Victorious Action: Holding the Baby Jesus!

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts” (Luke 2: 25-27).

What is the Holy Spirit revealing to you today? Do you realize God is looking to and fro throughout the earth looking for sold out hearts and minds? He is searching for those folks who want to do His will whole-heartedly and are listening to the Holy Spirit. He is looking for someone to bless just as He did Simeon. Simeon was described as righteous and devout in the Bible for generations to read. He listened and noticed when the Holy Spirit was moving. Then, he OBEYED! He had the opportunity to hold the consolation of Israel, the comforter, as the baby Jesus in his arms.

During the Christmas season, will you continue to look to Jesus, your comforter? Or, will you keep yourself so busy in holiday wrapping and trappings, that you miss Him?

Will you allow yourself to feel the wonder of His miracle birth anew? Will you rejoice as the shepherds did as the angels announced the King of Kings birth? I sure pray so!

Will you hold the baby Jesus in your arms and then let Him hold you in return? If you’ll do so, you will have peace, joy and contentment knowing He is with you and He is for YOU!

Holly LaChappell - Victorious Mom, Victorious Daughter Have a blessed Christmas, opening and receiving the BEST gift ever… Jesus Christ!

{excerpt from Holly’s new daily devotional book, “Victorious Mom, Victorious Daughter”} Order online: http://www.amazon.com  or http://www.christianbooks.com

Joy or Junk-Filled Focus? {Part 2}

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  (photo credit) liljorochtulpaner.blogspot.com

Matthew 3:17 God and Jesus receive great joy in their relationship!

And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” God and Jesus delight in each other and value their relationship so much!

Do we truly value our relationship with the Trinity?

Romans 15:13 “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Col. 1:11 “We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy!”

Do any of you ever worry? Do you remember what you worried about last year at this time?! What about today? Think about your current worries. Did you know ONLY 8% of what we worry about comes true? That leaves 92% of what we worry about, thankfully NEVER comes to fruition!! Praise God! “What IF…we decided that we would wait to worry!” Fred Smith the mentor to the wonderful late Zig Ziglar said, “I decided that I’d wait until I actually had a reason to worry—something that was happening, not just something that might happen—before I worried.”

The great theologian, Charles Spurgeon said it best. “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.” Anxiety is a joy stealer!

That Friday (after the Boston Marathon and the Texas Fertilizer Plant explosions) I was having such a hard time, and my joy was gone because I was looking at the world and not my Savior! He gave me a dose of His JOY when I read about Zacchaeus  in my quiet time, reading through the bible in a Year program:

  Zacchaeus story in Luke 19:1-7:

19 Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd.

4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” What was it about Jesus that made Zacchaeus respond right away!  I think it was that Jesus noticed Zacchaeus and He knew His name! Do you realize God notices you, loves you, even adores and delights in you?! He calls you by your name!

 6 Scriptures says, Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 

Do we invite Jesus into our house ( which is our heart) with great excitement and joy, desiring to spend quiet time with Him, first thing in the morning or evening? Are you delighting in Him, eager to feast on His Word? Are you journaling what He shares with you as you study His life? Are you loving the Lord Your God, with all of your heart, mind and spirit? Have you fully devoted yourself to Him!

The joy stealers abounded in Zacchaeus day just like in our day!

In Vs. 7  we see, “the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.

They were not happy for Zacchaeus! They did not see the benefit of Zacchaeus coming to Jesus and receiving Salvation! Maybe in your household, in your family, in your friends, people do not see the reason for your relationship in Jesus! That’s okay, because God is the God who sees YOU. He will help you in your love relationship in Him, and He will be the JOY of your strength!

He will Restore your Joy! Lamentations 5:21 “Restore us, O Lord, and bring us back to you again! Give us back the joys we once had!”  Remember this J.O.Y. acronym: Joy happens because Jesus is Omnipresent in You!

I love Psalm 119:143! It says, “As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands.” Do you have any pressure or stress today?

Find hope and joy in His Word. Let the timeless treasures help you!

