God created an amazing world full of so many beautiful people. Those lives where purposed to live with freedom and joy and not in a constant cycle of feeling sorrow and pain. The past few years have been hard with the hit of COVID and the human lives that this virus took has been devastating. It is understandable to have so many going through hardship and grief right now. The good news is that this downward cycle of heartache can be stopped with some patience, love and understanding. I listed below what a person needs in their life to help them develop a life full of freedom and joy.
How to have a Joyful Life
- Have a relationship with Jesus Christ (Prayer and reading the Word of God)
- Be who God has called you to be (Ask and listen)
- Give thanks to God for all things (Make a list and be grateful)
- Do everything without grumbling or arguing (Find joy in the suffering, see things through the eyes of Jesus) (Philippians 2:13-15)
- Rejoice in the Lord (Praise Him for what He has given you)
- Do only what the Father has you to do (You will have peace when it is the will of God)
Steps to Finding Peace
Are you dealing with anxiety and depression? Why? You need to ask yourself this question and ask the Lord to help you discover why you are dealing with these emotions. So much joy and peace is lost because of these joy stealers. I have listed below on how to find peace.
- Read the Bible & Pray
- Read it with your heart (James 1:22-25)
- Pray continually, rejoice and be thankful (Thessalonians 5:16-18)
- Take your thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5)
- What emotions am I having with these thoughts and why
- Wrong teaching leads to wrong thinking, which leads to disobedience to Jesus
- Understanding the true knowledge of God leads to right thinking, which leads to obedience to Jesus
- Think only on the things of God (Philippians 4:8)
- Pray that the Lord gives you direction on HOW to stop your negative thoughts and make them obedient to Him (Are you listening and watching things that are evil or against the will of God? If yes, STOP!)
- Talk to someone you trust and have them pray with you
- Husband / Wife
- Counselor, Spiritual Leader or Personal Coach
- Do the next RIGHT thing
- When fear, loneliness, grief or anxiety creep into your life, try honing your focus on doing the next right thing
- The next thing will lead to the next thing
- Rest (Spirit, Body and Soul)
- Make it apart of your rhythm of life
- Rest is not just sleep but a mind that is free
- Do something that fills your love tank (watch a movie, read a book, visit with friends, craft or create something)
- Leave it to God
- The outcome that you have no control of is in God’s hands
Life gets busier each day and so many people are needing our attention but all you feel life saying is, “Can you give me a minute!” In today’s fast paced craziness… I can tell so many people are feeling this way. So much is pulling for their attention that they are not giving themselves room to have down time… or time with God. It’s a constant feeling like they will never catch up with their work or even get the bare necessities done… like buying groceries or getting the next bill paid on time.
With the lack of time comes the lack of getting things done. Then you start forgetting your responsibilities and start breaking commitments. This cycle is no fun and gets pretty stressful.
Craziness of Life
This feeling of life controlling me and demanding for my time is something I use to feel on a regular bases. Ryan and I got married about 20 years ago. We got married while we were still in college with full schedules that demanded all of our time. We were full time students, with full time jobs, volunteering in the church with whatever spare time we had leftover. Soon after college we bought a house. I started teaching as a full time music teacher, Ryan worked full time at Home Depot and we continued to take on more responsibilities at the church. Four years after being married, we had our first child, Joel. This is when life got pretty crazy.
We were living the life. Right? Not really. We had no spare time and started to fall into the craziness of feeling like we could never get on top of things. Soon we were drowning in the craziness of life and so much seemed to be falling apart.
Then an opportunity came for us to move to the Texas Hill Country and we jumped on it! We loved visiting the hill country when we would visit Ryan’s parents. It was so beautiful and peaceful. It was so nice to get out of the everyday busyness of life and to just stop and rest. So yeah… we were pretty excited about moving to the hill country. I remember when I was praying one evening, the Lord made it pretty clear to me that life was going to change.
No more living life with too much on our plate. We were going to take control of our life and not let the busyness of life take control of us. That’s exactly what happened. We down sized to a one bedroom home and cut back considerably on our responsibilities. We were determined to enjoy life and to have more time with Joel. We wanted to live life to the fullest!
Plan Your Day
I am so thankful! I am enjoying life homeschooling our three kids and doing the things I love. I no longer feel the overwhelming pressures of life. I make sure to give my time to God first thing in the morning and then to my family. Everything else fits in when I have the time. Not the other way around. I didn’t use to be a planner but now I make sure that I plan out my day so I am able to use my time wisely. I also definitely make sure that I give myself some “me time” too. Gotta have that!
If you ever need some advice on how to take back your life… contact us. We would be happy to help you find your groove. Life is meant to be loved!
Love others. It sounds simple but really it isn’t simple. We all have different backgrounds, experiences, personalities and perspectives. So loving others can look different from one person to the next.
Jesus is the the ultimate example. He is the one we are to reflect. How do we do this?
We are called to love others with the love of Jesus, not with our understanding of what love is but with God’s understanding of what love is. Love can be tainted and viewed through an individual’s filter that gives the perspective from life experiences instead of through the pure and true love that was intended for them. It’s so important that we ask God to reveal His love to us and to help us reflect His love. This love is the fruit that only comes from His Spirit.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.”
(John 15:7-17 NIV)
Encounter God’s Love
I have encountered God’s love by pursuing Him, serving His people, reading the Bible, worshiping Him, but most of all spending time with Him and praying. He is our friend and our Lord. We must spend time with Him to know Him.
Love to some is just a word but God’s love is a deep love that satisfies the soul. God’s love is patient, kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. It’s a love that never fails. This is the love that I am called to. It is real. It sets people free, brings peace and an everlasting joy. God is love.
Love Him With All Your Heart
Many have never experienced God’s love. Are you one of those? Would you like to? Put God first and love Him with all your heart, soul and mind and in return God will love on you and transform you and make you in His likeness. Then from His love that is poured into you can be poured back out onto loving others. This love is a pure love that only comes from Him. Pursue Him and call on His name. That name is Jesus and He loves you.
“Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
(Matthew 22:37-40 NIV)
Did you catch it? Last night, the First Lady Melania Trump closed the 2nd evening of the Republican National Convention with a very beautiful and elegant speech in support of her husband Donald J. Trump for 4 more years in the office of President of the United States of America. Did you catch it?
Have you ever planned something? Have you ever been in charge of setting something up, thinking through the process and then executing it with flawlessness? How is this going to be perceived? How are people going to see this moment and judge it? I guarantee you, those in charge of planning the evening along with President Trump and First Lady Melania thought every step of the process through. I liken it to a wedding day. As a minister, I have had the honor and opportunity to participate in the dress rehearsal in preparation for the wonderful wedding day of many couples. There have been times in that process I have stepped in to facilitate the order, the steps, the planning, so that on the most important day of that bride’s life, she has as close to a flawless event as possible. All that said, this was Melania Trump’s moment. Did you catch it?
As my wife and I watched the final scene unfold for the evening, take place in the Rose Garden of the White House, we couldn’t help but notice that there was a smaller than normal Trump crowd gathered in anticipation of the First Lady’s speech. It began with the entry of Vice President Mike Pence walking in hand with his wife, 2nd Lady, Karen Pence. Shortly after they entered and were seated, the wonderment of entrance by President Trump and Melania became the storyline that filled my head. Would he come out hand in hand with Melania as well? Would he take center stage and give a grandiose introduction “Trump Style” leading up to her speech in essence over shadowing her? Would he hog the mic and promote himself and all his achievements? Did you catch this minor but major detail?
President Trump came out alone to a gathering of supporters who graciously gave the proper ovation to a seating President. Only to then give a gentle nod to those in attendance with a gleam in his eye and a posture of proudness reflecting what he felt in his heart for what he knew was about to take place. Not a single audible word from Trump’s lips. Instead, the story reel played on showing the variety of accomplishments, investments and purposeful actions taken by the First Lady over the last 3 ½ years. As I watched, I even expressed out loud to my wife next to me that I felt the American people had been robbed of viewing and honoring the First Lady for all the many things she has done in her position. I follow the news. I was unaware of the massive effort and influence that Melania Trump has injected into not only our society but also as a representative of the United States of America into the rest of the world. The news has failed the First Lady and the American People in this regard. Then with doors opened, Melania stepped out with poise and confidence ready to give a speech, even better, a message of hope and encouragement, sympathy and concern and a clear direction of support for her husband and the American People. A proud moment indeed.
After the First Lady concluded her speech, President Trump proceeded to join her on the stage, clapping along with the audience and looking to her with the respect, dignity and honor that she deserved for such an endearing, authentic and timely message to the American people. They exited hand in hand in unity. This was a moment to be captured, a moment where someone other than solely Donald Trump was exhibited. He knew it, she felt it, did you catch it?
I wonder what would happen if we all started focusing on the positive things in life? I wonder what would happen if we all started focusing on the love of God and focused on all his good works instead of focusing on all the things that are going wrong and how people are still not getting it right? I wonder what would happen if we all took time out of our day to lend a helping hand and to give to those in need? I wonder what would happen if we all started focusing on bettering our lives by learning from people that are bringing hope & love to the word instead from those that are bringing us down with discouragement and lies?
What Would Happen
I wonder what would happen if we all could be united on at least one thing, which is instead of focusing on how others need to change we started focusing more on how we ourselves need to change? Do people know us as someone with good character or as a person with integrity? Do people know us as someone that is loving & kind and slow to anger? What would happen if we were?
Following the Lord
What would happen if we continually asked God to lead our way and to give us His wisdom and in doing this we truly removed all distractions and listened? What would happen? God is with us and if we just came to Him with all our heart and focused truly on Him I bet our lives would change & our world would change.
I long to know what would happen. I know it can’t happen with just me but it can happen by starting with me so why not start it with you too? 🙂