Joy!

Biblical Joy

My depression era parents taught me a “glass half full” philosophy of life. This past fall, the Lord began working on this attitude in me. He brought to mind an old hymn I haven’t heard often, “Joyful, Joyful, I Adore You”. When I began singing, I became so happy and joyful I memorized the words. Just singing this song of joy and praise raises my spirits. The words, music, and some great recordings of it are available on the internet or in all the old hymnals. If you try the song, let me know how it helped you. Remember, oral praise is one way to bring joy. 

The change of attitude the song brought caused me to wonder what the Bible had to say about the JOY of the Lord, so I got out my trusty Strong’s Concordance and started looking up scripture. The things I have found are changing my life. 

I have already benefited so much from just reading them, I feel led to share the verses with everyone who follows my Facebook page. In 2021, I’ll be posting these verses where the Lord tells us about His joy. As you read them, think of HOW they rejoiced and in WHAT circumstances they found the JOY. If you’re interested in finding more joy in your life, the JOY posts start tomorrow, Jan 1, 2021, so don’t miss one! Two of my accounts are full, so if you aren’t already my Facebook friend, go to Kay Whatley Author Page. That one has room for more followers. Let’s make 2021 the year of the Lord’s JOY regardless of our personal circumstances and the pandemic which is stressing everyone. The Lord’s JOY isn’t dependent on any outside circumstances.

Batten down the hatches. Learning the Lord’s JOY will change all our lives regardless of any circumstances & trauma that might await us in 2021!

Christian Meditation

Surprise! I have made an adult coloring page from the most “liked” verse of those I post every day, Daniel 9:18. I love to doodle, and this is the result. While it is freehand and it shows, I learned a lot, and the next one will be better. 

Coloring is a calming, focusing activity and there is no better way to meditate on scripture as the Bible tells us to than to focus on one verse for a period of time. Christian meditation differs from eastern meditation. In eastern meditation, the practitioner empties his mind. In Christian meditation, the disciple concentrates on the verse and thinks about it. This opens the mind to the Holy Spirit and anything He might want to reveal about that scripture. Coloring is a discipline that can facilitate the process when it’s done with a particular Bible verse. 

To print your own copy of this page, go to my website, https://kaywhatleyauthor.com and sign up for my email list. You will receive a printable copy by return email. If you are already on the mailing list, your copy goes out before they are posted on social media and should already be in your inbox. Just click on the coloring page, choose “copy”, put it in your word processor program, and print. If you want more coloring pictures or have any suggestions for improving them, just let me know! Every “like or love” and “Comment” and “share” means more people will see God’s Word and increases the possibility it will reach the person who needs it most. Additionally, every “like” or “comment” will help a verse that’s meaningful to you be the next coloring page. 

I hope you enjoy coloring the page. Don’t forget to let me know if you want more.

I Love Daffodils!

I love beautiful flowers, so spring is my favorite season. I will have to admit, though, that  daffodils are my favorite. They are the first to come up and bloom, and they are a bright light in my life after a long season stuck inside the house.

When their first leaves come up in the bleak cold of December or January, I know warmer weather and other flowers are on the way. However, daffodils are tough and are prepared for the coming bloom. Weathering all the hardships of frost, wind, snow, and sleet, they remain small islands of green, a promise of spring. I have never seen them killed back by harsh weather. I must learn to weather life’s hardships the same way.

Since the bulbs are deep in the soil where growing conditions are better, they are secure in their warm nest. They’re far from to the surface where dangers are. In the same way, I must live in the strength of my core relationship with the Lord. When I stay grounded there, the inevitable storms in my life don’t cause me to crumble. Abiding in my core allows me to stand regardless of what the world throws my way. When I’m there, I may bend in the sleet and snow, but I don’t break and I don’t give up and just quit trying.

Daffodils also live in communities. I’ve never seen a solitary daffodil except the year after planting. They rapidly form another community when transplanted. The intertwined roots give strength and support to the leaves and blooms above the ground as they face the weather’s trials. Although transplanting is hard on them for a few years, they emerge with renewed vigor and multiply faster than if they weren’t uprooted.  I also thrive when I rely on the support of my community.

