Joy of the Lord

Our precious gift from God!

On Monday, July 9th 2004, We gave birth to our third daughter, Shiloh.

And yesterday, July 9th, 2012, she turned 8!
YEAH! Happy Birthday Shiloh!

{Of course, this happened while we were in Texas and she was in Georgia…and that really stunk!}

{just being real with you guys!}

Yes…she has been spoiled to the degree that we may never recover her back to reality! {hehehe…this does make me glad though} She has had more birthday party celebrations than any child should be allowed! And yes…we will have one more when her Mama and Daddy get home! We promise!

As I was in the swing of wanting to have our own pity party about missing her birthday, God had a message that He was relentless in revealing to us everywhere we turned that morning.

Sometimes, we can be slow to see His heart when we are caught in self-pity.

On the way to the hospital for our 2nd round of chemo this week, we prayed. We wanted to lay our hearts bare before our healing God.

While praying, God reminded me of the day on June 5th when our friend Kim sat with us after we received the news about this mass in Kevin’s abdomen area. She shared with me about the scripture that was written on her kitchen wall that said,

“The Joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

I have to tell you that I didn’t like that verse that day…much less did I fully understand it.

I think… I am getting glimpses of it now.

The Joy word came up again when our girls emailed us pictures of their new hermit crabs. One is named…Joy.

Meet Joy, one of the 2 newest members of our family.

Again…Joy came up when we received a devotional yesterday morning. It was written by our friend Chris Musgrove.

“Isaiah 12:3 says,” Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”
If it is with joy that we draw from the wells of salvation, then we need to maintain our joy.

How do we maintain our joy? We do it by staying in the word of God and in the presence of God.
Psalm 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy;
John 15:11 says, “”These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

You pray with joy:
Job 33:26 says, “He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him, He shall see His face with joy” and
Philippians 1:4 says, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy”

You receive God’s word with joy:
Luke 8:13 says, “But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy.”

You worship with joy:
Luke 24:52 says, “And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,”

And you will finish your race with joy:
Acts 20:24 says, “Nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy.”

This hit me right between the eyes! I had to ask myself the same way I am asking you…Where is your Joy? Are you receiving your Joy? Are you praying with Joy? Are you worshipping with Joy? Will you finish your race with Joy?

So Monday, while waiting in the waiting room…again…we sang “The Joy of the Lord is my Strength.” And smiled even while we did it!

Prayer requests:
* Continued healing from the surgery last Friday. Kevin is moving slow which is to be expected. We will walk some today at the hospital.
* Continued complete healing for the mass in the abdomen area (Vena Cava).
* Opportunities to minister to others.
* No side effects from the chemotherapy.
* Peace while having to wait.
* Our girls and my (Amy’s) parents who are with them.

Thank you guys for all your prayers! Whenever we begin to get discouraged about our whole situation – God comes around the corner and blesses our socks off. We don’t want to miss Him, His Presence or His JOY!!


  1. Amy, I woke up this morning at 6:05am and had Kevin and you on my heart. You received an early bird prayer just for you. This scripture came immediately to my mind. When Hal was diagnosed with 2 brain aneurysms in 1997 these verses reminded me of God’s sovereign protection over us.
    Isaiah 43:1-3 …But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, and He who formed you; Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name (Kevin and Amy); You are Mine. When you pass through the waters (of troubles), I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire (of trials), you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Praying today will be peaceful and a sense of refuge as you hide under the wings of your blessed Savior where the waters will not drown you or the fire consume you. You are safe in HIM. We love you both, Hal and Lilly.

  2. Amy,
    Kevin may or maynot remember Rev. Charlie Monk who was pastor at Euclid for a while in the early 1990’s. One of my favorite things that I always remember hearing Rev. Monk say about the word JOY is to keep J – Jesus first, O – Others second, Y – and Yourself last, in order to have ultimate JOY.
    More prayers coming your way!
    Susan Buchanan

  3. Amy and Kevin, God is SO GOOD. Just before I read your note on Joy, I had received a note from a former pastor that said: “A home full of music will bring a kind of joy, but a heart full of Christ’s joy will fill a home with music”. How true. How special that you also love the song, “The Joy of the LOrd is My Strength”. I can still see all of the children singing that at VBS in the summers. Praying that you both will know that strength and joy. P.S. Love the fiddler crab. Mrs. A

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