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Book Drawing: “Growing a Joyful Heart” by Karen Whiting and Pam Farrel

Need more joy? Everyone can appreciate having more joy. I have great news for you.

Growing a Joyful Heart shares how to cultivate joy! Joy is a gift from God, a fruit of the Holy Spirit. In a tumultuous world we can Rejoice and increase our joy.

  • We choose joy as we focus on what God has done and will do, rather than our circumstances.
  • Start the process of being joyful with developing inner joy.
  • Then it’s easier to bring joy into relationships to have more meaningful connections with the people in our lives.
  • We choose to respond with joy in all circumstances, even in the midst of our grief and pain, through trusting that God is working in our lives with a plan and purpose.
  • Once joy overflows in our hearts, we share that abundance and become joy givers.

To enter the drawing to possibly win a copy of this great book, read on! And to whet your appetite, here’s an excerpt from the book.

Joyful Family Devotions After Disaster

by Karen Whiting and Pam Farrel

Let the message about Christ completely fill your lives, while you use all your wisdom to teach and instruct each other. With thankful hearts, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. Colossians 3:16

Jim and Karen wove daily faith into ordinary days. They often chose texts that coordinated with problems or topics to which their children could relate. But they never expected to face a huge natural disaster like a category four hurricane and great damage to their home and community. They chose to study Nehemiah as they rebuilt.

They spent hours cleaning debris and pulling out old carpets. The children understood Nehemiah’s weeping at the thought of the rubble and broken wall around Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:3). They could envision what he saw as he inspected the damage (Nehemiah 2:11–13).

They read how Nehemiah carried letters from the king for supplies (Nehemiah 2:7–8). Checks and approvals from the insurance company seemed almost as precious. Like Nehemiah, the letters gave hope that repairs would begin soon. “Nehemiah” means “God has comforted,” in past tense, and they rejoiced and trusted God already knew the repairs would soon be history.

As Jim read about enemies attacking Nehemiah, teasing them, and trying to trick Nehemiah into disobeying God (Nehemiah 3–5), they chatted about what was happening in their area. They waited on permits and inspections. The children doubled up, and one slept in a closet. They understood that unexpected problems challenge our faith.

Their sons and scouting friends helped repair homes where people lost their insurance money to scammers. They realized why Nehemiah was so upset at usury, when people took advantage of the poor situations of neighbors.

But they also rejoiced with any completed work, including their home. After the restoration they rededicated their home to the Lord and enjoyed a party.

Miracle Scrapbook

Habakkuk 3:17–19 NIV

Things were very bleak for this minor prophet. Ever been there? Bill and Pam Farrel could relate! They married at age twenty with very few worldly goods but a goal to complete college. “We lived from miracle to miracle!”

What does Habakkuk recommend when you are in dire straits?

  1. Exalt in the Lord: Become jubilant and triumphant in who God is.
  2. Rejoice in God: Joyfully exalt about what God does.

In their early years, money was very tight. They were finishing their education, then headed to seminary so Bill could become a pastor. Pam’s way to exalt God was to track every answer to prayer and every miracle blessing in a scrapbook. These included the following:

  • The congratulations: “You won a sewing machine!”
  • The list of youth parents who donated monthly to send them to seminary
  • The bumper sticker that read, “I believe in miracles” that our youth group gave us as they prayed for God to give us a car. We rode bikes everywhere and prayed for nearly a year until we got a phone call from a parent of one of our youth. They said, “My husband’s mom passed away and she has a car with low mileage, but it needs a brake job. We’ve arranged the servicing for a price of$42.” Bill and Pam had about $45 to their names, so it was quite the celebration as the youth gathered to place their bumper sticker on the car God provided.

According to Habakkuk, God gives much more than the minimum: God makes your feet sure like a deer on a mountaintop. God elevates your life to the heights!

Thank you for sharing the excerpt from your book, Karen and Pam. 

For my readers: To purchase “Growing a Joyful Heart” CLICK HERE

I know you’re excited about this book like I am. To win a copy, enter the drawing by making a comment on the blog post by the evening of Sunday, October 2, 2023 . Only USA addresses can win.

The authors: Pam Farrel (left) and Karen Whiting (right)

Karen Whiting ( rejoices as she writes and speaks to inspire families to thrive.She’s an international speaker, former television host, columnist, and award-winning author of more than thirty books for women, children, and families. She has a heart to nurture the growth of wholesome families and promote the development of strong bonds of faith.

Pam Farrel is an international speaker and author of 60 books including bestselling Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti. She and her husband Bill Co-direct Love-Wise ministry helping people in their vital relationships. They are parents to three sons, 3 daughters in law and 7 grandkids. The Farrels make their home on a live aboard boat docked in Southern California.

Republished with permission from, featuring inspiring Bible verses about Book Drawing: “Growing a Joyful Heart” by Karen Whiting and Pam Farrel.

Republished with permission from

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