Today’s Thoughts-Joy & Laughter 2/9/2017

This morning has been incredible. I woke up inspired and filled with the joy of the Lord. I even was able to enjoy the sunrise. As the day has progressed thoughts keep filling my mind. I have been posting a series of devotionals by Kay Warren from Saddleback Church and wife of Rick Warren a pastor and author of ‘A purpose Driven Life’. My inspiration for sharing these devotionals is because I struggle with PTSD and depression. I have good days and bad. Learning that joy is not because I have an absence of problems but that in the middle of the dark and stormy days in my life I have the assurance that God is both with me and for me. Since I know that I am not alone in my struggle and that others have their own battles and the need I have to be encouraged I want to encourage others not to give up. I have also battled suicide because my depression has been at times more than I could bear alone but thanks to God I am still here and I have a hope that I did not have before. The joy of the Lord is my strength and He gives me hope to press forward and to hold on when there is nothing I can see to hold on to. I may not be able to see Him as I can see you and you can see me but I see Him all around me if I just open my eyes to Him.

Another thing that I have just started sharing are some jokes that I am finding that are not vulgar but comical and make me laugh.Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. Sharing the laughter God blesses me with lifts up my spirit. When I get to feeling down and depressed I try to find things to make me laugh. I will find a good comedy to watch so laughter fills my home. As I begin to laugh I feel the heavy weight of my depression or even my anger lift from me. It is hard to be angry or depressed for long once you start laughing. I have even laughed at myself at times. When pain and anger rises in me and I just let out a blood curdling scream. Then I hear the scream as it comes out of my mouth and wonder how many people just heard me. I live alone and I am physically small (not even 5 foot) but my voice can carry and can be very loud. When I think about the reactions of others who are with hearing distance I begin to laugh for a couple of reasons. One I may have just startled someone without meaning too and they have no idea where the scream came from, and the other reason I realize how ridiculous I must have looked and how God watching me is probably thinking, “There goes my girl again being silly”. Whether that is actually true or not I will one day find out when I get to the place Jesus is preparing for me. I have to confess there were times when I started throwing a mock tantrum in front of a child who was throwing their own temper tantrum and how they stop and stare at me like I am crazy has made me laugh so hard that they too began to laugh with me.

Am I going to continue having difficulties in this world? Yes I am. Am I going to be able to face the challenges and problems I face with a smile and laughter? No would be the honest answer but as I grow in my relationship with Jesus I will be able to do so without having to fake it. Yesterday was actually one of those days for me. I was in and actually still am in a lot of pain due to my back. Previous injuries which I can talk about later flare up and I can barely stand up or even use my hands without excruciating pain. I am in bad enough shape this week that I should have stayed home from work yesterday. My manager even asked me before I clocked in if I was going to be able to handle working. My answer was I had to make myself work because no work means no income and my bills are already more than I can pay. So I made it through my shift and carried out my work duties and served customers with a smile and a joyful voice, and if it had not been the way I was limping and the difficulties I had using my hands no one could have guessed how much pain I was in. It wasn’t until I was walking back to the building after bringing a customer their order and saw my reflection in the door that I had realized that I was actually smiling.  It was not one of my fake smiles I had learned to wear as a mask to cover how I really felt. Years of working with the public taught me that the public does not want someone who looks upset or down serving them. You learn to be cheerful and smile because it is good for business. Yet as bad as I was physically feeling emotionally and spiritually God have given me a glad heart and it was showing. I was so grateful that He had done this for me that it has spilled into this day. I woke joyful and with praise to God on my lips. I tell you that this is a blessing especially since I am not a morning person. I have a spirit of ease about me today and my mood has been lifted.

There are only a couple of days left in the ‘Choose Joy’ devotionals but I will continue to share the things that bring me laughter, to share my laughter with you. So I will close this with a joke and a link to a page on scriptures about laughter. God bless you and fill your heart with joy and laughter.

chose this joke since I shared with you about how I sometimes scream

A taxi passenger tapped the driver on the shoulder to ask him a question.

