How To Have Unspeakable Joy


After years of working at a job I loved, I was anxiously looking forward to retirement. For me, retirement meant traveling to exotic places and seeing the world, sleeping in until the sun came up, having quiet, blissful mornings, and enjoying the great outdoors. These long-anticipated events were soon to come to pass, but not without some trials.

The first trip my husband and I took after my retirement was to Denver to ski. We’re not great skiers, but we enjoy the winter sport and the snowy mountain atmosphere. On our fourth and final day, as I went to lift off the chairlift, this excruciating pain shot into my lower back. I skied down the hill, which seemed to loosen it up a bit. Thinking of the spasm might have worked out, I got back on the lift. But the same thing happened when I got up from the chair the second time, only worse. We were there to ski and have a good time, and I didn’t want to disappoint my husband by telling him I couldn’t ski anymore so I tried it again. This time the pain was so unbearable that I was in tears and by the time I got down the hill and I let him know that I was done for the day.

When we got home I made an appointment with the back doctor and, thankfully, x-rays showed nothing was wrong with my spine. “It’s just weak back muscles,” he told me. Evidently, years of sitting at a desk had weakened my back, and I needed to strengthen it. Some medications and therapy were prescribed and it gradually got better over the next few weeks.

Just as I started to feel normal again, my feet started killing me. The pain was so excruciating that at times I couldn’t even walk to the bathroom without holding on to the wall. I sought out a foot doctor and learned that it was plantar flagitious. A common foot ailment brought on by inflammation from overworking the muscles and tendons. All that extra walking I had been doing was causing my feet to rebel. It turned out to be a pretty easy fix with some shoe inserts, stretching, and an occasional shot of cortisone. I also backed off the walking just a bit to allow my feet to heal.

But then about mid-summer, my legs started aching. I couldn’t get comfortable anywhere and couldn’t sleep at night without pain medication and sleep aid. It was so painful in the mornings that I could barely move my legs to get out of bed. Thinking I must have something terribly wrong with my legs, I made an appointment with a leg specialist and he told me it wasn’t my legs at all, but my back again. That was weird because my back wasn’t even hurting! A strong steroid pack was prescribed and more therapy worked very well in relieving the pain. After an MRI which showed everything was good with my back and it was feeling better, I told him about another issue that just crept up.

I had woken up a few mornings prior and the tops of both my arms were hurting so badly that I couldn’t hardly move them. Even though I was an early riser, it would be around 11:00 a.m. each morning before I could move well enough to get on with my day. He referred me to the shoulder doctor where I learned that it was impingement from inflammation and overuse. I guess I shouldn’t have been lifting all those weights so soon. More steroid shots, therapy sessions, exercises, and medication were then prescribed for my shoulders.

I’m still dealing with some back and shoulder pain today, but it is manageable. I’m faithful to doing my back and shoulder exercises which the doctor said I could never stop doing and I continue to take anti-inflammatory medications. The issues are still there, but much better, and, thankfully, it’s more of a morning issue than an all-day issue. I keep doing what I now know to do and trust one day the pain will go away completely.

The cause

I’ve asked myself many times. Are these long-lasting trials an attack from Satan to steal the joy I was looking forward to in retirement or were they brought on by God who wanted to humble and strengthen me? Or was it simply a physical reaction to a shift in my lifestyle? I’m not sure. I’m still trying to figure that out. Maybe it’s a combination of all three. My body was re-adjusting, Satan saw this as an opportunity to steal my joy, and God allowed it because I need to learn to depend more on Him.

Joy in trials

One thing I do know is that God intends for us to have joy amid our trials. James instructs us to “Count it all joy when you fall into various temptations, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” (James 1:3)

There are roughly 200 verses in the Bible about joy that tell us we should have it and how to obtain it. Joy is a trait God wants for His children even while living in this fallen world.

Pain and sickness are things that can certainly steal our joy. My husband said that my personality even changed during my worst bouts of pain. I’ve always been a cheerful person, but constant, intense pain can quickly change you from a cheerful person to someone who no one wants to be around.

