Friends! How could it be February? Where did January go?
No worries…I’ve got GREAT NEWS for you. Better yet, I’ve got some gargantuan JOY for you.
My Tuesday Bible study group, now known as “Blessings on Burlington”, is currently devouring Fight Back With Joy—Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest Fears. by Margaret Feinberg. I cannot begin to tell you (altho’ I’m going to try!) what an invaluable resource this workbook is. Run, don’t walk to your nearest Christian bookstore and grab one.
We finished Week One’s homework last week. One of our gals said, “Wow, I can’t believe Margaret’s got more to give! This is amazing!”
What I love and appreciate about the workbook is how equipping and empowering it is. Margaret’s input, after having battled cancer (can you imagine?), has boatloads of blessings and loads of lessons, page, after page, after page.
In addition to the body of the workbook’s text, little “quotables” and “notables” are stashed in many of the margins. One favorite from Week One comes from Henry Nouwen who said, “Joy and laughter are the gifts of living in the presence of God and trusting that tomorrow is not worth worrying about.”
Speaking of gifts, each day’s homework is gifted with a “Closing Prayer”. Day Three’s prayer was a blessing last week:
“Continue to ask God to reveal any areas where you’re missing out on the fullness of joy that He wants to give you. Ask Him to supernaturally allow you to experience more of His joy than you’ve ever experienced before.”
We joked about suffering from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) in our social lives. One of our gals learned in a recent email about JOMO (Joy of Missing Out). Oh, we had fun with that!
Beautiful Scriptures are sprinkled throughout each week’s lessons making you want to add them to your journal or copy it onto a post-it note for your home or car. Memory verses on cards are in the back of the workbook which you can tear out and place in a prominent spot. What hasn’t Margaret thought of?
Each week also has an “Experiential Activity” for your group. My friend, Susan, our hostess with the mostest, and I have tweaked these to work for our group. Those of you who are craft lovers, knock yourselves out. But those of us who are craft-impaired (!!!) prefer to choose an “adjusted” route. Hey, we’re still celebrating and reaping joy…
Margaret reminds us: “You and I are called to a life marked by:
and much, much more! As children of God, we are meant to radiate God’s joy and leave a well-littered trail of divine affection and delight wherever we go.”
This is exactly what Margaret equips us to do. She gives us tactic after tactic to “litter” joy around and innumerable ways to fight back with joy. (Incredibly Margaret also gives us a Joy Bomb Journal in the back to list daily pieces of joy we see or experience. Yes, chocolate can be one of them.)
I’ll go so far as to say if you have a friend who’s going thru’ a rough time right now, even without the videos (altho’ they could download them thru’ Lifeway), this workbook would bless them immensely. Obviously if you’re in a grande season, it’ll still bring you joy!
N.D. Wilson wrote an article for Christianity Today entitled Lighten Up, Christians: God Loves a Good Time. May we all heed his quote (which Margaret includes in her workbook) as I’d never considered such before….Enjoy:
“We Christians are the
speakers of light.
We are the
proclaimers of joy.
Wherever we go, we are the
Mascots of the gospel,
The imagers of the infinitely creative Father,
Younger brothers and sisters of the humbled and triumphant Word.
We speak in this world on behalf of the One who made up lightning and snowflakes and eggs.”
I believe Margaret wrote the book, of the same title, before the workbook. The book is also excellent, however I personally prefer the layout of the workbook. That friend you have in mind may prefer the book. Consider their personality to help you decide which format would be best. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either.
And don’t forget, Margaret began her study of joy in the Bible a full year before she was diagnosed with cancer. I believe God filled her up, equipping her for that very difficult battle. Another perfect example of His perfect timing.
Here’s what the book looks like:
May our joy from January flow to overflowing for February.
You’ll be thrilled to know some words on FITNESS for February are coming your way. Oh yeah, I’m groaning right there with you. But, we’ll have fun, I promise.
‘Til next time!