Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Guarding Your Joy

What’s your favorite ice cream? For me it’s Graeter’s Chocolate Chip Coconut. We buy the pints so we don’t pig out on it and also because it’s so expensive, nevertheless in a house full of boys I have to guard it with my life if I want to have more than one helping. Well there is something much more valuable than ice cream that I have to guard and that’s my joy. This morning I was listening to a message that reminded me of five things we can do to guard our joy. It was based on Hebrews 12:1-3.
  • First is surround yourself with people who bring joy. ie., "therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, . . ." (v.1a)
  • Second, stay on task, ie., "let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." (v.1c)
  • Third, strip down to the essentials. ie., "let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us. . ." (v.1b)
  • Fourth, stay focused on Jesus, ie., "let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scoring it's shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (v.2)
  • Fifth, stick with it. "Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." (v.3)

Which one do you need to do? For me I need to do more of the first one, I need to surround myself with people who bring joy. Life can get pretty serious. I need people who will laugh with me and yes even at me sometimes, so I can guard my joy in the journey.


clayburkle said...

Great post. My favorite is Graeter's Black Cherry Chip. And I need more of #4. I'm easily distracted and need to constantly fix and re-fix my gaze on the glorious one... who brings peace... who casts out fear... who comes alongside... and even dries my tears. Great post.

Aaron Conrad said...

Reminds me of our buddy Ortberg's "Dee Dah Day dance" analogy from "The Life You've Always Wanted". To quote him specifically -

"We need to spend regular and significant amounts of time around life-enhancing, joy producing people."

I guess we can justify the 4 hour breakfast/lunch appointments we have by just saying we are trying to get help for being "joy challenged". Thanks for being my "joy mentor"

Mary Wooten said...

Handel's Chocolate Pecan in a Waffle Bowl... not good that it is just next door. I do believe #3 for me. I sometimes let things/life creep up and take small doses of joy. I have to "put on the armor of God" to not let anyone or anything hinder me from the "joy in the journey".

dennis said...

Umm,chocolate pecan! That would be my favorite at Handels too. Glad I don't live as close to Handels as you do!

Karen Lane said...

Mu favorite is Black Raspberry Chip - although how can they really call it chip when there are serious chunks almost whole candy bars in one bite!!
I think I identify with #2 - about staying on task - I seem to bounce from one thing to the next, not finishing any one thing lately. Maybe it has something to do with all the boxes that still need to be unpacked!

dennis said...

Hey Karen,

Black Raspberry Chip is Carol's favorite too. We'll have to bring some when we come visit. Hope you can stay focussed long enough to get your boxes unpacked. Maybe you can motivate yourself with ice cream when you get done!

brad kochis said...

So, having been inspired by your post, I tried the Graeter's coconut chocolate chip... it is definitely a new favorite. I love coconut and could probably eat at an "all things coconut buffet." The only way Graeter's could get any better is if they handed out Lipitor samples with each pint of ice-cream sold!

steve said...

Hey Denny,

Just a note to tell you I'm enjoying John Eldredge's book "The Way of the Wild Heart" I can't put it down. I read the "King" first and have now backtracked to read about Cowboys, Warriors and now I'm in the Lover chapter. Just great stuff I can identify with. And I enjoy how he uses movies to make a point. As I sit and read I find myself saying out-loud, "Yea, I know what you mean!" Jesus was a Warrior, what a challenge. Thanks for the book. I've shared comments to others in my Mayberry group and bought (2) books for friends. Thanks again, I pray for you daily.

dennis said...


Glad you enjoyed chocolate coconut chip. I tried chocolate chip cookie dough but think I'm going back to my coconut chip next time.

Thanks too for your words on Gideon Sunday. As I was rereading the story I loved what God says to Gideon in verse 14, "go in the strength you have."

dennis said...


Glad you are enjoying the book. I finished the Ruthless Trust book and will get it back to you soon. Thanks for your prayers.