When We Lose Our Joy

Starting over...

     Scriptures say so much about joy. Our joy is from The Lord, our joy is full, His strength is our joy, we are filled with joy, and we are to sing for joy.
    But there is a verse given to us from Yeshua that often describes the very state that we can be in.
    John 16:21-22 ‘A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.  Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.’
    It is true, we do lose our joy, we do grieve and fall into despair. We do lose hope and our faith waivers. We lose loved ones, children make bad choices, and divorce happens, affairs creep in the marriage, financial problems can be overwhelming, health can diminish, and life can turn south real fast.
     But what does Messiah promise? He promises us that our heart will rejoice and no one can take our joy from us.
    This was spoken when Yeshua walked the earth. He prefaces this statement with:
‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’
     We now have the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit to give us that unspeakable joy that He spoke of. He has returned in spirit and has given us the gift of His spirit to give us that joy, that peace, that shalom.
     This is where we start over.  We stop and breathe and look at the solution not the sorrow. And the solution always begins with Yeshua. We start over, in His grace, in His everlasting arms.  
    So, don’t beat yourself up, but rather pick yourself up.

Zephaniah 3:17 ‘The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in His love He will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.’




Fan the Flames..

Fan the fire…

     Last Sabbath the SHMBE praise team sang ‘Mighty Breath of God’, by Jesus Culture. Below are the ending lyrics of the song. There is a verse, ‘Spirit fire- fan the flame’, and at the end they sing, ‘let Your fire fall…’

Spirit fire fan the flame
Passion for the Holy name
Burning everything
Blow Mighty Breath of God
Move upon this place
Blow mighty breath of God
Come move in power and grace 
Come move in power and grace
Let Your wind blow
Let Your fire fall 
(Mighty Breath of God, Jesus Culture)

   What is the fire of God?
     In Exodus 3:2 God appears, ‘The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.’
     In Leviticus 9:24 fire precedes God:  ‘Then fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.’
    Fire emanated from God in 2 Samuel 22:9 ‘"Smoke went up out of His nostrils, Fire from His mouth devoured; Coals were kindled by it.”
     In Genesis 22:4 there was a flaming sword and fire from heaven in Exodus 9:23.
     The Spirit in Revelation is of fire, ‘Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;’ Revelation 4:5.
    This song shows us the boldness to spread the fire of The Lord. We fan the flames of the Spirit, we let the fire grow within us. This is the righteous fire of God. But is there another fire?    
     ‘Feed the fire’ has many ramifications. It could mean the fire smoldering inside of someone else, as in: Suzi is mad at Joan and we jump on the band wagon, feeding her fire with negative words about Joan, thus fanning the flames of her anger/jealousy/resentment/whatever.  Or maybe it is our anger/jealousy/resentment that we feed. Anger is not a squeaky wheel, nor is it impressive. It is nothing more than intimidation and, in the end, it is the angry one who plays the fool. We need to stop and breath; ‘Is this God’s fire I am fanning? Or is it mine of ego? Or am I fanning someone else’s of anger, hurt, confusion, or jealousy?   
    A definition of the saying: ‘adding fuel to the fire’ says it so well: To do or say something to make an argument, problem or bad situation worse. It is ‘making a bad situation worse, by increasing anger or hostility.’
      So there is a legitimate fire to fan and a legitimate flame – it is the fire of The Lord. Ours is neither legitimate nor righteous – if it is of us. There is a check list we can take: is this fire I am about to rekindle, or relight, or spark, or set forth of me? Or is it of Him?
    Simple question to ask ourselves. That simple question, with the correct answer following, will always bring the glory to The Father. Praise God!
  Blessings, Vickie



   Have you ever looked closely at a snowflake? They are all different, intricate, delicate and 6 points, just like the star of David. There are coffee table books about snowflakes, studies on snowflakes and songs written about them. They are magical to some, and to others another glorious miracle of God.
    One thing, we can’t have snowflakes without a storm. Even snow that falls gently to the ground needs a winter storm. Think about that for a moment. A storm. We need a storm to get the snowflakes.    
     What about the storms in our lives? We need storms to get the snowflakes, the crystals of ice that shimmer and glimmer in the sun. Some storms, as in the weather will be gentle, moving in and moving out, gently dropping rain or snow, falling straight down, even to stack upon the wires of a fence. Other storms will be violent, rain and snow blowing sideways, stinging our faces, blurring our vision, often causing accidents, trees to fall, roofs to collapse and rivers to rise. Whether we are prepared, whether it is a gentle snow or whether it is a blizzard, we have an advocate.
     Isaiah 43:2 ‘When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.’
     Isaiah 4:6 ‘There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.’
     Proverbs 10:25 ‘When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more, but the righteous has an everlasting foundation.’
     Psalm 107:9 ‘He caused the storm to be still, So that the waves of the sea were hushed.’
     Nahum 1:3 ‘The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm,  and the clouds are the dust of his feet.’
    In all of the storms in our lives, look for the snowflakes. Look for the snowflakes.
  Blessings, Vickie



Be Still...

