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Save the Date: Bring Your Own Candle

by Cathy Baker

Today, I’d like to introduce you to a recent favorite read, “Playdates with God…Having a Childlike Faith in a Grown-Up World,” by Laura J. Boggess. 

In this book she shares how she was once a rule-follower. She went from one extreme to another, as legalists often do. Tangled up in the to-do’s, her soul found no rest.

Holley Gerth’s endorsement rings true: “Laura Boggess invites us into intimacy  with God in the everyday moments of life. This intimacy is not about striving but rather enjoying, not about laboring but instead, being loved, not about losing ourselves but about finally being found in the ways we’ve longed for all our lives.”

In Chapter 4, titled Bird Watching, the joy of new beginnings, Laura reminds us of what it felt like in the early stages of romantic love. Remember that feeling? We thought of him/her throughout the day, we couldn’t spend enough time with our new-found love, and sometimes we couldn’t eat because of the excitement (this one has always eluded me). 

Think back to the time you first fell in love with Jesus. I know for me I couldn’t get enough of His Word, being around His people, or jotting down notes. Although my love for His Word has not wavered over the years, I admit some of the fervor has at times.  

James 4:8 tells us, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” Sometimes it’s as simple as recognizing His ever-so-close presence in our daily lives. 

Save the Date: 
Laura shares how each time she approaches God in her home, she lights a candle. “God doesn’t need that candle to meet with me. But I do. Every time my mind gets distracted, all I need to do is glance at that flickering flame, and I am reminded that I am not alone. It is because of my own weakness that I seek out ways to bring my mind and heart into awareness that there is more to this world than what my eyes can see. God is so much much more than I can understand.” 

Similarly, I’ve added a chair nearby to remind me of His presence during my quiet time with Him.

 
You’re Invited:
How about you? Is there something you do, or have done in the past, to remind you of your First Love’s ever abiding presence? 

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. Revelation 2:4, 5a

And the winner of last week’s drawing for the Soy Lavender Field candle is…Mary Beth Dahl! Congratulations, Mary Beth, and thanks to all those who participated. Stay tuned for this month’s drawing later in May!

When Joy Doesn’t Come Naturally

by Cathy Baker

So here we are on the final day of our April theme and the one post I didn’t want to write refuses to loosen its grip. 

Truth is, I selfishly chose this subject because I feel like a total failure when it comes to exuding joy. I look at others who seem to naturally tap into that particular fruit of the Spirit with such ease and wonder why it seems more difficult for me. Is it because I’m a bona fide melancholy introvert?  

While preparing to kick off the April series, I said to a friend, “I’m not a naturally joyful person.” And there it was — my answer. 

There’s nothing natural about biblical joy. 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds… James 1:2

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy…1 Peter 1:8


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13



Be joyful always. 1 Thessalonians 5:16

Biblical joy isn’t grounded in a particular temperament 
or swayed by outward circumstances.
It is the supernatural manifestation of Christ
that flows in and through us.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. There’s still much exploring to do on the subject of joy so maybe we’ll pick it up again another month. 

Coming Up in May…

In the meantime, let me give you a sneak peek into May’s theme: Save the Date – Engaging God and Your Creative Senses. You may just be surprised by the ideas that unfold next month. The new posts begin Monday, May 4th. Hope to see you there!

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