Despite all the pain I lived in during that first year of retirement, however, I was still able to enjoy my life and had a great year traveling, spending time with family, and doing many of the things I love. Granted, it would have been much better if it had been totally pain-free, but in reality, is life ever totally pain-free? If we’re not dealing with physical pain, we may be experiencing emotional pain.

The antidote

So how do we have joy amid our trials? These three things helped me to continue living a joyful life amid the pain.

A painting that says "choose joy" in bright colors.  Paintbrush included.
Photo by Bekka Mongeau on

Joy is a choice

I’ve seen people battle months of horrid treatments for cancer and still retain their joy. How do they do that? They did it by drawing closer to the Lord. Joy is a fruit of the spirit and the closer we get to the Lord and allow His spirit into our lives, the more this fruit will be manifested. I’ve heard many people proclaim that they wouldn’t take anything for the hard trial they went through because it brought them so much closer to God. We always have a choice when going through trials to either wallow in self-pity and dwell solely on our misfortunes or decide to be thankful for the numerous blessings we have. The latter attitude will always produce joy no matter what circumstance we are facing.

Hope breeds joy

Sheer hope brings joy, as well. Paul mentions this in Romans 12:12 where he says “Rejoicing in hope, enduring in troubles, continuing steadfastly in prayer.” I have lots of people praying for my pain and that gives me hope that eventually, it will subside and I will move past this trial. That hope causes me to rejoice. I refuse to believe that things will not get better.

Faith ingites joy

With over 200 verses in the Word of God about joy and how to have it, we can get our joy back by simply reading and accepting those words.

There are numerous promises there, but here are just three:

Those who sow in tears will reap in joy.”

Psalms 126:5

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved in various trials.

1 Peter 1:6

Not only this, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance.

Romans 5:3

Faith and hope are intertwined. Faith in God produces hope in our situation which brings forth joy.

Other joy stealers

Pain in our bodies isn’t the only thing the thief uses to steal our joy. Betrayal, sin, unbelief, and unforgiveness are some of the tools Satan uses against us. Each of these can also be overcome as we will explore in the coming weeks.

A woman by a lake hands up in the air showing joy and praise.
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The Joy of the Lord is your strength.

Nehemiah 8:10

Make the Most of Life’s Instruction Manual


They say that life doesn’t come with an instruction manual, but actually it does! It’s called the Holy Bible.

Several years ago, our pastor felt that our congregation didn’t know enough about the Bible. We came to church faithfully every Sunday to listen to his sermons, but most of us didn’t have a systematic way to read and study the Bible.

He asked us as a church to begin a daily reading plan that took us through the Bible in one year. Today, this discipline has become a part of the daily devotions for many of us and the result has been life-changing as well as church-changing.

Being a Christian most of my life, I’ve studied the Bible and even memorized many key verses, however, reading it from cover to cover unveils a storyline that you don’t get by just reading various chapters out of sequence.

It’s very unpopular today in some circles to say that you believe in the Bible, but I find it ironic that many of those who discount the Bible and say they don’t believe it to be the inspired Word of God, have never read even a small portion of it, much less cover to cover. While we would never purchase an expensive appliance and refuse to pick up the instruction manual to see how to operate it safely and efficiently, many of us try to make it though life on our own without ever consulting the manual God has given us for our time on earth.

Will we understand everything we read in the Bible? Certainly not, but we will understand some of it. The beauty of reading the Word is that we almost always learn something new or see a principle in a new light, even from a familiar passage.

