Thursday, August 20, 2009

Assaulted by Joy

I just read a book titled Assaulted by Joy; the redemption of a cynic by Stephen Simpson. I thought it was so great! He tells his life story from being a kid that met Jesus up to present day, a dad with quadruplets, yes, quadruplets. It's such a great story and an easy read.

There were several nuggets that I thought were captivating. I wanted to share a few with you.

-Being a Christian is supposed to be dangerous. It means being vulnerable, taking risks, and having communities of imperfect people. It means leaving our comfort zone and exchanging it for something much better; joy.

-What we don't realize is that we teach one another wisdom even when we hurt each other. We learn how to love in the midst of brokenness and imperfection. Those who hurt us sometimes teach us far more than those who love us.

-He (Jesus) showed me, one more time, that cynicism doesn't really keep me safe-it just keeps me from joy.

-Existentialists say that a man does not know who he is until he looks into the abyss. When he reaches the point where he loses hope, he has only two choices; despair or responsibility.

-Being week is part of the deal when we follow Christ. Cynicism doesn't allow much room for that. It covers up the broken heart that we're afraid to let anyone heal.

-Joy comes from being attached to something other than yourself. Someone actually. ... But I think that it mostly comes through relationships. It comes from bonds that last through the good times and the bad. It's the feeling that no matter what happens, we will be connected to another. I think that's what joy is.

That last one reminds me of God saying "It's not good for man to be alone".

Here is Stephen's website (where you can see pictures of his precious quads). I thought his story was so relate-able, especially to anyone who has "grown up in the church".

I also find it easy to be a cynic, isolate myself and lose my joy. While I think our joy should be found in Christ, the reality is that God did make us for relationship. This book was such a great reminder of the joy that comes from being connected. I want to be assaulted by joy, don't you? That sounds fun!

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