Rising Above The Daily Grind 

“Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord don’t be dejected and sad for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” Nehemiah 8:10

Joy, where does it come from and how do we keep it on a daily basis? 

This is a question that has been on my mind over the past couple months. For those of you who live in Houston, TX and listen to KSBJ radio, that was the main theme throughout the holidays — Choose Joy!!! Listeners called in and shared their challenging circumstances and made a conscious decision to choose JOY! It was inspiring to hear them declare they would not let that situation steal their peace and happiness, and it was a great reminder that “joy” is a choice and many times we must choose it to feel it!

In the dictionary, joy is an emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying. 

 Now I don’t know about you, but keeping that feeling of joy is not always easy in the fast-paced, demanding world we live in today! Just turn on the TV, listen to the radio or drive in rush hour traffic and we will experience negative thoughts and feelings — it seems like everywhere we turn someone or something is trying to steal our joy. In times like that, we need to stop and remember what is truly important in life and who is in control!

Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” 

That scripture has helped me through many of life’s challenges and in spite of the inevitable struggles that we all face, we are not alone. Jesus has not abandoned us, and if we remember that the ultimate victory has already been won, we can find peace and joy in the midst of our trials. 

I found confirmation in Today’s Jesus Calling message, which says it so well . . . “Give up the illusion that you deserve a problem-free life. Part of you is still hungering for the resolution of all difficulties. This is a false hope! As I told my disciples, in the world you will have trouble. Link your hope not to problem solving in this life but to the promise of an eternity of problem-free life in heaven. Instead of seeking perfection in this fallen world, pour your energy into seeking Me: The Perfect One.

Although life often distracts us from our joyful state, if we stay focused on Jesus and believe that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord, as found in Romans 8:28, then we can use every situation to help us learn and grow.  

Graham Cooke, a great author and evangelist, says that every struggle we face is giving us an upgrade and taking us to a new level of trusting and building our faith!

My message is, don’t let life’s daily grind, get you down–just keep your eyes on Jesus and He will give you strength, comfort, peace and most of all joy as you journey through this thing called life here on earth! 
We will find our true stress-free, perfect life when we get to heaven at some unknown time in the future!!!

Here’s to joy,
Deb Hicks

Connect with Deb at www.bowlofsplendor.com

Yad Vashem 

Yad Vashem is Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.

This leading picture above I captured as I exited the Yad Vashem in August of 2014 while visiting Israel. 

The view was specifically created to be a representation of Hope as people exit this very emotional memorial. 

I stood overlooking this view as I was still crying from visiting The Hall of Names containing Pages of Testimony commemorating the millions of Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust. 

As I looked up at this wall I became so overwhelmed with emotion I broke down crying.  

Yad Vashem was Established in 1953, Yad Vashem is located on the western slope of Mount Herzl on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem, 804 meters (2,638 ft) above sea level and adjacent to the Jerusalem Forest. The memorial consists of a 180-dunam (18.0 ha; 44.5-acre) complex containing the Holocaust History Museum, memorial sites such as the Children’s Memorial and the Hall of Remembrance, The Museum of Holocaust Art, sculptures, outdoor commemorative sites such as the Valley of the Communities, a synagogue, a research institute with archives, a library, a publishing house, and an educational center named The International School/Institute for Holocaust Studies.

A core goal of Yad Vashem’s founders was to recognize gentiles who, at personal risk and without a financial or evangelistic motive, chose to save their Jewish brethren from the ongoing genocide during the Holocaust. Those recognized by Israel as Righteous Among the Nations are honored in a section of Yad Vashem known as the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations.

After the Western Wall, Yad Vashem is the second most-visited Israeli tourist site. Its curators charge no fee for admission and welcome approximately one million visitors a year. – Wikipedia 

Join me in a moment of silence now and to pray for all the victims and their families as we remember the lost on this #HolocaustMemorialDay
           ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 


The Word is breathing

It comes alive as it ignites the heart

To beat against winds of the world

Trying to bring us down with them,

But greater is He who lives in us

Than he who is in the world,

Therefore, I cannot be shaken;

I will stand as lost nations fall into the sea-

The sea holding frail bodies that disconnect

From life, into death their souls dive deep,

But those who lock hands with God

Their soul begins

Colliding with a love so real

It heals a wound

From infection, allowing its door to open

Without knowing the outcome; trusting Him

Who called us out of darkness, into His marvelous light

That encompasses a tired, lost soul from taking life from itself,

He takes the soul, reigniting its heart to bloom before ashes,

To live before death, forgetting its purpose, and choosing life

To embrace in every moment, circumstance, and season.

                   ~Bethany Anne