Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Adonai....

As I've said before in small group we are studying the names of God. Last night we studied Adonai which translates into Lord, master.

This is the point from the Kay Arthur study we focused on....."With submission comes all we need for the task He puts before us. Whatever it is, as Adonai He supplies what His servants need in order to perform their Master's will. But as Adonai, God has a right to expect obedience."

Plain and simple....God is our master and we are His servants.

Last night we focused a lot on just our total submission to Him as our master. The pure and simple fact that He has total possession of us and the hard question of am I in total submission to Him in every aspect of my life?

Think about a masters relationship with his slave. They are purchased with a price and are loyal to them in everything they do.....we as Christians have been purchased by the blood of Jesus in return causing us to submit to Him in EVERY aspect of our lives....not just the parts we want to give Him.....it requires our total commitment to the will of God.

Then Mimi posed and interesting question which really struck a chord with me....what if my actions don't reflect my words and my words don't reflect my actions in truly submitting to God's plan for my life? Can I really recognize Him as Adonai? And think about how much it hurts us when someone in our lives words don't match up with their own actions.....that is what we are doing when we don't truly submit to His will and authority. I think I was so convicted by this because I am such a words person.

Instead it should be so encouraging that during trials and hard times Adonai is a picture of help and hope because we are truly resting under the submission of our precious Savior.....there is no need to wrestle with Him just rest. While knowing and trusting that His will is perfect for our lives and that He has nothing but the best in store....that He is holding your hand and guiding you through whatever you may be dealing with.

So my challenge to you today is to live a life that is positionally and not experientialy under the submission of our master....to know and trust Him as Adonai today.

Psalm 16:2 "I said to the LORD, Thou art my Lord (Adonai) I have no good besides Thee."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Melissa Greene





Today while browsing through iTunes I stumbled across Melissa Greene. I love pretty music so I downloaded it and love it! Before branching off to be a solo artist she was apart of the group Avalon.

Here are the words to one of her songs called At your Feet.....

Let the world fade away

I need to be alone Simply fall on my face,

here before your throne Father find me now as I bow At Your feet,

I sing to who You are
At Your feet, I offer all my heart
At your feet it’s You that I adore
I worship You, my Lord
The best of life for me is at Your feet.
Lord for all You have done, and how You set me free
Words of gratitude rise up, right here on my knees
Praises overflow from my soul
Holy, Mighty, Worthy is the Lamb

On The Farm...

We started our new curriculum On The Farm a couple of weeks ago! It has been so much to do with the kids! We are teaching them the Fruits of the Spirit and have some super fun music to go along with it! Plus, it has been a sweet reminder to me of what fruit I may be lacking in my life!

This past weekend we taught on patience and had some special visitors for the object lesson! Live chicks!!! I hope the kids are having even more fun with this than I am!



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Great BIG God...

Almost every week in GIGL we sing this song. The chorus goes.....
Our God is a great big God.
Our God is a great big God.
Our God is a great big God
And he holds us in His hands.
I have been thinking about this a lot lately....just how big our God is since reading a blog entry from Bring the Rain.
She wrote about the fact that yes His hands are BIG enough to create the skies, the stars, you and me.....but is it possible for this same God to wrap His huge hands around the "little things"......you know what I'm talking about....the things that we struggle with, the things that cause us hurt, the things that can keep us awake at night.
The most frustrating thing for me....the answer is so simple and yet sometimes I make it so difficult...yes He can and yes He does.
I have been so convicted lately of putting God in a box. Now, the size of that box can differ from day to day depending on what I'm going through. These past few months I have felt God tugging on my heart like never before asking and almost screaming these words to me "Joy, do you believe and trust that I am big enough?"
Wow.
OK Joy, it's time to take Him out of the box you have so tightly folded Him up into. To let go of the limitations you have put on God. I mean seriously....who the heck am I to put limitations on the God of this universe? I saw Him do HUGE things in the lives of JHigh students this past week in Biloxi....He is using 7th and 8th graders like crazy in Katy, Texas.......He is moving in BIG ways all around me and yet I choose to limit Him.
I challenge you today....no matter where you are to take God out of the box you have put Him in. Stop putting limitations on Him......trust and believe that He is big enough.....that He holds you in His hands....and is going to continue to do amazing things!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Home Sweet Home...

Well, we made it back safe and sound from Biloxi on Saturday afternoon! The trip was filled with many sweet memories and God moved in the lives of the students and adults.

My group worked on a lady named Jacky's house. We redid the entire right side of her house and then painted it. I think I had the best group and was so proud of how hard they worked those couple of days!
I was so blessed to get to know some of the girls better in the Jhigh ministry better and am crazy about them! They are the sweetest girls and blessed me beyond words....they even nick named me Princess!

My group after day one....a little exhausted!!!





Monday, March 16, 2009

Biloxi, Mississippi...

Tomorrow I am headed to Biloxi, Mississipi for a mission trip with our JHigh students. Some of my team members are going and I am very excited about serving along side of them this week and forming even closer relationships!

You can check in with what all we are doing this week by following Michael's blog....please keep us in your thoughts and prayers!

March Madness...

I love the month of March for the simple fact that the big dance begins.....there is just something that is so exciting about the climax of college basketball.

The thing I love the most about March Madness is that there are no guarantees in the tournament....I always seem to find myself pulling for the Cinderella team because they have nothing to loose.....they play the entire four quarters with everything that is in them hoping to get to play another game to acheive the dream of becoming the NCAA National Champion!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My First Birthday Party!!!

