Joy, Joy, Joy!

I am studying joy, so I thought I would pass onto you what I am learning.  Joy is a great way to start of a new year!

“…and rejoiced because God had given them great joy.”

Nehemiah 12:43

Over and over again in the Old Testament, I am finding that it is God who gives joy or who causes someone to rejoice.  Psalm 16:11 says, “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy.  In Your right hand are pleasures forever.”  So, if it is joy that you are seeking and it seems elusive, spend time with God.  In His presence is great joy in spite of the circumstances of your life at any given moment.  I have found this to be true in my life.  If I need joy, I begin with praise and enter into God’s presence and there I find joy and peace.  Just by remembering our position in Christ (as beloved sons and daughters of the king) and how big our God is and His eternal perspective can bring me around to joy in the midst.
Happiness is an emotion that ebbs and flows with our circumstances and emotions.  Joy is a settled peace and contentment that we can rely on no matter the circumstances.  Joy comes form God and from spending time with God.  Joy is found in knowing that I am loved by God because I am His, not because of my performance or how I look or what others think.  But I must choose to enter into this joy by entering into relationship and fellowship with God.  Have you lost your joy?  Are the worries of the day overwhelming you?  Start with praise and sit on your Father’s lap and be still with Him.  He will renew your joy in spite of your circumstances.  
Garrett, our oldest, is still here and will be until January 6.  Then he returns to Hawaii.  He is busy working and doing school work as he is on a moot court team and is an editor for the law review, but it is nice having him here to talk to.  He is such a joy!
My new book is at the editors and the cover art is being finished even as we speak!  I am really excited about this book and hope that it encourages many.  It is called, “As They Sit and Stand: A Guide to Teaching Your Child the Bible from Birth through College.” 
I am being interviewed for the homeschool leadercast on Thursday about this new book. I am excited about this, too. 

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