Sparking Joy!

As my wife and I prepare our home for the arrival of our first child, we have been gathering inspiration from a reality TV show on Netflix that you have probably heard of called, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”. As the families on the show go through their clothes, sentimental items, and other belongings, Marie asks them to think about whether or not something “sparks joy”.  If it doesn’t – it is removed! What a great concept. However, while we can all use a decluttering of our homes, cars, and offices, what is more important is the need to declutter our spiritual lives.

Philippians 4:6-8 reminds us to get rid of anything in our hearts and minds that is not worthy of taking up that space, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

What about you? What has consumed your mind daily? What complaints have you uttered incessantly? What thoughts or emotions have you wrestled with? Ask yourself if these things spark joy in Christ. Will constant thinking of these things please God? If they don’t, then it’s time to “tidy up” Marie Kondo style, and get rid of that way of thinking!!

And to connect a few more dots, if we think about our current message series, GRIT, we can see how these cluttering thoughts can often derail our ability to be gritty. Because they are stumbling blocks in our relationship with God and our walk with Jesus, they are blockers to the blessings of persevering!

I’m sure that many of you have been leaning and really praying about how you can become grittier. You may be praying more regularly or fasting. Maybe you started a new book or reprioritized your schedule to spend additional time pouring into your family. This Sunday, Pastor Benji will be talking about grittiness and a very practical way you can live this out. We have 18 newhopers who got really gritty and made a commitment to hike 36 miles up Mount Kenya for the benefit of the Hope Center in Thika, Kenya in an experience called Hike for Hope. Every mile they climb raises funds which offers hope to children and students living in an impoverished area, as well as serving as a vocational training center for women transitioning out of human trafficking.

Starting TOMORROW, every person who reads this can be a part of something bigger than themselves and participate – and I promise we won’t ask you to go to Kenya and climb a mountain to do it! You can sign up for the Virtual Hike for Hope and pledge to walk/run either 3.6 miles or 36 miles before December 31st and be a part of the team…right where you are! Want to check out more in before Sunday? Click HERE to read more.

I can’t wait to see you Sunday at a newhope campus near you! Bring your friends, bring your relatives, bring your neighbor, but be sure to show up and ready to lift high the name of the only one who deserves our praise! We’ll also be celebrating Holy Communion together.

Love you, newhope! Thanks for “sparking joy” for me!!

Dave Bookhout
Executive Director of Creative Arts & Worship

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