Edhird's Blog

Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit

Down in my heart…

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Down In My Heart to Stay
by Brother Matt Henson

“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. Where?” This song brings back so many memories of camp, Vacation Bible School, and Sunday School. The excitement and volume with which we would sing these words proclaimed our understanding of God’s joy being alive in our hearts. That the joy was “down in our heart to stay.”

It seems as we mature into adulthood that our joy becomes muted with the weight of the world and our loss of focus on what is most important. We become busy with all the responsibilities of adulthood and in trying to discover joy in a new hobby, new experience, or in our job, we forget the Truth that joy is not something we discover, but it is something we receive from God. In Galatians 5:22 we read, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…” Joy is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives.

E. Stanley Jones in his book In Christ writes, “Happiness is dependent on happenings, and is therefore occasional; joy is dependent on relationship with Christ, and therefore permanent.” When we surrender our lives to Jesus, he works his joy into our lives as we depend on him. No matter the circumstance, whether happy or sad, we can still have the joy of the Lord in our hearts. Nehemiah, after Ezra the priest read the law of God to the people, spoke to the people, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

Do you have the joy of the Lord in your heart? Have you found yourself trying to conjure up joy? Today is a great day to surrender our lives to Jesus, putting our focus back on him. When he is our focus and our purpose for each step of our lives, we will discover his joy welling up in our heart once again. We will discover joy in our good times and in our bad times because we know God is with us.

Prayer: Lord, when I lose my focus on you, I realize my joy is missing in my life. I surrender my life to you because I want my heart to overflow with your joy at work in me. Come Lord Jesus and renew me. Amen.

Join us in praying this week for Brother Matt Henson, Executive Director of the United Christian Ashrams International Ministry. Matt lives in Illinois with his wife, Nancy and four of their children.
Our mailing address is:
United Christian Ashrams
904 Deville Lane
Ruston, LA 71270

Author: edhird

I was the Rector of St. Simon's Church North Vancouver, B.C for 31 years, from 1987 to 2018. Ordained in 1980, I have also served at St. Philip's Vancouver and St. Matthew's Abbotsford. My wife Janice and I have three sons James, Mark, and Andrew. I was Past President and Chaplain for Alpha Canada. While serving as the National Chair for Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada, I was one of three co-signers of the Montreal Declaration of Anglican Essentials For the past 31 years, I have been privileged to write over 500 articles as a columnist on spiritual issues for local North Vancouver newspapers. In the last number of years, I have had the opportunity to speak at conferences and retreats in Honduras, Rwanda, Uganda, Washington State, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Ontario. My book For Better, For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship, coauthored with Janice Hird, can be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/Better-Worse-Discovering-lasting-relationship/dp/0978202236/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1535555614&sr=8-1 My sequel Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit, with a foreword by Dr JI Packer, is online with Amazon.com in both paperback http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/097820221X/ref=redir_mdp_mobile and ebook form http://tiny.cc/tanhmx . In Canada, Amazon.ca has it available in paperback http://tiny.cc/dknhmx and ebook http://tiny.cc/wmhmmx . It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook). Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form. Nook gives a sample of the book to read online: http://tiny.cc/vj3bmx . Indigo also offers the Kobo ebook version: http://tiny.cc/kreonx . You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook: http://tiny.cc/1ukiox The book 'Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit' focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus' healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how North Americans can embrace a holistically healthy life. In order to obtain a signed copy in North America of the prequel book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', Blue Sky, or God's Firestarters, please send a $25 etransfer to ed_hird@telus.net . Cheques are also acceptable.

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