A Curious Case of Joy and Mourning

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I know that my blog is called “The Joy Detective.” That may seem to call for a certain set of expectations.  That said, would you believe that sometimes the greatest joy can be birthed in the greatest sadness? Many people experience deep joy at the other side of deep pain. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that way, but sometimes it is.

Lately, I have gone through a bit of a season of mourning. It has been much needed. There have been a lot of things I needed a good cry about:

I needed to cry when I had to say goodbye to friends I discovered did not have the best intentions towards me. That was a bummer. But you can’t make anyone love you . . . so, goodbye and bless you! (Wow, that hurt!)

I cried after I watched people I know fall to pieces on Facebook attacking each over political nonsense. It’s so stupid, and people are being played against each other like puppets. (Angry cry.)

I cried after someone I looked up to as a mentor posted hurtful, stereotyping things on social media about people who look like me.  (Bit of a sucker-punch!)

I cried after I went through a break-up. (A lot of people can understand that one!)

I have cried after watching young kids frequently go about pretending to be someone who they are not in order to gain acceptance. (I get quite mad about anything that goes after kids . . .)

I cried realizing that I was afraid to learn how to love again. That one came as a bit of a shock, but there you have it! (I didn’t expect to ever be there!)

The good news is: in all these places I have cried, I have been able to meet with my best friend, Jesus. We have had some good chats right in the middle of all this craziness. He’s good at giving hugs and talking things through and just being there with me. Knowing that, makes me happy deep inside. The pain’s right there, but I am not too keen to avoid it because Jesus is right there, too!

And something very curious is happening to the pain . . . it’s starting bit by bit to look like a pearl.

 

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The Healing Page

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I believe in God the Healer.

So, on that note, I am asking God for some “words of knowledge” for anyone out there reading this who might need a touch from the jolly God Who is Love. I am going to list out some things I am hearing/seeing and speak love and life over those parts of you in Jesus’ name, sweet ones! Just receive this as a gift; you are dearly treasured. This is free!

I highly recommend you just hold out your hands like you are receiving a gift and test it out if you find what you are dealing with anywhere on the list. Feel free to comment and share with me any awesome stuff you are experiencing; it blesses my heart to see God love on people!

-Broken/fractured leg just below the knee

-Nightmares, particularly those resulting in heavy sweating

-Broken big toe

-Injury resulting from something involving macaroni and cheese

-Severe coffee burns

-Cigarette burns (multiple)

-Blackouts connected to trauma

-Anxiety accompanied by the feeling of your head being gripped as if in a vice

-Scars on the back from whipping

I love you, and I bless you—wherever you may be!

The Joy Detective

Check Your Source

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I learned an odd lesson as a college student. (I started out as a Religion Major and switched over to an English Major.) It was about checking sources. Generally, in very official-type papers where you want to make an argument to convince people of your point, you quote a well-respected source. Now, depending on what crowd you are catering to, you will—of course—choose a certain type of source.

The goal is persuasion.

Now, who decided which sources were well-respected and which sources were not? Far from riding on who the experts actually were, I discovered that this primarily hinged on who the actual experts were thought to be by a select group of choice members of the academia. It was curiously political. Very “who-knows-who.”

Sometimes this could be helpful. They set certain quality standards like “use correct grammar and punctuation” and “don’t use Wikipedia because anyone can put something on there.” For that, I am quite thankful. Good job!

The rest of time it could be a little irritating. I don’t like when people talk out of both sides of their mouths—simultaneously claiming Christ and knocking the Bible. This is usually accompanied by intimidation tactics and comments designed to make anyone who disagrees feel like an absolute unintellectual dunce. Look, I love some good hermeneutics. I love some good exegesis. That’s all good and well, but I’m not into cultural Christianity with its impeccable church attendance and closet atheism. There persecuted people out there dying for their faith. Quit the bs.

It’s like watching an incredibly macabre dissection of a heart. When one is in love—and I mean head-over-heels-all-in, there is this little thing called trust. You are not combing through your love letters trying to find proof that “he must be cheating.” Call it what you want, that is not love; that is paranoia. Who you trust is up to you.  Trust isn’t earned; it is given.