  Are you passionate and thankful for all Jesus is doing in your life? If not, ask Jesus to renew your hope and joy in Him! Ask Him for a fresh touch, a fresh revelation! Do you agree with me, that there is NOTHING like the fresh fire of the Holy Spirit falling freshly upon you! What I mean by this is, He gives you a special word, a thought, a promise in the Bible, that is divinely apportioned for you, TO YOU! And you know in your heart it is JUST FOR YOU! It’s like a divine HUG of joy and love!  Because at that moment, you are experiencing “fullness of Joy in His presence!”

I have found a sense of peace and blessedness is ours, when we realize God’s supernatural work is creating fruit in my life. Knowing I belong to my Maker and my identity is rooted in His love for me, gives me this deep peace and a deep sense of joy. That joy is the joy of Jesus Himself, residing deep within us, through the Holy Spirit. His joy, because Jesus, is the Man of Joy, within your spirit, is one of the most amazing results of being at peace with God!  Joy and peace are a result of spending time with Him and abiding deeply and regularly! In my Thursday morning bible study, we have been studying John and Jesus’ time with the disciples at the Last Supper. We have discovered, Intimacy with God is like the closeness a husband and wife experience in truly “knowing” each other. Being joyful is a state of our soul and spirit intermingled with Christ’s.

Joy comes from a secret intimacy with our Savior, through the Holy Spirit living within.

Flowers of Joy! (excerpt from my Flowers of Grace book)

Do you  wake up joyful, thankful for a good’s night rest, (because I sure am, when I sleep the entire night! Because…it seems to happen less and less at my age!) or do you wake up, dreading the day?  We know don’t we, it doesn’t take much to steal our joy away! Just turn on the news, right?! Or, a diagnosis from out of nowhere, you receive a call from your child’s principle, you or someone dear to you, receives a layoff notice. There are just a 1,000 different things that can happen daily, that can dampen our mood and take our good/positive God attitude down several notches!

I love to garden! My Spring time just been beautiful so far!  Isa. 5:7 says, “We are the garden of His delight!” I love that! Gardens are walked in, looked at, admired, spent time in, refreshing, aromatic, soothing and delightful. That is how God views you. He likes you and loves to be with you! If you are sad, then He will turn “your tears into shouts of joy, praise and thanksgiving.” (Ps. 42:3-4) Your heart will rejoice and praise Him as He is your Rock, your Strength, your Deliver and your Joy! 

Gardens have such an enticing fragrance to them. The flowers beckon us to come to the garden, to enjoy, rest and stay awhile. I think God created flowers to have such lovely fragrances on purpose, so we would pause and remember Him. Our minds are linked to the sense of smell, as it is the most powerful sense we have. Memories are stirred when we smell certain flowers. Let the flowers in your garden be a physical reminder for you of God’s lavish love, joy and extravagant promises.

So, how do we draw a line in the proverbial garden soil, and allow God the reigns of our lives, so we can go back to our default position of Joy in ALL circumstances?

 

I have to admit, I am not ALWAYS joyful! Imagine that! I tend to keep myself really busy, so I can have delayed grief when something goes wrong. Are you like this? We can “numb out” to the pain! I am a volunteer lay Counselor at a non-profit Christian counseling center. We tell our clients, “if you can name your feelings, then you can help tame them!” But, you need to verbalize them and get them outside of your head!

At the end of a really hard day recently, in my prayers, I had to surrender the circumstances up to God, realizing there was nothing I  really do but RELY ON HIM and the LOVE He has for me! I think it’s knowing and believing Jesus is still on His Throne, He is in control and I can go right back to Him, knowing He, through the Holy Spirit is in me. He’s my Center and I can stay grounded in Him! There is a huge tug-o-war going on to steal your joy! The enemy’s biggest tool is fear, doubt and discouragement! If he can lead you down this path, then he can render you ineffective as a believer, with a tarnished witness, that is joyless, and jaded. God can DO anything! Certainly, He can get you out of a bad mood, out of despair and into His precious light where healing can begin!

 

Do not agree with the doubt, discouragement or fear! It is not of the Lord! It comes from the enemy of your soul.

Heb. 1:9 Jesus was anointed with the “oil of joy!” Jesus is a joyous Savior and He shares His joy with us through the Miracle within, the Holy Spirit! As a result, we have a claim to the consistent experience of HIS undiluted joy and passion for us!

“ And the peace of God, which transcends(surpasses) all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:7

God will delight you with His presence. Psalm 27:4

In Matthew 3:16-17, we see God and Jesus receive great joy in their relationship! These verses say: “  After His baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” Isn’t this fantastic!? God let everyone know how much He loved His boy!

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 5:13) Joy and peace are friends! Isn’t it great, they walk side by side each other when we trust God?!

“Everywhere He leads us in triumphant processional, in the fragrance and knowledge of Him.” (2 Cor. 2:14) Breathe in His joy and smell the flowers blooming. This is a sign of God’s favor and love for you. This is His wellness in you. This is His blessedness to you!

Let your spirit of joy soar within you and outside of you, so you may touch others with Jesus’ magnificent and extravagant love. You are the best testament to our dying world of God’s grace and loving-kindness. Like the beautiful shades of pink, red, lavendar and peach roses in my garden, you will refresh and remind someone else of God’s lavish love because you have been filled and touched by Him. Image

My 2nd book “Reigning Fire: Discovering Holy Spirit Grace and Hope in Your Fiery Trials” is ready on www.Amazon.com Kindle!

                I am excited to announce my 2nd Book, “Reigning Fire” is published and ready to download on Kindle!

         {FYI… you can download a Kindle book to your desktop, your Smart phone, or Ipad and of course your Kindle device! You

will just need to download the Kindle app or whatever app you want to read your book in!}

I expect it to be ready in paperback mid November! (just right around the corner!)  Thank you for purchasing!

A portion of the proceeds will benefit A New Day, a non-profit, free counseling center in my hometown.

     http://www.anew-day.com              I am blessed to serve as a Lay Counselor there!

I started this book four years ago! I sure thought I would finish it as quickly as my first book, “Flowers of Grace” but

God had some new adventures in learning and teaching for me to go through first! His timing is always perfect and He is

with us as we go through the fiery trials 100% of the time!

Here’s an excerpt: (copyrighted)

Can God, even in our sufferings, bring something good out of devastation? Yes. God is pure and good, all the time. As we participate with Him, moving in faith and trust (even when we do not know how something horrible is going to turn out), He will bring something good to fruition. It probably will not be what you are expecting, but who are we to decide what our sovereign and glorious God can and will do? His ways are so much higher than ours!

Zechariah 4:6b tells us how to live and move in the Spirit: “‘Not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” We are to move, act, and decide by His Spirit, not by our own strength or accord. I certainly can tell when I am moving in my own strength or accord! I am confused, and I need His emotional guidance, definitely not the world’s advice. As my emotional counselor, the Holy Spirit helps me to recognize my negative thoughts. He helps me to see and clarifies my thinking when I am acting out and allowing negative thoughts to direct me. He helps me and clears up my erroneous perspective. When I ask for help and guidance, He moves me into healthy thinking and healthy living. I just need to remember to ASK for help! I need to go in His strength each day, not my own. How about you? Do you sometimes forget to ask God for His strength, His guidance, and His presence to go with you? I know I do.

Powerful emotions and feelings of overload, confusion, fear, anger, jealousy, frustration, disappointment, inadequacy, guilt, unforgiveness, and being lost in our sins and loneliness leave us in a place of trying to do it on our own. We habitually make decisions in our own strength and intuition. These emotions are the strongest indicators that we need the Holy Spirit’s guidance and truth in our circumstances. How many times have you heard of a huge fire, burning out of control, and yet, the homeowners will not leave their homes? The authorities have ordered them to “LEAVE NOW. We cannot protect you or your home. The fire is too intense and moving too quickly.” So many of us choose to remain where we are, take our chances and fight. Is this obedience or defiance? Stubbornness? Pride? The enemy of your soul wants you to stay in this stuck mode. Recognize your state and ask God for direction. Pray for forgiveness for trying to move in your own strength instead of relying on Him. Accept His forgiveness. He will set you free, and your spirit will be lifted out of despair.