The Joy Giver

You may have heard that it was hot here in Oregon. It was. I live close to the airport and it registered 116 degrees on Monday, June 28. I must admit I do not need to experience that again. The house doesn’t have AC and we were very grateful for a basement that day. But by the evening a cooling wind came, the temperature was 20 degrees cooler the next day (only 97!) and it felt wonderful. Today is even better. The picture above is the fern which normally thrives near my front door. It got scorched.

I was on my way to pray with a member this morning who was heading in for some shoulder surgery and elected to listen to the radio, hoping to hear the weather forecast. NPR came on and I was stunned by what heard. NPR has launched an app called “Awe” which they describe as a joy app. The idea is that folks who are coming out of lock down and COVID restrictions need to remember how to be happy. There is an app for that apparently and your phone is the place to make you happy.

What stunned me about this was the interview with the app promoter/developer. Her language was couched in the language of therapy and language, but I could have mapped much of it right onto the letter to the Philippians. If you want to hear the article or read the transcript, here is the link.

The preacher may want to latch onto this. The world recognizes that it has a problem. You don’t need to develop the law much here. But the solution is insufficient. It is good as far as it goes, but there is more. The creator of the app said that we would be happy if we get outside ourselves and stop thinking about ourselves too much. Do something for someone else. That is the secret to joy. Paul concurs and takes it one step further. It is only when Jesus occupies that center place in your life that you really experience joy, only when he displaces the self-centered ego.

Our people are hurting. They have been scorched like my poor fern in the picture. Can we give them some real joy?

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