Fun, Amazing, Etc.

This is the official blog of indie author / adventure writer Andy R. Bunch, author of the fantasy book, "Suffering Rancor." As always, I'll post funny or amazing things I find in my travels or from poking around online. This is a great place to kick back and relax a bit. You may note that I’m not too clean or too dirty. For more information on my book, go to Here are links to first two books and

Monday, September 22, 2014

Rejoice is a choice

Rejoice as Choice
1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 19, 23 – 24
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit.

23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound[f] and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

Rejoice in every situation? I’ve only recently come to see this as a cornerstone of life. I kept waiting for my circumstances to reflect the changed reality inside me as I grew as a person. Sometimes I found myself in just such a situation.

Once I took up weightlifting with a friend and ended up taking a step aerobics class. I wouldn’t have chosen to do the class, but I really enjoyed the break from college and the combination of both workouts caused me to drop weight without a great deal of stress and will power. Eventually an injury caused me to give up weight lifting and I got out of the habit of hitting the gym.

Now in my 40’s I’m taking up health, both diet and exercise, and though I feel my stamina and strength returning I’m not dropping pounds at all. I can even see results in the mirror—I look and feel better than I have in years. I have more energy. BUT the scale doesn’t move.

I can choose to believe that the first time I exercised I was doing the right thing because it worked. I can look at what I’m doing now, which takes way more effort and I can get down on myself because it’s not working. If I do that, I’m unseated from the place of peace that is mine in God. I lose connection to God and soon I give up entirely, or worse.

Clearly I can’t take my self-esteem from the situation around me. It’s got to come from inside. I think the reason I was so challenged by this in the past is because it seemed like a command. “No matter how bad it get’s Andy, you’re Christian duty is to put on a brave face.” It was so inauthentic I couldn’t believe it was from God. We’re assured that all good things come from God (James 1:17). So my very reason for rejecting the notion that I’m to suffer with cheer is the very reason I am able to do it now—it’s all in how you look at it. God doesn’t command ME to be cheery in bad times, He’s offering to give me joy despite any circumstance.

My wife has a saying, “happiness is an emotion: Joy is a choice.” It’s very true. Our situation can impact whether we are happy, angry, sad, depressed, etc. but if we live from inside out we can choose to be thankful and joyous no matter what’s going on externally. Joy is part of the character of God, along with Love, Peace, Understanding, Long Suffering, Gentleness, Kindness, and Meekness/Humility. Any of these things are yours for the asking. They are your inheritance.

As a bonus, when we remain true to the inner reality despite our external situation we become increasingly more impactful on our external circumstances. When we live from outside in we can never know peace, love, joy or any of it for longer than a second or two. If we live from inside out, relying not on our own strength, we can experience a centered, aware, peace and joy that confounds any attempt to take us out.

In the movie Click, Adam Sandler’s character is given a remote that can fast forward through the tough relationship areas of life. It starts skipping anything emotionally difficult times automatically, which jumps further and further ahead into some really rough situations. The character eventually learns to appreciate the bad with the good because if he avoided it he lost opportunities for relationship with the people he cared about. That’s exactly what’s going on in our lives with God. If we try to zone out the hard stuff we lose connection with the one who loves us perfectly.

Rejoice is a choice at all times. Have a great day…or not, you decide.

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