As we get deeper into this pursuit of joy, the stories are rolling in. Stories of what God’s showing you. Deep (or not so deep) thoughts sparked by your reading or the sermon. Funny ways you are finding joy in the every day.

We wanted to give you a place to share these stories.

So this post is yours. Send us your stories using the form below and we’ll publish them here.

Real Life:
A toddler that has separation issues recently and a car that needed jumping due to said toddler turning on lights in my car and leaving them on.
Thought Pattern:
Thank you God for a toddler who loves to spend time with me and for a car that can easily be fixed with the wonderful neighbor’s help.
Real Life:
Car died (probably the alternator)
Thought Pattern:
Thankful to God it happened in the Autozone parking lot.

Tiffany Bottinelli

I love this series. I think our small group had more questions than answer which is good when you are minding your mind turning over those thoughts.

I was wondering if there is a good spot to share, in addition to pictures, the deep thoughts that people are struggling with and getting resolution to.

In that light my biggest AHA was:

The lie that we believe about ourselves not only occupies significant real estate in our thoughts and hearts it can also detract from the great plan that God has for our lives.

Anyway, I have read a lot of books on battle field on the mind but am finding that working it out with others gives motivation to labor in this sometimes difficult arena.

Shari Wallick

What Kind of Reaction?
(A blog post inspired by the Every Thought Captive series.)

When I turned around from running cold tap water into the sizzling skillet last night, I discovered Daniel rubbing his oven-mitted hand across the stovetop burner asking himself outloud, “I wonder if this is hot?”

“Oh my goodness! What are you doing?” I yelled.

I grabbed his hand away and turned the mitt over to show him the scorched side. I asked him if he could smell it burning, and told him that what he did was really dangerous.

My reaction scared him, and I hope that the result will be that he won’t try that again.

His curiosity had led to a chemical reaction: something that can’t be undone. There’s no such thing as “unburning what’s been burned.”
Read the rest of Jodie’s post.

Jodie Pine

This series has reminded me that I need to wake up each morning saying “Good Morning Lord!” instead of “Good Lord, morning?!?!!??”

Joy, like any other aspect of life, is a result of our choices, which begin with our mindset. Focusing on the 4:8 Principles is a great way to re-train the mind to stop getting derailed by all the minutia in life and focusing on Him. The rest is gravy . . . .

Kevin Parsons

Frank and I have been sick; he has acute bronchitis and I a cold (mostly nasal congestion). I really didn’t feel like going to small group on Wednesday night.

I’d had a less than ideal day. I kept thinking about the sermon (I hadn’t worked on Day 1 of “40 Days…” but had scanned it a few days earlier) and it made a difference. I’d been having trouble with my car not starting right away for the last 3 weeks and was on my third attempt at the dealership to get it fixed. They figured out the problem after I called the Service Manager. He asked what I did to get it started after several attempts, and I told him “I prayed”. When it was fixed, I sought him out to thank him; he thought I was going to yell at him!

Well, no one showed up for small group and my attitude wasn’t great – despite a “successful” day. When I came home (early) I worked on “40 Days…” and realized I needed to choose/change my thoughts. Thankfully God did that for me!

This group is not at all what I had envisioned, as I am used to something much more structured.
I am having to give up being in control and letting it flow.

Pam Hammitt

God, help me overcome these lies:

  • I’m not/never safe
  • I’m worthless
  • I’m a screw-up
  • No one really loves me
  • No one trusts me
  • I am alone
  • I am ugly
  • I will never be good enough
  • I have no wisdom
  • I have no purpose

Please God, fill me with light.
Fill me with your love and all your might.
     Tear these lies, attached to my soul
And with your truth, make me whole.
     Make your whispers loud, let them fill my heart
and stop these lies from tearing me apart.
    From this day forth, I choose you
to start my life with truth, to start anew.

Jana Grebas

I tend to steer clear of over-exuberant people and messages; those who constantly market themselves, those who constantly push to set goals, those who are too loud in the early morning. Those who always tend to have a think-positive attitude – “everything is going to be great!”

Please don’t misunderstand, I am not Eeyore. I’m not grumpy or moody even most of the time, very rarely am I blue. It just seems disingenuous – and annoys me – when a person is always ON. That’s why I hesitated when I heard about the 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life devotional our church planned to do together. That title – very bubbly. And the giant, yellow happy face on the cover. Hmm…raises a prickly awareness.

However. For the past 6 months I have been doing a study on strongholds in a person’s life, and have been thinking a lot about 2 Corinthians 10:5 where Paul speaks about taking every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ. Noticing the negative talk, acknowledging it, and asking God to take those thoughts captive and replace them with thoughts that are pure, lovely, admirable, noble, trustworthy, excellent, praiseworthy and right, just as Paul instructs in Philippians 4:8. And then Pastor Thomas announces we’ll be doing this devotional as part of a sermon series on Taking Our Thoughts Captive.

I gave in. I’m doing it.

Ruthie Quillen Martinez

We want to hear from you!

We know there are more of you out there with stories to tell.

What is God showing you as you practice pursuing joy? How is this series impacting you? What have you learned? What have you struggled with?

We want to share your story.

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