Saturday, December 31, 2016

After A While...

So this the beginning of the end, at least for now. I'm making some big cuts in 2017.

Many of you know the story of how I started blogging. If you don't click here

I have always had a desire to reach other woman and make their journey just a little easier, a little brighter. But first and foremost I am a mom before I am a blogger. One of the problems I have with my blog is that it is mainly tied to Facebook and well Facebook takes up too much of my time. I do have a few groups that I will continue to reach out to through it but I am cutting out most of my FB time. 

Also I am cutting my time on my phone. I have decided, as my goal for 2017, to look up. My kids need me 24/7 and I really hate that too many times I have to say. "Hold on honey, let me send this message." So, I will only be using my phone during their quiet time/nap time and at nights. I don't want my kids to grow up with a picture of their mom looking down at her phone all the time. 

Lastly, I just haven't really had time to write. I will continue to guest blog on Living On PB & J but for now I feel like it's time to take a break. 
After a while, Joy 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Merry Christmas

I hope each of you have a wonderful Christmas. 

This season is a time to celebrate HIM. Between Jesus' sacrificial birth, God's love for us and the angels crying out "PEACE ON EARTH," there is nothing more beautiful than Christmas.

Merry Christmas, sweet friends. God bless each of you. - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, November 14, 2016

My Job or My Ministry

"No Christian should have a job!"

These words caught me off guard.

Wait, what about this:  "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:" - Proverbs 6:6

Of course, this is not what the speaker was referring to.

He continued....

"No Christian should have a job, they should have a ministry."

This thought really sparked my interest.

How many times have you heard of a young person saying "when I grow up, I want to be..."

What about, "I think that best way I could minister to people is through 'this career'."

The latter statement is what this missionary was encouraging us to think and do.

He encouraged us to not get jobs to give us ___________, but to have a job that provides our needs so that we can further the gospel.

What job will give you the most opportunity to witness? 

What job will provide for my needs without demanding all of my time, time that can be used to further the gospel? 

What gifts do I have that I can use to further the gospel? 

What job will help me use these gifts? 

When we have extra time and money, will we use it to further the gospel?

These are not accusations, they are just thoughts to help reassess life.

Let me ask you a convicting thought....

  Do you have a job or a ministry? - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, October 31, 2016

When You Can Do Nothing...

"I'm scared"

"I think I'm going to die..."

"My husband is at work and my baby and I are alone at home."

"The storm is supposed to be the largest ever to hit..."

These were all messages and texts I was receiving. Hurricane Matthew was getting stronger and stronger. The forecast was not looking good AT ALL.  I prayed and pleaded with God to spare my friends and my Florida town but the storm just kept coming. 

I called my father-in-law and asked him to go west but he was determined not to leave his 80-year-old brother behind.  I called other friends and urged them to get to a safe place, but some of them flat out refused.  My heart was breaking and I felt frozen with nothing I could offer.  My husband came home from work to find a wife with swollen eyes; when he saw me, he just put his arms around me and I wept uncontrollably.  He kept asking what was wrong, but I couldn't speak. 

When I finally settled down, he asked if someone had died and I replied "Not yet."  I was so emotional and so not trusting the Rock on Whom I could stand. 

Have you ever been in that place?  Have you been so overwhelmed by "the storm" that you shook in fear and cried in agony.  Maybe your storm is a broken relationship or a health diagnosis. 

Well, my storm just kept on coming; when it came near to my Florida town, it was like the Lord put His hand between the storm and the shore and protected the land. 

Now, I know that this isn't what happens in every storm.  Many times, He allows the storm to hit ...and hit hard.  The end of the story is not always like this one. 

God knew.  He knew the whole time, what was going to happen. ...He knew that my little town of friends was going to be OK. 

I walked away thinking.  "WOW, just wow. I spent a week of my life WASTED. I fretted and cried and worried and wasted that week.  Instead I could have prayed and left the burden with God.  I could have trusted in Him for the outcome. but instead I wasted that week."

