Thursday, August 28, 2008


Good morning all! Hope Ya'll are hanging in there today! We're hanging in there too! Things are good here at the Ponderosa. But what does that mean when I say good? Does that mean that there are no "issues"? All bills paid? Vehicle (yes, that IS singular) all maintenanced and in hot shape? All projects moving forward, yard perfectly mowed, and no dust bunnies? Have I and each member of my family set and achieved all appropriate spiritual goals? Well, that would be an emphatic NO! This is not the Cleaver household, this IS the planet earth, where we are promised troubles and MORE importantly an answer to them all! Why do I bring this up today?

Because it is my heart to throw a life line of hope, a reminder that all is not lost, all is not topsy-turvey. What keeps us going, what is the characteristic that allows us to enjoy life, in spite of and in defiance of obstacles? Joy. The joy of the promise, the answer, the sufficiency, the abundance, the overflowing, eternal, majestic, overwhelming, life-giving wonder of Jesus. Joy unspeakable and full of glory!

Got bills to pay?
Jesus will give you wisdom, give you time, give you favor, give you opportunity to get it done - maybe a little at a time, but if you will consistently seek Him and do your part, you will look back and see how far you have come....just DON'T STOP!

Got a family issue, with spiritual roots?
Get in the presence of the Lord - get in The Word. You need the strength of it, the life, the wisdom and change of perspective it will give you. Take that Word with you everywhere you go, chew on it, pray it, declare it, sing it (while you drive, mop, clean the shower, pay your bills on-line, travel to a meeting, etc). DON'T STOP! ("This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:8-9)

Got a habit to kick
or trying to make a new one? Trying to break free of a stronghold in your mindset? Turn your back on a sinful behaviour?
  • Keep your eyes on HIM! He'll keep you in His perfect peace.
  • Acknowledge you can't do it without Him. And don't think too far ahead. Just take it one day at a time, remember - it's "give us THIS day our DAILY bread"! Even the provision in the wilderness was daily manna.
  • Testify of your desire to see His change in you
  • Thank Him for the victory that is yours because of Jesus completed works!
  • Determine to let Him live in and through you TODAY!
  • When you fall, get right back up - be quick to!
  • Then do it all again tomorrow! DON'T STOP!

Got a hurt to heal? A grief to endure? Stay tuned! That's my next post!

Why do we have so much trouble anyway?
"So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed. Without having seen Him, you love Him; though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy. [At the same time] you receive the result (outcome, consummation) of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:7-9

He, most emphatically, IS our JOY!


Staceystace said...

Good stuff! I was walking in the pouring rain on Monday, trying to work out the kinks of a new school semester, thinking, "I could cry right now, but besides the fact that I am ugly when I cry, I've got too much joy!!!" So, I vetoed the crying jag.

luvmy4sons said...

Gee...I am so glad you are back. You have the gift of encouragement and you answer the call well. Thank you sweet sister! Thank you!

Denise said...

Woo Hoo, wonderful encouragement my friend.

Sharon Brumfield said...

Good word girl!
Just today as I was DEALING with all kinds of insurances issues....feeling like I would like to shout...GET OFF MY the issue of insurance and all the money that goes into never never land....I thought about the fact that if I could just take it one day at a time the huge weight would go. One issue at a time....and He can help me get it done.
And the family issues that have their root in the Spiritual....goodness I could write a book on this. We got back from our trip home and I was flying...we had gotten so much done and pulled my son out of a hole. Then BAM! Monday he calls and he is in an even bigger hole.
We know it is spiritual....God is trying to get him to his knees. But this Momma wants all of this to be OVER! But it won't be over until the Lord has His way....till then I need to be reminded that nothing can steal my joy.
Talk about stiring the pot with this post.
Thanks girl....really. :)

Tiffany said...

Yeah, Maria is back! Whoo-hoo, happy dance! Can you tell I missed you? Bloggy land is just not the same w/out you...It is so weird, just tonight I was reading the Bible w/ my best friend on the phone and came across the verse in Psalm 34:19
A Righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delievers him from them all.
I think it is sooo cool to read through my friends' blogs and find that they are hearing the same thing from the Lord. I gives me chills! Be Blessed, my friend!

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm? I wonder why this song comes to my mind? ;

I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart
Down in my heart
Down in my heart.....

grey like snuffie said...

His joy is not our earthly happy. Most excellent post.

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!