Joy joins the fight

It’s not easy to hold on to joy.

Sometimes the day has a way of wearing you down, stealing your joy bit by bit until the person who tumbles into bed exhausted at the end of the day is a shadow of the one who arose that morning ready to tackle the day.

It starts when you stumble out of the bedroom with solitary goal of getting the coffee maker running – and you step in a wet, gooey “present” left on the floor by your cat. It continues when you get behind a slow driver on the way to work, deal with an angry phone call at the office and wait less than patiently for someone to return an email containing the last bit of information you need to finish a project.

And, that’s the small stuff. Joy all too easily evaporates when a loved one dies, when a job is lost or when news of a devastating medical diagnosis is received.

Every day annoyances or true life crisis. We have a choice on how we face both.

We can choose to fight back with joy.


Margaret Feinberg discovered this in writing her latest book and Bible study, Fight Back with Joy. She had been working on a book about the more than 400 references to joy in the Scripture when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. All those references were then seen in a much different light.

Fight Back with Joy explores real joy against the backdrop of Margaret’s own journey through her cancer diagnosis. But here, let’s let Margaret tell you a little about what she’s discovered about joy. Joy is more than a feeling. It’s a choice we make as we face the world.

Learning to fight back against the challenges of life with joy is a choice we have to make every day. It’s a choice that affects everyone near us, and ultimately points us back to the true Joy-Giver.

What will you choose?

This post is part of Margaret Feinberg’s Partymob for her brand-new book and Bible study, Fight Back With Joy. To join the celebration (and learn more), click here. To grab a copy of this book, visit Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The six-week Bible study kit can be purchased here.

A Song for Sunday: Love Is War

I have been borderline obsessed with this song since I heard Hillsong United sing it at Passion 2014. I finally decided to make it my 2015 theme song to match up with my One Word 365 – fight. More about that tomorrow.

Emphasis added to the lyrics below. These are the phrases that speak most to me lately.

In Your justice and Your mercy
Heaven walked the broken road
Here to fight this sinner’s battle
Here to make my fall Your own

Turn my eyes to see Your face
As all my fears surrendered
Hold my heart within this grace
Where burden turns to wonder

I will fight to follow
I will fight for love
To throw my life forever
Into the triumph of the Son

Let Your love be my companion
In the war against my pride
Long to break all vain obsession
Till You’re all that I desire

And I know Your love has won it all
You took the fall
To embrace my sorrows
I know You took the fight
You came and died but the grave was borrowed
I know You stood again
So I can stand with a life to follow
In the light of Your Name

Introducing The Book List Project

listI read a lot when I was a kid.

By a lot, I mean I read in the car even when it was getting dark. I can’t remember how many times Mom told me I’d ruin my eyes – never mind the fact that I already wore glasses and was begging her for contacts.

When we’d go shopping, she’d tell me that if I behaved while she shopped then I would be allowed to buy a book for a treat. I was a model of politeness and decorum most every time.

I tried to get a library card on my own one day. My grammy only lived half a block away and back then kids walked anywhere without a second thought. So I walked up one day and asked for a library card. They told me to come back with my Mom.

My love for reading didn’t change in middle school. I had the same reading teacher for grades 6-8 – Miss Grove. Miss Grove required book reports, and the books had to be selected from her painstakingly curated book list. It contained classics and award winners along side popular – but well written – novels for teens.

Miss Grove never would have considered adding Twilight to the list. Of this, I am certain.

Over the course of three years in her reading class, I had to write a total of 12 book reports, if memory serves. Part of me remembers that it was one per marking period, but I almost think it might have been two. If the latter is the case, then I wrote 24.

And I still didn’t scratch the surface of the massive list.

For some reason, I decided at some point in my adulthood that it would be fun to go back and see how many of the books I could read. It definitely would provide a diversion to all the heavy reading I’m doing for my seminary classes.

About a year and a half ago, I received an email from my former high school librarian who had seen my writing in the local newspaper. I asked her if she had a copy of the old book list. She promised to dig around for it, and a few weeks later I received the list – now weighing in at 17 pages, front and back.

And so The Book List Project was born.

No time frame. Just me and a list of hundreds of books. As I read, I post.

Feel free to join in with your thoughts, memories and comments on the books as I post short thoughts on each one.

A Song for Sunday: Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

This song from Hillsong United seemed to be everywhere in 2014 … and that’s a good thing as far as I was concerned. I had decided on New Year’s Day that it would be my theme song for the year. A few weeks later, I was overwhelmed by God’s presence when Hillsong United led 24,000 students in the song at Passion 2014. As I’m working on choosing my theme song for this year and praying for the students who today will be wrapping up Passion 2015, I decided it would be my first song for Sunday of the year … and of the (yet another) reboot of my blog.

The Half 2015: The beginning

So I up and decided that I needed a big goal to stay on track for fitness this year. This Instagram post says it all …

Posts under the category “The Half 2015” will be training updates, random thoughts and things I found to be inspirational in some manner.

See you later. Gotta run …