Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

I hope all of you are getting excited about Christmas!

Check out all of the articles below. Read and interact! Add your comments and send in your ideas, see below for more info.

Remember to find Christ in CHRISTmas!

Mandy and Rachel

JESUS-Prophesy to Birth

JESUS-Prophesy to Birth

Now is the time of preparation for Christmas. We ready our hearts and our lives for the celebration of the coming of Christ. We should reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. What does Christmas show us about God? Who is this Christ? Why did He need to come? Christ came for us, to fulfill God’s promises. All the Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus. What new thing will you learn about Jesus this Christmas? How will it impact your life? Or someone else’s?

“It had taken centuries for God’s promises to be ready, but now the time had almost come for the best part of God’s plan.” 

“God himself was going to come. Not to punish his people – but to rescue them.”

“God was getting ready to wipe away every tear from every eye.”

“And the true party was just about to begin…”

~The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally-Lloyd-Jones (Page 173)

From the beginning of time, all of those centuries ago, God promised that He would send His Son to be our Savior, to wipe away our tears and to love us, if we will commit our lives to Him.

Prophesy to Birth

The first prophecy is found in Genesis, just after the first sin.

Genesis 3:15 (NIV)
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;
He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Then the Old Testament Prophets also tell of the coming of the Savior Jesus Christ. This passage
gives us some names for Him and how He will rule forever.

Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV)
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.

In Micah, God tells us from what tribe and line Jesus will come from and where He will be born.

Micah 5:2 (NIV)
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans[a] of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”

The next verse in Isaiah, tells us how God will send his Son.

Isaiah 7:14 (NIV)
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

“Everything was ready. The moment God had been waiting for was here at last! God was coming to help his people, just as he promised in the beginning.”

“But how would he come? What would he be like? What would he do?”

“Mountains would have bowed down. Seas would have roared. Trees would have clapped their hands. But the earth held its breath. As silent as snow falling, he came in. And when no one was looking, in the darkness, he came.”

~The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally-Lloyd-Jones (Page 174)

Now in Matthew, the Bible shows us how the prophesies have come true.

Matthew 1:21-22 (NIV)
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:

God demonstrates to us how he had planned a Savior for us all the way back in Genesis. And He goes on to tell us about His plan for Salvation all the way through Scripture, especially through the prophets.

Most importantly, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5: 8 Jesus not only came to earth as man, but then He died to save us. He gave us the greatest gift of all.

Take time this season to Thank God for sending His Son so that we have a way to eternal life with Him.

2 Corinthians 9:15
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

And read the whole Christmas story in Luke 2!

JESUS-Add Your Comment Here-December 2010

JESUS-Add Your Comment Here-December 2010

My family’s Christmas tradition[s] is/are…

OTHERS - By Faith…Simeon and Anna

OTHERS - By Faith…Simeon and Anna
 Based off of Luke 2:21-38(Read the whole story there) All quotes are taken from the NIV Bible

Simeon and Anna were used by God in the very first Christmas story to show how much they trusted Him to send the world a Savior. Each day they lived “by faith” waiting for the coming Messiah.

Eight days after the child was born, it was time for Him to be circumcised. The Law of Moses said that “’Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord’”, and the parents should offer “a pair of doves or two young pigeons” as a sacrifice.

So Mary and Joseph took Jesus to be circumcised at the Temple in Jerusalem. At that time He was named Jesus, “the name the angel had given him before he was conceived”.

Now there was a righteous and devout man in Jerusalem named Simeon. “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. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:”

“’Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.’”

Mary and Joseph were amazed at what was said about Jesus. “Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: ‘This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.’”

~Simeon had faith in God that He would do what he had promised. He had faith that he would see the Messiah. And he had faith enough to say, “You may now dismiss your servant in peace”, because he knew his Savior had come. ~

“[Now] there was also a prophet, Anna... She was very old…and was a widow.” “She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.” She also came up to the little family. “She gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem”.

~Anna also had faith. She had great faith in God and worshiped him around the clock. She was a widow and it appears she did not have family to take care of her because she was always at the temple. She had faith that the Child was truly the Savior and she went and told everyone! ~

God used these two people to show us their anticipation for the coming King, Jesus Christ. Anna and Simeon waited and waited for that day, the day when they would hopefully see their Messiah. They truly did live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). And God rewarded them for it by letting them see the Christ Child. 

As Christmas approaches, are you anticipating the celebration of the birth of the Savior? And more importantly, are you anticipating the day that is still coming when we will meet Him face to face?

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)
For we live by faith, not by sight.

OTHERS-Helping in the Harvest: Angel Tree

OTHERS - Helping in the Harvest: Angel Tree

Have you ever seen those Christmas trees covered with paper angels? Not just any paper angels, but ones that have the name of a child and what they would like for Christmas. Have you ever wondered what they are for? Or maybe why people walk up and take the angels?

Well, the “angel trees” are actually part of an outreach headed by a division of Prison Fellowship called Angel Tree (you could have guessed the name, right?) Angel Tree was made as a way to reach out to children whose parent or parents are imprisoned and can’t give them a gift this Christmas. At the same time, it shows both the children and their parents God’s love though the compassion of His people.

The program starts with Angel Tree Ministries and other prison ministries who sign up incarcerated parents who would like help to send a gift to their child. An angel-shaped tag is made with each child’s name, age, and what they would like for Christmas. These tags are distributed to local churches and stores who have signed up to participate in Angel Tree.

The churches and stores then set up their own “angel trees”. People can take a tag and buy a gift for the child. They wrap it and bring it back to the Angel Tree location. On the week of Christmas, the gifts are delivered to the kids with a note from their parent. While the gifts are being delivered, the volunteers get to share the real reason of Christmas with the kids. The children learn the joy of knowing that their parent still cares for them and that God cares for them too.

It is not just the kids, though, who grow closer to God through this ministry, but their parents as well. The parents see Christians who care enough to buy a Christmas present for a child they don’t even know. Then when it is given, those people don’t take any credit, but give it solely in the parent’s name. You can only imagine what the parents think when they witness this love and kindness.

