Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy 4th of July 2010!

Hi Girls! 

Happy 4th of July and Independence Day! Hope you are having a great summer! Summer is well under way and JOY has some exciting things in store for you!

First, if you haven’t already taken the survey we put out, please do that so we know what you would like to see in the JOY Blog. We've had some great responses to our survey so far. Thank you to the ladies that have taken the time to do this! We deeply appreciate it.

When you check out the JESUS section, you will find a devotional about Sacrifice. And also another “Add Your Comment Here”. This one will be about worship!

Under the OTHERS section, you will find a special “By Faith” issue.

In YOU section you will find articles on radiant skin, tips on dressing modestly, and the start of a trilogy in "Guy Talk"!

We pray that God is revealing to you His perfect plan you. We lift each of you up in our prayers. Praise God! He has His hand on your life! We love you and thank God for you.

Mandy, Heather, Rachel

Sacrifice's Gifts

Sacrifice's Gifts

4th of July, Independence Day, independence, freedom, sacrifice. These are some of the things that you may be thinking about this time of year in America. And if you haven’t started thinking about these things…now is as good a time as ever!

One of the things that I have been thinking a lot about is sacrifice. America came with great sacrifice and there is still sacrifice today. While I was thinking of sacrifice, I wanted to know the definition. Here it is: sacrifice is to suffer loss of, give up, renounce, injure, or destroy especially for an ideal, belief, or end. ( Wow! Isn’t that incredible?

Now you may have heard the quote, “Only two forces have ever died for you, Jesus Christ and the American soldier (Army, Navy, Etc…). Now of course there are many more people who have laid down their lives in sacrifice. Missionaries are some of those people. But for this month, we are going to focus on the two previous ones.

Recently I read a quote from Karen Kingsbury in her book, Ever After, it said, “Love is not possible without sacrifice and sacrifice is not possible without love”. That was a quote I had to read more than once, but I knew right away it is true and so remarkable.

The American soldier’s sacrifice comes from loving our country and the people in it. Through their sacrifice, they defend our freedom and liberties, such as freedom of religion. We may not have ever had to sacrifice in this way, but we enjoy the freedom their sacrifice brings for us.

Jesus Christ’s sacrifice comes from loving the whole world, everyone in it, you and me (John 3:16). In 1 John 2:2, it says, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world”. The WHOLE World. WOW! I also looked up the word atoning and found it meant to make amends for an offense or a crime. Christ did that for us. He made amends for our sins. He paid the ultimate sacrifice, once for all of us, for you and for me (Hebrews 10:10). Again a sacrifice made by someone else gave us a gift, the gift of Salvation in this case.

The sacrifice of others has brought us precious gifts. The sacrifice of a soldier may have helped give you freedom; Christ's sacrifice has given you freedom in Him. They were given with no thought of if you deserved them, but through love. What is your response to these gifts?

One step farther…
Think about this verse: Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

By Mandy


Add your comment here... 

The worship song that brings me into God's presence is...

By Faith...Grandma Ruby

By Faith...Grandma Ruby
 A few months ago, my grandmother, Ruby, went to be with her Savior. I want to honor her this month because her birthday was July 4th, 1920.

Grandma Ruby lived By Faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. Grandma Ruby was sure and certain. She didn’t always talk about her faith, but you could tell she lived it out and believed. She loved to read her Bible and we knew she prayed. She also practiced her faith. My mom always told me stories of her hospitality. My grandpa would bring guests home for lunch without my grandma’s knowledge and she would provide for them. She also passed her gifts of hospitality down to the next generations. My mom learned it and has taught it her daughters, too. My grandma was never a person to get upset and she always had a smile for you. She was extremely patient and full of grace. She lived by faith and she died in faith.  I loved my grandma very much and I miss her very much, but my grandma taught me something. She shared her faith in gentle ways, showing love to all she came in contact with. She taught me you need to LIVE by faith because if you live “by faith” others will see it and they will be encouraged to live it out, too.
Even though you cannot see Who you are living for, if you live in faith, others will see it.

By Mandy

Natural Glow-H2O

Natural Glow


Have you ever seen someone with a beautiful complexion? Skin that radiates with a healthy glow? Wonder how they got that glow?

A simple way to get healthy, fresh skin is by drinking plenty of water. Our bodies are made up of about 70% water. According to the Mayo Clinic, we should drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day. (Although this will vary slightly per person) During the summer months, we lose a lot of water in the heat via sweating and time in the sun. It is important to keep skin cells revived by hydration. Healthy skin is hydrated skin.

My challenge for you this month is to drink at least one glass of water a day for a week. Forming good hydration habits can start slowly then build into a lifestyle change. So start with at least one glass of water a day, then increase the number of glasses you drink. It may be helpful to create a checklist for yourself as a reminder to hydrate. A good trick for me is to pack myself a large container of water when I leave the house. Before I re-enter my home at the end of the day, I must have drank the container of water.
I never really was much of a water drinker. When I did hydrate, it was usually water filled with flavoring and sugar. It wasn’t until my move to England, when I couldn’t find my flavored water, that I started drinking pure water. I noticed a positive change in my complexion within a week. Soon, I increased the amount of water I began drinking to a healthy amount. My skin quickly showed clean, fresh pores; my body felt revived; and I had more energy during the day. It was a change that led me to a new lifestyle.

