Extreme Joy

Extreme Joy

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


"Do you want to hear a secret?" 

I love for someone to tell me a secret. It isn't about the secret as much as it is the fact that someone knows me well enough and trust me enough to tell me something that is very important to them. I'm not talking about the secret that turns out to be gossip about another person, but something a dear friend has told me because they have found me trustworthy and faithful.

God has secrets. Deuteronomy 29:29 says "The secret things belong to the Lord our God . . ." (NIV). Does He want to keep these secrets to Himself? Absolutely not. We see in Psa. 25:14 "The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, . . ." (Amp. Bible). The Lord wants to confide in us but just as we have to be worthy of a friend's trust, we have to be worthy of God's trust. Would you tell your secrets to just anyone? No, and neither will God.

Want to know God's secrets?
  • Spend time with Him, talk to Him in prayer and in quiet moments.
  • Get to know Him by reading the Bible.
  • Listen to Him as He speaks to you in whispers, through people, and through His Words. 
  • Be faithful in the things He prompts you to do, or say.
An intimate friendship develops over time and it's the same with our Heavenly Father. As you get to know Him and realize how majestic, awesome, faithful, long-suffering, and loving He is, you will begin to give Him the worship and reverence He deserves. This is the fear that is mentioned in Psa. 25:14. Not an unhealthy fear but one in which we realize that He is the creator of all! Yes He is all this, but He is also the One who wants to get to know you! And when He does, one day He will lean over towards you and whisper in your heart and ask . . . "Do you want to hear a secret?"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Holding Tight

He was not about to let go. The knuckles of his little hand were turning white as his face began to turn  amber red. While grasping the handle of the cup his eyes were locked with his dad's and his little world went into a toddler lock down.  Cameron was not about to let go of the cup even though his 4 year old brother Hayden pulled on the opposite handle while screaming out. The more Cameron's dad told him to let go, the tighter the toddler grasp became until tears began filling his big blues eyes.

I watched as Cameron's dad took his large hands and pried the little fingers from the cup handle. This is not going to be pretty, I thought to myself as the squirming child was picked up and taken to another spot in the room. Cameron needed a moment to settle down and dad was going to make sure it happened. With Cameron cradled in his arms, his dad whispered words of comfort and correction and soon Cameron was no longer squirming, but leaning into the strong arms that were now a loving embrace.

Do I do the same thing? Do I hold on to something that is going to either get me in trouble or is something I don't need? And with tears in my eyes, I spiritually look at my Heavenly Father and hold on with all that is within me - even as I hear His words of wisdom telling me to let go - I only grasp tighter.

I thought of how inflexible and unyielding I can be as I hold on to certain things, be it lack of faith, fear, pride, unforgiveness or anger, until I simply reach a point of lock down. It is at this time that the Lord has to get my attention. Sometimes He pulls me away with a gentle nudge while other times He has to use circumstances to swoop down, pick me up and remove me from the situation in one swift motion. Once He has my attention I can began to hear His voice and His words as they pour over me while I am cradled in His loving arms.

And while He has me in His grasp . . . well that is the best part, He speaks into my spirit and tells me He loves me and He understands. This is what I want to remember the most . . . the closeness of those special moments as I hold on tight to Him.

photo courtesy of photobucket.com

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

His Eye Is On You

“Give all your worries to him, because he cares about you” (I Peter 5:7 NCV).