Angel Tree is simple, but it makes such an impact. It helps to restore the relationship between a child and their parent. The gift opens doors to talk to people about God’s love. And what better thing to focus on as Christians than God’s love- especially during this time of year?

“...I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
Matthew 25:36b

How to Help
Talk to your pastor or church secretary to see if your church is involved in Angel Tree. See if you can help coordinate it. Tell your friends about the ministry. Maybe your family could buy a gift for a child together. No matter how creative you get, remember to get the gift back on time! To find out more about Angel Tree go to

Prayer is so important. Pray for the child your gift is going to as well as their parent. You can also look at and pray for the children in the stories featured there.

Another fairly simple way to help is to give. Angel Tree has an online option for getting a gift to a child which is a great way to get involved if your church is not registered. You can choose a child based on age, gender, and the state they live in or let Angel Tree choose one for you. Go to for the online gift option or go to to support the ministry.

“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is known to be my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly be rewarded.”
Matthew 10:42

YOU - 5 Uses for…Christmas Cards

YOU - 5 Uses for…Christmas Cards

1. Christmas gift tags – Cut out shapes from the Christmas cards and glue them together or glue them to a blank piece of paper, so you can write, “to” and “from” on it!

2. Make gift bags – Cut apart Christmas cards and glue them to paper bags to make a festive gift bag!

3. Lacing or sew cards – These may be fun for your younger siblings or cousins. Cut off the front of the card. Punch holes all the way around. Grab an old shoe lace or some yarn (with tape on the end to make easy lacing) and do some sewing!

4. Make new Christmas Cards – Cut the old ones apart and glue onto new cardstock or paper.



5. Gift Wrapping – Use to decorate Christmas Presents! Cut the cards apart and glue onto the presents, Tie them to a bow, or be creative and see what you can come up with.

6. Decorate your room or the house – Glue the fronts together and hang from a string from a curtain. Use sticky stuff and put on the wall or your window.

Use your imagination! Send in your ideas for Christmas cards to:
or comment below

YOU - Gift Wrapping

YOU - Gift Wrapping

Are you sick of using the same old wrapping paper for Christmas or you just want to try something new?
Here are some ideas for wrapping those fun gifts and ways to decorate them!

Wrapping Materials

1. Newspaper
 2. Comics (from the paper)
3. Fabric
 4. Wallpaper
5. Plain paper (decorated of course)
6. Tissue Paper
7. Maps
8. Paper shopping bags (Re-decorated)
9. Garbage Bags (With ribbon around the top)


1. Ribbons
2. Yarn
3. Leftover scraps of paper
4. Markers
5. Stickers
6. Stamps
7. Bows
8. An ornament
9. Cookie cutter
10. Pipe Cleaners

Wall Paper with scrap paper decoration
Fabric with fuzzy yarn

Newspaper with beads, stamps, stickers

Comics with ribbon

Tissue paper w/ yarn and pom-pom

White paper decorated
Scrap book paper w/ fuzzy yarn

Tissue paper and recycled card
Tissue Paper with Letters

Have some fun with these ideas! See what you can come up with!

If you like how they turn out, send us some pictures of your fun wrapped gifts and we may post them (with your permission). Send to:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November 2010

Dear Girls,

November is the beginning of the holiday season. Winter is teasing us as fall retreats into oblivion. Thanksgiving comes with food and festivity. Christmas is suddenly right around the corner...

There are so many things to talk about and do this month. One of the biggest things for JOY is what is going to go in YOU. We have a survey going on right now. The top three things people want to see in YOU so far are:

1. Uses for everyday items
2. Stories about girls
3. An Ask Grandma column

Some other ideas are book reviews, movie reviews, fun facts, history or Bible facts, useful crafts, and activities. What do you think? Tell us what you want to see in YOU. Go to the JOY contact page to subscribe for email updates, vote for your favorite ideas, and tell us what else you'd like to see.

Have a great time reading and Give Thanks this Thanksgiving!

JOY authors

P.S. One more thing, girls, this month, November is the first Anniversary for JOY Blog. One year ago JOY Blog was created! So…Happy First Anniversary JOY Blog!!!

Devo-Give Thanks in All Circumstances…

Give Thanks in All Circumstances…

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says to, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.

It’s the end of October and Halloween is over. Then comes November… You go to the store and not only is all of the Halloween stuff almost gone, but they are restocking the shelves. You might think it would be with Thanksgiving things. But you probably all know already that they are not putting out Thanksgiving stuff. All the Christmas items are now on display! And no, I am not putting down Christmas ‘cause I LOVE Christmas, and I am not saying that stores have NO Thanksgiving things, I am just making the point that we sometimes seem to forget and push aside Thanksgiving, other than the turkey and trimmings! AND we push away the meaning.

On that very first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims thanked the Indians, but most importantly they gave thanks to God.

The Bible calls us to give thanks and to be thankful. One of my favorite verses is 1 Thessalonians 5:18. I like that this verse says ‘IN’, not ‘for’. If you look above at the verse, it tells you to give thanks in all circumstances, not for all circumstances. There are some difficult things in all our lives that are tough to be thankful for- like someone dying, but we can still be thankful if we know that person was a Christian and is with Christ now. God with us and working through the tough situations help us to give thanks IN everything.

We all have much to be thankful for. This year try to recognize your many blessings. And as Thanksgiving approaches, think of all the people in your life and think of why God has placed them in your life and why you are thankful for them. Then give thanks. Give thanks to God for putting them there and then give thanks to the people for the impact they have made in your life.

Learn to be thankful! Remember that giving thanks should not only be on Thanksgiving, but all year around!


Add Your Comment Here...November 2010

This year, I am especially thankful for…

By Faith...Todd MacDonell

By Faith-Todd MacDonell 

Almost one month ago, October 13, a man that lived “by Faith” died. Todd MacDonell was 48 years old. He was married and had two daughters. He lived in a town near me and was the pastor of a local church.

I had not known this man very long. He had recently gotten involved in the political arena which I had also gotten involved in. Then at the end of the summer, he started getting sick. He had a disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It is a disease that causes your brain to deteriorate. After the diagnosis, Pastor MacDonell lived only a few short weeks longer. Today he is with Jesus, his Savior and Lord.

