Expecting the joy when you can’t feel it (joy part 4)

A friend listened to the song “If You Want Me To” by the blind songwriter Ginny Owens. She said, “I can’t say this is where I am all the time, but it’s where I want to be. I know it’s all true.”

That’s it. That’s it. “It may not be where I am all the time, but it’s where I want to be. I know it’s all true.”

This friend was about to have surgery and didn’t know if she might come out a paraplegic. Continue reading “Expecting the joy when you can’t feel it (joy part 4)”

Joy comes as a response in the realm of the spirit (joy part 3)

Have you ever noticed those verses in the Bible that talk about God’s judgment on the wicked coming in the form of birds picking out their eyes? (One of them is in Proverbs 30.) I know that’s really a disgusting image, but it’s describing something completely realistic: when the ravening birds would start to eat a dead body, the first place they would go was the eye. If the eye didn’t respond at all, they knew that creature was completely dead.

Not a very likely opening to a post about joy, I know.

But the point I’m making is about response. The Bible links life to responsiveness and death to unresponsiveness.  There are many, many places where this understanding of death and life bring into full focus what God is saying. Continue reading “Joy comes as a response in the realm of the spirit (joy part 3)”

Joy is a response (joy part 2)

Last week I gave the first part of a definition of joy, asserting the controversial opinion that we have to admit that it’s a feeling, an emotion.

This week I want to say something that might also be considered controversial: Joy arises as a response to something outside of us. A sensory response. I’m talking about the five senses here: sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell. As in . . . Continue reading “Joy is a response (joy part 2)”

The joy of Joy Ridderhof

Update February 2015: Joy Ridderhof’s biography became the second in the Potter’s Wheel series of Christian biographies for children. You can see the book here and read a sample chapter here. I’ve written here and here and here and here and I guess especially here about how important I believe it is to give children good examples of Christians who “do exploits” for the Kingdom of God.

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A woman named Joy garnered fame
So different was she from her name.
Vindictive and rude,
Bitter venom she spewed–
But oh Joy! She was never to blame.

(This comes from being in bed with the flu. Sorry.) Continue reading “The joy of Joy Ridderhof”

“Pronoun Trouble” in Galatians 5:16-17

 

One of the most important principles of Biblical interpretation that I ever learned had to do with pronoun trouble. (Daffy Duck had a good bit of Pronoun Trouble in the video above.)

The way I had learned, by osmosis and example, was: “If a passage of Scripture has a pronoun in it (you or I or he or we or pretty much any of them), then you can and even should apply it to yourself.” Unless of course it’s ludicrous to do it, like that holy kiss stuff. Continue reading ““Pronoun Trouble” in Galatians 5:16-17″