Many people mistakenly think that the Bible should have all the answers to life’s questions, and since it doesn’t answer everything, it’s not valid. But God hasn’t revealed everything to his creation – just what He wants us to know. The Bible, rather, is the story of man, and God’s plan to redeem him from his sins. It shows us how to live triumphantly in this life and how to prepare for the next. It doesn’t tell us everything there is to know about God. That’s for another time and place. Today we know in part, the Bible says, but when we see God face to face we will know fully. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

If you’ve never read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, I encourage you to do so this year. Some of it won’t make sense, but a lot of it will. Numerous Bible Reading Apps online have a scheduled reading plan, and many will read it audibly to you so that you can listen while driving or getting ready for work, etc. This one from Life Church is fantastic, but there are many other options.

Holy Bible

What’s actually in there?

Some verses tell us what to do when we feel weak, anxious, worried, betrayed, or sad. It shows us how to be at peace and joyful instead of stressed and gloomy, and how to love instead of hate. There are verses for when we need forgiveness and when we need to forgive others.

The Bible tells us how to be a good friend, parent, neighbor and child. It teaches us to trust God and believe in something bigger than ourselves. It provides comfort through our sufferings while challenging us to become better people.

We may not always like what the Bible says to us, but everything written there is for our good. There are answers for dealing with the sins in our life and how to get deliverance from them. Not everything we read will make us happy. Biblical truth is sometimes hard to swallow. God’s word claims to be sharper than a two-edged sword and, believe me, I have felt that sword in my own spirit many times. But no matter how it hurts, a reality check is sometimes just what we need.

The Bible truly is a Living Word. Nothing will grow our faith more than the Word of God. It’s a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, (Psalm 119:105) showing us the way on this journey of life. It’s a love letter from God to us, His children, and is more precious than any treasure we could ever find.

Its words bring comfort to us when we are burdened, hope when we are in despair, and joy when we are in sorrow. All the while convicting us when we are doing wrong.

We’ll never master the Bible completely, no matter how much of a scholar we become because it is a living, breathing book, and the more we learn the more is revealed.

There is much to be gleaned from the Scriptures. Everything from how to eat, how to manage your money, to how to treat your neighbor. There are numerous ancient prophecies through those pages that have now been fulfilled and other prophecies showing us what’s to come next in our world.

Why not give God’s Word a try this year and commit to reading it through just to see what it has to say to you. I think you’ll be impressed and blessed!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1

God’s handiwork

We can’t do it by ourselves. We didn’t create our human bodies, fill them with a soul and spirit and place ourselves on this earth. We had no say in the matter – neither the era in which we were born, the family into which we were born, nor what race or other physical characteristics we acquired.

So why do we think we have to do life on our own? When we struggle with sin and failure we often turn from God instead of asking him to help us.

But this verse in Philippians tells us that God is always working in us both so we can do his will and for his good pleasure.

“He’s not mad at us, “ As my friend, Dave Ramsey says, “He misses us.” God wants every person to live forever with him. That’s the reason he sent his son to die for us. If he didn’t care about us, he would have just let us all die in our sins.

Don’t let guilt and shame keep you from God. He understands the struggles we have on this earth for Jesus had those same temptations. We will never be as perfect as Jesus, but God will help us become more like him each day if we allow him.

Solomon’s choice

If there’s anyone in the Bible I’d like to shake and say “What are you doing,” it’s King Solomon.

God had literally given him everything he could ever hope or wish for. He had riches beyond belief. The very goblets that he drank out of were made of gold! He had so much of the precious metal that he regarded silver as virtually worthless.

But God didn’t stop with material possessions. He gave Solomon wisdom well beyond his years. Kings and leaders from other nations would come and sit with him for hours while he answered their questions with his incredible wisdom. Today, centuries later, King Solomon is still proclaimed as the wisest man who ever lived.

Perhaps best of all, the Lord gave Solomon peace. In a land that has known little through the years. he lived and reigned for forty years in complete peace. It allowed him to construct the fabulous temple out of the riches God had provided. He lived a truly blessed life.

All God asked of Solomon was to stay true to him and follow his commandments.

But, unfortunately, Solomon choose to not always do that. Instead of one wife, Solomon wanted hundreds and he took them from foreign lands that worshiped idols, going against God’s direct command. In the end they led him astray and were his downfall.

