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Where Do You Find Joy?

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  • Stephen J. Hall
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTES FROM THE VALLEY April 5, 2009 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 3, 2009
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      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      NOTES FROM THE VALLEY
      April 5, 2009

      "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
      I will fear no evil for you are with me." Psalm 23.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      WHERE DO YOU FIND JOY ?

      "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." John 15:11

      "I am coming to you now (Father), but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them." John 17:13 (NIV)

      Joy is more than a sensation felt by the body. More than an emotion born out of the mind. Feelings and emotions are driven and influenced by our physical well being and the events of life. Joy is not. Joy is a pinnacle experience, a soaring of the spirit, that brings our feelings and emotions along for the glorious flight. It's not something you feel as much as something you know. It comes over you, sometimes unexpectedly, and it comes like a flood.

      Before I found Christ, my experience with joy was limited. I know I experienced it when my first son, Jack, was born and I got to participate in the delivery. I held him in my hands at the instant of his birth and witnessed the miracle of his first breath and immediate declaration of his unhappiness with his new environment. I think Christ touched me at that moment, though I was unaware of His presence.

      After I found Christ, it seemed like joy found me often and at some of the most unexpected moments. I know it can happen in the best of times and the worst of times. In my darkest hour I heard His voice reassuring me of His love and the good that He had planned for me and I knew joy.

      I've known joy . . .

      . . . when I struggled to overcome some weakness or to accomplish some task God had set before me and I felt His pleasure with my imperfect but sincere efforts;

      . . . whenever I"ve used the talents God has given me to help a friend or loved one;

      . . . whenever I relived His birth at a Christmas play or His resurrection at an Easter pageant;

      . . . when our children accepted Christ and were baptized;

      . . . when I've praised Him unashamedly;

      . . . when I've prayed and felt the world grow quiet while He listened to me.

      Joy is a warm fire's light on the darkest night. It's a comforting shelter in a raging storm. It's being close to my Lord and discovering He's pleased to be close to me. It's the awareness of my Father's arms embracing me the instant I call out to Him. It's a mountaintop experience that doesn't need a mountain. It's something you can't really describe, but once you experience it you'll know. And once you know it, you won't ever want to be without it. It is eternal. It is part of our inheritance.

      Sheltered under His wings and
      overwhelmed by His love,
      Steve



      FIND JOY IN THE ORDINARY
      (Author - Max Lucado: www.maxlucado.com)

      We played every game we knew. We ran up and down the hall. We played "find me" behind the couch. We bounced the beach ball off each other's heads. We wrestled, played tag, and danced. It was a big evening for Mom, Dad, and little Jenna. We were having so much fun that we ignored the bedtime hour and turned off the T.V. And if the storm hadn't hit, who knows how late we would have played.

      But then the storm hit. Rain pattered, then tapped, then slapped against the windows. The winds roared in off the Atlantic and gushed through the nearby mountains with such force that all the power went off. The adjacent valley acted as a funnel, hosing wind on the city. We all went into the bedroom and lay on the bed. In the darkness we listened to the divine orchestra. Electricity danced in the sky like a conductor's baton summoning the deep kettledrums of thunder.

      I sensed it as we were lying on the bed. It blew over me mixed with the sweet fragrance of fresh rain. My wife was lying silently at my side. Jenna was using my stomach for her pillow. She, too, was quiet. Our second child, only a month from birth, rested within the womb of her mother. They must have sensed it, for no one spoke. It entered our presence as if introduced by God himself. And no one dared stir for fear it would leave prematurely.

      What was it? An eternal instant. An instant in time that had no time. A picture that froze in mid-frame, demanding to be savored. A minute that refused to die after sixty seconds. A moment that was lifted off the time line and amplified into a forever so all the angels could witness its majesty.

