Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Walking With Grace

One of the reasons I love posting on the Barn Door is because it gives me a reason to post some of the pictures I take on my ramblings.

One of the reasons I love the Word-filled Wednesday meme is for the same reason, combined with getting to put a verse on the picture.

But the reality of my life sometimes is that I don't have time to put the verse on the picture because I tend to be...persnickety. I need the right verse, the right font, the right color font, all in the right location. Honestly, it can take me a lot of time, and as enjoyable as that is, it's time that I don't always have. =(

So, the other day I came up with an idea for a happy medium...


Simply a day when I'll post a picture or a series of pictures from my rambles throughout the week.

This combines my NEED to be walking again to beat these confounded headaches (exercise! yippee?) and my WANT to post a single picture or a series of pictures on Wednesday. With or without a verse on it and with or without any text with the pictures. Since I tend to walk with an animal or three, and my Pyrenees is named Gracie, I often walk with Grace and, well, the thought of walking with grace really captivates me. It's something I want in my life.

So, I'll be posting pictures on Wednesday. No text necessary, but always an option. If this is something you'd like to join in on, let me know in the comments and we can do this as a group. A fun midweek post.

And since this is Leap Day, I'm just going to leap into it! =)



The mornings have been spectacularly beautiful lately and I've been up to enjoy them. It makes me stop and sing...

In the morning when I rise
In the morning when I rise
In the morning when I rise
give me Jesus

So tell me, what's a song you've woken up singing recently?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Horrendous Harmony


Welcome to this week's a 2 z: Take 2
and the letter H.

I have to admit, I cannot carry a tune. Now, if there's a strong voice right behind me, I have a chance of coming close, but without it? I'm sunk.

There's a pair of sisters in my church that make me sound good. Very good. I like that. The problem comes when they sit beside me or even worse, behind me. When that happens, we have a 3 part harmony going and I so pity the people around us. It's truly horrendous.


I laugh about it, but it's a great reminder to me...

Who am I harmonizing with in my life?

What voices am I standing around?

What voices am I willingly standing in front of?

Am I filling my head and my heart with God's Word?

Am I spending time with my Christian brothers and sisters?

Hmmmm. Something to think about as I harmonize with the voices around me in church next time.

Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals." ~I Corinthians 15:30

The goal is heavenly harmonies. Not horrendous harmonies.

If you're joining us for the a2z: Take 2 meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter H, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Benefits of Blogging

Last Monday I wrote about why I blog and it was fun writing about it. Questions like that have led to a series I'll be running here: Blogs at work 4u. Boring series name, but it gets the point across.

I did leave out one of the reasons I find myself blogging now--to teach little things I learn and to help other bloggers. This series, Blogs at Work 4u is along those lines and will showing up on a weekly basis for a bit. Why weekly instead of days in a row? So it doesn't over run my blog. ;-)

I'm also a guest at the Faithwriters blog today with Treasure Hunting Mararthon about using the time before publication well.

So, first, some basics...

What exactly is a blog? By definition it’s an online journal. A web log. But we all know that a blog is so much more than that.
Blogs can be for everything
from marketing to ministry
and everything in between.
What blogging can accomplishes for you
  • Writing experience—by keeping fresh content on your blog, you’ll be logging in experience. All the thinking, plotting and planning cannot take the place of hands on experience. You’ll find what works and what doesn’t work, and often, knowing what doesn’t work is as important as knowing what does. You can also play with your voice and find one that is truly you, then develop it.
  • Click here for more post on making your blog work for you.
  • Builds platform—if you’re a writer, this platform is very important. Agents and editors look for writers with a platform already in place. It could give you a leg up on the competition and could put you a head above the others.
  • Shows consistency and style—agents and editors want to know if you’re able to keep the pace or if you’re sprinter attempting a marathon. Having an active blog demonstrates to them your staying power and your style.
  • Gets your name out there for search engines—you want people to be able to type your name into a search engine and find you easily. That way if they hear about you through word of mouth or if they read an article you wrote, they can find you online. This creates...
  • Name recognition—you may not ever become Mrs. Fields, but the longer you write and blog, the more your sphere of influence grows.
  • Gives you a site to link to—if you’re writing articles for either print or online publication you need to have a site to direct people to. Most publications will give you a byline and a link. Don’t waste that opportunity but make the most of it, which gives you a...
  • Point of contact—capitalize on it and develop relationships with your readers so they keep coming back.
  • Outlet for ideas and thoughts—it’s a great place to try out ideas to see if they’re feasible or if they’re better off in the recesses of your mind.
  • Marketing tool to build loyalty and connection—readers can get to know authors by following their blog, whether they ever say hello in a comment or not. This connection creates loyalty, and loyalty increases sales.
  • Create or discover your brand—this is one of those things that takes time to discover and blogging is a fantastic way to find it. By studying what you post on your blog, the posts that get the best comments (not necessarily the most comments!) and the posts that you loved writing and that really lit your fire, you can fine tune your brand and find the perfect fit.

