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Choosing to Live in Joy

This is traditionally a difficult season for me in life...no matter where my kids are! Loss of loved ones, decreasing sunlight, changing of seasons....they all play a part. That's why it struck me as odd when it became our "assigned time" to plan the topic of worship at our church and focus for Communion, God prompted me to choose "Joy" as the focus.

I wanted to share a little about what God's taught me over the past year or so. I'm SO sure that I'm not done learning...and I don't have Mark's devotion part in hand, so I'll have to add that after Sunday, but this is what I've learned:

  • We can't change our circumstances, but we can control how we respond to those circumstances. I need to choose daily to live in a place of joy and happiness!!
  • Our brains will lie to us! I had no idea, but it's scientifically proven (and that's a great tool of the "Great Deceiver" isn't it?).
  • We can trick our brain into creating "happy chemicals" by smiling and laughing...even if we don't "mean it"! (That's a part of the reason that patients are helped and sometimes healed by watching funny movies, comedians, etc). I want to be dependent on my need for the "good chemicals" and not the lack of them!
  • I need to remember to constantly run things through my "God filter." (i.e.: am I responding appropriately to this sadness/anger/confusion?; God's still in charge here!; What's the bigger picture of this?)

As we all approach the holidays, let's encourage each other to places of greater Joy, given by our Father. Mark shared that he is planning on using a film clip from "Pollyanna" where we're reminded that God gave us the "Glad" texts (or "happy scriptures") mentioned over 800 times in the Bible. Yes, there are seasons for mourning, and weeping with those that weep, but let's continue to give glory to God for each and every GOOD thing!!

Blessings to you,
marina
PS- we are opening with the song "I've got that joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart...."  : )

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