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  • J. Randal Matheny 4:15 am on 2016-12-31 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: joy,   

    I prayed for ‘joy in time’ 

    That’s the phrase I used, as I asked the Lord “for joy in time.” I think I know what I meant. (If not, you might recommend a good head doctor for me.)

    How might this phrase be read, and what might we ask the Lord for, by the use of this phrase?

    Your ideas are most welcome.

  • TFRStaff 5:16 am on 2015-04-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , joy, ,   

    Hugh's News & Views (Living Joyfully . . .) 


    It is wonderful to wake up in the morning from a peaceful night’s sleep and face the new day with joy and anticipation. I must confess that I have not always been as successful in doing either of these to the degree that I should have, but as I have gotten older I have grown in my appreciation of the fact that this is the way the Lord wants it to be, and I am thankful that I have grown in the ability to achieve that purpose. (More …)

  • John T. Polk II 6:36 pm on 2015-03-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , joy,   

    3-11-2015 We Are Not In Despair 

    “But as a mountain falls and crumbles away, And as a rock is moved from its place; As water wears away stones, And as torrents wash away the soil of the earth; So You destroy the hope of man” (Job 14:18-19 NKJV). By the time we read the headlines, see network TV News, watch destructive TV shows or dismal movies, or listen to our dreary “friends,” it’s no wonder that “depression” has enveloped our land. Job voiced the danger of being surrounded by downers!  But if we listen to God: Romans 15:13: “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” Christians learn to speak like Paul, “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair” (2 Corinthians 4:8 NKJV).

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

  • TFRStaff 6:52 am on 2014-12-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , joy, ,   

    This one is for you 

    Please see on the GoSpeak site our holiday prayer for all our friends, fellow saints, and coworkers in this great effort.

    We’re grateful to the TFR Fellows for their wonderful contributions to the knowledge of God.

    GoSpeak is the ministry arm and bigger umbrella for all the Forthright efforts.

  • J. Randal Matheny 1:11 pm on 2014-12-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , joy,   

    Be happy! That's an order! 

    Or something like that. Yes, the Lord Jesus gave a command to rejoice. An imperative to be happy, Lk 10.20. That’s what we’ll study tomorrow at Taubaté in our series, “Commandments of Christ.”

    An amazing thought, this command to rejoice, one that goes against a lot of psychobabble and man-made philosophy that teaches that emotions are uncontrollable. (Maybe this idea is the reason for modern society being in hot water.)

    That’s one reason why we’re looking at this tomorrow, but another, larger one is that this command comes in the midst of the work of proclaiming the Good News. Now ain’t that a big thought!? Your biggest joy just might be in the middle of doing the great task of God, the mission of Christ, the preaching of the gospel, the salvation of souls.

    But shhh! Don’t tell anybody the secret. We certainly wouldn’t want this to get out now, would we?

  • Ed Boggess 7:57 am on 2014-07-03 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: joy,   

    Dr. Don Curtis, in his book Human Problems and How To Solve Them, lists some depressing statements which indicate one is bored with life:

    “Life has lost its meaning for me — I’m fed up”
    “That gripes me — Everything’s a mess”
    “I’m bored stiff — Everything bugs me”
    “I’m sick and tired of it all — Life is the same old stuff”

    Many of us have heard these same kinds of statements. Actor George Sanders wrote in his suicide note several years ago – “I am bored with living.” Why is it we try everything but the right thing to find joy in life? Why not try God? We’ve tried everything else: work, education, travel, entertainment, drugs, booze — none have given the happiness we seek. So, why not try God? This is Just-a-Minute.

  • J. Randal Matheny 2:36 pm on 2014-06-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: joy, ,   

    Going to the house of friends to watch Brazil play again in the World Cup. This is about the only sports games that I watch, once every four years, Brazil in the Cup. We’ve even missed — sorry, Americans — the US play in the Cup. We don’t have any TV reception at home, so this gets us out of the house. The Missus is taking potato soup and chocolate muffins to enjoy afterwards. Christians can enjoy clean fun. That’s good for pagans to see. We’re real people and know how to enjoy this life, while watching for the Lord Jesus to sweep us into the next. The key is joyful and thankful holiness. There’s nothing more beautiful to show the world and for the world to see. Even during a ball game.

    • Jack 3:01 pm on 2014-06-23 Permalink | Reply

      Randal, I met these good folk from the Christian Church (Ind.) some 30 years ago and still receive an occasional letter of theirs passed on by a long time friend and mentor of mine that guided, or was it goaded, me into being a Berean. They have been successful in various foreign fields for many, many years.
      I am sending this note because of your’s and David’s comment, “We’re enjoying seeing the World Cup soccer championship games, held in Brazil this time.”

