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

Why We Shouldn’t Try to Be Popular

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Being popular sounds inviting, does it not? Isn’t it true that we all like to be liked? Whether we’re scrolling through Instagram, reading a blog, or talking to someone in person, do thoughts of jealousy silently creep in when we see their greater popularity? Do we not, even subconsciously, compare our own lives to what we are presented through social media, the internet, and conversations? That’s the key word here: presented.

For this post, I’m going to use Instagram as the main example, but it can be applied to any social media platform, the internet, or an in-person experience.

The countless Instagram accounts brimming with perfectly planned photos and striking filters may make it seem to any onlooker that those accounts represent the real lives of the Instagrammers. However, I can assure you, they do not. The Instagrammers don’t see the world through the Valencia filter or have lives compiled of only the most seemingly perfect photos they post. Life doesn’t work that way, not for anybody. Many people post content for the sole reason of becoming popular with their audiences. Their content may not even please themselves, and only be posted for sheer popularity/followers/likes.

Now that we’ve established that what some people choose to present to their audience does not necessarily reflect their true lives, let’s each ask ourselves a question. Do I do that?

When we post something either on social media or the internet, or even how we act and speak, are we doing it for popularity, to impress someone, and to seem a little different than we really are? Are we trying to get more likes or friends by presenting things that do not reflect our true selves? What if, by doing that, we are creating a fictional social front and not revealing what we truly enjoy, think, or find interesting?

Fortunately, there is an easy fix for this epidemic of trying to become popular: don’t try. Just completely drop everything that is dishonestly encouraging popularity and instead be yourself. Present content that truly makes you happy and interests you. Stop “trying” to be popular, because if you aren’t being yourself, then they don’t like you, they like the artificial life you have presented.

Also, this is a reminder that you do not have to agree with other people (on social media, the internet, or in real life) just to become popular in their eyes. Do not feel as though you must pretend to like or agree with something that a friend likes or agrees with to win their friendship or approval. Lying and being dishonest about what you believe or like to gain popularity is definitely not a good thing to practice. Being popular in the eyes of friends, peers, and strangers matters not a pittance if you aren’t popular in God’s eyes.

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When people look at what we present to the world, we should want them to see us, not a fake life that we’ve created for an audience. More importantly, when people look at us, they should see Jesus. We should always remember that what we present should be a reflection of our Lord above; things that are true, things that are pure, and things that are lovely. Be yourself, the daughter/son of The King and be sure to represent Him in everything we do.

As my final question: what are you presenting to the world: content created to gain popularity, or the real you, the child of The King?

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Do you find yourself presenting content for popularity that isn’t the real you?

Have you ever felt like you had to agree with someone to gain popularity in their eyes?

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Megan Joy

(P.S. There is nothing wrong with posting pretty or pre-planned pictures on social media, but make sure that it represents the true you, things that you like, enjoy, and wish to share with others, like the love of our Heavenly Father!)

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 // 45th Week

Quote of the Week - 45th Week Simply Megan Joy Blog

This quote is from the 1985 movie, Anne of Green Gables. In the book, by Lucy Maud Montgomery, the words are slightly different, but the meaning is equal. In the film, Diana Barry says this in remembrance of what Gilbert once said.

I often forget this word of truth. In a world and society were being pretty is a major focus, it’s hard to remember that living isn’t all about having a flawless complexion, perfect teeth, beautiful hair, makeup, and wardrobe, and sparkling eyes.

I spend so much time, and too much time, worrying about what I look like. It seems like I’m surrounded by people who are just naturally beautiful – who look like they’re perpetually ready for a magazine photoshoot! But, for as long as I think this way, I am forgetting what Diana once reminded Anne. Being knowledgeable on the inside is quite more valuable than being pretty on the outside; because the things we do in life, whether it be school, or work, and even just daily life, will require our brains more than our looks.

Having common sense and knowledge will get us much farther in life than if our only quality is having a pretty face. If being beautiful is all we care about, we are overlooking the truth: that we don’t have to be flawless in our appearance to be beautiful, or important. I believe that people will remember us by what we do, what we say, and what we accomplish, and not by how rosy our cheeks are.

Now, I haven’t even begun to delve into this topic, but this is just a little reminder: Let’s not fill our brains with thoughts of “I wish I were prettier,” but instead fill it with knowledge, inspiration, encouragement, and all things worthwhile!

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Do you agree that being smart is better than being pretty?

Have you ever felt jealous?

Do you think that having common sense will be more valuable in your future than having a flawless complexion?

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Megan Joy