Even if the outcome was going to be bad, God knew and God could/would have walked me through that circumstance. 

This is a very personal story and I thought about not sharing but it's been a lesson to me and I hope this encourages you to not do as I did. 

Sweet lady, your storm may have a very different face, but the One Who created the weather can control your storm.  He will walk you through it, He will hold you when you need to be held.  He will be there.  So, when you can do nothing else, pray.  Leave your burden at His feet and REST in the fact that He has got it.  It is under control. - Rejoicing in the Present

Friday, October 28, 2016

Please Look Up

A few months ago, I found a Groupon for an indoor trampoline park.  It looked like it would be fun and the price was just right.  I bought it.  Because of the transition we've been experiencing, it's been sitting in my account for a little bit.  Finally, we had an afternoon free and we picked up A's cousin and headed to the park. 

Inside the building there were 5 areas where the kids could jump.  Right in the front middle area, there were couches and chairs spread out, with moms and dads sitting in them. 

I started getting the kids ready to jump, when Jer made a comment that made me raise my head.  I looked up and saw what he was talking about. 

Nearly every parent in that room was looking down at their phones.  I wish I could have taken a picture. This wasn't one or two parents, we are talking more like 15-20.

There were lots of kids jumping and having fun, but the parents didn't see it.  In fact, they were missing out on the opportunity to play and enjoy the time they had with their kids. The parents could have gotten in and jumped with their kids but instead their heads were all down. 

Well, we decided to have fun.  Jer showed the kids tricks. The kids copied Daddy and laughed with Mommy.  We played dodge ball in the dodge-ball pit.  We learned how to jump off the walls and flip into the big blown- up pillow.  It was a really fun night that I will remember for a long time. 

Now before, I get any "hate" mail, let me say, I do understand, Moms.  I do know that sometimes you have work to do.  I do understand that sometimes it's better to take the kids to a park while you work instead of the kids watching TV at home.  I get it.  I understand that sometimes you are so exhausted after a long day of work and you just want your kids to have fun while you relax.  I get that.  Sometimes you have to do what you have to do...

But, I also see lots of kids today are given toys instead of time. 

I also see lots of kids who are being taught to look down instead of out. 

I see parents who work all year long to take a 1-week "once-in-a-lifetime" vacation.  It doesn't makes sense.  

There are seasons in life. I totally get it. If you have to work so that there is food on your table tonight, keep on mom. You are are doing well. 

BUT, there are cuts that WE CAN make.

There is so much more than that game on your phone or your social media friends. There is more...

There is a child that is bouncing up and down on that trampoline with a huge smile and a heart that wants to be seen.  

There is a child who fell down and needs to be picked up and kissed.  

There is a child being bullied by some kids. 

Did you you see them?

Those pictures on Instagram are not always real life. Those DIY projects on Pinterest can fail you.  That game doesn't need to be won.  That phone call can wait. That comment doesn't need to be shared at this moment. 



up and out, 

the real world awaits. - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, October 24, 2016

Global Soccer Mom

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I had the privileged of obtaining some extra cuddle time with my daughter during a recent illness. As she lay sleeping next to me, I read GLOBAL SOCCER MOM.

The story is about a mom, Shayne Moore, who was an advocate with ONE, a program fighting to end extreme poverty and fight HIV+/AIDS on a global level. As with any book you read, you have to chew the meat and spit out the bones. However, the overall message of the book was that we moms can do something and should do "something".

One of the thoughts that saddened my heart was from a conversation she related. She was commenting to a friend that the church was not going to be the one to be able to bring in billions of dollars to overturn poverty. It was going to take the globe to overturn it.  I thought sadly about this statement and wondered why we haven't at least made a bigger dent.  Why do we need welfare?  Why do we need the government stepping in?  Why haven't we done more?

So what can we do?

As I mentioned in previous blogs, I believe our family is our highest calling, so we must first make sure that that is in order.  

Also, I mentioned about being intentional. We can also be intentional when it comes to ministry. This is where that comes into play.