Blogs can be used for many things. Their scope is far beyond just an online journal. If you’re entering the world of writing, a blog is a natural step. It’s also a smart step.
A blog is a tool.
The better you know how to use that tool,
the more effective it will be and
the better your results will be.

So tell me, do you have a specific reason for blogging?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Not So Impossible

This is part of a devotional written years ago for kids, but I need the message every so often, and slipping it in "for kids" is a good way to sweeten the medicine for me. *wink* And smilies help everything. LoL

I handed bananas to Vance and Ivan. “Here, slice these without opening the peel.”

“Excuse me? You want me to what? Vance squawked. “There's no way I can do that!”

I pointed him toward the table where there were a number of items. “Sure you can,” I encouraged.

“But how?”

“Nope. No questions. You have two minutes. It can be done, just work at it.”

The two boys looked at each other then grabbed the plastic knives that were on the table. Two minutes later their bananas were butchered but they still hadn't figured it out.

“There's no way,” they said, pushing their bananas away.

I reached into my bag for another banana and instead of picking the plastic knife, I chose a safety pin that was sitting right beside it. With a few quick moves I sliced the banana then peeled it and offered the slices to the kids.

********


Remember how the boys felt when I gave them the bananas? That was probably how Gideon felt when the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him he was to lead Israel against the Midianites.

'You want me to do what? There's no way I can do that!' Gideon even made up excuses. 'I don't come from an important family and I'm the youngest one.'

Hmmmmm. I've thought the same things quite often. But what did God say to Gideon?

Surely I will be with you. ~Judges 6:16

Wow! What a promise! And it's a promise we see throughout the Bible when God calls someone to do things that are seemingly impossible.

Gideon hurried and brought out an offering for the angel of the Lord and arranged it on a rock, just as he was instructed. The angel of the Lord stretched out His staff, touched the offering, and fire jumped out of the rock, consuming the offering. Can you imagine Gideon's shock and surprise? What a display of God's power! If God could make fire jump out of a rock (and He did!) then surely God would keep His word and be with Gideon.

That's the same promise God has given to us as we do the work He's given us:
Surely I will be with you. ~Judges 6:16

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Just Great


Welcome to this week's a 2 z: Take 2
and the letter G.



Goodness, I'm a goner...

Somewhere along the last two weeks I've gotten off track and seem to be MIA.

...still following the bread crumbs back...


Thank God for grace.

Ever been there?
So tell me, what do you do do when you're off track?

If you're joining us for the a2z: Take 2 meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter G, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Why I Blog

One of the things I'm often asked is why I blog, and rather than just answer that myself, I invited my Take Flight friends to join me and tell us why they blog too because I know we all have reasons. (If you're joining us for the Take Flight Challenge, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post.)

People want to know the benefits of blogging and I don't blame them. So, I'm going to do a "Blog at Work for You" mini-series on blogging, starting today and posting about once a week until it's done.

Blog at Work For You will cover:
And any other posts that come to mind. *wink*

Why I started blogging and am still blogging...

