Even though…yet I will…

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…are you living an “Even though…yet I will” life?

I’m guilty like every one else on social media of only or predominately posting the good, the happy, and the fun times. What would social media look like if we all posted all our heartbreaks, relationship struggles, disappointments, brokenness and tears, or uploaded video clips of our emotional meltdowns, family disagreements and arguments.  Oh, of course your family doesn’t have any of these. Yeah, right.

Sharing this post today just to say – please don’t think “Joyful Jenny” (as I keep referring to myself lately) encounters only the happy happy, joy joy scenarios and joyful situations all through her days.  Especially currently, there is something very painful and heartbreaking my family is walking through.  My laughing and smiling posts are not just me putting on a happy face either.  Even though all is not completely well, yet I still have the joy that God’s Spirit brings – even though, yet I still am experiencing God restoring the joy of my salvation. 

“Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me – now let me rejoice!”

 Psalm 51:8

The path along the deep and rugged valley roads of life we never planned to travel on come upon us like a sudden detour sign appearing out of nowhere.  Most of us, except the shallow, adversity free minority can relate. These life roadblocks or journey detours occur for various reasons – our own sin or the sins of others, our pride and rebellion, deception, addiction, our modern day idols (yes we have them), or just as a result of the fallen world we are living in.

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Grace to Grace 



God give us grace. 

Let us take our rightful place

– humbly submitted to You,

as all our pride is totally erased.

May we arise in boldness 

– empowered by Your Spirit, 

as we daily seek Your face.

Strengthen us to 

defeat our enemy and all his lies, 

as we run with mission towards

finishing our race.

Keep us focused on the prize of Heaven

as we follow all Your ways.

Your love, Your light, Your truth,

Your freedom – help us always to embrace.

All our lives are for Your glory, 

so we will trust You with our restoration 

stories.  

Let us reach out as You lead us 

to bring others to Your grace.

Thank You Lord for this day!

Thank You Lord for Your grace!

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JOY LIKE A FOUNTAIN!

Do you have joy like a fountain? Or has your well all dried up? Are you able to follow the Apostle Paul’s advice, “Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, keep being joyful…” – my paraphrase of Philippians 3:1.
 
No one likes to take advice from someone who cannot relate to all you may have been through or are currently going through. However, Paul encountered much adversity and suffered many hardships all while serving the Lord, including the following and much more:  being imprisoned, 5 times whipped with 39 lashes, 3 times beaten with rods, robbed, mistreated and misunderstood by his own people and others, experiencing broken friendships, and often not having enough food to eat – AND ALL WHILE FAITHFULLY SERVING GOD!  STILL HIS MESSAGE WAS REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS!
 
 
Do you have joy no matter what is happening to you and/or is going on around you?
 
 
This is one of the messages God has given me in the midst of life’s trials and messiness. Some people think joy is the absence of pain. It’s not. Often, those whose lives are filled with much sorrow and many challenges experience the most joy. In God’s presence is fullness of JOY! (Psalm 16:11)
Jesus told us the things He told us in His Word SO THAT our JOY WOULD OVERFLOW (John 15:11). Paul reminds us to “be joyful in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4).  Many have forgotten that it is part of God’s will for us to be continually joyful (1 Thessalonians 5:16).
 
Okay, so I realize even sharing these verses doesn’t automatically make us oh so joyful.
Since I always get this right and do it so well, I’m always bright and cheery Joyful Jenny – haha! NOT! I’m just pressing into God’s grace more and more and desire to obey; and, over the last few years especially, God has been bringing a restoration of joy in my life personally. The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10) and this is one of the reasons the enemy is after our joy.

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Oh So Spiritual One

The truly godly and spiritual are called to a ministry of restoration. So, how “spiritual” are you?

#youwhoarespiritual #restore #withgentleness #Galatians6 #ministry #reconciliation #restoration #imitateChrist #loveinaction

How are you doing spiritual one in your ministry of restoration?  How is your spirit of gentleness?

