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About Joy

By Vicar Lisa

Most of you that know me know I tend to be a somewhat serious person. I worry although I am trying to graduate from that. I sweat the small stuff. I like perfection and order. I admire those people who seem happy-go-lucky, that live life in the moment, that are willing to go on an adventure or try something new. They just seem so joyful!

The Bible has all kinds of verses on joy and we, as Christians, have a lot to be joyful about. When I was reading through the Old Testament for seminary, I noticed that Psalms and Proverbs alone have many gems to be gleaned.

  • You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
  • A joyful heart is good medicine… Proverbs 17:22a
  • This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
  • My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed. Psalm 71:23
  • Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! Psalm 32:11
  • Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! Psalm 126:5
  • Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Psalm 100:1

And that is not all of them. Reading these and many more inspired me to seek out how I could have more joy in my life as I try to move on from Professional Worrier to Graduated Worrier. I found some guidance that I wanted to share in an article entitled 15 Tips to Kick Start Your Joy.

  1. Sing out loud. Pick a kid’s song or any song that brings you joy and just belt it out there. My mother used to wake me up in the morning singing a song. I can’t even think of the song without smiling!
  2. Listen to the Bible on audio. Even better, try a narrator with an accent you enjoy!
  3. Tell knock-knock jokes. Teach a small child and joke and you will have giggles for hours. Get the child to make up their own jokes to share with you.
  4. Have a “Why Not?” Day every once in a while. If someone asks you to do something, instead of automatically saying no, say “Sure, why not?” and do it!
  5. Eat a donut. Sometimes you can shake free some joy just by eating delicious, frosted, sprinkled, and fried goodness. Seems to me that #5 goes with #4!
  6. Find a way to surprise someone. Do a kindness just because. When you imagine bringing someone else joy, you can’t help but feel some yourself.
  7. Play with small children. If you don’t have small children, you can play with pets. Just play. I had a great time playing corn hole with John and my dad at the fairgrounds on Monday.
  8. Look to Christ’s example. Hebrews 5:2 says “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
  9. Find at least one thing to be grateful for. And name it out loud.
  10. Recall God’s goodness and faithfulness in your life.
  11. Look Up! The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” Psalms 19:1
  12. Wear something brightly colored. A pop of color can do wonders.
  13. Read greeting cards. Seriously, stand in the greeting card aisle at the store and read the funny cards. And if you find one that is perfect for someone, buy it!
  14. Shut down your social media feed. Reading about everyone else’s “perfect life” can lead to ugly comparisons. As Teddy Roosevelt stated, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
  15. Watch animal memes on YouTube. If you are an animal lover, this is a sure-fire way to bring a smile.

I thought this list was full of good ideas. Now, I think I am going to curl up on the couch and eat a donut and watch animal memes on YouTube!

15th Sunday after Pentecost, Sept. 10, 2023

10 a.m. Worship with Holy Communion

Sunday's Flowers: Given by the flower ladies in honor of all those who perished on September 11


  • Schedule Updates: Sunday morning Bible Study will resume in October and Friday Women's Bible Study began this month. The next session will be on Friday, Sept. 22, in the Fellowship Hall with a study of the parables of Jesus led by Carol Smith. All are welcome.
  • God’s Work Our Hands 2023: Wear your yellow GWOH tee-shirts and join us after worship today for Zion’s God’s Work Our Hands project. We are giving Pastor Clay and Mary a Sunday off, by providing and serving food at Cimino Park to those who gather there for worship and lunch. Vicar Lisa will lead a short devotional and administer communion.  All the food is covered but help is needed to set up, serve, and break down.
  • Zion's 135th Anniversary: The anniversary celebration is Sept. 24. If you would like to help with these activities, please see Vicar Lisa or sign up on the sign-up sheet in the fellowship hall.
  • September Newsletter:Copies of the September newsletter are available in the sanctuary and the Fellowship Hall, as well as on Zion’s Website at:
  • Flower Sign Up: There still are Sundays in 2023 available for flower dedications. The recommended minimum donation is $35, and the work of our flower guild is lovely. You can keep the flowers or donate them. The flower guild divides the donated bouquet into nosegays for nursing homes and for the homebound.

E-formation - Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost Sept. 10, 2023

When church people refer to “Matthew 18,” it is the gospel for this coming Sunday that they are thinking of, with its advice about how Christians are to deal with controversies within the believing community. The good news in the reading is especially the last line: that Christ is among us always. Come to receive Christ’s gift of himself in word, sacrament, and community.

Matthew 18:15-20

Christians have used this passage to lay out the process of church discipline and to affirm the power of communal prayer. Most who hear this text on Sunday morning are indeed Gentiles, and in some ways, we are all “tax collectors.” The gospel is that when we gather, the risen Christ is present in the word, in the sacraments, and in the assembly.

Ezekiel 33:7-11

History shows that Christians find it difficult to balance the proclamation of divine judgment and divine mercy. Sunday worship attempts to respond to the whole of Ezekiel’s call with both a rite of confession and forgiveness and the sacrament of holy communion. The preeminent eleventh-century rabbi Rashi interpreted Exodus 20:5-6 in creative math and benign exegesis to affirm that God has 500 times more mercy than justice.

Romans 13:8-14

The commandments have not gone away, but they are gathered up into the love seen in Christ’s crucifixion and are realized by living in the light of baptism. Christ donned humanity that we may wear Christ. Our holy communion feeds us with strength for the day. As usual, Paul alludes to the power of sinful selfishness.


Zion's Lutheran Church