My Journey to Joy

November 7, 2012

Integrating a Christian worldview into every area of your life.

Filed under: Shared Findings — aunthoddy @ 3:19 PM
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In Philippians 4:13 the apostle Paul writes, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” But what does that mean? Here at Focus on the Family, our counselors often hear from believers who have become disillusioned in their faith when they feel God isn’t blessing them despite their earnest attempts to serve Him.

In the context of the entirety of Philippians 4, Paul says that our experience of either want or satisfaction is ultimately an internal rather than an external reality. It has less to do with one’s material circumstances than with a certain mental and spiritual attitude. The secret, he explains in verse 11, is contentment, a word which, in the original language, denotes something like “self-sufficiency.” It’s the ability to “make do” in all kinds of situations. His point is that when we have Christ, we have everything. It doesn’t matter if we’re rich or poor, successful or defeated, naked or clothed, homeless or sheltered.

This is the revolutionary perspective that informs Paul’s assertion: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” He is not saying that Christians will never go hungry or suffer want, nor is he claiming that God will protect the believer from every danger. What he is asserting is that, if you belong to Christ, God will enable you to bear the burden whatever your lot may be.

For more ways to strengthen your faith, visit


March 3, 2012

Heather George on Fear

Filed under: Notable Quotables — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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I do not fear what the future holds.  I can’t.  I can’t spend the energy anticipating the next horrible event.  I am choosing to anticipate the next great provision, whatever provision that may be.  I am choosing to believe that no matter what, even if God calls me home tonight in my sleep, He never stepped off His throne.  He simply brought me closer to it.  ~Heather George

February 21, 2012

Songs for the Journey- Fall Apart

Filed under: Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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February 2, 2012


Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 10:53 AM
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Recently, I was in a particularly difficult situation.  I was hurting, raw, and emotionally spent.  Then I had to face this, hopefully with grace and discretion.  Afterwards, someone complimented me on how well I “handled” things.  I appreciated their remarks, and it was very affirming to hear.  But…

I reflected later that there have been times when I’ve “tried” much harder, with poorer results.  When the best that I could muster left much to be desired.  When I couldn’t live up to expectations.  This didn’t turn out to be as tough as I assumed it would be.  Then I kept thinking…

About how I judge people’s reactions.  How I look at people’s attitudes.  How I evaluate others-when I don’t have a clue what they’re going through.  God help me.  I really don’t have any idea how hard they’re “trying.”  This may be the absolute best they can do.  Who can say?  Not me.

But he gives more grace. Why he said, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.  James 4:6

Why does God sometimes give “special grace” and others keep silent?  Why is it that sometimes we’re amazed at how peaceful/calm/good we feel, and others we’re barely hanging on?  Why is it that sometimes we know we’re being carried beyond our capacities, and others we seem to be struggling on our own?

‘Tis a lesson you should heed,
If at first you don’t succeed,
Try, try again;

Then your courage should appear,
For if you will persevere,
You will conquer, never fear
Try, try again;

If we strive, ’tis no disgrace
Though we do not win the race;
What should you do in the case?
Try, try again

~T. H. Palmer

I’ll keep doing what I can, and hopefully growing stronger.  I’ll keep calling on God for grace.  And I’ll try to assume others are doing the same…

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

October 12, 2011


Filed under: Shared Findings — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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I Am Afraid of Being Stupid by Lisa Burgess

July 30, 2011

Mary Beth Chapman on God’s Plan

Filed under: Notable Quotables — aunthoddy @ 5:57 PM
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“…Jesus has always loved me enough to show me that even when I push my own ideas and expectations, He is there to guide me back…” ~Mary Beth Chapman

June 30, 2011

Too Much

Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 8:02 PM
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I have a choleric temperament.  Part of what that means is that I like to be in charge, in control, leading (read: bossy).  I’m happy to do things for others, on my terms.  I can be gracious, even generous…when I feel like it.

That’s not what God has called me to do.  He wants me to live out my life on His terms.  And they are more gracious and generous than I could ever imagine- both in His actions towards me, and how He expects me to interact with others.

When our social worker started talking to us about ministering to birth mothers, I thought: “You have got to be kidding me!  We’re being victimized here!  We’re going through all of this junk.  We’re so vulnerable, so hurt, and you want us to minister?!  Isn’t that a conflict of interests, or something?”  (Some of you wisely listened to me rant along these lines without trying to straighten me out.  Thanks.)

I could have argued my case pretty well, except for one thing: God doesn’t play by my rules.  He doesn’t always stick with “fair” and expected…in fact, that seems pretty rare!

He asks a lot…then gives the grace so I can obey.

Scary stuff for a control freak.  What if she…  What if we…  How can I…

“Make praise your first response to fearful situations in your life.”

Stormy OMartian

Wow, um, that’s really not my gut reaction, in case you were wondering.  Fretting?  Sure.  Anger?  Sometimes.  Trying to “fix it”?  Yes.


“My God is enough.  He’s proved it o’er and o’er.  He’s never known to fail; His power still prevails.  Down through the test of time, God’s people always find- whatever life may bring, God is enough

Is what I am being asked to do too much for me?  Absolutely.  Can I do it?  With God’s help, yes I can.

Maybe too much is just what I needed.

November 5, 2010


Filed under: Contemplations,Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 9:17 AM
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There were a couple of days this week when I was so low emotionally.  The thought of going to school and teaching for seven hours just seemed impossible.

When you’re empty, what’s to offer?  How can I give when I have nothing left?

That’s one of the things God is teaching me.  When there’s nothing left of me…He still has plenty of grace.  Plenty of help. Plenty.  Exceeding, abundant.  More than we could ask or think.

I had to ask.  “God, I can’t go through today.  Will you please carry me?”

And He did.  Again.

Held ~by Natalie Grant

I used to be so naive.  I thought that I would be protected from pain.  Why did I think that?  Such arrogance.  I see God so much more clearly, as He goes through my pain with me.  And I’m held.

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