Do you like otters? They seem to be a party wherever they go with lots of humor, energy and a playfull mindset! I’ve always enjoyed watching them, maybe because I bend toward a serious nature & the contrast is refreshing!
Otters remind me that there’s a playful side to wisdom, from Proverbs 8:30-31. In these verses, you can also replace the word rejoice with the word play since the word in Hebrew is used both ways:
Then I [Wisdom] was beside Him, as a master workman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him, Rejoicing in the world, His earth, And having my delight in the sons of men.
Sometimes we would be wise to lighten up and be a little playful! Here’s a joke that could help:
What’s the one vegetable Noah refused to bring on the ark?
I remember when my first child was born & the total joy that infused all of my thoughts (after the birthing process, of course). Even though most of my kids are teenagers, I still find myself overflowing with joy when I think about them.
In stark contrast, I’ve also been with parents who have lost their baby or toddler & the grief that I feel with them is intrusive & tangible, lingering in my thoughts & feelings to this day.
So I’m asking you to give the gift of joy this Christmas by helping us with our Christmas campaign for Saving Moses. We are taking on a special project to train community workers in rural Afghanistan to go into remote communities & teach safe delivery procedures for birthing babies. Easily 3/5 babies born in these areas die at birth, most from very easily preventable causes. One of the dads that was interviewed after receiving this training explained that he buried four of his own babies because he didn’t have this training.
Even though we are seeing radical Muslims come into our nation with evil intent let’s counteract the evil by sending genuine love & joy to bring life into the world surrounded with love rather than hate 🙂
Happy Wed my friends! I recently read a book by a friend, Margaret Feinberg, Fight Back with Joy and it’s super worth reading! Margaret was in the midst of finalizing a book she was writing on joy, when she was diagnosed with cancer, which caused her to start over & write this newly released book. Fight Back with Joy is gritty, insightful, inspiring, thoughtful and engaging. It has awesome and practical wisdom to deal with hardship, unexpected tragedies, mourning, grief and joy. Margaret is an extremely accomplished and celebrated author & I know that you’d enjoy her new book immensely! Grab a few copies & bring it to your next book club / Bible study!! #fightbackwithjoy
“Great news mom! I didn’t get any zeroes this week at school!” Joy to the world!!!! Good news is always welcome, whether it’s small or big. When we think about Jesus, He is inherently good news because He is the expression of God’s love in the flesh to walk in a human world. The famous verse, John 3:16 tells us that because God loves us, He sent Jesus, His only son, into our world so that through believing in Jesus, we can have eternal life. Despite what we see happening around us, when Jesus is living in our hearts, we live in a good news world. So when you feel discouraged, disappointed, frustrated or despondent, remember that Jesus our Savior is born, God’s expression of love to each of us every day. Joy to the world!!
Sometimes life can get kind of heavy duty. We all have responsibilities, expectations, bills, challenges, frustrations, stressors, etc. Consequently, from time to time, it’s nice to have a little levity in the mix 🙂
So here’s my attempt to brighten your day and add a little fun for your weekend:
what happened when the glassblower inhaled? He got a “pane” in his stomach 🙂
what do you call a cow with no legs? ground beef 🙂
did you know that it’s biblical for men to make coffee? He-brews 🙂
why did the tightrope walker visit the bank? to check his balance 🙂
how did the Pacific Ocean greet the Atlantic Ocean? he waved 🙂
what’s a shark’s favorite game? swallow the leader 🙂
Ok my friends, I know these are a little (or a lot) cheesy, but hopefully you had a smile on a few of them to brighten your day. In Proverbs 17:22, it says that a joyful heart is good medicine 🙂
I’m doing some work in 2 Bible verses on which I’d like to get your feedback. Here are the verses where Jesus says:
John 16:23-24, “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. 24″Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.”
So here are some questions that I have & I’d be keen to hear your thoughts or feedback:
have you ever asked God for something & didn’t like the outcome of your request?
what do you think Jesus means when He says, “ask & you will receive so that your joy may be full.”?
what do you do with any disappointment you may experience from various requests to God that may not get answered in the way you wanted?
I know that I usually try to write encouraging things in my blog, but if you’d be inclined, I’d be super interested to hear your thoughts on these questions 🙂
My kids are on Spring Break this week & we’ve had some really great family time together! We skied a few days & have totally enjoyed some mountain get away time. At the same time there have been a few hotspots & some things with my job that are diecy. If I’m not careful, I could let my mind get focused on the hotspots & work issues but one of my friends gave me some good advice: discipline your mind to be present with your body. For me, this is really good advice & maybe for you as well so that we can fully enjoy what God is doing where we currently are 🙂
Last night I had some friends over for dinner & I really enjoyed making a nice dinner for everyone (I even tried some new recipes that weren’t too bad). As I sat & enjoyed the fellowship, my family & food, one of the things that I enjoyed the most was that our meal couldn’t be repaid.
This is my same experience with saving Moses – I get to give to babies & toddlers with a pure heart & no strings attached. It brings me great joy & happiness when I get to freely give & bless others. Somewhere it says that it’s more blessed to give than receive ,)
Well, my dad passed away a little over a month ago & it’s been a weird time & kind of like a whirlwind. Before we had his memorial service, I had a quick trip to Rome with mom & our group trip. While I totally love Rome, my visit was a little bittersweet, as I recalled some of the times I’d been there with my dad. After the Rome visit, we had a really amazing memorial service for my dad & we were nothing less than overwhelmed with the support, prayers, kind words & gratitude expressed during this service – completely AMAZING!!
It’s been a few weeks now since the memorial service & while I think that we (mom & I) are generally doing pretty well, there are certainly some moments when it gets difficult and sad for me. I’m finding that these moments are really unpredictable (watching my daughter play basketball & remembering my dad watch me, driving to church to present a difficult sermon, typing this blog now, . . . .). With all of that being said, I’m learning to value & appreciate the different ways that God is helping me and that I am not invincible nor impervious. Jesus carries our griefs and sorrows – we aren’t designed to bear that weight. So let’s join together & give Jesus our cares, worries, sorrows and griefs because Jesus is the ultimate Hercules 🙂
Every so often, its really good to have some hefty laughing in our day. Prov 15:13 says that a joyful heart makes a cheerful face & Prov 17:22 says that a joyful heart is good medicine. Some good “medicine” I take every so often is this: Don’t take myself so seriously. It really helps me to get a good laugh from some of the crazy things I’ve done. So here are a few things I’ve done that make me laugh & maybe you’ll get some smiles from these as well 🙂
I figured out that if you try to “toast” whipped cream, it melts into cream “soup” – yes, I learned this from actually trying it. Details upon request ,)
last week I pulled up to a couple walking by my friend’s house to say hello, thinking they were my friends, only to discover that they were total strangers. My kids were mortified & I TOTALLY laughed at myself 🙂
when I was recently preaching in Cambodia, I tried to copy my translator with something he said & made a massive blunder – the crowd & I getting a great laugh together when I figured out what I had said by mistake 🙂
I’m always laughing at myself whenever I try something new with sports – my lack of coordination is a good laugh for anyone who watches
bowling: I don’t know what it is about bowling, but whenever I bowl, I get the laughs so hard it becomes virtually impossible to bowl. This was true even before I was married & changed my last name ,)
Watching my kids grow is simply fascinating – full of delight, awe, pleasant surprises & very astounding. Here are some recent developments:
David – wants to buy a box of girlscout cookies & keep them for awhile & then re-sell them for more than he bought them for. He COMPLETELY came up w this scheme on his own. Furthermore, he also has the plan to sell part of the ABC juice (apples, beets & carrots – uber healthy) that we make to mimi (grandma) twice a month to make money. This entrepeuner thing just surfaced recently. Needless to say, I’m speechless bc i didn’t even consider thinking this way until at least high school & probably more like post college. (pawns in chess are ponds)
Isabell: the long hair is pretty much lost on me, given that i’ve enjoyed short hair & its simplicity for close to 2 decades. She is growing her hair to cut if off & donate it to locks of love for kids w cancer. Furthermore, its really cool to watch her confidence grow as she overcomes various insecurities to achieve goals that she has set for her self – selling girlscout cookies has been the recent platform for this personal growth. I see her thinking, growing & living in the present w great contentment.
Benji: everything he does has some wiggle (except now as I’m watching him play Reece in chess – take it back, he just went to the bathroom). Anyways, he’s wonderfully generous & relational, with eyes full of life, creativity & happiness. And today, we got to ski w Benji & he was simply fantastic. I love that he watches his older brother to grow, learn & play. I’m glad he’s a kind person because a mean person with his intelligence would be scarey.
Happiness isn’t as elusive as it sounds. For all the philosophers & philogists who are now figuring out if they want discuss etymological differences between joy & happiness, philosophical conundrums in epistemology as it relates to the existential state of happiness in a post-modern context, based on emerging paradigms and other complicated things – this blog may be too simple for your taste.
For the rest of us, here’s something interesting I read in last week’s paper about some simple things we can do to increase our happiness.
give thanks – always find things to be thankful for (when you look, you automatically find your focus will improve)
Do good – carry someone’s groceries to the car, take some soup to someone who’s sick, call a friend & tell them that you appreciate them, tell your boss that you appreciate having a job, donate blood. Kind acts always leaving you feeling good
Get involved – hibernating in your apartment or house can lead to some deep depression. Volunteering at church can be a nice antidote because it helps get us out of the axis of self-centeredness. Participate with life by engaging with others
Chose or lose – a scientific study showed that “only 10% of our well-being is determined by circumstances & 40% is a matter of intentional activity.”
These suggestions are from a secular perspective, but they sure sound alot like Biblical principles. Gee, makes me think that there might be something worthwhile in that there Bible. 😉