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Newsletter January 2024
Monday, January 1, 2024 by Debbie Sorensen

Welcoming Words Newsletter    January 2024

 

By Debbie Sorensen

 

Well hello! There’s good news for today: Welcoming Words is a way to bring joy into your new year. At first glance, a person might wonder if there is joy to be had, anywhere, these days. I want to say, yes! We can choose joy. Joy is possible. All it will cost is an investment of time. What’s that you say? “Time is money and money is time.” No time for joy. 

 

Today’s Focus:  Let’s talk words of joy. Welcoming words can cause us to move forward and make time, despite our circumstances. Last week, I received a holiday card that simply had Joy, printed on the front. Inside, my eyes landed on the phrase, “In this loveliest of the seasons, may you find many reasons for joy. The ‘J’ word. Below, in her handwriting, friend Gerry had printed, ‘Joy to the World,’ and decorated it with sketched-in musical notes. Below those words, she had written in bold capital letters; SING IT!!  Are you kidding me… Finally, I decided to follow her edict. I squawked through the tune and began to smile. I recalled singing those words as a child, during school programs. In the recesses of my mind, I heard children and grandchildren, chirping out the powerful words, in unusual flats and sharps. I laughed at the thought. Joy began to bubble up inside of me. I started to hum the tune as I continued my work and, even quickened my steps, to keep time to the melody. Her joy banished my discouragement and, brought me joy.

 

To people who don’t know her, it would be all too easy to say, “What does that woman have to be happy about?” Gerry lost a son to an asthma attack when he was a nineteen-year old college student. Her husband suffers from challenging physical problems, as he ages. In the past year, this dear gal has gone through a cancer diagnosis, aggressive radiation, and brutal chemotherapy. Her daughter and family had an unexpected move and job challenges. Not overcome, Gerry, still chooses joy. 

 

Application: Here are some helpful suggestions I’ve learned, as I adjust my attitude, from discouragement to joy.  1.) Pray. Try something new in this regard. Set aside a short eight minutes when you get up. Use two minutes to be quiet and come into God’s presence. Read a passage of Scripture for two minutes. Take two minutes to praise and thank God for his blessings. Spend the last two minutes interceding for the needs of others and yourself.   2.) Stand for God. Use His Word to advocate for what is right. Exhort others to return to the Ten Commandments.   3.) Do good. Reach out to others. Look people in the eye and greet them. Make a quick phone call to say “hello, I’m thinking of you”. Send a text of encouragement. Be willing to open a door, or let someone step ahead of you in line.

 

New opportunities await us, this very day. Joy, is as close as a sincere welcoming word. Remember, God created a new world out of nothing, and He said, ‘it was good.’ Joy is good for body and soul. If you feel you have no joy, give it to the Sovereign God of the universe and allow Him, to create something, out of your nothing. 

 

Isaiah 42:16 NKJV tells us. “I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them.”

 

Why it matters:  We all have heavy burdens in life. When we use words that welcome and encourage others, those burdens can be shared and lifted. In Psalms 30:5b NKJV, “Weeping may endure for a night. But joy comes in the morning.”

 

I wish you welcoming words of joy. I wish you joy.

 

Contact:  Debbie Sorensen at [email protected]


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