There are a lot of people with a lot opinions out there, and some even have titles to go with them! When you grow up with little to no sense of identity, sometimes you can be tricked into thinking that these titles matter, of their own right. You want to get your own, so you jump through all those hoops . . . so that you matter. Because human opinion is a big deal, right? Because I couldn’t be that dearly loved by the God of the Universe, right? Because He couldn’t be that good . . .  right???

Maybe not for the guy out his mind dancing naked before the Ark of the Covenant. Man, that dude was in love with God to the point that he didn’t even care what his wife thought. Because if this is real and I’m in love, who really cares what anyone else has to say about it? I will dance. Like. A. Freakin’. Madman. King David went through his ups and downs and questions with God. You can read about it in the psalms. But he allowed his questions to serve his relationship instead of making his relationship serve his questions. He bared his heart to lay it all on the table before the One he loved.

Sometimes Western culture forgets about this little thing called the “spirit realm.” It can be quite chatty, and it contains some spirits with some real agendas. Some are super kind and want to release love and encouragement and all sorts of heavenly things. Others are a bit pirate-esque: pillage, plunder, rape and kill. Many times this realm communicates through what we commonly refer to as “thoughts” and “feelings.” So . . . maybe if you’ve been hit with random suicidal thoughts lately, guys, it isn’t you! Congrats. You’re not crazy. Tell that thing to take a hike! You only empower cranky spirits when you believe them.

Oh, and by the way . . . if you were wanting to get to know Jesus Christ, the Beloved Begotten of Daddy God . . . that’s totally doable. You don’t have to be scared of what people think. Consider this one of many of God’s invitations to a never-ending, very-much-hug-filled conversation.

Selah.

The Ecstatic Dance

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Who needs a blast of joy today?

I am telling you, ladies and gentlemen, there is more than enough to go around!

Do you want to know what dearly frightens all of the demons of hell? Ecstatic joy exuding and pouring out from the bliss of knowing that you are forever and always embraced in the arms of your Creator, never to be parted!!! WooHOO!

So, today on the jolly blog, I am going take us back to the basics. If your grid for God has been derived from a bunch of religious guilt-trips and hating-on by haters, I have got splendid news for you: you got messed up on the head! God is the happiest Person that ever there was! (No matter how many times we forget that!) God’s a spinning dance of joy and love and community, and you are a dearly loved creation. Brilliant idea!

So, there’s this guy named Jesus, and He is really awesome. And I believe in Him. I believe in a God who is Three-in-One jolly happy dance and loves everyone. One of God favorite past-times? Loving on everyone who has been completely screwed over by religion! I believe that God is most clearly personified in the Person of Jesus.

You want to know what the cross was? You really want to know what the cross was? Well, that’s what you call spreading your arms wide-open for a hug, folks! Come at me, atheists! God completely loves you. You are amazing! Every time I run into one of you, I am reminded of God’s goodness. You want to know why? You help God deconstruct religious oppression. God doesn’t like oppression, so that makes you one of God’s favorites!

I believe that God wants everyone blissed out on the goodness of Jesus. No one excluded. I don’t care what the heck you call yourself; I call you loved!

Not So Jaded

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I am not looking for love.

That might sound a bit odd to some of you. How many different posts and articles out there are giving tips on “finding love”?

I stopped looking for love when I realized how absolutely silly that is. I don’t need to find love because I already have love. Or, more accurately, love already has me. It’s the very fabric that holds together my being. I cannot function without it. I would fall apart without it. It is the very substance that I breathe. The image in Whom I was made. It’s just . . . there.  Kinda like that dog in “Up” that just won’t go away. He keeps following Carl around no matter how many times he is rejected. That’s a tiny glimpse of what love looks like. Tiny glimpse, mind you. Tiny! Tiny! Tiny!

Now . . . I am looking for love.

????

Actually, I habitually enjoy looking around and appreciating what I have been blessed with. So, yeah, I look around to see what I already have. Sometimes, I look around for the air. Sometimes, I look at my toes and think, “Nice! I have toes.” I love to go on treasure hunts because I always expect to find a treasure. It’s just out there, waiting for me. Set up for me to find.

