Joy

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              “Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!”  Psalms 47:1             

So I realized I had not written my blog in about a month… been busy… and I should be cleaning my house right now (I have been so busy that I have not done that either)… but this was on my heart today and I feel I need to share. When God gives you an idea you go with it….

What makes you happy? Wait. Scratch that. Forget happy. What brings you joy?  JOY. For joy is more than happy. Joy is something that God… the Holy Spirit, gives you. A gift. 

Where do you go or what do you do to bring you to a place where you find peace and joy? A place or an activity that you feel closest to God?  A couple years ago I realized my town had a bike trail. My neighbor was getting rid of her teenage daughter’s bike (yay free!) so I grabbed it and started riding. The bike trail is beautiful. It goes right by beautiful marshes filled with birds and other wildlife.

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 “Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD…” Psalms 96:11-13

Awesome. I then acquired an ipod nano and uploaded all my Christian rock (yes… Christian rock!!! Woot!). I listen to artists such as Matt Maher, Audrey Assad, Third Day, MercyMe, Kutless, The David Crowder Band, Brandon Heath, Laura Story, Toby Mac… (there are more) and my new favorite Red.

The bike trail is only about a mile from my house…. So off I go… I ride and sing …and smile as I enjoy the scenery and the beautiful weather. This is my joyful place.

Sure I should be communing with God in silence… but listening (and singing along) to this worship music is praising God so I feel very close to Him while riding my bike. This morning I listened to Laura Story’s cd “Blessings” and by the third song I was almost weeping at the beauty of the message.

The other day while riding I had Kutless on shuffle and I swear the Holy Spirit was in charge of the order of the songs because I was blown away by every song. Amazing. It was a joyful bike ride.

With everything we do we should do it for and with the Lord. Practicing the presence of God (Br. Lawrence) and walking hand in hand with the Lord (St Catherine of Bologna). Imagining Jesus on a bike, in his robes, is kind of a funny visual, but that just adds to the joy of the moment. Ha! …But a better visual ~I think of the Holy Spirit flying along besides me as I ride. There are moments on the bike trail when I am coasting that I just let go of the handle bars and lift my arms up in praise… with a big grin on my face.

Today I finished my bike ride with MercyMe’s song “Hold On” LOVE that song!!! JOY!

 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13

(ps I tried to post songs… but word press is giving me a hard time today…)

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