Tag: joy

Who for the Joy That Was Set Before Him

This is a sermon that my husband, Bob Rasmussen, wrote and shared with us at Janesville Apostolic Ministries a few weeks back. It was an awesome message and I wanted to share it with you.

“Who for the joy that was set before Him” 

(click the title to watch the sermon at Christian World Media)

We worshipped with a lot of songs this morning with the word Joy in them. The Bible tells us to be joyful:

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. – Philippians 4:4

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

The joy of the Lord, having him in our lives something to absolutely be joyful about, amen? During one of our services, a scripture was brought to my mind:

 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  – Hebrews 12:1-2

This morning, I would like to discuss specifically “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross”.  If you read the commentaries on this scripture, there are 2 schools of thought of the meaning – there might be more but in my study it was predominantly 2. And the word that drives that train of thought is the word “for”.
The first interpretation is that “for” means instead. That is, that Jesus, instead of maintaining His preincarnate heavenly state, chose to come down to earth and fulfill the path of securing salvation for mankind, bearing sin and shame on the cross.
The second interpretation is that “for” means “in exchange for” or to “obtain” salvation for those he loved. I think both are correct, but I would like to focus on the second. That basically, you, you, and I are the joy of the Lord – the fulfillment of his accomplished work.

hebrews 12

We are the joy of the Lord!

But what does that even mean to us?
He says we are the light!

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light
unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. – Matthew 5:14-16

He says that we are the salt!

Ye are the salt of the earth – Matthew 5:13

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary:
5:13-16 Ye are the salt of the earth. Mankind, lying in ignorance and wickedness, were as a vast heap, ready to putrify; but Christ sent forth his disciples, by their lives and doctrines to season it with knowledge and grace.
God sings over us:

The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice
over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17

Wow – we are the joy of the Lord!

Part of our identity, of who we are, is how we think about ourselves. And no, I am not a
psychologist, some might think I need to see one – But there is a battle in this world. The war has been won, Jesus has defeated death, but the bible tells us there will be battles.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. – Ephesians 6:12

I love that Paul, markedly one of the greatest apostles, includes himself. He doesn’t say you, he says we. That tells me that no matter your position, situation, no matter what, we all will have battles – that we are in this together.
So today, I do have a question, do you feel like you are the joy of the Lord?
Sometimes, I have disqualified myself from being the joy of the Lord. I remember when I first came to Jesus and gave my life and felt the overwhelming cleansing power of his blood. I gave it all to Jesus – (sins on board)It was so, so joyful. After some time though, I would go back to the altar, and I reminded God why I was such a bad person. And I’d go back again, and again. Have you ever done that?
The Word says that when we confess our sin:

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. – Acts 3:19

I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. – Isaiah 44:22

I had to learn, and I am still learning that I do not need to remind God about my sin – he has already blotted it out. He’s already forgiven me.

I had to learn to stop trying to disqualify myself from the joy of the Lord.

His grace is more than sufficient for me.

One day as Diana and I were talking about being the joy of the Lord, and I already asked is I could share this, she said – I don’t feel like I am the Joy of the Lord because I still do (insert whatever here) – it wasn’t a sin, it was just something she felt that the Lord had put on her heart to change. That ever happen to you?

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, he lives in us. He is so many things to us – comforter, counselor, healer – but He is also our Shepperd. I think that as we grow with Jesus, He only wants for the best, He wants us to grow with him and there may be things or patterns in our life that He wants to change – that’s maturity. But it should not make you feel disqualified or less than, if anything, it just shows how much more He loves and cares for you.

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There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. – Romans 8:1-2

Let’s go back to Paul in Ephesians 6:

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. – Ephesians 6:14-17

This body has been through some things. We have lost loved ones, we have family fighting disease, we have relationships that need healing, and the list goes on. I am faithful for Jesus to help all of us. But in this battle, the enemy will try to steal your Joy of the Lord, he’ll try to challenge your thoughts about your salvation or your worth to him.
I try to see things in the physical that show me what God does in the spirit, As I was preparing this message, I was reminded of my beautiful wonderful grand daughter Devin, or DJ as we call her and how Diana (and my) reactions ( and for our other children, it was the same, this is just he most recent).
We were made aware of her coming, there was expectation!
She was born, there was rejoicing!
There was unadulterated love in cuddling and holding her tiny fingers and toes.
There is joy in who she is and who she is becoming.
And then we just had joy, music courtesy of brother Doug.

It so reminds me of Jesus, who with the Joy that was set before him.
Aware what was coming, the salvation of mankind
Rejoicing we were born again,
Unrelenting love,

And joy in who we are!