Take your kids on a missions trip.  Yep, I said it and Yes I have done it.  It's hard on the family but it's important that your children see what is going on in the world.  I TRULY believe that EVERY child needs to go on at least 1 missions trip before they leave the home.  One of my HUGEST blessings in life, is that I have had the opportunity to go to Mexico, The Bahamas, South Africa, Zambia, Ireland and Great Britain on missions trips. 

Here is an idea: Instead of saving up for a cruise or a Disney vacation, save up for a missions trip.  The latter will be much more fulfilling.

Have your family serve in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, volunteer at a Ronald McDonald House near you.  Take meals to shut-ins and teach your children to be a blessing to the elderly.

Give your children a world-view.  When they are old enough to handle the information, give them statics.  Show them sin and the result of sin.  Help them to learn to love people no matter their sinful lifestyle.

We have a family in our church who serves in a poverty stricken area every summer. The mom is a nurse and she takes her two teenage children while the dad stays home with the other children. They are using their gifts for the Lord. This is intentional

Pack a shoebox for Samaritans Purse.  

Sponsor a child, foster or even adopt a child.

There are so many things that we can do to help change the world.  If we ALL did a LITTLE, we could make a HUGE dent.

We don't have to everything, just do something.  If we would all get on board and be the hands and feet of Jesus, the world would be a different and better place. -Rejoicing in the Present

Friday, October 21, 2016

Intentional Mommy

We LOVE books and there are TONS of books. We may (or may not) have too many.  :-)  but, seriously, I love that my kids love books.

So, let's just say that we read A LOT.  In fact, just this summer we were trying to hit the library goal for the year of 1000 books and, instead, hit 400 in about six weeks.

...but while reading, it hit me that it wasn't about quantity, but quality.

This was about the time that I started investing in Max Lucado's children's books as well as some other Bible or Christian-character-building books.

I want my kids to enjoy reading.  I want them to enjoy silly books, BUT what I want even more is for them to be fed spiritually.

It hit me that I needed to be intentional.

What they read, what they hear, what they do, I have to be an intentionally gospel-minded mom.

This means that my parenting comes from a foundation of the Bible.

For instance, when I discipline, I try to use scripture so they hear God and not me.

When we read, I want them to have seeds planted in them to love, to share, to have compassion and, mostly, to know the One Who loves them and died for them.

When we sing, I want them to hear about God and to hear of His love for them. I want them to worship Him and to intimately know Him.

When we do ministry together, I want them to see people the way God does.  I want to teach them to love and give.

As an intentional mommy, I do lots of giggles, tickling and silly songs. We do kisses, hugs and cuddles but DO LOVE.  We do "crazy" and we do "silly" but we also do "intentional".

Mommies, we can get distracted by all the books, the silly songs and the movies out there (and let me say there is a time and place for some of them). But we need to make sure that we are intentional about our children hearing the most important truths in life.

Proverbs 22:6 says that we are to train up our child.  Training takes work.  It takes intentional focus.

How are we being intentional today? - Rejoicing in the Present

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My Calling

I started this post months ago but just never could pull together my heart on this issue. Then, it all finally came together, but in a really different way.

My daughter woke up early Sunday morning vomiting; because I couldn't sleep and she wanted to be held, I decided, while I held her, to read a book, GLOBAL SOCCER MOM, which I will discuss in another blog.  As I read about this soccer mom who was fighting AIDS, the desire to do "something more" stirred in me again.

Ironically before I went to sleep the night before, I had read the article When You Want To Do Great Things for God and He Keeps Calling You to Be a Mom.

So, with both of these thoughts clashing in my brain, I simply let my memories and thoughts take over.

I thought about the sweet chubby little princess in my arms who was battling a fever and just needed her mommy.

I remembered my months in Africa as a single missionary.

I thought of my sweet son who was learning and growing in Kindergarten.

I thought of my desires to be "Run Ma Run," William Carey or a Katie Davis, (a superhero for the cause of Christ.) 

