Using Praise as your Weapon of Choice

weapon of praise


When we sing praises to the Lord, we are using one of the greatest weapons ever.

Our hearts can be heavy for any number of reasons, but while we are praising the Lord, the heaviness lifts, the hurts ease and our soul focuses on just how awesome and mighty the Lord is.

When we focus on just how amazing God’s love is and the gift of the cross, it’s easy to remember that “God has THIS” ….regardless of what “this” is. He will see you through.

We can always have a heart of praise. We can keep music and verses in our hearts so that when we can’t sit with the Bible or have access to music, the praise will still be available.

Consider this: When your heart is the heaviest, your hurts are the deepest, the tears sting worse than ever….THAT is the time when your praise should be the loudest.


Yes, I understand we may have to force ourselves to do this, but in that moment – that instant when we want to just ignore the entire world, we need to surround our hearts with praise.


Lay your hurts down and praise God anyway, knowing your tears are precious to the Lord.


Lay your doubts down and go confidently  forward for the Lord, because as long as you are in the middle of God’s will for your life, that is the most perfect place for you.


Lay your fears down and focus on an almighty God that adores you.


Lay your “what if’s” down and claim the hundreds of rock solid promises that are in the Bible for YOU.


Your weapon of praise won’t fix your problems or even remove them from your life, but it will remind you of just how amazing God is and all of the blessings, mercies and grace He pours out on our lives each day!


Take time to praise the Lord today! If you must, whisper through the tears a prayer of gratitude and love.


YOU, my dear sweet brother & sister in the Lord, are LOVED by the KING!! We have hope in the Lord and are free of the chains and guilt of sin.


I love the lyrics in this song – “How Can I Keep from Singing” by Chris Tomlin

I can sing in the troubled times

Sing when I win

I can sing when I lose my step

And I fall down again

I can sing ’cause You pick me up

Sing ’cause You’re there

I can sing ’cause You hear me, Lord

When I call to You in prayer

 I can sing with my last breath

Sing for I know

That I’ll sing with the angels

And the saints around the throne


At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. ~ Albert Schweitzer

Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it. ~ A. W. Tozer

To be always in a thankful state of heart before God is not to be considered a high plane of spirituality but rather the normal attitude of one who believes that “all things work together for good to them that love God, who are called according to his purpose.” ~ William Law



no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:


Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner


Let the Journey Begin – Max Lucado

let the journey begin


Let the Journey Begin – Finding God’s Best for your Life

By Author Max Lucado


This is a devotionals with bite sized reminders of God’s perfect love for us.  He wants us to experience His best and all too often we focus on things we can’t change or understand, instead of clinging to and focusing on our FATHER.

These easy to read reminders pack a punch! Don’t let the fact that each devotion is just a page or so long make you think that it’s not worth your time because it is.  It is full of wisdom and scripture to back it up.  Lucado grabbed my complete attention with the very first line.

“Occupy yourself with the nature of God, not the size of your biceps….”

We can all think of something to put after “not the……”


lucado quotes


There is a section for you to take time to personally reflect on your goals, prayers, scripture and more.

Are you embarking on a new journey? Have you had to take a detour?  Are you leaving one chapter behind (high school) and stepping out into another chapter (college?) Are you a newlywed? New Mom or Dad?  LOVING your current Journey? This book is for you and your journey.

Where is your journey taking you?

Where do you want your journey to take you?

Are you taking the time to look for God’s best for you each day?


Some Favorite quotes: 

  • Faith is the grit in the soul that puts the dare into dreams
  • If you want to touch God’s heart, use the name he loves to hear. Call Him Father
  • Because you’re imperfect, you can speak of making mistakes. Because you’re a sinner, you can speak of forgiveness
  • In the grip of grace, you’re free to be honest
  • You will never forgive anyone more than God has already forgiven you
  • The finished work of sin is to kill the soul
  • Faith in the future begets power in the present



I’m partnering with Family Christian to give away a $10 Appreciation Certificate. You can use it online or in the store. To be entered to win, leave a comment about how you plan to Occupy yourself with the nature of God. I’ll announce the winner on June 1st. 


As a Family Christian Blogger, I received this book in exchange for a review. I was not required to give a positive review and all of my JOYful opinions are my own.


