Joy is Gone

Here are the final quotes from my Word of the YearJoy.  This has been a difficult but joy-filled year for sure.  I’m so thankful for great quotes like this that spread true joy!  If you read carefully, you’ll find the quote from which the title comes, but it’s also a play on words — nearly time to choose a new word!

You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance; you have taken away my sorrow and surrounded me with joy.  — Psalm 30:11 (GNT)

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost.  — Romans 15:13 (NIV)

Joy is the serious business of Heaven.  — C. S. Lewis, The Joyful Christian, pg. 228

Give me the strength to wait for hope — to look through the window when there are no stars.  Even when my joy is gone, give me the strength to stand victoriously in the darkest night and say, “To my Heavenly Father, the sun still shines.”  I will have reached the point of greatest strength once I have learned to wait for hope.  — L. B. Cowman quoting George Matheson, Streams in the Desert

And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing to Zion; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.  — Isaiah 51:11 (RSV)

What is the sign of a friend?  Is it that he tells you his secret sorrows?  No, it is that he tells you his secret joys.  Many people will confide their secret sorrows to you, but the final mark of intimacy is when they share their secret joys with you.  Have we ever let God tells us any of His joys?  — Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Remove from my heart, Lord, the spirit of pride and ego.  Make me your willing servant, and give me such a song in my heart, that I may do the humblest tasks with joy.  — Ruth Youngdahl Nelson, God’s Song in My Heart, pg. 49

Only with wisdom comes joy, and with greatness comes love.  — Harry S. Truman

I bless Thee for tempering every distress with joy; too much of the former might weigh me down, too much of the latter might puff me up; Thou art wise to give me a taste of both.  — The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, pg. 157

Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!  The LORD rescues them when they are in trouble.  — Psalm 41:1 (NLT)

The flowers live by the tears that fall from the sad face of the skies; and life would have no joy at all, were there no watery eyes.  Love the sorrow, for grief will bring its own reward in later years; the rainbow!  See how fair a thing God has built up from tears.  — L. B. Cowman, Streams in the Desert

We must remember to maintain within our hearts the spirit of Sabbath calm and peace, not fussy, not anxious, nor fretful nor impetuous; refraining our feet from our own paths, our hand from our own devices, refusing to make our own joy and do our own works.  — David Roper quoting F. B. Meyer, A Man to Match the Mountains, pg. 109

Holy Father, I ask that You would draw nearer to me and that Your Holy Spirit would guide my thoughts and my ways.  I pray that I would have a deeper understanding of Your love and how Your heart — the heart of a loving Father — cares for me and for all people, equally.  I pray I would see those around me as You see them.  I pray You would give me Your heart for the poor, that I would see them as my brothers and sisters in Christ, and as co-heirs in the abundant hope and joy of Your love.  — A Compassion International prayer

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Not Alone

This week I’m sharing quotes from my Word of the YearJoy!  Following are more wonderful phrases that use the word, “Joy.”  I can honestly say that this has not been an easy year; but, in truth, even when times are really difficult, there is a joy and strength deep inside that no one can displace in my life.  It’s always there, as a foundation to everything because God is faithful and present and He loves unconditionally.

The Christian joy is found in knowing that, though he must go through scenes of deepest gloom, he is not alone; there is One who has led the way.  Yes, he knows that nothing can separate him from that One, if he will keep his eyes fixed on Him; and the sorrow to be endured will only make the goal more beautiful.  — Ruth Youngdahl Nelson, God’s Son in My Heart, pg. 10

While He was blessing them, He left them and was taken up to Heaven.  So they worshiped Him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy.  — Luke 24:51-52 (NIV)

At His sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the LORD with music.  Psalm 27:6b (NLT)

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.  The self-same well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes be filled with your tears…The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.  — Kahil Gibran

Jesus saves us not only from our sin and ourselves.  He also saves us from our ordinariness.  He transforms the drudgery of daily existence into a wonderful journey with Him…Jesus brings new meaning to everything, even the most meaningless of days.  We find joy where before there was only dullness of heart because, beyond ourselves, Jesus has come, the true bringer of joy.  Pray that your dullest tasks will be transformed with the joy of Christ. — Michael Card, Joy in the Journey

Shout to the LORD, all the earth; break out in praise to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and melodious song, with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn.  Make a joyful symphony before the LORD, the king!  Let the sea and everything in it shout His praise!  Let the earth and all living things join in.  Let the rivers clap their hands in glee!  Let the hills sing out their songs of joy before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth.  He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with fairness.  — from Psalm 98 (NLT)

I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy.  Yes, your joy will overflow!  John 15:11 (NLT)

You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.  — Psalm 4:7 (NLT)

The parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) is a familiar story, and it’s important to keep the focus where it belongs:  not on the lost son, but on the father and his great joy at the repentance and return of the son.  — R. C. Sproul, What is theGreat Commission?, go, 57

Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the LORD because the foundation of the LORD’s Temple had been laid.  But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation.  The others, however, were shouting for joy.  The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.  — Ezra 3:11-13 (NLT)

Joy is hard to find on ordinary days in the routine of daily life.  If real joy is to be found, it must come from the outside.  On those mystical occasions when joy comes to us from beyond, the ordinary is transformed into a vehicle for the joy.  The entire world can be transformed in a moment…the first Easter [or Christmas] began as an ordinary day.  Jesus chose an ordinary day to transform the world and give us the chance to know joy.  — Michael Card, Joy in the Journey