      An eternal instant. A moment that reminds you of the treasures surrounding you. Your home. Your peace of mind. Your health. A moment that tenderly rebukes you for spending so much time on temporal preoccupations such as savings accounts, houses, and punctuality. A moment that can bring a mist to the manliest of eyes and perspective to the darkest life.

      Eternal instants have dotted history. It was an eternal instant when the Creator smiled and said, "It is good." It was a timeless moment when Abraham pleaded for mercy from the God of mercy, "But if there are just ten faithful." I was a moment without time when Noah pushed open the rain-soaked hatch and breathed in the clean air. And it was a moment in the "fullness of time" when a carpenter, some smelly shepherds, and an exhausted, young mother stood in silent awe at the sight of the infant in the manger.

      Eternal instants. You've had them. We all have. Sharing a porch swing on a summer evening with your grandchild. Seeing her face in the glow of the candle. Putting your arm into your husband's as you stroll through the golden leaves and breathe the brisk autumn air. Listening to your six-year-old thank God for everything from goldfish to Grandma.

      Such moments are necessary because they remind us that everything is okay. The King is still on the throne and life is still worth living. Eternal instants remind us that love is still the greatest possession and the future is nothing to fear.

      The next time an instant in your life begins to be eternal, let it. Put your head back on the pillow and soak it in. Resist the urge to cut it short. Don't interrupt the silence or shatter the solemnity. You are, in a very special way, on holy ground.



      JOY IS COMING

      An old theologian once said, "Who chides a servant for taking away the first course of a feast when the second consists of far greater delicacies?" Who then can feel regret that this present world passes away when he sees that an eternal world of joy is coming? The first course is grace, but the second is glory, and that is as much better as the fruit is better than the blossom."

      Charles Haddon Spurgeon, "The Quotable Spurgeon"

      ____________________________________________________________________________________________

      Copyright © 1998 - 2009 by Stephen J. Hall - Notes from the Valley and Humor from the Valley are meant to brighten your day and encourage you along the way. If you are blessed by them, please feel free to make copies and pass them along to others. If you have something you'd like to contribute to a future edition, would like to ask a question or make a comment, please contact us at: steveh.rbis@...
      ____________________________________________________________________________________________

      Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it! I'm forever telling everyone how faithful you are. I'll never quit telling the story of your love . . . (Psalm 89:1-2 The Message)
    • sossteve2005
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTES FROM THE VALLEY April 18, 2010 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil
      Message 2 of 8 , Apr 16, 2010
      • 0 Attachment
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        NOTES FROM THE VALLEY
        April 18, 2010

        "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
        I will fear no evil for you are with me." Psalm 23.

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        WHERE DO YOU FIND JOY ?

        "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." John 15:11

        "I am coming to you now (Father), but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them." John 17:13 (NIV)

        Joy is more than a sensation felt by the body. More than an emotion born out of the mind. Feelings and emotions are driven and influenced by our physical well being and the events of life. Joy is not. Joy is a pinnacle experience - a soaring of the spirit, that brings our feelings and emotions along for the glorious flight. It's not something you feel as much as something you know. It comes over you, sometimes unexpectedly, and it comes like a flood.

        Before I found Christ, my experience with joy was limited. I know I experienced it when my first son, Jack, was born and I got to participate in the delivery. I held him in my hands at the instant of his birth and witnessed the miracle of his first breath and immediate declaration of his unhappiness with his new environment. I think Christ touched me at that moment, though I was unaware of His presence.

        After I found Christ, it seemed like joy found me often and at some of the most unexpected moments. I know it can happen in the best of times and the worst of times. I've known His Joy . . .

        . . . when in my darkest hour I heard His voice reassuring me of His love and the good that He had planned for me.

        . . . when I struggled to overcome some weakness or to accomplish some task God had set before me and I felt His pleasure with my imperfect but sincere efforts;

        . . . whenever I"ve used the talents God has given me to help a friend or loved one;

        . . . whenever I relived His birth at a Christmas play or His resurrection at an Easter pageant;

        . . . when our children accepted Christ and were baptized;

        . . . when I've praised Him unashamedly;

        . . . when I've prayed and felt the world grow quiet while He listened to me.

