Dancing on BeachIt’s my strength, Nehemiah says… the joy of the Lord.

It’s the result of an exchange, according to Isaiah’s prophecy.  The Spirit of God anointed Jesus to exchange my mourning and ashes for beauty and joy.  Surely you don’t think somewhere along the way He’s lost that anointing, do you?

Jesus later told his disciples that they would mourn (at his death), but that their mourning would be turned to joy when they saw Him again (after His resurrection).  News Flash!  In case you missed it, He’s still alive.

Moreover, Jesus said, as they asked in His name, they would receive, and their joy would be full.  So about that asking…

Joy is the fruit of the Spirit because joy is one expression of the character and nature of God.

It’s here that the Lord gets a bum rap. [click to continue…]


LeapingSitting on the back porch this morning, watching Thomas G. Glavine. Not the famous pitcher for the Braves and some other nameless team, but the yellow-striped cat named in his honor.  The G. doesn’t really stand for anything – that’s just something we tossed in there for good measure.

Glavine is a world-class mouser and extraordinary bird hunter.  He’s almost 11 years old and may have lost a step or two, but don’t tell the birds that.  A dove was sitting on top of the 10-foot fence this morning, and Glavine went to work.  His tail started swirling back and forth.  He waited and watched for the perfect moment.  Then he made an epic, heroic leap off the patio table and landed eye-to-eye with the bird, tail still swirling.

Well, the dove flew off and lived to see another day, and the cat went on the prowl for other prospects.  And the Lord and I had a little talk about what I had just witnessed.

See, before his feet made the leap to the top of the fence, his heart was leaping at the sight of the bird.  [click to continue…]