Archive for the ‘joy’ Category

Danger Ahead

Danger Ahead (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who wouldn’t want to go to Disneyland? think of the fun taking in all of the exhibits, rides and neat experiences not found in the everyday working world. We should be entitled to a break from the daily grind so we take out all of the travel guides and what do we choose? Disneyland type experiences rate near the top.

There are some others that are only found in one brochure. Not too many would buy ads for this travel guide. In  fact some travel agencies refuse to carry this one and if they have to, they rarely mention it or disguise what is in it. The travel agency is often the church that pulls out all the brochures about the trips that we can take that are filled with stuff that feeds our self-interests like: fun, cool, or relaxing.

If the tour guide is Jesus, the information contained in his brochure is quite different. The trip will be exciting for sure but it will include things like: danger, life threatening opportunities, huge risk, opportunities to face your fear and the most meaningful trip you will ever take.

A quote from Jesus might stir your interest or cause you to throw this brochure in the trash. Look at Matthew 5:10 and 11. Words like persecution, being put down by others, people speaking lies about you to discredit Jesus should be included only in the fine print and not headlined-right? Consider the source of these words. But there is someone else who has taken this trip  who is also quoted in this brochure, his name is Paul. His description of the trip might make us swallow hard. We can’t just casually pass off his travel tip as only for a few. Check out 2 Corinthians 11:23-27. This description of the trip is tough to swallow but waiting for the person who does not check with their insurance agency before signing up.

Are you thrilled with the opportunity or paralyzed by the lack of security and comfort that following Jesus might eliminate for you? Jesus challenges us to come and see!

Woke up this morning on our last weekend in Colorado hoping to find that the weather would smile and say something like “have a great weekend.” Well that lasted for 30 minutes and the wind woke up to about 30 mph from the north and will last through the day. I know its lame but we really did want to sit outside at Daz Bog and have one final coffee.

There are times when life is so spanking hard that you wonder if you are on the wrong planet. I know not sitting outside drinking coffee does not really qualify for “hard and difficult”, but each of us knows the absolute nightmare of getting up for another day of… It is easy to conclude after days, months or years of ongoing physical, mental or emotional tragedies that God is on a vacation or really does not care about what we are dealing with. This is the absolute goal of the enemy-he always blogs about how God is not who we really think he is or how he has described himself in the Bible.

But consider our bro, Paul who described a couple of incidents in his life of joyfully following Jesus in the middle of hard stuff. 2 Corinthians 1:8 and 9 and 12:9 and 10 sum it up and cause me to pause when I complain about wind or any discomfort. God always loves us and has our best interest in mind but this truth will be tested almost without interruption. Check out Jeremiah 29:11.

Paul concluded that all of this junk causes us to rely on God and not ourselves and that when we are at our weakest, God begins his supernatural “guess who’s really in control” act. We have to press through the challenges, difficulties, frustrations and disappointments to ever realize how much God is on our side.

Book of Challenges

Book of Challenges (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alzheimer’s destroys our enjoyable lifestyle. It is something dreaded and I know of no one who looks forward to this illness. However, it is easy to deliberately or gradually forget the only thing that gets God dancing at the party.

Almost everyone focuses on what they believe will make them happy even though happiness has never been the prize God has for us. Joy, on the other hand is ours but if we get this dreaded disease we sacrifice the prize. It really doesn’t matter whether some traumatic event causes us to not value what God does or over time we simply choose to put our priorities on the top shelf. Either way we constantly can reach for life in things that come up short every time. The new car, dynamite stereo, unbelievable concert or the slow cruise down the Rhine River leave us only wanting more. Alzheimer’s is taking over.

Isaiah 65:11 and 12 speaks about our abandoning God, forgetting and ignoring what he hates and choosing to figure out life our way. However, if we want the prize God has for us, Isaiah 66:1 and 2 clears it up. Enjoying the life God has for us only has one condition-to reverently be responsive to whatever God says to us. God never changes the formula, He doesn’t forget, we do.

How can we not get this disease? Join with others who are listening to God and doing what he says. It’s simple but is hard to find but worth the trip.

My Joy

My Joy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)