“A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones. A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.”1

Another pretty little black and white bird that is found where I grew up is appropriately named a willie-wag-tail. This is because these birds continually wag their long, feathered tail. Like a dog with a wagging tail, willie-wag-tails project a bright, cheery spirit wherever they go and are a delight to see.

Continue at: http://www.actsweb.org/daily.php?id=458

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Advance the kingdom: Choose joy

~ Tyler S. Ramey

A common passage in James says: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (1:2-3).  This message seems clear, but such an admonition also seems counterintuitive, even paradoxical in some ways.  I mean, c’mon . . . consider it pure joy?  About trials?  So often is this passage quoted during difficult times that the import of what James intended gets missed.

The Greek word used for “trials” in this passage is peirasmos, referring to certain types of trials, temptations really, not just any old run-of-the-mill difficulty.  Keep in mind that I don’t wish to minimize the travail caused by some trials, but James notes by his word choice that the difficulties to which he refers are those that have a divine purpose, were allowed by God, or were even sent by him.  Thus, James refers to trials that serve a specific purpose and that can be expected to benefit the believer as he or she endures them.  But how can the believer be expected to consider, say, some of the very worst of life’s crises occasions for joy?  Well, while James seems to command it based on an imperative construction, I don’t think the context of his words note an explicit command but, rather, imply a strong suggestion to choose joy during trials because the testing of one’s faith has a divine source—and that’s reason for joy in and of itself, for nothing that comes from God could have anything but good behind it.

Read more: http://truth-enterprises.com/Truth_Enterprises/ChooseJoy.html

3 Ways to keep your joy

“Joy is not necessarily the absence of suffering, it is the presence of God.”

– Sam Storms


James wrote about joy and specifically in James 1:2-3 wrote, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”

If you knew that God was testing your faith, wouldn’t you think to be more joyful about it? It was easy for the Apostle Paul to compare this life and knowing Christ, as he wrote, “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Phil 3:8). Christ is everything; everything else is trash!

Read more: http://www.christianquotes.info/images/3-ways-to-keep-your-joy/#ixzz4XHzjgauQ

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Et Tu, Church?

CTM“We assume that our followers will have our backs.  But that is all a comforting fantasy if you are truly trying to bring change to an organizational system.  Whether it is a family, a church, a business, a not-for-profit or a government, all the best literature makes it clear: to lead you must be able to disappoint your own people.  But, even doing so well (‘at a rate they can absorb’) does not preclude them turning on you.  In fact, when you disappoint your own people, they will turn on you.”

“Sabotage is natural.  It’s normal.  It’s part and parcel of the systemic process of leadership…Saboteurs are usually doing nothing but unconsciously supporting the status quo.  They are protecting the system and keeping it in place.  They are preserving something dear to them.”

“Many who sabotage you will even claim that they are doing you a favor by doing so.  [Edwin] Friedman describes the ‘peace-mongers’ as ‘highly anxious risk-avoiders’ who are ‘more concerned with good feelings than progress’ and consistently prefer the peaceful status quo over the turbulence of change – even if change is necessary.”

~ Tod Bolsinger, Canoeing the Mountains

Best English Bible Translation


Worshiping With a Broken Heart

Worshiping with a Broken Heart

I looked across the table at my boyfriend and replayed his words in my mind. “I just don’t enjoy spending time with you.”

I never knew a heart could break so suddenly, so rudely—in only one sentence. I was desperately grasping for anything to help soften the sharpness of those eight words. I could only muster three, “Take me home.” As we drove, my thoughts were as blurry as the trees going by. How can a three-year relationship end in three minutes?

The term “broken heart” is so widely used in our society that it often sounds romantic. In those moments, I learned just how terribly unromantic it is—the kind of tearing, ripping brokenness that demands your full attention, the kind of pain that won’t let up.

A broken heart might be a woman who gets the call from her doctor that she has miscarried. It’s the child who learns that his father has cancer. It’s broken relationships, debilitating depression, dreams dying and crumbling in our hands.

I walked into church the day after my heart broke. Broken, aching hearts fill the pews in each of our churches every Sunday. Although surrounded by community, the pain still felt intensely personal. “The heart knows its own bitterness” (Proverbs 14:10). The deep ache can feel as isolating as a prison cell. The enemy wants nothing more than to lock believers in that cell of pain, and keep us trapped in isolation. But God wants the opposite. Here are three things to remember when you are tempted to stay home on Sunday morning with a broken heart.

Broken Hearts Are Open Hearts

Go to: http://churchleaders.com/worship/worship-articles/297693-worshiping-broken-heart-rachel-coulter.html