In his later years looking back on his life, Solomon realized all he had was vanity. He had learned the hard truth that without God, all the riches and wisdom didn’t mean a thing. Instead of continuing to grow in the Lord Solomon had choosen another path and it cost him dearly.

While I want to shake Solomon and say “What were you thinking,” in reality, I often do the same thing. How often have I not obeyed the Lord knowing full well whatever he has for me is always what’s best.

We’re all faced with choices each and every day. Some lead to life and some to death. Right choices usually enhance our life and wrong ones often bring us trouble. Most days are a mixture of both.

No one is perfect and we don’t always get it right, but my prayer is that as I grow in the Lord I will make more right choices than wrong ones.

What about you?

I don’t want to miss out on anything the Lord has for me, especially those pearly white gates, streets of gold and an eternal life in God’s presence that comes with life’s most important choice of accepting Jesus as our savior for the forgiveness of our sins.

That’s one choice I hope we all get right.

2 good ways to love your neighbor

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I just called a lady stupid. We’ll actually I said what she was doing was stupid, but I clearly wasn’t living out this commandment to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

If there’s anything in abundance and growing in our land today, it’s dissension and hate. It seems like our society is collapsing all around us. Lawlessness is abounding and immorality is not only accepted but encouraged and actually celebrated. Those that don’t agree are often labeled bigots.

As Christians it’s hard not to be angry toward those that we feel are causing the disruption.

Yet, God commands us to love even when we don’t see eye to eye, or we think their attitudes and decisions will cause harm to others. We can’t always condone every action of our neighbor, but we can still love the person. And admittedly that’s hard, really hard.

While it may be difficult to fight for what’s right and just and still love, we don’t change people by hating them or calling them stupid. They can only be changed by showing them the love of Christ.

So how do we love the unloveable?

We love people by telling them the truth. But if that truth isn’t delivered in love, we might as well just keep our opinions to ourself. Still our words may or may not be accepted, but that’s not up to us.

Standing up for what we believe is right may cause angry push back from those who disagree. But there’s always a way to disagree without viciously attacking someone’s character and inciting more anger and hate. A soft answer turns away wrath. (Proverbs 15:1). Try it next time your in a heated debate and watch the angry person calm down and pay more attention to what you are saying.

We love people by being there when they are hurting or in their time of need. There’s no better way to earn the right to speak truth into someone’s life. No one wants to listen to some Bible thumping obnoxious, judgmental stranger shoveling a Bible in their face and telling them they are going to hell. That tactic may have worked in times past, but it’s a big turnoff to unbelievers in our society today and, frankly, unless God has already prepared that person to receive, you won’t get very far with them.

People do respond to kindness. Especially when they are grieving the loss of a love one, battling sickness or just having a hard time. What better way to open the door for an unbelieving co-worker than to say. “Hey, I noticed your struggling and are having a hard day. Can I pray for you or get you something? They will seldom decline and when you have an opportunity to share your faith, they will be opening to listening. Even something as cup of cold water given in love can change a life. (Matthew 10:42)

This verse sounds so easy. “Just love your neighbor as yourself.” Yet it is so incredibly hard. But Jesus never promised us easy. He just promised he would always be with us


How to be humble without being a push over

Most of us tend to get a little more humble as we get older. Maturity and understanding along with some hard knocks in life bring that about in our character.

Yet, as always God’s word brings a challenge. This verse is no different as it instructs us to be completely humble and gentle. That makes it a little harder because, honestly, how can we be anything one hundred percent of the time?

Some think humility means being timid. It does not. Nor does it mean one must be a door mat and let people run all over you.

True humility is simply honoring God and others

Think of someone you know that you consider to be a humble person. Chances are you see them showing kindness and respect to everyone they come in contact with on a daily basis.