I thought of Susanna Wesley, the mother of Charles Wesley and John Wesley. ...and I let my mind sit.

She taught her children.

She helped provide for them.

She cared for them.

She fought for them.

She was an intentional mom.

You see, God called her to something great.  ->  It was motherhood.

Moms, I know, I  looks like another load of laundry.  It looks like another meal.  It looks like another child's book, read for the tenth time.

...but Mommy, it is more...

Proverbs 31 says "She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.... 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her." Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Oh, my dear moms, it is so much more.  Motherhood is a HUGE calling. These kiddos are our next generation.  You may be raising a John Wesley, a Katie Davis, a Hudson Taylor or a Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  You never know.

So, instead of ministering at church and reaching into other people's lives, T & I sat and cuddled. We watched her favorite songs on YouTube like Jesus Loves Me and we sang. We read a whole basket of books and we worshiped Jesus together.

It was beautiful!

It was and is my highest calling.  I love ministry.  I enjoy working but my children are God's assignment to me.  If they are not getting the care they need, then I need to step down from my other positions.

THIS is my calling. - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, October 10, 2016

Love and Law

You see two extremes in church culture.  Some have even given names to the extremes--liberals and fundamentalists.  Basically, there are the ones who love with no rules OR there are those who rule with no love. 

Both extremes have positives.  

Loving is important and keeping God's commandments are important. BUT, did you know that they are both equal?  IN FACT, did you know that God equates them to each other.
"If ye love me, keep my commandments." - John 14:15

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: - John 14:21

"If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." - John 15:10

I don't know which one you lean toward.  You may lean more to following and enforcing rules OR you may lean toward lawless love.  However, I would encourage you to be balanced. 

We must follow the commands that God has given us, out of the love that we have toward Him.  We must also love others with the sacrificial love He has bestowed on us and teach those in our care the commands that He wants us to follow.

So what's the plan?

Know what his laws are.

"And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment." - 1 John 3:23

The most basic way to wrap it up is to love God and love everyone else (including your enemies). ...with the commands that He gives us.  What are His commands? You can read the most basic commands in Exodus 20 and Jesus' teaching in the gospels.  But His commands are spread though out the Bible, so my best suggestion is to READ the BIBLE.  Ask God to show you his commands and He will. 

Let there be a balance.  Love God AND follow His commands. - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, October 3, 2016

Love One Another

In his commentary on Galatians 6:10, Jerome tells a famous story of "blessed John the evangelist" in extreme old age at Ephesus. He asked to be carried into the congregation in the arms of his disciples and was unable to say anything except,
"Little children, love one another."
At last, wearied that he always spoke the same words, they asked: "Master, why do you always say this?"
"Because," he replied, "it is the Lord's command, and if this only is done, it is enough. Stories about John (Kelly Minter, What Love is)

To Love Is Enough

I want that phrase to really sink in. If we can just get it right about loving everyone, the rest will fall into place. 
Your relationship with your coworkers-How would love change that situation?
What if you truly sacrificially loved your husband? How would your marriage change?
In your neighborhood? 

The family-less foster child? 

That person who looks, smells and believes differently than you? 
Do you unconditionally love them?
Before we go on, I must state something important. Love is not tolerance for sin, but it is tolerance for the people. It is not saying that you are ok with a sinful lifestyle, but it is saying that you are ok with that person. It is not saying that you push aside truth; it does mean that you embrace the person and the person that God created him/her to be. 
This also doesn't mean that you allow sin-happy people to become your best friends or let them influence you. What it does mean is that you reach into their lives, praying for them, befriending them, encouraging them and doing acts of kindness. 
We see so many illustrations of Jesus, the friend of sinners, who often stopped what He was doing to reach out to the unlovely like, as in Luke 18:35-43.  He sat with sinners in Mark 2 and simply gave truth while everyone else judged (John 8:1-11). And, of course, we can't miss His sacrificially death and resurrection for all sinners. 
So as a Christ-follower, how are you sacrificially, unconditionally loving? 
Because my dear friend, to love is enough. - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, September 26, 2016

I want to be GREAT!

