waters,

I will be with you [ Lucy ];
and when you [ Heidi ] pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you [ Tina ].
When you [ Becky ] walk through the fire,
you [ Susan ] will not be burned;
the flames will not set you [ Brenda ] ablaze.
3 For I AM the LORD, your [ Theresa's ] God,

the Holy One of Israel, your [ Barbi's ] Savior;
I give Egypt for your [ Donna's ] ransom,
Cush and Seba in your [ Kate ] stead.
4 Since you [ Lillian ] are precious and honored in My sight,

and because I love you [ Wendy ],
I will give men in exchange for you [ Janice ],
and people in exchange for your [ Sharon's ] life.
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you [Sue ];

I will bring your [ Amy's ] children from the east
and gather you [ Lorianne ] from the west.
6 I will say to the north, 'Give them up!'

and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.'
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth-
7 everyone [ FAITH ] who is called by My name,

whom I created for My glory,
whom I formed and made." [emphasis added]

What water has swept over you recently? What fire are you walking through? What promises does God say in His Word? Do you believe them? Do you believe HIM?
Our God is faithful. God promises to walk through everything with us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Whatever is overwhelming your heart and mind today - take hold of God's Hand and walk through it with Him. He's never let go of your hand! Be blessed!

Looking Upward and Choosing JOY,
[Flying High Without Fear]

Monday, January 26, 2009

His WORD Goes Out

Isaiah 55:8-13
8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My ways,"
declares the LORD.
9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is My Word that goes out from My mouth:
It will not return to Me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD'S renown,
for an everlasting sign,
which will not be destroyed."

I memorized part of this passage [vs.8-11] over two years ago. I love the truth of God's Word - always going out with His purpose in mind - to achieve what He desires of it. But today... when I was reading it in my Bible - I read the last two verses of the chapter that come after this passage. The entire passage is a personal promise from God - and all of it will be done for the LORD'S renown. God is faithful and good in all His ways! I'm so glad HE IS GOD!!!

Looking Upward and Choosing JOY,

[Flying High Without Fear]

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I've been reading a book by Martha Christian called: Searching for Mrs. Oswald Chambers. It is an amazing story of the life, not only of Oswald Chambers for his well-know work - My Utmost for His Highest, but of his wife, Biddy Chambers, who actually was responsible for his work being published after his sudden death at age 43. That all happened in 1917 when Mrs. Chambers was only 33 years of age and was left a widow with a 4 year old daughter to care for. Imagine during that time in history just what that would entail. She loved her husband, but she loved Jesus more. She trusted Him with her very life when Oswald was gone. She continued the work that her husband had started. She never knew what an impact those writings would have on the entire world, but she was diligent to make a difference for Christ just as Oswald preached about.

These are two of my favorite quotes from Oswald Chambers that I have as the "signature" on my computer e-Mail settings as they are THAT important to me.

1 Corinthians 15:10
"By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain…"

There is only one relationship that really matters, and that is your personal relationship with your personal Redeemer and Lord. If you maintain that at all costs, letting go of everything else, God will fulfill His purpose through your life. One individual life may be of priceless value to God's purposes, and yours may be that life. - Oswald Chambers

2 Corinthians 2:14
"But thanks be to God, who always leads us
in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. "

Remember that you can never give another person what you have found, but you can cause him to have a desire for it." - Oswald Chambers

There is one more quote that I have shared with many people over the last twenty years or so. A pastor quoted it one day in his sermon and I have never known where the quote came from. I have always thought it sounded like an "Oswald" quote - but have not been able to trace it. It fits right along with living our lives in such a close relationship to our Jesus that our lives will make a difference for His kingdom purposes! [NOTE: If anyone knows the author of this quote - let me know in the comment box - thanks.]

