Saturday, May 31, 2014

JOY


Hello Friends.
You have no idea what joy has filled my heart (my MOM’s too) over all the well wishes, prayers, good vibes, and as my last post spoke of the overwhelmingly generosity of so so many who came together to help me.  AND my MOM decided that I was well enough to go on a little adventure.  Someone said to my MOM, “You must be so happy that Goose is doing better and you two can start taking hikes again.”  Oh we are happy for sure.  BUTT, this goes so far beyond happy.  As we walked along, I even got to run, MOM and I talked about being happy, and being filled with joy.  In the photos to follow you can see the joy just bursting from me.  There is a big difference between happy and joy my friends.

There is a board game called Careers.  The goal of the Careers game is to fulfill your Success Formulae, a formula each player creates out of three categories: money, fame, and happiness.  Traveling around the board each player earns points for landing on squares like "Find Cure For Hiccups" (Score 10 ), or "Take A Florida Vacation" (score 8 ). Whichever player successfully gets enough money, fame, and happiness points to fulfill their "success equation" is the winner.

But while the money portion of the equation is basically fulfilled by sequential salary increases; and while fame is reached by doing obviously great, note-worthy activities: the happiness portion of the equation is reached by doing seemingly silly things.  It was apparently so difficult of the game's creators to think of events worthy of true happiness that they came up with a not-so-subtle cheat.  For a fee, any player can earn happiness hearts by paying to stay on the Florida Vacation square.  Every time you pay to stay you earn a few more happiness hearts.  In other words, money does buy happiness.

And this is what most of the world thinks about that tepid, shallow emotion called happiness.  If you have enough money, enough toys, enough things - you can be happy.


Perhaps that's why Scripture never concerns itself with happiness as we know it.  The Scriptures do not have any interest in happiness because happiness CAN be bought. McDonald's got it right in its kid-oriented package called a Happy Meal.  Happiness is a cheap, momentary, easily purchased and easily discarded feeling rooted in the fulfillment of selfish desires.

In 1Peter 1:1-12, Peter is concerned with spelling out the most basic building blocks of Christian faith. The passage enumerates what makes the way of Christ distinct, unique, and worth the hardships a 1st century confessing Christian was sure to endure.  All can confidently hold in their hearts the future hope of salvation.  But in the here and now, in our day-to-day existence in this fallen world, Peter identifies a different distinguishing characteristic that marks a disciple of Jesus: JOY.  Joy is as far a distant from happiness as marshmallow salmon eggs are from Beluga caviar.  You might say, “Goosie what is the difference between happiness and joy?”

Well friends joy is a command.  There are lots of scriptures that command joy.  My favorite is 1 Thessalonians 5:16, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you".   Joy holds on and holds out. Happiness blows off and on, hot and cold.  Happiness is fleeting; joy endures.

Think of this, at the moment of a great sports victory happiness is at its zenith.  For one triumphant, exhilarating, moment the winner is the victor, happiness rolls over the winning team like a Jacuzzi set on typhoon mode.  Nothing could feel better. For a few hours.  For, perhaps, a day.  But that adrenaline-soaked happiness is almost immediately infected with "what if" viruses.  "What if this is the only triumph I ever get?"  "What if we lose big next year."  "What if I can never again play as well as I played today?"  Every athlete knows that the happiness of victory is the most momentary, the most fleeting, the most unrepeatable moment in their lives.

Joy refuses to be squelched, submersed, or sublimated.  Joy isn't dependent upon personal strength, personal ability, or personal achievement. Joy is rooted in God, nourished by faith, sustained by grace.  Happiness can be a solitary emotion.  Rejoicing is a community enterprise.  You can be happy by yourself.  You rejoice with others.

With my recent illness (which is still a mystery) I am happy that I seem to be on the mend.  BUTT I rejoice with all of you who shared your concern, love, thoughts and good vibes with me.  This community we call Blogville is how the Church should be, where we are invited to rejoice together.  Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstance.  Paul said that, you might have expected Paul to put prayer first: 'the Church is the people who pray together'; but he does not.  It's joy that comes first.  And, whether or not this occurred to Paul, it's profoundly important.  Unless we're filled with joy we cannot pray.  Happiness is from the world.  Joy is from Christ.  In fact, joy is Christ.

