Choose Joy Today

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“Because I’m happy…”

…at least that’s what the song tells us.

Don’t get me wrong, I like to be happy.  But, happiness has its limits.

If your life is anything like mine, it has it’s share of ups and downs.

I have my good days and bad days, but doesn’t everybody?

If you catch me on a “good” day, I’m happy.

If you catch me on a “bad” day…not so happy.

Happiness is unpredictable.

You can be happy one day (or even one minute), and not be happy the next.

Happiness is elusive.

You can do everything in your power to find happiness and still not be happy.

I think we all assume though that if life is good, we will generally be happy.

We assume that if we only had more money or a better job or more time or more friends or more whatever, then we’d be happy.

If only…

So, we pursue the “good life” (whatever that is) because that’s the happy life, and we want to be happy.

But, what if the happy life isn’t so happy?

If happiness is so unpredictable and elusive, why pursue it?

Turns out that we all have a choice to make every day…

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Pursue happiness or choose joy.

If you choose to pursue happiness, you will never be satisfied.

You will never have enough…

And, you will still have bad days.

If you choose joy, you will always be satisfied.

You will always have enough…

Even though you will still have bad days.

Choosing joy doesn’t mean pursuing happiness.

Choosing joy means pursuing Jesus.

And, He is more than enough…no matter how good or how bad your day is.

 

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”  (Jesus in John 15:9-11)

 

 

 

The Rule of Reaping: Why the choices you make today matter tomorrow

Summer time is harvest time in my corner of the world.

Now is the time of reaping…

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I’m not a farmer, but I know that it takes a lot of “sowing” before you even get to the reaping part.

It takes sacrifice.

It takes hard work.

It requires taking risks.

It requires making some difficult decisions.

It needs patience.

And it needs a lot of faith.

The time of reaping may be now, but it’s only because choices were made weeks and months and years ago so that now could happen.

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In other words, now is the time of reaping only because the sowing already happened.

Which means that the choices you make today matter tomorrow.

What are you “sowing” today?

Is what you’re living for today worth reaping tomorrow?

Will you choose to believe the lie that you that you can do whatever you want whenever you want however you want…

Because it doesn’t really matter?

Or, will you choose to learn from the farmer and understand that what you do today matters tomorrow?

You only live once…what will your life reap?

 

Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.  (Galatians 6:7-8)  (NLT)

 

 

Chicken & Waffles: what my son taught me about reading God’s Word

Chicken and waffles.

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Been around for a while, but not exactly a delicacy in the northwest corner of America…which makes it a bit unusual that my son decided to eat it for breakfast this morning.

What makes it even more unusual is that my son is a pretty picky eater, and not one to try new things.

But, he liked the chicken and waffles…

Makes me wonder what else he’d like if he actually tried it…picky eaters miss out on so much sweet-tasting food!

This morning, I came across this verse in Psalms that reminded me that God’s Word is sweet to the taste.  The verse goes like this…

103 How sweet your words taste to me;
    they are sweeter than honey.  (Psalms 119:103)

It made me wonder if that’s how I really treat God’s Word…like a sweet-tasting food.

Or, am I a spiritually picky eater?

Am I content with the “easy” or “comfortable” or “familiar” parts of Scripture?

Or, am I willing to explore new parts of God’s Word that I’ve never read before?

Spiritually picky eaters miss out on so much of God’s sweet-tasting words. 

If you approach all of God’s Word with the attitude behind this week’s verse, you’ll soon find that reading it is like sitting down to a never-ending feast.

So, open up your Bible and let the feasting begin…

(Don’t know where to start?  Try reading the rest of Psalms 119…)

What are you thirsty for?

Summer roared in like a lion yesterday.

It was hot…and muggy.

And, I got thirsty for something cold.

Cold.

It wasn’t a day for a hot cup of coffee or tea or whatever it is that you like to drink hot.

I needed something cold.

So, I went to the fridge…

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What are you thirsty for today?

And, I’m not just talking about cold beverages anymore.

What are you thirsty for today?

Money? A new cell phone or tablet? A new house? A car? A relationship? A new career? Acceptance? Comfort? A bigger and better _________________?

The point is that what you’re thirsty for is ultimately what will define you.

What you’re thirsty for is what you will pursue and sacrifice for.

What you’re thirsty for is generally what you will get out of life …or at least try to get out of life.

The good news is that Jesus knows we get thirsty.

And, He solved that problem…forever.

You never have to be thirsty again if you go to Him to solve your thirst problem.

Are you thirsty for Him?

Are you pursuing Him?

Are you willing to sacrifice all your other “thirsts” for Him?

 

“35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. “ (John 6:35)