Have you ever watched little children get in line?  Many of them will be fighting to be the "line leader."  They push and shove to get to the front.  Often you even see this with adults.  Just turn on the news and watch the presidential election campaigns.

... but leaders are not those who slander others to build themselves up. They are not those who shove others aside to get to the top. This is childish behavior and we must reject it.

Sadly, this is not new to our generation.  We see conflict and strife in Luke 22:24-27.  The disciples were fighting to be #1.  They all wanted to be the greatest, but Jesus stopped them.

He says in verse 26, "but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the youngest (meaning least); and he that is chief, as he that does serve"."

...and then, to add fuel to the fire, He adds in verse 27 "...but I am among you as He that serveth."



You can't ignore that one.

If you want to lead........ serve!

I have been blessed to be in churches over the years where the pastors didn't think it below themselves to serve.  You might see one of them cleaning a toilet, setting up chairs or staying late next to the hospital bed of a sick patient.

"To lead a church is to serve it." - Kelly Minter

This is true leadership.

If you want to be a great boss, serve your employees.

If you want to be a great pastor, serve your congregation.

If you want to be a great mom, serve your family.

You want to be a leader?  Dear friend, SERVE.

We will never be great, until our focus is off of our selves and on to our great GOD and those around us. Let's plan to serve someone this very day! - Rejoicing in the Present.

Friday, September 23, 2016


...Ok, so I know what you are thinking.  I moved to TN and now I need "big hair". 

Well, yes, I did move to Tennessee, BUT, no, I still have regular mom-hair and pretty much NEVER use hairspray ON MY HAIR. 

However, as of late, I have been using hairspray DAILY.

My sweet lil "T" has decided that she enjoys writing on the couches. 

Oh, yes. 

Since we started Avery's school, she has really been getting into the school supplies.  A few days ago, I stepped out of the room to use the bathroom and came back to artwork ALL OVER the back of couch. Then, a day later, I gave her a pen and board to write on while we were doing school and she decided to walk over to the other couch and decorate it. 

She knows. She has been corrected. She had guilt written all over her face, but yet she still did it.  (Sounds like us adults, sometimes, right???)

Well, anyway, this is where hairspray comes in handy.  Hair spray is AMAZING at getting ink out.  It is definitely my GO-TO product whenever "T" starts decorating my furniture. 

  • I spray. 
  • Leave it for a minute. 
  • Wipe/Scrub. 
  • Then I spray again. 
  • After the ink is mostly gone, I use water to finish the job and get the stickiness out. 
The "artistic" 2s can be trying, but hairspray saved the day again. ,If it weren't for "T", those poor hairspray cans would get awful lonely.  I'm sure she is glad to help. - Rejoicing in the Present

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


My husband and I love to tease, tickle and wrestle with the little kiddos.  Often they will run to the other parent screaming “Poe-tect” ME!!!!   It’s funny to see them run to the one with the most power and then turn around with confidence and continue the fight.

Priscilla Shirer gives a similar story in her book ARMOR OF GOD.  She tells us a story about her boys playing around with her and wrestling her to the ground…

“…sometimes one of them will spring from around a corner, nestle a shoulder into my waistline and sling me, flailing and begging, over his shoulder. His brothers will laugh hysterically while I’m hauled to the sofa, tossed onto the cushions, and then forcibly pinned down, no hope of escape."

Later on in the chapter she writes. “At some point during my wrestling matches with the boys, when I’ve been thoroughly subdued despite my best efforts at fighting back, their father will appear, ready to save and rescue me. The sight of his looming six-foot-three-inch frame will send all the younger Shirer men careening in a million different directions. All of a sudden, I’m free and back on my feet. Not because I’m particularly strong – in fact I’m not as strong as my boys are becoming but because I’m in a relationship with someone who is."

Ladies, did you get that last statement?!?!?!  We are NOT able to fight the devil and his helpers because we are so witty or so strong.  You are not truly free from your addictions because you just woke up and decided to get over them.

The only way for TRUE victory is because i have the power of the ONE who can actually do something about it.

Ladies, there is victory.  We can win!!!! …but we can’t do it alone. It’s all about our Partner.

In Ephesians 1:18-21 and 3:14-19, the Bible speaks to us about the power and the riches He has for us.  It’s not that if we pray we will get them. I t is that THEY ARE ALREADY THERE.  We just need to have our eyes opened and see that they are there.

I want to give you a challenge.  I want you to vow to pray these scriptures over your life every day for at least a week.

Pray that God would open your eyes and that you would see his power and truly know the love He has for you.

Ladies, God is right there ready to empower us, to surround us with His love, to show us what He has planned for us.  Will I take the challenge? Will you pray this over your life and those around you?  I can promise that if we truly desire this, God will answer because this is a YES prayer.  I have already seen Him work in my life. Will you join me??? - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, September 12, 2016


Beth Moore

Priscilla Shirer

Nancy Lee DeMoss

Lysa TerKeurst

These are all great woman who have encouraged me to grow closer to God through His Scripture and through Bible study.

I have other friends and family who have influenced me as well.  There are some that are still in my life and others who have gone on to heaven or to other ministries.

But what is amazing about each of these people is not themselves.  It is the One they serve.  You see, if we took God out of these people, there would be no reason to read their books or listen to their advice.

I am not a follower of man, I am a follower of God. 

I am grateful for their walks and examples.  I am grateful for their advice, encouragement and godly wisdom.  I am a fan of their work, but I am a follower of God.

What about you?  Who encourages you?  Who brings you closer to the Lord?  And, ultimately, who are you following? I would love to hear your comments. Feel free to comment below. - Rejoicing

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Everyone Can Do Something

Everyone can do something…

While we were still deciding whether we were going to take the offer of a position at our present church, there was a question and answer time with the church.  One of the questions that was asked of me was whether my health could withstand the demands of the ministry.  This was a very legitimate question as I do have some health issues.

How I responded to that question was this:  I minister wherever I am.  If I had energy, I could be up and around and involved in what was going on.  If I was exhausted, I could sit and talk to someone.  If I was bedridden, I could send emails or blog some encouraging thought the Lord has given me. I didn’t/don’t have to be in perfect health to be used as the hands and feet of Jesus.

In fact, as I write this, it is 3:19 in the morning. My husband and son are asleep next to me. My daughter is asleep in her room. …and yet, I can not sleep. I  tried to sleep but I just couldn’t. I decided I just wasn’t going to waste my night, tossing and turning. So here I am, with this thought to share.

...and the more I think about this subject, the more I believe, that most people believe that their ministry is the one that the church hands out to them. Maybe it’s nursery on Sunday night, ushering on Sunday morning OR maybe it’s the children’s class they teach.

What if your health can not allow you to faithfully be involved?  What if there are no open positions available? What can you do?

There is good news!!!

There is something for everyone.

Remember that some of Paul’s greatest letters were just that. They were letters. They were letters written from prison. He is still ministering to us today and yet he was not in church.

Our pastor is a quadraplegic and I’m sure some have thought that He could not do what He is doing. But yet, when we are weak, the Lord is made strong. Pastor Bobby’s ministry is touching many and he is exactly what we need at such a time as this.

So, what are your weaknesses? What are your strengths?

Are you bedridden? Are you sick?
Write letters of encouragement. Spend extra time praying specifically for everyone around you. Send emails and texts to your loved ones. Be a light in your community (those that you see often). This may be the doctors, nurses and patients around you.

Do you lack energy? Are you not able to be standing, serving or teaching?
Invite people (notice I didn’t say friends) to your house or to a local area. Sit down and listen to their stories. Just listen. Then speak truth into their lives. Give them Scripture for their struggles and gospel for everyday life.  You don’t have to have a lot of energy, you just have to sit, listen and speak, when the Lord leads.

