Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘#choosejoy’

I awoke early, in the dark, to a dusting of snow on the ground, the sliver of a moon shining brightly. It was a glorious awakening. As I sat down with a steaming hot cup, facing East, the grandeur of Mt Baker already being illuminated by the dawn’s earliest light.

Ahhh! A smile spread across my face.

I inhaled peace, hope, joy …

Joy.

Exhale …

Joy comes in the morning.

Words of comfort by the Psalmist (30:5).

And it occurred to me that every morning is not so glorious. I mean, would joy come when it’s dark, starless and pouring rain for the fifteenth day in a row? I know how I would greet such a morning and it wouldn’t be feeling peace, hope or joy. I would scowl, turn my back to the firmament.

Maybe it, maybe this joy that comes in the morning (after a night of weeping) is dependent not on who offers it, but how willing I am to receive it? How willing I am to greet the day as a blank slate, as gift like a wrapped box with a golden bow, held out to me by the God of the universe, the God who created all things. And all I have to do it stop wiping the tears of the night before and hold out my hands to receive it … to receive the joy that is there regardless of my mood, my feelings, my perspective regarding rain.

Joy … it’s there in the morning.

Read Full Post »

Are you an if/then person?

You know, one of those who sees and seeks understanding of conditions and results.

I am, most naturally an if/then person.

If I study hard, then I will achieve high marks.

If I work with all my might, then I will be successful in my job.

If I sow good things, then I will reap good things.

The thing is … life isn’t always that predictable and it most certainly does not come with guarantees.

We live our lives as mere mortals, among mere mortals, in a fallen, sin-saturated world. Therefore, conditions and results do not always line up.

Students who study hard fail exams. Hard working people lose their jobs. We can sow good things in and around us and reap only that which is bitter.

These are the realities of living in this world.

Yet, this does not mean that we proceed through our days and lives with our knuckles dragging on the ground. Even when the if/thens of our life have faulty results, there can be joy.

“The joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Nehemiah 8:10

There is a strength that comes, irregardless of circumstances, if/then failures and failed conditions. It is a strength that comes from choosing joy … but not just any joy. It is a joy that we skin-covered souls can only experience and achieve from one source … it is a joy that comes from familiarity with God.

When we look at the failures, pains and destructions in our lives compared with the love and mercy and redemption available to us in Christ … we have true joy at our disposal.

If we choose Christ, then we will have joy in Him … though all around us might fall.

Read Full Post »

One of the words, opposite joy, is despair. When I think of despair, I think hopeless, lacking in peace.

It is interesting that today, this third Sunday of advent, we focus on joy, following peace and hope. Perhaps it is because we, our lives, are absent of joy if we have not received the hope and peace that only Christ can give?

Joy is not just a product of hope and peace, joy is, much like those, a choice.

Psalm 71:23 says, “My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.” Notice first section, “my lips will shout for joy” … it is a statement of dedication, determination. The Psalmist is committing, vowing that whatever befalls he will shout for joy. He is making a choice. Charles Spurgeon has said of this Psalm, “this Psalm may be regarded as the utterance of struggling, but unstaggering, faith.”

Anyone out there struggling right now? We are in a pandemic people … we are ALL struggling with something in this time in our lives, in the history that is presently being written. We all have struggles that challenge our hearts and souls (and bodies). This is our current, common human experience.

But …

if we can look to the source of hope and peace,

if we can choose, by our will and our unstaggering (well … most of the time) faith to force joy from our lips … it WILL COME BACK TO OUR SOULS!

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). It is good medicine (Proverbs 17:22). It is new every morning (Psalm 30:5). The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Angels experience joy when one person repents (Luke 15:10). We should eat and drink with a merry (joyful) heart (Ecclesiastes 9:7).

Rejoice always, 
pray without ceasing, 
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Read Full Post »

Please and thank-you … the magic words of childhood learning. If I had a nickel for every time I instructed one of our three, over their growing up years, to use these words as offering, well my financial future would be secure. Repetition has a way of ensuring information and behavior stick like super glue!

