Longing for Transformation

Longing for Transformation - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com

There is always something that we wish to change in our lives. It was the transformation from winter to spring that I longed for this year. It seemed to take forever for nature to wake up and be alive again. Every time I felt the bitter cold in my face I asked: where are you spring? Why haven’t you come? For months, mother nature’s heart refused to be warmed.

In one of my favorite films, Little Women (1994), Jo March says that she is “longing for transformation.” I know precisely how she feels. Don’t you?

In each of our lives there are stages, some good and some bad. It’s the bad stages that seem to drone on forever. It feels like there is no end, for we cannot see it ahead.

With whatever someone is going through, a family member sick or in the hospital, financial burdens, continuous frustration, any trial that we may have, are we guaranteed an end? Are we handed a calendar with a big X on it, symbolizing the day of the transformation from bad to good? No. So how can we continue on with a smile? If there is something to bog down our happiness, why be happy?

As Christians, we “know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 KJV. Trials, loss, pain; it’s all temporary. Every moment we live longing for transformation is a moment of building hope and faith in God. The question is, can we push past our heavy burdens and finally reach that transformation? Only with God’s help, we can. The Lord may let trials fall in our path, but he is always there to help us, never forsaking us. He makes sure that we are equipped, so that we may walk through those trials and come out the other side with a smile.

Choose to look at each of your trials as a test. Can you keep faith that God knows best as you wait for that transformation? Can you keep a smile and uplifted heart as you wait for that change? Can you use your situation for Him? Can you trust in the Lord?

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” KJV

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What trials have been in your heart lately?

Do you have any prayer requests? Just let me know and I’ll be happy to pray for you.

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Megan Joy

A Dozen Ways to Keep Busy During a Power Outage

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A few weeks ago, I lived by candlelight. No electricity, no internet, no running water, no refrigerator, no heat, and no oven. It was fun for a while; it was like living in the past! However, after continually trying to get things done and failing miserably for four days, life got very frustrating, very fast. So, I’ve put together a list of fun things to do to keep you busy during a power outage!

1)      Collect candles. Gather every candle and lantern that you can find in the house. Also, for more light, gather some empty glass jars, put tea lights inside, and place them all on a big metal tray (not plastic) and carry it around from room to room for some extra light. Just be cautious and extra safe about where you put flames and never leave them unattended.

2)      Play a board game. Gather your family and use candles or a flashlight to illuminate the room. Scrabble, Clue, and Life are some fun games to try!

3)      Make music. You could sing or play an acoustic instrument. If it’s too dark to read music, try playing by ear.

4)      Play hide-and-seek (or sardines). Make special rules like: you can only hide on one level of the house, or only the seeker can have a flashlight. It can make the game so much more thrilling when the seeker has to go through a pitch-black house searching for everyone! Do not use any real flames when doing this! (p.s. no one is ever too old to play a game of hide-and-seek)

5)      Do a coloring page. Get some colored pencils and a coloring book. A power outage is a great excuse to do something you wouldn’t have time to do ordinarily, like coloring. I personally like this book!

6)      Read these verses. 

John 8:12 – “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Psalms 119:105 – “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

John 9:5 – “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Psalms 139:12 – “Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”

Ephesians 5:8 – “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”

7)      Write in a journal. Document everything that happens and write down how life is different with and without electricity.

8)      Play the story round game. Set a flashlight on the floor facing up and gather around it, (maybe with blankets and snacks). Have one person begin a story with one sentence. Then have the next person in line continue it, and so on until the story ends. Make it as wild or as mild as you wish!

9)      Make shadow puppets. Use a flashlight to cast shadows on the wall. There are so many different animals to do, you could make up a whole show. Make it a game by casting a shadow and having the others guess what it is.

10)  Read a book. It only takes one candle to illuminate a page. You could even read it aloud to someone, if you wanted.

11)  Make a list of all the things you have to get caught up on once the power is back on, things like, reset all the clocks, dispose of thawed out food in the refrigerator, and recharge all electric devices.

12)  Remember the olden days. Electricity is one of the world’s more modern discoveries! Up until the late 1800s, every family had to live without running water, electric lights, and heaters. They used candles or lanterns for light, wood or coal for warmth, and hand-drawn water every day! Thinking about it this way can even make us feel spoiled by all the many “luxuries” we’ve all been given, like flipping a switch to brighten a room, not to mention cell phones, computers, or toaster ovens!