According to Jeff Boss, a former contributor at Forbes magazine, humble people retain relationships longer because they are more likely to help out their friends and are better listeners. They are curious, eager learners always realizing that although they may be smart, there is much they don’t know. They aren’t afraid to ask for help. Humble people always take the time to say “Thank you” to whomever is serving them and start sentences with “You” instead of “I.”

The humble are not weak, they are actually confident because they know their self worth. They don’t feel the need to boast about themselves because they believe their actions speak for them.

None of us will be humble one hundred percent of the time, but it’s something we can practice at each day by simply putting others ahead of ourselves – and that will make life more pleasant for everyone.


How to have peace in turbulent times

It was our bi-weekly Wednesday night Bible study the day after the 2020 presidential election. Naturally, the conversation turned to the election results which were, of course, still being tallied. But it was looking grim for our candidate – the man that we thought would be best to lead our country over the next four years. We were all speculating on what would happen to our country if the other candidate won. There was concern about the kind of nation we would leave to our children and grandchildren. We were undoubtedly anxious.

We ended our session with prayer and someone asked for God to give us peace.


We haven’t seen a lot of that in 2020. With Covid-19 ravaging the nation causing much sickness, numerous deaths and widespread fear, as well as prompting shutdowns, cancelled events, mandatory. business closures, illegal church services and an incident of police brutality leading to riots, chaos, attacks on police, violence and burning cities, peace has been in short supply to say the least.

How can we possibly have peace in our hearts with so much going on, especially now with the uncertainty of what a new administration might bring.

Then I was immediately reminded of this verse.

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

What a beautiful promise this is for us. We can’t control everything in our world, in fact we can’t control most things, but we can choose to dwell on the Lord and if we do, he promises to bring us peace.

What can we control?

We can control our thoughts and choose to lean into Jesus, thanking him for all the goodness and blessings in our life. This will bring peace and contentment to our soul.

We can read his word to learn his ways and the promises it holds for those who love him. This will bring peace and encouragement to us.

We can fellowship with other believers in order to help each other stay focused on God during tough times. This will bring us joy and peace to each other.

And we can attend church and worship even though we may have to do it virtually for now. Worshiping God and hearing the Word of God motivates us to become more devoted to him which ultimately brings us peace.

All these things will help us keep our mind on the Lord.

Even if we get through this 2020 crisis unscathed, more turbulent times are coming. But God’s promises still hold true. He will never leave us or forsake us. (Joshua 1:5) and that’s a good verse to dwell on for sure.

Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

Things I’m thankful for during coronavirus outbreak

We’re living in a very scary time right now. Everyday life that we took for granted just a few weeks ago, such as going to work or school, the gym or even the grocery store can now prove fatal. We wake up every day to a new Coronavirus death toll and the leaders are warning us that it’s not over yet.

I’ve always coped with loss, uncertainty, or depression by practicing gratitude. I find it lifts my spirits even when circumstances don’t change. Here’s a list of just a few of the things I’ve made a point to be grateful for today.

A Safe Place

I’m thankful for my beautiful home. It’s not a mansion but it’s plenty big enough for my husband and I. It’s a safe place to retreat, refresh and renew, and now to even work. It’s decorated to my taste and I love just being here. Working full time and being on the go the way many of us normally are, we sometimes don’t have enough time to enjoy the homes that we’ve worked so hard to build. During this time of isolation I’m thankful to have time to enjoy it. Some people lost their home just recently in tornadoes that swept through our city. Mine is still standing. I am blessed.

A Venue to the outside

I’m thankful for the internet. Up until this crisis hit, we were all feeling guilty for spending so much time on our screens. Now this technology has become our best friend. It’s allowed all of us to stay in touch with our family and friends, allowed students to continue their education, and many people to keep working and even have church! Through this medium we can shop and have our purchases delivered to our front door. The internet has been a total game changer for all of us during this outbreak and I’m grateful for the opportunities it has offered.

