Archive for the ‘joy’ Tag

This and That   Leave a comment

Every time I end my reading of the whole Bible, I start over again.  And almost always, I start with the Pentateuch.  I have tried my daily Bible reading different ways, but I just like to start with the Pentateuch.  I always like the part in Genesis 2 where it says that God planted a garden.  Wow.  Can you imagine what that garden looked like?  And I’m sure (the Bible doesn’t say – this is Maureen talking) that God just *spoke*, and it came to be. He didn’t draw it out.  He didn’t consult with anyone.  He didn’t look over the land and try to make up his mind what would go where.  He just spoke – and it came into being.  Wow.

The other thing that struck me this year is in Exodus when the tabernacle and all the furnishings are finally done and they set it up for the first time. Can you imagine how fun, exciting, thrilling, and fulfilling that must have been for Moses?  Months previous he had been given the plans and exact design specifications.  For months he had watched the workmen, the craftsmen, create everything.  And finally it was the day when it could all be set up for the first time.  I can just picture him: “Now, put the table for the bread of the presence right there.  Ahhhh – yes.  Right there.”  Just a little fancy of mine; my imagination taking off where my Bible reading is taking me.

Our Pastor’s wife has gotten a word from God for each year.  She prays about it, asks for it, and each year the word she gets epitomizes that year, and what happens in it.  She encourages all of us to ask God for our word for the year.  I’m glad for her and I’m glad God speaks to her that way, but I have never gotten a word for the year.  Which is okay.  Just because our Pastor’s wife gets one does not mean everyone should get one.  But while Pastor was speaking one Sunday about a month ago, he quoted John 2:5 – “Do whatever He tells you”, and I just felt as if that was my word for the year.  Well, phrase to be specific.  And so I’ve been thinking of that and wondering what God will be telling me this year. So far the only thing I have gotten for sure is that I am not to go out looking for a husband.  No promise about whether I will ever have another husband; He just clearly told me I wasn’t to go out looking for one.  So I haven’t.

This year I will be turning 60.  Kind of a milestone. Kind of mind blowing, actually.  I can’t believe I’m that old.  I don’t feel that old.  I have learned some things in my almost 60 years … which I won’t bore you with.  But what I have learned recently, probably in the last 10 years or so, is what is my bliss.  Remember that phrase: Follow Your Bliss?  Well, I now know what gives me joy.  Bliss.  Satisfaction.  Fulfillment.  And one of those things that I am just recently rediscovering is… writing.  I have wanted to be a writer for a very long time.  In my 20’s I submitted my stories to panels of writers for critique I think 4-5 times.  And each time my story, my writing, was eviscerated.  Truly – ripped up one side and down the other.  Nothing positive, only negative comments.  I knew then I was not a good writer, but I thought I could get better with a bit of encouragement and constructive criticism.  I didn’t receive that.  So, I got very discouraged and put that idea/dream away.  About a year ago I had an idea for a story.  It just wouldn’t let me know. I listened to the old voices, “Don’t do it!  You’re no good!  You can’t write!”, but this story wouldn’t leave my back brain.  And I started to remember all the writing I had to do in college, and that my papers and reports almost always got A’s.  And that I had gotten compliments on my writing at work. Emails and instructions, mostly, but people thought they were done well.  And so I recently took the plunge and wrote my first words on my story.  I have no plans to do anything with it, and I have no idea how long it will be when I’m done.  Will it be a book?  A novella?  A short story?  I don’t know.  I don’t care.  I just am enjoying writing.  I like it.  And it is turning out … not bad so far.  I’m pleased with it.  I’ve found another bliss to add to the list.

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Posted February 9, 2019 by Maureen in Musings, Randomness, Uncategorized

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Joy?   Leave a comment

Our sermon this morning blessed my heart.  Pastor was giving us a word for the Christmas season, from the book of Nehemiah.  As a side note, I love the book of Nehemiah.  Years ago we had an adult Bible study on it, using a book titled “Hand me Another Brick”.  It is an excellent book – I recommend it.

He was in chapter 8 this morning.  The setting was after the wall was completed.  It was the day of the New Year celebration, and all the people had gathered to hear Ezra reading the book of the Law.  As he read, the words were explained to the people.  The Bible tells us that the people praised the Lord, but also as they heard the words Ezra was reading, they started weeping.  They were convicted in their hearts of their sins, and the sins of their fathers as they heard how they were supposed to live and worship God.

Nehemiah consoled and encouraged them.  “This day is holy to our Lord”, he said.  “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength“.  (my emphasis) You may have heard those words before.  You may have said them, or taught them.  This morning Pastor reminded us that the joy does not come from us.  We don’t have to have joy before we can get joy.  The joy is a free gift, from God.  It is God’s joy.  He doesn’t wait until we are perfect to give it to us.  He doesn’t wait for our lives to be trouble-free to give it to us.  It is a joy we can have today, for today is holy.

