Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy New Year 2011!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy New Year, girls!!!!
Hope the New Year is going great for you!!!
Sorry it has taken longer to get the articles up for this new month and new year, but between holidays and a few other things, I have been quite busy!
Enjoy the articles, let us know if you like them, and see how God will use you this NEW YEAR!!!

Happy New Year!

The JOYauthors,
Mandy and Rachel!

New Year...New Connection

JESUS – Devotional

New Year...New Connection

The New Year comes around and you hear all of the talk of New Year resolutions and like me, you are probably thinking, “What resolutions should I make for this new year?”. Well, I want to present you with a resolution, a challenge for the New Year.

Every year around this time, my pastor likes to send out a challenge to our church. That challenge is to read the Bible in a year. This year, he even gave some Bibles away to encourage people to follow through with this idea. I would like to challenge you and encourage you to read your Bible through in a year, or more importantly, simply read it every day.

Before I give you some “helps” for reading your Bible every day, I want to give you some reasons why I think this is a great idea for the New Year.

1. God’s word is a guide for us – Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

2. Jesus is the Word, and so to know Him, you can read the Word. – John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

3. It is a great way to connect with your Heavenly Father. Reading the Word of God is like God speaking to you.

4. It can make you wise. “From a child, you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus!” 2 Timothy 3:15

5. Reading the Bible will equip you for life. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness–so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work!” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Ready for some helps??? Check here!


1. NIV Daily Bible: In Chronological Order (comes in different versions)– This is a Bible that many in my family have used. I really like this one because you read the Bible in order it happened.

2. The One Year Bible(comes in different versions) – Each day you will read some of the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs.

3. There are many different daily Bibles to help you read everyday. Check our more here:|1774981|1003

Online and Other Resources

1. Our Daily Bread devotionals – are another way to help you read your Bible every day. They have a short passage to read that goes along with the devo and also a Bible in a year plan. You can get these online, in the mail, through email, on your phone, or through podcasts. Check them out here:

2. 411 God – Is a 60 second phone call that you get every day with a Bible reading on it.

3. Powered by 4 – is a daily email with a reminder and a short scripture passage and more. Find out more:

Bible Reading Plans*

1. Back to the Bible -

2. -

3. Zondervan -

4. The One Year Bible -

*These Bible reading plans offer: 30 day, 60 day, 90 day, 365 day, 3 year, topical, beginning to end, chronological (in order that events happened), historical (in order books were written), Old and New Testament, New then Old, Blended, etc… Hopefully, you can find one to fit you! And if one doesn’t work, don’t give up, keep going or try a new one. 

I pray that you can have fun with this and that it will really help you in your relationship with Christ. If you do not know where you are on your walk of faith, this is a great place to start. God will direct your path! Have a Bible-filled, Christ-filled, New Year!

by Mandy H.

Add Your Comment Here – January 2011

JESUS – Add Your Comment Here – January 2011

This New Year I plan to…

**Add your comment here by clicking the comment button below** 

By Faith...Coming Soon

OTHERS – By Faith


Author Interview-check back SOON

Helping in the Harvest: The Grant Family

OTHERS – Helping in the Harvest: The Grant Family

One of the reasons supporting missionaries and being involved in ministry is so important to me is because my family and I were missionaries. We served in the inner city of Los Angeles with the organization World Impact. My dad taught in World Impact’s Los Angeles Christian School and we lived not far from downtown, near the families we ministered to.

I learned so much and met lots of amazing people during the 2 years we were there. The Grants were one family we met. Todd and Jennifer live in Watts as World Impact church planters along with their 4 kids and now 3 foster kids. When our families got together, which was fairly often, the house was packed.

I recently asked Mrs. Grant about their ministry.

What are some things you do as church planters?

We share Jesus with others through whatever opportunities He gives us. We live in our neighborhood so we can share Christ with our neighbors during our everyday activities. We also teach and disciple believers through Bible Clubs, Bible Studies and one on one relationships. Todd is the pastor of our church and preaches each Sunday. We also minister to our neighborhood through our medical clinic, literacy activities, sports ministries, youth groups, and outreaches. In the fall we will assist in starting an elementary school at our ministry site.

How is a typical Sunday/Church service for you different than a typical Sunday/Church service elsewhere?

We serve breakfast before our first service and lunch after our second service. We don’t expect people to wear dress clothes, because many people in our community don’t have them. Some people dress up, but most don’t, and everyone is welcome no matter what they are wearing. Our congregation is very diverse, and often includes people from different neighborhoods (which means they have crossed gang territories to come), different ethnicities, different counties and even different countries. Sometimes people are struggling with their addictions and may come to church under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Many children come without their families. Also, our service usually lasts about 2-2 ½ hours. Our music is diverse too, and may include praise songs and Christian hip hop or rap.

What are some of the challenges you face while witnessing to these people?