Sister Laura spoke a word a few weeks ago and I asked if could share. If you will humor me, close your eyes for a second and focus on these words, let them remind you of the Joy that you are to Him and He is to you:

Run to Him full of joy
So much freedom, so much uninhibited love, both given and received
Hold nothing back, he has got you.
Let him lift you up and swing you around – tossing everything else aside. It’s just you and him,laughing, care free.
As a child, we trust completely that daddy won’t drop me – find that child like, pure, unrestrained comfort in Him again.

As the worship team comes forward, I have asked they do a new song, it is called “To The Table”.
One of my favorite verses is:
He can see the weight you carry
The fears that hold your heart
But through the cross you’ve been forgiven
You’re accepted as you are
And then it goes to the chorus
So bring it all to the table
The altar is open, we have a baptismal if you have not been and want to become part of the kingdom. Pastor Mike and Jeff are here to pray with you, as are anyone else here to stand with you in prayer.
So , won’t you come to the Table?

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May You Enjoy the Wonder of Christmas

My prayer for you is that you enjoy the wonder of Christmas. The birth of a King, wrapped in swadding clothing. I love the wonder of it all. The King of Kings came down into His own creation, God robed in flesh, to make a way for us. He couldn’t bear to be without his kiddos in His Kingdom.

God knows the beginning from the end. He knew Adam and Eve would eat that dang apple and bring sin into the world. So He came into the world to make things right. What a Good, Good Father. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves.

child is born

He became sin who knew no sin, that we may become His righteousness. Now that’s love. Doing for your kids what you knew they could not do for themselves. Jesus paid the penalty for all our sins, past, present, and future – just so we could contine to be part of the family of God. That’s what family does – love without measure. God loves you. May you enjoy the wonder of Christmas this season! The wonder of His love!

Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking

 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?   If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. – Matthew 7:7-12

wonder

Sometimes You Have to Laugh and Get Your Giggle On!

Laughter – they call it medicine. It has been proven to help people get over illnesses, change negative thought patterns, and bring healing!

Psalms 126:2

“Then our mouths were filled with laughter; our tongues sang for joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord had done great things for them.

Benefits of Laughter

  • Reduces stress hormones
  • Lowers your blood pressure
  • Increases oxygen levels to your organs
  • Increases memory
  • Boosts immune system
  • Increases creativity
  • Increases intelligence
  • Decreases pain
  • Improves sleep
  • Releases endorphin’s so you feel better
  • Helps fight cancer
  • Improves depression

Feeling stressed?

Overwhelmed?

Depressed?

Put on a comedy show, spend some time with a friend or family.

Shake it off and get your giggle on!

Psalm 118:24

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

These Tears are Diamonds 

These Tears are Diamonds

-Copyright 2017 Diana Rasmussen-

Tears from sorrow 

Tears from the pain

Will I ever 

Get up again?

Pressure and stress

Not feeling blessed

Will this season

Ever be done?

Only God can take

These tears like lake

Plant them as seeds

For joy to grow

Those who sow in Tears 

Shall reap in joy. 

He who continually goes forth weeping, 

Bearing seed for sowing, 

Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, 

Bringing his sheaves with him. – Psalm 126:5-6

I can’t believe all those years I cried. All those years of sorrow. I didn’t think God knew or even cared. I was wrong.

He collected every tear. He put it in his bottle. He planted it for a future harvest.

Today my life is way different. I am happy. I am blessed. God took all those years and planted them as seeds. You know what grew? Joy. Yes – joy! God doesn’t waste anything. He is faithful. He will turn your sorrow into joy – He promised!

The Joy of Family

The Joy of Family

-Copyright 2016 Diana Rasmussen-


We all want family 

A place to belong

And be loved 

Where we are accepted 

Despite our flaws

And covered with grace 

Just because.

We stick together 

No matter what 

The good, the bad,

And the ugly.

Family can come by blood

Or by love, 

either is the same.

Because we are one

In life, in love, 

and purpose.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

When a Little Child Dances

God taught me something today – through the eyes of a little child.  Let’s call him E. He is less than 1 – I think about 6 or 8 months. I play in a worship band every Sunday. We are all over 40-50+.  Yet we have fun worshipping the Lord Almighty and bringing his people into the presence of God.  Every week little E comes to dance.  Sometimes he dances in back by his parents. Today was different. Little E came right onto the stage and started dancing! It moved my heart beyond belief.  I scooped him up in my arms and brought him to my piano. He stayed for a moment and played. Praise God!

Then I went and visited my granddaughter. She is the same age.  I brought her a little people farm truck that made music. Guess what she did?  DJ  started to dance!  Oh the power of a dance. I truly believe that we bring God joy when we dance in His presence. I wish more of God’s people would let loose and dance before the Lord. David danced – and look what happened!

Let go today. Rejoice in His presence and dance for joy for all that He has done!

