Monday, March 09, 2020

My Friend Whom I've Never Met

"Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."   ... Romans 13:7


So there I was, 35 years old, at home, channel surfing, then hmm! There appeared a Bible teacher I'd never seen before.

Oh my. Her stories were funny, yet so convicting. She spoke about how God sees our sloppy attitudes behind closed doors. How apathy holds us back from godly promotion, for however many people we can help, that's how many we can also hurt.

Ouch. And oh yeah, she said Grace can help us do everything

So I began videotaping her messages and listening while up on a ladder painting walls, rearranging furniture or cooking dinner. Thirstily I drank it all in. Some videos (and later, cassette tapes) I listened to 15 or more times.

Rather than just telling us, "Have faith. Trust God," she showed us what those looked like in every day, normal, Sunday through Saturday life.

I kept shaking my head, telling God, "This is exactly what I needed! Thirty years in church and I've never heard this. Thank-you that I did not die before discovering this practical-style teaching."

(Which sounds rather melodramatic, but hey. Again, I was in my 30's.)  シ

And you know? Last October I celebrated listening for 25 years to Joyce Meyer.

Wow. Twenty-five years! And today I simply want to honor Joyce. Thousands of listening-hours later I can say no other teacher has so hugely affected how I view and live my daily life.

Through Joyce, God has strengthened me and shown me how to --

not fall apart, not lose my passion

wait patiently
not confuse condemnation with conviction
keep my word
be forgiving, not offended
follow Grace
be bold, not cowardly
crave excellence, integrity
not worry, dread or fear
shed self-pity
guard my heart, my thoughts (Prov. 4:23)

And honestly? Ninety percent of this blog reflects what God has taught me through Joyce since 1994. In case you'd ever wondered, well, there you go.

Joyce Meyer. I consider her my friend, actually. 

When my heart cries because I can't find anyone who loves to talk about Jesus or obeying God? I just go to Youtube and there she is: my friend who 'spurs me on toward love and good deeds' and to experiencing the remarkable, adventurous life Jesus died to give me.

Thank-you, Joyce. With all my (changed) heart.

"The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]."  ... John 10:10

Joyce's website is here. Oh, and an added note: I've attended 3 Joyce Meyer conferences, but again, have never officially met her.  シ

If we obey God today, we'll find ourselves ready to face life better, stronger, tomorrow.  (On my mind lately.)


My crafting friends will love this short, inspiring video of a cool 'sewlebrity'. Even if you aren't into crafts, but enjoy rags-to-riches stories, I'm thinking you'll like this. Super inspiring and made me smile.

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor

"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15


Terra said...

What a beautiful tribute to Joyce Meyer, your friend that you never met. A lady I like is Chonda Pierce, a Christian comedian, who has experienced a lot of sorrow and yet is so funny. These ladies are blessings.

Betsy said...

I echo what Terra said, that was a beautiful tribute to Joyce. I saw her speak at two different Women of Faith conferences, back in the day before I decided that those huge crowds weren't for me. I'm sure that was contributed to by the fact that we had a bomb scare in the middle of one of the sessions and had to evacuate which was terrifying.
As Terra also said, Chonda Pierce is hilariously funny even through the tragedies she has had in her life.
Thanks for being such an uplifting light in my life Debra. You are kind of like my own personal Joyce Meyer to me. :-)

Debra said...

Thank-you Terr and Betsy! I have watched Chonda Pierce also over the years and she is hilarious! But I've needed Joyce because of her strong gift of teaching, the kind which--when applied--can absolutely change a life forever. And truly, God through Joyce has changed me and I'll be eternally grateful (literally). Oh and Betsy--that bomb threat was just one way satan tried to stop God's word from going forth. Personally that would make me more mad than worried. God has given us all authority over satan--hooray!

Thanks so much for commenting, Ladies! Blessings, Debra

Pam said...

Joyce Meyer has been a powerful, easy-to-understand voice over the past decades. I've always appreciated her honesty. I also appreciate the fact that she has inspired you, Debra, because you always encourage me!

Debi @ Tuesdays Child said...

As the other gals said, your tribute was beautifully one and I must totally agree with you that it was one that was well deserved. I've also listened to Joyce for years and I love her dearly! She has a way with saying things in just the right way that cause you to remember them and I'm also grateful to have been able to listen to her teachings.

Debra, thanks so much for posting this ... (HUGS)


Debra said...

Pam and Debi--I'm so glad you also listen to Joyce! Isn't she a wonder? :) I was trying to think yesterday of where I'd be without her and could only picture myself standing way, way back along some other road (probably feeling very sorry for myself. heh.). Thanks for letting me know your Joyce thoughts!

Blessings, Debra