Bleeding Tissue Paper Painting-Topic of JOY-February Meeting

We opened the meeting of why we were meeting to nourish the heart, slow down and listen, because God is the only one who looks on the inside appearance and can do heart surgery, which requires you to be still and quiet.
We thought on the following quotes by Kay Warren's book "Choose joy because Happiness isn't Enough.

"Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right and the determined choice to praise God in all things."

"Those who love lavishly, extravagantly, find their souls flooded with joy."

If we are going to experience joy in this lifetime, there's only one possible way.  We will have to choose it.  We will have to choose it in spite of unbelievable circumstances.  We will have to choose it in the middle of a situation that seems too hard to bear.  We will have to choose it even if our worst nightmare comes true.  This isn't what we want to hear.  We keep trying to line up all the little ducks in a row, to smooth out the rough spots and to shore up all the wobbly places still convinced that if we get our act together, we finish the huge project, our health clears up, we get a raise, or we can just get things right, then we can finally be joyful."

"When trials expose our faith-life, will others see us embracing both the joy and the pain of our life?  We do not need to live out one and deny the other.  Both of these elements are part of life, and both give us hope for heaven."

"Joy does not simply happen to us.  We have to choose joy and keep choosing it.  At every moment of our life, we have an opportunity to choose joy."  Henry Nowen

So, how and why can we choose joy?  What or who gives this kind of joy?

From the book, "None Like Him- 10 ways God is different from us and why that's a good thing,"
Jen Wilkin reminds us that God is unchanging, immutable, now and forever.
"Consider how great the comfort in being personally connected to a God who changes not.  In all of Scripture, none of hs attributes or love for us can increase or decrease.  Because he does not change, we can rely on the unchanging truth of Scripture.  As long as his infinite sameness endures, he will not change his mind about setting his love on us.  He cannot become more holy or less steadfast.  He simply is these things to the utmost --forever.  Nothing we could do can remove from us the seal of his promised redemption through Jesus Christ.  Nothing can separate us from the unfailing, unchanging love of this great God, the Rock of our salvation upon which the house of our faith is built."  Jen Wilkin

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:1-2

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." 
 Hebrews 12:2



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