Friday, June 1, 2012

Choose Joy (Because Happiness Isn't Enough) by Kay Warren

The title says it all, "Choose Joy". Joy is a choice. That is what Kay teaches us in her newest gem written with such grace and truth. I want to share a few of my favorites that seemed to stand out to me. First of all, Kay reminds us that joy is a choice. Simple as that. It doesn't matter what is going on in our life we must make a choice.

"Father, I acknowledge that it is up to me to choose joy in my life, to embrace the birthright you have given me. I pray for wisdom to know what I can and can't control. Help me to take care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I also pray for new eyes to see all that you are doing in my life. I want to be alert. I want to be grateful. And I ask that my enjoyment of life would be a part of my enjoyment of you. May I see new ways to praise you every day. In Jesus's name, amen."

Wow! What a powerful prayer. Each chapter ends with a prayer and a few questions to ponder over the chapter.

Something else that Kay hits on, is the fact that life is like a railway. Train tracks running parallel together. We have joy on one side and those circumstances that try to steal it away on the other. "Every day of your life good things happen. Beauty, pleasure, fulfillment, and perhaps even excitement occur. That's the track of joy. But every day of your life also holds disappointment, challenges, struggles, and perhaps even losses for you or those you love. that the track of sorrows. Most of us try to outsmart the sorrow track by concentrating our efforts on the joy track, as if by our positive outlook or outright denial of reality we can make the sorrow track go away. That's impossible, because joy and sorrow will always be linked." 

This is one of those slow reads that you want to take your time with so you can soak up every ounce of wisdom throughout the pages. Kay shares her heart and is so real sharing her own life to give us a glimpse of her struggles as she reaches toward the choice of joy.

"One trait of a joyful person is the ability to see beyond herself and her circumstances, realizing that the eternal is more than the temporary and making choices that reflect a hope for the future. But paradoxically, focusing on eternity also means recognizing the power of this moment. this is the time to choose to be joyful. This is the time to love. And this is the time to be grateful for the goodness God has put in the moment in front of us."

This book holds such value to the Christian searching for that real joy we see in Christ's life. This is one of those valuable books that reading it more than once will give even greater insight to letting go and choosing to find joy.

This book was a gift from Revell for it's review.

Kay Warren cofounded Saddleback Church with her husband Rick Warren in Lake Forest, California. She is a passionate Bible teacher and respected advocate for those infected with and affected by HIV and AIDS, as well as orphaned and vulnerable children. She founded Saddleback's HIV/AIDS Initiative. Kay is the author of Say Yes to God and coauthor of Foundations, the popular systematic theology course used by churches worldwide. She has three children and five grandchildren. Learn more at www.kaywarren.com and follow her on Facebook (Kay Warren) and Twitter (@KayWarren1).

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