You can stay in the KNOW with all the happenings at Family Christian here:


no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:


Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner


War Room the Movie

war room4

Our conversation went something like this:

the Mr. : What are you guys going to preview?

Me: Something convicting

the Mr. : Why do you say that?

Me: Well the Title is War Room and while I don’t know anything else about it, I figure it is on prayer and no one’s prayer life is what it ought to be.

the Mr. : Laughs, true. Have a great time….


Just the title made me think about my prayer life.  During the darkest valleys and times of facing the impossible, we were schooched in close to the Lord.  Yes, I still pray daily and yes it is still intentional but will it ever be what it needs to be? No.  Should that stop me from trying? No.

War Room will be out in theaters August 28, 2015.  I suggest you round up every one you know and make it a group event.  Take your church, your Sunday School Class, your Small Group, your teens and your children.  Youth Leaders, after you watch it, have a few weeks discussing what you saw and how we can literally implement what Ms. Clara was teaching.

We all need a plan while we are battling our enemy.  We all need to KNOW beyond doubt who our enemy is.


war room 2


Here is a summary about the movie:

From the award-winning creators of Fireproof and Courageouscomes WAR ROOM, a compelling drama with humor and heart that explores the power that prayer can have on marriages, parenting, careers, friendships, and every other area of our lives.

Tony and Elizabeth Jordan have it all—great jobs, a beautiful daughter, and their dream house. But appearances can be deceiving. Tony and Elizabeth Jordan’s world is actually crumbling under the strain of a failing marriage. While Tony basks in his professional success and flirts with temptation, Elizabeth resigns herself to increasing bitterness. But their lives take an unexpected turn when Elizabeth meets her newest client, Miss Clara, and is challenged to establish a “war room” and a battle plan of prayer for her family. As Elizabeth tries to fight for her family, Tony’s hidden struggles come to light. Tony must decide if he will make amends to his family and prove Miss Clara’s wisdom that victories don’t come by accident.

Opening nationwide in theaters August 28 and filled with more of the authentic characters loved by millions in previous Kendrick Brothers’ films, WAR ROOM is a vivid reminder that prayer is a powerful weapon.


Mark your calendars and support this film. 

Go ahead and set a date for a Youth Group outing.

Go ahead and make a date with your Spouse/children and see it. 

Will you prepare? 

Click here for more about the movie:

Like them on Facebook and Share their photos to help spread the word: 

Follow them on twitter: 




no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:


Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner


What IS God to you

I love hearing people take time to just praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy.  I love listening to people talk about where they were and where God has brought them to.  I think that time of praise and worship in this fashion is very encouraging and contagious in that it will inspire others to think about all that God has blessed them with.


God is


I KNOW that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and am so thankful for that.

The thing that I love the most about people giving praises to the Lord is when they keep God in the present tense! When they say God IS….

I’m not taking anything away from us when we say God has been, because I do it too, but sometimes I think in the midst of our tears, our heartache and heart break we forgot that God still IS.

Today I want to take a moment just to remind our hearts that God IS…. 

God IS:

God IS good

God IS faithful

God IS merciful

God IS gracious

God IS just

God IS loving

God IS kind

God IS giving

God IS all knowing

God IS dependable

God IS orderly

God IS forgiving

God IS infinite

God IS Holy

God IS sovereign

God IS wise

God IS comfort

God IS our Father

God IS….


Your turn. Right here, right now in your present circumstances – What IS God to you?

Will you take a moment to encourage everyone who is hurting, who is missing a prodigal, who is grieving over a loved one that has moved on, who is discouraged from being beat up by the world by telling us who God IS to you?

Are you the artsy type? Journal something and take a photo and tweet it to me and I’ll embed it here so that others can be encouraged by it.

Christian is your heart hurting? Remember GOD IS

Is the stress of a financial burden weighing you down? Remember GOD IS

Do you wonder if your prodigal will ever return? Remember GOD IS


no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:


Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner


Do you Hear the Knocking Anymore

Behold I Stand at the Door and Knock

stand at the door and knock


When we think of this verse, we tend to think of someone that is being convicted of their need of salvation.  As Christians, we use this to tell others that Jesus loves them and wants to be with them.

While this is true, it is also true that as a Christian, God is standing at the door and knocking for our attention…..still.