Because of all these traits, daffodil clumps are practically indestructible. They are still blooming and multiplying long after the people who planted them and the structures they surrounded are gone. It’s the same with us. The things we do in our community—deeds we “plant” in other people—live long after us.

I love daffodils for their beauty and their reminder of what’s important in life! In this time of pandemic and stress, it’s more important than ever to rely on the Lord and one another.

Daffodils

I Love Daffodils!

I love beautiful flowers, so spring is my favorite season. I will have to admit, though, that  daffodils are my favorite. They are the first to come up and bloom, and they are a bright light in my life after a long season stuck inside the house.

When their first leaves come up in the bleak cold of December or January, I know warmer weather and other flowers are on the way. However, daffodils are tough and are prepared for the coming bloom. Weathering all the hardships of frost, wind, snow, and sleet, they remain small islands of green, a promise of spring. I have never seen them killed back by harsh weather. I must learn to weather life’s hardships the same way.

Since the bulbs are deep in the soil where growing conditions are better, they are secure in their warm nest. They’re far from to the surface where dangers are. In the same way, I must live in the strength of my core relationship with the Lord. When I stay grounded there, the inevitable storms in my life don’t cause me to crumble. Abiding in my core allows me to stand regardless of what the world throws my way. When I’m there, I may bend in the sleet and snow, but I don’t break and I don’t give up and just quit trying.

Daffodils also live in communities. I’ve never seen a solitary daffodil except the year after planting. They rapidly form another community when transplanted. The intertwined roots give strength and support to the leaves and blooms above the ground as they face the weather’s trials. Although transplanting is hard on them for a few years, they emerge with renewed vigor and multiply faster than if they weren’t uprooted.  I also thrive when I rely on the support of my community.

Because of all these traits, daffodil clumps are practically indestructible. They are still blooming and multiplying long after the people who planted them and the structures they surrounded are gone. It’s the same with us. The things we do in our community—deeds we “plant” in other people—live long after us.

I love daffodils for their beauty and their reminder of what’s important in life! In this time of pandemic and stress, it’s more important than ever to rely on the Lord and one another.

Living in the Moment

Small Choices

The Bible teaches in many places that all decisions are important, but this was just a normal Sunday morning and that lesson was far from my mind. I’d had my quiet time and breakfast and it was time to get ready for church. I decided I needed to wear an outfit I hadn’t worn yet this winter, so I began to look at the available choices. Because of my food allergies, my waist size changes constantly, so the problem was what would be the most flattering. It took a while to go through the choices because the weather had gotten drastically colder and the warmer options were farther back. I thought I had extra time that morning, so I spent some time reorganizing the clothes by putting the lighter weight ones to the back as I came to them. 

When I realized I’d spent more time than I intended, I started rushing to finish getting ready. Before I was able to do that, though, my husband started calling time on me. This ALWAYS irritates me. After all, I was doing the best I could! On the third reminder, I lost my temper and gave an angry reply. We both went to church in a less than ideal mood. 

Being in the moment is all about the small choices. If I hadn’t decided to sort clothes as I was searching, or  if I had just worn what I wore the week before, the whole thing could have been avoided. Living in the moment is being aware of the small choices as I make them, not repeating a mistake because I’m on “automatic” with all the smaller decisions that led up to my loss of temper. 

For a more consistent walk, I’m going to try to be aware of the small decisions and treat them with the same care I do the big ones. I feel that paying attention to every decision will help me avoid some of the harder, larger ones.

The following are some of the scriptures telling us that EVERY decision counts, even the small ones. Any of them could have reminded me of that and maybe helped. One of them is now on a Post-It note hanging from my closet shelf. 

Matthew 12: 36 “But I tell you, everyone will have to give an account on the day of judgment for every empty word they speak.”