This past weekend I performed at my first Birthday party! I had so much fun dancing and singing with all of the little girls that attended the Princess themed party! The Birthday girls Grandfather had built a stage for the play room for me to dance on.

Oh my stars....this was not your average stage....it was decorated and even had it's very own curtains...by the end of the night all the girls ended up on stage with me! After we finished dancing and singing they all wanted to take pictures with me and even wanted my autograph....it was just precious! I have to admit that kind of made my night! :)

I wanted to be a Disney Princess after I graduated college but am too short...I know, crazy right...you have to be 5 foot 7 to be one....so Saturday night one of my dreams actually became a reality!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

El Shaddi

In small group we have been studying the names of God. Let me just tell you how great it has been. It was been so neat to walk through the three names we have already studied....the names of God truly reveal His true character and amazing power.

Monday night was El Shaddai which translates into God Almighty. This name can been seen throughout scripture 48 times.....31 times in Job, 8 in Revelation, and the rest are scattered throughout.

The first occurrence of El Shaddai can be found in Genesis 17:1. We studied Abram's journey to become Abraham and how God truly revealed His might and power through this. I learned so much Monday night but something really struck a chord with me.....here is what it is....

"God gives Himself to us, just in the measure as we give ourselves to Him."

Wow....what a powerful truth.

This really convicted me. How many times do I not yield everything to Him, do I hold on to the things that I want to control, the things that I am afraid of letting go of? How often to I let the distractions in my life keep me from seeing how He's working.....I mean, Do I even take the time to slow down, get still, to recognize what He's doing?

Well friends, we will only receive His sweet promises if we yield to Him.

Now for me yielding to Him can be more of a struggle. But the truth is He knows what's best and His plan is picture perfect. I mean I have a book full of His promises and truths that tell me this.

And hello Joy....God is not more of a taker than He is a giver. He wants to give me the best....that's what He has in mind for me...not second string....His best....that sweet promise alone should be enough to rest in.

This got me thinking....do I have faith to yield myself to God? I want to believe that I do but you know what..... I'm just going to be honest...there are days when I don't want to. There are days when I want what I think is best for me, days when I want to fight God so hard for not giving me what I think is best, days when I just flat out don't want to trust that He has my best interest in mind....can anyone relate?

But you know what...as long as I am full of self will and self confidence I will never understand El Shaddai because I won't need what is being offered to me. How can I see the true power of El Shaddai if I don't allow Him to reveal it to me in my very own life?

So today I praying for me and you that we would allow God to reveal His true power to us, that we would yield our plan and let God reveal His perfect plan to us.

Psalm 18:30 "As for God His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him."




Monday, March 9, 2009

J is for Jonas Brothers!

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo......
75,000 screaming fans......
Seeing the Jonas Brothers in concert.....priceless!
Yes, I am fully aware of how old I am and that my JHigh students and even Preschoolers are fans...but now you can add me to the list. After seeing them last night let me assure you....they are not just your average boy band....they are very talented singers and can play instruments as well! The concert was very entertaining and I was entertained the entire time!

Oh my stars...you should have seen the little girls jumping up and down, screaming, crying....it was hilarious! Here is a video of my favorite song....Love Bug....enjoy!

video

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Beautiful....

I am so that person who acts like she has it all together....I basically don't leave the house until everything is perfectly put in place so the people I am about to encounter at least think that I've got it all together.

This reality hit me like a ton of bricks when a friend of mine looked at me at a recent wedding and said word for word...."Wait a minute...you are Joy Willoughby. You are like this perfect girl who wears a halo on her head. Did I mention I think you are perfect?" During the conversation the person with me was one of my best friends. Kara's response? "There you go being unattainable again Joy."

Ladies and Gentlemen.....The Academy Award goes to....me.

I had succeeded in fooling everyone but myself....and of course my precious Jesus.

That quote really got me thinking about one thing....brokenness.

Oh how that word just sends chills up my spine and I have to admit that topic is something I like to stay far, far away from. I mean, who enjoys being broken and refined over and over again. The process isn't easy but the end result is something beautiful.

Because every time without fail our sweet Jesus puts the pieces of our hearts back together into something even more beautiful.

I'm learning this sweet lesson right now. That my brokenness before The Lord is beautiful, it's real, it's me. After all that's what He wants....me to be me and He is the one person I can not fool.

So I challenge you today....to let your Precious Jesus use your brokenness and refinement to create something beautiful, fresh, and new in you.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What Color are You?

Last Thursday we had a team building meeting to figure out our true color.....the color explains what motivates you....it was not a personality test. You could either be an orange, gold, blue, or green. I took the test and figured out that I am a blue. When I turned the page and read the characteristics of a blue I quickly began to realize that it had nailed me perfectly.

Here is what motivates a blue at work......

Creating a warm and personal working atmosphere....interacting as much as possible with openness and honestly....establishing a harmonious working environment and avoiding conflict and hostility....showing your support, caring , and appreciation by offering a touch, a hug, or a hand shake....allowing them the freedom to express feelings and the time to heal emotional wounds...making use of their natural gifts for communication, nurturing, and people-oriented ideas...praising their imaginative and creative approach to the job...providing them with one-one-one feedback.

Interesting isn't it?
"Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert."
Isaiah 43:19

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