For the one who feels she just don’t fit into the regular church ministry positions (or maybe all of them are full).  There are loads of things that you can do. Here are some ideas…
1.    Adopt a family. Pray for them. Remember them during special holidays. Invite them over to your house. Be a blessing to them. Invest in their lives.
2.    Invite families over every week/month. Depending on how often you can do this, invite a different family over every week/month. Get to know their stories. Open your home to them. Bless them with hospitality.
3.    Be benevolent. Find out who are the widows, single moms and others who are struggling. Buy groceries for them. Pray for them. Go out of your way to help them when you can. Offer to help by mowing their yard, maybe even cleaning their home or doing other tasks for them.
4.    Pray for your church family.  Pray specifically for each one.
5.    Love on your neighbors. Reach out to your community. Remember them with a gift at Christmas; take over cookies and a smile. Wave at them when you drive by. Get to know them. Be a light to them. Pray for them.
6.    Nursing home ministry. Go to an area nursing home and ask for permission to love on the older folks there. If you can sing, gather them around the piano and sing some of their favorite hymns. Go talk to them. Spend time with them. Pray for them.

Simply just care about people around you.

Look at what you can’t do, acknowledge that and be okay with that.

Then look at where you are and what you can do and DO IT!!!

Be the hands and feet of Jesus, whether you are laying down, sitting and or standing up. – Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, September 5, 2016

God can Use the Rocks.

In Luke 19:35-40, we find Jesus riding a donkey through the streets and the people praising Him.  The Pharisees cried out for it to be stopped, but Jesus replied, "I tell you, that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."

This is a good reminder that God does not need us to do His ministry.  He wants us and knows usefulness is best for us, but He can use rocks... and at times I'm sure they might be easier to use.

One of the blessings I have seen over the years is how God fills the gaps.  I dislike change and I hate seeing people come and go in the ministry but transition can be very good.  As of yet, I haven't seen a ministry (upon whom was God's hand) fall completely apart because a person left.  I have only seen how God finds replacements.  Usually there is growth and stretching, but more people end up being involved. 

We had a super-woman secretary at our church for years in Florida whom my family loved.  However, she felt called to move.  We were all quite undone and didn't know how her spot was going to be filled.  She was missed but the Lord used several faithful woman who volunteered throughout the week and a young man who was an assistant to the Pastor.  Quite a few woman took ownership of their new ministry position and the Lord grew them. 

I was one of the volunteers and really enjoyed that time.  I learned new programs and grew close to those I worked with.

When we knew that the Lord was calling us to TN, I started consciously working on finding replacements. One of the programs I started was a mentoring program for the girls that I would counsel.  I partnered up a young adult with each teenager so that each girl would have a strong Christian influence in her life who could love on her and encourage her after we were gone.

I recently talked to one of my friends who is one of those mentors and she reminded me that, because we moved and this program was started, the young adult women now had a new opportunity for growth. 

I have talked to several friends from FL and I am so encouraged by the stories of how the church is thriving.  Praise the Lord. 

This all just reminds me...
  1.  ...that God doesn't need me. It is an opportunity to serve for Him. You can't do anything more valuable then investing in eternity.
  2. ...that transition is hard, but with death, moving and other life changes, God ALWAYS has a plan. God may be moving you out of the way, so that He can grow someone else. Here's a thought: What if God moved us to another church, so that He could grow a whole bunch of His children? How awesome is that!!
  3. always trust God. He's got it.
As I finish up, I just want to clarify something. This article is not for the un-engaged Christian, who needs an excuse for not serving. This is for a tender heart who just doesn't understand what God is doing and to encourage that one to keep going.  Don't make the rocks do your work.  Live for eternity! - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, August 29, 2016

Passionately Praying

"The reason we do not have praying churches is because we do not have praying people." - Pastor Bobby

This statement got my attention as I was sitting in church one Sunday morning.  I often wonder why so many churches are dead and why there isn't much talk of revival spreading.  But then again, I am reminded that churches are made of people, people like me.

