Where Do You Find Joy?


Joy can be an elusive commodity. I often wish it were available at my corner convenience store. (In fact I saw a convenience store in China named Easy Joy. You can read about it here.) Because I am searching for joy I have been diving into God’s Word to find out what God had to say on the subject.

One thing I learned is that:

Joy is found in God’s presence.

Psalms 16:11 says:

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. ( NIV 1986)

God fills me with joy in His presence. There’s no doubt about it. When I am turned toward God, looking at Him, I feel joy. When I am facing my problems, I feel anxiety, disappointment, and doubt.

Where do you feel closest to God?

For me, one of the places I feel closest to my Creator is when I am in nature. Places like the Shawneee National Forest in the picture above make me realize that God is so much bigger, so much more original, so much more amazing than my mind can comprehend. Looking at what He has made helps me to see Him.

But I live in a city and it requires time and effort for me to get out into nature. I admit–I don’t make that effort very often.

God tapped me on the shoulder and asked:

Wouldn’t it make sense to go often where you feel closest to me?

Whether it is in a brick and mortar church or a forest cathedral, shouldn’t we yearn to go where God seems near? Whether it’s sitting in a quiet room listening to music or skiing down a snowy mountain, shouldn’t we make the effort to go where we can almost touch Him?

Even though it’s February, even though it’s cold. I’m going to go outside and worship. I’m going where I sense God is near.

Question: Where do you feel closest to God?

How to Truly Love Yourself: The Four Degrees of Love

A crucial element in truly learning to love yourself is learning the four degrees of love.

I tend to have a love/hate relationship with myself. Maybe you can relate. On days things are going smoothly, we are pleased. But on days we mess up we might be disappointed with our performance and even despise who we are. Popular culture says some of the keys to loving ourselves are not expecting perfection […]

Continue reading...

If You’re Struggling with Emptiness, Learn How to Live Filled

Learn why emptiness can be a good thing and how God wants to fill up all the desperate corners of our hearts with himself

There is a story told of a professor who went to visit an old monk who was famous for his wisdom. The monk graciously welcomed him in and offered him a seat. As soon as the professor sat down, he sat down and began to tell the monk all about his own accomplishments, ideas, and […]

Continue reading...

Finding Focus — in Lent

Lent is a time for soul transformation. As we remember Christ's love and sacrifice He changes us.

I’m on a quest to find more focus in my life. To zero in on the important and to ignore the rest. To help me in this quest I am going to observe the holy Lenten season. Lent is the period of forty days leading up to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count.) […]

Continue reading...

God’s Love Letter to You

God's love letter to you. Click here to discover His relentless love.

The Bible isn’t always an easy book to read. At times it seems like a long list of dos and don’ts. Sometimes it reads like a rather dry history book. Some parts read like a racy novel. Other chapters seem like an action movie with plenty of violence. So when you hear that God’s Word […]

Continue reading...

10 Ways to Tell Your Husband “I Love You”


I have a problem. I love writing. But I’m not very good at writing meaningful words to the ones I love. My husband is especially talented at this. I save all the cards that he gives me, because even after decades of marriage, he is able to make my heart melt with his words. Even […]

Continue reading...

Once Upon A Time


Once upon a time. We all love those words. Those words promise a love story and we all long for romance. Truth be told, I yearn to live a Cinderella story. I secretly hope someone will come and whisk me away from the ashes – from my humdrum life. I picture my dowdy clothes being […]

Continue reading...

Three Steps To Take When Life Punches You In The Gut

Romans 15-13

What do you do when life delivers a devastating blow? 2014 was a joyous year for us. Our son got married to a wonderful young woman. Our daughter and her family flew from China to join in the wedding. They spent two months here in the states–we had abundant opportunities to play with our grandchildren. […]

Continue reading...

Discover a Simple Way to Pray


  I have to admit. Sometimes I struggle with prayer. At times the struggle is to simply make time for prayer. Other times the problem is keeping my wandering mind on the prayer. Sometimes I simply don’t know how to pray. I don’t have the right words to express my chaotic thoughts. Or I’m not […]

Continue reading...

Top 10 Ways to Get Your Mouth in Trouble


My mouth often gets me in trouble. I speak before I think things through. I say something without considering the other person’s point of view. I open my mouth before engaging my brain. Here are my Top Ten Ways to get my mouth in trouble: Always talk. Never listen. Interrupt when you have something to […]

Continue reading...