        Joy is a warm fire's light on the darkest night. It's a comforting shelter in a raging storm. It's being close to my Lord and discovering He's pleased to be close to me. It's the awareness of my Father's arms embracing me the instant I call out to Him. It's a mountaintop experience that doesn't need a mountain. It's something you can't really describe, but once you experience it you'll know. And once you know it, you won't ever want to be without it. It is eternal. It is part of our inheritance.

        Sheltered under His wings and
        overwhelmed by His love,
        Steve


        FIND JOY IN THE ORDINARY
        (Author - Max Lucado: www.maxlucado.com)

        We played every game we knew. We ran up and down the hall. We played "find me" behind the couch. We bounced the beach ball off each other's heads. We wrestled, played tag, and danced. It was a big evening for Mom, Dad, and little Jenna. We were having so much fun that we ignored the bedtime hour and turned off the T.V. And if the storm hadn't hit, who knows how late we would have played.

        But then the storm hit. Rain pattered, then tapped, then slapped against the windows. The winds roared in off the Atlantic and gushed through the nearby mountains with such force that all the power went off. The adjacent valley acted as a funnel, hosing wind on the city. We all went into the bedroom and lay on the bed. In the darkness we listened to the divine orchestra. Electricity danced in the sky like a conductor's baton summoning the deep kettledrums of thunder.

        I sensed it as we were lying on the bed. It blew over me mixed with the sweet fragrance of fresh rain. My wife was lying silently at my side. Jenna was using my stomach for her pillow. She, too, was quiet. Our second child, only a month from birth, rested within the womb of her mother. They must have sensed it, for no one spoke. It entered our presence as if introduced by God himself. And no one dared stir for fear it would leave prematurely.

        What was it? An eternal instant. An instant in time that had no time. A picture that froze in mid-frame, demanding to be savored. A minute that refused to die after sixty seconds. A moment that was lifted off the time line and amplified into a forever so all the angels could witness its majesty.

        An eternal instant. A moment that reminds you of the treasures surrounding you. Your home. Your peace of mind. Your health. A moment that tenderly rebukes you for spending so much time on temporal preoccupations such as savings accounts, houses, and punctuality. A moment that can bring a mist to the manliest of eyes and perspective to the darkest life.

        Eternal instants have dotted history. It was an eternal instant when the Creator smiled and said, "It is good." It was a timeless moment when Abraham pleaded for mercy from the God of mercy, "But if there are just ten faithful." I was a moment without time when Noah pushed open the rain-soaked hatch and breathed in the clean air. And it was a moment in the "fullness of time" when a carpenter, some smelly shepherds, and an exhausted, young mother stood in silent awe at the sight of the infant in the manger.

        Eternal instants. You've had them. We all have. Sharing a porch swing on a summer evening with your grandchild. Seeing her face in the glow of the candle. Putting your arm into your husband's as you stroll through the golden leaves and breathe the brisk autumn air. Listening to your six-year-old thank God for everything from goldfish to Grandma.

        Such moments are necessary because they remind us that everything is okay. The King is still on the throne and life is still worth living. Eternal instants remind us that love is still the greatest possession and the future is nothing to fear.

        The next time an instant in your life begins to be eternal, let it. Put your head back on the pillow and soak it in. Resist the urge to cut it short. Don't interrupt the silence or shatter the solemnity. You are, in a very special way, on holy ground.


        JOY IS COMING
        An old theologian once said, "Who chides a servant for taking away the first course of a feast when the second consists of far greater delicacies?" Who then can feel regret that this present world passes away when he sees that an eternal world of joy is coming? The first course is grace, but the second is glory, and that is as much better as the fruit is better than the blossom."

