For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Romans 8:19, NLT.
I spent the first 5 years of my life in Indianapolis. If you know NOTHING else about Indy, I bet you DO know about the Indy 500. My parents (from whom I’ve definitely inherited my love of all things celebratory!) always had a Race Day party on the Sunday before Memorial Day (a.k.a. Race Day!), where friends would come and go throughout the day to watch the race, eat great food, socialize, and celebrate the JOY of the race!
As a matter of fact, they STILL hold these parties to this day – even though they are no longer in Indianapolis! Traditions die hard and so does a race fan’s enthusiasm! So it feels so perfectly fitting to me that we are kicking off our exciting summer series here TODAY – the at the tail end of “Race Weekend”, as race fans call it! My pulse is racing as quickly as the ladies and gentlemen who zoomed their way around the oval track at The Brickyard yesterday!
Week One, Day One of Pure Joy! My head is swirling with the possibilities of what this Summer Series is going to create in each one of us because the more we pursue Him, the greater our joy will be!
This is the day the LORD has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24, NKJV
That’s our scripture this week! I thought we’d start easy and build on it! You gotta admit, it’s short, sweet, and easy to memorize, right? I’m thinking back to American Bandstand when they would rate songs and say things like “It’s got a good beat; I could dance to it!”. This one’s got a great beat – so let’s DANCE to it, shall we?!
This small, danceable verse tells us volumes about joy and God. It tells us TODAY is the day God made. Yes, He made yesterday and He is the creator of all tomorrows, as well. But let’s rejoice about TODAY because He authored it, too! Regardless of circumstance, rejoice TODAY. Don’t live for tomorrow’s paycheck, or for next month when you are scheduled to go on vacation. Don’t sit daydreaming about last year’s “bumper crop”, or sit in repetitive yearning for the days of your youthful antics! Live for TODAY. For the gifts and joy of THIS moment. With the knowledge that this was created by Lord of Heaven and Earth for you. And me. And for each and every single one of us. To experience Him, to enter into relationship with Him, to rejoice and be glad in with Him and with others.
What a difference it just might make for us to think that way! To look at today (and every “today” you have) as a day made by God for rejoicing! Yes, I know you’re stressed with the details of life. I know you feel burdened with busyness and hardship. I know about these things because I am (and I feel) these very things, too. But the psalmist offers us hope in that little, sparkling verse!
Rejoice. He made today. And He makes everything glorious.
I love saying that: He makes everything glorious! If you’ve heard me speak at retreats or other gatherings, you know it’s my signature, go-to opener – especially to women or young girls! I always ask, “Do you believe God made you?” (Everyone always says yes!) And then I ask, “Do you believe, as the Bible says, that everything He makes is glorious?” (Again, everyone nods heads or murmurs a little affirmation!) And THEN, in a more hushed voice, after a little pause, I smile and ask, “So then, what does that make YOU?!”
And suddenly eyes brighten, smiles come out, cheeks blush, and giggles commence. “IT MAKES YOU GLORIOUS!” I declare. And I’m right. Admit it, you know I am!
Today IS the day the Lord has made for YOU and for me – His glorious creations. Let us truly rejoice and be glad about it, shall we?!
So, what’s a joyous creation like you supposed to do this week within the realm of this cool beans summer series we’ve got going on?! I’m so glad you asked!
- First, find a place to record our scripture for this week (that jig-inducing verse you just read right above from Psalm 118:24!) Record it as written above OR in whatever version of the Bible you have or like best! Remember that you can always access FREE versions of the Bible from apps and websites like Biblegateway or YouVersion! Be sure to read that sweet piece of Truth at least once a day – if not more! Let it sink in, infuse your mind, soul, and spirit; memorize it even! Learn it, live it, love it!!!
- Second, listen to our song for this week by Mandisa and tobyMac: Good Morning! I guarantee you will be dancing around to it like crazy cakes! It is GOOD. And I mean like, uplifting, energizing, heart pumping GOOD! You can access it for free on YouTube, and if you are so inclined, you can purchase it from your favorite spot to buy music, like iTunes.
- Third, if you haven’t already, get yourself one of the books off our booklist for the summer series and start reading (remember, book list is available here at all times under the Pure Joy Summer Series 2013 tab at the top of this page)! Doesn’t matter what book you choose, just start one!
- Fourth, mark your calendars to either attend OR HOST YOUR OWN Pure Joy Dinner Party for June 18th! More info on that awesomeness to follow soon!
- Fifth, start The Joy Dare! Find three things each day to record in some fashion (mentally, in a journal, through photos, drawings, music, etc). The Joy Dare can also be accessed from this blog under the Pure Joy tab above!). Here are my three blessings/gifts for today (three gifts found in church):
(Cool, right?! I am learning how to use all these amazing apps and computer programs to make neat collages and edit photos! If you want to try something like this, check out the apps called “Over” and “Picstitch” for your smart phone or tablet! On your computer, check out http://www.picmonkey.com for some photo editing fun!)
If you feel like it, share up your thoughts, photos, artwork, etc. on one of our social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest! Info on how to do that is listed under Pure Joy tab above. You’ll want to check out the Technology page for guidance! Elle Belle (my daughter) and I will be posting on those three outlets everyday this summer so check it out for some inspiration or just FUN!
I’m also SO excited to tell you that we have a GUEST POST coming later this week from honestly one of the coolest people I know! Dr. Nancy Grisham, author of Thriving: Trusting God for Life to the Fullest (one of our book recommendations for the Summer Series…!) will be here to talk about…what else…JOY! Nancy is a dear, dear friend of mine, and someone I love with all my heart! She is the founder of Livin’ Ignited Ministries. Take a little time between now and Thursday to get to know her – you’re going to adore her: http://www.livinignited.org/Livin_Ignited/Home.html.
Go enjoy today, my friends! It’s yours for the rejoicing in!
“What I am anxious to see in Christian believers is a beautiful paradox. I want to see in them the joy of finding God while at the same time they are blessedly pursuing Him. I want to see in them the great joy of having God yet always wanting Him.”
A. W. Tozer
Up Thursday: Nancy Grisham!!!!!
Peace, love, and JOY!!!