The magic words of adulthood are a not-so-famous pair, but are equally rich in meaning, benefit and practice …

thankfulness and joy

These two words, practices, are essentials for the Christ-follower. The thing is that you cannot have joy without thankfulness and you cannot have thankfulness without joy. The two are synonymous.

Neither joy, nor thankfulness have anything to do with happiness, to do with everything in life going as we wish. Joy and thankfulness are independent of the ephemeral or short-lived condition of happiness. Instead they are result of something eternal, holy.

Blogger, Corella Roberts, has said,

the binding agent of joy is thankfulness

Thankfulness and joy are fruits of the Holy Spirit within us. It is not us, in our own power, but he who is within us. They are the outpouring of the peace that passes all human understanding.

When the Prince of Peace resides within us, thankfulness and joy emanate from us, naturally and grandly.

1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Read Full Post »

IMG_4033It’s official! I no longer have any ‘children’, for my baby turns nineteen today.

But this is not about me 😉

You were and will always be my best surprise, just what our family needed most, but didn’t know it.

And now you turn nineteen, and in so many ways today signifies your independence, your autonomy as an adult, a man.

The thing is we don’t become adults by awakening to the day of our birth, we become adults by, as the Bible says, “putting childish things aside” (1 Corinthians 13:11).

When I think of you, of your birthday, I cannot help but think of how the past year was one of putting many childish things aside … not necessarily by choice.

In a year you have accepted the transition from high school as final, the understanding of what it is to work a job, pay rent and look after your own needs, but there were other circumstances that pushed you to choose to be an adult.

You have also experienced the unexpected death of a peer, moving from your childhood home, the loss of a church community and the illness of your dad.

Through these very real changes and struggles you have had to choose how you would respond, and it is through your responses to these changes that I have seen and admired your metamorphosis as you transition into adulthood.

The main thing you did was talk. You chose wise and caring people and you shared your inner burdens, rather than keep them inside.

You also acknowledged that there are some things you cannot control, and so you have to acknowledge limits to what you can do, for a person or within a circumstance.

You have shown compassion and care, irrespective of it being reciprocated.

My son, you have accomplished much this past year!

1 Corinthians 13:11 says,

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

Then, along comes verse 12, and it is like the carrot before the cart, the incentive for hauling the, sometimes, heavy load (of adulthood):”

“For now we see in a mirror, darkly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”

Each opportunity we have to choose adulthood (or not) leads us into a future where the pieces fit together, where the whys of life might be answered, where our past might make more sense.

So, young man, continue in your pursuit of adulthood, and, while you are heading in that direction, don’t forget to take joy along with you.

“The time has come to make a choice
And I choose joy

 

” ‘Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you’ is the greatest phrase ever written. If everyone followed that creed, this world would be a paradise.”
STAN LEE

Read Full Post »

Kickin' It In Granny Gear

Life, blessings, opinions, thoughts, photos, wildlife, nature, retirement, pets

Lessons from a Lab

From My Daily Walk with the Lord and My Labrador

From The Darkness Into The Light

love, christ, God, devotionals ,bible studies ,blog, blogging, salvation family,vacations places pictures marriage, , daily devotional, christian fellowship Holy Spirit Evangelists

Pearl St. Gallery

Capturing Images Of Nature

Roadtirement

"Traveling and Retired"

Karla Sullivan

Progressive old soul wordsmith

Becoming the Oil and the Wine

Becoming the oil and wine in today's society

I love the Psalms

Connecting daily with God through the Psalms

Memoir of Me

Out of the abundance of my heart ,I write❤️

My Pastoral Ponderings

Pondering my way through God's beloved world

itsawonderfilledlife

looking for wonder in everyday life

What Are You Thinking?

I won't promise that they are deep thoughts, but they are mine. And they tend to be about theology.

SEALED IN CHRIST

with the Holy Spirit of promise -Ephesians 1:13

Amazing Tangled Grace

A blog about my spiritual journey in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Following the Son

One man's spiritual journey

Fortnite Fatherhood

A father's digital age journey with his family and his faith