"Never allow your service for God to become a substitute for your relationship with Him." -Unknown Author

Looking Upward and Choosing JOY,
[Led by the Spirit]

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Psalm 19 (selected)
For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
3 There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
4 Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun,
5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from His pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run His course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat.
7 The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart. [emphasis added]
Day after day the skies pour forth speech - they declare the glory of the Hands of our God. If we neglect to praise Him - even the rocks will cry out! Let's join the skies and praise the LORD together for Who He is and all He has done! He is faithful and good!
Looking Upward and Choosing JOY,
[Led by the Spirit]

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Genesis 28:15-17
15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought,
"Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it." 17 He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven."

John 4:21-24 (The Message)
"Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem. You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God's way of salvation is made available through the Jews. But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you're called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.
"It's who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before Him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship Him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration." [emphasis added]

Our God is an 'engaging' God. This week - that word came up in one of my Bible studies and I have been throwing out a challenge to all those I teach this week:
"Look for the ways in which God 'engages' with you this week. And note the ways you respond to Him when He does. "

You have to be open and looking [upward is a good place to start] - aware of God's 'engaging' Presence. He will 'engage' with you in many ways - sometimes in a sunset - in a song - watching the stars at night - a bird that lands in your path - or when a passage of Scripture jumps off the page and God speaks back to you the very thing you just questioned in your mind. THAT is our God! Does that happen for you just every once in a while - or - does it happen often every day? I ask that because God desires to 'engage' with us - and us with Him - often and daily.
That's what our 'personal relationship' with Him is all about.

For me, it got intense and remains so when just over two years ago I fell in love with Exodus 33 where Moses asks God to see His glory. God was pleased to show Moses what He could [without killing him] and Moses was one who was not afraid to ask. So - I decided that I would ask for God to show me His glory too. What did I have to lose?
When He 'engages' with me like that - it shows me the security of His love for me in such a deep abiding way that all fears, anxieties and insecurities fade away. He is awesome God.

Looking Upward and Choosing JOY,
[Led by the Spirit]......... Photo: Red-Tailed Hawk that appeared on my back porch on Sunday!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Psalm 18  (selected verses)
For the director of music. Of David the servant of the LORD. He sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:

1 I love You, O LORD, my strength.

2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
       he rescued me because he delighted in me.

20 The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
       according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.

21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD;
       I have not done evil by turning from my God.

22 All his laws are before me;
       I have not turned away from his decrees.

23 I have been blameless before Him
       and have kept myself from sin.

24 The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
       according to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.

28 You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning;
       my God turns my darkness into light.

29 With Your help I can advance against a troop;
       with my God I can scale a wall.

30 As for God, His way is perfect;
       the Word of the LORD is flawless.
       He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.

31 For who is God besides the LORD ?
       And who is the Rock except our God?

32 It is God who arms me with strength
       and makes my way perfect.

33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
       He enables me to stand on the heights.

34 He trains my hands for battle;
       my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

35 You give me Your shield of victory,
Your right hand sustains me;
       You stoop down to make me great.

36 You broaden the path beneath me,
       so that my ankles do not turn.

49 Therefore I will praise You among the nations, O LORD;
      I will sing praises to Your Name.

We can truly see God being God... working in and through and around and above and over and within David's life. David just wanted to tell God how much he loved Him for acting on his behalf. For Who is God besides the LORD?

Looking Upward and Choosing JOY,


[Led by the Spirit]

Friday, January 16, 2009

Who's In Your Flock?

His Sheep




























Matthew  7:13-23

The Narrow and Wide Gates
13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
A Tree and Its Fruit
15 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!' [emphasis added]

    • Sheep are not aggressive animals

*Wolves are aggressive

  • Sheep just want to be fed

*Wolves take what is not theirs

  • Sheep follow the Shepherd to great lengths

*Wolves lead their own pack

  • Sheep know the voice of their owner

*Wolves sneak in the back door

  • Sheep allow their owner [the Shepherd] to fight for them

*Wolves kill and devour anything that stands in their way.