When I finally quit running from God’s call on my life, I joined Faithwriters and immersed myself in learning how to write. January of 2008 found me chewing my nails but determined to take the next step I felt God leading me to: blogging. I had no illusions of grandeur and I had no idea what I was doing. I felt like that first step into the blogging world was the equivalent of stepping off a cliff into thin air. But I was convinced it was what I was supposed to do, so I stepped in faith. It didn’t matter to me if people found me up there or not. My blog was all about obedience. Me obeying God.

But people did find me. As I stepped out of the comfort zone of Faithwriters and visited other sites, I found new friends. I also wondered how they got the cool looking blogs they had! My sister taught me how to change the colors on my basic Minima layout, and that helped, but when Kristen Schiffman stepped in, I was over the moon. She gave me a blog make-over and I gave her some spending money for something-or-other. She didn’t just stop there, though. As I studied the layout she used for my blog, she answered my questions and I learned to tweak my blog. It became a challenge that relaxed me, much like doing a jigsaw puzzle.

When I started blogging in February of 2008, it opened up a whole new world to me. A world I’d heard was out there but that I didn’t know how to tap into. I thought I was simply starting a blog to obey God and to practice my writing, but what I found was a huge opportunity for service and ministry. I honed my skill of devotional writing, found women’s sites that post devotionals and submitted to them. I became an occasional guest blogger with a short byline and a link back to my blog. I got the thrill of seeing my name somewhere other than at my site but far more importantly, I was able to minister to people—to give back to God a little of what He had given me.

Was I paid? No. I look at it as the first fruits principle. God is giving me so much and blessing me tremendously in many ways, writing for some ministry sites is a way that I can give back to Him.

Since then, the sites I was a guest poster on have become normal hang outs for me, and you'll see me posting there monthly (like TODAY I'm at the Internet Cafe with a devotional --they were the first place to accept a guest post from me and they're near and dear to my heart. Love it there!!) Most of last year I was a monthly contributor on four group blogs that were anywhere from start ups to large sites, all because of starting this blog four years ago. Can you say "Suhweet"?

My site has grown and changed with me over the years and as hard as I try, I don't understand it. Now I blog because I love it. I love the people it connects me with and the outlet and opportunities it presents. I love it because of the fun stuff I get to do--like sharing blog tips and the Take Flight challenges and the a 2 z memes.
I love it because blogging is still all about obedience for me. =)

So tell me, why do you blog?

Joining us for the Take Flight challenge? Be sure to link up with us and tell us why you blog...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Take Flight: Why do you blog?

Last minute Take Flight challenge, but it's an easy one...

Tell us why you blog.

See, I told you it was easy! =)

I'll see you on Monday with why I blog and the linky for you to join us.
Remember, it's never too late to join the fun and link up with us.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Stepping Stones or Grave Stones?

If there's one thing I hear over and over in the writing circles I'm part of, it's that failures and rejections can be stepping stones. And it's not just in writing, it's in all of life.

Last fall I sent a requested proposal to my dream publishing house, the goal I've been targeting for years. Many weeks later I received a very nice letter from the editor I'd sent to saying they weren't interested in the manuscript. Rejected. BUT, she took the time to tell me why. She told me what was missing, giving me something concrete to work with.

So, I had two choices. I could see the rejection as a grave stone or as a stepping stone.

Since the proposal was requested as a result of Seekerville's Read Me Contest, I emailed Tina to give her the news and to thank her for the contest which gave me the opportunity. Her reply to me was wonderful. “This is exciting. You have gotten your first editorial critique! Time to revise!”

Rejection vs. editorial critique.
Grave stone vs. stepping stone.

Same exact number of letters, totally different results.

If I were to see that rejection letter as just a rejection, it could easily become a grave stone. I could let it become the excuse to quit writing fiction—for a time or forever. But, if I see it as a stepping stone, the experience becomes the first, and often scariest or hardest proposal under my belt and off my list of things to dread and worry about. Besides, I now know what I need to do to bring that manuscript up to par—through an editor's eyes.

Yes, I failed at my ultimate objective—a contract with my dream publisher, but I took great strides along the journey of reaching that goal. Not just that, but I know a few more things I need to do to help me along that journey toward that goal.

Just think about the game Mother May I. How often did you hear “No steps needed, you win”? (or something like that, LoL) You didn't. It was always a series of small or giant steps forward or backward until you eventually reached the goal.