1 Corinthians 3:13, “Their work will be shown for what it is because the Day will bring it to light.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18,  “In everything give thanks: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Resolution

Photos for Blog_1

For most of my life, I shunned New Year’s resolutions. Then I learned to do acrostics. I look at them as goals for the year, not resolutions, because I’m too much like Paul in this respect and don’t do what I resolve to do and do what I don’t resolve to do. However, a “goal” doesn’t seem to carry the same onus for me.

I hope this will help some of you find the direction the Lord has for you to go this year.  The acrostic at the top is for 2019, so I”ll tell you how it went. I made progress on nearly all the goals. I try to make the center goal the theme for the year and what I base the others on. I think I have poured out more in several areas. This blog was one of them. The “thoughts for the day” that I post on Facebook were another. 

I made noticeable progress with gratitude, but the creativity and fear could have used more attention! However, pouring out got in the way of my study time and some other daily necessities like taking care of my health. I’m not real sure about the virtues in 2 Peter. They’d be hard for me to tell about myself, but I think I see some progress. On the whole, though, I think that the extra focus stating my goals gave me was very worthwhile. It helps me see wins and errors and evaluate 2019, so I have repeated the process this year.

Photos for Blog_2

These are my goals for 2020. Some are gone, some have been added, and some have been adjusted. The major change is the primary focus. I’m not sure how that will work out, but more balance is necessary to prevent burnout, It will probably take adjustment in some of the secondary goals. That’s OK. They are there as guidelines. 

I hope you’ll do your own acrostic in a quiet time with the Lord. Listen to Him. He’ll point you in the direction He means for you to go in a way that’s much easier to follow than having no direction at all.

HAVE A BLESSED NEW YEAR!

AWAY… FROM ALL HEAVEN’S GLORY

IN A MANGERIMG_5536

Israel is a land of few trees and plentiful rocks. Stables were usually in caves or under rock ledges and the mangers were of stone like the picture of the replica above.  The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem covers an ancient cave stall. The mangers were found wherever animals were kept or fed.

The following poem is one I wrote for my Christmas card this year.

Have a blessed Christmas!

In a Manger

My creator and Lord in a manger,

So I’d no longer be a stranger.

He leashed His infinite power,

From the sacrifice, He didn’t cower.

Because He loves me.

He really loves ME!

The King of Glory

Came to rewrite my story.

He redeemed His creation

Made me part of His holy nation. 

I owe Him my all!

How will I answer His call?

ANGELS Rejoice

1[1]Angels Rejoice

Angels from the realms of glory, Wing your flight o’er all the earth, Ye who sang creation’s story, Now proclaim Messiah’s birth: Come and worship, come and worship, Worship Christ, the new-born king. shepherds in the field abiding, Watching o’er your flocks by night, God with man is now residing, Yonder shines the Infant Light.

“I love you! I love you!” the angels chorus rings out. I’ve come to you.  I am here. Come and worship. The kingdom of our God has come to the earth. See how much I love you. I gave up all of heaven and all the power to come to you. To rescue you.

Close  your eyes for a minute and imagine the scene. You’re just a shepherd. Nobody is much lower on the social scale. You’re huddling around the campfire trying to stay warm and awake to keep predators away from the sheep. Suddenly, there’s bright daylight all around, and you’re jerked awake. You blink and look at the other shepherds. They’re as confused as you. You look at the bright light, but it isn’t just a light. There are so many angels in the light and you hear them singing. Then the most magnificent being you’ve ever seen emerges from the group and you’re the most afraid that you’ve ever been. The angel speaks and says, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good tidings that will cause great joy for all people…A savior is born to you today in Bethlehem. He is the Messiah.” After he tells you how to find the baby, the great multitude of heavenly host begins praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.” The music is like nothing you’ve ever heard. It’s sweeter and clearer and it sends prickles down your spine. 

Can you hear the chorus today? Are you rejoicing that He loves you so much. The King of Glory accepted all the restrictions of a baby’s body and life, just for you. Just so you could spend eternity with Him. Think about it and join the angels in their rejoicing. Taken from Luke 2:8-14