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A Declaration Prayer of Commitment for 2019

During day 7 of our 21 days of prayer and fasting (January 12, 2019), while worshiping to the song entitled, “Christ is Enough” by Hillsong, I felt impressed to write out this prayer of declaration and commitment based on this song:

Christ is Enough.

Yes, Lord, may You be our

exceeding and great reward – Your PRESENCE and Your WORD alone.

May this be the NEW discovery we all seek after in 2019.

May You and You alone – Your presence and Your Word satisfy like never before – like NO THING in this world can or ever will.

Yes, through every trial, You are with us. You carry, You comfort, You guide, You strengthen, You give peace, and You even restore our JOY – Amen!

May 2019 be a year of only moving forward – a turning point.

May ALL OUR TRIALS OF THE PAST BEAR FRUIT – the fruit of more of Your character developed and growing in us – LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, and SELF CONTROL.

May our souls sing a NEW song this year!  A song of PRAISE and JOY!

Here is our decree for 2019 —

May we proclaim I’VE BEEN SET FREE!

May we ARISE and SHINE for all to see it is JESUS who is truly ALIVE in me.

You, LORD, are our HEALER, our SAVIOR, our REDEEMER, RESTORER, GOOD FATHER, FRIEND, LOVER OF OUR SOUL, COMFORTER, PROVIDER, PROTECTOR, DEFENDER, COUNSELOR – our PEACE – the Great I AM.  You alone bring great JOY.  Reveal who You are more in 2019.  You are ALL we need. Amen.

You are all we need in every situation, every decision, everything we face.  

RESTORE the JOY of our salvation – being saved – being your covenant son, being your covenant daughter – forever being loved by You, belonging to You.  Bring more of a revelation of Your amazing love and grace – Your goodness.  Let us REJOICE AND BE JOYFUL in this alone above all else.  You are our HOPE.  May our hope arise in Your Word and in Your promises – ALL our HOPE in CHRIST – in Your love that never fails us.  Let the  joy of what awaits us ultimately be awakened and strengthen our hearts, minds and spirits.  May this bring REST and PEACE to our spirits.  Forever in Your presence for all eternity.  

Through every storm, may our souls sing, You are always with us – to God be the glory!  Yes – Amen.  All has and is working together for our good and for Your glory and purpose.  May Your glory be on display, as You, Lord, are writing ALL our restoration stories for YOUR GLORY ALONE.

For all those who have decided to follow You, may this be a year of NO TURNING BACK.  May this be a year of following You, not people and not the world.  May we all fulfill our heart commitments, fully committed to You, Jesus.  May You, Lord, complete ALL You have begun in each one of us by Your Spirit – all for Your glory.

God, may the presence of Your Spirit guide us by peace and fill us with the joy of the Lord as our strength.

May ALL our steps be ordered of the Lord in 2019! Amen!  

“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him…” 2 Chronicles 16:9

“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

Happy New Year JOY and ALL year too!

Happy and JOYful NEW YEAR to all! JOY is the word!

The Lord can still bring His “GREAT JOY” to all us peoples beyond Christmas!

May the presence of The Lord that brings JOY be with us all the whole year through!

More LOVE, More JOY and MORE peace – the fruit of God’s Spirit – we can all experience and overflow with.

We first receive His amazing LOVE and forgiveness and this brings JOY!

We keep pursuing His presence and we are filled with His JOY overflowing!

His never ceasing LOVE and the JOY of His continual presence bring peace to our hearts and minds.

☀️This is THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE, let us choose to be JOYFUL and glad in it! 

☀️I am living out God’s WILL for my life by BEING JOYFUL in The LORD, PRAYING ABOUT EVERYTHING, and BEING THANKFUL IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE.

☀️I am not dejected or sad, because the JOY OF THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH!

