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)”
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)”
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)”
One day before beginning a meeting, a lady gave us all a Thought to Ponder. “Joy is a discipline.”
Hmmmm, whirred my ancient rusty crankshaft of a brain. That doesn’t sound quite right. That bothers me. Continue reading “Maybe joy isn’t a discipline but is . . . (gasp) a feeling (joy part 1)”
It was three years ago this month that I participated in the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers’ Conference. I listened to speakers talk about how to write nonfiction, the merits of self-publishing, and how to be a dynamite storyteller. I chatted with experts at the dinner table.
During such an empowering week, it’s always hard to get away for quiet time. But in a corner of the beautiful lodge, I discovered a little desk tucked away. Continue reading “Acknowledging my inability”
Ho! Every one that thirsts! Come to the waters . . . Drink!
New Year’s Resolution #2,011: Drink more water.
Have you ever noticed that you can systematically drink less and less water, way less than your body needs, without feeling thirsty? Counterintuitive, I know. But that thirst mechanism behind your throat sort of atrophies or something.
And lots of people, when they do feel any thirst, go to coffee or soda to try to assuage it. Of course those beverages actually drain water from your system.
And as that thirst mechanism shrivels up, sometimes when people are thirsty they think they’re hungry, and then they eat . . . and eat . . . and eat . . . while they’re actually dying of dehydration. Continue reading “Thirsty yet?”
Teaching English as a Second Language has taught me something about English: There are loads of rules. People from other countries who just have to learn the rules and then all the rules about the rules (meta-rules?) can feel utterly overwhelmed with the complexity of the language we speak naturally. They can even become resentful. They could wish that English were their first language, but of course that cannot be.
But if you grew up in a home where English is spoken all the time, and spoken correctly, then it will seem natural, and the rules will come easily. In fact, you’ll be able to intuit rules you’ve never even heard. “Oh yes, I see. I thought so.” Continue reading “Lessons from Teaching English as a Second Language”