Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Joy of October

One of my dearest friends is named Joy... I love it! Hopefully I'll get the chance to use it as one of my children's names in the future. :-) I have to remind myself not to get it confused with happiness. Happiness is circumstantial. Joy runs deeper than circumstances. It's unavoidable when you run into it. I find myself thinking, "There's just something about... so and so..." There's a peace that goes along with it and a touch of humility. Joy is not something we look outward for, but something we reach inward for. As Christians, we have UNLIMITED reasons for joy and hope in our lives.

October is the month for JOY! We will focus on teaching our children that we can possess joy, even when we aren't happy and the things going on around us aren't what we would like them to be. We have joy, simply because of who Christ is, who He says we are, and the future that He promises. Nothing can take that away. It's protected by God's covenant with us. We'll spend our time pointing them to the reality that when we love one another, as Christ has loved us, and abide in that freeing love, JOY will flow freely.

Some questions I'm asking... What does joy look like? When you think of joy, what do you see in your mind? How does Jesus love us? What can we do to show others that same kind of love?

Some cute answers I've gotten... What does Joy look like? GOD (Kayla-with the Sunday school answer;-)) Jumping up and down and smiling.... it looks really nice. (Simeon)

October - JOY
Definition: "being excited no matter what."

Week 1
Memory Verse: John 15:11-12
"These things I have spoken to you that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."

When Jesus said this, he had just finished teaching about abiding in Him and His love, keeping His commandments and bearing fruit. We have the most joy when we abide in Him. During that time, I feel the most free and the most loved. They haven't been the easiest times-not by a long shot. But they have been the best. Jesus shares His love for us and reminds us that when we abide in that love that our joy will be full and complete. When I start looking elsewhere for joy, I may find some happiness, but will always end up lacking in the end. In the deep places of my heart, there will be no joy. Joy is completely wrapped up in knowing Christ and His love. As the pastor at our church said, "We mistake a pursuit of pleasure for happiness. And in our pursuit of pleasure we often forfeit our happiness."

This week, the kid's were not successful at memorizing the verses completely, without prompting. They were very close! But, guess what, I GOT IT DOWN... and I got my candy.;-)

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