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Joy: Begin with the End in Mind


Black and white photo African American woman sitting with shades on

What will make you truly happy?


I extract this question from a conversation with Chis Gardner, whose life was depicted in the movie, Pursuit of Happyness:


The title of the film and most importantly the book is that way to denote you and your happiness. What makes you happy? Not in a negative way. Not in a disrespectful way. But what makes you fulfilled what makes you and brings you joy. ~Chris Gardner


“What makes you and bring you joy…”


Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,… 1 Peter 1:8, New International Version

Examining this text through my desire to be happy has given me a different perspective on what, in this stage of life, is the deepest and most meaningful thing I desire from God. Something inexpressible and glorious. An invasive joy.


With the End in Mind


I know. Sounds strange to say what I want most from God is joy. But perhaps we take joy too lightly. Perhaps our definition of joy in the Spirit needs to expand. Is how we see joy in alignment with the joy that is available through Christ?


Pain.


Purpose.


Promise.


Everything about Jesus leads to joy.


As long as the Savior is on the journey, Joy will always be the final and best destination.


So…


if we begin again,


begin today with the end that is joy in mind,


what might change?


An Invasive Joy


The honeysuckle flower, named for its edible and sweet nectar, grows all over the world and with the capacity to flourish in full sun or shade. But it’s not for everybody, for it an invasive climber. It’s vines travel. As beautiful and sweet as it is, not everyone wants honeysuckle in their yard.


Not everybody wants true happiness.


Not everyone wants the joy you seek.


Not everyone wants Jesus.


And if that is their choice, so be it. But the invasive and inviting joy of Jesus in us should offer them an opportunity to consider him.


Because we do love him, even though we have not seen him.


We do believe him.


And the joy we share as we tarry with Christ none other will ever know.


That invasive, honey-suckled happYness of Jesus joy is custom for each of us yet satisfies all of us.


Pain.


Purpose.


Promise.


They can all be invading by Jesus and his joy.


That means loving and believing Christ regardless of what go through gives us access to the unlimited and eternal satisfaction that comes with him.


Want more joy? Get more Jesus.


Maybe it is time to believe God more instead of believing him for more. Time to unpack new ways to express your love and appreciation even if his presence feels faint. Calm down the crazy in your life with the crawling vines of your Redeemer.


The bigger the flower. The sweeter the nectar.


Let his joy invade you and fill you with a divine self/glow.


Embracing Your Self/Glow


It’s been over two decades since I first wrote this poem and it still gives my fresh water every time I read it. I pray it reignites you, that you begin each day with the goal of experiencing that Holy-Spirit-given world-can’t-take-it-way satisfaction - the true joy of Jesus - for yourself:


There is a light beyond my skin.


A bright burst of honey-suckled happiness looking for an opportunity to glisten and delight.


It waits for my beckoning, listens for my call, comes running when invited… EXCITED.


What rests within me is ready to illuminate the darkness of humanity, and I look forward to the challenge of changing the world’s scenery.


The gauntlet drops. My race is on.


New rituals for success are streaming through my mind.


The pace of my heart’s desires quicken as I witness the possibilities of my future.


The sacred cheers of angels on the sideline ignite the fire within me, etching wisdom into my imagination of how to shine without getting burned.


I grow tired, but I feel blessed for my exhaustion is quickly quenched by

the promises of God rising above my floodgates and flowing over my personal embankments.


My feet are tingling.


My calves flex.


My thighs thunder with “Hallelu”!


My lungs fill up with air made pure by the wind of the Holy Spirit.


My waist is warmed by God glowing inside me.


Is this what FAVOR feels like?


My eyes smile. I have embraced my Self/Glow.


The beauty of God is now set free –


It beams,


It shines,


It exposes the GOD n Me.


Blind will see His Son… in me.


Cold will feel Heaven’s warmth… through me.


Children will touch the Father through my tender skin.


My Self/Glow. It’s free. Shine, baby, shine.


It’s Your Time to Sail


Still a dreamer, yet more of a realist than ever before, I knew this was my time to sail. On the horizon I saw the shining future, as before. The difference now was that I felt the wind at my back. I was ready.

~Chris Gardner, The Pursuit of Happyness


Do you feel the wind at your back? I do, and its name is Joy.

Theme Finally Focus with scripture
 
Black and white photo of Blogger Phillipa Williams


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About Phillipa

AUTHOR | NON-PROFIT FOUNDER

MINISTRY COACH

LOVER OF CHOCOLATE
Phillipa Williams has dedicated her life to building God’s kingdom. A former programs director for new member and Christian education with over 36 years’ experience in leadership and discipleship, she has equipped thousands to serve God and community.

She is the Founder/CEO of GOD n Me International, a faith-based social enterprise equipping and inspiring others for spiritual intimacy, transparency, and destiny. Her blog, godnme.org, was named one of the "Top 10 Black Christian Blogs, Websites, Newsletters To Follow in 2019“ by Feedspot.com. In Spring 2022, Phillipa published her first book, GOD 'n You: Finding Your Place in Forever. She also completed the licensing and ministerial requirements at the Potter's House School of Ministry in Dallas, Texas.

An advocate for women and children, Phillipa founded and serves as Executive Director of the 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, ilooklikeLOVE, Inc.. ilooklikeLOVE works to eradicate early childhood poverty through diaper assistance and capacity building for new mothers.

 

She is the proud parent on one adult son, Kenneth.

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