But even though many feel his life was cut short and even though I did not even know him long, he was a man that made a difference. He lived his faith daily. You could see his hope, the hope of salvation, in his eyes. And he was bold. He lived boldly for Christ. He stood up for what was right and made an impact on every person that crossed his path.

His memorial service was unlike any I had ever been to before. We were able to celebrate his life here on earth, yet also rejoice that he is now with our Savior.

Hebrews 11:39-40 says, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect”. I believe this means that only in Heaven are we truly rewarded for living “by faith” here. I want to remind you of how a life can be cut short by our standards, yet God knows everything and has a perfect plan for all of us. I also want you to remember to make every day count. Live each day like it is your last, because it may be, and above all, give your life to Christ. He is waiting for you to open the door. He is waiting for you to allow Him access to your life.

As Thanksgiving draws near, give thanks for all of the people that have made a difference in your life. Thank God for them and then thank them for being there for you, because you never know when your last chance to do that will be. Pastor Todd’s death made me realize that you should never take those people who have been there for you for granted. Thank them now!


Helping in the Harvest: Operation Christmas Child

Helping in the Harvest: Operation Christmas Child

One late fall afternoon, my brother stumbled upon something in a ditch on the side of the road. He thought it was just a piece of trash, but took a closer look anyway. As he picked it up, he got a real thrill. It wasn’t just a piece of trash, but a $20 bill!

About that time, our family was getting ready to do one of our favorite traditions- packing a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, works to bring joy and the good news of Jesus to needy children all over the world. To do this, volunteers pack empty shoeboxes full of new toys and treats for children who might not otherwise get a Christmas gift.

Usually, everyone in my family will pitch in money and we’ll pack a shoebox together. This year, my brother had another idea. He decided to use the $20 he had found to pack another shoebox full of goodies. My family had fun picking out things for both shoeboxes. We picked out coloring books, crayons, pencils, toothbrushes, soap, dolls, stuffed animals, toy cars, bouncy balls, lollipops, yo-yos and any other thing else we could afford.

When we got home, we packed everything in our 2 designated shoeboxes. After we wrapped and labeled each one (marking what age and gender child the toys inside were best for), we added a little note wishing the child who received each box a “Merry Christmas”. Before we dropped them off at one of the drop-off locations, we prayed over the boxes, the workers who would deliver them, and the children who would receive them.

I love my family’s tradition of giving to others during what is sometimes the most selfish time of the year. Sometimes I get focused only on what I want for Christmas this time of year, but packing a shoebox for a child, who might have never received a gift before, puts things into perspective. Remembering that for a child, receiving a shoebox is often the first step for them to come to know God really takes the focus off of myself and puts it on the One whom Christmas is really about.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.”

How to Help
This year, Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection week is
November 15-22.
To find a drop-off location for your shoebox, go to:

What better way to give than by packing a shoebox for a child in need? You could pack a box with your family or friends, or get really creative and throw a shoebox-packing party! Follow the guidelines to packing a shoebox at:
Packing a shoebox isn’t the only way to give. You can help spread the word about Operation Christmas Child or go to to donate to Operation Christmas Child or other ministries of Samaritan’s Purse.

This is a great way to help if you don’t pack a shoebox- or even if you do. You can pray especially for the workers who travel and work hard to get the boxes into the hands of children, and for the children themselves. If you want to be really involved, go to and pledge your prayers for Operation Christmas Child by choosing a day and time slot to pray during National Collection week. To find additional prayer requests go to:

Narnia Fans
Just like in Narnia, where it was always winter and they didn’t have Christmas until Aslan came; there are children in our world who never have the joy of Christmas until they have the love of Jesus. They are shown Christ’s love when the gift of a lovingly packed shoebox comes to them. Operation Christmas Child is partnering with The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader to encourage Narnia Fans to fill shoeboxes and make a difference in the lives of impoverished children around the world. Check out Operation Narnia at

“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”
Matthew 18:5


Five uses for…Baking Soda

Five uses for…Baking Soda

1. Get rid of icky smells on your hands –If you cut up an onion or something left a bad smell on your hands, rub about 2 tsp. of baking soda on your hands to get rid of the smell.

2. Remove coffee or tea stains – Take a damp cloth and dip it in baking soda to create a paste. Then rub the paste on the stained cups or tea pots!

3. Clean up baby spit-up – For you babysitters or big sisters out there, the next time the baby spits-up on you, wipe it off your shirt, then take a damp cloth dipped in baking soda and rub it on the spot. It will not only take the stink away, but will keep it from staining your clothes!

4. Remove crayon from the wall.

5. Deodorize anything

Baking soda can polish, deodorize, and remove stains from all kinds of things. Try it out!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

October 2010

This month’s theme is Harvest. We will be talking about the changing season and about God’s Harvest.

We will also be looking at what JOY Blog is all about. This month’s articles will go back to what JOY Blog’s purpose is and what each part of JOY blog is for. Next month is the one year anniversary and I wanted to go back and evaluate JOY Blog and give you a better idea of what it is and also what it stands for.

You will also get to read JOY Blog’s Statement of Faith.

There are also a few changes for this month. Rachel R. is writing a new column. Her column is called “Helping in the Harvest”. Also Heather Grace is no longer writing for JOY Blog and there will be a few changes in YOU, including new columns. Please give us your feedback on YOU. Check it out to see what I am talking about!

If you have any questions, please ask. There are many changes and new things, but this is for you, so let us know what you want!

One great way you can do this, this month is by taking a quick 10 question survey. Here is the link:
You can also just click on the right of this post.

Mandy and Rachel

JOY Blog Statement of Faith

Statement of Faith 

JOY Blog believes…


… That the Bible calls older women to “train the young women” (Titus 2:3-5). No matter how old you are, you are called to mentor girls/women who are younger than you. You should also be mentored by older and godlier women.


... That “the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4), existing in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19, John 10:30, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Hebrews 1:1-3).


