Saturday, April 25, 2015

Striving To Be Joyful

Hey friends, Odie here on another Saturday. I hope you have had a wonderful week living life. We had a great time this week in Jonesboro, Illinois and Salem, Kentucky.  We always enjoy being with Pastor Geoff Bond and the congregation of Trinity Pentecostal Tabernacle. We have some wonderful memories that were made there. Thursday and Friday we were honored to be at Faith Church in Salem. We always have a tremendous time with the Faith Church family. It was our first time preaching for their new Pastor Israel Sanders. He is doing a great job.

When I was thinking about today's blog post I kept thinking about questions I was asked this week. These questions gave me food for thought. "Where do you get your joy?" My answer, Jesus is my joy. The next question came, "How do you always have joy"? My answer I am not always joyful. I explained that I constantly turn to God to help me with a joyful attitude. A right attitude is work. Some days, weeks, or months I have to work harder than others on my attitude. 

I am thankful you all are not always around to see my bad days. My parents are gracious and do not tell everything they know. One thing is certain God sees and knows all. He is the real one that I need to please.  I am grateful He forgives my faults and helps me overcome difficulties.

Monday afternoon I prayed and talked stern to my self while I was preparing for church. I had not felt good and I felt more like hiding than I did anything else. I was not physically and mentally on top of my game but I did not have a reason to grumble. We were all going to church that night looking for the boost to make it through Tuesday. Every one there was facing challenges of their own.

Before service even started I was asked the questions mentioned above and it helped me get my focus off of myself and onto others. If I can put a genuine joyful smile on my face and encourage someone else then that makes my day brighter. 

Complaining has never brought anyone joy. No lasting joy comes from complaining. Joy always comes to me by turning my little rough spots to God and letting Him carry the load. I often tell others some days I have to take it an hour, minute, or a second at a time but I know I will make it through with God on my side.

I am not the only person with difficulties and struggles. Many people face much harder challenges than my own. I pray I can learn from them as they overcome their obstacles with God's help. 

I have two dear friends, one a long time friend and the other a brand new friend, that struggle every day. God help me to learn from them.

My good friend Bethany Crafton Bohon has been in almost constant pain since a tragic accident 6 years go . Bethany has not let pain rule her life. She has now been married to Brad over 2 years and they have a precious baby boy, Boston. 

Me and Bethany on her wedding day February 2013.

Bethany has started writing an occasional blog post. Last Friday she wrote a post I thought put things in a great perspective. I still am believing Bethany will be completely healed soon!

A couple of weeks ago I finally met Johanna Hough. We have several mutual friends and I was excited to meet this lovely young lady. 

Every day is a struggle for Johanna. It is a really great day when she feels well enough to be in church. Most services she has to lay down on the pew. That does not stop her!  She still worships and gains strength from being in the house of God. 

Wednesday night of our revival in Flora, Illinois Johanna was able to sit up and enjoy most of the service. The Lord blessed her with a special visitation of His presence. We all gained strength from Johanna's faith and perseverance! 

After the service Johanna was encouraging me and telling me how much she wanted me to walk. She was telling me she was praying that I would soon be healed.  All I could do was cry. She is in desperate need of healing yet she was burdened for me!  In my eyes Johanna's healing in more important than mine.

I know one thing is certain, my God is able to heal me, Bethany, Johanna, or anyone else. We do not know if our healing will come here on earth or in Heaven, but I know it will come!  I still believe in the God who can do all things. His power never changes. Until then I am holding on to Him to bring give me joy I need to make it through.

I hope you have a superb weekend!  



  1. Odie, I just want you to know that you are such an encouragement to me. Every time that I get to hear you sing and testify, it always encourages me. Your faith in God is so strong and so evident. Still praying for your healing my sweet friend. Love you, Kelli Bufford

    1. Kelli,
      Thanks for the encouragement and prayers$ I appreciate your 20+ years of friendship. Love you too!!


  2. Odie - even on a bad day - you are a jewel and we all have bad days - but the JOY OF THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH! I wanna be there when you fold up that chair! Love ya much, Tammy


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