Transformation Garden - Jan. 16, 2010

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"As they were coming home, when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the Israelite towns, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul with timbrels, songs of joy, and instruments of music." 
I Samuel 18: 6, Amplified Bible

EXPLORATION:

"Songs of Joy"

"Joy is prayer - joy is strength - joy is love - joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls…A joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love." 
Mother Teresa

Is there joy in my heart today?

How can I express heaven's joy to those around me?

"O to share the great, sunny, joyous life of the earth!  To be as happy as the birds are! As contented as the cattle on the hills! As the leaves of the trees that dance and rustle in the wind! As the waters that murmur and sparkle to the sea!" 
John Burroughs

INSPIRATION:

"The Bible talks plentifully about joy…happiness depends on what happens; joy does not.  Remember, Jesus Christ had joy, and He prays ‘that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves.'" 
Oswald Chambers

Beginning with the Israelites' successful crossing of the Red Sea when Miriam, the prophetess, led a choir of women in songs of joy at the deliverance God had brought to the streets of Israelite villages where women joyously lauded the victory of their king over the Philistines we consistently find it is the voices of women who have the power to bring rejoicing into the lives of those surrounding them.

Unfortunately, I believe that as women in modern society have been put into the position of having to juggle more and more, one characteristic which has often been lost in the shuffle is the spirit of joy.

After the victory over the Philistines, the women of Israel came out into the streets, celebrating God's blessing with joyous gratitude that you can feel as you read the words in I Samuel 18.

In a world plagued by so many problems, we are either too busy to take time to express joy or we are too tired to force ourselves to exude joy or last but not least, we're too sad and depressed to let rejoicing come forth from our dry, parched hearts.

This is why I believe that when we sing songs like, "Joy To The World," you and I need to remember, joy is promised to us as a gift.  The Apostle Paul calls joy a gift of the Spirit!  And as author Jerry L. Mercer describes, this gift of joy has three dimensions: "Joy is the assurance of faith that we are acceptable to God and that God's good providences are working on our behalf.  This joy is an inner calm produced by confidence in God.  It is untouched by outward circumstances and is not diminished by pain and sorrow."

I never understood the potential we as women have to bring joy into the world until I was married and there was another person living with me every day.  Being a very joyous person came naturally to me.  And through the years Jim and I have been together, I've found that my joyful spirit, not only lifts the spirit of those around me, but it also brings great rejoicing into my own life.  We as women can act like aromatic perfume, filling the space around us with the fragrance of heavenly joy.

Maybe girls, you're thinking, "Well, can't men be joyful, too?"  And the answer is, "Absolutely, yes!"  However, the gift of joy, as I have witnessed in real-life experiences, and further, as expressed in the Bible, is a special gift we as women are uniquely qualified to share, for we bring new lives into the world, and nothing could be more joyous than a child's birth.

If your life right now is burdened, if all around you there are ominous clouds of sorrow, heartache and pain, take a few moments to draw into your life the song of a bird, the rustling of the wind in the pines, the song of a flowing creek, and the twinkling music sent from the stars in the sky - all free gifts of joy from God for you to pass on to others today.

"Today, whatever may annoy, 
The word for me is Joy, 
Just simple joy." 
John Bangs

AFFIRMATION:

"The Joy of It All"

"O Thou Creator of all things that are, I lift up my heart in gratitude to Thee for this day's happiness: For the mere joy of living:
For all the sights and sounds around me;
For the sweet peace of the country and the pleasant bustle of the town;
For all things bright and beautiful:
For friendship and good company; 
For work to perform and the skill and strength to perform it: 
For a time to play when the day's work was done, and for a glad heart to enjoy it." 
John Baillie

Your friend, 
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author 
When A Woman Meets Jesus 
Dorothy@Transformationgarden.com

P.S.  My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian.  You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $10.00.

If you would like to purchase When A Woman Meets Jesus at discount for your Women's Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please call: 1-888-397-4348. 

For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.

 
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