"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe." Ephesians 1:18-19
making food look attractive. I’ve been drawn to food art for some time now and
when I have the opportunity to try my hand at it, I rarely hesitate.
created penguin villages. Viking ship watermelons. Apple birds. Radish mice. Leek
and scallion flowers. Chocolate covered strawberries. Bread cornucopias. And fruit
I was in SE Asia, I had the opportunity to watch as some real pros worked their
magic with food. They created works of art from melons, pineapples and pumelos.
That was a sight to see.
Mom is visiting with me and as we were shopping for Thanksgiving items, we saw
a beautiful display of food art in a local grocery store. There was a display
of poached pears that really caught my eye.
we tried our hands at poached pears a few days ago…they were delicious and were
attractive! Now that is a bonus!
one thing I have been unsuccessful in with this art form is using it for God’s
glory. Psalm 96 tells vividly of how God’s creation praises Him.
“Let the heavens rejoice, let the
earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be
jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing
for joy, they will sing before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the
96:11-13a – NIV)
penguin village may not come to life and start singing, but I can use this
skill to bring praise to God.
of my talent comes from God. As each one is perfected, glory to Him should be
raised. All praise should be given to Him. I am nothing without Him.
with my human faults and failures, I fail to honor God in this way all the time.
how am I to use my talents for God? How can I bring praise to Jesus with each
talent? How would my gifts exalt the Name of Jesus?
Peter 4:10-11 (NIV) says, “Each one
should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully
administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do
it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it
with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised
through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever.
I am to serve others. Food art may be more difficult to use in serving others than
writing or teaching, but it is possible. There are opportunities where I might
be able to bring joy to others through this art form. And as I create each
piece, I can offer praise to the One who is the Master Creator!
are you using your talents to glorify God? What steps do you need to take to
offer thanks to God for the talents He has given you? How can you show others
your gratitude to God for His gift? Are you utilizing the strength God offers
as you serve others?
thankful for the ability to create beauty from ordinary food. I am also thankful
that God creates beauty in ordinary people. “You
make me glad by your deeds, O Lord; I sing for joy at the works of your hands.”
(Psalm 92:4 – NIV)
of years ago when I thought I might become an author, I chose the name Full
Measure of Joy. I liked the flow of the words. My granddaughter’s name was
included in the name. They were Jesus’ words. The name became special to me.
imagine my surprise to find that the blog name was available. I was ecstatic
last February as I penned my first words on the internet using this name. Full
Measure of Joy.
much thought, discussion and prayer, I felt the next step for me would be to
create a website. So imagine my surprise yet again to find that
fullmeasureofjoy.com was available! I felt very confident that God was leading,
guiding and was beside me during this journey.
tried to get the website going on my own, but my lack of knowledge about such
things became evident pretty quickly. Because of my frustration, I eventually
gave up on trying to make it work.
then, one of my dear friends, Maria, joined me and believed in me to the point of
taking on this project. We discussed my ideas and vision for the site and she
amazed at how someone with the right knowledge and skill was able to do so much
in such a short amount of time. I love my website…even though it isn’t
finished, I love it!
Because it is fulfilling all of my dreams and thoughts and vision. It will be a
place where I can write and write and praise God and share His good news and let
others know just what Jesus means to me.
I’d like to share from Scripture with you today is where the name Full Measure
of Joy comes from. John 17 is a chapter of Jesus’ prayers. He prays for
Himself, His disciples, and for all believers.
this chapter, Jesus prayed these words for the disciples. “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the
world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.” (John
17:13 – NIV) There it is…full measure of [my] joy.
spoke similar words to the disciples earlier in John. In His discourse on the
Vine and the Branches, Jesus gives the purpose for sharing His instruction with
the disciples. “I have told you this so
that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11 –
joy! Isn’t that a goal for each of us? I’d say yes. As we continue to grow and
remain in Jesus (the Vine), our joy grows to completion.
through the book of Philippians, we find multiple references to the concept of
joy. Take a look at these references. Philippians 1:4; Philippians 1:25;
Philippians 2:2; Philippians 2:29; and Philippians 4:1.
also shares the concept of rejoicing in Philippians. Take a look at these
references. Philippians 1:18; Philippians 2:17; Philippians 2:18; Philippians
3:1; Philippians 4:4; and Philippians 4:10.
no wonder the book of Philippians is also referred to as the book of Joy.
we read through this short book, we clearly see how our joy can be made
complete through Jesus. We are to pray with joy, have joy in our faith, bring
joy through like-mindedness, welcome with joy, love with joy, rejoice that the
Gospel is being shared, rejoice in suffering, rejoice in the Lord, and again,
rejoice in the Lord. Rejoice!
we look at joy in this way, we can see how big this small word can truly be.
I ask you today, have you received your full measure of Jesus’ joy? If not, why
not? What is lacking? What are you missing? What steps do you need to take to
be filled with His joy?
you have received this full measure, how are you sharing this joy with others? I
pray that your joy will be complete by sharing Jesus with those who need to find
this same joy in their lives.