What am I doing to bring about change?  Do we have a passion to see souls saved? Do you have zeal for the ministry? Do I desire a deeper relationship with Him?

How is my prayer life?

How is your prayer life?

Pastor Bobby went on to share from Scripture how we ought to pray.

These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. - Acts 1:14

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. - Acts 2:42

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. - Acts. 6:4

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; - Romans 12:12

Pray without ceasing. - I Thess. 5:17

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints - Eph 6:18

Does this reflect my prayer life?

Do you talk to God about everything? Are we continually living in a spirit of prayer?  Am I praying with fellow believers? When a situation arises, do we go instantly to the One who can do something about it?

One of my favorite scriptures on prayer is the story that is told in Luke 18. The story is of a judge who grants a widow her request because of her constant nagging.

In verse 5 the judge grants her wishes, "lest by her continual coming she weary me."

Let me ask you, Have you wearied God with your problems? Do we passionately cry out to him, over and over again? 

Cry out to him, asking specifically for what you want Him to do.  Ask for His heart on these matters and remember what he says in Luke 18:1 "that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;"

Let's take back our churches. Let's fill them with revival and praying people and let's each start with ourselves. - Rejoicing in the Present

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Packing Tip #4

TIP #4  - Don't be afraid to ask for help.

The very idea of packing up my whole house and moving was overwhelming to me.  After talking to my family, my sister offered to fly down and help.  In ONE WEEK we were able to pack up the whole house (not including everyday stuff, like clothes, toiletries and food).

Just having someone at my side, encouraging me to go through junk, throw away stuff, organize and pack the rest of it was a HUGE help.   She really saved the day in all of this and I'm super grateful for her. 

There have also been others who have helped us.  My parents had a friend from their church who flew down and drove the moving truck up for us so we could drive our cars. We had people who volunteered to help clean, and even a dear friend who replaced a broken window so that we could sell our house.

Don't try to do it all yourself.  

Offer some pizza and ask your friends to come help!  #movingparty

I hope you enjoyed the packing tips. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to leave them below in the comments. - Rejoicing in the Present

Friday, August 19, 2016

Packing Tip #3


Now, I could be wrong on this, but for me, it was cheaper to get my supplies at a couple different places rather than all at the same place.

Online Uhaul had a "deal" for a 4 bedroom household for 389.66. It has alot of boxes and equipment, but I didn't need all of what they were offering.

So I spent about $100 on boxes and then went to to get my labels, bubble wrap, stretch wrap, paper, tape gun and tape. 
Between the two places, I got more then I needed for a total of about $200.
Yes, it's easier to get it all at once, but you might not need all of what they are offering AND you can spend more money on specific things that really do help. 

For me, the things that I LOVE LOVE LOVED were the stretch wrap, and labels.   See what works for you!

Do some research.  Pinterest has some great posts and ideas as well. - Rejoicing in the Present

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Packing Tip #2

Imagine you're at the front door of your new home and people are helping you unload.  They are walking in with your boxes. 

Every three seconds they are asking WHERE the boxes go.  It can be a confusing, frustrating mess but it doesn't have it be

Image result for Saurus Home Moving Labels, 4-bedroom House, 14 Rolls, 50 Labels Per Living Space, 14 Different Colors, 700 Total Labels, 1" Height X 4.5" Width, Color Coding LabelsOne of the best things that happened to us were these labels.  Saurus Home Moving Labels.

We placed one on each box. When the boxes were delivered, all the workers had to do is look at the label to see where the box was supposed to go.

It went great! We actually were not even at the house, when our stuff was delivered. My sister and mom led the operation and they did a wonderful job.  

Another tip for coordinating your boxes is using different colored duct tape for each room. Example: Red for the Kitchen, Pink for the bedroom, flowers for the living room, and camo for the kitchen. 

BUT, I still like the Saurus labels better because you don't have to remember the color code AND they are easy to peel and stick.  I hope this helps - Rejoicing in the Present