Joy to the World – Repeat It

Have you ever considered the words in this song?

It came on the radio today and these words struck me…”Repeat, Repeat the Sounding Joy.”
Repeat…..Repeat…..

I love that word repeat….Don’t just do it once but …REPEAT it…..

Repeat what? that “sounding Joy”  That joy that you hear and that you have heard. Receive fresh Joy and repeat that joy that you’ve known.

Repeat reminds me of the word “remember.” We are so often told in the Psalms to Remember…remember what? The works of the Lord.

I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. –  Psa 77:11

Let’s look at the rest of the song as it is in the hymnal by Isaac Watts…

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!
Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room,
and heav’n and nature sing,
and heav’n and nature sing,
and heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.

We have joy because our Saviour has come to save us from the sins that have so often beset us.  Let your heart give Him room…Is your heart cluttered with other priorities and things? Have Joy, you don’t need to seek fulfillment in those things.

2 Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ,
while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

As the field, floods, rocks, hills, and plains are rejoicing that the Savior is Lord over all, so also should we spend our time in this way. The word employ isn’t just in your free time, but it is what sustains you. My current job sustains my current earthly life. Let joy be what sustains you in life that is heavenly.

3 No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found,
far as, far as the curse is found.

Don’t let your current state of sin and sorrow or worldliness overcome you. Let Him fill you with Joy because we are no longer cursed by Adam’s race!

4 He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of His righteousness
and wonders of His love,
and wonders of His love,
and wonders, wonders of His love.

Sometimes we see the world and the evil in it, and it looks like Jesus doesn’t reign if we use our earthly eyes. But He rules and He will prove it with righteousness and wonders. By faith we overcome, “until [we] shall see Him face to face.”

This is the root of Christmas …He has come! Let use receive “more Christ, mas Christ” (yes, that’s my own translation of Christmas. 🙂

 

The Entanglement Box

In the first few weeks of fire academy,  the instructors had us go through the entanglement box for the first time. We were blind-folded in full bunker gear with our packs on but off air. This was certainly a different experience. I had some semi-idea of what was involved but did not realize the full extent of the difficulty of the situation without “knowledge” of how to deal with the entanglements.

My first time through, my SCBA bottle became caught on one of the entanglements behind me. It took me a good 10 minutes at least to get unstuck with the help of an instructors counsel in the dark!. I was in a small space with limited mobility because of the bunker gear. There were some kind of barrels in the middle with ropes hanging across, one of which got me stuck. Without knowledge of how to swim through these things and use my hands to clear things away, it was an inevitable situation. But again this was a new experience for me. I became overly anxious, hot, sweaty and overwhelmed. This is probably one of two times that I thought I wanted to quit academy. But it was too late, unless I gave them money, so I was in for the long-haul.

After this situation, I came to another tight box with even more wires hanging from both sides. “Oh Lord how am I going to get through this one???” honestly I was praying at this point. I stopped and told the instructor this was not happening, I could not get through there. I was beat tired at this point. He explained several times how to do it. So with much hesitation, I went for it. Sure enough it wasn’t an issue, I made it through easily.

We did this drill two more times throughout academy. The second time, I was nervous, but I didn’t have any hang-ups and moved through it easily. The third time, was so much fun!  I felt excited to do this again. We had partners, and even though it was a much harder course, we had learned to make it through and to help one another.

I look back to this situation and see several examples of walking the Christian life.

  1. How much we need others in our life to point us in the right direction when we don’t have knowledge or are learning a new thing. And though we can get hung up, these people are there to help us get out because they’ve been through it before. They have a visual perspective that is different than our own. (And the instructors weren’t blindedfolded!) “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” Pr. 11:14
  2. Sometimes we go through things, that we are unclear of the way, though we know there is an end. One of the harder things in the Christian life is the waiting of an outcome or waiting for an answer for prayer in regards to direction and understanding. Sometimes the Lord let’s us squirm, until we give up on self and our own way. He let’s us see that He’s got it under control, and we don’t! We just have to trust His voice. It’s frustrating to not see the end. This is how we come to know His voice in the darkness, He is our Light. “…and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.” Jn. 10:3
  3.  Just like in other things, the more we go through trials, the easier they become. I remember the things I struggled with in my earlier Christian years. The anxiety and fear that would come. Now, being tested in similar things, I have more peace in the trial. Perhaps, because I have a greater understanding of the Lord’s will and purpose or because I know Him more as a Father than before. Or because I know how little I know, so I lean on Him more. I have learned to trust Him greater.  The longer and more closely we walk beside Him, the more we will see these trials as adventures and things that only increase our love in Him.
  4. Learning to stay calm in the storm. The thing with firefighting is that there are possible situations in which you must learn to control fear and anxiety. If you lose your mind, it can be costly and dangerous and besides that you use more air from your SCBA if you are anxious. Just like in our walk with the Lord, when we are unclear of direction or the meaning or reason of a trial, we are tempted to get anxious. Jesus says, “Be anxious for NOTHING.” There’s never a reason to be anxious, no matter the trial. This is when we lose our minds, commit sin, do stupid things. “It is good to wait patiently for deliverance from the LORD.” Lam. 3:26 NET