“Stop the world, I want to get off!” (The title of the 1962 Broadway musical). Don’t we often feel that way?
     Are you the mom of a teen? Do you feel that the world is spinning so fast with the knowledge that they have to process to consume? What about the teen? In all the complexity of life today, the social media gossip and wars, the defriending of friends; are they overwhelmed?
      Are you a mommy of a toddler, an infant or both? Then you are probably sleep deprived, lacking a shower, your make-up drawer hasn’t been touched in weeks, a pony tail is your best friend and your child has learned two new words: ‘no’ and ‘mine’.
      Maybe you work full time- plus and you still struggle. Maybe you have a chronic illness, or debt, or one of your adult children is getting a divorce, maybe you’re divorcing or your marriage is in trouble. Maybe something as simple but yet tragic as you hit a deer and now your car is out of commission and you don’t have rental insurance. And more and more and more.
     This is life.
     Sometimes the best remedy is to stop and be still. Just breathe. Knowing that everything is a moment in time, an opportunity to get closer to The Lord, an opportunity to overcome and be thankful to God is a remedy in itself. A moment for us to stop, to put our head in our hands and cry.  It is a moment to seek the comfort of God and submit graciously to His will and perfect timing.
     Psalm 46:10 
     ‘Be still, and know that I am God;
     I will be exalted among the nations,
     I will be exalted in the earth!’
     1 Peter 5:7 -‘Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.’
     Ecclesiastics 3:7- ‘A time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak.’
     Exodus 14:14 -‘The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.’
     Psalm 62:5- ‘ For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.’
     Psalm 131:2- ‘But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.’
    Blessings ~ Vickie



There have always been a lot of discussions, sermons, preaching, arguments, bible bashing, gratefulness and tears over the topic of grace. Some of the thinking is that grace allows a person to behave a certain way that we are forgiven before we commit the sin (whatever that particular denomination calls sin) only now stop that sin.
God places our sin first, covering it with grace and at the same time, His grace is also placed first, knowing that we are imperfect people. However, He speaks to us to be a holy people, a holy nation. Leviticus 11:44, 45, Leviticus 19:2 and 1 Peter 1:16. Because we are granted such grace, we should strive to use that grace to be a more holy nation, not a ‘less’ wrong person. Romans 6:1-2 explains how we should behave: ‘What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?’
With that thought, how do we treat others? Are we to give grace to those we want to and withhold grace from those that we don’t like? Interesting that most of the verses about grace concerning human to human concerns not the person who we think needs it, but how we are behaving!
Ephesians 4:29 tells us to watch our speech to give grace: ‘Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.’
Luke 6:36 tells us to be merciful first: ‘Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.’
Often, we would behave better if that other person would just…or would just not… That attitude is expecting someone to change, or be a better person according to our perception, so that we may not sin, or lose our temper, or implode, or say something we shouldn’t. Nope, we need to look at our own behavior, our own perception and whatever the drama may be, give the other person grace.
Grace is a tricky concept. It isn’t a free pass to be out of line with the Father. He gives us grace to correct our steps – towards Him. As we get closer to the Father, we begin to realize that our love towards one another is a key factor in the growth of all of us. Galatians 6:2 ‘Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.’
Blessings ~ Vickie