See Psalm 118:24; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Nehemiah 8:10*

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JOY has been the word for “Joyful Jenny” the past year or so.  Actually, God began speaking to me specifically about always being joyful in 2008.  In 2019, I now can also agree with our Pastor at Church of the Highlands, Pastor Chris Hodges, who has declared this “a year of JOY” and, specifically, a year of “Joy no matter what!” It is wonderful to have The Lord confirm you are hearing from God’s Spirit by speaking the same thing or even the exact words you heard in prayer from others within the body of Christ, and especially other godly leaders.  When God speaks by His Spirit, we hear as one.

The past few years, God has led me on a consistent pursuit of studying His Word more than ever as it relates to joy and how to remain joyful in the Lord, even amidst the little foxes that spoil our joy, as well as the more serious attitudes we have to face and address in order to remain full of joy no matter what!  I call these joy killers.  I am continuing to study and write about “Joy no matter what!” based on the book of Philippians and the order of references to JOY in the Old Testament.  A real RESTORATION OF JOY I am personally experiencing along with others (in our group entitled “Joy No Matter What! – yes, amen), as we keep pursuing MORE time in the JOY GIVER’s presence.

Here are just a few of these “JOY GIVERS” AND “JOY KILLERS” to ponder based on the Philippians study:

Joy Giver: Humility

Joy Killer: Pride

Joy Giver: Forgiveness

Joy Killer: Unforgiveness, Offense

Joy Giver: Seeking God’s Purpose

Joy Killer: Soaking in Self Pity

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Psalm 16:11

*Here is what we hold each other accountable within our group to SAY OUT LOUD everyday for this JOY full day that the Lord has made!

THIS IS THE DAY THAT THE LORD HAS MADE AND I WILL REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT!

I AM FULL OF JOY, I PRAY ALL THE TIME AND I AM THANKFUL IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, BECAUSE THIS IS GOD’S WILL FOR ME.

I AM NOT DEJECTED OR SAD, BECAUSE THE JOY OF THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH!

May you walk joyfully in His will on this joyful day The Lord has made, and may His joyful presence be your strength for today.  Whatever occurs, may His JOY be yours!

Love, “Joyful Jenny”

 

A Christmas Poem

 

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Love has a name

and His name is Jesus.

God’s gift to mankind

and the only One who can free us —

from Satan’s bondage grip

and death to our spirits.

Light and life He brings

to all open hearts who receive Him.

Immanuel, God with us,

with great joy He fills us.

Born as a babe amidst the lowly in silence,

our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,

and Prince of Peace will return to receive us.

Our Savior’s triumphant return as King of kings will be heard and displayed

over all the earth loud and clear.

All who hear and respond to the gentle Savior’s calling

receive God’s greatest gift of Christmas.

Both fully God and man, and the One who reigns eternally,

He is The King and Lord of all, Jesus.

Our reason for celebration —

may all His children rejoice on Christmas Day

and forever in His presence!

 

JOY to the World

Lasting JOY is not found in presents, people, popularity, or material things.

Lasting JOY is found in the presence of the Messiah Savior, Jesus, and the King of kings.

This gift of “great JOY” to the world spoken of at this time of year can last no matter what we have lost, may or may not receive from others, or whatever circumstance we find ourselves in.

Don’t let this gift remain unopened and wrapped up neatly just to view from afar. Open your heart to receive this gift of love, peace and JOY

– this heart treasure that lasts forever.

You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11

A prayer of great JOY for all:

Lord, fill me with Your presence this Christmas and the gift of Your peace and lasting JOY my heart is most desiring. Amen.

Jesus is with us always, even to the end of this age.*

I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow. John 15:11 ~words of Jesus

*See Matthew 28:20

Faith in the Waiting

Our faith is tried and tested in the waiting for answers to prayers and waiting to see promises fulfilled.

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In the waiting, we are transformed.

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In the waiting, hidden motives and attitudes of our hearts are revealed.

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In the waiting, our faith grows stronger.

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In the waiting, we grow stronger.

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In the waiting, we are challenged to grow deeper in Christ.

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In the waiting, there is a constant fight for our faith to waiver.

