Tag Archives: joy

CAN I DARE YOU? – Week 2

Can I Dare You – Week 2


As I continue to count the gifts I feel like I have been on a scavenger hunt seeking new things. A wonderful week searching and looking. Thanks so much to Ann Voskamp for leading this journey.

Jan. 7 ~ 3 Graces from People you love

  • Laughter at dance as we learn new steps and are using canes. Very funny! Watch out around me.
  • People like my paintings

Batik Turtle – a friend for Tadeo?

  • Hubby vacuumed as I still fight this bug

Jan. 8  ~ Light that caught you, a reflection that surprised you and a shadow that fell lovely

Light that caught me.

Reflection that Surprised Me


Snowball’s Shadow – so long – fell lovely

Jan. 9  ~ Gift in hand, gift walked by and gift sat with

  • Snowball jumped in my lap and I petted her and snuggled
  • We walked by a bunny that was camouflaged against the bushes – Snowball didn’t even see it
  • my hubby drove me to the Apple Store to fix my computer

Jan. 10 ~ Gift that is sour, gift that is sweet, and a gift that is just right

Sour lemons

Sweet Oranges


  • my first Bible study after the holidays – great Bible Babes

Jan. 11 ~ 3 yellow things

Yellow Bananas

My yellow morning devotional chair


Yellow flowers taken on a beach in northern Poland

Jan. 12 ~ Something above me, below me and beside me

Looking up at the palm trees on my retreat

Below me – bubbles from the waterfall at the retreat

  • new friends met at Cozy Mountain Lodge Retreat in Gilbert, Arizona – walking beside me

Jan. 13 ~ 3 sounds you hear

  • at the church service this morning – “roaring like a lion” from God’s Not Dead by the Newsboys.

Roaring like a lion
Roaring He’s roaring
He’s roaring like a lion
He’s Roaring He’s roaring

  • ducks landing in the lake
  • my hubby using a power drill to build me a new cabinet for my art supplies

Here is the video of My God’s Not Dead.… a great way to end the week.

My God’s Not Dead He’s surely Alive.

Please feel free to add your post link in the comments – we would love to see others who are counting the gifts and doing the JOY DARE


Counting to 3000

Gratitude Journal 2011 – 2012

Joining Ann Voskamp and the Joy Dare for 2012. I am still counting the gifts (since January 2011). Another 1000 this year and on to 3000 for 2013.

Are you keeping a list of gratitude? Here are Ann’s words.

Why bother keeping a gratitude list of His gifts?

Because if you keep a gratitude list, you:

1. Have a relative absence of stress and depression. (Woods et al., 2008)

2. Make progress towards important personal goals (Emmons and McCullough, 2003)

3. Report higher levels of determination and energy (Emmons and McCullough, 2003)

4. Feel closer in their relationships and desire to build stronger relationships (Algoe and Haidt, 2009)

5. Increase your happiness by 25%(Who wouldn’t want a quarter more happiness!) (McCullough et al., 2002)

Another way to do this is to make a Gratitude Box – in it you can drop notes of Gratitude (the whole family can participate). At the end of 2013 – you take out the pieces of paper and read over your year of blessings.

Another way to count the gifts

Here is my list for this week:

  • great visit will our kids and grandkids
  • good travelling weather (in the snowy north)
  • Putting treats for the birds on a little tree outside – cranberries, oranges
  • sweet singing around a little Christmas tree – O Christmas tree (outside)
  • putting grandkids to bed on the night before Christmas

And the stocking were hung…

  • surprise – Santa came – even stocking for hubby and myself
  • granddaughter (5) is learning to sew on a big sewing machine

Pinning the Fabric

Learning to Sew

Learning to Sew


Finished Product

Finished Product

  • delicious turkey made by son-in-law … mmm good
  • singing “Happy Birthday to Jesus” before our meal
  • relaxing on Boxing Day – even had a nap!
  • sleeping well while travelling
  • the peace and calm after a snowfall
  • watching baby find his voice, and use hand signals (10 months)
  • a sleigh ride for baby

Sleigh Ride for Baby

  • baby ‘s first attempt at crawling

  • a new trike

  • singing to daughter on the phone “Happy Birthday”
  • animal camouflage – beautiful pictures
  • reading to baby

reading to baby

  • singing to another daughter at dinner – “Happy Birthday”
  • hard Eucharisteo – I have a sore throat – YUCK
  • thanks to Tylenol, hot salt water gargle, Vit C, garlic … am coping
  • patience of my family as I am slow, slow and more slow with this bug
  • flying back to AZ

friday favorite things | finding joygratituesday1112

ADVENT – Looking at Week Three – JOY

Advent – Looking at Week Three – Joy

JOY - photo by Elli Kistemaker

JOY – photo by Ellie Kistemaker

Continuation of a series on Advent – Hope, Peace. I continue to write for 5 minutes on Friday waiting to join up with Lisa Jo in January when she restarts Five-Minute Fridays. Also linking to Friday Favorite Things.

