Tag Archives: joy

How We Came to Joy

“How does the teaching team come up with the themes or topics for the Experiences?”

For some of you who may be reading this and who don’t have a strong bond with or faith in Christ, it might seem odd to say this, but we pray a lot about what we should talk about on Sundays.

  • What does God say?
  • What does the Bible teach?
  • What’s relevant right now?

We say, “Lord, what is happening in people’s lives that we can speak to and we can pull a message from the greatest historical, literary, relational book of all time, the Bible, in order to bring inspiration to people through our Experiences at Venture?”

  • How can we bring people closer to Christ?
  • How can we explain the teachings of the Bible?
  • How can we connect to people both near and far from God?

This year the theme of joy came together for our Christmas Experiences. Joy Everlasting is the whole idea that joy is a gift and joy is a choice. Over 300 times in the Bible, “joy” or “rejoicing” is mentioned, but today a lot of people don’t have joy. They’re puckered up, they’re uptight, they’re carrying the weight of the world, and there’s a lot of crap happening around us but God says that even through these trials you can experience His gift of joy.

The Message of Joy is Relevant for Today

So, this year, with all that’s happening in the world with natural disasters, sexual exploitation, and evil – it just seems to fit that joy is a great topic. I believe joy is a message, a topic, a conversation that is very relevant for today because we always want to present topics that are relevant to the emotions, experiences, and situations that people go through in their everyday lives.

I invite all of you to attend one of our Christmas Experiences on Dec. 23rd @ 3, 5, or 7 p.m. and Dec. 24th @ 9 and 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. If you can’t be in attendance, then after the 25th you can watch the Christmas Experience online.

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Christmas at the Prisk House

Traditions are something that people can look forward to, enjoy, and appreciate. Now some people have traditions that seem like they’ve become more work than enjoyment and are looked at as a kind of drudgery rather than a source of joy.

So, during a season when traditions pop up, make sure you keep the joy in your traditions.

I have a tradition. It involves loud music, the Michigan cold, and hours of work. Let me tell you why I cherish it every year.

I love to put outside lights and a nativity in my front lawn. It’s a custom-made nativity that a great friend of mine designed and I cut out the wood and then she painted it. It takes a lot of time to illuminate the house, it’s not a 45-minute process, it takes several hours. What I do is I crank up the radio station that’s playing 24/7 Christmas music and I start this multi-hour process.

Keeping Jesus at the Core of Christmas

Why is this tradition something I look forward to?

Well, on our display we don’t put up snowmen or Santas, it’s all about Jesus.

Now, I understand that a lot of places are doing the PC thing and calling it “holiday celebrations,” but for those that truly know the One who came, lived, died and was buried, we understand that there is no Christmas season without Christ.

What are Your Christmas Traditions?

I’m not telling you about my Christmas tradition in a boastful or prideful sense, I’m just saying at the Prisk house at Christmas, we want it to be clearly understood that Jesus Christ came, He is the reason for the season, He is the way and the truth and the life.

He is the one that not only gives merriment and joy on one day a year, but every single day of the year and for eternity. So, crank up the Christmas music and dust off your traditions and let us all make a statement that Jesus came, He lives and we celebrate His life.

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Is memorizing stuff my happy pill?

I love it when I talk to people who can at a moment’s notice remember the words to the opening theme song from an 80’s sitcom, but who can barely remember what they had for lunch yesterday!

Now I’m no brain-iak, but between ATM PINs, online account passwords and phone numbers, it’s tough to cram more info into my brain!

A recent study found that immediately after a 10-minute presentation, people only remembered 50% of what was said. By the next day that had dropped to 25%, and a week later it was 10%. While this is humbling considering what I do for a living, one thing is clear – you can’t expect to be able to stay sustained from only attending church on Sunday!

Memorizing scripture, God’s word, the manual God gives us to live by is a huge priority for my life – so forgive me if I forget what I had for lunch yesterday…

Being able to use a Bible verse when I’m praying, when someone else needs it helps me calibrate and changes my attitude. God’s wisdom is far greater than my wisdom.

1 Thessalonians 5: 16 – 18: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

What this means to me is to always be joyful, always be praying, no matter what happens, always be thankful. If I’m joyful I’m praying and I’m always thankful. I’ll have a different demeanor in my life, a different bounce in my step.

By living this verse, by memorizing it, I can be reminded to:

1. Be a positive influence on others.

2. Live in a joyful way that can’t be manufactured.

When I’m tapped into God’s spirit and His word, this comes easily, even when I can’t remember a name!


attitude change


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