… That God is our Father and we are His children. (John 1:12, Matthew 6:9, Romans 8:15, Acts 17:24-28)

… That the Father is Lord of all and the Maker of Heaven and earth. (Acts 17:24, Genesis 1:1)


… That Jesus Christ is God's only begotten Son. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life. He was crucified, dead, and buried. On the third day He rose bodily from the dead and ascended to heaven. He is the only mediator between God and man. (Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:6, Matthew 1:18-25, Mark 14:61-62; Luke 3:22; John 1:1-3, John 1:14, John 5:18, John 10:30, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 John 5:20)

…that “there is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”. (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

Holy Spirit-

… That Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to be our “Helper” and to be with us until Jesus comes back again. The Holy Spirit gives us all different gifts to use to minister to people. We also should be able to see the fruit of the spirit. (John 14:15-31, John 15:26-27, John 16:7-15, Acts 1:8; Romans 8:9, 1 Corinthians 2:10-11, 1 Corinthians 6:19, 1 Corinthians 12:4-13, Galatians 5:16-18, Galatians 22-23; Ephesians 4:30)


…that “God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

The Bible-

…that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the inspired Word of God. There are no errors in any of its teachings, including creation, history, its own origins and salvation. It is the highest and final authority on all matters of faith, belief, and conduct. (Matthew 5:17-20, John 17:17, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Revelation 22:18-19)

… That “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man [or woman] of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (1 Timothy 3:16-17)


… That “salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to man by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

… That Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)

… “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8)

… “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”(1 John 1:9)

… That “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” and can fully redeem and powerfully use even those who consider they have been “the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15)

… God “is patient, not wanting any to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

… That “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Resurrection, Life Everlasting, and God’s Calling on our Life -

… that “our citizenship is in heaven and from it, we eagerly await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so they will be like His glorious body.” (Philippians 3:21) “And so shall we forever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

… That until then, we believe we are to strive to “live holy and Godly lives as we look forward to the day of God.”(2 Peter 3:11, 12)

… That Jesus Christ will one day return in glory to raise the dead and bring salvation and judgment to completion.

...God will fully manifest His Kingdom when He establishes a new heaven and new earth, in which He will be glorified forever and exclude all evil, suffering, and death. (John 14:2-3, Romans 14:10-12, 1 Corinthians 15:51-54, 2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, Revelation 20:11-15, Revelation 22:12-17)

… That we are called to glorify God in whatever we do (1 Corinthians 10:3).

The Church and the Communion of Saints-

…That Jesus Christ is the Head of the church. The church is not the building, but is made up of all believers everywhere in the world. The believers are called to be baptized. The church is called to love and witness to others, preach the gospel, and worship God. (Matthew 22:39, Acts 2:41-47; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 10:25)

The Deceiver and Culture-

…That Satan is God's enemy and his nature and objective is to lie and deceive.

… That Satan uses the various aspects of the culture to promote personal independence by taking us away from the unity that God calls us to have with believers. He also distorts the differences between men and women and tries to confuse their roles.

… That Satan wants to persuade people to not follow God's plan.
(John 8:44; Genesis 3; Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:12-18; 1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:12; 1 John 2:15)

JOY Blog Purpose Statement

JOY Blog Purpose Statement
JOY Blog is designed to be a Christian alternative to what the culture offers girls! It is to encourage girls, about 12 and older. JOY stands for Jesus, Others, and You. The acronym is to help girls to remember to put Jesus first in their lives, then to serve others before ourselves, and lastly to care for ourselves in a godly manner.

JESUS Purpose Statement

JESUS Purpose Statement

The JESUS part is dedicated to Him. It is to help girls of all ages to come to better knowledge of our Savior. There will be devotions and other ways to come to know Him better. The overall purpose of this section is putting Jesus first in our lives.

Matthew 22:37-38
37-Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
38-This is the first and greatest commandment.

Devotional Purpose Statement

Devotional Purpose Statement

The devotional is meant to encourage girls in their faith walk. It is to build them up and to give helpful ideas to grow in their relationship with Christ through prayer, Bible study and reading, and other things.

Add Your Comment Here… Purpose Statement

Add Your Comment Here… Purpose Statement

Add Your Comment Here is a place for girls to interact. It is a place for girls to ask themselves questions and think deeply about what they believe and then to share their answers with other girls.

OTHERS Purpose Statement

OTHERS Purpose Statement

The OTHERS part is about putting other people after Jesus and before yourself. It is to help girls to learn ways that they can love and serve others in their lives and reach out to people.

Philippians 2:3-4
3-Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
4-Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Matthew 22:39
And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.

October - Add Your Comment Here…

October - Add Your Comment Here…

One way that I am helping to bring in God’s Harvest or witnessing to others is by…

By Faith Purpose Statement

By Faith Purpose Statement

By Faith is based on Hebrews 11. Hebrews 11:1-2 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” It is to show how people from history, the Bible, and today are living “by faith” and it is to provide examples of how you, also, are called to and can live “by faith”.

Helping in the Harvest Purpose Statement

Helping in the Harvest Purpose Statement

Helping in the Harvest will feature people sharing the gospel with people all over the world including wherever you live. Each month’s article will highlight someone different. It may be a missionary, a mission organization, or a charity, but they will all have the same goal- to teach others about the hope of Jesus. Helping in the Harvest is based on Matthew 9:37 where Jesus says, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” Each article in Helping in the Harvest will show you how others are helping in the harvest and how you can, too!

Helping in the Harvest

Helping in the Harvest

Do you know what J.O.Y. stands for? This question is pretty easy if you have been reading JOY for a while. If you don’t know, I’ll give you the answer. The J stands for Jesus, and comes first, just like He should come first in our priorities. Y is for you, who should come last. In the middle is O which is for others, who should come after Jesus but before yourself. (Matthew 22:37-40)

All of us have ourselves as a priority someplace- most of the time at the top of our list. Jesus comes into our lives when we become Christians. The struggle then becomes putting Him first instead of ourselves. And others? You may know from the By Faith articles that we can learn from others, but one of the biggest reasons we need to be focusing on others is so that we can share the love of Jesus with them. (Matthew 28:19-20)

That is where this column comes in. Helping in the Harvest will feature people sharing the gospel with people all over the world and wherever you live. Each month’s article will highlight someone different. It may be a missionary, a mission organization, or a charity, but they will all have the same goal- to teach others about the hope of Jesus.