Today’s word is JOY.

What is joy? Where do I find it? I hope that everyone who reads this can be “joy-filled” every day. I hope that whatever job you have, you can look for the blessings in it and not the negatives. If your life or job is full of negatives – look for a small ray of light and cling to that. That is joy.

The best JOY of all is Jesus. Joy is a divine interchange with Jesus.

J – Jesus

O – Opens

Y – You

“We have been given a responsibility to live it [life] fully, joyfully, completely, and richly, in whatever span of time God grants us on this earth” ~ Lucy Swindoll.

Remember that:

Jesus is forever

He is NOW

He will never let you go


My Saviour

He is my everything


“It is impossible to give thanks and simultaneously feel fear” ~ Ann Voskamp.

In order to find joy we have to see the gifts of God – live thanking Him, live experiencing Him and live enjoying Him.

Here are some excellent posts I have read this week.

Janet Sketchley writes “Joy Under Pressure”.

Rachel Martin writes “82 Blessings for Kids“.

Janet Sketchley writes “Where is Your Joy and Security?”.

Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare for 2012 “Take the Joy Dare”.

Ann Voskamp’s, “The Joy Habit”.

And finally, Where’s the Line to See Jesus.

friday favorite things | finding joy


What If Money Didn’t Matter?

reprinted from Family and Faith Matters by Janis Cox

I watched a video the other day and thought – yes that is what I would like to say about money.

So here it is: What if Money Didn’t Matter?

What do you think? Can you find a way to do what you feel called to do?

What is your joy? What would like to do if money were no object?

Money doesn’t matter if you set your sights above the things of this world.

I would suggest that you ask God to show you what He wants you to do. Have a full life!

“I call on you, O God, for you will answer me, give ear to me and hear my prayer” (Psalm 17:16 NIV).

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Are You Waiting?

(reprinted from Under the Cover of Prayer)

by Janis Cox

Oh – to learn to slow down. A number of times in the past week I have read about “waiting”.

    • My Advent study from Margaret Feinberg – first week – WAIT.
    • A speaker at a women’s dinner said, “learn to unitask”.
    • Tadeo – my turtle goes slowly – something I need to learn.
    • Then I read Jesus Calling – “it is good to wait quietly” (Lamentations 3:26 NIV).

I took a deep breath. I sighed. Yes I do need to slow down or I will miss the waiting. This waiting for Christmas can be a Holy time if I let it.

I responded to Margaret’s words in Wonderstruck.

I particularly liked when she wrote about “Three Word Prayers”. I realized I needed to slow down my words to God. To release them ONE at a time.

Thank You God

Wonder. Power. Healing.

Search my soul.

Sense my being.

“Every word, every syllable, demanded mindfulness” (Wonderstruck, page 78).

“Three word prayers required me to reengage spiritual muscles that had long ago grown flabby” (Wonderstruck, page 80)”

Do I ramble at God like a nagging wife? Or do I slow it down and make each word count?

“Be still and know that I am God.”

That is what God said. Not chatter and beg – but be STILL.

So in this first week of Advent I have tried to be still. I have tried to seek the quietness that He wants. And you know what – it is good. I rested in Him.

The First Week of Advent

A time to wait
A time to listen to God
Still your hearts
Still your souls.

Slow down your thoughts
Focus on Him
Let distractions cease
[even for a few minutes]

Who is this God?
What is eternity?

“Be still
And know

I am God

Get to know Me.”


God is LOVE
God knew you before you were born
God knows you now
God will know you forever!

Janis Cox 2012

“Modern man has lost the perspective of eternity. To distract himself form the gaping jaws of death, he engages in ceaseless activity and amusement” (Jesus Calling, Sarah Young).

Ceaseless activity VS Stillness in Him?

Which are you doing this Christmas?

I would love to hear from you.

Here is Chris Tomlin and Everlasting God (Wait Upon the Lord)



The Pentecostal Church

Preached by Rev. Harold Morgan Video Podcast Part 1 and Part 2

I have to admit that during the sermon today I was a little distracted. My grandson (2 1/2 months old) and my daughter were attending with Wayne and me. So my little one kept me from completely listening to Harry’s sermon.