He knocks because:

  • He simply wants to be near us
  • He wants us to trust Him
  • He wants to hear our JOYful noise of praise
  • He wants to hear our fears so that He can comfort us
  • He wants us to choose to see His wisdom daily
  • He wants us to KNOW that even though we feel unloved, He loves us more than we can imagine
  • He wants us to rest in Him
  • He wants us to confidently give Him our everything, know that on our own we will fail miserably but with Him – ALL things are possible
  • He gave us everything He had…yet, “requires” nothing but faith in Him
  • He misses us when we walk away from Him


so He knocks…reminding us that we are important to Him

Jesus died for you

Jesus loves you

Jesus waits for you…knocking

Christian, Jesus stands at the door…waiting on YOU

Will you make Him wait or do you walk daily with Him?

What makes your heart smile about the thought of Jesus knocking at our hearts door?

For me, it’s the fact that even though we are like a single solitary grain of sand – each one, each single grain is precious to Him.

You are Precious in His Sight!



no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:


Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

Jesus Calling 10th Anniversary

I’m honored to be able to partner with Thomas Nelson Publishing and offer you 3 copies of Jesus Calling 10th Anniversary Edition. 



Experience peace in the presence of the Savior.

A rich relationship with Jesus is so much more than presenting Him with a list of requests. It includes listening—through reading the Bible and receiving His love for you. The #1 bestselling 365-day devotional Jesus Calling® is written as if Jesus Himself is speaking directly to you—words of encouragement, comfort, and reassurance of His unending love.

In this special 10th-anniversary edition, Sarah Young shares her own prayer journal with you—including over 100 additional scriptures personally selected by the author. This beautiful keepsake edition, celebrating 10 years of Jesus Calling touching lives all over the world, also includes a beautiful redesign of high-quality bonded leather cover that allows for personalization. Sarah’s writings are personal reflections based on Jesus’ own words of hope, guidance, and peace within Scripture. As you experience the devotions and the fresh look at Scripture, you will look forward to your time with Him. Experience a deeper relationship with the Lord as you savor the presence of the One who will never leave you.


About the author: 

Sarah Young is quietly leading millions on a journey of intimacy with Christ. She has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Christianity Today and has sold over 12 million books worldwide. Jesus Today received the 2013 ECPA Christian Book of the Year award. Sarah and her husband lived overseas for decades, counseling and planting churches in Japan and Australia. They currently live in the US.


You can purchase the book from Thomas Nelson here:


Here is an excerpt from this week:

October 8

I LOV E YOU WITH an everlasting Love. The human mind cannot comprehend My constancy. Your emotions flicker and falter in the face of varying circumstances, and you tend to project your fickle feelings onto Me. Thus, you do not benefit fully from My unfailing Love.

You need to look beyond the flux of circumstances and discover Me gazing lovingly back at you. This awareness of My Presence strengthens you, as you receive and respond to My Love. I am the same yesterday, today, and forever! Let My Love flow into you continually. Your need for Me is as constant as the outflow of My Love to you.

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. -Jeremiah 31:3

In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling. -Exodus 15:13

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. -Hebrews 13:8


Here is how you Enter to Win:

limited to US, AU, Canada, UK only and thank you

a Rafflecopter giveaway

no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:


Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner


Still HE Speaks

ps 46 be still


Ps 46:10 BE STILL…and know that I AM God


Sometimes when everything is going great – we forget to listen to the Lord – Still HE speaks

Sometimes the tears flow daily – we forget to listen to the Lord – Still He Speaks

Sometimes the laughter fills our hearts – we forget to listen to the Lord – Still He speaks

Sometimes discouragement steals our joy – we forget to listen to the Lord – Still He speaks

Sometimes anger robs us of our compassion – we forget to listen to the Lord – Still HE speaks

Sometimes hatred blinds our way – we forget to listen to the Lord – Still HE speaks

Sometimes daily activities keeps us to busy and we forget to listen to the Lord – Still HE speaks

Sometimes weariness causes us pull away and we forget to listen to the Lord – Still He speaks

Sometimes…..we forget to listen to the Lord – STILL HE Speaks

Will you hear?

Will you trust?

Will you listen?

Still… He speaks


still he speaks


no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:


Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner


God Will NOT Fail

In case you have forgotten because circumstances have left you numb, let me remind you – God will NOT FAIL

We all will face moments in our life that we need to be reminded.

