Tag Archives: joy

Joy

say-yes-to-the-live-2121044_960_720I’ve been carrying around this scrap of paper in my shirt pocket for more than six months.  Scribbled on it are some random thoughts on the subject of joy.  Here they are.

Perhaps you know someone who possesses an ever-present, unforced smile or kind demeanor.  These attributes in our increasingly self-centered and angry society make these persons stand out in a crowd.  They seem to have such an optimistic outlook on life, suggesting they know something we don’t, or possess something we don’t have.  So what is it they do have?

You might just have to call it “joy.”  Defining joy can be a tricky proposition.  I’ve seen joy on display independent of a person’s happiness or circumstances.  Joy seems to be the opposite of regret and feeds on “blessings” (those things most of us take for granted).   That being said, contentment and joy appear together often.  Those possessing joy seem intent on sharing it, and don’t shrink away from helping or serving others. 

Where does joy come from?  Some would say an inner peace creates an environment where joy can be discovered.  Others say joy comes from hope placed in something, or someone.  Who wouldn’t benefit from a peaceful life relieved of some stress.

Consider making 2020 a year to discover and embrace joy.  Remember to encourage and support those who already possess it.

 

I miss you!

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Once you were here
and now you’re gone.
Everything’s the same
yet everything’s different.
Together, we’d wade through the mundane.
Apart, memories of the mundane are now what I cherish.

Alas, we breath the same air and share warmth from the sun.
My soul feasts on your love
and the hope of your return.

Rejoice! Philippians 4:4

If you are like me, there is nothing better than a cup of coffee to start your day.  It brings me great joy.  Can a person experience the same feeling of joy the rest of the day; even on a bad one?

Anyone who has run in religious circles for any length of time has probably heard this verse:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”  Philippians 4:4

An online dictionary defines rejoice as: feeling or displaying great joy or delight.  Feeling great joy is easy when I am happy.  But happiness and joy are two different things.  Happiness is greatly dependent on my personal circumstances, whereas joy is not.  I’ve learned I have the capacity to experience joy no matter what befalls me.  Examples include: being content with what I have, or finding peace in the middle of a stormy crisis.  The source of my joy comes from the spiritual realm, in the person of Jesus.  I know the Lord of the universe is with me throughout my day.  I never have to wonder if he will show up. Even though the day may be painful, He is there with me.

Rejoice (always)!

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I Envy You!

“I envy you!” A common expression used by folks of my day.  When I use it, I’m congratulating a friend or acquaintance on the favorable position he or she finds themself in.  There’s nothing wrong with that, right?

Umm, maybe.  But what if deep down inside me there is a little more to it?  What if my own life isn’t going according to carefully laid plans?  What my station in life isn’t what I imagined it would be?  Then, there’s the part of me continually comparing myself to others. While I’m at it, what if I drag my faith into the equation.

Tim, a friend of mine,  goes so far as to suggest that envy possesses the ability to turn a person away from God.  How can that be? It is possible for a person to turn bitter towards God when He doesn’t deliver the goods they long for.  When this happens, envy becomes a complaint against God.  Without realizing it, a person takes issue with the sovereignty of God, and the plan He has for their life.

How do I keep this from happening to me?  Humility plays a big part in keeping me off the wrong path.  God loves to respond to the humble.  Humility feeds gratitude, and gratitude fosters contentment.  It is joy, not happiness found in acquiring and possessing things, that gives life meaning.  Joy can be experienced in both good and bad situations.  Happiness, on the other hand, is fleeting — like chasing after the wind.

Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.  2 Corinthians 6:10 NLT

Embrace joy!

P.S.  Maybe, “I’m so happy for you!!” is a better expression to use.  And yes, I should mean it like I’ve said it!

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A Dog’s Secret to Joyous Living

weimaraner-143753_960_720This weeks dog quote comes from an article found in Real Simple magazine (April 2017). In the article, “Animal House,” Danielle Miles Blake says this about dogs, “for a reason that can only be described as divine, [dogs] have the ability to forgive, let go of the past, and live each day joyously.  It’s something the rest of us can strive for.”

Danielle operates an animal rescue shelter in the state of Maine.  Check out her Facebook page, Maine Coast Animal Rescue.golden-retriever-750565_960_720