Posts Tagged ‘joy’

Have you seen it? This Star Wars fan mom picked up a little treat for herself and made a video to prove it was hers and not for the kids, a talking Chewbacca mask. She puts it on and just starts cracking up on video. She shared it just for her friends, just as a joke.
Here it is…

It’s had millions of views which is phenomenal, and there has been quite a bit of blessings that come from it.

Now she’s been on The Late Late Show with James Corden with Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams.

What can we learn from this? Well first of all motivation is king. This was a person not trying to go viral, just someone who posted for the fun of it. It’s not scripted or formulaic it’s just honest and it’s fun.

Secondly, joy is contagious. Seeing this person just cracking up makes us smile and in this case it made us want to share and share and share. Maybe we should learn from this that the world could use a little joy. What would happen if all of us would spend a little more time trying to bring a little joy to the world. Now that sounds like a worthy project.

Give it a shot. You never know what could happen.

I know I probably quote this ad nauseum, but it bears repeating. After hearing so many people tell me they are not artistic, not creative, I wonder what happened. Picasso said, “All children are artists, the problem is to remain one as one grows up.” My friend Manuel Luz, posted this beautiful reminder from his church’s Easter celebration.

Watch this video and bask in the creative mayhem, the joy of children creating. If you’re having a hard time finding joy, maybe you need to grab some paint (or whatever your media) and just play. There is something about creating that is just fun but I believe it goes deeper. I believe that we can experience something of our Father’s heart when we create with abandon, unafraid and unashamed. I believe we can recapture something we’ve lost when we push our fears aside and let the beauty inside us flow out.

To read Manuel’s take on the video, which he aptly calls The Art of Joy, click here. If you’re not following Manuel Luz’ blog yet, you need to. He has some brilliant, innovative and creative things to share.

My son Chris sent me this video of cast members from the recent movie version of Annie in the streets of New York doing a little conspiracy of kindness. I have to admit, this inspired me.

Did you see the way the people were affected by people sharing a little joy? Here’s the thing, if the joy of the Lord is our strength, if we really believe that to be true, then shouldn’t spreading joy be a huge part of what we do as believers?

I confess right now to having a lot of random ideas about how to do this.

What would you do to spread joy?

The other day I was struggling. I was wrestling with something someone said. It got to me. I started the check myself, but not in the good way. In the self-condemning, look down on myself way. I was actually looking at something that brings me joy and feeling selfish because I enjoyed it. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

That I would equate joy with selfishness makes me wonder what voice I was listening to. John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. My Lord loves me and while He doesn’t guarantee a happy or easy life, His joy is our strength.

Look, the condemning voice is usually nearby and ready to knock you around. That’s His mission, to take you off mission and ruin your life. Which voice are you listening to?

It’s easier to discern than you think. The Master’s voice is a voice of love. It sometimes brings conviction, but always from a place of bringing improvement and of perfect love, growing us into Christ. That condemning nasty voice, that tells you you’re worthless, useless, never be any good, etc. That’s not your loving Father’s voice. Ignore it and move on in your Father’s love.

I designed that sheep years ago as a logo for you youth group. It’s a smiling sheep to remind us to listen to the right voice.

Your Master’s Voice.

Okay I’ll be the first one to admit, I didn’t have a lot of time to think this out, I woke up with it and acted on it. I just had a dream. I don’t claim it to be prophetic and I pray it wasn’t. In my dream I was at a mall when a message came over the loud speakers to evacuate the mall. I began to move for the exits when they announced that a germ had been released into the mall, I was running, then walking, then I wanted to run but couldn’t, I started to panic, then everything went black and I woke up. Not a great dream, but it birthed a great dream.