 God will not fail

Sometimes circumstances cloud our reality and we forget that God is in control and HE cannot fail.

Sometimes the tears are falling so heavily that we can’t seem to see the right verses to comfort our hearts.

Print these verses out and post them around your home.

Pin them to your Faith board.

Memorize them and hide them in your heart.

God Will NOT Fail. 

  • Deuteronomy 7:9
  • Deuteronomy 31:6
  • Deuteronomy 31:8
  • Joshua 1:5
  • I Chronicles 28:20
  • Psalm 36:5
  • Psalm 119:90
  • Isaiah 49:7
  • Lamentations 3:22-23
  • 1 Corinthians 1:9
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13


When you can’t see how it will work out or your heart cries out in anguish because you don’t understand, remember, you can ALWAYS trust God and His wisdom.

Leave a verse of encouragement below.  Do you have an article that relates to this? Please leave the link in the comment section below.  Thank you for adding to this conversation.


no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:


Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner


When Trouble Finds Me

Sometimes you may feel like David, crying out in the wilderness. 

Issue after issue, time after time and regardless what the day brings or how hard you try, sometimes there is just no stopping the tears.


prayer of thanks for strength


Disappointment, discouragement and frustrations seem to pile up and heap up like a giant mountain.

Just as David did in the Psalms, you cry out “WHEN Lord?? When?”

Wave after wave of hurt comes through and you wonder how you’ll make it.  You wonder if the next blow will be the one to knock you out or not.  You continue to search through the Psalms wondering….When Lord…when.


May I remind you (and myself) that we will make it through “this” – whatever this is right now?

Repeat after me:

GOD is all powerful, all knowing and loves me more than life itself

God shows us miracle after miracle in the Bible…so I have to remember that HE is the same today, yesterday and forever! 

When Trouble finds me – I will remember….

  • The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. Psalm 34:17-19
  • Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:6
  • As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than you ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
  • My soul is weary with sorrow, strengthen me according to your word.  Psalm 119:28
  • Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him – James 1:2-5



When trouble finds you, where do you turn?

A prayer for you –

Lord, thank you that when we are where we don’t want to be, experiencing what wouldn’t choose to experience and dealing with things that we would never consider dealing with that you are our stronghold, our refuge and strength through everything!  We trust you Lord, we Love you Lord. In Jesus Name Amen


What do you do? What verses do you hide closest to your heart or do you search the scriptures filling your heart with verse after verse of God’s promises?

JOYn the conversation by leaving your thoughts below.

Make a difference and encourage others by sharing on your favorite social networking site.

If you have a link to an article that relates to this one, I invite you to leave it below so that it can easily encourage others.

Have fun spreading joy!

You Matter!



no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:


Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner


The Jesus Code by O.S. Hawkins



Here is the summary of The Jesus Code:

Jesus was always asking questions. Whether with a small group or large crowd, Jesus opened hearts and minds by asking questions that grasped attention and made one think. In The Jesus Code, author O. S. Hawkins poses fifty-two thought-provoking questions found throughout the Bible that believers should be able to answer as they grow in their faith and share their faith with others. Each question features a devotional thought to help readers find answers and promote further reflection.

Sample questions include:

  • What does the Lord require of you?
  • Where can I go from Your Spirit?
  • Who is my neighbor?
  • What is your life? A vapor that appears and vanishes away?
  • Why do you seek the living among the dead?
  • Will a man rob God?

As with The Joshua Code, all royalties will go to Mission:Dignity, whose mission supports retired pastors and their wives (or widows) living near poverty level. <-thank you for your giving heart and for Spreading JOY.


You can go ahead and purchase the book here or enter to win one of 3 copies below.


Also – please visit take a fun (and free) quiz to test their knowledge of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ!


About the author: 

For more than 20 years, O. S. Hawkins served pastorates at the First Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and in Dallas, Texas. He is president of GuideStone Financial Resources, which serves 200,000 pastors, church staff, missionaries, doctors, and other workers of various Christian organizations with their retirement needs. He is the author of more than 25 books and preaches regularly at Bible conferences, evangelism conferences, and churches across the nation.  Follow on twitter @OSHawkins 


Thank you Thomas Nelson for sponsoring this giveaway. 



Here is how to enter!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:


Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner