Next Steps on Your Journey Toward Joy

Next Steps on Your Journey

As I write this blog, I’m on a solo silent retreat with 4 other men at one of my favorite places . I know, “solo silent retreat with four other men” seems like an oxymoron (or maybe just a regular moron!) but suffice to say each of us is slowing down, digging into scripture, praying, thinking deeply, journaling and twice a day debriefing what’s bubbling up.

 

What’s hitting me after the first 30 hours here is that I am more than ever convinced about what God put me on this planet to do: To help modern-day souls experience the truth, freedom, and joy of God AND THEN equip them to pass it on to others making them -- and the world -- more just, loving, joyful, and beautiful.  

My method for doing this is by coaching and teaching at the Halftime Institute and through my writing.

Enough about me --  let’s get on with YOUR journey toward truth, freedom, and joy. I’ve spent the last two weeks encouraging you to read Matthew 5-6 and John 14-17. (For those of you who haven’t done it yet, read the chapter on “Margin” in my book!   

--In what ways are you getting more clarity about the true character of God?

--In what ways do you see how beautifully unconditional God’s love for you is?

--In what ways does Jesus encourage you to think and act?

--In what ways do you believe that living like Jesus is the pathway to true contentment?

Marinating thoughtfully on scripture – that is, truly studying and researching it – will shape your heart, character and worldview.  It’ll also boost your gratitude and compassion.

This week I want you to do something that may boost your gratitude and compassion even more. I want you to look outside of yourself and God’s Word. To take one hour to stop focusing on yourself, your family, your work, your money, your entertainment and your comfort.  Instead, contemplate the state of our world. For instance: North Korea keeps rattling its saber. Buddhists are ruthlessly killing Muslims in Myanmar. Systemic oppression globally (not just against blacks in the US) continues unabated. The 2017 hurricane season continues to throw salt in Caribbean wounds.     

Like the old bumper sticker says: “If you’re not completely appalled, you’re not paying attention.” The trick here is to not get cynical or feel powerless. You may not be able to completely solve a problem, but you can, at a minimum, take some action to stop contributing to it.

I recommend this approach:

1.     Look at this photo montage

2.     Listen to this talk by Bill Hybels 

3.     As you do this, do as Bob Pierce famously said, “Let your heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.”

See you next week… and know that I am cheering you on!

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“I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” Jesus

Jeff SpadaforaComment