      David and Carol Bayless
      Pass. Pau d’Arco 100 — Coqueiro 67113-190 Ananindeua, PA, Brazil
      Belém, Brazil

    • Randal 7:30 pm on 2014-06-23 Permalink | Reply

      Hello, Jack, thanks for the note. I’ve known the Baylesses for many years. They’re good people. He has fought the charismatic movement in the midst of the Christian Church here in Brazil. It’s a shame the instrument continues to be a barrier to fellowship.

  • TFRStaff 7:52 pm on 2014-03-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: joy, ,   

    Happiness tied to the intangible 

    Anthony J. D’Angelo stated “Treasure your relationships – not your possessions.” Worldly happiness is so tied to materialism that happiness is almost always a synonym for money. Recall the immortal words of Jesus:

    “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21).

    As a child, it was my great grandmother who reminded us of the practical truth of the words of the Savior: “There is plenty of cheese in a mousetrap, but you will never find a happy mouse there.” (More …)

  • TFRStaff 4:00 am on 2013-12-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , joy   

    How is your attitude? 

    Harry Perry was told he was dying of leukemia, so he threw in the towel and started to act as if life was over. He quit his job, ruled out marriage, spent thousands on treatments, drank heavily, and spent most of his time alone. He was waiting to die, but he might as well have been dead already.

    Harry’s life was empty, even though he wasn’t dead. As a matter of fact, he wasn’t even dying.

    About 5 years after the initial diagnosis, another checkup showed that Harry did not have the disease. He has since then married, bought a home, and quit treatments. He feels great. Nothing has actually changed except Harry’s attitude. When he thought he was dying, he set a course of self-destruction. When he learned he wasn’t a victim of leukemia, he set a course of happy living.

    The application to this story is that some of us may be physically alive; however, mentally dead, meaning our negative attitudes quenches our spiritual joy. We if want joy and happiness, then we must change our attitudes.

    John 15:7-11—”If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; Even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

    Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day
    By Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock
    Warner Robins church of Christ, Warner Robins Georgia

  • docmgphillips 3:42 pm on 2013-09-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , joy   

    Joy or Happiness? 

    The two are not the same. Indeed, we are commanded to rejoice, but we are not commanded to be happy. Happiness is an emotional, temporary feeling due to circumstances around us. Joy is that deep inner “peace that passes understanding” (Philippians 4:7) which only those who are the children of God can truly claim. That is why God’s children can have joy even when it is the darkest night, even when the surrounding circumstances beat us down and engulf us. In John 16:33, our Lord Jesus told us, “Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.” With a promise like that, how can God’s children not be joyful, even when they cannot be happy?

  • Michael Summers 11:10 pm on 2013-07-22 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , joy,   

    The Joy of the Baptized 

    Joy exploded through my mind as I burst from immersion in the baptistry that evening. I submitted to Christ in baptism decades ago, but memory of that burst of joy remains clear. No one told me to expect that experience. I’ve noticed that many others seem extremely happy after baptism. Sometimes, their expression of joy even makes some people uncomfortable. However, converts in the book of Acts experienced joy also when they obeyed Christ in baptism.

    An Ethiopian government official, returning from worshiping God in Jerusalem, read from the prophet Isaiah as his chariot bumped along the road to Gaza. He did not understand all that he read; however, a passerby joined him and explained how the difficult passages pointed to a man recently executed in Jerusalem, a man that the official’s passenger said had risen from the dead and was God’s Messiah. As the official listened, he learned that immersion in water was part of joining the Messiah’s cause. He noticed a body of water nearby. “Look, here is water,” he said, “what hinders me from being baptized?” After the chariot stopped, he and his passenger went down into the water and the passenger baptized him. Afterwards, the passenger left him, the official went on his way rejoicing (see Acts 8:36-39).

    The official was not unique in his experience of post-conversion joy. A prison guard, awakened by an earthquake that he was sure had freed all his prisoners, learned from two of his prisoners (all had remained in the prison) about this same Messiah, Jesus. After cleansing his prisoners’ wounds, he too was baptized. Then “the jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God – he and his whole family” (Acts 16:34).

    The Apostle Paul wrote to converts in Thessalonica and recalled, “You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” (1Thessalonians 1:6). This passage makes clear that this joy would continue, but that it would not erase suffering. Christians would still encounter difficulties, some because they had confessed Jesus as Lord, but they would retain hope because of their newfound capacity for joy.

    Galatians 5:22-25 identifies joy among the fruit of the Spirit that identifies those who keep in step with the Spirit because they remain faithful to Christ. Life as a disciple of Jesus may become difficult sometimes because we forget our baptism and the joy we felt as someone brought us up from the water, cleansed from guilt, forgiven of sin, and added by God to Christ’s church. Like the government official, the jailer, Paul and the Thessalonian Christians, remember your baptism. Imitate Christ and faithful Christians. As Paul wrote to another congregation in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. and the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-6).

  • TFRStaff 8:57 am on 2013-05-09 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , joy   

    Grow in the fruit of joy 

    “Be joyful always” 1 Thessalonians 5:16.

