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Psalms 95

I had great difficulty in selecting only one verse for today. So here are verses 1-7. Wouldn’t it be great if this was the first though we had each morning when we wake up?

1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.

3 For the LORD is the great God,
the great King above all gods.

4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.

5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;

7 for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.

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August 27, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Human Emotion #2 Joy

Wikipedia doesn’t have a definition for Joy. Joy points to Happiness. So okay I can handle that. The definition for Happiness from Wikipedia

Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy. A variety of philosophical, religious, psychological and biological approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources.

Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion. Happiness in this older sense was used to translate the Greek Eudaimonia, and is still used in virtue ethics.
Why is it that so many people go throughout life without any joy?

 

From the Spiritual Practices website

Joy is an essential spiritual practice growing out of faith, grace, gratitude,
hope, and love. It is the pure and simple delight in being alive. Joy is our
elated response to feelings of happiness, experiences of pleasure, and awareness
of abundance. It is also the deep satisfaction we know when we are able to serve
others and be glad for their good fortune.

So how do you find Joy? That seems to be a basic question many people have today. Just turn on the news and you will find no joy, only sadness. Look at the economy and there is certainly no joy there. So I scoured the internet in search of Joy. And then I found it. Right there in front of me. 50 ways to find Joy.

Did you know that petting your dog or cat brings you joy? It does, number 4 on the list. Going to bed earlier, brings you joy. Then all of a sudden there it was. Number 11, Look to the heavens. Stare at the stars? Okay, I don’t get it. But, hey if that brings you joy. Did you know that climbing a tree will bring you joy. Nobody tell Robin, okay. Our insurance rates can’t handle it. How about a tea party, anyone? That’s number 17 by the way.

Take a detour, now that always brings joy. Number 25 buy bear gifts. Huh? Number 26, How about jumping up and down. I’m sure it doesn’t always bring joy when your children do that at Walmart. Number 33, get involved in politics. Right, that is always joyful. Number 37 may get you arrested, blast your stereo and sing as loud as you can. If that doesn’t work try cleaning your bathroom. Oh joy. Number 46, Do the Twist. “Oh let’s twist again like we did last summer, let’s humm, mumm, again like we did mumble mumble. I never said I could sing.” Can you say trip to the chiropractor?

Anyway I think you get the picture. These methods of finding joy seem so temporary, so short-term. Surely there must be something better, something more permanent

I think that the only place to look for joy is to look to God. Read the following verses to know where joy comes from.

John 15:11

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be
complete.

John 16:24

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive,
and your joy will be complete.

Acts 13:52

And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

How do we recieve joy?
Acts 16:34

The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

1 Peter 1:8

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

Does joy exist only in the good times?
2 Corinthians 8:2

Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.

1 Thessalonians 1:6

You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

James 1:2

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

Hebrews 12:2

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

That’s one of my favorite verses, by the way.

We should be joyful when we pray.
Colossians 1:10-12

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

When should we be joyful?
1 Thessalonians 5:16

Be joyful always;

We don’t need anyone’s list of 50 ways to find joy. We have joy in the person of Jesus Christ. If you are in him you can’t help but be joyful. Can you?

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August 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

New Testament Reading Plan

Well September 1st is almost here and we are going to attempt to read through the New Testament before the end of the year. During the week we will be reading 2-3 chapters each day and on the weekends 1-2.

Below is what I will post each morning around 5am, just in case you are a early riser. Technically I don’t sleep anyway. The link will take you to the Biblegateway website and directly to the chapters we will be reading.

Below is a what the Biblegateway reading will look like. Of course no one says you need to read it online. Please if reading from your Bible is your preferred method of studying God’s Word, then by all means.
Below is the tab that will hold the entire list of readings through the end of the year. If you know that you will not be checking online that early in the morning, then here you can see what the next days reading will be and you can plan ahead. Also you can print it off in case you will out of town.
I know this is a very aggressive endeavor. But once we get into the Word each day, it will soon become a habit, if it is not already. If you have any comments or suggestions please leave a comment on the Facebook page.

August 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Human Emotion #1 Anger

The definition from Wikipedia on anger is

Anger is an emotional state that may range from minor irritation to intense rage. The physical effects of anger include increased heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Some view anger as part of the fight or flight brain response to the perceived threat of harm. Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically when a person makes the conscious choice to take action to immediately stop the threatening behavior of another outside force. The English term originally comes from the term angry of Old Norse language. Anger can lead to many things physically and mentally.

A quick search of Anger Management on Amazon.com returns 14,399 books on the topic. Including “Anger Management for Dummies”. One would have to be a dummie to turn to that book when there is one book that has all the answers around anger. That book is the Bible. Anger appears over 270 times in the Bible and the vast majority revolve around God’s righteous anger at His sinful, disobedient children.

Some words of wisdom from the book of Proverbs:
Proverbs 15:1

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 29:11

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.

Instructions on dealing with anger from the New Testament.
1 Corinthians 13:4-6

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

Ephesians 4:26

“In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,

Ephesians 4:31

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

Colossians 3:8

But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

The following verse is probably the most devastating verse that one can read. It really cuts to the heart of anger in our lives.
James 1:20

for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

If anger keeps us from living the life that God desires for us, then maybe we need to heed His words.

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August 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment