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,


Related Posts:

Interviews Concerning Simple Church

The video below contains interviews with authors, pioneers and long time leaders of simple church. It is the “Special Feature” from the new When You Come Together DVD available from House2House.

Set aside 10 minutes with a hot cup of coffee or your favorite beverage and watch the video. Jot down some notes so when you finish watching you can leave a comment about some insights you have.

Here are 7 quotes that I gleaned from the interviews. Which part of the interviews captured your attention? Leave your comments or questions below.

“So much in legacy Christianity is basically a holy meeting – on a holy day – in a holy building – at a holy hour – with holy people – dressed in holy clothes – listening to holy priests.” Wolfgang Simson; Author: Houses that Change the Word – (1:02)

“Because most people when they think of the word church, they think of a building with a steeple on it – and that’s not what church is. Church is God’s people involved in doing God’s business.” David Watson; City Team Ministries – (1:35)

“But if we are going to really effect the nations of the world and multiply at the pace God wants us to multiply it has to be done much simpler.” Tony Fitzgerald, Church of the Nations – (2:08)

“If we are going to see many of the pockets of people in North America who are truly unreached people – people without church in their background – come to know Christ, it was going to happen through very different kinds of understandings of what it means to follow Jesus in terms of their relationships and organization” Kent Smith; Abilene Christian University – (2:29)

“It is absolutely essential that laypeople start churches.” David Watson; City Team Ministries – (5:54)

“The reality of simple church is the idea of living out the life of Christ in the midst of the people on a regular basis.” Mike Steele; Dawn Ministries – (6:21)

“I believe that because it’s been brewing under the surface for a long time it’s now to a point where you can’t go back – it’s unstoppable.”  Neil Cole; Church Multiplication Associates – (8:47)

Grace and Peace,


If You Are Led By The Spirit. . .

My friend Scott gave me a link to the video Led By the Spirit posted at The Work of the People.

Before you fill your coffee cup and follow the link to this 2 minute video, you might want to read

After you watch the Led By the Spirit, come back and leave a comment and share your insights.

So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. – Galatians 5:16-18 NIV

Grace and Peace,


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,


A Short Video About Missional Communities

The word missional is being tossed around a lot right now. I even mentioned living missionally on my “about page”. The video below is Scott McKnight giving a little insight about what it is to be a missional community.

It’s only about 2 minutes long so have your coffee cup full. It won’t take you long to watch this so just look around the blog here while you finish your coffee break.

Any thoughts or comments?

He who receives you receives me [Jesus], and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. – Matthew 10:40 NIV

Grace and Peace,


Will You Jump?

William Booth (1829-1912) was originally a Methodist pastor in England who became the founder of the Salvation Army. His work was outside of the established church among those many considered “irredeemable.” He went to the the poorest and most needy seeking the “forgotten and forsaken.”

Get your coffee ready and watch Who Cares based on an original work by Booth and edited into contemporary English by Keith Green.

You can also view the video here.

“Look for yourselves. The surging sea of life, crowded with perishing souls rolls up to the very spot on which you stand… Jesus Christ, the Son of God,  is in the midst of the dying multitude, struggling to save them. And He is calling you to jump into the sea – to go right away to His side and help Him in the holy strife. Will you jump?”

“My comrades, you are rescued from the waters; you are on the rock. He is in the dark sea, calling on you to come to Him and help Him. Will you go?”

– William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army

Jump! Go!

Grace and Peace,