Count it all joy…some more insight…by Jewel Hobbs

Good morning Lynn.
Happy Lord’s Day.
I too have considered this thought from James.
Because it is utterly impossible to have the experiences of our life be such that they always produces joy…all might seem lost.
Thankfully we are given this scripture so we can “know” that He desires us to do so and also that it is a possible.
It is humanly impossible without His working in our lives, and then I can say it remains a major challenge even for believers when faced with daily trials.

I believe that if we are predetermined to believe it to be true, trusting in these possibilities that can only be filled by Him, wanting to be joy filled, looking for joy, asking for joy ,we can grow in His joy.

We are His joy and when we realize we are the joy that was set before Him when He endured that cross, it takes us beyond our immediate trial and we find our joy completely in Him.

It is supernatural! We are His joy, He is our joy, we grow, we preserve, we are free to live!

This is so true…thanks for sharing, Jewell…does anyone else have a thought about this amazing concept? Send it along!

Count it all Joy…does God really mean ALL?!!

Hi again, everyone!

Is there anything more fun, more joyful than to puddle jump? To leap into a puddle full of mud and water and delight in the mess? Well oddly enough, it is this Joy…this delight that God wants us to have, because we trust Him.

Today I want to share a word that came to me while doing my devotions this morning. I am reading the book of James and this morning I began, as one would expect at the beginning and only got as far as the first 4 verses. After the opening Greetings…James hits me right at the heart with something with which all of us have struggled.

It reads, “Count it pure  (ALL) JOY, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

Well that little statement, “Count it pure (all) Joy.” really is the problem! I must say that there are and have been things in my life that I can hardly call worthy of Joy…that indeed, I have not handled with any type of joy. I bet you have too!

Let’s start with the simple, little everyday things like…socks on the floor, beside the laundry hamper instead of in it or dishes on the table instead of in the kitchen sink or better still…in the drying rack! Well you might say that these are little inconsequential things that should not or could not remove or even impact our joy…but added together, they do. But our Lord says to count these little things as Joy…hmmm…I guess with a small effort, I can do that.

Ok…starting today, this very minute, I am determined not to let these little things steal my Joy (get behind me Satan…I’ve conquered this one!)

But what if…the Joy Stealing Event isn’t so trivial…what if it involves the loss of a loved one or the slow lingering death of another or being Stuck on the Rocks of a fast flowing river. These things are life changing…these things are life stealing…does God really want me to Count these as Joy?

The clear answer from scripture is a resounding…”YES!” God says right in this passage that there is a purpose in trials that is very important to our growth. We need to aquire perseverance so that we can become mature and complete. God is intimately interested in our growth and it takes a lifetime of big and little trials to produce that growth. God doesn’t often tell us why we need a particular trial in order to grow, but He does say that He will give us wisdom (understanding) if we ask…in faith.

I have had many adventures in life…not some of the tragedies that others have had but life threatening events that have tested and tried my faith…and as promised…have helped me to grow. Check out some of these events in my book, “Stuck on the Rocks, again.” Did I have Joy at the time of these events…no, I can’t say that I was rejoicing when I was stuck in the middle of a raging river with my canoe bending around a rock…but afterwards…when the waters were once again, calm…I reflected and smiled.

God is at work in my life and He is at work in yours. Do not give in to the temptation of letting the events of life steal your JOY, but approach each new day with an attitude of JOY and persevere…because our loving, heavenly Father in is Control and we prove our belief in this by showing our JOY.

Joy is the echo of God’s Love in us…share it today!


God is an amazing gardener and we are all part of His garden


Scruffy wondered if God could still love him, when he made so many mistakes…but in the story “Scruffy Finds His Way”, he discovers that God never stops loving him…never gives up on him. 

We are all made by God for a purpose…each of us is nourtured in a different way…each of us looks different…acts different…but is never-the-less still part of His creation…His garden!

I love to garden. It is such a joyful release for me to putter away in my gardens turning the soil, rearranging perennials and planting annuals. Soon after the snow melts and the earth warms I enthusiastically dive into my gardens and begin the process of preparing the soil for another season. Then I plant small seedlings in the spaces in between the perennials with the hope that the garden will explode into colour and beauty. I sit back to admire my work, filled with the anticipation of what the next few weeks of sunshine and rain will bring. Morning after morning I wander by my gardens looking for the blooms that I worked so hard to produce. As I peruse the vista before me I notice several things. Although planted at the same time in similar soil, some of the seedlings grow faster and better then others. These seedlings seem anxious to burst forth into bloom, to produce that for which they had been planted. Others are growing but at a much slower rate, some are barely struggling to survive and sadly some have been plucked out by the birds and lie dead on the ground. My response to this is to pour a little more effort into the struggling plants; to gently dig around their roots to encourage their spread and growth, to give them extra feedings of fertilizer to strengthen them. The better the plant, the better the bloom! Another thing that I notice is this; the same type of plants can produce different looking blooms. No two marigolds look exactly the same. Each section of the garden provides a different display of colours, heights and shapes. It’s food for the eyes! How dull a garden would be if it were filled with identical plants and flowers!

I’m positive that our heavenly Father loves gardens as much as I. Indeed, He created the endless variety of plants and flowers and gave us eyes that could discern the subtle variances in colour. In scripture it describes God as being a gardener- like me (but much, much better)! He too, works in His garden, pruning and cultivating to produce the best garden. He does whatever is necessary to produce good results. Just like my little seedlings need to be planted in good soil, so too do his vines need to be connected to the food source in order to survive. (John 15) We are all part of God’s garden. It is His desire to have us burst forth into bloom in the garden where we are planted. Like the branches described in John 15 have to be connected to the vine in order to thrive so too, we seedlings need to be buried deep in the soil that will nourish us – Jesus. Without this soil, we will not survive. Once we are planted in Jesus, God makes sure that we grow and flourish. And just like in my garden, some may take longer to bloom then others and no two blooms are alike, but together we make the garden beautiful.

St. Mary’s Students learn life Lessons from Scruffy


Scruffy Finds His Way by


Scruffy sends a big goaty “nudge” to all the children of Mrs. Howe’s grade 2/3 class for reading his book and finding the lessons!!  Well done EVERYONE and thank you!

What we learned from Scruffy Mrs. Howe’s grade 2/3 class

Lo: You should never do something that you are not allowed to do. If you do, you will have some sort of consequence. Scruffy says…”some of the consequences are baaaaa…d!

Wa: There are natural consequences, like falling through the chicken coop or getting “bit” by the electric fence. Or, you might get punished, like being put in a time out.  Scruffy says…”oh my but that chicken coop was stinky…never fall in one!”

Ch; God has a plan for everybody Scruffy says…”it’s so nice that God plans for kids (goats and humans)”

O: It’s ok to be who you are! We are all unique and God created us in His image, which means that we are PERFECT! Scruffy says…”and I thought that only my mom thought that I was perfect…everyone else thinks I am too scruffy and baaaaa…d. Nice that God  agrees with Mom”

C E.: When people love us, they will forgive us even when we mess up. God will also forgive us. Scruffy says…”it is nice to be able to start over every day…forgiven”

M: No matter what happens, your family will always love you! Scruffy says…”even if I’m baaaaa…d my Mom and the Scruffkids always loved me, so does God…I never need to feel rejected”

C: If everyone was the same, life would be boring. If we tried to play a game, it would always a tie. Scruffy says…”That is really true…I’ve never been boring…God made all of us special and interesting.”

A: If we need help, we should ask for help. Praying to God is a good idea! Scruffy says…”I forget this part sometimes…so God continues to teach me how much I need Him.”