Able Bodies

The Lord has kept my husband and I, our children and grandchildren safe so far. We done our part by practicing social distancing and while I miss being with my family terribly, I have some assurance that those times will return soon. Unfortunately, not everyone can say this. The thought of thousands of people dying alone is almost too much to bear. Today, I’m not alone, I’m not in the hospital and I’m not dying. How can I not be thankful for that?


I’m thankful for the spirit of the America people that I see on display during this time. Although we are physically apart we are more united than we have been in a long time. Oh, there are a few small people with big microphones still trying to divide us by somehow trying to place blame on this horrible virus on one person or another, or by sitting on the sidelines and pointing out every small mistake or miscalculation made by our leaders during this crisis, but by enlarge the real patriots, the common everyday people, are giving and doing what they can with whatever they have available to serve their fellow citizens.

Everyone in sacrificing something to help bring this crisis to a halt. Our health care workers are putting their lives on the line every day to take care of the sick, business are shutting their doors to the very public that provide them their livelihood, parents are teaching their children at home while keeping up with their own work responsibilities, government leaders are working overtime to gain information, make critical decisions and keep us informed on best practices. Pastors have willingly relinquished their church services even though the gathering together of the saints is the strength of their church. People are praying for each other more than in a very long time. It’s heartwarming and I’m extremely grateful.

While at times I’m fearful and extremely sad, and never want this to happen again, I refuse to live in fear and sadness alone. A little gratitude goes a long way in helping me to keep perspective and bring joy into my life.

Take a moment to thank God for the good you still have in your life. Then feel your spirit soar.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Not Why but What ? – The Coronavirus question we should all be asking

I felt such an unexplainable peace sitting in the silence of my home while at work and looking out on my back deck where the rain was slowly drizzling down. I noticed the empty patio chairs and table and my mind goes back to the time last spring when my family was reclining in those chairs, my children and their spouses each eating dessert and drinking coffee, laughing, talking and enjoying each other’s company. The grandchildren were playing in the yard. I can see them all there and my heart years to go back to that day and to experience that again.

Everything seems so peaceful with the drizzling rain against the newly budded green trees. A robin occasionally comes and perches in the deck and a squirrel scurries around in the trees. It’s as if nature doesn’t know the silent war that’s going on in the world. Did someone forget to tell spring? Why are the trees budding and turning green the way they do every year?

Of course nature knows. God controls the seasons and He decided that spring should come this year anyway. Perhaps to tell us that the world isn’t ending just yet.

We’re in the third week of isolation because of the Coronavirus pandemic and while I’m enjoying a bit of a slowdown and working from home, I’m starting to miss my loved ones and their hugs and the simple things like getting in the car and going where I’d like to go and doing what I want to do.

Naturally, this pandemic didn’t catch God by surprise. He’s aware of those who are quarantined at home, those who have lost their jobs, those who are sick and especially the hurting and the dying.

Perhaps the question we should be asking God isn’t why is this happening, but what do you want me to learn from this? Have you forced the entire world into this isolation and slowdown for a much needed rest? Is this just a way to somehow cleanse the earth and decrease pollution? Are you wanting families to connect more? Or are you longing for the world to turn back to you?

I can’t pretend to know what God is thinking, but what I can do is ask Him what He wants me to do during this time and what does He want me to learn. Whether it’s being isolated at home or working on the front lines in our hospitals combating the virus head on God has put us each in this place.

I love these words from the late Zig Ziglar. “Expect the best. Plan for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.” I don’t believe he’s talking about capitalizing with money here, but rather maximizing the most of the opportunities we are presented with, even though we may not initially view them as positive.

What have you been given during this time that is unique? Is it time with family like never before, more time to reflect, to read, exercise, pursue that hobby or deepen your relationship with the Lord? Glean from it whatever you can and learn it’s lessons for this too shall one day pass.

Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.

Psalm 46:10

3 hard choices to improve your life

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If you’ve lived more than 20 minutes on earth, you’ve learned this one thing – life is hard. Work is hard, doing the right thing is hard, even planning the perfect vacation is hard.