        Charles Haddon Spurgeon, "The Quotable Spurgeon"

        __________________________________________________

        Copyright © 1998 - 2010 by Stephen J. Hall - Notes from the Valley and Humor from the Valley are meant to brighten your day and encourage you along the way. If you are blessed by them, please feel free to make copies and pass them along to others. If you have something you'd like to contribute to a future edition, would like to ask a question or make a comment, please contact us at: steveh.rbis@...
        __________________________________________________

        Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it! I'm forever telling everyone how faithful you are. I'll never quit telling the story of your love . . . (Psalm 89:1-2 The Message)
      • Heather Hannam
        Steve, Here s where I found joy recently; thanks for the question. *`*`*`*`*`*`* @)~}~~~~ In Gratitudeo Heather *`*`*`*`*`*`* RESURRECTION IN THE OPEN TOMB
        Message 3 of 8 , Apr 16, 2010
        • 0 Attachment
          Steve, Here's where I found joy recently;  thanks for the question.
          *`*`*`*`*`*`*
          @)~}~~~~
          In Gratitudeo
             Heather
          *`*`*`*`*`*`*
           
          RESURRECTION IN THE OPEN TOMB
           
          Weeping, I went to find my Lord and heard, "Women, for whom are you looking?"
          And I saw the mundane, the ordinary, the gardener.
           
          Then you whispered my name, and my mind resonated with an energy that turned my body, seeking to hear it again.
           
          You had whispered my name, and my soul lifted, drawn to its Beloved.
           
          You whispered my name, and the heavy veil that had darkened my inner being dissolved, and your light spilled in.
           
          The echo of my name from your lips kissed my grieving heart, setting off a thousand explosions of love.
           
          Joy resurrected from my deepest space.
           
          My Master had found me.
           
          Heather Hannam 4/2010
           
           
           
          On Fri, 16 Apr 2010 21:50:31 -0000 "sossteve2005" <steveh.rbis@...> writes:
           


          ~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~

          NOTES FROM THE VALLEY
          April 18, 2010

          "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
          I will fear no evil for you are with me." Psalm 23.

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~

          WHERE DO YOU FIND JOY ?

          "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." John 15:11

          "I am coming to you now (Father), but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them." John 17:13 (NIV)

          Joy is more than a sensation felt by the body. More than an emotion born out of the mind. Feelings and emotions are driven and influenced by our physical well being and the events of life. Joy is not. Joy is a pinnacle experience - a soaring of the spirit, that brings our feelings and emotions along for the glorious flight. It's not something you feel as much as something you know. It comes over you, sometimes unexpectedly, and it comes like a flood.

          Before I found Christ, my experience with joy was limited. I know I experienced it when my first son, Jack, was born and I got to participate in the delivery. I held him in my hands at the instant of his birth and witnessed the miracle of his first breath and immediate declaration of his unhappiness with his new environment. I think Christ touched me at that moment, though I was unaware of His presence.

          After I found Christ, it seemed like joy found me often and at some of the most unexpected moments. I know it can happen in the best of times and the worst of times. I've known His Joy . . .

          . . . when in my darkest hour I heard His voice reassuring me of His love and the good that He had planned for me.

          . . . when I struggled to overcome some weakness or to accomplish some task God had set before me and I felt His pleasure with my imperfect but sincere efforts;

          . . . whenever I"ve used the talents God has given me to help a friend or loved one;

          . . . whenever I relived His birth at a Christmas play or His resurrection at an Easter pageant;

          . . . when our children accepted Christ and were baptized;

          . . . when I've praised Him unashamedly;

          . . . when I've prayed and felt the world grow quiet while He listened to me.

          Joy is a warm fire's light on the darkest night. It's a comforting shelter in a raging storm. It's being close to my Lord and discovering He's pleased to be close to me. It's the awareness of my Father's arms embracing me the instant I call out to Him. It's a mountaintop experience that doesn't need a mountain. It's something you can't really describe, but once you experience it you'll know. And once you know it, you won't ever want to be without it. It is eternal. It is part of our inheritance.

          Sheltered under His wings and
          overwhelmed by His love,
          Steve

          FIND JOY IN THE ORDINARY
          (Author - Max Lucado: www.maxlucado. com)

          We played every game we knew. We ran up and down the hall. We played "find me" behind the couch. We bounced the beach ball off each other's heads. We wrestled, played tag, and danced. It was a big evening for Mom, Dad, and little Jenna. We were having so much fun that we ignored the bedtime hour and turned off the T.V. And if the storm hadn't hit, who knows how late we would have played.

          But then the storm hit. Rain pattered, then tapped, then slapped against the windows. The winds roared in off the Atlantic and gushed through the nearby mountains with such force that all the power went off. The adjacent valley acted as a funnel, hosing wind on the city. We all went into the bedroom and lay on the bed. In the darkness we listened to the divine orchestra. Electricity danced in the sky like a conductor's baton summoning the deep kettledrums of thunder.

          I sensed it as we were lying on the bed. It blew over me mixed with the sweet fragrance of fresh rain. My wife was lying silently at my side. Jenna was using my stomach for her pillow. She, too, was quiet. Our second child, only a month from birth, rested within the womb of her mother. They must have sensed it, for no one spoke. It entered our presence as if introduced by God himself. And no one dared stir for fear it would leave prematurely.

          What was it? An eternal instant. An instant in time that had no time. A picture that froze in mid-frame, demanding to be savored. A minute that refused to die after sixty seconds. A moment that was lifted off the time line and amplified into a forever so all the angels could witness its majesty.

          An eternal instant. A moment that reminds you of the treasures surrounding you. Your home. Your peace of mind. Your health. A moment that tenderly rebukes you for spending so much time on temporal preoccupations such as savings accounts, houses, and punctuality. A moment that can bring a mist to the manliest of eyes and perspective to the darkest life.

          Eternal instants have dotted history. It was an eternal instant when the Creator smiled and said, "It is good." It was a timeless moment when Abraham pleaded for mercy from the God of mercy, "But if there are just ten faithful." I was a moment without time when Noah pushed open the rain-soaked hatch and breathed in the clean air. And it was a moment in the "fullness of time" when a carpenter, some smelly shepherds, and an exhausted, young mother stood in silent awe at the sight of the infant in the manger.

          Eternal instants. You've had them. We all have. Sharing a porch swing on a summer evening with your grandchild. Seeing her face in the glow of the candle. Putting your arm into your husband's as you stroll through the golden leaves and breathe the brisk autumn air. Listening to your six-year-old thank God for everything from goldfish to Grandma.

          Such moments are necessary because they remind us that everything is okay. The King is still on the throne and life is still worth living. Eternal instants remind us that love is still the greatest possession and the future is nothing to fear.

          The next time an instant in your life begins to be eternal, let it. Put your head back on the pillow and soak it in. Resist the urge to cut it short. Don't interrupt the silence or shatter the solemnity. You are, in a very special way, on holy ground.

          JOY IS COMING
          An old theologian once said, "Who chides a servant for taking away the first course of a feast when the second consists of far greater delicacies?" Who then can feel regret that this present world passes away when he sees that an eternal world of joy is coming? The first course is grace, but the second is glory, and that is as much better as the fruit is better than the blossom."

          Charles Haddon Spurgeon, "The Quotable Spurgeon"

          ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ __

          Copyright © 1998 - 2010 by Stephen J. Hall - Notes from the Valley and Humor from the Valley are meant to brighten your day and encourage you along the way. If you are blessed by them, please feel free to make copies and pass them along to others. If you have something you'd like to contribute to a future edition, would like to ask a question or make a comment, please contact us at: steveh.rbis@ sbcglobal. net
          ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ __

          Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it! I'm forever telling everyone how faithful you are. I'll never quit telling the story of your love . . . (Psalm 89:1-2 The Message)

           


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