What’s in the Name?

Helping in the Harvest is based on Matthew 9:37 where Jesus says, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” Jesus wasn’t talking about a literal harvest of crops, but of souls. There are many people who need to know about what Jesus did for them, but not many people telling them. Each article in Helping in the Harvest will show you how others are helping in the harvest and how you can help, too!

One of the ways Helping in the Harvest will help you to do that is by helping you to pray. There will be prayer requests included in each article to help you pray for the featured ministry. If you look at Matthew 9:38, Jesus says to ask God to send out workers to help with the Harvest. Make a point to do what Jesus said and pray for the people that are featured here each month.

Another way to help in the Harvest is by giving. You may have heard the verse “God loves the
cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). What could be better than pleasing God? Each article in Helping with the Harvest will have a way to give. Sometimes that may be by giving money to the people featured that month or perhaps giving your time to a ministry near you.

There is one other way in particular to help in the Harvest: be a worker in your mission field. This doesn’t mean you have to move to a far away country. Believe it or not, you have a mission field all around you! Think of people you come in contact with who don’t know God. These people are whom you can be ministering to. Mark 16:15 says to, "'Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.'" That means even where you live.

Let Helping in the Harvest be an encouragement to you. Remember to pray, find ways to give, and make sure to minister in the mission field God gave you. Remember the O in JOY and I’ll see you back here next month!

By Rachel R.

YOU Purpose Statement


YOU is all about you. In YOU, there will be fun activities and useful ideas.

(There are a few changes that are coming to YOU and we would like your input. You can take the survey to let us know what you would like to see or comment below.)

Here is the survey link:

Here are some ideas for you, but feel free to add others:

  • useful tips
  • movie reviews
  • book reviews
  • fun facts
  • history facts
  • stories about girls
  • games
  • puzzles
  • ask Grandma column
  • useful crafts
  • modest dressing
  • guy talk

Monday, September 6, 2010

September 2010

Wow, I can't believe September is already here.

September brings school, friends, and changes.

 September 12th is Grandparent's Day. And before that is Labor Day. So many new things going on!

In JOY Blog, we have a lot going on, too!


*How to study your Bible-part 2
*Add your comment here


*By Faith-Janet Pope
*Grandparent's Day


*Modest Dressing-It's Fall, The School Years Begins!
 *Guy Talk-My Love-part 3

And Rachel R. is back this month. :) Check out her Grandparent's Day article!

Happy beginning of fall!

The JOYauthors
Mandy, Heather, Rachel

Add Your Comment Here...September 2010

I'm inspired to be a better person from...

How to Study the Bible - Topical Searches

How to Study the Bible - Topical Searches

Looking up, studying, and memorizing verses by topic is another way that may be useful to you in finding a way to study the Bible. This might not be a long term plan, but it may be useful at different points in your life. For example, you may be going through a time in your life where you are worrying a lot. It may be useful to you to look up verses about fear, being anxious, etc… I have been using this technique a lot lately because I have been teaching a topical Bible study. We had topics like faithfulness, prayer, purity, not worrying, etc… For these topics I did searches on different words that had to do with the topic. On the topic of faithfulness, I looked up the word in the dictionary to give me a start on thinking more about it really means.

Then I looked it in my Bible’s concordance.

Or I looked it up on BibleGateway, which is a great online resource. You can search by topic or by verse in different languages and versions of the Bible.


I looked at faith, faithful, faithfulness, and then the opposite; unfaithful. This way it gave me different ideas of what God has to say on the subject from all angles. Using a thesaurus may help with your search to come up with other words that mean the same thing.

If you decide to do a topical search like this, I would suggest getting a notebook, journal, or index cards to write the verses on. Then you have the topical verses all together. Also, consider memorizing the verses that mean the most to you from the search.

This can be a very helpful way to understand more about specific issues that God teaches us about in His Word. Try it out and see if it might be right for you!

Topics that might interest you:

• Faith
• Joy
• Love
• Prayer
• Worry
• Women of the Bible

Grandparent's Day-September 12th

Grandparent's Day-September 12th

I love Grandparents Day. I love to visit with my grandparents. I love to hear their stories. I love to learn from them. I just love to be around them.

But I thought that was all over when, two years ago, my family moved half-way across the country from both sets of grandparents. I was afraid we might never see them again, or, if we did, we wouldn’t know each other as well as we had. I looked bleakly at the future. No more visits. No more jokes. No more stories. No more hugs. No more of my grammy’s special cookies or cakes. No more of my grandma’s fun treats.

Since we’ve moved, however, I’ve learned a lot. I now know that my grandparents can still tell jokes and stories just as well on paper, computer, or over the phone as they do face-to-face, and that we did, in fact, get to see them again (and we still knew each other). Most of all, I’ve learned that God provides for our needs.

Over the past two years I’ve kept in touch with my grandparents through emails, phone calls, and the like. We probably communicate more now, than when we lived close to each other! My grammy and I email each other almost everyday and my grandma sends me handwritten letters. All of our communication helped us to continue to be close even though we live so far away.

Of course, part of living far away from your grandparents is that you can’t visit them very often, so I was excited when my family went on a trip this summer to visit our extended family. Squeezing all seven people in my family plus my Grammy and Papa into their one bedroom apartment gave us lots of time to spend together! Our Grandma and Grandpa had their 50th anniversary while we were there, and in celebrating they brought out a box of pictures, which we enjoyed looking at and learning the stories behind. I think God provided that trip so that we could be ready to come back home and face all the new challenges before us.

One of the other things God has provided for my family was a “grandma” and “grandpa” here at home. We got to know a really nice couple and started to spend a lot of time with them. They quickly became like grandparents to us, and we soon began to call them Granny and Grandpa. They never replaced our real grandparents at all; instead they helped us bear through the hardship of living so far away from family.

