Friday, September 18, 2009


The Lord seems to speak to me the loudest through repetition! It thrills me that God leads us so lovingly exactly where we need to go! It happens in such a beautiful way that if we are not paying attention we can miss it and write it off as coincidence! Example; you are reading your Bible and your eyes land on a certain Scripture. Then later that day you are driving somewhere and you hear the same Scripture on the Christian radio station. The following day, the pastor mentions it in his sermon. You get the idea. Sometimes, the Spirit speaks to us through music, or nature, or a loved one. The bottom line is, He is there and He cares so much about us, if we will tune in to Him and learn to listen, He is speaking to us, Words of life. The most recent theme that God has been leading me to is JOY!

Having grown up in the church, I heard often that joy and happiness are two very different things. Circumstances can greatly affect our happiness, but true joy is not based on what is or is not happening in our lives. So, what is the secret to having joy? I know what I think it is, but how about you? What do you think is the secret to joy?

Watch the video, visit Brian Bates' website and read his story about the song. I'd love to hear what you think about joy! I pray that your joy will be full and that regardless of your circumstances, you will dance!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Determined Faith

I wonder how many people will receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or some other disease today? There are probably statistics out there somewhere, but I have not taken the time to look it up. I remember when my husband was told that his father had Alzheimer's. Shortly after that, I heard that my father had been diagnosed with it also. I decided then (actually I felt compelled) that I should do a little research since it was obviously going to be something to affect our lives. I checked out several books from the library and looked at websites online. Reading about any disease is difficult. However, it is helpful to gain a greater understanding of what you are dealing with. I am thankful today that I took time to do that and realize once again, that God had prepared me in advance for what was coming.

Not only does my father have dementia, but my mother was diagnosed with it as well. Both of my parents came to live with us almost two and a half years ago. Living up close and personal to this disease has been one of the most difficult things I have done in my almost 45 years of living. It is one thing to talk with people about dementia, another to read about it, but entirely different to live with it 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. As simply as I can say it, I have run out of steam... but still my Savior steps in. This has also been a huge test of my faith, but I am planning to pass the test!

Doubt is a huge factor when you have to deal with things like disease, disappointment and death. This is where the "rubber meets the road" concerning our faith. These are the things that either make our faith or destroy it! We either stand in the midst of heartbreak and loss to say, like Job, "Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" (Job 2:10b), and "Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him" (Job 13:15a). Or, like the rich man , we walk away, convinced that we cannot possibly deal with such great loss (Matthew 19:22).

The amazing thing is that God has given us the freedom to choose. Walk with Him or walk away. Give in to the enemy and all he brings or allow God to be God and be amazed at all He brings! He never told us that we would go through this life free of sorrow and pain. On the contrary, He told us that we would certainly suffer, but that through it all He would be with us and I don't mean as just a bystander. With Him, we are more than conquerors. With Christ I am more than I could ever be without Him. So, as we continue to do our best to deal with the difficult things that life brings, let us do so with strong determination and resolve to walk with Him, holding His hand, or at the very least, clinging to the hem of His robe!