“I thank my God every time I remember
you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy…” (Philippians 1:3-4 – NIV)
Chili is one of my favorite foods. It is a Greek-style chili that some call
Cincinnati chili. However, Skyline is the original and the best in my opinion.
my college days in Cincinnati, Skyline Chili was a staple. Our curfew was 11
p.m. But we could easily leave campus at 10:15, walk to Skyline Chili, eat a
three-way or coney dog, and be back to the dorm by 11 p.m.
my visits to Ohio to see family, Skyline Chili is a restaurant we frequent
often, because I need to get my chili fix before I leave. I also purchase cans
of Skyline Chili to take home so that I have a little to hold me over until my
Chili is a regional thing. There are no restaurants in Colorado and you could
not purchase it here...until now!
months ago, my daughter called me from her local grocery store very excited. “Mom,
they sell Skyline Chili!” So naturally, on my next visit to the grocery I looked
to see if my store carried it. But no, I was disappointed. However, I knew I could
get it in the Denver store.
forgotten about Skyline Chili. So imagine my excitement when I found a display
at another nearby grocery store! Yes! I could purchase this product in my own
state. When I wanted it. And the hassle of transporting those cans had come to
I think this is exactly how we treat God. We are not consistent with our Bible
study, prayer time, or quiet visits with God. We run to Him when we have an
issue. Or we talk to him about a problem. But it’s usually on our schedule and
according to our own needs. We have no real desire to be in God’s presence on a
if you are in a situation like this, might I suggest that you work a little
harder at taking your relationship with God to the next level? God wants to
hear from you (and me) on a regular basis. Just because. Or because you want to
be in God’s presence.
let’s take a look at Psalm 16 and see what benefits David says there are in
being in God’s presence.
“Keep me safe, O God, for in you I
take refuge.” (Psalm
16:1 – NIV)
“I said to the Lord, ‘You are my
Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” (Psalm 16:2 – NIV)
“As for the saints who are in the
land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight.” (Psalm 16:3 – NIV)
sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods. I will not pour out
their libations of blood or take up their names on my lips.” (Psalm 16:4 – NIV)
“Lord, you have assigned me my
portion and my cup you have made my lot secure.” (Psalm 16:5 – NIV)
“The boundary lines have fallen for
me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” (Psalm 16:6 – NIV)
“I will praise the Lord, who counsels
me; even at night my heart instructs me.” (Psalm 16:7 – NIV)
“I have set the Lord always before
me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8 – NIV)
Joy and Rest
“Therefore my heart is glad and my
tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,” (Psalm 16:9 – NIV)
Everlasting Life and Jesus
“because you will not abandon me to
the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.” (Psalm 16:10 – NIV)
“You have made known to me the path
of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at
your right hand.”
(Psalm 16:11 – NIV)
nothing else, these benefits should draw you to a closer relationship with God.
Why not see for yourself the wonderful benefits of being in God’s presence on a
regular basis. Get to know Him. Learn of His ways and teachings. Love and
praise Him through the good times and lean on Him through the bad. It’s exactly
what He wants you to do.
for me, I keep thinking of Psalm 84:10 (NIV). “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would
rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the
studying and leading a study on the book of James by Beth Moore. I’ve been
surprised. I’ve been taught. I’ve been open to learning new ideas from this
small book of the Bible. And I will say, it has been a great study.
now. This week we have studied chapter 3. And chapter 3 verse 1 of James is one
that most teachers of Scripture know. “Not
many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that
we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1 – NIV)
have read and heard this verse for many years. I’ve been a teacher since I was
16 years old. I began teaching Sunday School with 4th and 5th
graders. Then just out of Bible College I began teaching women, along with
children and adolescents.
that teaching is not something to take lightly. Not only as I lead women in
studying God’s Word, but even as I write this blog, I am teaching.
this passage is always in the back of my mind.
in this study, I’ve learned more about this verse and I’d like to share some of
what Beth Moore has to say about it.[i]
reminds the teachers who are studying this book that there are “a handful of
land mines that go with the territory.” Here are the things she shared:
The temptation to teach more than we
The capacity to mislead.
The capacity to be misled.
The temptation to use the platform
for personal agendas or opinions.
The demand for self-discipline.
The pride and humiliation.
my. Yes there are some “land mines” that go along with teaching. These will
lead to disaster.
Beth Moore doesn’t stop here. She encourages those who feel led to teach to
teach. To be honest, there is nothing else a teacher can do except teach.
makes another statement that I am living proof of. “God often likes to teach
the bigger lesson to the teacher.”[ii]
I prepare to teach or lead or write, I know the extra weight I take upon
myself. I know that each sentence I speak or write will be critiqued. I know
that what I say must be truth.
is why I dig into God’s Word more and more to find those truths. If it isn’t in
God’s Word, I will not put it to pen or into words. I’ve had to rethink some of
my own beliefs because of this very task.
found that some things that I’ve been taught in the past don’t line up with God’s
way of thinking. If it doesn’t line up, it cannot be true.
also a firm believer that you, as a student or reading, should not take
everything I say or write for complete truth. I am human. I make mistakes. I would
urge you to evaluate all that is read in my blog. Study it to make certain that
my words line up with God’s Word. In doing so, you’ll be growing yourself and
gaining new wisdom and insight into Scripture.
you a teacher? I pray that you have a greater understanding of your role in
light of God’s Word.
you sit under a teacher? I pray that you are not presuming that teacher knows
all. Take the time to understand God’s Word for yourself.
of which role you are playing, know that it is God’s desire for you to hold His
Scripture close to your heart, to understand what He has to say, and to obey
all that God has placed within Scripture.
119 is filled with verses to give us examples of this truth. Psalm 119:11;
Psalm 119: 16; Psalm 119:28; Psalm 119:43; Psalm 119:74; Psalm 119:103; Psalm
119:105; Psalm 119:114; Psalm 119:130; and Psalm 119:161.
although my words may not be perfect, God’s Word is flawless. “The words of the Lord are flawless, like
silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:6 -
NIV) See Psalm 18:30 for further confirmation.
33:4 (NIV) tells us “For the Word of the
Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.” God’s Word will not
fail us. He is always right. He is always true. He is always faithful.
as we study, teach or listen to God’s Words being presented, keep in mind that
we each have a responsibility. To know the Bible. I pray that you’ll find great
joy, many blessings, and deeper devotion because you are reading and studying God’s