how to live – full of JOY {be transformed}

Today I ran across an old FB note from 2010 – before this blog began… I thought it’d be good to share with you all here, starting with a quote from one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met:

“A person who is obsessed with Jesus is more concerned with his or her character than comfort. Obsessed people know that true joy doesn’t depend on circumstance or environment;
it is a gift that must be chosen and cultivated, a gift that ultimately comes from God.”
-Francis Chan

July 27, 2010
“Dear Joy: How do you stay so positive and joyful? I am always blessed by your posts. You shine Jesus, keep it up and share your secrets.”
-Blessings from Sacramento

joyful_heart_cheerful_face_pocket_prayer_cardHAHA, well it prolly helps that my name is JOY. LOL So glad I can bless you! You bless me every time I see you! =) So I guess we’re even! I don’t know that it’s a secret, but I truly do LIVE to WORSHIP & that is where I am renewed daily. You can’t shine for or with Jesus’ love if you are not first filled with it, right?! But… you know that already!

((Also, I figure if Face Book {or WordPress} is going to be any good at all, I should look at it as a Mission Field of sorts… I represent Christ WHEREVER I go, even on FB… so I try to check any negative attitudes at the ‘door’ & not just “barf up” my most recent struggle/drama online for everyone else to be polluted by it! It encourages ME when I FORCE myself to come up with an uplifting comment to share with others, esp. on those days I don’t feel very positive!))

Here’s a good pointer though, to keep from DISCOURAGING yourself or others: If you feel rotten, discouraged, angry, etc (anything NOT good)… give your FLESH exactly 5 minutes to FEEL it & to express it to God… sometimes I take 5 to feel & another 5 to tell God! LOL – But the KEY is that after that, you GIVE it to God & CHOOSE life & love as your response from that moment on! It isn’t easy, but we can do that if we ask God to help us! =) Of course He WILL since this is the way He has instructed us to respond!

joyful_heart_foundation_inspired_nails_by_samikelly-d6cfze9The hardest for me is when people who KNOW BETTER still hurt me, I find that I have to remind myself how Jesus treated those closest to Him, even while they questioned Him, lost trust, & then betrayed Him… He forgave in love, taught them, came alongside them, & asked His Father to forgive them!

To sum it up:

  • KNOW that you KNOW that you KNOW “WHO Jesus is & Who YOU are IN HIM” ((this happens through relationship/communion with the Father, Spirit, & Son through worship, prayer, & study/meditation of the Word & Truth!))
  • SPEAK (& THINK) only LIFE, that which is edifying.
  • DON’T sin in ANGER, better to do nothing than the wrong thing.
  • FORGIVE, as you have been forgiven.
  • PRAISE & WORSHIP the God that gave you life more abundantly!

This is the way to live IN the SPIRIT, even while your flesh is struggling to adapt to/survive in your circumstance/the world. (See Rev. 1:9-10a)

"Be JOYFUL always!" -1 Thessalonians 5:16

My joyful boys – Wesley & Joseph in San Fransisco, CA @2010

“Be JOYFUL always!” -1 Thessalonians 5:16

of Two hearts… {a call to prayer}

Ever heard the phrase “I’m of two minds” ? Well, this week I’ve found it hard to post because I am of two hearts… Both a grieving sorrow & a jubilant joy are indwelling my spirit these days. It is such a mixture of emotion, filling my mind with prayers that somehow don’t really seem to conflict at all, but are still so opposite in nature that I simply can not wrap my understanding around it. God’s ways truly are so much higher than ours…

I’m in such a quandary as to what to say. Please forgive my quiet blog this week. I’m not sure when I will have my head returned to me. Or maybe I won’t. Some things do really change us & we never are the same again. I just wouldn’t have guessed it could be done by two events in the lives of two other families, living in two other countries… having absolutely nothing in common, except that both stories involve someone’s treasured son & I know someone in both families. In my confusion of heart & mind, all I have left to say is… will you please pray with me for both these families of these precious, beloved sons???

First the Joyful Heart: Mark & I are blessed to consider the Mickschl our family! We have shared on this blog about Mark & Hansina’s multiple adoption journeys. Their most recent leap of faith has been nothing short of a miracle story written by God & played out before our very eyes. On Monday, they left the orphanage with their newest son Andrew Mark Mickschl, a 16 year old young man from Ukraine. He and his dad Mark are hoping to get a flight home to the US this coming Saturday. It fills us with such grateful peace to know that Andrew is safe now & will learn to know the love of family, Jesus & a place to call home. Indescribably Joy flows through me when I consider the new beginning God has given to Andrew… & the new-found completeness He has brought to our friends lives with bringing their son home! It overwhelms me, the Father’s goodness & grace, bringing Andrew from the brink of evil & child-trafficking – into a loving & Spirit Filled family… forever! – You can follow their amazing God directed journey home from Ukraine right here: To Love Another

Second the Heart of Grief: Another family we know, Clint & Alina Snuggs, are walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death with their dear cousin Amanda this week. Amanda’ s 4 year old son Caleb was in a horrible car accident on June 24th. After spending a week in the PICU, there was nothing more the Dr’s could do. Sweet little Caleb went to be with Jesus… Today, Amanda made the amazingly brave choice to give the gift of life to someone else’s baby. Caleb’s life was made even more meaningful because his mom was able to donate his organs… My heart just breaks for Amanda. I cannot explain the heaviness I have felt this week as I have prayed with my friends, crying out to Jesus for Caleb’s life to be spared & now for Amanda’s heart to heal. It overtakes my soul, with three beloved sons of my own, I cannot imagine her pain. And yet I KNOW our Father can & will heal her heart & bring her to a place of peace… I KNOW this to be true & this is my prayer for Amanda…

Will your family join ours in praying for these families? Let them know with your comments here.

Please share so that others will pray with you!