So why do we expect to immediately reach our goals?
Why do we see failure as bad?

Failing is only bad if we see it as a grave stone on a project. If we see it as a stepping stone we can be happy that we are one step closer. And maybe, just maybe, it's NOT all about reaching the goal. Maybe it's about the journey and the witness we are along that journey or the glory we bring to God through that journey. We can't become so fixated on the goal that we miss all the other things along the way.

As Christians, if we see failures as grave stones, we are neutralized—no longer effective, and Satan wins that round. Certainly not what we want to happen.

It's a mental issue—how we choose to see the failure.
It's part of the war we're in—and wars are made up of many battles. Few wars are won with one decisive crushing victory—especially where our minds are concerned. That means every time we catch ourselves thinking of the failure as a grave stone, we need to stop, turn around and choose to see it as a stepping stone. It's a choice we may have to make many times a day.

So that rejection letter I received... was it a grave stone or a stepping stone? A stepping stone. I'm hard at work on the manuscript, adding in the elements the editor said it was missing and changing the things she mentioned so I can submit it somewhere else. And you know what? If this manuscript never finds a home, it has served its purpose—it's helped me along the journey of life, helped me face lots of fears I had and shown me many cool things. Even if the manuscript is committed to the Dust Bunnies and never sees the light of day, it will have been a stepping stone.

What about you? Is there a grave stone in your life you need to change to a stepping stone? Ask God to help you see it differently then step in faith and choose to think about it differently. It's the difference between stepping backward and forward—between neutralization and victory.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Forward...


Welcome to this week's a 2 z: Take 2
and the letter F.

Fee Fi Fo Fum...
I've been having so much fun!

LoL, But really, I have been.

I've been working on Fiction and getting some words racked up. Not as many as I'd like, but enough to keep the Forward momentum going. And it's been enough words that's I'm track with the goal that I set for February. =)

Last week we had daffodils blooming! Now, I hate to complain about something as wonderful as daffs--something I greatly look forward to every year, but I do have to admit that it made me wonder what will happen the rest of the year... It actually made me a little thankful for the cold weather we've had this week, even though the daffs are frozen now. =(

It reminds me that God clothes the fields and knows all about the daffs. I'm so very thankful.


So tell me, what's fun in your world right now?

ps--Happy Valentine's Day!

If you're joining us for the a2z: Take 2 meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter F, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February's 12 in '12

It's only February and I'm late--but I have a unique excuse. I'll tell you about it later. LoL. Really, I will.

I have to tell ya, just having this list of FUN and different things to do this year just because--no pressure to do them, has been good for me! For the last six weeks I've had it in mind and have looked for opportunities to do something on this list, and even better, to do things that are outside the box for me.

It's been soooooo good! =)

So, here's my list and progress report...

  1. I already posted my list of 9 writing craft books to read in '12. I want to add 3 books to that list and read 12 writing craft books in '12. Read one book so far, The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman.
  2. Do 12 short vlogs. *gulp*  Nope. Forgot I said 12. LoL.
  3. Go out once a month (brrrrr) and snap pictures--not just 12 outings in March through October like I usually do. Why? To slow down and look for the beauty all around me on a regular basis, even if it's freezing out there. Went out twice in January and once so far in February--but the weather's been so nice it felt like I was cheating. ;-)
  4. Go somewhere scenic here in Southern Illinois that I've not been to before--there's so much here that I've never seen in the 20 years I've lived here. Not yet--waiting for more scenic weather. hehe
  5. Talk to 12 people about the history of this part of Southern Illinois--my older friends, museum personnel... Yes, talked to a couple ladies.
  6. Visit the local museum. It's closed for the winter.
  7. Visit the coal mining museum in town. Not yet.
  8. Visit the miners memorial in town.  Nope.
  9. Hunt down the old mine portals and take pictures. (Do you see the trend here? LoL) No, I kinda got sidetracked.
  10. Stop at the WF Lake and simply be still.  I'm a wimp and even though we've had a mild winter, it's still chilly!!
  11. Go to R Lake and follow some of the paths. This is a spring or summer item!!
  12. Walk through the woods this spring. hehe. It's not spring yet. ;-) BUT I did check out the fence row last week before the weather turned cold. Fun!!