Getting into the world requires a long, hard push through the birth canal, but that’s only the beginning. Have you ever watched a baby work to get control of their motor skills? It’s very sweet. They hold up their little arm and intensely concentrate on making it move accordingly to their will. It takes focus but they don’t give up until they master it. Then by exerting a lot of effort they start to raise their head and eventually roll over. After a few months they are up on their knees and crawling. Then one day they try walking, falling countless times before they finally get it right.

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Yes, learning to walk is difficult, but is essential for us to get around in this world. Babies instinctively know they are supposed to walk on two feet and they press through until they get it.

We go to school where it takes years to master reading, math, language and science all the while most of the time as children we’d rather be doing something else. But our parents and society force us to go, to study and to learn because they know that being uneducated in today’s world would make for a very difficult life

As we grow into adulthood, we’re constantly having to learn new jobs and tasks. We’re continually being met with new challenges brought on by life situations and the different seasons of life.

Sometimes we make bad choices in the face of those challenges which compound our problems and other times we make good choices that improve our life. While Some things are totally out of our control, there is much we can control.

Here are just three hard choices that we can make that will greatly improve our life. They are hard, but so are their alternatives and the paths they lead us on are distinctively different.


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We can choose to exercise and eat healthy foods or we can eat junk food and lead a sedative lifestyle.

Physical exercise is hard. We don’t always feel like doing it. If you haven’t exercised it in a while, it’s even more difficult to start. But do you know what is also hard? Not being able to climb a set of stairs or walk just one block with your grandchildren because your body isn’t fit enough. I see people who are way too young struggling to get around because they are over weight and out of shape. That’s a hard life, yet so preventable just by making the choice to move our bodies more and fuel it with the right food.


I tried smoking when I was very young and like everyone else got addicted very quickly. Thankfully, the Lord moved on me very strongly that I needed to give that up. It was difficult- very difficult, but looking back, my life would be very different now had I not done that. I wouldn’t be married to the wonderful man I have been for the past 40 plus years, because he said he could not stand a women who smoked. I wouldn’t have been able to sing in the church choir that I did for 25 years that I loved doing and by now, if I was still alive, I’d possibly have emphysema, heart attack, lung cancer or a stoke. At the least I’d have wrinkled skin and that annoying smokers cough. That would be very hard- much harder than the three weeks of withdrawal from Nicotine I experienced years ago.

Getting off any kind of addiction is extremely difficult, but never impossible. Living a lower quality of life and being a slave to any addiction is much harder. If you’re addictive to anything, get whatever professional help you need today and ask the Lord to help you. He will. He doesn’t want us to be a slave in bondage to anything.


Telling yourself or your children “no” to things you want is no fun. It’s very hard to delay pleasure. But it’s also tough being broke all the time because all of your money is going to the bank in high interest payments. If you choose to say no to yourself now, and only buy things you can pay for with cash, there will come a time when you will be able to purchase more of the things you’d like to have. Don’t be envious of what other people have. Learn to manage what God has given you and you’ll get increasingly more to manage over time. There are great books and teachings out there to help you learn to do a budget, spend wisely, avoid debt and save for the future. You’ll still have to be willing to do the hard work, but the payoff is fantastic!

One great thing about making the good hard choices is that it gets easier the more you do it. You’ll eventually start to prefer wonderfully cooked vegetables over lots of fatty meats, sweet desserts and processed foods. Exercise becomes enjoyable and you actually look forward to that walk in the park. You’ll even get excited about doing your monthly budget because now you’ve given yourself a raise and you get to choose how to spend your money instead of everything just going to bills and interest payments.

Life is full of choices. God has given us all the free will to choose. Some are hard, some are easy and often times we aren’t even sure which choice to make. There is a cause and effect to each choice we make. Take the time to think those through and you’ll usually get it right.

Choose my instruction rather than silver. Knowledge rather than choice gold. Proverbs 8:10

What are some hard decisions you’ve had to make that turned out for the betterment of your life?