Ode To Joy

Dear Friends,

This is a note of mixed joy and sadness. Friday, my dear and precious friend Joy passed away at 1:05pm. She was 89, it was her time to leave this earth and she lived strong to the end. She is now at peace with Jesus in heaven!

Joy truly enjoyed God, daily abided in Jesus and loved every person she met. This was the greatest common bond in our beautiful Godly friendship.

One of her favorite Scriptures was John 15:7
“If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.”

Joy said, “If I want what He wants, I will be praying for what He wants, so of course He will answer my prayers. My answered prayers are simply the consequence of abiding in Jesus.

“I am the branch on the Vine, and Jesus, Himself, is the Vine flowing through me; that makes me a child of God in the sense that when I pray, the Father sees me as Jesus. When He sees me in the righteousness of His own Son, He will not deny me. I know God is wonderful and that He loves me.

“When I speak to the Father, He sees me as He sees Jesus. That’s the way I learned to pray when I understood who I was in His sight, and here I am because of Him. When you actually awaken to the fact that the Life of the Vine is in you, what happens is that it becomes a healing flow.

“It’s a renewing flow, an understanding flow that keeps me safe. I understand who I am, because I know Who is in me. Anyone can have this; it doesn’t matter who your earthly father is.”

Now Joy is enjoying Jesus face to Face! She was so outstanding for who she was and how she lived. As we wrote together, I would tell her I have an ‘Ode to Joy’ written out in my mind to her that needed to be told. “Honey,” she would laugh, “You just save it for my funeral!”

Tomorrow I am headed to her hometown to do just that. I will miss Joy acutely and deeply. But I am forever grateful that God gave me such a phenomenal friendship, that I loved Joy, enjoyed her, respected her and took the baton that God gave me through her and ran with it. Living with no regrets in our most precious relationships is priceless. And even when there is regret, Joy showed me how to live in redemption because God does restore the lost and broken pieces and makes us and those closest to us whole!

Joy is thrilled in heaven that I am posting her ode on our website:

Ode To Joy

Joy had a listening heart because she knew
Listening felt like love.
Joy walked with me the rugged road to forgiveness
Because she knew
This was the only way to true lasting happiness.

She taught me not to take offense
And let it roll off my back,
To hold my own with quiet dignity.
She taught me unconditional respect at the point of conflict
It is why I am still married!

She showed me how not to be
So heavenly bound
That I’d be no earthly good,
Because she knew God’s practical ways
Lead us to His spiritual principles.

She wanted to be like Mother Theresa
But not look like her!
She was like Mother Theresa
Because she knew
Like Mother Theresa you need to be somebody to someone.

Joy was a blessing to me in every way
Not because of anything she did
But just because of who she was.
Our friendship had no personal hidden agendas-
Just love and be there for each other.

Her favorite song was:
“Out in the highways and byways of life
Many are weary and sad,
Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife
Making the sorrowing glad

“Make me a blessing
Make me a blessing
Out of my life may Jesus shine
Make me a blessing, oh Savior, I pray
Make me a blessing to someone today.”

Christmas is when we sing Joy to the world!
She is singing with Jesus right now
in all the glory He has for her
She would want each one of us to know right now…
“There’s a little bit of Joy in each one of us!”
Joy Barnett
1918 – 2007

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