Francis and Brother Leo
Francis and Brother Leo were on the way home and Francis said to Leo "What's joy then?" and Leo said, "You tell me!"
So Francis described all the wonderful things they might do or which might come their way and then he said. "But this isn't perfect joy. Perfect joy is coming home and when you find that no one recognises you, or wants you, or likes you and they throw you out, your joy doesn't go away. Because joy is something God gives inside of you and nothing can take it away!"
Here are some ways to capture joy in your life.
JOY is to be aware of God loving through you.
Ask Jesus to make YOU a channel of His joy today.
JOY is the uplift of the heart
Write down the best thing that has ever happened to you in your life. If you have a Bible put it in the page where the story of Jesus' birth is.
If you don't have a Bible put it somewhere that is important or precious to you.
Did you help create something today? God created the world out of a mess, perhaps you could tidy up somewhere.
JOY is the heart's response to love and beauty.
Think about the most beautiful thing that you have ever seen or experienced. Perhaps it was a crying baby suddenly looking at you and gurgling with joy, perhaps it was a beautiful butterfly or flower.
JOY is being able to walk, dance and sing on a broken leg.
Write on a piece of paper 'With God nothing is impossible'. Make it into a paper aeroplane and see how far you can fly it.
JOY is to know the embrace of God.
Like the prodigal son we all like to know that we are forgiven by the Father. If someone has hurt you and you are still unhappy with them try and be like the Father today and forgive them. If you have no one to forgive, then praise the Lord for that.
JOY is singing a difficult song well, that takes all your skill.
When you next have a shower or bath, sing a verse of 'Give me joy in my heart keep me praising' or another joyful song if you don't know this one.
JOY is sowing one bean seed and getting a dinner out of it for a whole family.
We always think little things are sometimes not worthwhile, that they won't make a difference.
If you can, send a short letter or email to someone in need.
JOY is taking a deep breath of sunlight.
Close your eyes.
Take a deep breath.
Imagine you are breathing in sunlight.
Ask Jesus to fill you with his light.
JOY is light after a stuffy cell.
Say a prayer for all those who are in prison that they will have a day of joy today
JOY is not losing confidence when people are against you
Say something to someone you meet today to encourage them and give them confidence.
JOY is being able to smile.
Try smiling your best smile at everyone you meet today. Joy is contagious.
JOY is communion, fellowship.
Share something of yourself with someone today. It could be a dream for the future, a happy memory of the past or a great idea you’ve just had.
JOY is a gift of the Holy Spirit
Ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of joy for yourself today. Before you get into bed think about what was the most joy filled moment of your day.
JOY is having confidence in Jesus even when life seems very messy.
Take one problem that you have in your life. Say a prayer to Jesus and put the problem in his hands and put the piece of paper in the bin. The problem might not go away but you can now have the confidence that Jesus is with you.
JOY is JESUS. JESUS is JOY
Say Joy is Jesus, Jesus is Joy very fast 10 times.
If thats too easy, try Joy is gentle Jesus, gentle Jesus is Joy.
Try it on your friends!!!!!
JOY is Jesus looking at me with love.
Make a special effort to notice the care and love that people around you have for you today. They are Jesus looking at YOU! Look out for the little things, like someone picking up something that you dropped
JOY is knowing that we are in Jesus’ heart.
Cut our two heart shapes the same size. Stick them together with sellotape but leave the top part open. Write Jesus on the outside of the heart. Write your name on a piece of paper and put it into Jesus’ heart. Think of some other people you want to put in Jesus’ heart and put them inside too.
JOY is the victory of life over all that threatens it.
Say a prayer for all those whose life is in danger today because of illness or violence and for those who work in our hospitals looking after the sick and injured
JOY is reading something in the Bible that comes alive for you.
What is your favourite story about Jesus? Think about how the story makes a difference to your life.
JOY is three 90 metres high archangels dancing on the head of the pin. JOY is full of imagination.
Think about an image you could have for joy thats exciting and imaginative. If you can draw it and stick it on the wall.
JOY is a feeling of well being, peace and happiness combined.
As soon as you are able and have time, take 15 minutes to do something you really enjoy. If you can, try and have a JOY SLOT every day this week.
JOY is not worrying about tomorrow, knowing that God gives us the strength for each day.
Write the word JOY in the middle of a piece of paper and then write down as many words as you can think of that
JOY is knowing that we are unique in the eyes of God.
Draw a picture of yourself and write down five words around it that describe you as a person. Put JOY as the title to your picture.
JOY is an inner spring which comes from the heart.
Sit quietly with your eyes shut for a few minutes. Imagine a spring of water coming from inside you, think about someone in need, someone sleeping on the street or a refugee in a country that's at war - collect some of your water and take it to them.