Recommendation: How to live with joy, Chris Stephanick

A Recommendation – How to Live with Joy, Chris Stephanick and Word on Fire

A caveat: I add this because people ask, “So, you recommend a knife from Amazon. Do you recommend Amazon’s business model, too? We get rich by snuffing out the local guy. Do you recommend stacking up on knives? How about anything else I can kill with?” Yes, we live in odd times. Regard knives, I do some woodworking and cleaning in the yard and, for whatever reason, find it handy to have a gloriously wonderful knife handy. Thus, I recommend the French Opinel. What I’m saying here, in case you miss it, is that I recommend things, not enterprises or history. So, there. 

Long, crabby faces

As a Christian who hangs with other Christians, I meet lots of mopey people. People with long faces who swear under their breath when they think no one’s listening. They’re mad about the pandemic, they’re mad about the presidency, they’re mad about the price of gas…they’re just plain sour. This flies in the face of Christianity, and every non-believer knows it and spots it from a mile away. Being a crabby old bastard turns off just about everyone. Including other crabby old bastards. 

An alternative

The alternative? Brother or sestra! There is an alternative. You are saved from your crabby old self. The G of creation repeats over and over that He adopts you into His family and loves you. He sets your path. He comforts you. He loves you. What in heaven or earth could be more life-changing? As a lantern of G’s love, shining light into darkness, it is your privilege to peel off those glasses and shine a little bit of thankfulness and…joy. 

That is the topic of Stephanick’s talk at the 2021 Good News Conference. I heard it on the Word on Fire podcast while doing dishes. Weird, but that white sauce that I hate so much? That stuff stuck to the bottom of the pot? It seemed slightly less onerous this time ‘round. I know, it’s a first-world problem, and that’s part of Stephanick’s presentation. Really? You’re in a bad mood because Leroy stepped on your new white shoes and put a big footprint on them? How about some perspective here…

Expectations, anger, and joy

I’ll add to Stephanick’s talk with a nugget that’s been rolling around inside my head for a year or so: “Anger comes from unmet expectations.” I don’t know where I heard this and don’t remember anything said, but when I’m mad at my wife or my dog, the words always scroll across my brain like a ticker tape. Anger comes from unmet expectations. I’m angry at my wife when she doesn’t do what I expect her to. I’m angry at the dog – and this is really stupid since I volunteer to have him – when he doesn’t meet my expectations. Same anywhere in any circumstance. In fact, I’m writing it down in The Book of Mitton as one of life’s unwavering principles. Anger comes from unmet expectations.

Listen here at Word on Fire.
For the podcast website, go here. 

In case you’re wondering, I know no one at Word on Fire and receive nary a cent or scrap of a tee shirt or anything cool from recommending them. I just was a great talk.