Kathy Collard Miller

Kathy Collard Miller

Holiness Feels Like…What?

Hello from Kathy Collard Miller in the Southern California desert near Palm Springs where I’m feeling the heat.

Have you ever wondered what holiness feels like? Malachi 4:2 expresses what God might like us to experience when we see the fruits of holiness that he is producing in our lives: “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.”

Have you ever “leapt” in your spirit after recognizing that your trust in God had expanded to include forgiving someone who hurt you because you recognize how much you’ve been forgiven? Or giving grace by listening with understanding to a friend share a problem—even though she usually ignores you—because you’ve experienced God’s grace? Or resting calmly in a situation that normally drives you over the edge because you know God is in charge? Or being patient when your child spills milk at the dinner table for the third time because you know God has repeatedly been patient with you? We’re no longer fenced in and held in bondage by sinful patterns like worry, fear, selfishness, hate, resentment, and so many other binding things.

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JanetPerezEckles-Use

It was our favorite Mexican restaurant and hubby and I sat across the table from friends with whom we re-connected after decades.

And in the lively conversation a comment was made that jolted my senses. I positioned the wheelchair beside the table (I still couldn’t put weight on the foot with the broken bone). The comment came innocently, I’m sure. “Janet is blind and now lame,” he chuckled. “So… so much for this Jesus thing.”

Although it was a comment in jest, he had a point. Amigos, does the world think that when you become a Christ follower, life is perfect? Or does it mean that when you commit your life to Jesus, troubles end? Contracts flood in, and speaking engagements jam our calendars?

The answer is a resounding “no.” Life will not be perfect. But you will be perfectly equipped to face the fierce storms in life. And even when life is ugly, here are seven ways to know joy, true joy that plays the melody of confidence in the symphony of Jesus’ promises:

  1. Joy comes
    because we know His love will transcend all—blindness, illness, broken feet, broken hearts and broken plans.
  2. Joy comes
    because He promised to bring solutions we never dreamed.
  3. Joy fills
    our heart because loneliness is a foreign word. The constant whisper that God would never abandon us echoes while sweet sleep comes at night.
  4. Joy is ours
    because when the rest of the world is searching, looking and hungry for fulfillment Christ fills the void, feeds the spiritual hunger, and puts in place the piece that makes us whole.
  5.  Joy is complete because our purpose is defined: To Love God with all our mind, heart and soul and love one another. Love those who wound us, ridicule and insult us.
  6. Joy sings
    in our heart because this life is short, often dotted with trials, but we live in anticipation of the forever eternity promised to those to whom Jesus is their Lord.
  7. Joy is our promise
    Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, and you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy” (John 16:20).

Father, the joy you promise is the treasure that shines beyond setbacks, pain or troubles. For that gift, I praise and thank you in the name of your son Jesus, amen.

• Where do you find the joy that keeps you going?

• What is the force that ushers peace to your nights?

• Where do you turn in painful moments?

Janet Perez Eckles

Judson Press, 2011

Simply Salsa, Amazon Best-selling book

Grateful for the
privilege of inspiring you…

www.janetperezeckles.com

 

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Sherry Kyle headshotHi from the central coast of California. This is Sherry Kyle with a word of encouragment for you.

Psalm 28:7

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”

 

I love this verse.  It reminds me of the chorus to the children’s song:

“The joy of the Lord is my strength.” 

 

Do you remember singing that song in Sunday School when you were a child?  For those of you who didn’t grow up in a Christian home, those eight words are repeated four times in a simple melody.  Simple words with great impact! 

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Grace Fox here with a thought that's been on my mind lately.

Hebrews 7:25 encourages me, especially on days when I’m frustrated, discouraged, or doubt-filled. It says, “Therefore he (Jesus) is able once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.”

The thought of Jesus praying on His followers’ behalf excites me! My hunch is that He prays a lot more than, “God, please bless So-and-So today.” My sanctified imagination tells me His requests sound like…  

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Sherry Kyle headshot

Sherry Kyle, here, writing from my laptop in central California.

Do you feel tired today? Has the festivities of Christmas worn you out? Maybe you had a deadline on top of all the shopping, decorating, and baking this past month and you’re at the end of your rope. Or perhaps it’s been a dry season and you’re hoping for a new book contract. 

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