However, I think I came away with a sense of what he said. I am sure some of this is my own words that flowed as Harry spoke.

Here goes:

May 27, 2012 is Pentecostal Sunday – 50 days from when Jesus rose to Heaven. In the Jewish calendar Pentecost was a feast that came 7 weeks after Passover. It was a dramatic day. We read in Acts 2.

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them” (Act 2:1-4 NIV).

Harry told us that in Heaven we will all be “United” but while on earth we are “Pentecostal”.

In 1906 there was a movement at the Azusa St. Mission, L.A. where quite a few years there was a spontaneous outpouring of the Holy Spirit – tongues, prophecy, healings, testimonies, singing. This movement made a great contribution to our Christian faith. It has become stodgy and needed a burst of energy. From this came Spirit empowered preaching, awesome music, and Scripture put to music. This was definitely for the betterment of the Church. God injected LIFE into the church through this movement.

Life with Christ can be dramatic and life changing. Look at how the disciples were affected. And we can be affected the same way if we let Jesus instill LIFE into us.

Harry talked about TRUTH and how this TRUTH that the Holy Spirit can impart to us will change our lives and will allow us to use the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to us.

We ended the service with Communion – our way of celebrating the life, death and resurrection of Jesus so we can live in joy and grace.

Harry challenged us to walk even closer to Christ; for more spiritual strength, healing and restoration of our souls.

There is MORE to do as well – let us use the Holy Spirit gifts in our churches – each and every one of us as we are able. Let us spread the Good News of Jesus to everyone we meet.


 Christmas Reflections

reprinted from Inscribe OnLine

I love the way we count the days until Christmas especially the Advent Sundays. This past week has been God our Hope. Isn’t that wonderful. We can hope because God gives us that HOPE in Jesus.

As we put up our manger scene this year I thought about the babe in the manger. As I gently placed him on His bed – I thought how awesome God that You placed Yourself in such a vulnerable position; how this shows us HOPE – because we are so vulnerable as well. I can know hope because of what You have done for us. Hallelujah!

In the second Sunday we see God as God our LOVE. We know how much You love us as we acknowledge that You sent Your Son to us. Your love abounds. We see it in the faces of people we love; in the music that is played; in the Scriptures that we read. Hallelujah!

Next comes God our JOY. Yes, anticipation of a family gathering – watching the grandchildren interact. The kisses and the hugs. Laughter and chatting. Being with each other. But I also see joy in the faces of the clerks in the stores when I say, “Merry Christmas”. I see joy as I thank God for each little gift during the day. What blessings. Hallelujah!

And finally God our PEACE. This babe that is born in a stable becomes the Light of the world. He becomes our peace. He is the King of Kings. I know Him and I can feel that peace at all times. Praise God for sending Jesus to us. Hallelujah!

As we celebrate Jesus’ birth let us remember what really is Christmas – God giving us His Son. Let us not forget this – for this is what is important and a reason to celebrate.

Merry Christmas.


Start a “To Don’t List”

“Normal people do normal things at a normal – breakneck – pace and never have enough time to do the most important things” (page 27, Weird, by Craig Groeschel)

I am a normal person. For years I tried to do everything. And because of a strong sense of self I took on whatever people offered. I am sure pride had a lot to do with it.

“When we overschedule ourselves in the belief that we can do everything, we stop being human and try to become godlike – not only impossible but also incredibly arrogant” (page 26, Weird, Craig Groeschel).

Oh that was me. Prideful and arrogant.

This year I tried a new tack – I started a To Don’t List. What can I not do? How can I wrestle more time for those things that I have a passion for and where I think God is leading?

I started over 2 years ago with NO TV. That freed up an amazing amount of time. But I filled it again with other stuff.

Craig Groeschel reminded me:

“We have to remind ourselves that just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should” (page 33, Weird, Craig Groeschel).

That meant a closer look at exactly what I did. How do I discern a good choice from the best choice?

I think that first I have to go to God – ask Him to show me what He wants me to do; where I find my passion; and how much time can I give to it.

For example one thing I took off my to do list this year – teaching Sunday School. My personality type makes me always want to do my best – I have high expectations. This job, which I love, took too much time for what transpired. So God said – NO.

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. (Romans 1 MSG)”

My days are lighter, brighter and filled with promise. I am feeling JOY.  Stress is less. I do get things done but He shows me the way. And if I am following the wrong path, I know He will show me the correct one.

Another Quote from Craig:

“Christ had to make difficult decisions about how he would spend his limited time on earth. His example has a lot to teach us.”

Other articles you might enjoy on To Don’t Lists – God’s Way:


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