This holiday season, you may not be feeling your best. Your life may not be at a high point right now.  God says to receive the joy.  Receive it on faith if you have to, but receive it.  It is a free gift He gives willingly.  Enjoy the joy.

 

Posted December 17, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Randomness

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Joy and Peace to You   Leave a comment

I still get excited about Christmas.  I still get that little five-year-old feeling in my stomach that says, “Christmas is 4 days away!!!!”

I usually start thinking about Christmas – the cards I will buy, who I will send them to, the gifts I will give people – in July.  I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember.  I have a big family, and in order to be able to afford gifts for them and for my friends, I have to start buying in July.

I have always associated Joy and Peace with Christmas.  They are so entwined that I couldn’t separate them if I tried.  The joy of the shepherds.  The peace that Jesus brought.  I always gravitate towards cards with Joy on them, or a dove (peace).

This year, with all that has been going on in the world and in the US, it is a struggle to find and keep joy and peace.  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of it.  So much conflict!  Sadness!  Violence!  Poverty!  I have to remind myself of the reason we celebrate Christmas, and the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.  And why He did it.  Why He left his home to be with us.

So, despite what is going on in the world, I hold onto God’s peace, and God’s joy.  I try to share it with others.  I try to keep it in my heart and my actions.  I wish you joy and peace.  On Christmas, and each day of the year.

Posted December 21, 2015 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

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They Don’t Know They’re Dead   Leave a comment

I had a friend in Washington when I lived there.  She and her husband and three kids lived in a small house. The small kitchen and dining room area were in a large rectangle, with an opening out to the living room.  On her windows in the kitchen and dining room she had a valance made out of very pretty fabric – bright colors with fruit and veggies.  They added a nice accent to that area.

Once a year during her spring cleaning, she would take them down and wash them.  One time she was telling me about her cleaning, and her great surprise at seeing the valances when they were put back up.  They were so clean!  She had not realized they had gradually, over time, gotten dirty and gritty.  She had washed them as part of her spring cleaning – but she hadn’t noticed they were dirty.

I have friends who have a 3 bedroom apartment with a large covered deck.  It isn’t used much, but I was out there working on a tile project a few weekends ago. I had seen the deck and been out on it for a year and a half, so I was used to how it looked.  During the course of cutting the tile, bits and pieces of the tiles scattered and flew around where I was working, so when I was done I swept the floor of the deck.  It was covered in a layer of dirt!  I had not realized the floor was supposed to be a tan color – not the dark color (tan/black) I was used to seeing.  The deck was covered in a thick layer dirt, but no one noticed.

Does this seem a strange blog entry for Christmas??  Well, I can’t help thinking of all the people I know personally, and all the people around the world, who don’t see any special significance for this time of year.  For some it is a lonely time.  For others it is a burdensome time – parties to attend, traveling, presents to select, buy, and wrap.  For many it is stressful.  And any combination of the above and other things.  They don’t have joy; they don’t have wonder at the Savior come to earth as a baby.  They know nothing of (or don’t care) the salvation that is possible because of the birthday we celebrate on December 25th.  I can’t help thinking about those lost souls.

They don’t know they’re dead.

They don’t know they don’t need to stay dead.

They don’t know they can have salvation, forgiveness, and eternal life.

So while I do have joy and anticipation and thankfulness at this time of year – still, I can’t help thinking of all those lost souls who don’t know they are dead.  God knows them, each one.  God knows them by name and what is in their hearts and minds.   All I can do is be the best light I can, and pray for them.

I wish you joy and peace and happiness during this season.

Posted December 11, 2013 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

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Contemplating Joy   3 comments

“Christmas is a season of joy, for it was birthed in joy.” 

How can we have joy?  How can we seek it, grab hold of it, hold onto it?  Almost everyone has had joy in their lives at some point.  Woe to the person who hasn’t!  How awful to think about that. 

The thing about joy that is different from other emotions is that you can’t force it.  You can’t work toward it to bring it up and experience it.  Joy comes from outside yourself. I believe it comes from God as a gift.  And I believe it is a response to our relationship with God.

Even those who don’t believe in God can be joyful when they hold a little baby.  Or get licked by a dog or cat.  Or enjoy the beautiful night sky.  God can (and does) give them that gift even if they don’t acknowledge or are even aware that it is God they are rejoicing in.

Rejoice.  Re — joy.  I like it.  Nice word.  I wish you joy.  I wish you the peace that passes understanding, and deep joy that radiates out from you to others.

Posted December 14, 2010 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

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