There was a cup on eBay that people were bidding on.  Here was the item description that inspired the intense bidding: A FINE EARLY LUSTER CHILD'S CUP WITH RELIGIOUS SENTIMENT; PRINTED IN BLACK WITH A PINK LUSTER TRIM, probably Staffordshire or N. East England (Sunderland), circa 1820.  It was probably given originally to a child, perhaps as a Sunday School prize or as a reward for scriptural achievement.

Here's the message printed on the Sunday School cup.  “Let others worship glittering dust.  And boast of earthly toys.  Christ is my rock, my hope my trust and spring of all my joys!" Could the hunger for this go-for-the-true-gold message be why the bidding on this gold trimmed cup went to $252.50?

I’ll say it again: Happiness is by chance.  Joy is by command.  Happiness is a choice.  Joy is a commitment. Happiness evaporates.  Joy endures.  Happiness is rooted in human emotions.  Joy is rooted in God's grace.  Happiness is a happenstance.  Joy is a commission. 
 
 
Thank you again my friends for being a part of the joy that fills me and MOM’s heart, during happy times and hard times.
Blessings,
Goose

46 comments:

  1. Goosie, we are overJOYed to see you out and about - even running. Continuing to send love - and JOY!!

    -Bart, Ruby and Otto

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  2. JOY filled our hearts tonight Goose seeing your smiling face and seeing you out hiking once again! And we know your Mom is filled with JOY too knowing that you are doing soooo much better!! We will always be right here for you both.

    Hugs,
    Lily Belle & Muffin

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  3. Hi Y'all!

    Oh thank you Goose! Thank you for being you and showing us all your beauty and sharing.

    My Human had it all backwards! She thought happiness could not be bought, that it was enjoying all the gifts and beauty God bestowed upon her and around her...now she's going to have to rethink everything!

    So glad you are continuing to improve and feel better. We look so forward to your Sunday teachings. Stay safe my beautiful friend.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

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  4. We're so happy to see you enjoying a beautiful hike with your mom.

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  5. Such joy! I am filled with joy reading this.

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  6. We are so relieved to see you out and about, Goose. A wonderful, beautiful post today, too.
    Hope you and your Mom are having a great and blessed Sunday.
    XOXO

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  7. Goose, it is just wonderful to see you so filled with joy! Keep getting better dear friend
    hugs
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Greta

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  8. Goose, my heart was filled with JOY readin' this lovely postie and seein' your JOYFUL face! I loved seein' you runnin' and sniffin', and stick rescuing!
    I am sendin' AireZens your way for you and your Moms!
    Kisses,
    Ruby ♥

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  9. Oh Goose!! Our hearts are full of joy that you are so much better and seeing your big smile makes us smile too.

    ♥♥♥Moa & Prissy

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  10. I'm full of joy that you are feeling better! :) And we loved the story about the cup. How perfect!

    Bunny

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  11. I are JOYful to have ya as a pal Goose.

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  12. We are filled with joy as we read all about your adventures today...so glad that the two of you are together sharing JOY!!

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  13. when I saw the word JOY as the title to the post i jumped right here first. I knew it meant you are better and my heart filled with joy as I looked at you in the woods trying to drag that big log/stick out of the water... tell Mom thanks for he post on joy.

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  14. Hey Mr. Goosey! We are glad that you are fine. We read about your news in The Three Pug's blog.

    I've never thought of joy and happiness to be two different things. It's sometimes nice to hear a seasoned person's thoughts on the matter. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  15. So glad to see you out and about brother Goose and we are thrilled you are on the mend. Enjoy your sunny days. Have a serene Sunday and let us all partake of some big easy today.
    Best wishes Molly

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  16. Oh Goose, that is such a wonderful post. We are so so glad that you are getting much better now. We sure all have had our paws crossed for you. We love the talk about happiness and joy. You and Mom take good care.

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  17. what a wonderful day you had - those are the special moments to treasure forever

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  18. What a beautiful post! We could all use more JOY in our lives!!

    The Florida Furkids

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  19. Hari OM
    It has given much joy to behold our favourite stickologist back on the job. Such a perfect message. Blessings, hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

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  20. I think joy is a thingy what you have inside of you and joy lasts much longer than a happy moment. So I pick joy, what filled my heart too as I saw your pictures and your post today. Have a wonderful sunday, bro.

