Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happiness v.s. JOY

Can you have joy and not be happy? I use to think that they coexisted but the closer I get to God the more He opens my eyes to his truths. I have been reading through the bible and a few weeks ago the one of the scriptures was from Psalm 4:1-8 and this psalm really stuck out to me because David is crying out to God and he knows and Believes that God is listening to him. ~*~ v.7 You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound ~*~ David is saying that he was filled with a Joy greater than the happiness they felt when all thier crops came in and thier wine overflowed with abundance. He has an inwards Joy that can only come from his relationship with God.

So whats the difference between Joy and Happiness? Happiness, according to the Oxford English dictionary, is based on luck or good fortune. Joy on the other hand, is described as a vivid emotion of pleasure. Thus, happiness depends on circumstance; joy, on our emotional well-being.

So can you have Joy in difficult circumstances? Yes I believe so. I think that the world puts a lot of focus on feel good now and we think that to be happy things have to feel good now. But thats not necessarily true. I think our focus on happiness can cloud our view of the Joy that we have with God. The inward Joy that we have with God is steady, and complete when we trust in God. That inwards Joy can defeat discouragement, happiness only tries to cover it up. In ward Joy is everlasting and happiness is temporary.

~*~Nahum 1:7 The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He care for those who trust in Him.~*~ God care for us he is there for us in all times but especially in times of trouble.

Recently I got a pretty scary call from somone I love very much who had lost all hope, in this life. He couldn't believe that God could or would Love him where he was, especially since he had made some pretty bad choices in his life.See he chose to believe that feel good now was better than the peace and Joy that God can bring you! He had been slowly turning further away from God, because it was easier to be in the world. On the night of this call I had just finished reading the above scripture and thinking about Joy and Happiness and I really don't believe in coincidences so anyway when the call came I was prepared well sorta. So after an hour on the phone I knew there was nothing I could do to help, I was prayin d and talking and praying and finally I was able to get professionals involved. I ended up having to call the Police in the town he was and they sent a officer. I later found out that the officer that came there had been in his situation not so long ago. and was able to speak more truths to this person I love. He is slowly getting the help he needs, and is starting to see that you can have a Joy in your life inspite of the outside circumstances. While on the phone he asked me how can you be so happy when youve been through some crap in your life and I told him like I will tell everyone. I have Peace that I can't explain, because its no of me but of HIM. I Believe that inspite of the troubles here on earth we will one day have answers to all of these questions. ~*~ Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.~*~
And I know and believe that my worst day with God in my life is still better than my best day with out him.

I hope this wasn't to much rambeling.

Know you are Loved, Thought of & Prayed for!

Love Christina

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Just an Update!

Ok so its been a few weeks so here's an update on the family.

Earl is back to work after our long trip to Ohio, and gearing up for a conference next month that will take him to San Diego (in February, he's so lucky!:)) He is also back to the grindstone with meetings, Kids Club, Children's Church etc... and starting to think about and plan for VBS.

Rebecca is in her third semester of her senior year and the college letters are pouring in, she is preparing for the summer missions trip and supposed to be looking for a job! (I might just pass out if that happens! :)

Michael is now doing Choir and Band and has worked hard getting sponsor letters out to help with his mission trips. He is counting down the days till his 13th Birthday (1/25).

Katie is still loving fourth grade and has been talking about cheer leading more and more so I guess I am going to have to break down and start looking for something like that for her. She also is considering trying out for a musical at the Theater they are doing Suessical: The Musical.

I have been busy getting the house back in order after the Christmas holiday and have been doing pretty good with reading through the Bible and memorization. I am also getting back in shape and will start running this week. (I think I may have gone crazy agreeing to that one! :)) So we will see how that goes I ma just praying that the weather will cooperate with me at first to make it a little easier.

I am planning more youth Girls Events and I have started having Middle School Girls Group every week now and I think the Girls Love that. I know I am because it makes it so much easier toget to know them. This Sunday we have a Sleepover and I am so Excited!

Tonight is our Sunday School Christmas Party and Earl and I will be going, still trying to decide what to make but I know it will come to me! Other than that not much has changed.

