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Activated March 2013

Joy - March 2013

Learn, if you haven't already, this truth that Madeleine L'Engle stated so well: "Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God." Then learn to live in that sweet spot.
 

01-03-2013
Fullness of Joy
Fullness of Joy

I was 20 when I first read the gospels. That was also when I began to form my own thoughts about God and Jesus. Until then my beliefs had been sketchy at best and based on things I'd heard others say. The truth was that I’d never given the subject any real thought.

As I read, most of it was so new that it made little sense. I didn’t understand it, but it drew me in a strange new direction. I couldn’t say I believed it, but I wanted to. Who wouldn’t want to be part of a world...

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01-03-2013
Living Hope
Living Hope

I grew up in a Christian home and have been familiar with the Easter story since childhood, but it wasn't until last year that I discovered what Easter means for me personally.

Last Easter, my thoughts were not on the glory of Jesus’ resurrection, the triumph of good over evil, or even the bright morning dawning outside my window. Just one week earlier, my best friend had phoned me with the sad news that her father had suddenly passed away during the night. My mind was still reeling with shock and grief. How could a life slip away so abruptly, with...

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01-03-2013
He’s Alive!
He’s Alive!

It had been about three years since they had answered the call to follow Jesus. Each had his own story. Nathanael was told he was "an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit."1 Peter and his brother Andrew heard the words, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men,”2 while casting their nets into the sea. Matthew was sitting at his tax collector’s booth.3 The years that followed had been the most exciting and intense years of their lives. Jesus was the most incredible person they had ever known, and they loved Him deeply.

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01-03-2013
Joy—The Sunshine Fruit
Joy—The Sunshine Fruit

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."1

We all know what it’s like to have our lives beset by problems. Financial difficulties, inclement weather, or even rush-hour traffic can cast a pall over our spirits.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Holy Spirit can help us rise above our problems, big or small, and cause us to be happy and cheerful in spite of circumstances.

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01-03-2013
A Breath of Fresh Air
A Breath of Fresh Air

It was a particularly hot, muggy summer day, and Jeffrey and I had already been traveling for a few hours when we plopped down in a stuffy bus station waiting room in northern Italy. "Did I really have to come?" he muttered.

How had I gotten this idea? Dragging a 14-year-old away from his friends to visit his grandparents—not exactly a teenager’s idea of fun!

We had another hour before we needed to catch the bus that would take us the rest of the way, and I didn’t know which was worse—the stale air in the...

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01-03-2013
An Imperfect World
An Imperfect World

It was just a little thing, that smile on my baby's face, but it changed my perspective on life.

As he woke and looked up at me, he was looking at what mattered most in the world to him—me! He didn’t care that I was dressed in mismatched pajamas, my hair a mess. He just loved me and loved being with me. He didn’t need perfection; love made it all right. That moment of holding him and taking in those rays of love clarified something I’d been thinking about earlier.

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01-03-2013
Mayan Civilization
Mayan Civilization

When our volunteer work took my husband Andrew, our daughter Angelina, and me from Europe to Central America, we were blessed with the wonderful opportunity to visit a peaceful lake in Guatemala that had once been a local center of the rich Mayan culture. In this serene setting, the main event of the day for locals and visitors alike is watching the sun set behind three volcanoes that rim the west side of the lake. Here the pleasures of life are simple, like swimming where the volcanic hot springs rise up into the lake, creating a curious mixture...

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01-03-2013
11 Tips for Beating the Blues
11 Tips for Beating the Blues

1. Count your blessings. Expressing gratitude does wonders to lift your spirit. There is spiritual power in praise that can counterbalance whatever is weighing on you.

2. Get in touch with Jesus. He loves and cares for you, and He’s got the solution to every problem. Talk to Him about how you feel; read God’s Word; bolster your faith by holding on to promises from His Word.

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01-03-2013
When Good Is Better Than Best
When Good Is Better Than Best

There is an adage, "Good is the enemy of best" The point is that settling for something that is merely good may mean that something better is never attained. It seems to be a cultural imperative these days that we never settle for less than what we believe will prove to be the absolute best for us. But I'm coming to a different conclusion.

In my personal quest for the best possible outcome in each and every situation, I’m seeing that I have sometimes passed up some good possibilities; because I was worried that just around that next corner could be...

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01-03-2013
5 Senses Thanksgiving
5 Senses Thanksgiving

Every day is filled with happy moments that we could thank God for, if we paused to acknowledge them. This thanksgiving exercise is based on what we perceive through our five traditional senses.

 

Sight: Many things are beautiful to behold, whether natural sights such as trees and flowers, created works such as art and architecture, or the sight of a friend or home after an absence. What pleasurable sights lined your path today? Thank God for them.

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01-03-2013
Balance
Balance

The ability to look on the bright side is a gift. It enhances your happy times and makes the difficult times more bearable. It's the gateway to greater joy, which is one of the many treasures you found when you found Me. Love, faith, peace, joy—these and many more are My gifts to sustain and inspire you.

I want you to partake of My full joy,1 but there is something you must do before this can happen: You must accept who and what you are and believe that you were created this way for a wonderful purpose, that you were endowed...

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