Now, as the argument goes, “You just don’t live in the ‘real’ world.” I am sure that anyone with that argument has sources and experiences ready to be quoted. They may do so to their hearts’ content, and when they are done feeling tired and weary and depressed and weighed down by the worries of the world, perhaps they will come and consider Someone different.

I did not mistype.

That word-choice was quite intentional. Capitalization and all. I said “Someone” instead of “something.” Truth, for me, is not merely a list of facts and figures subjectively manipulated to support whatever is morbidly trendy. Truth is a Person. “Truth is Life is Love is Jesus Christ in relationship in the Trinity.”

And if you can say that five times fast, I salute you!

I really, really like being alive. It’s awesome. The thing about seeing the Christ everywhere is that it’s like perpetually being surrounded by a hug. You can have a miserable day, but in the end, you are held in the arms of love! The misery fades, but the love lasts—because love is faithful, and misery is such a cheater!

I define “love” or rather “Love” by Jesus Christ (and—for that matter—the whole Trinity) because I can’t find a better definition out there. Everything else just seems selfish and sad in comparison.

I say that knowing that people have all sorts of ideas as to who Jesus Christ and the whole rest of the Trinity is/are. (LOL, language limitations!!!) I say that knowing it’s not always the best communicated, and people get confused about it all the time. It just can’t stop me from falling head-over-heels and stumbling around like a really, really happy drunk.

Feel free to message me if you would like to taste the Source of the Bliss.

Until Next Time,

The Joy Detective

Release From Shame

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This article is written or anyone dealing with that one secret that keeps your head bowed. That one memory that keeps you feeling like you are not worthy.

“Jesus sees you.”

For some, that is a terrifying phrase. Why? Because they have been taught a Jesus whose character is more akin to the devil.  A Jesus who accuses and is keen to call out sin. Not a Jesus who sees the beauty in a person and seeks to call it out.

People run away from a God who looks down upon them. No one wants to feel condemned. No one wants to feel ashamed. For some people, it’s even just easier on their consciences to claim that they believe that God doesn’t even exist or that God’s existence is highly doubtful.

Oh, but you are so beautiful! You were not meant to be kept in the dark. You were created to dance in the light and know love!

I remember reading a story about a man who lived in a graveyard and had a legion of demons inside of him. Did Jesus look at him and say, “Too far gone?” No. Jesus loved that man who was tormented. He cast those spirits out. The very presence of love cast torment out. Jesus saw past the blasphemous muttering to the man. He knew of the man’s pain and had compassion on him.

May you know love and no longer hide.

Hugs,

The Joy Detective

Joy Experiment #1-Words

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So, I’m just going to listen to what I am sensing that God is saying and declare it over this blog. This should be fun! Am looking forward to some miracles. Please let me know if any of these things I am seeing and releasing right now apply to you. I’d love to hear any testimonies y’all have out of all this! Be sure to reference the number so that I can tell which word(s) applies to you.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the love.

1) I keep seeing a picture of a lady giving birth. I sense that the baby needs to turn around inside the womb to come out headfirst, so I just speak that into existence right now. Turn around and come out the right way! I see a picture of a baby being held up; this baby is wearing a yellow outfit with white stripes. 

2) I see a lady standing over a record player. She is switching tracks on the record. I also see a pink bunny with this same lady. And a pair of brown, slipper-looking shoes than look like they’re covered with suede on the outside and have some sort of soft fluffy, off-white/ivory interior. I am sensing she needs money for a car. I see a picture of an envelope with money inside left on the front porch. If that is you, please check your front porch. I see a white envelope with money in it. I release that right now in Jesus’ name!

3) I see a little girl. She’s wearing a pink dress. It looks like she is having a tea party with some of her stuffed animals and dolls and such. One creature in particular is a bunny rabbit with a bow tied around the neck. I keep seeing sparkles show up in her room and something like a diamond in one of her tea cups. I release that, too , in Jesus’ name!

4) I see a broken leg. Lower part of the leg. Bone’s sticking out a bit. I also see a jar of cookies nearby. I release healing and wholeness right now into that leg.

5) I see a wooden salad bowl. Someone’s serving up salad. And garlic bread. I see garlic bread. I get the sense it’s some kind of family dinner. It looks like you just ran out of salad dressing. Check the fridge again, and I declare you’re going to have more than enough.