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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Free Caregiver Devotional - Best-of Booklet

 
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, is with you all!  (2 Cor. 13:14 YLT)
 
 


Treasured friend,

I offer as my prayer for you this evening this benediction from 2 Corinthians 13. It's one my pastor-grandfather used to close just about every worship service I ever heard him officiate. I find it especially meaningful in the version I quote above, because Young translates for us the literal meaning from the original Greek: Christ's grace, God's love, and the Holy Spirit's fellowship is with you. Young's publishers even italicized that word, in case we might miss it. What a blessed, joyful truth to absorb.

What else could we possibly need for our lives as caregivers, as adult children of aging parents, as workers and residents and strugglers in this fallen world?

  • Grace from the One Who died to save us.
  • Love from the Father Who demonstrated the vastness of it by giving His Son as payment for us.
  • And fellowship--companionship--direction--intercession--comfort from the blessed Holy Spirit.

All of this isn't just a hope or a pie-in-the-sky thought originating in a human mind. It is a statement of fact that originated in the mind of the Almighty God. All these are yours in Christ. Now. Today. Wherever you are and whatever situation you're facing.

If you've been enjoying this blog for a while -- or if you're new to our ranks -- you know the value of ingesting peace-filled, truth-packed devotional thoughts --especially during the chaotic days of an exhausted caregiver.

With that in mind, I've edited and streamlined a series of our best-loved devotional thoughts and blog entries into a little ebooklet you can access from any internet-capable device. It's normally a subscription-only product, but I want you to have access to it today -- and in the future. Here's your link to Pearls of Comfort for Caregivers devotional.

Enjoy reading with our compliments. And if you have contact with other caregivers, please share it with them, as well. All we ask is that you use it to motivate yourself to make time for your relationship with God, because in Him you'll find your greatest and most energizing comfort. And, if you like what you read, continue visiting this page for refreshing moments in the Word -- and check out my online product catalog at: www.joymediaservices.com.

May all you need be yours in Christ today and always.

Blessings and prayers,

Julie

© 2012, Julie-Allyson Ieron. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, email: orders@joymediaservices.com

Monday, July 16, 2012

Don't Grow Weary



 And let us not grow weary of doing good,
for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9 (ESV)

Treasured Friend,

Do you ever feel a little weird? As a Christ-follower, I mean. As someone who is doing her best to follow in Christ’s footsteps, to live daily in a way that would honor Him. As someone who chooses to stay far away from the DMZ that some others seem to straddle, so near the borders to the sin territory that could so easily enslave and capture.

I see others doing well with the straddling—moving freely between the two territories—as if carrying passport papers from both kingdoms. Living the way of the world and seeing great gain. They, surrounded by a vast assortment of colorful friends, choose together with them to take liberty to the extreme. I’d be petrified to walk their path. But I must confess, when I see them do it, I feel like a bit of a rumpled, bumbling dope walking my straight and narrow.

I’m not jealous or anxious to live vicariously through them. That’s not it. But I sometimes feel like Elijah after his exhausting journey into the wilderness – explaining to God that he’s the last one left who hasn’t bowed to the way of the culture. I know I’m not the last one, any more than Elijah was (1 Kings 19). But often when I see them glance back at me, I detect in their eyes a certainty that my weirdness quotient just may be off the charts. My wardrobe selections. My lifestyle decisions. My language. My entertainment choices. My music. My books. My priorities just don’t compute – don’t make one lick of sense to so many of my colleagues, acquaintances, even family and friends.

Feeling enmeshed in that blue funk this afternoon, I clicked through my YouTube favorites and listened (over and over and over) to a song that absolutely revolutionized my perspective. It was Charles Billingsley’s video of “Light of that City,” where he (along with an energetic choir and orchestra) paints a picture of the eternal joy set before us. “On that day, we will sing, ‘Holy, Holy!’/On that day, we’ll bow down in the light.” It’s magnificent. It’s life-altering. It’s all-encompassing. The expectation that one day, we’ll be rewarded for our faithfulness by turning our eyes upward and seeing our Lord Jesus Christ in all His resplendent glory.

Reflecting on that expectation, my mind locked in on a Scripture I had memorized in Pioneer Girls as a grade-schooler. In this context it made more sense to me than it ever had before:

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption,
but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
 And let us not grow weary of doing good,
for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
 Galatians 6:7-9 (ESV emphasis added)

Here’s the YouTube link to Charles Billingsley’s rendition of the song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmArFPfyagc&feature=plcp .

