When You’re Smiling

God desires to fill his children with joy. But God’s joy is not simply the personal possession of individual believers. It is relational and something God gives us when we share life with him. He also desires that we share this joy with others.

Joy is one of the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. It is that inner delight that is produced by God’s Spirit for our benefit but this fruit is also for others to eat.

Like smiles and laughter, joy is contagious.

In his book To Laugh Again, Chuck Swindoll writes,

“I know of no greater need today than the need for joy. Unexplainable, contagious joy. Our country seems to have lost its spirit of fun and laughter….” – Chuck Swindoll

It worries me a little that you might think that I believe possessing certain things will produce joy because of this video link to the advertisement for the new Apple iPhone 4G FaceTime. That is far from the truth, but I do believe that the ad captures and illustrates the contagiousness of joy.

Get your coffee ready and watch the video right now, then come back here, finish reading and let me know what you think.

Our joy will be incomplete and fleeting if we see it only as something to have for ourselves. Our joy will be full and lasting when we allow God’s Spirit to produce it as fruit so others can have a taste.

Has there been a time in your life when you were able to eat the fruit of joy produced by the Spirit in in the life of someone else? Why not share it with us?

Grace and Peace,

Terry

Related Posts:

There Is A Joy In The Journey

On January 13, 2003 I set out on one of the most challenging journeys of my life. One of the distinguishing marks of that journey has been joy.

Many of the songs written by Michael Card make me stop and think. Among them is Joy in the Journey performed by Michael in this video

Fill your coffee cup and enjoy.

Joy in the Journey

There is a joy in the journey

There’s a light we can love on the way

There is a wonder and wildness to life

And freedom for those who obey

And all those who seek it shall find it

A pardon for all who believe

Hope for the hopeless and sight for the blind

To all who’ve been born in the Spirit

And who share incarnation with Him

Who belong to eternity stranded in time

And weary of struggling with sin

Forget not the hope that’s before you

And never stop counting the cost

Remember the hopelessness when you were lost

There is a joy in the journey

There’s a light we can love on the way

There is a wonder and wildness to life

And freedom for those who obey

And freedom for those who obey…

by Michael Card

The phrases, “There is a wonder and wildness to life / Freedom to those who obey” are especially meaningful to me. Which part of the song speaks to your heart?

Grace and Peace,

Terry

When They Didn’t Come

Cheese PartyLeaning forward in her chair as tears welled up in her eyes she shared the hurt of the previous day. We had prayed with her and shared her hopes, so it was our hurt as well. Except for her church friends, only one other person came.

The birthday party for her preschool son was to be more than just a party. She had hoped that it would bring two relational groups together – her church friends and her friends who don’t follow Christ. She longed to see the two groups mingle. To see new friendships established. To let her fellow Christ followers join her in the harvest.

Her pain was not for her son. He had a great time doing life with his simple church family. The presents were plenteous and the cake delicious. The laughter and fellowship flowed like birthday punch. We had a great time – but they didn’t come.

What did we do?

Sitting with her, we identified with her hurt. She shared her pain and we encouraged her. We committed to keep on working.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9 NIV

We like to share our victories and shy away from our disappointments. But we can learn a lot from those difficult times.

Grace and Peace,
Terry

Doing Everyday Stuff Together

Church is more than having a weekly meeting – large or small. It includes doing life together. Being part of God’s family is about being connected in friendships. Besides needing a group of friends with whom we can spend a lot of time, doing everyday stuff together is just plain fun.

Let me encourage you to find a group of Christ followers with whom you can…

  • celebrate special occasions
  • have some place to go on the holidays when you have no family near
  • hang out with watching the Final Four, Dancing with the Stars, Lost…
  • call on in the middle of the night for help in a crisis
  • share food, fun, laughter and tears

Randy Frazee writes:

“For most of the last decade of the twentieth century, two television shows, Seinfeld and Friends, consistently received the top awards from the People’s Choice Awards…What both shows have in common is a small group of friends that go in and out of each other’s lives and apartments spontaneously more times in a half hour than most ‘real’ Americans experience in a year. Seinfeld even promoted itself as a show ‘about nothing.’ Why would busy Americans watch a show about nothing? Because it wasn’t about nothing—it was about a group of great friends spending lots of spontaneous time together, talking about everyday stuff and loving every minute of it.”- Randy Frazee; The Connecting Church, page 123

Get together with a group of friends this week and enjoy being together.

Grace and Peace,
Terry

Join the Conversation: What are some things your simple church or small group does to experience life together?

Is Your Joy Contagious?

Pour yourself a cup of coffee and get ready to feel good as you watch this video made in the train station in Antwerp, Belgium.

Background

In March of 2009 a Belgian television produced this as a marketing device looking for someone to play the part of Maria in the Sound of Music. The video below features 200 dancers who appeared without any warning to the crowd in the station.

As you watch this observe the people passing by. How do they react at the beginning? What is their response the longer they experience the song?

Contagious Joy

Did you notice how the mood changes as the dance progresses. People on the fringes begin to dance. Joy begins to spread through the station.

Is your joy contagious? I’m not talking about when you meet with your brothers and sisters in Christ right now. I’m talking about train stations, and work places, and at home, and . . .

Is the way you live affecting those around you?

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. – Romans 15:13 NIV

Grace and Peace,
Terry

Join the conversation: How does joyful living affect others? What are some ways our joy can be contagious?