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, – Psalm 30:11

 

 It happened as they were coming, when David returned from killing the Philistine, that the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy and with musical instruments. The women sang as they played, and said, “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.” 1 Samuel 18:6-7
Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.- 2 samuel 6:14-15 NKJV

 

 

 

Where Hope Grows – Inspirational Quotes

Where Hope Grows

~Copyright 2016 Diana Rasmussen~

there is life

there is breath

there is longing

there is dirt

there is growth

there is harvest


“Hope is like a flower – it grows in the dirt!” -Diana Rasmussen of Prayers and Promises

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Inspirational Quotes on Hope

  1. “Hope is the thing with feathers

    That perches in the soul

    And sings the tune without the words

    And never stops at all.” – Emily Dickinson

  2. “There is some good in this world, and it’s worth the fighting for.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

  3. “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to never stop questioning.” -Albert Einstein

  4. “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.” – Desmond Tutu

  5. “We must accept the finite disappointment, it never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

  6. “Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.” – Robert H. Schuller

  7. “We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

  8. “My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and to try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.” – Maya Angelou

  9. “Hope is the word which God has written on the brow of every man.” – Victor Hugo

  10. “God’s mercy and grace give me hope – for myself, and for our world.” – Billy Graham

  11. “I always entertain great hopes. ” – Robert Frost

  12. “Hope is a waking dream.” – Aristotle

  13. “Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” – Martin Luther

  14. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

 

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(all images from Pinterest)

12 Quotes on How to Enjoy Your Life – Carpe Diem

Are you enjoying your life? Do you savor each day as it comes? I think the older I get the more I treasure each day here  with my family and friends. Maybe it’s just the ‘aging’ thing, idk. But I do know that each day that I live there is something more to be grateful for. God is good, no matter what the circumstances. And He is faithful, He will see us through these troubling times, He promised.

Let us live each day as a gift, a treasure that God has provided us. Let us savor the moments we have together and not the things that come our way. And let us encourage one another and build each other up on our journey. God bless you all my friends and thanks for stopping over today!

Carpe Diem – Seize the Day

Carpe diem is a Latin aphorism, usually translated “seize the day”, taken from the Roman poet Horace’s Odes (23 BC). Carpe is the second-person singular present active imperative of carpō “pick or pluck” used by Ovid to mean “enjoy, seize, use, make use of”.Diem is the accusative case of the noun dies “day”. A more literal translation of “carpe diem” would thus be “pluck the day [as it is ripe]”—i.e., enjoy the moment. In western education the tag is now often rendered as “take advantage of the opportunities arising in the day.” (Source-Wikipedia)

12 Quotes on Enjoying Life

  1. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” ― Helen Keller, The Open Door

  2. “In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.” ― Gordon B. Hinckley

  3. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” ―Jesus in John 10:10b

  4. “Even in the mud and scum of things, something always, always sings.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

  6. “Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.” ― Emily Dickinson

  7. “What you have to decide… is how you want your life to be. If your forever was ending tomorrow, would this be how you’d want to have spent it? Listen, the truth is, nothing is guaranteed. You know that more than anybody. So dont be afraid. Be alive.” ― Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

  8. “Today, just take time to smell the roses, enjoy those little things about your life, your family, spouse, friends, job. Forget about the thorns -the pains and problems they cause you – and enjoy life” ― Bernard Kelvin Clive, Your Dreams Will Not Die

  9. “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.” ― Benjamin Franklin

  10. “The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead.” ― Marjorie Pay Hinckley

    “Do anything, but let it produce joy.” ― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

  11. “We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” ― Bill Watterson

  12. “You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

(All images from Pinterest)

3 Ways to Get a Fresh Perspective

1. Rearrange your furniture. I did this yesterday. I can’t tell you why this works but it does. It’s like there is extra space in our living room. I’m sure it was there before, but I missed it. I didn’t notice it. Move a few things around and viola! Peace is here.

2. Dig in the dirt. Yep. Get outside. God made this beautiful place for us to enjoy. Enjoy it! Go for a walk, plant a flower, or mow the grass. Play in the breeze. Dance in the wind.

3. Take a step back from your life and breathe. I am a detail girl. Sometimes I lose sight of the forest, the big picture, because I’m focusing on one tree. God knows, and I choose to take Him at His Word and trust Him. Sometimes I have to do this 20 times a day, lol!

Lamentations 3:22-26
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.  

Fun in the Son

Let’s have fun today- fun in the Son! Jesus brings joy! The joy of the Lord is our strength.  God sings over us – let’s sing with Him today. And enjoy the journey!