I still miss my grandparents, but I know God provides in wonderful ways. This Grandparents Day, think about how God has provided for you. Thank Him for your grandparents. Thank your grandparents for all they have done. Send them an email or letter. Give them a phone call or a visit. And remember them, not only on Grandparents Day or Christmas, but everyday. It could very well teach you a whole lot.

“Grandchildren are a crown to the aged...”
Proverbs 17:6

By Faith- Janet Pope

By Faith- Janet Pope

Remember the lady, Janet Pope, I was telling you about last month that memorizes whole passages and books of the Bible? Well, here she is! She is going to tell us more about her, her life, why she decided to memorize scripture, and some fun facts about her! And we will also learn how she is living “By Faith”, like Hebrews 11 talks about.


JOY Blog-When did you become a Christian? How were you led to Christ?

Janet Pope-I did not grow up in church so I had no Bible background or religious training. When I was 21 years old, my mother was going through a very difficult time in her life. My sister and I decided that our mother needed God. Pretty profound for two girls who had no idea who God was! We began to take our mother to different churches in the hope of finding God, for her. After a few months I took her to a Bible believing church, we heard the gospel, and within a few months both my mother and I received Christ, and have been growing ever since.

JOY Blog-When did you decide to memorize passages? Why did you decide to memorize passages instead of just memorizing some verses?

Janet Pope-I was 35 years old and attending a Christian conference. A woman came to the podium and recited the entire book of Colossians. It was so powerful hearing the whole book together at one time. I thought to myself “I wish I knew God’s Word like she did”. I realized at that moment that I was pretty shallow in my Bible knowledge, and I had a deep desire to make a change.

JOY Blog-How do you do it?

Janet Pope-I write out what I want to memorize on a 3 x 5 spiral binder. Then I take one verse at a time and begin to memorize it, adding one more verse each day. I carry my spiral with me wherever I go. It sits easily on a counter and I can memorize while I do other things. Over the years I have learned to capture dead time for scripture memory. I memorize while I’m doing household chores, exercising, walking, driving, and getting ready in the morning. When I finish a chapter I take a week or so to review before going on to the next chapter. When I finish memorizing a book, I assign it to one of the days of the week so that I will make that my day to review that book every week, which helps it stay in my memory, while I go on to a new passage.

JOY Blog-What do you do when you feel overwhelmed about life? What do you do when you feel overwhelmed about memorizing Scripture?

Janet Pope-When I feel overwhelmed about life, which does happen on occasion, I run to God’s Word and it is always there for me. Life is unpredictable and always challenging. God’s Word is a stabilizing force because it is truth and it is from God.

When I am overwhelmed about memorizing Scripture, I take a break, while still reviewing, and then pick back up in a few days. Memorizing Scripture is not to be a burden but a joy. Sometimes the task ahead can seem overwhelming, like if you want to memorize Ephesians and you are only on chapter 2. My advice is to go at a pace that works for you.

JOY Blog-How has memorizing Scripture helped you to live “by faith” as Hebrews 11 talks about?

Janet Pope-Honestly, memorizing Scripture has been the biggest boost to my spiritual growth and maturity. Meditating on God’s Word day and night truly is like Psalm one says. It is like a tree planted by streams of water, continually nourished, never parched and dry. Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing the Word of Christ. God’s Word continually in my mind and heart has been an oasis for my soul. When you look at Hebrews 11, you see people who persevered through all sorts of adversity. And every life is sprinkled with adversity, some have more than others. I have trials in my life and it is God’s Word that helps me to persevere, even when I can’t see the road ahead, or why my life has taken a detour.

JOY Blog-What is your favorite color?

Janet Pope-It used to be pink, but now it’s yellow.

JOY Blog-What is your favorite book?

Janet Pope-The Bible of course. Besides the Bible, “Let the Nations Be Glad” by John Piper.

JOY Blog-One material thing you wouldn’t leave home without?

Janet Pope-I go on a lot of speaking trips, and I always double check to make sure I didn’t forget my NOTES. I can’t always trust my memory!

JOY Blog-One food you don’t think you could live without?

Janet Pope-Definitely… dessert. I love sweets, wish I didn’t, but I’m not ready to give them up.

The School Year Begins!

Modest Dressing
It’s Fall!
The School Year Begins!

All across America pencils are being sharpened. It’s back to school time! Another school year is upon us! Whether you are homeschooled or go to public or private school, new fashions for fall can excite you! Who doesn’t like a new outfit?

And yet a new outfit doesn’t make the person! God made you unique and perfect in His eyes. God looks straight past your new fall look and directly at the beautiful woman you are inside. Are you learning each day how to be a better daughter for Him? What can you do to let God’s love shine out of you and toward others?

I’m a pen-to-paper girl. So something that has really helped me keep my focus on my relationship with God has been a written reflection. I write down areas of my life that I feel I have improved and things that have brought me closer to my Father God. I then write down the areas in which I’d like to improve. Contemplate….am I all who God wants me to be? It only takes a little bit of time, but it can drastically change your whole outlook. When contemplating a new fall look, remember that attitude and personality show more of who you are than the clothes do! True beauty shines through in who you are, not in what you wear. If you recognize who you are in Christ, His joy will shine forth from you. You will have wrapped yourself in God’s love and you will begin to see yourself from His perspective: a well-loved daughter of the King.

“I will give thanks to You,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.”
Psalm 139:14

You are a unique creation.

It is so easy to get caught up in choosing how to look by the latest current trends. Although it is fun to incorporate what you have seen others wear or what popular media says is wonderful, you can make choices that are right for you! You are unique and special. Incorporate some new ideas into your already existing unique style to vary things and to make some changes.

A common misconception in women is that they have to look like the mannequins in the store window in order to look “fashionable.” Yet because you are unique and have your own style, you can incorporate some of the latest style ideas into your own style for a pleasant change. It will take your unique look to the next level without changing who you are.

“Looking good” doesn’t mean “costing a lot.” 

Reuse! I cannot emphasize enough the importance of accessorizing! Adding new accessories to an outfit can completely change the look and add a breath of fresh air to the style.

Experiment with your closet by combining new top and bottom combinations and by adding fun accessories to bring the whole outfit together. When I create a new look with the clothes in my closet, often my clothing combination doesn’t appear to match correctly. It’s not until I bring the outfit together with my jewelry and shoes that my look steps up to a whole new level.

When I moved to England, I only brought with me one suitcase of clothing. Yet, even with my limited amount of clothing that I brought with, I was able to make new combinations with my clothes and accessorize them in fun ways to create new looks. I was always asked how many trunks I brought with me to Britain. People couldn’t believe that I had only brought one suitcase!

Take the time to experiment with your wardrobe. You’ll be surprised at how amazing you look by just reusing your preexisting clothes and by adding new accessories! This fall, remember to be unique and true to yourself. But above all, remember that it truly is the inside that counts. You are His creation! He cares about you!

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”
Matthew 6:28-30

The Love Trilogy: My Love

Guy Talk

My Friend. My Healer. God has revealed Himself to me in these two ways. These two entities have provided me with the miracle of hope and the promise of His relationship and His hand on my life. This month we conclude the Love Trilogy. If this is your first time joining us, I encourage you to skip back a few months to the beginning of this series. This month I pray that God will shower you with love, His love. I pray the love that He showers on you everyday will be real, but with a new impact that will reach the depths of your heart and meet you on the road at which you stand.

We all search for love. We all desire to feel needed, wanted, admired, and loved. The culture puts unnecessary pressure on us to have boyfriends and this longing can often lead to heartbreak, depression, and confusion. Is love worth the trouble?

My search for love has led to a lot of heartbreak. Just like millions of women out there, I have searched for a “good man,” only to be disappointed or crushed. After some unhealthy relationships, I eventually found myself losing hope and even disregarding the dream of finding real love. Even in my relationships with men that have been decent, I have known deep in my core that they weren’t meant to be. This only left me depressed.
Finally I did it. I crossed love off of my list. I decided that focusing on my career and life goals was more important than finding the love of my life. And I was content…well, maybe content isn’t the right word….I was complacent. I wasn’t exactly thrilled about not having the love of my life, but deciding not to try any more was better than being disappointed. I decided that love wasn’t worth the trouble.

One Sunday, within this last year, I went to church with my family. A young preacher was ministering. He spoke of God’s love for us; not an unfamiliar message in the church and, quite frankly, one that I had heard before. What was different about this message was the young preacher’s expression as he spoke.
“He passionately loves us…” his voice trailed off and stillness filled the room. Tears filled his eyes and he gently smiled, “He…,” his voice cracked and he paused to regain himself,” He is passionately in love with you.”

I felt the wind get knocked out of me. He is passionately in love with me. The God of the universe, My Healer, My Friend….. is passionately in love with me. Even after all of my stumbling and shortcomings, He is in love with me. And not just in love…passionately in love. I had to let this sink in and marinate for a bit. It was too overwhelming for me.

The David Crowder Band sings a song called “How He Loves.” The lyrics are so incredibly powerful. Take a moment to meditate on the depth of each line:

“How He Loves”
By the David Crowder Band
He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all.

I am still comprehending the depth of His love for me. My Jesus would do anything for me. How He loves me! God is currently teaching me every day that He is the love of my life. He should have always been the love of my life. He’ll place that special someone in my path eventually, but I don’t have to search for someone to love me, because He is already here. He is passionately, overwhelmingly in love with me and in love with you!

The Love Trilogy that God inspired and put on my heart has been an incredible experience for me. Writing it has brought me closer to my God. I am so thankful for Abba. Although your experiences are probably quite different from my own, I hope that some of my feelings resounded with you. I encourage you to share your experiences of what God is teaching you and who God is to you with others. We would be so honored if you would share them with us via an email (address provided below).

I would like to pray over you:
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for each of Your daughters reading this. I thank You that they have a desire to learn more of You and build their relationships with You. I know that You have Your hand on their lives and that You are guiding their footsteps in everything they do. I pray that You will take their brokenness, their questions, and their cares upon You. Whisper Your blessings in their ears. Heal broken hearts. Hold their hands. May each day bring them closer and closer to Your love and friendship. I thank You for revealing Yourself to them. I am so thankful for each of my sisters in You! Praise God! Amen~

*Do you have a relationship question for JOY? We're here to offer sound, Christian advice and our prayers. If you have a question or a prayer request, email JOY at:

Monday, August 2, 2010

August 2010

This month we have many new and exciting things! Check them out!

In JESUS, this month you can learn some helpful tips on studying your Bible. Over the next few months we will look at different ways to study your Bible. This month is: How to study your Bible – Bible Memorization
Also, check out “Add Your Comment Here” to let us know what your favorite Bible verse is.

In OTHERS, our By Faith is on Brother Andrew --- Risking Everything for God’s Word.

In YOU, we have Fancy Footwork under “Modest Dressing”, Sparkling Summer Eyes under “Natural Glow”, and the 2nd part of the Love Trilogy; My Friend.

Check it all out at:

If you have any questions or comment, email us at or comment below the article!

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

P.S. join our Facebook group:!/group.php?gid=275744011874&ref=ts

How to study your Bible - Bible Memorization

How to study your Bible - Bible Memorization
JOY Blog put out a survey to see what you would like to see more of in JOY Blog. Two of the responses said that they would like to know how to study their Bible and ways to be consistent with your Bible reading. Over the next few months I am going to try and help you. I am going to give you different ways to study the Bible. I hope one of the ways will work for you.

The way that I have found that is the easiest way for me to study the Bible, yet what may be thought of as the hardest is memorization. I feel God has called me to memorize His word. Now there are different ways to memorize scripture. One way that a lot of people memorize verses is through memorizing a lot of random verses. This is a way to do it and we will talk about that later, but what I am suggesting is to memorize whole passages because this way you are able to understand it better.

The first passage that I memorized was Isaiah 6:1-8. These verses, about Isaiah’s commissioning, have helped to lead me as I have been trying to decide what to do in the future, with college and getting a job. Verse 8 says, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”. Now the Lord is teaching me how to be His messenger and how to say, “Here am I. Send me!”

