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Grief Transformed to Joy

“…Mary stood outside the tomb crying…”  John 20: 11 The Greek word translated crying is KLAIO.  It carries the meaning of not just crying softly with tears, but with every external expression of grief. (My daughter Lydia has a self-made rule for life – -“cry like a winner – on the inside.” Her mother is much more demonstrative with her tears and, in fact, has been known to cry during previews as well as the movie!) When it comes to tears, Mary would not be following my daughter’s mantra!  Mary is wailing.  Her grief cannot be contained. The Lord she …

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Are You Here?

God showed me something recently that I want to share with you because we all go through times of craziness in this life… WE LOSE OUR JOY WHEN WE LOSE OUR PRESENCE. Here’s what I mean: I think the main reason we lose our joy in the middle of chaos/busyness/stress/etc. is simply because we are no longer present in the immediate and are too busy concentrating on what we “should” be doing, feeling, saying, preparing for, and so on. Think about it… picture the last time you were short tempered or sharp with someone when they did nothing to deserve …

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Joy From the Savior

DAY FOUR: ADVENT – Joy from the Savior Grandma Murphy gave me joy. When I was young, my grandparents were a full day’s drive away, so we didn’t get to visit often. I remember climbing out of the car after the long trip and greeting the stocky woman with a twisted gray bun. She was usually outside watering a grassy patch in the yard. What astounded me was her solid footing in bare feet while bees swarmed around her legs. She didn’t flinch. We’d always enter the house through the back. The wood framed screen door would squeak loudly in …

Hearts of Gratitude

In looking up the word “gratitude” from various sources, most of the definitions were very similar and what one might expect:  thankfulness, the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness; a natural expression of thanks in response to blessings, protection, or love, etc… One definition, however, significantly stuck out to me: gratitude is a joyful commitment of one’s personality to God. Researching gratitude chronologically in the Bible, it took me a while to find it, which was surprising to me!  Although we don’t see a “thank you” in the first few chapters of Scripture, …

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Fall Devotions

Day 4 I lived in Houston, Texas for almost 8 years.  The summers were so hot.  That seems like not enough to describe them.  I can remember walking outside and the heat and humidity being so high that it literally would take your breath away.  You couldn’t do very many things outside because of the extreme temperatures and if you did you must take breaks often and make sure you drank lots of water to keep you from dehydration.  It was so hot at times the power would go out in our homes due to the magnitude of power being …

Serve Others

  Jonah ran from God because he did not feel others were deserving of God’s grace. God gives His grace to whom He pleases and asks us to serve others to show them this grace. He did not leave us without an example. In fact He gave us the greatest example, His own son. When Christ knelt at the feet of the disciples in the upper room, He did not grumble that no one else took the initiative. Instead, He willingly did the task of a servant even with crucifixion looming. He did not say look what I’ve done or am …

Measuring Up

The enemy uses the world to tell us lies that keep us from living the life of peace God intends for us to live. These lies are used by the enemy to pull us down and keep us from experiencing the peace God has for us. One lie the world would have us to believe is You’ll Never Measure Up. This lie is all about comparing ourselves with others. Just like the magazine covers tell us we need to have the perfect home, perfect job, perfect body, and perfect relationships in order to measure up to the world’s standards. I …

A Willingness to be Rejected

“So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:51–52 Acts 13:51–52 will not make sense to you unless you understand the context of the passage. These two verses of Scripture hold a principle that helps us understand God’s definition of freedom: godly freedom willingly accepts rejection. This is often a hard concept for women to accept. In general, women are pleasers. Women love to be loved and accepted. Women often go to great lengths to try to make everyone …

Doris Cush

Cynthia interviews Doris Cush about the choice of being an encourager even when life hands you lemons. http://www.embracehistruth.com