But unto you who revere and worshipfully fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings and His beams, and you shall go forth and gambol like calves [released] from the stall and leap for joy. (Malachi 4:2 AMP)

Now these are the last words of David: David son of Jesse says, and the man who was raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, says,
The Spirit of the Lord spoke in and by me, and His word was upon my tongue.
The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me, When one rules over men righteously, ruling in the fear of God, He dawns on them like the morning light when the sun rises on a cloudless morning, when the tender grass springs out of the earth through clear shining after rain. (2 Samuel 23:1-4 AMP)

 From the rising of the sun to the going down of it and from east to west, the name of the Lord is to be praised! (Psalm 113:3 AMP)

The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and calls the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. (Psalm 50:1 AMP)

 

When on the road at midday, O king, I saw a light from heaven surpassing the brightness of the sun, flashing about me and those who were traveling with me.

And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice in the Hebrew tongue saying to me, Saul, Saul, why do you continue to persecute Me [to harass and trouble and molest Me]? It is dangerous and turns out badly for you to keep kicking against the goads [to keep offering vain and perilous resistance].

And I said, Who are You, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting. (Acts 26:13- 15 AMP)

How Do You Measure Joy?

I had a very good afternoon today. There is nothing like being around creative people and other Artists. It just makes my heart jump! I had the pleasure of joining some of Janesville’s finest Musicians, Storytellers, Authors, and Artists today at a local Art Gallery in town. And the joy was contagious today!

The room was full, the ambience was beautiful. Alicia Reid has a beautiful Gallery, Raven’s Wish, that features creations from over 70 local artists. And add to that tea and cookies, jazz music, and a room full of shoppers.

Let me share my most precious memory of today. In the crowd was a group from a local home for mentally challenged individuals. I love their spontaneous joy and laughter and lack of inhibitions. I worked in the school district in Special Ed for 3 years. And I have to say, those kids taught me so much about unconditional love and joy.

We we did a medley of Christmas Carols and my favorite memory was listening to the crowd sing along. It didn’t matter if they had a microphone, sang on key or off key, it didn’t matter who sang or who  lead or who made mistakes. It was pure joy, and it was contagious!

How do you measure joy? For me, it was the song in the heart of the crowd today. 😉

 

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Hippie Politics

Thought I would have fun with this one.  Laugh or cry right? Politics is one of those ‘taboo’ subjects, just like religion.  Seems it stirs everyone up, especially if you see things differently. I am glad God likes flavors.  On another forum I was reading about music and politics. Quite a strange mix. Yet we all have an opinion and are passionate about it.  Reminded me of the 60’s.  I was only a child – yet I still remember the movement for freedom and peace. Sit back, and enjoy the possibilities.

 Hippie Politics

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“If someone thinks that peace and love are just a cliche that must have been left behind in the 60s, that’s a problem. Peace and love are eternal.”

― John Lennon

“And maybe it’s the time of year. Yes, and maybe it’s the time of man. And I don’t know who I am. But life is for learning.”
-Joni Mitchell/CS&N (Woodstock)

“When we heard about the hippies, the barely more than boys and girls who decided to try something different … we laughed at them. We condemned them, our children, for seeking a different future. We hated them for their flowers, for their love, and for their unmistakable rejection of every hideous, mistaken compromise that we had made throughout our hollow, money-bitten, frightened, adult lives”
― June Jordan, Passion

“I’ve been smiling lately, dreaming about the world as one. And I believe it could be someday it’s going to come.”
-Cat Stevens (Peace Train)

“When you’ve seen beyond yourself, then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there.”
-George Harrison (Within You Without You)

“Like a true Nature’s child, we were born, born to be wild”
-Steppenwolf (Born to be Wild)

“Hippies use music to express themselves emotionally, spiritually, and politically. Music can make a statement, give voice to a movement, even unite us. As hippies explore their inner world, music guides them along in their quest for meaning.”
― Hipplanet

“All things old become new again. In my youth the athletes had crew cuts and the hippies had long hair. Now the athletes have long hair and the hippies are bald.”
― Harley King

“You’re either on the bus or off the bus.”
-Ken Kesey (On The Bus)

“You create your own reality.”
-Seth

“The hippies wanted peace and love. We wanted Ferraris, blondes and switchblades.”
― Alice Cooper

“How does it feel to be on your own, with no direction home, like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone?”
-Bob Dylan (Like A Rolling Stone)

“The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn’t the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.”
― John Lennon

“Imagine no possesions, I wonder if you can, No need for greed or hunger, A brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people Sharing all the world.”
-John Lennon (Imagine)

“Old hippies don’t die, they just lie low until the laughter stops and their time comes round again.”
-Joseph Gallivan

“I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
-Robert Frost

ARE YOU DIFFERENT?

And now for a treat. Here is one of my favorite songs – DIFFERENT

Will Hopkins  won the Broadjam Songwriting Contest last year with this song.  Listen for yourself – and be ready to be DIFFERENT!