3 Ways To Find Real Joy

Joy…it can be an attitude, a destination, a journey, or an emotion. ¬†Do we find joy, or do only some of us get to experience it when joy finds us?


Some of YOUR most joyful moments might include:

  • Your first kiss
  • Catching a big fish
  • Your wedding day
  • The birth of a child
  • Winning the lottery
  • A memorable family vacation

These are all great things.  But they are merely experiences.  What you and I need is a constant state of being that is saturated and energized by JOY.

“…the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.¬†¬†When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” ¬† – Matthew 2:9-10

So, what was the star to these wise men? ¬†It was simply evidence of Jesus. ¬†And that led them to experiencing ‘great joy’ when they saw it. ¬†You and I can learn something from the wise men in this passage. ¬†Real joy is attainable if we just look and notice Jesus in our lives. ¬†I’m not talking about on Sundays and in the 10 minutes of our devotional time each morning. ¬†But really making an effort to notice his presence in every moment of every day.

Here are 3 ways to find JOY in your day:

  1. ¬†Ask for it | Yep…pray! ¬†Be on it like a dog on his bone. ¬†Plead with God every day to let you experience joy to the fullest. ¬†Believe it or not, God really does want you to have joy in this life.
  2. Expose yourself to it | Get creative here. ¬†Read books on joy and happiness. ¬†Listen to podcasts that are encouraging. ¬†Follow people on Twitter and Instagram who constantly exhibit a joyful attitude and faith walk. ¬†And hey…hang out with happy people, and limit your exposure to those who are always negative.
  3. Plan for it | Journal.  Write a letter to yourself describing the joy you long for in your life.  Talk to a friend or get a mentor/life coach.  Ask them to guide you and offer constructive accountability.

Take a moment to watch this music video by Rend Collective.  Let the lyrics marinade with your thoughts about true JOY.  And may you truly have joy in your life this week.

4 Ways to Ensure Your GOALS Don’t Become Your GOD

I don’t want to WORSHIP my fitness practices (goals).

But I also don’t want to go back to worshipping food either. ¬†aka: donuts, candy, cake, soda, ice-cream… (I think you get the picture)

We all know these people. ¬†Their health initiatives/practices are their identity. ¬†It’s who they are known as. ¬†I don’t want to become one of those people. ¬†I’m a pastor and a strong follower of Jesus…THAT needs to be my identity.


This was me about six weeks ago…only¬†not a woman. ¬†Sweets were a distraction. ¬†They were easy, cheap, and tasted great. ¬†Today, I can honestly say that I rarely battle the indulgent temptations that used to cause me to gravitate toward unhealthy things. ¬†I’m enjoying exercising. ¬†I’m doing great at hitting my daily health goals. ¬†And that’s awesome!

But I’ve noticed something.

My quiet time with Jesus in the mornings has been affected.  Nothing serious.  But it could easily become a problem if I allow it.

What I’m really getting at is this. ¬†How do we continue to work diligently at our personal goals AND NOT¬†have our Spiritual growth suffer along the way? ¬†Here are 4 things I believe you and I can (should) do regularly to T.E.S.T. where our priorities are.

Think | Right now, think about it and really ask, “Is _______ taking priority over my Spiritual growth and life?” ¬†It starts by honestly asking ourselves this.

Evaluate | If something is out of order, why?  How did this happen?  Really take time to pray about this, because knowing the answer to this will become key in getting things back in alignment.

Scheme | Take what we know from that evaluation time and scheme a plan.  Somehow, we need to move forward with our goals differently so that we can avoid the mistakes that landed us here. Change things up a little.  Same goals, altered approach.

Tweak | (careful, not Twerk)  Similar to scheme, but this is taking that step.  This is making the new plan a reality.  Also, share your new plan with someone.  Ask them for accountability.  Trust me, this really helps.

For me, this simply means I don’t go into social media areas at all in the mornings until AFTER I’ve had my quiet time. ¬†After I’ve at least read a devotional thought and prayed for my day.

Call To Action!  Has this been you?  What would you add to this list?  May you achieve your personal goals, and may Jesus walk intimately with you every step of the way.

I love hearing from readers. ¬†Feel free to leave a comment below. ¬†And be sure to hit the ‘SUBSCRIBE NOW’ button above to receive my FREE eBook!

photo credit: www.vegansgoraw.com

Word Became Flesh | Monday

So, as part of wrapping up my message this past Sunday I challenged our church (and myself) to journal something each day for one week.

Here’s the challenge:

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” ¬†John 1:14

Journal/record at least one way you noticed Jesus (the Word) in a tangible (flesh) way each day.  In other words, how did Jesus show up and make a difference in your life?


Here’s what I noticed today.

On Sunday two of our kids were extremely sick.  After much prayer from so many people, they are both feeling tons better today.  Not only that, but no one else in the home has gotten sick today.

I give God all the glory for that!  He is SO GOOD.

Now it’s your turn. ¬†Feel free to write in your Bible or in a journal this week. ¬†But if you’re like me and love social media, make a thoughtful post each day. ¬†Be sure to use the hashtag #WordBecameFlesh with your post. ¬†This way we can easily follow where others are noticing God at work.

Join the conversation, leave a comment below. 

Jesus Is NOT Really The Reason For The Season!

The reason for the season? ¬†Who are we kidding? ¬†We’ve made Christmas into what we want it to be.

It’s about spending, receiving, time off from work, consuming too much sugary treats, and plenty of stressful running around.


The point I’m trying to make is Jesus isn’t just the reason for THIS season. ¬†He’s the reason, the focal point, for every season of our lives.

For those of us who are believers, we already know this. ¬†But with the heightened awareness of ‘Christian themes’ during this holiday season you and I have a unique window of opportunity to expose lost and hopeless people to the gospel.

Have you ever received a gift you would never have thought to ask for, but afterward realized it was indeed of great value to you?  For some, Jesus is that gift.

They are missing something in their life…they simply are not aware of it!

May we (the Church) do all we can this Christmas to expose those in our community to the unique and unimaginable gift that is Christ Jesus.

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!  Psalm 96:3

Photo credit: vesteaevangheliei.wordpress.com

Stay true to your call

photo by: inmymindandthoughts.blogspot.com
photo by: inmymindandthoughts.blogspot.com

‚ÄúYou are a king then?‚ÄĚ ¬†Pilate asked.

‚ÄúYou say that I‚Äôm a king,‚ÄĚ ¬†Jesus replied. ¬†‚ÄúI was born for this, and I have come into the world¬†for this: to testify¬†to the truth. ¬†Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.‚ÄĚ ¬† – John 18:37

Even on the verge of Jesus’ death.

Even when it seemed like everyone was against Him.

In a moment when anyone else might have taken this interview  as a chance to escape death.

Even when those closest to him stopped walking with Him.

Even now (and I love how this reads in the HCSB version) Jesus replies with, “I was born for this!” ¬†Then, He goes on to clarify what He was born for.

As ministers of the gospel, both vocational and volunteer, we should have this same attitude.

When things get rough in ministry, can you boldly proclaim “I was born for this” without hesitation?

Second, can you quickly rattle off your specific calling?  Do you know (remember) what God has called you to do for His kingdom?

May you have boldness and clarity of your calling in this season of your partnership with the Lord.

When was a time that you had to reafirm your calling, draw a line in the sand, and claim, “I was born for this?”¬†

Leave me a comment below or a voicemail with your thoughts.