So there you have it. I'm having a GREAT time keeping this list in mind and doing things OUTSIDE THE BOX for me.

How about you? What have you done that's outside the box for you?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bits

Just like we don't like our cookies only half baked, we taste better when we aren't half baked. ;-)

Won't you join me at Jewels of Encouragement today? I'm talking about a good reason to stay in the oven...

And tomorrow is our February 12 in '12. Can't wait to pull out my list of fun things to do this year and see how I'm doing.

How about you? Done anything fun lately?

Friday, February 10, 2012

More Than A Splash

I love my house plants. They bring me great joy as they thrive, adding color and texture to my home.

Over the years I've noticed that my plants seem to go in cycles—they'll be beautiful for awhile and then they start dropping leaves and getting ugly. One of my favorites is a ming aralia—a miniature palm tree, and it's definitely in an ugly stage right now. The main trunk is severely leaning and there's a pile of branches around it and more are dropping off. I was pulling off dead leaves and branches, mulling over the idea of composting it and just filling that spot with something else, and that's when my eye caught a sliver of green. Right where the old branches were connected there was new growth pushing up, even before the old was gone.

I'm tired of constantly having to clean up after this little tree, even if it is my favorite, so, I googled to find out what mings need to flourish. I determined that if it this shedding continued I'd toss the plant and move on. My research was a 'duh' moment for me.

What I thought was a cycle of the older branches making way for new growth, turns out to be...not enough water. Can you tell I'm not a botanist? I don't even have a green thumb, I just happen to have a house that's ideal for house plants.

Yes, my plants go in cycles, and those cycles are directly linked to me. When I remember to water them, they flourish and are beautiful. When I forget to water them for a long period of time, they get ugly, which reminds me to water them--but by then the uglies have set in and I have to deal with ugly consequences.


But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and in His law he meditates day and night.
And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither;
and in whatever he does, he prospers.
~Psalm 1:2-3

My life is like my house plants. I need watering from God's Word to flourish. Without that watering, I get ugly. My leaves wither, turn brown and die, leaving me with a pot full of dead leaves and empty, meaningless 'works.'

Consistent watering is key to healthy healthy Christians. That doesn't mean subsistence amounts of watering--a splash here and a splash there. It means watering on a regular basis. If I do this, when I miss a watering, it's not so life threatening for my plants. It also means the plants can handle the extra heat of summer without much problem.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit. ~Jeremiah 17:7-8

Have I been consistently watering my soul by spending regular time in God's Word, soaking it in? If I haven't, I'm not prepared for the heat life throws at me and I certainly won't be able to bear fruit.

Have I been just quickly splashing my soul, hoping it will be enough? It might be enough to keep me alive, but it's not enough to grow and flourish on. I need to determine to water my soul regularly, so I can grow.


Father, please help me to sink my roots deep into Your Word, so that my soul can be well watered and flourishing with fruit for You. Thank You forYour Word which is refreshment and life.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Elephants in My Life


Welcome to this week's a 2 z: Take 2
and the letter E.

Did you know there's an Elephant Appreciation Day? September 22nd. Good thing they put it on the calendar, otherwise most of us wouldn't stop and appreciate those elephants.

Through the years I've had many elephants. Haven't you?

No, I don't mean pet elephants, I'll leave that for the real missionaries—over in Africa. I mean those things that act as roadblocks. Yanno, mental things that keep us from doing what God has called us to do. Things like time, ability, doubts, fears, naysayers, excuses. You get my drift. Things that seem... elephantine.

It's time for us to appreciate them.

Mm hmm.
Appreciate the things that try to stop you from doing what God has called you to do. Why would anyone want to appreciate that kind of elephant? Because those elephants make us turn to One who is far greater than any elephant could ever be. They make us run to the One who is mighty to save, and as we hold on to Him in our weakness and fear, He shows Himself strong in a way that leaves no doubt in our minds that He is the One who tamed the elephant.

