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On having a heart of thanksgiving

Psalm 100
Shout for joy to the Lord,
all the earth. 
Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 
Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever, his faithfulness continues through all generations.

In the hustle and bustle of life, shouting for joy to the Lord doesn’t feel like it comes naturally. Entering his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise can seem like a strange concept in our fast-paced world and busy lifestyles. How is this shouting and joyfulness supposed to fit into our daily lives? Thanksgiving, however, is vital to our relationship with God and was designed to be our lifeline. It is not merely a word of gratitude but true thanksgiving is our spirit agreeing with all who God says He is. It is our need and God’s supply lining up perfectly. This is what we were created for. Our hearts align with His when we come before Him joyfully. When we worship Him with gladness no matter what comes our way, then we are able to take advantage of our circumstances rather than our circumstances taking advantage of us. 

Our default mode can be anxiety, worry, fear, anger or frustration because of our situations and oftentimes those things become greater than Christ in us. However, when we intentionally fill up with thanksgiving, then it begins to rise up out of us. As it rises up out of us, it leaves little room for the overwhelm of negativity. It doesn’t mean all the problems go away but rather, they are put in their proper place. They are no longer shackles that hold us, prisoner. When we worship with gladness, it is the ultimate form of engagement with God and we are set free from the lies that bind us. All else fades away when we come before Him with thanksgiving until it is only us and Him left. It is there where our hearts are able to receive the revelation of knowing He is the Lord our God.

This portal to our hearts to receive allows faith to rise up in us and we can experience the revelation of how wide and high and deep His love is and always has been for us. His perfect love is what drives out the fear, the anxiety, worry, anger or frustrations about our life’s situation. Be intentional and ready to give thanks. I’ve created a playlist to help do exactly that. Take some time to come before Him with joyful songs. Do not hesitate to give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His love endures forever. Know He is the Lord your God and you are His.

Give thanks playlist

Libby John

Libby John is a creative artist of many forms. As a singer/songwriter, she debuted her first EP in 2016 and her first album in Oct. 2017. Libby is also a choreographer who works for local universities and high school musicals and she teaches hip hop and modern dance classes. She has a passion to spur others on to be an influence on the culture through their faith & artistry which led her to create the podcast “Art & Faith Conversations”. Libby is a lover of small beginnings and finding beauty in the ordinary.  She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her husband and 3 daughters.

Libby can be found sharing her creative journey and prayerful devotionals through songs at www.libbyjohnartandsong.org.

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iola bloom playlist

The new issue is coming this September 2018! We are so excited! This issue will have the theme of bloom. Like last issue we have a themed playlist that goes along with this iola Bloom issue, and whilst you are patiently waiting for the next issue to be available, we thought we would release this playlist suggestion to get you excited about the coming issue. Now you have a playlist to listen to through August while you have the kids home from school or whilst on one of those long road trips, or relaxing by the pool or on the beach! Introducing the iola magazine  bloom playlist.

iola magazine bloom

We love these songs by these artists and think they suit the themes of articles coming in iola but the inclusion of these artists in the playlist doesn’t suggest they have endorsed the magazine!

So if you have Spotify you can listen to this playlist here:

If you don’t have Spotify just search out these songs on your favourite player and create your own playlist – we are sure you will love them!

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iola playlist 1

iola 1 playlist

For the first issue of iola magazine we have created an iola playlist. A playlist of songs compiled to complement the theme and articles in iola. If you love these songs, you’ll love iola. Grab a cup of coffee, put on the playlist and settle in to read iola.

There are two playlists in the magazine this is the first one from page fifteen. On page thirty-four we have another, Give thanks playlist compiled by artist Libby John alongside her piece on having a heart of thanksgiving.

iola 1 playlist

You can listen to the playlist on Spotify here.