You will not aquit me

Though I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
I will leave off my sad countenance and be cheerful,’
I am afraid of all my pains,
I know that You will not aquit me.
Job 9:27,28

When my heart was embittered
And I was pierced within,
Then I was senseless and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.
Ps. 73:21-24

Delight in the Lord

A few days ago I was looking in the mirror.
These are my thoughts…

“Where did all that muscle come from?! what in the world??”

I felt like I fell in love with working out, and suddenly now I have all of this strength. What happened?!?! It seemed so weird for a few moments. Like overnight, this had happened. What?! I might sound vain, but I’m not trying to be! Fitness is one of my loves.

My goal in strength training was not fitness goals, or physical appearance. I simply fell in love with it. I enjoy it. You could say I take delight in it.

So I got to thinking more about it…

Serving the Lord should be like this. We fall in love with Him, and delight to do His will.

This is what David said. “Delight thyself also in the LORD” Psa_37:4

Jesus also says, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Mat_11:30

But how is this possible? I believe it’s because we delight do His will. When we love something so much we’d die for it, it’s easy. When His yoke is hard and burdensome, we have lost the love for serving Him. This is KEY to the Christian life. Keeping our first love. There are so many temptations that the devil tries to pull us into. Let us examine our hearts. Is His yoke easy? Is the burden light? Is there joy in living for Him? Are His commandments easy or a burden?

Spiritual growth derives out of this first love. We will overcome without realizing it.  Sin will no longer torment. Keeping in fellowship, keeping in step and in tune with Him, is this our delight? Then overcoming sin will be easy. And we will overcome and spiritually mature….like it was effortless.

Meditate on His love for you.

“…I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him…”

Pr. 8:30

A five minute poem

The light of my life
The joy of my salvation
The reason i walk through this life
He is beginning and end

Praise him all you people, Let us rejoice
Because he has come
To save the weak
And preserve the strong

There is none other
That is greater than he
For all life’s woes and worries
Fall at his feet

Be proud, stand tall
He is there to help you
Ever-present help in time of need, is He
Strong armour of His will and grace

Finding that Quiet Place

This has been my meditation this week…..Finding that Quiet Place….

Our church has started a Bible reading plan together. On some days I have tried to rush through it, without finding my quiet place of listening before the Lord. All to say I did it!! Even while reading, I constantly have to reposition my mind back to His thought and reading…instead of going to this other thing that needs to get done. At this phase of life, I have many responsibilities and things going on. I have never been busier in my life, not even in college. But the grace and peace of God has backed it up thus far and I love what I do!

Last week I think I almost had a panic attack because Volunteer firefighting is beginning! yay! I am excited, but at first it was quite overwhelming. With CNA and Personal Trainer work with several clients and my church/social life, I was wondering if I could do all this and still be a firefighter a few days a month. Perhaps I would have to switch jobs….I was thinking. But no matter how many times life changes…more work …clients change….change still gets me rattled. You’d think after all this time, I’d learn that the Lord has it under control and He knows how much I can handle by His grace. But even still, “Lord how do I have time with You?” is my hearts cry. Is it possible and still be so busy?? Enter in to that quiet place. Find time. Be disciplined. Cry out to Him for it! Quality not quantity.

Back in the day, I had A LOT of time to spend with the Lord. It was marvelous! Life in Colorado, I don’t have this time. So I am still learning this new thing of how to be disciplined with what I have.

 

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Luke 38:42

It was not Martha’s serving that was the problem. She did not know how to enter into that quiet place. Time with Jesus, while He was present was most needful at that moment in time.

We all need time to meditate and reflect…to sit before Him and Hear what He is saying to us. This is what is needful. Much serving without hearing is vanity. It is His Word that changes us, not our serving, not our doing.

