40 Days of Joy

40 Days of Joy Update

Earlier this year, I stated that on November 22, 2022 I would start the 40 Days of Joy series again. It consists of recipes, quotes, scripture, gift ideas, regular blog posts and anything else.

However, there will not be a 40 Days of Joy this year. My year has been very productive just not in regards to my blog. While productivity mean accomplishments, it also means tiredness. But oh the accomplishments are wonderful.

This year has been filled with family, friends, good food, and good times. So I’m not complaining. It’s just unfortunately JoyReturns suffered.

I will be doing my best to publish more than once a week during the holidays but no guarantees.

Have a wonderful rest of the week and thank you for visiting JoyReturns.

God Bless You.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. Michele is the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com.

Project 3:16

Project 3:16 – Isaiah

Joy is not the only thing that has returned, so has Project 3:16.

We are skipping Song of Solomon (ESV) / Song of Songs (NIV) as verse 15 is the end of chapter three. Now onward to Isaiah, the first of the Prophetic Books.

Major Prophets

The major prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and Ezekial could envision or see things normal people could not see. This reminds me of life today. There are those of us who see trouble in the here and now (high food and gas prices) but also based on the here and now, we can see potential challenges are on the horizon (food and gas shortages).

Isaiah’s Theme

Isaiah “reveals the full dimensions of God’s judgment and salvation.”, according to the NIV Introduction. The God who punishes but then redeems His people, Israel.

Israel is a nation blind and deaf. (6:9-10; 42:7)

NIV Introduction – 1985 version

An excellent example of God using Isaiah is verses 3:16 and 3:17

The Lord says,
    “The women of Zion are haughty,
walking along with outstretched necks,
    flirting with their eyes,
strutting along with swaying hips,
    with ornaments jingling on their ankles.

Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion;

    the Lord will make their scalps bald.”

Isaiah 3:16 – 17

God saw how the women were strutting their stuff and decided enough was enough. He used Isaiah to tell them of their sin and the consequences they would face. It was not just the daughters of Zion’s sins that got called out. Isaiah spends the first 5 chapters calling out all of Israel’s sins. That’s a lot of sin.

Will our country repent and ask forgiveness for there is no difference between the United States and the Israel Isaiah called out.

Imagine how much joy we would all experience if we repented and asked for forgiveness.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. Michele is the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com.

Project 3:16

Project 3:16 – Ecclesiastes

The next stop on our journey through the 3:16’s of the Bible is the cheeriest, most, chipper, joy-filled book of the Bible – Ecclesiastes. What a wonderful book to read for Mother’s Day! (tons of scarcasm)

Although what mother has not said the following when trying to get her children to stop dropping crayons down the register, sliding in their stocking feet across the linoleum floor and smashing into the wall pretending they are figure skaters, or just trying to get them to clean their room?

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”

Ecclesiastes 1:2

Oh, the fun my sister and I had annoying Mom with our antics.

Under The Sun

Let’s get serious now. When I read this week’s verse, I immediately thought of our court system, and especially the leaky Supreme Court.

And I saw something else under the sun:

In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
    in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

Ecclesiastes 3:16

I will not say any more about that situation.

While 3:16 stands on its own, 3:17 should bring reassurance if you are disturbed by seeing wickedness.

I said to myself

“God will bring into judgment
    both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
    a time to judge every deed.”

Ecclesiastes 3:17

Rest assured, God will judge the wicked people in our court system – in HIS own time.

Knowing the wicked will not go unpunished should bring peace to everyone.

Now quit reading and go spend the day with your mother or go be a mother to someone who needs your wise counsel.

May your day be filled with sunshine, lilacs, and overflowing joy whether or not you are a mother.

Lilacs in Sunshine

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com.