I am a little glad we are not in Ohio Freezing as I keep hearing about the cold and snow. We got snow a few days ago and it was bitter cold for two days but it's warming up very nicely today! So until we meet again!

Know you are Loved Thought of & Prayed for!

Love Christina

P.S. I am working on a post about Happiness vs JOY so be looking for that in the next few days!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! As the new year begins, I think about the past year and how quickly it went by and all that I have learned from, this past year! So I have had some heartaches and disappointments, but all in all I can say 2008 was a good year, it was a year of change and new beginnings, and definitely growth. We (Earl & I) really learned to seek out God's will for our lives, individually and together as a family. In January I had the opportunity to go to Mars Hill Church in Michigan and hear Pastor Rob Bell speak/preach and was very moved by the whole experience, I heard from God that weekend and He (God) gave me a burning desire to serve him in a Bigger way, I also felt that something bigger than me was on its way, at the time I wasn't to sure what it was but I knew that if it was from God that HE would provide. In February Earl and I celebrated 12 years of Marriage. In March we decided to give up the ministry search and to re focus on what God wanted for us, and not so much what we wanted for ourseleves. In June we received a call from a church that Earl had previously interview at to re interview. He resubmitted his resume and interviewed, we went for a visit and we asked to join the staff at First Baptist Church in Augusta, KS. (Where we are currently at) We got the call the first weekend in July that Earl would be the new Director of Christian Education and Leadership Development. Oh and that we would be moving the first week of August! So in a little less than a month with 2 mission trips in between we were to move form Findlay, Ohio to Augusta, Kansas. Rebecca left for her trip to South Dakota and we began packing, and packing and packing. When she got back we go the call that Earl's mom had passed. She had been struggling for the last year and a half and finally went to be with her Heavenly Father and would suffer no more! We spent a week in Texas for the funeral and spending time together with family. In this we became a little closer with Earl dad and brother. I think this is the first time since we (Earl & I) have been married that we were all together. We came back from Texas and Michael & I went to Niagara Falls, NY for our mission trip. We spent a week serving the homeless and poor, and spent my last week in Youth at Stonebridge with some AMAZING middle schoolers. It was bitter sweet. We returned from that and left a few days later for our new home in Kansas! Earl got to work right away and the kids in school after being here just a week. Everyone has adjusted and It's hard to believe that we have been here only 5 short months. We Love our new home, our church and the town of Augusta. It's a bit smaller than Findlay but everyone is so nice and welcoming. Our new Church is Amazing! Rebecca was in the fall play at School (Once Upon a Mattress) and won a medal in Debate! She is in her Junior year @ Augusta High School and is doing great. She is in Choir, and taking some tougher classes this year! Preparing for College! Michael is in 7th grade @ Augusta Middle School. He is the Manager for the boys basketball team, and is in Band and Choir. He is still playing the trumpet but also is expanding his music ability with the Oboe and piano, this year! Michael and Rebecca are both involved with the youth @ FBC. Katie is in 4th grade and is excelling at Ewalt. She has made many new friends since being here and Loves going to Kids Club @ FBC. She is growing into a Beautiful Young Woman. I am so Proud of all of them. Earl began his first ministry position and is loving it. I have taken the longest to adjust to the move, but I can truly say that I think of this as our home now. I attended a women's retreat, helped with the Children's Christmas Program and the Women's Ministry Luncheon. I have begun to work with the Youth here @ FBC and am leading Middle School Girl Group. I still have the passion to work with and encourage middle school girls, to see their true Beauty in God. We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving here in Augusta with My parents (Joe & Julie) and Earl's dad (Bob), this was the first time they ever met and spent time together. For Christmas we trekked back to Ohio to visit with my family and all our Wonderful Ohio Friends! We spent New Years Eve Together as a family snuggling, watching movies in front of the fire. (OK some of us fell asleep :)) But as we begin 2009 I pray that we will grow more in God's Love, that we will grow close together, and that we will seek God's will. My goals resolutions for this new year are to get Healthy (and stick with it), to be in God's word every day, to get more organized, and finally to keep better contact with those we love so dearly near and far! This blog is one way but I also hope to write more letters and send more pictures! And some day soon, I hope to add some pictures to this blog. So until then!
Know you are Loved,Thought of & Prayed for!
Love Christina