December 19, 2016 by Carol Elaine Loperena
The Best Gifts
Think about the best gift that you have ever given or received.
Chances are, it is wasn't about what the gift was, but who it was from.
The gift I am receiving from my editor for my 60th birthday is a great example.
Every day during my December birthday month she is sending me an email link for one of her favorite songs that she thinks I will also enjoy.
So as soon as I check my inbox I am excited to see a new song surprise!
Another meaningful gift which comes to mind was from my grown up daughter. It was a printed 8 1/2 x 11 white piece of paper decorated with graphics and a photo. On it was also a note telling me how much I mean to my daughter and how I am the best mother she could ever have!. Wow!
While I will admit that I absolutely love the cowboy hat I received from husband for my birthday, it was the fact that we picked it out together that makes it so special.
If you are a minister, think about spiritual gifts that you are giving to your church members this Christmas Eve. The goal isn't to have the perfect service, or the most attendees, or to compare your service with others in the area. The goal is to prayerfully enter the pulpit with 1 thing in mind: God's great gift of Love for us all.
Lord, create in us a heart giving spirit as we worship and celebrate this Christmas.  Amen
Be inspired by The Best Gifts song
July 20, 2016 by Carol Elaine Loperena
Souls transcending time.
How do we approach the aging process with joy?
For instance, I walked my 5 mile walk this morning much earlier than usual and made a point of stopping by Mary Ann's garden.
I was secretly hoping that I would get there early enough to see her caring for her flowers and vegetable plants. I was not disappointed, for as I walked by I spotted her moving frame tending to the watering needs of her plants.
As soon as she saw me she walked up to me and gave me the great big hug I was hoping for.
At 80 plus years she is as spry as ever, even though I am sure that she has many things she could complain about.
The spiritual joy which Mary Ann imparts to those around her is evidence of the agelessness of the soul.
As you approach the coming years and the graying hairs keep in mind the beauty of the soul which, when tended to like a garden, will age gloriously.
"Even to your old age and your gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you.Isaiah 46:4a New International Version of the Bible
April 20, 2016 by Carol Elaine Loperena
Have you ever seen 5 year olds sing from the heart? It's pure joy!
It's an unfettered response to everything within that expresses their relationship with God.
Their singing has no requirements, no need for personal glory. The Creator reaches us through the most beautifully created children.
In the coming weeks we will be bringing back some of our favorite songs that we've composed. We are going to ask you to do only 1 thing: SING!
Sing them in church. Sing them on the playground. Sing them in the shower. And sing them in the rain!
"Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; And uphold me with a willing spirit." Psalm 51:12
Read about Harmony
March 19, 2016 by Carol Elaine Loperena
What happens when Grace conquers Guilt?
Those two words start with the letter 'G' but have such different outcomes.
Grace denotes something of beauty and art, which moves effortlessly.
Guilt seems more like something that lies in the shadows. It hides and waits to overwhelm us when we are least aware of it's intentions.
We can't have Grace without Guilt. We can't have forgiveness without being aware of our shortcomings. But we need not wallow in our guilt. It is only useful if it brings us to the place where we are ready to receive forgiveness.
"...and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of Grace and Truth." John 1:14
As you walk to the cross with Jesus this Lent, focus on the Grace and Glory to come.
Finding Our Way
January 11, 2016 by Carol Elaine Loperena
Journey with us as we transform our JoySoul home into a place where you can find joy and meaning.
We are spending time thinking about how God provides with paths into the unknown and uncharted roads of life. Not knowing what the next step is can be daunting. We can identify.
"Your Word is a path unto my feet and a light unto my way." Psalm 119:105
Put the Bible on your desk this year. Every time you struggle with direction this year, pick up the Word of God and know that you will be led.
January 1, 2016 by Carol Elaine Loperena
Think about any topic or circumstance. Now think about it lovingly.
As we move forward through the beginning weeks of the new year in 2016, let us take the grace of Christmas with us.
Surround yourself with positive thoughts and positive people. Sometimes the loving choice is the one that takes the most courage and faith.
May you be surrounded by God's courageous love in every way and in every day of this new year.