Are you doubting you can write what God has called you to write? “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24

Fearful? “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

Hesitant? “Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.” Exodus 4:11-12

Nervous? “I have put My words in your mouth and have covered you with the shadow of My hand, to establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, 'you are My people.'” ~Isaiah 51:16

Feeling powerless to write what He's called you to write? “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of hosts.” ~Zechariah 4:6

Each of these elephants has made me hold on to God, and God is showing Himself strong through them.

So tell me, what's the elephant in your life that's keeping you from what you really want to do?

What do you plan on doing about it? 

What are some verses you use to tame the elephants in your lives?


If you're joining us for the a2z: Take 2 meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter E, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Only You

This week's Take Flight challenge was inspired by a graphic I spotted on Facebook in the past couple weeks. It was one of those timely posts that made me stop and think and say ouch.

It's one I needed to keep in mind this last week...

So, this week's Take Flight Challenge is to zero in on ONE area where you are stopping yourself and clobber it back.

Last week the area I chose to focus on and clobber back was the manuscript I've been wrestling with for months, in one shape or another. Back in November I had a week, maybe two week's of work to do to fix up the manuscript so my agent, Linda Glaz, could do something with it. For one reason or another, that work clobbered me.

I was stopping myself.

But last week I pressed on and finished the thing. On Friday I sent the completed, edited, and revised manuscript to Linda. Talk about relief!

Now I find I'm facing the very same struggle again, with a different manuscript. When will I learn? Will I ever learn?

God is so very loving and faithful. He knows my struggle and when I poured out my heart to Him about needing direction and words, He gave me the missing pieces to the story concept so now I know what direction this new novel is going. I'm not just writing in the dark, discovering everything as I go.

It's time for me to quit stopping myself. It's time to press on in obedience and faith. I'm so very glad I'm not walking alone!

So tell me, how are you stopping yourself?

If you're joining us for this episode of Take Flight, link up with us!!

Friday, February 03, 2012

A Super Bowl Perspective

So, it's Super Bowl weekend. Even though our family doesn't keep track of football, we still go to at least part of the Super Bowl party at church. (Don't worry, the party pauses for evening service.) It's a great time for fun and fellowship.

A couple years ago I watched as one of the Cardinals caught a pass in the end zone and fumbled the ball before wrapping his fingers around it and making the touchdown. As soon as it was done he celebrated, and so did his teammates. There was much back slapping, and helmet pounding going on even as they moved into position for their next play.

Not only did the players celebrate, but all the Cardinal fans did too. Have you watched as those people celebrate? They don't just sit there and sedately clap their hands and offer a calm "bravo!". Oh no! They're jumping, hootin' an hollerin', pounding each other on the back and hugging everyone around them.

Now tell me something.
Why don't we celebrate, with even one-tenth the enthusiasm, when we see God do something that is 100 times greater than just a lousy touchdown in a football game?

Do we ever get so excited about something God has done that we celebrate by jumping up and down and hugging everyone we can get our arms on?

Ouch. I don't.

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute! ~Philippians 4:4-5 (The Message)

Sure there are times when I stop and say 'Wow, God, that was so awesome!' but do I revel in how awesome He is? Do I even dwell on His awesome deeds for more than a few minutes? This is something I need to work on.

The Lord your God is in your midst,
a victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
~Zephaniah 3:17 (NAS)

Did you catch that? God exults over us with joy! He rejoices over us with shouts of joy! We're followers of Christ and we're to be imitators of Him (Ephesians 5:1) and since He rejoices in us, how more then should we celebrate who He is and all He's done for us? Jesus told us in Luke 19:40 that if we become silent the stones will cry out. I don't know about you, but I'd rather stand up and cheer for God than give that privilege and joy to the stones.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth;
sing the glory of His name;
Make His praise glorious.
Say to God, “How awesome are Thy works!”
~Psalm 66:1 (NAS)
If we can get so excited over a football game that has no eternal value, just think of how excited we should be over the things God does. Things that only He can do! Let's raise the rafters with our praise and let all those around us know just how great our God is!

Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
~Zephaniah 3:14 (NAS)

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