 

 

Look Back

It’s nearly time to choose a new Word of the Year, and I certainly have enjoyed this year’s word — Joy!  Here are some of the amazing quotes in my journal that use this vibrant word:

Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.  — Philippians 2:2 (NIV)

Look back with joy to all your wanderings.  — John Muir

Shout for joy…shout in triumph…Rejoice and exult with all your heart…You will fear disaster no more…the Lord your God is in your midst.  He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love.  He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.  — Zephaniah 3:14-17 (NASB)

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.  Amen.  — Jude 24-25 (ESV)

One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized Him in the Jordan River.  As Jesus came up out of the water, He saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on Him like a dove.  And a voice from Heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”  — Mark 1:9-11 (NLT)

When God’s Spirit moves, He leaves singing in His wake, and in particular He leaves new songs, songs that embody His truth and are an obedient response to His beauty.  These songs are a spontaneous and joyful response to the great truth that it is in fact God who is doing something new!  He is coming, and His approach is meant to be strewn, like palm branches, with new songs!  — Michael Card, Joy in the Journey

We may have civilized bodies and yet barbarous souls. We are blind to the real sights of this world; deaf to its voice; and dead to its death. And not till we know, that one grief outweighs ten thousand joys will we become what Christianity is striving to make us. — Herman Melville

Lament is a gift of God for the people of God, the trailing breadcrumbs of sorrow that lead to the feast of joy.  — Rev. Joe Holland, Tabletalk, , May 2018, pg. 22

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  — Psalm 16:11 (ESV)

As He spoke, He showed them His hands and His feet.  Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder.  — Luke 24:40-41 (NLT)

 

Town Hike

My final featured “hike” of the week is one I took in downtown Buffalo.  A friend had recently posted this beautiful shot of Buffalo covered in snow, silent and empty.  This inspired me to take a walk through the downtown area, though the snow had pretty much melted by then.

First I passed the beautiful display of local military service men and women.  Many friends are named here who serve presently or in the past; I’m grateful to them.

Then I passed our wonderful museum with its authentic log cabin in front (childhood home of a friend of mine that has since passed away).

This statue of local hero Nate Champion was created by another friend, D. Michael Thomas.  Nate lost his life in 1892 in the Johnson County Cattle War.

When Mike creates his amazing sculptures, he always uses local subjects (that we know) to pose for him, such as the one below (although I never can remember which identical twin was used for the subject) — this wonderful sculpture also represents events from the Johnson County Cattle War.

On my town hike I passed three more historical sites — the local war memorial, the 1884 courthouse (former site of the Lone Star Dance Hall) and a bell from the original city hall.

Now I was on our quaint but beautiful Main Street.

I popped into the historic Occidental Hotel for a moment to see the Christmas displays, which were being placed by friends David and Jackie Stewart at the very moment I arrived.  Dave was also celebrating his special new tune, “True Grass” making number one on the chart this month!  Congrats Dave!

The tree is much too big to get in one photo, but hopefully you can imagine its beauty.  All our local Christmas trees are brought down from our mountains.

I love the old (and labeled) ornaments in the windows.

Then I went outside and took a photo of the Occidental across the Clear Creek bridge.

All the downtown shops are looking great this holiday season (Margo’s Pottery, Prosinski Art Gallery, the Sports Lure, E.T. Quilts, Treasure Chest Antiques and others). This is a great place to shop and dine (check out the outstanding restaurants — Sagewood, Pie Zano’s, Up in Smoke, the Busy Bee and The Virginian!)–all owned and run by dear friends.

I also popped into the Longmire shop that sells a lot of souvenirs from the show, as well as western wear and accessories.  I love the fact that this old building still has the original floor with many holes drilled in it during the historic 1912 flood.

I paused to admire some great murals made by friends, Marchel, Jenny and others.

I turned and went west along Clear Creek past the Occidental, and ran into another friend — Ed — who walked with me for a while as we discussed his new job transporting disabled kids around town by school bus.  “It was a God thing,” he said, being able to take over the job from someone who had quit.

I concluded my short walk at another bridge that crosses Clear Creek, and made note of the fascinating historical sign next to it.

Wow, we live in a wonderful, historical area of this country, and have great friends all around!  I’m thankful for our beautiful home town and for all the friends that we see from day to day who contribute to making this a great place to live!  When I was a young girl growing up in the suburbs of Kansas City, we used to tease my mother for growing up in small-town Kansas.  Now I know how very special these places can be.

Over the weekend we enjoyed the annual Christmas parade, which followed free chili and hot drinks in Crazy Woman Square.  Various shops opened their doors and provided snacks and drinks, too.  Note the local steel drum band playing beautiful Christmas music!  Local community friends are wonderful!

 

 

 

 

Tippet Hike

Chris, Sarah and I took a hike in the mountains with a furry friend recently — Tippet.  It was a beautiful day and he was so happy to have been invited, though he usually has a serious look on his face.

He “marked” the trail all the way up but I didn’t try to capture that in photos.

The creek was quite icy and beautiful that day.

Someone managed to find a huge stick and Tippet was thrilled to chase it many, many times on the return (way more fun than marking trails).

Tippet definitely smiles when he has a stick in his mouth!

Somehow we managed to get a couple selfies with all of us.