The driver screamed, lost control of the car, nearly hit a bus, went up on the footpath, and stopped centimeters from a shop window.

For a second everything went quiet in the cab, then the driver said, “Look mate, don’t ever do that again. You scared the daylights out of me!”

The passenger apologized and said, “I didn’t realize that a little tap would scare you so much.”

The driver replied, “Sorry, it’s not really your fault. Today is my first day as a cab driver – I’ve been driving a funeral van for the last 25 years”.

link for page on laughter and humor in the Bible



Kay Warren Choose Joy Day 20

Building joy, build people up and do not tear them down.

Romans 2:1

God’s Righteous Judgment

 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.


Grief One Size Does Not Fit All

Everyone  grieves in their own way and in their own time. We all suffer one king of loss to the next. You grieve the loss of a loved one, a relationship, a job, a home, a pet, and anything you may have lost.


I have suffers various loss in my life. This does not make me an expert on grief though. I have sought counseling and read books to help me with my grief.This is the latest book that I have read.Please be Patient I’m Grieving Author Gary Roe. I first learned of this author on Facebook and took a course he offered for free. His teachings have helped me deal with the losses I have suffered and he even took time to write to me personally and encourage me as I heal. It is not often that I publicly recommend books or author so I am going to just suggest that you visit his page and learn for yourself about his teachings.

This is the web address for his page

He does not just teach on personal grief but also how to help others who are grieving.

I pray that this will help at least one person out there.

Prayers and of blessings of healing and comfort for you all.




Relax / Spiritual Health Physical Health

When was the last time you truly took the time to relax? With all of my health issues I am laid up quite frequently but this does not mean that I am really resting and I definitely do not feel relaxed. I may not be working physically but my mind is working over time. It acts more like Martha than Mary. All it does it looks at all the work that needs to be done. So as I am laid up my eyes focus on the things that need to be done around my home. I look at the clutter and the pile of bills and worry. Not very productive. About a month ago I came across an article on sleep. It talked about it is the quality of sleep the body needs and not the quantity. That a person could sleep eight hours or more and still feel exhausted because it was not truly rested. 

I do a lot of breathing exercises for various health reasons yet if I don’t reign my thoughts in it does not help as much as it could. Worrying about anything produces nothing but anxiety and more things to worry about. All of this robs me of the rest and relaxation my body needs. God declared a command for a Sabbath rest. Who better than the Creator know what our body needs. He gave us six days to labor and the seventh for rest. In Psalm 23 He leads us to still waters and green pastures. We need to learn to relax, sit still, calm our minds, shut out the world and all of its’ problems and just relax and rest in the presence of our Lord. He gives us true peace. We will not find peace in the world. It is only found in Him. Relax and breathe Him in. Rest in Him. The bills and work will still be there to deal with but staying focused only on your problems and the demands others and yourself have placed on you will only drain you and leave you frustrated. Turning your focus to Him will calm your mind and give peace to your body. He loves you and care for all of your needs. So relax and know that even if things may look dark and troubled you will be okay. The Light will drive away the darkness and you will see more clearly.

God bless you with His infinite Peace and Love

Today’s exercise

Take a deep slow breath, hold it for 4-8 seconds and then breath out completely emptying your lungs. You may do this in a seated or laying down position. Repeat 8 times. While doing this focus your thoughts on the love God has for you and meditate on His Words of peace and rest. Let the tension in your body go as you let go of your worries and your stress. Repeating scriptures out loud until you find your body truly at peace.

The sound of a closing door

The sound of a closing door is not one we pay much attention to. A saying most of us have heard is, ‘When one door closes another will open’. Then there is the scripture Revelation 3:20 Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come into him and will sup with him and he with me. These words encourage and give hope.Rev 3 20


We open and closes doors every day so the sound of a door closing means nothing to you,  yet there are those that it breaks their heart. It can represent loss, an ending, or rejection. Add the sound of a lock being turned it can make one feel hopeless. That they are not only shut out but that there is no hope of that door ever being opened again.(Which is not always a bad thing because there are some doors that not only need to be shut and locked, but the key needs to be thrown away.) The pain of loss or rejection can amplify the simple sound of a closing door. Then there is the sound of a door slamming shut. Which is usually done in anger, meaning one person has turned their back on another in anger and not just walked out but stormed out leaving the other behind. The one who stormed out may feel like they cannot return because they were the one to leave and no matter what their reason was at the time they may feel guilt and even fear because now they are the one who may be rejected. The one left behind feel not only rejected and hurt, but they may fear that when the door slammed that was the end, and that is not their desire. Loosing loved ones to death or an end of a relationship can leave a lasting memory that the sound of a closing door can reopen the wound that the sound of a closing door can bring.

I had not thought of this before, but while sitting on my porch I heard the sound of a neighbor shutting their door. A sound that I hear often living in an apartment because neighbors are coming and going daily. Yet this morning when I heard the sound it seemed amplified and I even heard the sound of the lock being turned. I don’t know why it made me stop and think, but it did. I go in and out my door multiple times through out my day and when I am on the phone I know the person on the other end can hear the opening and shutting of my door so I try to close the door quietly so I do not interrupt what they are saying to me. Yet today I am thinking of all the ways the sound of what a door makes can mean. For some it can mean security, (This makes me think of the song ‘Shut the door, keep out the devil’) and for another it can feel like they are all alone, shut out and not welcome.

For the ones who feel rejected and shut out there is One who will never leave you or forsake you. He knocks on your door patiently waiting to be let in. He is the one I mentioned earlier in Revelation 3;20.


Now there is the sound of a door opening. Think about how a child reacts when the door opens and it is their Daddy who just came in. They run to him joyfully and yell ‘Daddy’s home’ and they jump into his arms.


Now the sound of the door closing behind him means they are safe and they have no reason to fear. For when they are with their Daddy they are not afraid, but are happy and secure. For it is written that perfect love casts out all fear. The love of our Heavenly Father, our Abba Daddy is available to all who receive Him, and Jesus is the door we enter to get to Him.


God bless you and keep you in His perfect peace

Moods/Spiritual Health/Physical Health

I do not believe that I am the only person that when my health is not good neither is my mood. Honestly do you really feel like smiling when pain radiates from every part of your body? I am currently working in the food service and I know people prefer to be waited on by someone who does not radiate misery. I have learned over the many years of any form of customer service is to put on my cheerful mask when dealing with the customers no matter how I feel. Yet this is very draining, both emotionally and physically. There are many health conditions that there is not a lot that we can do to make ourselves feel better. We endure and suffer through bad days and do the best we can,  yet as hard as we try our moods can very from sadness to full blown depression, and even anger and rage. You can feel helpless because of your condition, which can lead to frustration and aggravation. The company of other people can either bring comfort or agitation. So you may close your self off from others not wanting to feel like a burden. Unfortunately this is not good for you. First you start by isolating yourself only seeing or talking to people when it is absolutely necessary. Then your prayers become shorter till almost obsolete. Cutting yourself off from God. Prayers take more effort and can become even difficult. Now you are miserable and alone and don’t even make the effort to turn to God. He is still there for you but your health and your mood consume you. Once you have gotten to this place it is very difficult to get yourself out.  A good beginning may be as simple as crying out “God help me.” It is easy to let our physical condition dictate our moods, and I understand this completely. I still have this battle on a very regular basis. Sometimes it takes everything in me to even call out the name of Jesus. Then I think about people in the Bible and I read their stories and find inspiration. It was only recently that I had a new insight to the life of Job. He went through loss of children, wealth and health. Then he had friends who basically kicked him while he was down and his wife told him to curse God and die. When we first think of Job and all he lived through we see only his suffering and loss. I now see a man that God trusted even when he had every reason to give up, Job didn’t lose his faith in God. So what ever it is that you may be going through, understand God is not the cause, and that He trusts you, and believes you will endure and not fail. Also remember that Paul tells us to count it all joy when we face trials and tribulations. I know reading these words will not fix you and make things better, but you can make an effort not to allow your situation to make you so miserable that you allow yourself to drown in despair. Hold on to God, and do not give up no matter how painful and dark it may be for you right now. Let the joy of the Lord be your strength.