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In the waiting, the enemy schemes for us to fall into the trap of doubt, fear, compromise, worry, and soaking in self pity.

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In the waiting, Jesus calls us to the joy of His presence, while the enemy is calling us to a pity party.

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We have to keep on believing and trusting God and His Word without seeing.

This is faith.

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Do we still love, serve, and passionately praise and worship God while we are waiting on answers and promises we are believing and standing on?

We don’t love, serve or worship God based on His answering our requests. We love, serve and worship God because of Who He is.

God has already demonstrated His amazing love and faithfulness to us while providing for the forgiveness of our sins, salvation, and abundant and eternal life through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.

Our part now is to love Him back with “ALL our heart, soul, mind and strength” and to live “by faith and not by sight.”

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Wait in the Lord’s presence, beloved ones – in worship – in prayer – in The Word – and in faith – and be strengthened today.He is our exceeding great reward. Amen.

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*Pray and wait.

*Pray and worship.

*Pray and serve.

*Pray and believe.

*Pray in faith.

*Pray continually.

*Get stronger.

*Grow deeper.

*Wait on the Lord.

*The best is yet to come!

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Isaiah 40:27-31

Romans 5:8

John 10:10

Psalm 16:11

2 Corinthians 5:7

Mark 12:29-31

Genesis 15:1

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Worship in the waiting:

 

ALWAYS REMEMBER…

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I have my dance students repeat this at the end of every single class.  I started doing this more consistently this past year.  What I love observing – and it occurs every single time – are the smiles that can’t be held back as these beautiful ones repeat these simple truths out loud.  

Yes, I have them say these words at least 3 times each class:

I AM LOVED

I AM SPECIAL

IAM CHOSEN

I AM CALLED

…OUT OF DARKNESS INTO GOD’S MARVELOUS LIGHT TO SHINE HIS LIGHT AND RADIATE HIS GLORY!

Now they know it by heart.  And this, my friend, is God’s heart for us.  

This is a faith principle.  We cannot believe what we do not speak out of our mouths.  We cannot speak about God, ourselves and others what we do not believe.  Our speech should match our faith in God, our beliefs about God, ourselves and others.

This isn’t something we just hear one time and we have it.  That’s not how faith works either.  Speaking these words out loud over ourselves doesn’t mean we really know and believe them either.  Sometimes, it may take months or years before we finally get certain truths deep within our minds, hearts and spirits.  We have to begin somewhere.

Hearing truth, receiving truth, speaking truth, believing truth,

and then living daily by the truth is a process.*

Out of the heart, the mouth speaks.

for whatever is in your heart determines what you say. (Matthew 12:34) 

I pray you get this in your heart, mind and spirit today beloved one.

Speak Truth and life over yourself and others today.

Always remember…

YOU ARE LOVED…

…with an everlasting and unconditional love.

Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:19

YOU ARE SPECIAL…

…God’s unique creation, fearfully and wonderfully made by the Master Artist; no one else even has your same fingerprints.

Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 139; Colossians 1:16

YOU ARE CHOSEN…

…to be God’s holy and royal one (daughter or son).

Psalm 45:11; Ephesians 1:4; Romans 8:30

YOU ARE CALLED…

…out of darkness into God’s marvelous light to proclaim His praises, shine His light and radiate His glory.

Isaiah 43:7; 1 Peter 2:9; Philippians 2:15

Do you know this deep within your heart and mind my friend?  

If you don’t.  This is something you need to know and always remember to never forget.

YOU ARE LOVED BEAUTIFUL ONE!

He wants us to always remember to never forget!

 

*See also Romans 10:9-10 and Ephesians 2:8-9 – We confess, we believe and we receive the gift of our salvation by faith.

Note:  The pic above is actually a T-shirt created by one of my beautiful students as a gift.

The Truth about LOVE

Have a LOVEly Day filled with LOVE!

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all His mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing Him directly just as He knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

1 Corinthians 13 – The Message

…for God is Love. 1 John 4:8

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