I love to be cared for, don’t you? Peter gave us a wonderful reminder that God not only loves us, but he cares for us. I especially like the way the Amplified Bible reads concerning the last part of this scripture, “for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” Now, I can snuggle up to those words . . . He cares for us affectionately – tenderly, lovingly. Yes, that feels so good – to know that the creator of the universe cares about me and He cares about you. But that is not all, for He cares for us watchfully. He is watching us and He knows what is going on in our lives at every moment, what we are concerned about, and what is ahead of us that we can’t even see.
But then there are the first six words of this verse, “Give all your worries to him.” In examining my daily life, I must ask myself whether or not I give my worries to Him? Do I give Him ALL my worries? I can honestly say I am working on this part of the scripture. For as much as I snuggle up to the last part, I cringe at the first part.
Just yesterday I had a devotion post on an online devotional site that I had submitted back in April. The title of the devotion was “Faith and Finance” in which I wrote “we must believe God will provide during difficult situations, even regarding our money.” As life would have it, on the same day this posted, we were hit with a test concerning our faith in finances. I ended my day praying God would take care of the situation and woke up trying to pray and sing the words “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He’s watching me.” We are now on the other side of the situation and once again we survived. Did I pass “the test,” I don’t know, but it once again reminded me that as difficult as it is, I MUST give my worries to Him – especially when it is out of my control.  Oh, the “c” word – well we can address that another day.
What are your worries today? What seems so big it consumes your time, your thoughts, your energy and eats away at your joy? Remember God cares about you affectionately and He is watching over you. Give Him your worries, all of them. His shoulders are much larger and can carry your load much easier than you will ever be able. He is waiting – and remember, He has His all-seeing eyes on YOU.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


One of my favorite books that I read to my daughter when she was young was “Runaway Bunny” by Margaret Wise Brown. As we read together, the story unfolded as the little bunny kept threatening his mother that he was going to escape and run away. But, the mother spends time explaining to him the LENGTHS she will go to find her baby. One line in the book is “If you run away, I will run after you.” The baby bunny imagines all kinds of ways to escape, but realizes (with much comfort) he will never be able to leave his home or his mother. What unconditional love! What comfort!

We as adults have our very own “story” that can be read to us about our loving Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally. Our “story” is found in Psalms 139.
     Is there any place I can go to avoid your Spirit 
          To be out of your sight?
     If I climb to the sky, you’re there! 
          If I go underground, you’re there! 
     If I flew on morning’s wings 
          To the far western horizon, 
     You’d find me in a minute –
          You’re already there waiting! 
     Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! 
          At night I’m immersed in the light!” 
     It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; 
          Night and day, darkness and light, they’re all 
          the same to you.
                                         Psalms 139:7-12 (The Message)

As adults, we do not have to fear being alone either. No matter what we are going through, trying to escape from, or run away from, we cannot go anywhere that the Spirit of God can’t find us. Actually, as the Psalmist writes . . . He is ALREADY there!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010


Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Heb. 10:22).

I am a writer. I finally admit the obvious. I have submitted articles and devotions, I have had some devotionals accepted, and I recently received word that I will have my first article published in "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Mother's Devotional" due out this October. It is a new and exciting journey I am on right now – reading, learning, writing, re-writing, submitting, and waiting. I have prepared myself for most of these things, however the one thing I didn’t plan on was thoughts and ideas downloading into my mind and heart at all times of the day (and night.)

Since I work at a computer most of the day and am very familiar with downloading. I know I always have an option – click to download now or click to download later. Now if I can find a way to click download later in my mind and heart. But would I really use it? No way, I can’t wait to see what the Lord is going to download next. I am anxious to receive the truths He wants to reveal about Himself, the mysteries He wants to explain, or the promises He wants to point out. I want to be reminded of the conversations I recently heard, a real-life drama I witnessed, or a humorous situation I experienced so I can share with others how God is immersed in our lives if we will only take notice.

In downloading, God not only downloads thoughts, ideas, or truths, mysteries, and promises, He downloads information about who He is, what He did for us, and what He has planned for us. He downloads the love He has as a Father, the sacrifice of His Son Jesus, and the power that is available to us through the Holy Spirit. He downloads correction, rebukes, instructions, along with guidance and direction.

God is always downloading into our hearts, but to receive these downloads we must first have our computers on – our hearts have to be open to Him and be willing to listen and receive what He is whispering to us. Then you have an option to save or not. This is something that is in our control. If we allow Him to download into our hearts, are we willing to SAVE what we receive? It may not always be what we want to hear, but it will always be for our good.

The differences between Father God’s downloads and computer downloads is simple – no mass downloads. His downloads are designed uniquely for each of us, sent only to us, and has a special name on it. We don’t know the name yet, but one day we will. “ I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it” (Rev. 2:17).