Blessing of peace and health to you all.

Do you feel like road kill?

Photography by Julie Sheppard

There may be times when you feel that you have been beaten and you want to give up. You feel like there is nothing left in you and yet you still feel the vultures picking away at your carcass. You feel worthless. As if you were meant to be nothing more than a victim. This is a lie! Do not believe it. You may be getting attacked on every side and may feel like that you deserve what is being done to you. Don’t! The enemy comes to kill steal and destroy, but you have been given the victory over the enemy. You are no longer a victim but you are victorious.

Whatever mistakes you have made, you have been forgiven. Jesus loves you so much He died for you. However bad your current situation may look, keep your eyes on Jesus, and do not lose hope. What the world may try to do to harm you, He will turn into good for you. His love transforms the worst into the most beautiful and lovely.

When you have done all that you can, stand and let the Lord take over. He will never leave you or forsake you. He paid to high a price for your life to let it be destroyed. The world is filled with problems, strife, and tragedy. He has overcome the world, and wants to give you peace. A true peace filled with hope love and joy.

You may feel beaten but you have been given the keys to life. Take hold of His hand and let Him lead you through this world. You are not alone. Even when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace, they were not alone. He was with them and He is with you. Do not be afraid of what man can do to you but trust in our Lord and Savior. Be encouraged that you are not alone and you are loved. No matter how you may feel or how things look. Trust in God.

John 10:10(ESV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Psalm 103:8-12 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

Isaiah 54:17 (ESV) no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.

Hebrews 12:2 MSG Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.

Ephesians 6:11-13 (NKJV) 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

John 16:33 (ESV) I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Matthew 16:19  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Revelation 1: 18and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

Daniel 3:19-25  Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. 20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flames of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counselors, did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. 25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Nehemiah 4:14 “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome.”

Luke 12:14 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV) Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare  and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.


Who Am I?



     Who am I that I think that I must defend God? God has given to each of us the gift of free will. Those who choose to deny Jesus may do so. When Judas chose to betray Jesus God did not stop him. Instead as Jesus was eating His last meal with His disciples, Jesus told Judas to go and do what he was going to do. (John 13:27 ESV Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”)It is man that tries to force his will upon others. Do it my way or else! God gives us commands and He wants us to obey Him. We try to force others to obey our ways but each day in one way or another we fail to keep all of God’s commands. (Romans 3:10 ESV 10 as it is written:“None is righteous, no, not one;) Yet when we see someone else break His commands we get angry, we argue and fight and justify our behavior. He is our Defender, our shield and strong tower. He does not need our righteous anger, especially since none are righteous. Jesus tells us if we love Him we will follow God’s commands. He also tells us hate is equal to murder. Then He tells us to love those who hate us and bless those who curse us. Jesus chose to go to the Cross and He loved those who crucified Him. I am not to argue in fight. I am to love.

     Whatever we choose to do we will face the consequences of our own choices and actions. No matter what we choose to do we will all face God and be judged for our own actions and how we lived our lives on judgment day. (2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.)

    I do not need to get mad or upset when someone does not agree with me or even speaks against my faith. Arguing is pointless and calling a person names only harms my witness. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.) I am to be self controlled and not try to control or dominate others. (Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Titus 1:8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, ) I am not perfect and I have argued many times in my life, and I still fall prey to this behavior on occasion, but my goal is to live as Jesus instructs me to, and to live in peace and love that is only found in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.