By Heather

Do you have a hygiene or make-up question for JOY? Email us at:

Guy Talk -The Love Trilogy: My Healer

Guy Talk

The Love Trilogy:
My Healer

God has placed it on my heart to talk to you in a three part series entitled “The Love Trilogy.” The first part of this series is “My Healer.” The following two months we will be looking at “My Friend” and “My Love.” This series is something I am really excited about and something I feel that God has designed especially for you. Praise our Abba! Praise our Father!

My experience in the realms of relationships has not been perfect. Like most everyone, I have had my heart broken or have been crushed along the road to finding love. We all search for love in one form or another. The quest for love is an innate part of us that we inadvertently long for. We desire to feel loved and to give love.

As we search for someone to love us and to love in return, the unexpected can happen. Our hearts, pure, unashamed, innocent, and whole, we offer openly to those we care about. Offering your heart and love is one of the greatest gifts you can offer. It can hurt so much when that gift is rejected!

Maybe this has happened to you…Maybe you have offered your heart and have had it rejected. Or maybe you were in a relationship that didn’t work and now you are left with your heart in pieces. Maybe you have sheltered your heart from others because the past has left painful scars on your heart. Reopening yourself to others and allowing yourself to feel love can be a difficult, painful task; but you are not alone. Whatever scenario you have come from, there is healing in a place where love flows over and through you. Pure. Unashamed. Innocent. Making you whole again.

I came from several bad relationships in my past. From falling deeply in love and being rejected, to feeling awkward and unlovable, and finally hiding myself deep inside to protect what was left of my heart. I went from being a care-free girl of twelve, believing that love would come and sweep me off of my feet, to holding  my own heart, bleeding, broken, and scarred, trying to figure out how to make myself whole again. I went through years of college trying to make myself better. I searched for someone or something to make me feel whole again. It was as if I could feel each individual scar on my heart. Whenever I would let myself care about someone again, I would hide away, afraid that the relationship would end in hurt.

To cope, I would write poetry and relinquish my feelings by putting pen to paper. Yet, over time, I felt myself becoming bitter. Those scars that once just flooded me with pain and guilt began to sting with resentment and anger. My search to heal myself had led me down a path to nowhere. And then, at the end of my rope, feeling lost, hurt, and angry, I found myself sitting on my bed in my room. Tears were streaming down my face. Pictures of guys from past relationships flashed through my head like an old-movie slide show. I felt a mix of hurt and a furious anger surge over me. I grabbed a pillow and threw it at my bedroom wall with all my might, then flopped down on my mattress with a sob. I didn’t know how to move forward. I had tried; I had failed. All I knew was that I couldn’t live the rest of my life like this. Then came the voice….

Rest in Me
Heal in Me
I will make you better
Trust in Me
Trust, Trust, Trust

The tears in my eyes momentarily stopped. It all seemed so simple. I had been running so fast in the wrong direction to “make myself better” that I had ran past the only One who knew exactly what would make my hurting heart Whole. “You’re right...,” I muttered and sat up in bed. At the end of my futile path to finding love, God reminded me of His healing power. From that moment on, I would talk to God about my feelings and hurts. I would tell Him to heal me and soften the hard parts of my heart. And you know what? He did. I even started praying for the people who had hurt me in the past. All of a sudden my bitterness towards them turned into forgiveness and love.

Growing up in church I had heard preachers talk about God being many things: a Healer, a Friend, a Savior, a Love, a Treasure, etc. But growing up, I never needed a Healer until that moment. He revealed to me what He always was and what I had rushed past so quickly each time I was hurt. He became my Healer. My only Healer. The only one who really knew what I was feeling. The only one who knew what to say to make me reflect and feel refreshed. The only one who could take my damaged heart and make it full of joy again. He is the only one who can take your heart as it I; fill it with His healing love; and make every corner of your heart beautiful. Taking your past, your tears, and your reservations, He will make you pure. He will make you unashamed. He will make you whole again.

By Heather

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:

Modest Dressing- How Can I Tell What Is Modest?

Modest Dressing

Reader’s Question:
How Can I Tell What Is Modest?

An excellent question was asked by a reader last month that I’d like to discuss. This question couldn’t come at a better time. When the temperature goes up, we resort to cooler, more breathable clothing.
But how do we know when we have taken off too many layers? How can we know what is modest and what crosses the line?

Here is a good tip for distinguishing what is modest: stand in front of a mirror. Now ask yourself two questions:

• Would my outfit be pleasing to my Father God?
• Am I causing my brothers in the Lord to sin with this outfit?

After asking yourself these questions, consider what you are doing throughout the day. Some tops may be modest when you are looking at them straight on; however, when you bend over…. Oops! Your cute, modest top just became immodest. Think about what you will be doing throughout the day. If you are going to be working with little kids, which obviously involves a lot of bending over, it’s probably not a wise decision to wear modest cuts that turn immodest with a bending over movement. Does your outfit remain modest while you go about your day?

If you are still unsure if your outfit is modest, ask a trusted friend or family member. Keep note though, if an outfit has you in doubt, throw it out! On some level, we all know what is modest. It is just a matter of being honest with yourself.

Another helpful tip for finding modest outfits: bring a friend with you while shopping. Bringing a friend with that holds the same morals and values as you can be extraordinarily helpful. As the saying goes, “Iron sharpens iron.” You can both help and learn from each other by finding outfits that are cute and modest.

You can still be fashionable and have a style unique to match your personality. You are God’s precious daughter and He loves you more than you can fathom. Have fun dressing modestly; we are all in this together!

By Heather

Have any more questions like this one? Send them to: