A new session of STAND will begin on Monday, September 14. For more information, please visit and click on the links for "Stand." Our last session together was WONDERFUL... you won't want to miss this study!

Ready to jump in? Why not take a picture of your rainy day shoes (or you know... boots, flip-flops, bare feet... whatever!) E-mail your photo to And we'll post them with your first name along the side-bar.

Can't wait to study with you!!!
Love, Mary

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I think the joy that these verses are referring to is not the joy that comes from good circumstances or earthly pleasures, but from knowing that, through Christ, we have a way out - a way to be rescued - "I will praise you because you have heard me and become my salvation." Yes, my circumstances can be really, really bad sometimes. But WOW how exciting that this isn't all there is to our existence! How exciting that there is a Creator that cares, loves us, and has prepared a place for us in eternity (if we accept salvation through Jesus) where all the suffering and bad circumstances will be no more! Now THAT is a reason to have joy in the midst of bad times. I also think that the joy these verses are referring to is joy that happens from knowing that God will care for me IN SPITE OF my current circumstances. Again, how AWESOME is it to know that, no matter how things turn out in any given situation, God will care for me? Phil. 4:6 - "Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks." So ACTUALLY, if you look at it from the perspective of these verses, bad circumstances aren't times when we should force ourselves to praise God simply because it's something we know we should do (although that's kinda true) ... Bad times are when we can be grateful for God from a whole different angle, recognizing how much worse things would be without Him & that, one day, this too shall pass and we get to spend eternity in paradise with our Savior! No matter what happens to us and what the world throws our way throughout life, THAT is a reality and a reason for joy that no one can lessen or take away! Hope this makes sense, I know I get long-winded - just ask my husband :) - Amy

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