Standing waist deep in the ocean, watching and feeling each wave roll in, I become mesmerized at the constant motion. Yet one too many too soon, or one too rough and down I fall. Each wave rolling and thundering in, creating energy so complex yet so simple that it defies the human body. The motion of the waves roll me around in the sand, tossing me down then tossing me up until it seems impossible to gain footing. My toes try to cling into the sand, grasping for anything as my arms fling wildly in the salty water which is now burning my eyes and stinging my throat. I’m like a rag, being tossed and tossed. Finally I get my footing and beaten but not broken, make it to shallow ground.
None of this seems to happen to the surfers I watch but I’m sure it does. Only their experience is much grander and makes mine pale compared to theirs. But as I watch them, they make it look effortless. They understand the motion of the water, the angle, and the point at which to ride it or gracefully roll over it.
There are no waves in the snorkeling coves, only clear water and fish swimming gracefully, letting the calm current move them back and forth, back and forth. This current is peaceful, restful, and I allow myself to float with it, moving to and fro. There is no loudness, no white foam, no rolling thunder in the coves, just crystal clear, calm water.
Is this like life? Some of us get knocked down in shallow waters with mediocre waves crashing into our lives. Others can ride mammoth waves, riding them like clouds all the way to shore. Others need the peaceful waters of a cove. Maybe so. We are all on different levels in life; we all have different stories, different experiences, different strengths and different weaknesses. Does that make anyone right or wrong? No, it just is. That is where grace enters in.
Grace, or chesed in Hebrew, given to us freely by The Father is the glue that keeps us going. Grace to fall down, to make mistakes, to get tossed, to stumble around, to get beat up and then to get back up again. It is His mercy He gives us to seek repentance, to seek strength, to seek courage and encouragement. It is also the mercy and the grace that He gives us that even allows us to experience the waves in life, the saltiness and even the gentle motion of the clear caves. He doesn’t owe us any of that, but in His great mercy, He allows us time to experience life. He allows us the time and the moments to go through our journeys, to thank Him for every moment, every breath.
Our job is to praise Him, to thank Him and to get through our journeys and then emerge as the overcomers that He says in Scripture we are.
Blessings ~ Vickie

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In an older movie there was a character that was actually ‘time’. This character,’ time’ was disappointed, and rightly so, that most people were upset with ‘time’. Not enough time, time takes away our youth, time ages, time goes by too fast, time leads to death, time can erase memories, time doesn’t necessarily heal all wounds, time is wasted, time takes too long, and the resentfulness continued.

Time/noun –‘the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.’
‘Time’ asked the main character in this movie- why not flip it? Thank him (time) that he is even being there to listen to time state that people are ungrateful. To thank him for what he (time) has given, for the seconds that he wakes, the moments that he sees someone laugh, the opportunities to help someone through pain or sorrow.
A saying goes “live each moment like it is your last”. Well, what if we really did that? What if we were given an amount of time, something that God doesn’t necessarily do, but what if He did? What if God told each of us or showed us or gave us the vision of the exact number of years we will be alive in a physical form, and maybe even how we were going to die. Just process those 2 ideas for a minute (here goes a form of time again). You think that strange? It has occurred in the Scriptures more than once.
Luke 12:15-21 15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” 16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ 21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
In 2 Kings 2:20 Hezekiah is not only told he is going to die, he is then told he will be given another 15 years and then he will die. So twice, God informs him of death and time and even tells him through the prophet Isaiah to ‘get his house in order’.
And of course Yeshua, who knew from the beginning of the universe the time for Him.
Every moment is an opportunity. It is a chance to regroup if we need to. It is a chance to pray, to cry, to be angry, and to be hurt. It is a time to be upset, to laugh, to listen, to run, to jump, to eat, to close our eyes, to breath, to hold the screaming baby, to visit our parents who might not know us, to be in a crowded elevator or to be alone and even to hold the hand of someone who is dying. Every moment is an opportunity to give thanks to God for everything; the traffic, the pouring rain, the aging dog, the sick toddler, the angry friend, the hurt husband, the police officer writing a ticket, and every other annoyance. The peaceful things in life give us cause for joy, and we probably automatically thank God for those moments. The trick is to thank God and give Him praise for every moment. Every moment in time is just that – a moment we are given.

Blessings ~ Vickie

In the Midst of the Storm 

Can you even see the other side? 

This week we begin another yearly cycle of Torah portions. As a woman and mother, my thoughts go to Eve. The mother of Cain and Able. The mother of a son loved by God who was murdered and the mother of the murderer.  Think about that for a moment. 

You are the first mother on the earth. You messed up and became an example of HaSatan, an example that people would site for thousands of years.  ‘If it wasn’t for Eve…’ Does anybody ever say anything positive about her? Do they laud her as they do Devorah or Miriam, or Lydia? Is she an example for our daughters as Ruth? Is she steadfast as was Naomi? Poor Eve, she seems to have a heavy fog hanging over her.

But, whether we want to admit it or not – we have all been there.  We have allowed the enemy, the yetzer ha’ra to sway and seduce us.  We have placed blame on everything and everyone but ourselves.  We have birthed children and have made mistakes in raising them. We have been Eve.  She had no mentor, no examples, and no mother to go to. She had no women friends, no female support. She was. 