Often we encounter people who say they are Christians, but they haven’t really trusted Christ as their Savior and they don’t walk with Him daily as their Lord. They don’t realize that having Jesus as your Savior makes a difference in the daily choices and decisions one makes. Many in our community say they believe there is a God, but they don’t have a personal relationship with Him. They equate being a Christian with being religious. Also, many people are addicted to drugs and alcohol or are caught in generational patterns of sin. These strongholds can only be broken by the power of Jesus’ name, but many people mistakenly believe they must clean themselves up before coming to Christ.

What are some ways you’ve seen God at work in Watts?

We have had the amazing privilege of seeing God work in a number of ways. We have seen Him set people free from addictions, give the homeless a home, provide jobs, provide food, provide volunteers, and change hearts! Todd has had the privilege of marrying 3 couples since PowerHouse was launched and marriage is virtually unheard of in Watts.

What are some things you’ve learned since ministering in Watts?

Spiritually, I’ve learned a much deeper reliance on Christ. I am learning to trust Him more and more each day. My prayer life has been strengthened. I treasure His word more and more.

Practically, I’ve gotten a taste of what it means to live in an urban environment. There are armed guards at our grocery store. Our home was robbed by people in our community. Our fence was broken down and our dog was tasered by the police. Our street has been shut down for hours because of a tactical alert, and we could not get in or out. I’ve seen dead bodies in the street and I hear gunshots on a regular basis. I’ve learned that racism is still rampant in our country. I have seen blatant injustice and hatred.

Personally, I’ve been blessed with great neighbors and wonderful deep friendships with people in our church and community. I’ve been touched by the generosity of my neighborhood. I have learned that you cannot judge a community by what you see on the evening news. I’ve been moved by the joy of worshipping with a diverse group of believers because it gives us a little taste of what heaven will be like.

“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude...shouting: ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord God Almighty reigns.’”

Revelation 19:6

How to Help


What are some things we can be praying about for you?

Pray that God would continue to move in mighty ways and draw people to Himself, and that He would use us to further His kingdom by equipping us to share His message of redemption boldly and competently.

Pray for our children, that they would all trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior and follow passionately after Him.

Pray for safety and for peace in our community.

Pray that new believers would be encouraged in their faith and would be able to leave old sin habits and patterns behind.

How might someone sign up to receive your monthly prayer letters?

They can email me their name and address and I will make sure they receive them. Our email is


Is there a way to give online to you?

Yes, visit and click on “Give” change designation to “Staff by Name” and choose Grant, Todd and Jennifer

Or you can go to our missionary homepage  and click on “ give”


Are there ways for people to volunteer and come to help you, either for just a day or perhaps a whole summer?

Yes, there are lots of opportunities to volunteer. We love to have folks come for whatever time they can and minister with us. Some of the groups and individuals have done building maintenance, health fairs, VBS, prayer walks, tutoring, life skills teaching, art clinics and a variety of other ministries. Please email us if you are interested in serving here in Watts.

Would it be okay if any of our readers email or write to you?

I would love to hear from your readers.

In Your Community

I asked Mrs. Grant if she ever imagined herself working in Watts. She said, “I felt called to missions as a child, but I had always imagined being overseas. God opened my eyes to the deep needs here in our own nation.” That reminded me that I am a missionary right here in my own neighborhood. There is, as she says, great needs even here in our own backyard! In fact, that is the reason my family chose to move into a suburban-type neighborhood, so that we can be closer to other people.

One of the needs and challenges of my neighborhood is people thinking they are saved just because they are religious. The Grants face the same challenge, so I wondered how they reach people like that. I realized that I can do exactly what the Grants do: We live in our neighborhood so we can share Christ with our neighbors during our everyday activities. As I live my life completely devoted to God, my neighbors will see the difference between the way they are “Christians” and the way I follow God—and they will probably want to know why. It is just like Jesus says in Matthew 5:16.

What challenges do YOU face in reaching your neighborhood for Christ?

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:16

By Rachel R.

5 Uses for… The New Year

YOU – 5 Uses for… The New Year

The New Year is here and it is the time to do new things. Here are a few suggestions that you can use to do something new for the New Year.

1. Create a plan to become closer to God

         a. Bible reading

         b. Praying

         c. Journaling

         d. Attending Church

         e. Volunteering at Church

2. Set some new goals that CAN be accomplished

        a. Take your sister out for an ice cream cone

        b. Keep your room clean

        c. Cook dinner once a week for your parents and family

3. Try something new (even if it is small)

       a. Go on a trip with your family

        b. Go visit someone in the hospital or a nursing home

        c. Practice a different character trait on different days of the week

4. Stretch yourself and let God use you – Do something hard

       a. (This can be different for each one of us)

      b. Read the book Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris to learn more

5. Make an impact in someone’s life

      a. Spend a whole hour with a sibling

      b. Help your grandparents

      c. Babysit so your parents can go out

This is a starter list. Find what is different and hard and challenging for you. Ask God how He wants to use you this New Year. Have a willing heart, a heart to serve our Father. And go out and DO!!!

Share with us what you are doing. What are your plans for the New Year?

By Mandy H.