Living in the past for a while has certainly made me more appreciative of what my ancestors once lived without, and I feel very thankful that I do not have to continue without power permanently. What are some other fun things that you could do during a power outage?

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Which board game is better: Scrabble, Clue, or Life?

Have you had a power outage yet this winter?

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Megan Joy

7 Free Bible Verse Posters to Hang on Your Wall

Seven Free Bible Verse Posters to Hang on Your Wall - simplymeganjoy.wordpress

What’s a better place to hang some inspiring and uplifting verses other than your bedroom wall?  I’ve created 7 verse designs for you to print out and place where you will see them every day!

Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 3 5-6

Joshua 1:9

Joshua 1-9

Matthew 11:28

Matthew 11-28

1st Peter 5:7

floral 5

Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4-13

Matthew 6:21

Matthew 6-21

Romans 8:28

Romans 8-28 2nd

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You can save these photos to your computer, print, and cut them out, and hang them wherever you like. You could give one to a friend who needs encouragement or fold one up and slip it into your sibling’s backpack with a note on the back saying how much you appreciate them! Be creative by printing them out on cardstock and give them as Valentine’s Day gifts (or save them for Easter)!

P.S. All verses above were taken from the King James Version Bible.

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Which verse speaks to you the most?

Shout out to “The Hungry JPEG” for the use of their free graphic designs!

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Megan Joy

Quote of the Week // 51st Week

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Luke, the author of the third gospel in the Bible and one of the twelve disciples, is well known for recording the birth of Jesus, which can be found in Luke 2:1-20. Originally a physician, Luke researched and gathered Jesus’ past history and reported it in his book, which was later selected to be part of our Bibles today. It is said that Luke died at age 84, supposedly of being killed for his religious beliefs. Over 2,000 years later we can read his works of Jesus’ birth.

In the passage above, an angel is speaking to a group of shepherds in a field in Bethlehem, around 4 A. D. Here are those two verses in context:

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” Luke 2:1-20, King James Version

Did you happened to notice that between those twenty verses, fourteen of them involved the shepherds? Do you find it strange that the angels appeared in a field to tell a group of lowly sheep keepers of the King of the Universe’s birth? If this baby is so important, why didn’t the angels appear before the governors and priests of the town, or the richest of residents so they could see this baby? Why did God choose poor shepherds?

Shepherds of that day were considered the lower class of the city. They spent all their time out in fields, no matter what the weather or time of day. (Fun fact: each night before a shepherd would doze off each night in the fields, he would count his sheep to make sure they were all together, which is possibly where we get the idea that counting sheep will help us go to sleep!)

Shepherds certainly weren’t the most accepted group in Bethlehem, but to God, the shepherds were the prefect people to tell about Jesus’ birth! It shows us that clearly God loved the shepherds just as much as the priests, governors, and scribes. God didn’t choose from the top of the wealth list, but from the list of those who were less fortunate, those who were looked down upon, and those who knew how to spread the word! Verse 18 says that the shepherds went about to declare Christ’s birth, and that their listeners were curious of the news. I doubt that a governor would go about the streets at night telling news of this baby born in a stable!

It was God’s plan for the angels to appear to the shepherds. Their wealth, social status, and class didn’t matter. God doesn’t look at those things when He chooses people for important tasks or jobs. Instead He looks at the heart. So we must be well prepared and ready for any task that we are given, whether it be traveling to see a newborn king (which is sort of unlikely nowadays), telling a friend about the birth of Christ, or even just simply smiling at a grumpy person you happen to cross paths with. Whether you’re a shepherd or a governor, you never know what God will ask you to do, so be ready and willing for anything, because I know that He has something very special in store for you!

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Do you have any other thoughts of why God choose the shepherds to see Jesus?

Did you know that counting sheep may have come from the Bible?

Are you ready and willing for anything God has in store for you?

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Megan Joy

Quote of the Week // 48th Week

Quote of the Week - 48th Week Simply Megan Joy Blog

It’s another quote by Mark Twain!