Only the LORD is the judge of them - but we are clearing warned to "watch out"! Take heed to the warning. Great destruction can come from wolves dressed in sheep's clothing when they penetrate the flock of God!

Looking Upward and Choosing JOY,


[Led by the Spirit]

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Mind of Christ

  1 Corinthians 2:6-16
BLUEBIRDClouded2 Wisdom From the Spirit

6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:
   "No eye has seen,
      no ear has heard,
   no mind has conceived
   what God has prepared for those who love Him"— 10 but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.
      The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of

the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words  taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:
16 "For who has known the mind of the Lord
      that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ. [emphasis added]

What a privilege to have the mind of Christ - and yet - do we use it? Do we avail ourselves of it?  Do we seek it in wisdom and understanding by the Spirit's teaching as this passage says?

Living 'in the Spirit' is a daily - hour by hour - walk with Christ. May we seek to walk in it at every moment - following Him - not stepping out in front and taking back the lead. That's His job.

Isaiah 30:21

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

Looking Upward and Choosing JOY,


[Led by the Spirit]

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

For Those Who Love HIM


1 Corinthians 2:9-10

However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love Him"
but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

Looking Upward and Choosing JOY,


[Led by the Spirit]

Monday, January 12, 2009

And the Moon Stopped...

Morning Moon_Joshua10Joshua 9 (selected)

14 The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD. 15 Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.

16 Three days after they made the treaty with the Gibeonites, the Israelites heard that they were neighbors, living near them. 17 So the Israelites set out and on the third day came to their cities: Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth and Kiriath Jearim. 18 But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the assembly had sworn an oath to them by the LORD, the God of Israel.

Oops! Even Joshua [the great leader that he was becoming] neglected the most important thing - to inquire of the LORD when making important decisions like this one.  Now the "ruse" is solidified and out of his hands.  But God comes to his aid and to that of all Israel.  Joshua regains his boldness and trusts the LORD to do a mighty and supernatural work. And... GOD comes through - with a work of great WONDER!

Joshua 10:6-15

6 The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: "Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us."

7 So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men. 8 The LORD said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you."

9 After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. 10 The LORD threw them into confusion before Israel, who defeated them in a great victory at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.

12 On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel:
       "O sun, stand still over Gibeon,
       O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon."

13 , a day when the LORD listened to a man. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!

15 Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal. [all emphasis added]

Oh, what God will go and do for us. He loves us so much and He is Who He says He is and He can certainly do what He says He can do. He came through with the WONDER of impossibilities on this day. He can do it for me and for you... even when we blow it.

Joshua was God's man. We can ask ourselves, am I God's man [woman]? If our hearts are right with Him - He will see us through anything! His promise in Joshua 1 - to "be with us and never forsake us" stands as true today as it did in Joshua's day!

Looking Upward and Choosing JOY,


[Embracing Real JOY]

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Something to PONDER

IMG_0223 Proverbs 15 (selected)


1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

2 The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.

3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the  .......................................................       Photo: Graffiti on the bike path

evil and the good.

4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

5 A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.

6 In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.

7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.

8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.

13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

14 The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness. [emphasis added]

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I've been reading through my very first Bible which is a KJV. It was given to me on my 15th Birthday. Yep it's really OLD!! Yesterday I had to glue some of the edges back on as the cover is disintegrating in my hands. This is the passage that I opened to today. As I pondered over these selected verses that were marked in my Bible - on Wisdom versus Foolishness - it occurred to me that the KJV puts it in terms that really make me have more reverence toward God's Word. Does that make sense? Sometimes the KJV just forces me to 'hear' better! Hopefully, it will make me respond to God's Word better too! None of us wants to be foolish. We desire to please God and be wise in His Ways. The whole book of Proverbs gives us plenty to digest. For what it's worth, I hope you will ponder the thoughts of these verses - in this version - and respond to what God speaks over your heart today!