It helped me regain my focus and pointed me toward this passage in Galatians, where I regained my passion for just how worthy the goal of my life is: to glorify Christ and enjoy Him forever. Most of all, for me today, it put the weirdness quotient back in its rightful perspective. I never want to be a stumbling block that gets in the way of others coming to Christ – but that said, I don’t live by the same set of rules as the world. It’s no wonder they think I’m wacky. In fact, I suppose it’s a backhanded compliment, of sorts.

My prayer for you today, treasured friend, is that whatever is challenging your faith and your resolve, you’ll find in one look into the eyes of the Light of that City (Rev. 21:23), a renewed purpose and a revitalized passion to hold firm and steady in your attempts at faithfully living in the way that honors Him.

Blessings and prayers,

Julie

© 2012, Julie-Allyson Ieron. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, email: orders@joymediaservices.com

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Write Joyfully: Kindle Giveaway: One of Ours!!

Treasured Friend,

One of the big challenges for caregivers is time. Time for refreshment. Time for renewal. Time to do the essentials for ourselves and our households. Here's a link to my short, easy-to read book that will equip you to recapture some of the moments you're missing -- better yet, it's guaranteed to free you from guilt for all those things you can't seem to find the time to do:

Conquering the Time Factor: Twelve Myths that Steal Life's Precious Moments.

The book is free on Kindle today through Monday (7-12-12 through 7-16-12). And if you don't have a Kindle ereader -- no worries, just download Amazon's free Kindle app for your PC, tablet or smartphone -- then download the free book from our ministry.

Enjoy -- and please pass this along to as many friends and fellow caregivers as you can -- it's a great crossover book. http://www.amazon.com/Conquering-Factor-Updated-Study-ebook/dp/B003VD1E7G/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_11#

Here's a link to more:

Write Joyfully: Kindle Giveaway: One of Ours!!: Today our featured free Kindle book is mine: Conquering the Time Factor: Second Edition with Study Guide. Free today through Monday only:...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Praying for a Great Conversation

Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not;
rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching.
2 Timothy 4:2 (HCSB)


Treasured friend,

I love the challenge of this Scripture. It reminds me to keep the main thing, the main thing. To check my motives. To handle the Truth with care and compassion--and great patience. It reminds me that my calling as one who shares the Word of Life with readers and listeners is an intense task--one God considers important.

I especially love the way the HCSB renders the verse. Where other translations command, "Preach the Word," HCSB chooses "Proclaim the message." Preaching may be the province of a small number among us. But each of us can handle the call to "Proclaim." Tell it around. Broadcast it, even. Be strong and energized and intentional.

And, if nothing else, Paul is so very practical. He knows the opportunities to be intentional witnesses for Christ in this mixed-up and battle-filled world aren't always delivered to our doorsteps on gilded invitations when we're most prepared to receive them. So he reminds us to be ready at any moment. KJV translates it as "in season and out of season." Kinda like an Olympic athlete staying in peak form in non-Olympic years. It's hard for a caregiver to be ready like that. But not impossible.

Here again the HCSB translaters give us another wrinkle: "Persist in it whether convenient or not." Okay. That's a great one for us as caregivers. We know a bit about persisting--and a lot about the "not" side of convenient. But I resonate with the word picture. To me, it's a tremendous reminder that doing the right thing, with great patience and encouragement, is key -- whether in preaching, in proclaiming, or in our caregiving tasks. It's a bigger reminder that my conveniences -- and yours -- aren't all there is in this life. Someone greater than we are sends us. And as His reps entrusted with His message for the world He created, it's clear that He (not we) is at the center of it all. That's why proclaiming may be a challenge -- but it'll always be worthwhile.

And, speaking of proclaiming ...

It's a bit of a distance off, but I've been invited to appear on Alberta, Canada's Miracle Channel -- The Insight program -- to talk about caring for the aging. It's a live call-in show. And the date is planned for September 12; 11 a.m. Mountain Time.

Here are the particulars:
I'll be linking in live via Skype. This will be my second appearance on the broadcast -- and I'm delighted to be invited back. Please tune in if you're in Canada. If not, check out the live feed: http://www.miraclechannel.ca/live.php

So, mark your calendar -- and please pray with us that the broadcast will be a blessing -- and that the interviewer and I will have every resource we need from Our Father to proclaim the message with patience and encourage the hurting. It's a special privilege to take caller questions -- and an opportunity to tap into the Lord's wisdom for people in complex and challenging caregiving roles.

Thanks for your prayers!

Blessings and prayers for you tonight,

Julie

© 2012, Julie-Allyson Ieron. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, email: orders@joymediaservices.com