The passage that I am working on now is the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. This is something that I have probably read several times, but something I haven’t ever really thought that in depth on. Another thing that is interesting in memorizing whole passages is that you memorize things that you would otherwise never memorize. For example, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talks about what murder is. If I hadn’t decided to memorize the whole sermon, I may not have thought about what Jesus is teaching us about that.

Okay, so now you are probably thinking, “Sure, she can do it, but can I?” And the answer is yes you can, too. Now I have only been doing this for part of the summer, but I have already memorized over 30 verses. The way I am doing it is by memorizing one verse a day. Write it down on an index card and carried it with you throughout the day, by the end of the day, you should have it down. If you are doing something long, put it in an index card holder/binder, then you will not lose it as easily.

So give it a try. Start with something like Psalm 1 or something that is short. Get a calendar and put down one verse a day until you are through. Go through the passage as you do this though because you may find some verses are really short and you could do two or some are long and your might need more time. Remember the calendar is simply a tool. Do not get overwhelmed if you do not stay on track. This is something I have found is working for me, but if it doesn’t for you that is fine. We will be talking about more ways to study your Bible in the next couple months.

If you would like more information email me at and I can try to answer any questions you may have or you can just comment below.

You can also check out this website: . This is the website of a lady that has memorized whole books of the Bible. She also has a great book to read on the subject and you find more information about her and her book on the website.

I hope you try it and find it as helpful as I do.

Add your comment here...August 2010

Add your comment here...

My favorite Bible verse is...

By Faith – Brother Andrew-- Risking Everything for God's Word

By Faith – Brother Andrew-- Risking Everything for God's Word

On May 11, 1928, a boy named Andrew was born in Holland. He was raised in a Christian home, but he wasn’t sure he liked it. He sneaked out of church as a child. As a young adult he joined the army to fight in WWII. All of the killing going on in the war hardened Andrew’s heart. He would shout to the enemy, “Shoot me if you can”. One day he was shot in his ankle and faced being crippled all his life.

While he was in the hospital recovering, he began to read his Bible, cover to cover. And he started going to church again. He finally realized that he needed to let go of his hard heart and give it over to the Lord. And from that day, his love for the Lord grew.

He then decided to go to seminary so he could become a missionary. He faced many trials through this time. But with God’s help he made it through.

His mission was to take Bibles into places where the Word of God was illegal and you were not allowed to take it into those places.

He has many stories like this one, but I am only going to tell you one this time. As he was coming up to one of the border check points to a country where Bibles were illegal, Brother Andrew started praying. His car was filled with Bible and tracts. He asked God to make the seeing eyes of the guards, blind. Each car in front of him was being totally unloaded and gone through. So he decided if he took a few of the Bibles out and put them in the front seat, maybe he wouldn’t lose them all. So he finally got up to the check point and he started to get out but the guard had his knee against the door holding it shut. The guard looked at Brother Andrew’s papers and his passport, then shoved them back at him and waved him on. Brother Andrew was stunned. He wasn’t sure what to do. Did the guard really mean for him to go on? He looked back at the guard through his rear view mirror and the guard was already going through the next car. Brother Andrew said, “My heart was racing. Not with the excitement of the crossing, but with the excitement of having caught such a spectacular glimpse of God at work!"

Brother Andrew had faith to take Bibles into countries where not many others had or even could. He had faith and trusted that God would be with him, to guide him and to protect him. He had faith that in the end, God’s will would be done.

Do you have the kind of faith to do something dangerous for God? Do you have the faith to provide God’s word to people even at the cost of your life? Would you take that chance?

Is God's Word important to you? Do you treasure it, love it, study it, memorize it? By faith, you can do all those things...

If you would like more information on Brother Andrew or on his organization, Open Doors USA, go to: or check your library for books written by Brother Andrew.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Fancy Footwork

Modest Dressing
Fancy Footwork

I am spending some of my summer hours working in a little downtown bookstore. One afternoon, a lady walked into the store. She looked familiar, but I couldn’t place where I had seen her face before. Then, I saw her shoes. Aha! I never forget a face or a pair of shoes. I remembered where I had seen her before. We had previously had a lively conversation about shoes several weeks ago. She smiled at me then glanced at my feet (a classic behavioral move for any shoe-lover), “Those are cute too,” she nodded at my heels, “Last time we spoke, you had on a green pair. You must be a shoe girl.” “Yes, Ma’am!” I replied with a wink. I am most definitely a shoe girl.

Even if you are not a shoe-fanatic, you can appreciate a good pair of shoes. Each shoe personality is different. You might be a stiletto girl, a sandal girl, a boot girl, a tennis shoe girl, or a ballet flat girl. Whatever your shoe personality, your shoes can play a fashionable role in your wardrobe. A common mistake that most women make is the mentality that their shoes must match their outfit. Not necessarily true! While having a shoe design that matches the general flow and attitude of an outfit is important, the color, texture, and pattern of the shoe does not have to match. In fact, matching a totally different color shoe with a simplistically fashioned outfit can turn a “cute” outfit into a “chic” outfit.

In this outfit I’ve taken a delicate skirt and a simply tee and matched them with a flamboyant pair of wedges. The yellow in the shoes pull out the skirt and bring the whole outfit together.

Here I’ve taken a simplistic summer dress and added a pair of orange, forest green, and beige peep-toes. Note how the beige belt pulls out the beige in the shoes. Matching an accessory again will pull an outfit together.

This outfit is really fun. Because the sweater dress is a bit short, I added a pair of leggings. To give the basic black a bit of pizzazz, I matched it with stilettos that have a decorative, bright pattern.

This is a more work-oriented outfit. Wearing a basic black blouse and a professional skirt, this outfit was given a bit of life in the form of hunter green mary-janes.

Here is a nice, casual outfit. A tee, blue jeans and flats. The flats being worn are in a neutral color (brown), but have a playful, plaid pattern and are topped with a bow.

Another casual summer number! A lace tank-top has been layered with a light buttoned top. The gladiator sandals bring attention to the outfit while still keeping a casual summer look.
So go ahead, ladies! Buy those red heels or those yellow flats! You’ll be stepping out in style!

It’s not what you wear; it’s how you wear it.