As I woke up, I started to pray. I started to ask God to protect us and keep that kind of stuff from happening, to overcome these kinds of threats in our world and these thoughts started to flow. I started to think what is terrorism. Sometimes they are large acts that hurt a lot of people, but sometimes they are relatively small acts (in scope) that make a lot of people afraid. I started to think of the beltway shooters from a couple of years ago. If you know one of their victims, your loss was great and I don’t mean to minimize it at all, but they shot a very small percentage of the people who drove those roads. The larger effect was they made everyone afraid to drive in the area. A relatively small act created massive chaos. That’s what terrorism does, it spread terror. It makes us afraid.

The next thoughts were how do we combat that? At first I thought of great acts of heroism, and I’d like to hope if there was ever a time when I needed to be heroic, that God would give me the grace to step up and do it. On my own I’m not that brave. Then I had a different thought. Heroism is hard and we all (or at least most of us)have doubts whether we would have the courage to be heroic, but if small acts of terror make a lot of people afraid, what would small acts dedicated to bringing joy do. Would joy spread like terror spreads? I think it would. The thought of the word Joyism came to mind. I din’t know if that’s copyrighted, and I hope it’s nothing dirty if it is, but what if we did that. What if we devoted ourselves to doing one thing each day that? I know people have often talked about random acts of kindness, I know this is nothing new, I don’t claim any originality in this, and any glory to come of it goes straight to God. The challenge is simple, do something that will bring someone joy and maybe, just maybe, joy will spread and the more people to do it the more joyful we will be. After all the Scriptures say perfect love drives out fear and as a small speck of light turns back the darkness, so small acts of love can turn back our fears.

We all talk about changing the world and we usually get intimidated because that seems too big. A lot of times this makes us do nothing, so pray for and look for an opportunity to do something small to make someone’s day better and then keep doing it. And whatever you do, do it with great love to the glory of God. Spread the Word about Joyism. Small things done with great love WILL make a huge difference. Share your comments and stories here.

I love doing art ministry workshops but there is one thing that always drives me a little crazy. I have to spend so much time telling people they can do art. Maybe they got a bad grade or someone told them they had no talent and they gave up. They tell me they can’t draw a straight line or a stick figure. They say they don’t have a creative bone in their bodies. The first one light be possible but the second is certainly a lie. I’m not saying you will be a professional artist or that you’ll ever sell a painting or hang one in a gallery or a museum, but I will tell you this, you can do what God is calling you to do. So if you have an image in your head that you think might be from God, stop worrying about what the nay sayers or the critics or even your loved ones will say. Pick a medium and create that image. Do what you feel God is leading you to so.

He may have given it to you to show you something very personal or it ,may have been give to share with the world. It may bless millions or speak to one heart. Don’t worry about all that stuff now just be obedient and express it. The obedience is up to you, everything else is up to God.
This doesn’t just apply to art. We all face areas of life where we feel insufficient. These are the times when the little voice comes into your head and tells you you’re not good or smart enough or just not enough in general. Do yourself a favor. Don’t listen to that voice. The truth is you are not enough and neither am I but that’s okay because you are not alone, God is with you and God is enough. You can do whatever God wants you to do, because He will do it through you.
You can do it!

I’ve needed to be reminded of this myself recently. It appears the job that I have had for the last 11 years will soon be going to part time and this gives me a good deal of fear. On one hand the job is what I have used to support a good part of my ministyr not to mention my family. On the other hand, I have this vision from God to use my creative gifts to share the love of Jesus Christ with people and to go into the church and encourage and empower people to use their gifts to serve the Lord. It’s my dream, my vision and my calling, so what do I do. Well I can listen to the voice that tells me I can’t, that it doesn’t make sense or I can trust the One who called me in the first place. I choose to do that and say, through His power, “I CAN.”

If you have a church or ministry who you believe might be able to benefit from what I do, please contact me at

Bible Reading Guide
An important part of following God is knowing what He wants and a great way to know what He wants is to read His Word. Follow this plan and you will finish reading the Bible in a year.
Job 38-40; Matthew 1
You can also download your own chart here.