Looking Upward and Choosing JOY,


[Embracing Real JOY]

Thursday, January 8, 2009

God's Response to Humble Praying!


Daniel 9 (selected)

4 I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed:  "O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with all who love Him and obey His commands,

5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

7 "Lord, You are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the men of Judah and people of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. 8 O LORD, we and our kings, our princes and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against you. 9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against Him; 10 we have not obeyed the LORD our God or kept the laws He gave us through His servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed Your law and turned away, refusing to obey You.
       "Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against You. 12 You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing upon us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem. 13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us, yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. 14 The LORD did not hesitate to bring the disaster upon us, for the LORD our God is righteous in everything He does; yet we have not obeyed Him.

15 "Now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for Yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. 16 O Lord, in keeping with all Your righteous acts, turn away Your anger and Your wrath from Jerusalem, Your city, Your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our fathers have made Jerusalem and Your people an object of scorn to all those around us.

17 "Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of Your servant. For Your sake, O Lord, look with favor on Your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, O God, and hear; open Your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears Your Name. We do not make requests of You because we are righteous, but because of Your great mercy. 19 O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For Your sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people bear Your Name."

Daniel 10:12

Then he continued, "Do not be afraid, Daniel [insert your name]. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. [all Scripture emphasis added]

 Isn't it awesome to know that the God of all the Universe - hears our humble prayers - and has come in response to them? What are you praying for this day - waiting for His response ?

Looking Upward and Choosing JOY,


[Embracing Real JOY]

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

In Search of Living Water

****************************************************************************************** ***********************************
Jeremiah 2:13
"My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

Zechariah 14:7-9
7 It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime—a day known to the LORD. When evening comes, there will be light.
8 On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter.
9 The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and His Name the only Name.

John 4 (selected)
9 The Samaritan woman said to Him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water."
11 "Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"
13 Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him
will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
15 The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."

John 7:38
Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

Revelation 7:17
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their Shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." [all emphasis added]

Actually, God brought a pair of bluebirds to my window this morning in search of clean water. It has been over a year and a half since I have seen these birds. The last time they came it was snowing really hard and they were searching for water in another birdbath in my yard. They were here for a moment - just long enough to get a drink and then flew away.

Like the "Bluebirds of Happiness" - we can only find real joy in the clean & living water of our Savior Jesus!

Looking Upward and Choosing JOY,

Stephanie [Embracing Real JOY]

Sunday, January 4, 2009


This morning, the worship team leader at our church shared some verses from:

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)
Living Sacrifices
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. [emphasis added]

It's a familiar passage that most of us know. When I came home I wanted to read it over again and glean what else God was speaking to my heart. I had memorized those scriptures from the King James Version so I dug out my KJV and began reading further. The passage that hit me the most is the first one in this section [highlighted].

Romans 12 (selected) KJV
9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
21 Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. [emphasis added]

Let love be without dissimulation. What does that word really mean? I dug out two dictionaries and this is what God spoke about love from verse 9 in relation to the meaning of DISSIMULATION.
Love without.... Disassembling

Love without.... Hypocrisy

Love without.... Disorder

Love without.... Pretending

Love without.... Disguise

Love without.... Concealing true motives or thoughts

Love without.... Pretense

Love without.... Acting Hypocritical

Love without.... Speaking Falsely

Love without.... Lying

Love without.... Tearing Down

The Whole Truth - and nothing but the TRUTH!

May we all truly learn to give and receive love without dissimulation!

Looking Upward and Choosing JOY,

[Embracing Real JOY]

Friday, January 2, 2009

What We are Becoming...

Acts 17:11
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Romans 5 (selected)
Peace and Joy
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. [Scripture emphasis added]

When God begins to build His character into what He desires for us to become [like Him] -sometimes it is a struggle and a steep climb uphill. But, the end result is worth more than gold!

Looking Upward and Choosing JOY,

[Joy to the World]