Do you speak more than one language? If you are reading this, it’s likely you speak English, but are you fluent in any other language? How long has it taken you to learn how to speak that language well? Can you converse with others in that language?
The reason I ask all these questions is to introduce an idea that “kindness” is just another form of language.

“Kindness: the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.”
This language is easy to learn, and everyone can speak it if they try. All it takes is some practice and then some determination to speak it in your everyday life. Speak kindness to that older lady at the grocery store who is hard of hearing, or that man who skipped ahead in the checkout line. Speak kindness to that friend who can’t seem to say anything nice or who talks behind your back.

Everyone is given the ability to speak the universal language of kindness and is offered an opportunity to speak it to others every single day. Even those who do not speak our language can understand us if we speak the language of kindness. Do we choose to speak this language to everyone? Do we make exceptions for those who are rude to us? Are we forgetting to speak this language to those who need it most? By this I mean, those who don’t expect kindness and generosity.

Because kindness is a universal language, everyone can understand it, from babies to great-grandparents. The deaf can hear it and the blind can see it; there are no exceptions to who can receive our kindness, and there are no exceptions of to whom we can give it, regardless of the person’s attitude or opinions.

Ephesians 4:32: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

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Do you speak more than one language?
Would you consider “kindness” a universal language?

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Megan Joy

P.S. Speaking of this quote, I encourage you to check out “My Blurred World,” a blog written by a legally-blind teenage girl, Elin. She tells her story and helps her readers to better understand what life is like for those without sight. Go read her latest post, “10 FAQs About Sight Loss.”

Sunday Bests // Red Tie in the Morning

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When I first put this outfit together, it was missing something, and it wasn’t until I walked past my brother’s tie collection that a bell chimed in my head. A tie! That’s what this jacket needs! I threw a red one around my neck, changed my shoes and purse to match, and ran out the door for church. At a reception afterward, a dear older man said that my outfit reminded him of a retro airline stewardess! I thought that was such a nice thing to say!

This “stewardess” outfit consists of mostly things that aren’t mine! The tie is my brother’s, the shoes are my sisters, and the skirt was sewn by my mom over 30 years ago. So now you know: I’m a clothes thief! However, the blouse and jacket are mine; they were gifts found at a thrift store. So I guess this outfit is even more special considering it didn’t cost me a cent! 

To go along with my post title, I’ve decided to include the old saying:

“Red sky at night,

Sailor’s delight.

Red sky in morning,

Sailor’s warning.”

It seems like I’ve known this little saying forever. Looking up at a blazing sky was a sign that tomorrow would be a beautiful day! What I didn’t know all those years, was that this little saying comes from the Bible! In the first book of the New Testament, Jesus was talking with the Pharisees and the Sadducees (leaders of the Jewish church). In Matthew 16:2-3 it says, “He answered and said unto them, when it is evening, ye say, it will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” KJV

In my own words, Jesus basically said, “You can know what the weather is going to be like tomorrow by looking at the sky, but you can’t figure out what is going to happen in the future by looking at the past?”

Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus said this, and it is still entirely true in today’s modern world of complex technology. Weather forecasters have all these instruments and devices to predict the weather, which they broadcast all across the country. If we are so proficient in the weather in that we can know the exact percentage of tomorrow’s precipitation, why is not everyone capable of looking at past history and learning from it? We can detect, or as Jesus says, discern, the future by looking at the past. History is forever repeating itself, so why not use our own brains to research it and use our knowledge to better the future? We each hold the brainpower to learn and to discern. I, personally, love history, though I know many people who have pledged their hearts against it. But history is not just all about dates and names. It’s about stories, great legends, and the lives of our very own ancestors!

Let’s not forget how smart we can be,

when we learn from our history!

Ok, I’m done my rant now! Until next time, faithful readers, carry on!

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skirt // made by my mom

jacket // thrifted

blouse // thrifted

tie // my brother’s

shoes // payless (my sister’s)

purse // thrifted

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Do you like the little red sky saying?
Did you know that it is from the Bible?
What do you think about learning from history?
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Megan Joy

Quote of the Week // 44th Week

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Audrey Hepburn was a British actress born in 1929. She was once dubbed the third best female actress in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Hepburn starred in many box office hits like, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Roman Holiday, Sabrina, and My Fair Lady. She was a well-studied ballet dancer, and in her later life, a UNISEF ambassador in the 1990s. Sadly, she died at age 62 of appendiceal cancer in Switzerland.

I can just hear those words spoken in her perfect accent! The cleverness of the quote just makes me smile. I had never known that little secret about the word “impossible” before. Just add an apostrophe and you have a whole new meaning to the phrase!

The definition of the word “impossible” is: “something not able to occur or be done.” It means that something is positively, without a doubt, absolutely not possible. Reading the definition got me thinking. It reminded me that nothing is impossible! All things are possible, with God! 

But what about wildly impossible things, like talking animals, walking on water, and surviving an over one-thousand-degree fire? These things seem impossible, right?

 Read Numbers 22:28, where it tells us about Balaam’s donkey, speaking out loud! Also, in Matthew chapter fourteen, we find the story of two different people walking on water. Finally, in the book of Daniel chapter three, is the telling of three men who were thrown into a fiery furnace, and lived! All of these things were done through God and by God! 

With God, all things are possible. The word “impossible” doesn’t apply when it comes to God’s abilities. No matter how out of this world, different, or unusual it is, God can do it and with God’s help we can do it too!

So the next time someone tells you that something is impossible, think of Audrey Hepburn’s little secret in that word, and know that with God, all things are possible.

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Did someone ever tell you it was impossible to achieve or do something?

What do you think those three stories in the Bible prove to us?

What is your favorite Audrey Hepburn movie?

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Megan Joy

Quote of the Week // 34th Week

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Wilma Rudolph was an Olympic gold-medalist as an American sprinter. Known as the fastest woman in the world in the 1960s, Wilma was nicknamed “The Tornado” for her running speed. In 1994, she was diagnosed with brain cancer and died later that year at age fifty-four. Ten years after her death, The U.S. Postal Service issued a series of stamps in her remembrance.

Today, America experienced something special. From coast to coast, millions of people were focused on one thing. That one thing practically stopped America in its tracks, making them pause to experience something they are likely to never see again.

The Solar Eclipse – (when the moon is directly in line with the sun, causing the shadow of the moon to fall upon the Earth, and in some areas, complete darkness in the daytime). This happens roughly every 18 months all over the world, but today, most of America was able to see it over the course of a few hours.

So what has this got to do with Wilma Rudolph’s quote above? I’m glad you asked! Well, the two things are entwined with “the Sun.” I quite agree with Wilma, that when the Sun is shining, I feel as though I could do anything; run through a field, climb a mountain, and touch the sky! The Sun can empower and motivate us to do great things! But what do we do when the Sun goes away; when the light is extinguished and we are left in darkness? What do we do when a shadow falls on our world, like when the moon stood in front of the light?

It happens to everyone. A lovely, sunny day arrives, and then something, some sort of trouble comes along and steals our light. What do we do? What should we do?

I’d love to say, “Just trust in God and He’ll fix it before you know it!”

But it’s not that easy. These “eclipses” of darkness in our lives appear out of nowhere and they don’t come with preset ending dates! They can last a day or a decade, sometimes we don’t know. So while you do have to trust God, here are some things that can help you during “a darkness eclipse.”

Prayer –

Just talking to the Lord of the universe can help us. Telling Him know how I feel and asking for strength and courage is something that always comforts me.

Reading –

The Bible was written to be read. It was given to us for a reason, so we have to read it! God can use every page and every verse to give us something, whether it be relief, strength, or peace. Reading scripture is so helpful!

Talking to others –

Confiding in those who love and support you is one of the most helpful things you could do. Having someone beside you in the darkness is always comforting, but they won’t know unless you talk to them.

Know that at some point, things can only get better –

This one sounds pretty uninspiring, but it’s true. Yes, your situation may be bad at the moment, and you may feel like you’re blind in a raging ocean, but you can always know that it could be worse, and it isn’t! A few years ago, someone in my family had a heart attack, and as I rode to the hospital in the back seat of the car, God placed eight words in my heart – “Things will get better, I promise they will.” And things did get better, eventually.

Now that I’ve realized that this post is way too long (nearly 600 words – yikes!) I will leave you with one more thing.

Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present day are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” KJV

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Did you watch the Solar Eclipse today?

What is something you do when the darkness takes over?

Was this post too long?

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Megan Joy