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November 2016

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I think everyone wants to be happy. I mean, some people are absolutely miserable and that’s their choice. But I believe even in the darkest corners of their heart, they long for happiness. To me, happiness & joy are two different things: Happiness is a feeling. Joy is a choice. We can choose joy in all circumstances. Look, nobody is saying this is easy. Especially me. I’ve battled with depression and anxiety for a number of years. (In fact, I actually remember anxiety attacks as a child, but didn’t know how to explain it.) Choosing joy in all circumstances is an act of my will. Desert Song comes to mind. Not every season of life is going to be rainbows and kittens. But we can still choose to rejoice. We can still choose joy. Continue onto Beth’s blog for more about joy.

In 1995, Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, outlines five basic expressions of love. You see, we’re all broadcasting signals. And we all have a preferred method of receiving love. Gifts Quality Time Words of Affirmation Acts of Service Physical Touch Mine is gifts, and my husband’s is acts of service. I’m raising physical touch & words of affirmation kids. Love is so much more than romance. It’s more than the butterflies. It’s more than any feeling. It’s commitment and sacrifice & requires your whole being. I’m reminded of this today as my kids throw up, and I rub their backs as they get sick. I remembered all the times my parents took care of me in sickness, and how David has held my hair back when I’ve gotten sick. Love is so much more than we can define because it…

We eat a lot of fruit at my house. And fruit snacks. What bugs me about fruit snacks is my inability to really distinguish one from another. They’re all kind of similar tasting and similar looking. It’s a little disturbing, actually. One of my kids asked me what one was and I said “snozzberry”. Yep, I pulled a Wonka – because I genuinely didn’t know. So much for organic snacks! We’re gearing up for our series on the fruits of the Spirit. I’ve been thinking a lot about my life and the type of “fruit” it’s growing. Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! When I was growing up, we had a lemon tree in our front yard and another large tree on the…

Ephesians 6:17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Today, we’re talking about the sword of the spirit. When I read this verse, I think about… movies. I imagine the protagonist chopping his way through the brush of the jungle in search of the some priceless artifact. Or the gallant knight defending the honor of the fair maiden. Funny thing is, I think that’s what the Word does for me. I use it to help me chop away obstacles. I use it as my defense in times of trouble. The way to use it is to hide it in our hearts. Because without your weapon, your armor is incomplete. Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Continue onto Beth’s teaching about the power your sword can weild & when to…