In this day and season we do have support, we do have mentors. We do have help. We are not alone, as much as we think we are. But there is a storm that swirls around us. It is a storm of doubt, of fears, of anxiety. Am I a good wife?  Am I a strong and godly woman? Am I raising my children right? Am I loved? Do people like me? Am I okay? 

Yes we are okay and no we are not okay. We are as was Eve. We are in the middle of a storm. But, for us we have the storm calmer:  Mark 4:35-41 ‘On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 

39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” 

Remember this verse the next time the storm is so great, the next time you can’t see through the wind and pounding waves and stinging rain. Remember we are – we have Yeshua. 

Breathe~ Vickie

Am I Swimming Fast Enough? 

     Through out the Scriptures is the mention of the Covenant of Peace. It is God's peace that we are granted and freely given when we walk in His ways.  It is a peace that can not be explained.  

     Philippians 4:6-7 'Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with  thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and  the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.' 

     Imagine you're a fish in a bowl that is being moved and tossed. Water splashes and churns.  The water is there, a source of life - it is the Living Water which holds you - it is God's peace. Yet, sometimes the water hurls and pitches as does life. 

      There is never a constant in our lives. It is an ebb and flow. An up and down. A descent and an ascent. It is in and it is out.  It is joy and it is grief. There are smiles and laughter and there are great big crocodile tears. Some things are hard to survive as the incident, whatever it may be, rips at our very core, making us doubt everything and everyone.  Some life events send us into complete praise and thanksgiving, other events make us want to lock ourselves in our closet and never come out.  

     But everything in life is an opportunity for us to gain. We gain information about ourselves, and others. We gain the insight to learn. We gain the wisdom to seek God, and we gain His understand, His grace and His peace.  We might gain a few more wounds, which in turn gives us opportunities to help others.  We gain friends, we gain losses, we gain strength. We can shrink or we can rise above it and go to The LORD in our confusion, sadness or even anger and wait. Wait for His guidance, His perfect love, His perfect peace. 

     I can't give myself peace.  Some days I can barely figure out how to balance the checkbook let alone deal with any drama that might be occurring. I would fail miserable if I didn't have God to turn to.  

     John 16:33 'These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.' 

     Psalms 55:18 'He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, for there were many against me.'     

Blessings~   Vickie      



Seek the Lighthouse

   This is the week before Chanukah, the festival of lights, the season of lights. A light removes fear, darkness, the boogie men in the closet, shadows that lurk, dread and worry. We all know this, and yet so often we stare at the ceiling in the middle of the dark night, soaked in worry, breathing despair. How will I pay this bill? Will my marriage survive? Is my teen ok? What happened to my friend? Why is my baby screaming? Where will I live after the flooding/fire/hurricane? Will this illness take my life? My spouse’s life? My child’s life? How will I carry on without my husband/wife?
     Dark, night, worry, uncertain. Light, life, peace, calm.
     1 John 1:5 ‘This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.’
     Psalm 44:3 ‘For by their own sword they did not possess the land, and their own arm did not save them, but Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence, for You favored them.’
     Ezekiel 1:28 ‘As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking.’
     Habakkuk 3:4 ‘His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, And there is the hiding of His power.’
     Matthew 28:3 ‘And His appearance was like lightning, and His clothing as white as snow.
     And yes, the Festival of Lights. A time when we bring out the Chanukiah, the 9 branch Menorah. A time when we eat foods fried in oil, a time when we tell the story of the Macabees’. A time that we know our Lord and Savior, God incarnate was conceived, a time when He went to the dedication, a time that He showed the world that He is The Light of the World. John 8:12 ‘ Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
   And yet, we are still struggling, we are still in doubt, in dread, in sorrow, in confusion. That’s okay, this is an opportunity for us to move, move forward, to move one foot in front of the other, to claw our way out of the mud that grips us, that is drowning us. Grab these verses, seek the Lighthouse…
     John 9:5 ‘While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world."
     Isaiah 42:6 ‘I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations…’
     John 12:46 ‘I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.’
     John 1:9 ‘There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.’
     John 1:4 ‘In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.’
    Dear Lord…I am nothing without Your Light. I move towards You, I need You in my life and I submit my will to Yours. You are the Light of the World and through you I will overcome, through You I will overcome.
    Happy Chanukah to you as you light the Chanukiah and rejoice in The Light!

Blessings ~ Vickie