Joyful Confidence

Do you remember that childhood euphoria that made you feel you could do anything? Where did all that confidence go? When we are confident, the world is at our feet; but let it take a vacation and we can battle fierce demons, fight internal wars, and come out so battered we lose momentum as well as big chunks in our self-concept. Joy feels out of our reach. We muddle through, but not with joy. Confidence is an unpredictable companion. When Paul addressed confidence, he talked about a different starting point than self-concept, motivation, or skill. Here’s what he said: Paul was confident that the resurrected Christ who stopped him on the Damascus road had so re-directed his life that he co

Where All Joy Begins!

Does everything have to be in its right place and every situation a welcome gift for there to be joy? It’s easy to think that difficult situations make joy impossible. I think that’s why I listen to Paul when he talks about joy. He was isolated, beaten, misunderstood, accused, chained, snake-bit, shipwrecked, threatened, stoned, and not just once. Yet, he talked about joy like an anchor, like his north star, like something that wasn’t just a mood that could pass or an adrenalin rush that fizzled out. Where did Paul find joy in the middle of circumstances that would make us question God? What changed inside him so that no matter what happened, joy came out anyway? That’s the kind of joy I w

Joy: The Gift and the Grit

How positive do you have to be to find joy? I don’t mean a little smile across the face. I mean the kind of joy that tickles up from your unmasked self, a bubble that cannot live submerged, a flash of innocent playfulness. I’m talking joy. Pull-out-the stops joy. Stop-in-your tracks joy. The kind of joy that turns everything you touch to gold, which isn’t the same as success. I don’t know about you, but I look into the eyes of joyless people too often. And the truth is that sometimes I'm looking in the mirror! I understand what joy isn’t. It isn’t an emotion or a mood. It isn’t the same as happy. It isn’t a reward for doing something good, making your goals, or winning some reward;

Feed the Hunger

When you find your hunger, you can feed your hunger. Hunger sends us searching even when we don’t know what we want. It works the same way with hunger for spiritual protein. We all know what happens if we feed hunger with something fast and convenient. We may like the taste and enjoy the quick satisfaction; but it doesn’t last. True spiritual hunger craves what sustains and grows. Feed it emotional, feel-good, empty platitudes and growth stalls without your realizing it. So how do you feed a spiritual hunger? Here are my three guiding principles: 1. Always invite the Spirit of Truth to guide you to Truth. I can’t stress this step enough. We undermine our search quickly by taking script