Monday, April 5, 2010

Say Yes to Joy

FaithBaristaLLogo2 I've recently discovered Bonnie Gray's Faith Barista blog.  This lovely Silicon Valley blogger enjoys serving up 'shots of faith for everyday Christian living'.  Being a coffee drinker myself, I love her description. 


Bonnie really caught my attention by a recent post where she asked the following question:

Are you driven by pressure or God's pleasure?

She used a quote from my all time favorite movie "Chariots of Fire".  Eric Liddell, Olympian runner and Christian missionary explained to his sister why he didn't want to give up running and immediately return to the mission field. 

I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast.  And when I run, I feel His pleasure.

To feel God's pleasure; wow.  Do I ever remember a time when I felt God's pleasure?  Or am I always driven by pressure?

I'm so accustomed to living my life in the midst of stress and challenges.  Some of these challenges are due to:

  • Consequences of choices I've made

  • Choices other people made

  • Things outside of my control

Don't get me wrong.  There have been times when life seems to be going along smoothly.  But then I find myself wondering what will go wrong next.  I hate that about myself but it seems if I let down my guard, I'm impacted by yet another challenge.  Maybe that's just life but my desire is to truly ...trust and obey God.

I read in Zephaniah 3:17

Did you catch that last part of the Scripture?  It says that God will rejoice over me with singing. 

Oh my, there's something about that picture of God that causes  my heart to be happy.  I love to read that He ...takes delight in me. 

Bonnie of Faith Barista challenged us to join her and write a blog post about how we can begin to feel God's pleasure more.  Step 1: Say Yes to Joy is Bonnie's blog post title. (I just went to link up with Bonnie and found out I was too late but I'm going to post this one anyway.) 

My first step to saying yes to joy and feeling God's pleasure is to become more aware of God's moment by moment presence in my life. 

Years ago I heard a lecture in Bible Study Fellowship.  Georgann, our teaching leader used a term that stuck with me.

Constant Conscious Communication.
 
We called it the 3 C's.

I can't tell you how many times it has come into my mind.  And whenever I remembered it caused me to smile.  Oh if only I could remember more often ...

Recently, I read from a devotional book called Jesus Calling.  The author Sarah Young writes the following words that spoke to my heart.

I am calling you to a life of constant communion with Me.  Basic training includes learning to live above your circumstances, even while interacting on that cluttered plane of life.  You yearn for a simplified lifestyle, so that your communication with Me can be uninterrupted.  But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world.  Accept each day just as it comes, and find Me in the midst of it all.

This got my attention.  How often I've thought about living a simple life.  I want to avoid all of the stress and live out the life of my dreams.  No problems, no worries ...yeah right!

Saying yes to joy requires me to recognize that no matter what is going on in my life ...God is with me. 

I am not alone.  When I learn to trust Him and yield to His direction, I am calm and more peaceful.  As I pray and commune with Him throughout my day ...the ordinary becomes extraordinary.

I find pleasure in doing simple things like talking with my neighbor who is sitting in his wheelchair in the driveway or cutting a flower from the garden to place on the kitchen table. 

Photo Credit: Country Living Magazine

As I say yes to joy and feeling God's pleasure, I'm more aware of the birds chirping and singing in my backyard as the rabbits hide under the orange trees. 

The pressures and challenges of life are still present but the awareness of God's presence quiets my soul.  And then I can feel ...God's pleasure.

Blessings and love,


14 comments:

  1. Even though you were too late for Bonnie's link-up, I am glad that you still posted it.
    Yes, I taking everything a moment a time does help me to recognize His presence in my life. Last week I once again was reminded that life can end in a split of a second -- I told a friend the next day "Love and laugh today"...I think that we too often (me) worry too much about the next day, but don't embrace today.

    Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with us.

    Love & peace,
    Iris

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  2. This was beautiful...your closing words sum it up nicely...

    I'm in...saying "yes" to joy....

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  3. Beautiful post, my friend! I love everything you shared - especially the line from Jesus Calling: Accept each day just as it comes, and find Me in the midst of it all.

    Love you and praying for you, and choosing JOY with you...
    Jennifer

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  4. I really enjoyed this Deb. And you are soo right of course. It is a choice we make, and I am chosing joy. Hugs, Debbie

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  5. Wow what an inspiring post, thanks for sharing!

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  6. Completely down my ally! I love A.B.Simpson's "Days of Heaven on Earth" book who spoke of a dear old saint reviewing her life: "I have had a great many troubles in my life, especially those that NEVER CAME"!....the "what-ifs" again. You said it, in spite of what is around us, let's CHOOSE JOY! His promises never fail. Thanks for such a neat post, I'll drink a coffee for you today!

    xxxxxx
    Carol Joy

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  7. Choosing joy along with you! And yes, my friend He does sing over you. I am learning to dance to His tune sung over my life.

    Love you,
    Sara

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  8. My goodness you are a good writer! This is an excellent post and so uplifting. Thank you for taking the time to post this. I have the feeling I am not the only one to be blessed by it.

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  9. After reading your post, Debbie, I visited Bonnie's blog, and you both encouraged me greatly. It has taken me many years to get over the "wait for the other shoe to drop" thinking, although it can creap up on me once in a while.

    But God has shown me the freedom of holding on to loved ones and things lightly, and when I find myself holding too tight, I open my hands in a gesture of obedience and in trust that He can and will do so much better with taking care of them.

    Doing this gives me the ability to really feel His pleasure, knowing He delights in me for who I am, the person He made me to be. I am not saying I have to do this in order to know He finds pleasure in me, but it frees me from my negative thinking so that I can see He does find pleasure in me.

    I love the 3 C's - a good reminder for us all.
    Thank you for sharing with us, Debbie.
    Blessings to you,
    Laurie

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  10. This one is loaded Debbie! So many good words for each of us. I love 'choosing JOY'! We are all faced with those choices daily, and I sure know the difference in which choice I make!

    Chariots of Fire is one of my favorites too! It had such an impact on me when I saw it.

    I love the 3 red pillows that spell JOY... that's a visual I'm going to remember!

    Love you...

    Sonja

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  11. This really is blessing me...how I need to be reminded of the Joy of allowing God to be a part of my moment to moment life. Why do I stray from this truth? Oh yes, I remember, I'm often so busy doing things "for God" that I leave Him behind so I can get "it" done and be on to my next "something." Is it any wonder that I often don't feel the Joy? Thank-you for posting this. What a blessing it has been for me to read it. I'm so glad I came today. Love you.

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  12. Hi Debbie!

    I'm so glad you still posted this. It is encouragement needed to be shared.

    "Saying yes to joy requires me to recognize that no matter what is going on in my life ...God is with me."

    This is the reality of choosing joy. Not plastic, like the way the world would lead us to believe -- have a happy life with no problems... yada, yada...

    From your readers' response here, you can see you have a gift for touching others with the honesty of your walk .. and the fragrance of Christ in that reality.

    Wonderful brew... that's made in your heart choices... even as you're facing the challenges calle dout here.

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  13. Feeling God's pleasure is such an awesome thing. It's not something I'm sure I could even describe. But know that you are doing God's will and are walking in His path, is amazing.

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Am I a kid or what?

Am I a kid or what?

I love this place...Carmel, CA

I love this place...Carmel, CA