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  21. Goose it is BLOGVILLE that is filled with JOY, knowing that you are feeling well enough to take a walkie and to rescue some sitcks and stuffs. YES it DOES make us FULL of JOY. YOU and your MOM fill us with JOY.

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  22. Fantastic. It truly spoke to me.

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  23. Morning morning morning to you Goose and mom. You have filled our hearts, minds and soul with joy today. What beautiful words from your mom's heart and God's book.
    You and mom are purrfect examples of commitment and unconditional love. Obviously you and mom had a wonderful hike and your smile is priceless.
    Continued hugs and love and prayers
    Madi your BFFF And mom

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  24. What a bootiful post Goose, you have filled out hearts as Madi said. We are so pawleased you got to go for a hike and that you are feeling better. Have a super Sunday xxoxxx

    Mollie and Alfie

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  25. Goosie, I'm overjoyed seeing you out and about and commanding a stick to your will again! I pray they find the root of your illness and I wish you MANY MANY more joyful years with your mom!

    Excellent sermon today. You always have a knack for saying exactly what I need. Thank you for the happiness and yes, JOY you and your mom spread!!

    Treasure your days together! I miss my girl SO much! And we've lost three in our hiking pack this year and another is soon to cross the bridge. So many of my friends find joy and connection to higher power out and about with their animals and it's hard to see so many of them so sad.

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  26. Goose, you definitely look sooooo happy! It looks like a fun hike.

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  27. We are so happy and full of joy that you are on the mend. Hike on, Goose!

    Wyatt and Stanzie

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  28. Thank you for sharing your joy, dear Goose. It fills our hearts:-)
    Ruthie and Bella the Rat Terrier Princess (neither of whom posts in our blog;-)

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  29. Goose it is a joy to see you doing what you love so much. Blessings to you and your family.

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  30. Yes, it is joyful indeed! Since your mom was busy with the kids, our mom told everone you felt better and they were HAPPY!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  31. What a wonderful lesson, Goose! You know that we are filled with joy to see you running and smiling and saving sticks!
    Cammie!

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  32. We are so happy that you and your mom are having the most joyful day, Goose!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

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  33. Goose I am so happy for you and your Mom!! Our prayers answered!!!!!!! Thank you Lord Jesus!!!

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  34. Joy! Yes Goose, yous IS the expression of Joy!
    Mes is so furry happy to sees yous is feeling like yourelf!
    Kisses
    Nellie

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  35. Goose we are so happy.. You made our day
    Lily & Edward

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  36. Thank you Goose and Mom for this wonderful wonderful post! The power of the Paw and Prayer!

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  37. Hey Goose!
    Wow, my joyful moment today is seeing your post and te pix of you looking so joyful! I'm so glad you are feeling good and your pix are gorgeous as always. Great stick!
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, Furiend

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  38. Oh, Goose...I came over to see how you were doing and this post and your beautiful face just brought tears to my eyes! I am filled with happiness and joy that you are getting better and stronger...and your running photo squeezed my heart! Stay strong and keep on getting healthier...and may you always know both happiness and joy.

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  39. Goose may you and your Mom enjoy every single joyful and happy moment you can together.....I think those moments are more precious than ever before now - sending prayers for TONS more special and joy-full days!!

    Hugs, Sammy

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  40. ♥♥♥♥♥

    goose....joy iz see in ewe ina streem...with a stick big aza tree......even if it iza tree; continmewed blessings frum R rockin pal St Francis two ewe...that ya haz joy each N everee day ~~~

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  41. Excellent post and reminder that joy comes from knowing Christ. Without Him - we are nothing, we have nothing. Joy is knowing that He is there - in good times or bad. We can rest on His promises. When my dog Shadow passed more than a few years ago, I had joy - because I knew the Lord would carry me through the pain. It still hurt - but I knew He was with me.

    I am glad Goose is doing better. :)

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  42. It just makes my heart glad to see your smilin' face again and we give thanks that you are so much better and can save those sticks. There is little that can compare with the joy of sharing so all your friends are feelin' awesome that they could be there for you and your mom during this stressful, scary time. God is good.

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