Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Can you believe we're at 1-11-11, already? I am still reeling from putting Christmas/Holiday decor away. It took me two weeks to prepare for the Holidays and then it flew through our
place like it was only a matter of hours rather than days and I woke up to find it's already past
the first week of January. I had such big plans for that first week of this New Year. I was going
to be on top of all the Blogging, Facebook Status Updates, Submitting my manuscript for the Genesis Contest through ACFW and then to find I've not even begun any of those things. It's a very discouraging beginning.

Reflecting on that discouraged feeling in relation to the new year, I was reminded of a sermon a former pastor, Robert Sponable, preached on the first Sunday of a new year back in the early 1990's. I can't remember the complete title of his message but it had the words, JOY-ROBBERS in it and I can remember bits and pieces of that particular message. I don't remember most but
for some reason that one struck a bell inside my head or heart that has given me recall many times over the past years.

Categories mentioned in Pastor Sponable's message that cause us to be robbed of our joy were Circumstances, People, Things and others I might not be able to bring to mind. In recent days I've been reminded not only of that message from many years ago but of something I later wrote in a personal journal when I was first diagnosed with a debilitaing disease that led to more auto-immunne diseases and syndromes.

Please understand that I wrote the following several years ago and didn't intend other's eyes would be seeing it. I believe it's time to share that particular day's entry.
So many negative things seem to influence us and tempt me to stray from the straight and narrow path God has designed for me. My personal choices in the 'flesh' and succumbing to Satan's wiles both play a part in where I will end up at the end of this year. I can choose to allow all the D's of the Devil to burden me to the point of total loss of joy in my life. I'm going to list all those things I better be guarding myself from and I probably won't get them in any special order. I'd just better be aware of my Spiritual well-being all of the time if I don't want this illness to become a weight around my neck to the point I'll not be able to hold my head up any longer.
Let's see, I can begin with my initial response to the doctor's statement that what I seem to have is of an unknown origin, has no name, has no known treatment or cure. I guess that response would be under the word - Disappointment - and if I allow myself to live there and not see God's hand in all this I'm sure it can lead to things like,
Denial, Disenchantment, Discouragement, Deceit, Diversions, Defilement, Discontent, Disapproval, Disaster, Disheartened, Depression, Destruction, Disillusionment, Defeat, Desecration and I'm sure the list could go on. I just wanted to write this entry today to make sure I'm aware of exactly which way I'm going with my attitude.
I KNOW God has a reason for allowing this to come into my life and the lives of my family members.
I am so SURE that nothing touches me that doesn't first go through the hands of my personal Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
As I write this I have no idea what the end of this year (1995) might hold, but I do KNOW God won't be taking His hand away from my life. I want to be sure to put this in writing as a commitment between me and Him because. me being me, I just might Deny, I ever admitted the things above if and when my symptoms worsen, especially this pain I'm having. Since the doctors haven't any clue as to the disease, they can't give me any guidelines or measuring stick. My faith is already being tested here.
It's another one of those Trust-issues, isn't it, Father?

As unusual as it is that I remembered Pastor Sponable's message from my past, it's just as unusual for me to remember what I journaled later in 1995. Therefore, I'm convinced those two things were meant to be used by God to keep me from losing perspective and a testimony of His enduring mercy and love. He's been there every single day of this journey. I've had some days I ranted and raved (hate to admit that) and days of unparalleled happiness and content. I was housebound from mid 2000 through early 2008 except to go to doctor/medical appointments.
That may change again and I'd like to think I will have the same attitude regardless of my physcial condition.
God has allowed me to bring a novel I wrote many years ago out of storage and I'm hoping I can get it polished and published this year as I believe He's called me to do, BUT more than my desire to carry that out I'm more concerned about keeping those Dasterdly D's of the Devil from changing my course and keeping those Joy-Robbers Jailed.

READ: 2 Corinthians 10:4&5
". . .for the weapons of our warfare are not flesh, but divinely
powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying
speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the know-
ledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the
obedience of Christ."

Joyfully jailing those Joy-Robbers today!


K. Dawn Byrd said...

Beautiful blog post, Joy!

Penny Zeller said...

I enjoyed reading your blog post, Joy. And how true it is! When we take our eyes off of Jesus, even for a second, the Devil can certainly fill us with all of the above-mentioned D's and more!

Thank you for your well-written post. I enjoyed reading it!

Jen Uhlarik said...

Excellent message, Joy, and oh-so-true! Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

Sue Harrison said...

Thank you for teaching us to meet the difficult times in our lives head-on with God at our side! Much appreciate the post, Joy.