Joy frees us from our counterfeit self

When we don’t find joy and bliss from our relationships we will look for it in counterfeits and live from fear rather than love. These counterfeits can show up in addictions and looking for love in all the wrong places, but a more subtle form can also show up in pouring ourselves into our work, obsessing over sports, politics, entertainment, even obsessing over good things like our children.  Continue reading

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Joy must be experienced

Here’s the crazy thing. I’m using words to explain something that’s non-verbal. I’m talking about joy. Our “joy center” or joy receptor, if you will, resides in the right side of our brain (technically, the right orbital prefrontal cortex), which is the non-verbal part. Words may lead us to joy, but joy itself can only be experienced.  Continue reading

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The good news that brings great joy

The gospel has been defined as “the good news that brings great joy.” I think it would be good to ask, “What exactly is the good news that brings great joy?” As evangelical Christians we might be tempted to blurt out that our sins are forgiven so we can go to heaven. While this is certainly good news, it’s not necessary news that bring great joy.  Continue reading

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Why religion won’t bring us joy

I’ve shared before that religion is about us inviting God into our life; following Jesus is about Him inviting us into His life.  I’m using the term “religion” rather narrowly here. I’m talking about ritualistic practices we follow in our attempt to make ourselves right with God. Here are just a few reasons I think we should leave this kind of religion to follow Christ which leads to pure joy:  Continue reading

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You give me joy

Here’s a song by Housefires called “Joy” that I thought was appropriate to go with my series of posts on “Living from joy.” En-joy!

that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. (1 John 1:3-4 NKJV) 

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Living from Joy

Last time I mentioned that joy is found in relationships. You might wonder why this is so. First, psychologically speaking, as Dr. Wilder points out in the video clip, we bond at a very early age.  It happens in the first 24 months as the mother bonds with the child, through smell, taste, touch, visual, and voice tone. This bonding process creates a sense of joy and gladness in the child and gets hard-wired into the brain. Continue reading

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Introduction to Joy

We were made for joy. And joy is found in relationship. As Marcus Warner and Dr. Jim Wilder says (“Rare Leadership“), when we can be our authentic selves we live from joy. Conversely, when we’re trying to live up to other people’s expectations, or from our own wounded soul, we’re operating from our counterfeit self. This is living from fear or anxiety.  Continue reading

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