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Joy for a Woman's SoulPromises to Refresh Your Spirit
ZondervanCopyright © 1998 Zondervan
All right reserved.
Chapter OneDiscovering Joy
Human beings thrive on laughter. Since most of us can't afford vacations in Hawaii, we have to learn to make our own fun! The best way to do that is to keep your state of mind green and golden: find, recycle, or produce joy wherever and however you can. A good humorist is a work of heart! The Hasidic Jews believe that the best way to worship God is by being happy. They even incorporate dance and celebration into their spiritual walk.
Humor is the chocolate chips in the ice cream of life. Remember the old-time "Good Humor man" who drove his ice cream truck down every street in the neighborhood, chiming a jingle on those hot summer days? All the kids came running as soon as they heard the sound. But good humor doesn't drive down many streets anymore. You have to go out and get it yourself.
Fortunately, it's not that hard to find. Barbara Johnson
Promises About Joy
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. Job 8:21
Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5
God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. Genesis 21:6
Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them." Psalm 126:2
The Joy All Around Us
* * *
Luci, two other dear friends, and I flew to Chile and headed off for what proved to be an off-the-charts, fantastic trip to the Magallenic penguin rookery. I wasn't prepared for the utter delight I felt as our bus made its way down to the coastal rookery, carefully threading its way through hundreds of little penguins who didn't care whose parking lot they were on or how big our bus was.
As we exited the bus, one particularly friendly penguin turned to a woman and began an energetic effort to loosen her shoelaces. When the shoelaces would not yield, the penguin pummeled the woman's leg with a succession of flipper slaps that sent us all into hysterics. The woman was not hurt, but she was sporting some memorable bruises the next day.
To my knowledge, penguins don't serve any useful purpose in life other than to give people like me immense pleasure. From the grandeur of the snow-capped glacier peaks to the awkward land inefficiency of penguins, what fun it is simply to "sing for joy" about God's creation. Marilyn Meberg
Recently I stopped for breakfast at the local pancake house. I intended to steal a moment to be alone before the day began and its many demands crowded my time.
"Just an egg and a homemade biscuit," I told the waitress, "And a coffee, please." I handed back the menu and turned to the book I'd brought to jump-start my mind.
I had barely finished the second page before she returned with my breakfast. She poured the coffee and asked if there'd be anything else. "No, I'm fine, thank you," I answered.
She smiled. "Enjoy!" she said, then hurried back to deliver someone else's order.
Her final word hung in the air above my corner booth like a blessing. It was a choice she had offered me. I could go through this day oblivious to the miracles all around me or I could tune in and "enjoy!"
I've heard a lot of sermons in my day, but the best sermon I'd heard in a long time was preached in one word by a busy waitress as she poured a cup of coffee. God has given us this day. I don't want to miss it.
Enjoy! Gloria Gaither
Promises About the Joy Around Us
He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. He bestows rain on the earth; he sends water upon the countryside. The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety. Job 5:9-11
Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Psalm 111:2
Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. Isaiah 3:10
My chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands. Isaiah 65:22
The Joy of God's Everlasting Love * * *
God's love is a gift that can make you forget yourself at times. The Scottish writer George MacDonald said, "It is the heart that is not yet sure of its God that is afraid to laugh in his presence."
So often with old people and children all sense of what would be appropriate is swallowed up in what feels right. That's refreshing. We waste too many years between childhood and our older years measuring our behavior on a scale we think we see in someone else's eyes.
God loves us as we are right now! That's one of the things I'm most grateful for. I love the freedom to be myself in God. I pray that a year from now, five years from now, I will be a godlier woman, but I know God won't love me any more than he does right this minute.
Let me tell you, you can run in out of the cold, sit by the fire, put up your feet, and just be yourself. You are loved, you are loved, you are loved! Sheila Walsh
Do you enjoy hearing tender words from your spouse, children, family, and friends? Of course you do. However, to know that we are loved by an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient Lord is the grandest feeling of acceptance anyone can have. When other people fail to express their love to us, we can always depend on Jesus.
Imagine Jesus himself saying to you:
"Child of mine, I love you with an everlasting love. I love you with unconditional love. I love you because I want to! I love you when others think you are unlovable. I love you when you have sinned and come short of my glory. I love you in the good times and in the bad." Thelma Wells
Promises About God's Everlasting Love
The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." Jeremiah 31:3
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
From everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children. Psalm 103:17
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1
Excerpted from Joy for a Woman's Soul Copyright © 1998 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
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