    First, there’s a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is more dependant on circumstances while joy is a fruit of the spirit that we grow in.

    While those whose citizenship is here are wrapped up in the never-ceasing ‘pursuit of happiness’ that leads them down the road to Self, sensuality, and stuff, those whose citizenship is in heaven know the love God has for us in not even sparing his own Son to save us and promising to answer our prayers.

    We can be unhappy, then, while still filled with joy.

    That was our situation last year as both Lori and Timothy fought cancer. Life may have been filled with the day by day trials, but God was good–always! And so joy abounded. That’s why we can have joy even in the midst of great trials–always!

    If some of us have joy hanging from our limbs as shriveled fruit, it is because we have perhaps forgotten what God has done, fixed our eyes on the seen, love Self more than others, or have drifted away from truth. To grow in the fruit of joy, we must recapture the newness, re-fix our eyes on Jesus, renew our love for others, and recommit to truth.

    Are you growing in the fruit of joy?

    Doug Kashorek

    Plattsburgh church of Christ


    author of Kin of Cain

    a Christian historical fantasy


  • J. Randal Matheny 4:42 pm on 2013-02-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , joy, ,   

    If I say this is for evangelists, you won’t read it, will you? 

    Patience is a virtue for evangelists. A young man cancelled on our study last week the second time in a row. First time, he had to work late. The second time he talked to The Missus, so he didn’t give his reason for cancellation. It would be wrong to think he’s not interested. He might not be, but we can’t give up at this point. Sometimes, people just don’t feel the urgency they should, even though we tell them. Sometimes, too, they let life get in the way. So if we’re not studying, we’re praying for them, right?

    What’s the point of the title of today’s post? Talk of evangelists, and the eyes of many glaze over. “Oh, that’s not me,” they say. “I’m not an evangelist.” And they might even be right. They may not have the gift of evangelism. But isn’t this the purview of all? Rather, they ought to think, “This has to do with the Main Job of the church, I want to learn more, I want to improve my efforts, even though I might not be called an evangelist.” (I’m not even considering full-time evangelists here; some of the best ones I know aren’t supported by churches.) Say something is for evangelists and many saints tune out.

    • Now, sometimes elders and preachers do the church a disservice by calling the saints “church members,” which is not a phrase you’ll find anywhere within the NT. We have elders, deacons, preachers, and then comes that unformed and unclean mass of untrained “members.” The rest of them. Now we even have Distinguishing Titles for our Clergy. The other day I came across somebody—in OUR brotherhood, mind you— who called himself the Lead Minister. Obama said he leads from behind. This guy must serve from up front. Really!

    But I’m beginning to rant, and that’s not PC any more. My point is that, although we say we’re not clergy, we (third person of solidarity) act like it and quack like it. Caramba! We need more restoration in the church, do we not? And no restoration more needed than that of placing evangelism in its rightful place in the church, by everyone.

    Where is today’s Reuel Lemmons? (More …)

    • Anil Kumar 7:16 pm on 2013-02-10 Permalink | Reply

      Dear Bro.Randel,

      This is the fact today and I agree.
      I would like to share some of my views regarding the first paragraph of your article.
      The young man who cancelled his study may be right in his reason, and some some times it happens.

      I was thinking of something for long time with a title ” From the other End”. This is nothing thinking from the others point of view. People normally dont have this sence of thinking from others side. If a person who said that he would help us in a partucular issue and could not able to do it, then we obviously come to an opinion that he was decieved us. But how would it be if we first think of his circumstances which he could not able to do it. This is very commonly applicable to all the aspects. But still people generally comes to the negative thought first and will never come back to know fact of the person who cant able to do it. May be the person is righteous and was just feeling shy to show me his face because he could not able to do it for the proper reason. It is surely wrong to think that he is not intereted. May be the third or fouth time he may get the oppurtunity to attend the Study.

      May be the young man is in same circumstnaces or may not. Still we, as Evangelist should not conclude in a negetive way, how ever we pray for him.

      So its a right virtue to every one, especially for the desciple of Christ to give a thought of thinking “From The Other End”


    • Stephen R. Bradd 7:24 am on 2013-02-11 Permalink | Reply

      Good thoughts, Randal.

      • J. Randal Matheny 4:20 am on 2013-02-12 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Anil and Stephen. Another study is set with the young man for 5 p.m. today, and since it’s a holiday, work ought not interfere. Pray he makes it!

  • J. Randal Matheny 6:22 pm on 2012-09-06 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , joy,   

    The latter idea was hotly disputed by a follower. Imagine that!

  • TFRStaff 10:17 am on 2012-09-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: joy, ,   

    • Eugene Adkins 5:45 pm on 2012-09-05 Permalink | Reply

      Well said! I thought of 1 Corinthians 15:58 when I read this – “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

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