However, it doesn’t mean we stop doing. But only that we continually come and sit at His feet with prayer and meditation.

 


Deliberate Prayer

As a runner, the practice of proper and deliberate breathing is needed and often taught by many in the fitness community. However, no on needs to tell me to “breathe”. Of course I am going to breathe, but the breathing must be controlled and decisive. It must be disciplined. Otherwise, we can work ourselves up into anxiety, get out of control, and become weary. Even taking a breath for every so many steps is taught. Our bodies need proper flow of oxygen to keep our bodies from getting wore out.

I see similarities in prayer. We need times of deliberate prayer. As a child of God, no one needs to tell me too pray. I pray in my mind, under my breath, casually. It’s innate, He’s my Father. Though we need deliberate times of prayer and refreshing, where are minds are engaged to conform and become willing to the Father’s will. It’s time of deliberate listening and speaking, hearing His heart, with believing prayer to pursue Him. This is not casual prayer that we do in every day life. This is taking our will to crucify it. It is determined and willing to come the Father on our own initiative to know His best.

 

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. – Heb.11:6

 

 

 

 

Find Me

FInd me, O God
Draw me. Lead me. Rescue me.
Let me not die on the wayside.
Pick me up. Forgive me. Prosper me in Thy love.
Help me to know Your heart,
In every circumstance, every day.
Trust you, believe in You.
Believe in Your goodness.

 

Let me not be deceived by the devil.
He is as the True Light, letting us believe a Lie.
Heal us, forgive us from drawing into darkness.
Heal us of our grief and dispair from knowing the True Father,
Not the Father of Lies.
Let us hear and know Thy truth today.
Seek us to forgive us.
Because you know his destruction. You know his wiles.

 

Be the True Shepherd that you are.
Keep us unto Life eternal.

 


My Own Fault By Elisabeth Elliot

Someone who is suffering as a result of his own foolishness or failure may read these words. These griefs are hard indeed to bear, for we feel we might easily have avoided them. We have no one to blame but ourselves, and there isn’t much consolation there. Sometimes we imagine that we must bear this kind of trouble alone, but that is a mistake. The Lamb of God, slain for us, has borne all of our griefs and carried all of our sorrows, no matter what their origin. All grief and sorrow is the result of sin somewhere along the line, but Christ received them willingly. It is nothing but pride that keeps me from asking Him to help me to bear the troubles which are my own fault.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, take away mine.

I take Him at His word indeed,
Christ died for sinners–this I read–
And in my heart I find a need
Of Him to be my Savior.
– (Dora Greenwell)

HIM!

(By Frank Hall)

“Oh that I knew where I might find HIM!” Job 23:3

Job’s cattle were taken from him.
His children were all killed.
His flesh was covered with terrible boils.
His wife treated him as a stranger.
Even young children despised him.

But Job did not exclaim, “Oh that I knew where I might find my donkeys, oxen, and sheep! Oh that my wife would have compassion on me! Oh that my children were restored to my care!” Though every earthly support had been stripped from him, Job did not groan after the earthly things that he had lost. Job longed after one thing only, the one thing needful–HIM!

“I miss my children and love my wife, but I can live without either. These boils are tormenting my flesh, but I’ll manage. I will survive without my servants, my cattle, and the respect of my companions–but I can’t survive without Him! Take what you will O Lord, but don’t take Him! Oh that I knew where I might find Him!”

The Universal Answer
The answer to every trouble, every question, and every difficulty in life is exactly the same–HIM! He is . . .
the Solution to every problem,
the Key that unlocks every door,
the Sun that illuminates our path,
the Light that dispels the darkness within,
the Physician that heals our sin-sick, broken hearts,
the Nurse that dresses the soldier’s wounds in bandages of grace,
the Bed of Rest for the heavy laden sinner,
the Way of Escape for those who are tempted and tried.

We bring upon ourselves needless misery and pain, when we lean on the arm of the flesh for support. We subject ourselves to unnecessary disappointment when we run to and fro seeking assistance from the helpless helpers of this world.

Free salvation and almighty strength are in Him!
Undying support and eternal satisfaction are in Him!
Heavenly comfort and divine consolation, along with legions of other nameless blessings are all in Him!

The answer to all of your problems, my troubled friend, is not within, but without! Do not run to family or friends for help–they are . . .
wells without water,
leaky cisterns,
helpless helpers,
and broken crutches.
They may help you with financial trouble, but not with soul trouble.

The solution to every problem is always the same–Him! Oh that you knew your need of Him!