{September 11, 2022}

Heartland Community Church


Find Your Joy

By Lisa Zulke

Some things that bring me joy:

  • Paddle boarding at Saguaro lake through the canyons
  • Hiking in the forest on a mountain in Colorado
  • Sitting beside an alpine lake, with no sound of civilization
  • Helping someone discover who God created them to be
  • Learning new things
  • Figuring out/doing hard things
  • Pizza

I’ve found it to be true, that joy sneaks up on us. Because I love the outdoors I make time to explore it. Those adventures always make me happy, but they occasionally surprise with joy. The joy of exploring a favorite spot with someone who has never been there . . . and encountering joy through them. The joy of going somewhere you’ve never been, coming around a bend, and seeing a canyon open up in front of you. Or a waterfall, dropping over boulders and tree roots down the mountain. I would give everything to experience these types of joys each and every day. Even more, to do so with the people in my life to share that joy together.

Pizza brings me joy. I know that sounds silly, but it really does. However, I don’t think I’d give everything for it. I don’t usually go out of my way to get it.

One of my most joyful experiences came at 18. As a teenager I was drawn to opportunities to engage leadership, to grow my knowledge through experience, and to make things better for others. So when our school board declined to hear or discuss a "weighted grading" proposal brought forward by students and administrators in my district, I got motivated. It was suggested that if we had representation our ideas might be heard. I did what any motivated teen might consider . . . I filed and ran for a school board seat.

I was surprised to win . . . my main goal had been to find an outlet to share our (student leaders) ideas, and that had already happened through news coverage and an event to share campaign priorities. I was playing in a volleyball league when a commotion began in the gym. Reporters came in and wanted to talk. I beat two incumbents and would go on to serve 4 years on the school board as the youngest person elected to a school board in the US. I learned a million new things. I discovered more and more about who God created me to be. And I did some really hard things to make four years of service work.

College took 7 years instead of four, as I prioritized serving, negotiating contracts, analyzing financial reports and learning through this incredible experience. I commuted an hour for a dream job, because I needed to live in district. And I had the opportunity to continue amplifying the voices of teens like me.

It was not easy. But it was worth everything I traded. When I consider Jesus’ joy when he looks at each of us, and the trade up he gave for us, this pales in comparison. But as I look beneath the surface, Jesus was in this learning experience with me, helping me draw on a confidence I did not possess on my own. He was with me as I learned to speak up and lead up and he was with me as I uncovered so many layers of my identity. Where have your life experiences intersected with the plans Jesus had for you? When you reflect back, where was Jesus with you in each hard thing or each new learning? I’ll bet you find him in more places than expected . . . and that thought brings me joy!


{Sunday, September 11}

Read Hebrews 12:2

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus saw the incredible worth in every human being and gave up his life to gather us, reach us, trade up for us. Take a few moments to remember what that truth means to you today. If you gave your life to follow Jesus a long time ago, consider your why. And what have you received in that trade so far? Do you (do I) truly understand the value Jesus places on us when he looks at each one of us? How might we practice engaging that understanding and living from the value that Jesus places on us?


{Monday, September 12}

Read Colossians 1:1-8

Make a list of the things Paul and Timothy call out in the beginning of this letter to the Colossians. Who has heard the good news about Jesus through your life and story?


{Tuesday, September 13}

Read Colossians 1:9-14

Grab some paper and take note of the things Paul and Timothy pray for these people. Who in your life might need prayers like these right now? Which of these items could you use prayer for? What would happen if we each prayed for the community at Heartland, or the people in our neighborhood using this list?


{Wednesday, September 14}

Read Colossians 1:15-20

In these verses, Paul and Timothy bottom line who Jesus is and what he did for us. What a compelling description! Choose 1-2 things about Jesus and his impact on us/the world and use them as prayers of thanks today.


{Thursday, September 15}

Read Colossians 1:21-23

Drift happens in life, doesn’t it. It can be slow or fast, but we each will drift from the reasons we followed Jesus at some point in life. Where do you need to declare your belief in Jesus and his role in life? What do you need to stand firm in your belief in Jesus in your everyday life?


{Friday, September 16}

Read Colossians 1:24-29

Paul’s sacrifice spoken of here and occuring way back when is still impacting life for you and I today. As he was sent to share about Jesus to all people in all places, you and I were included. Our faith story begins in these pages. How cool is that? Who is on your heart and mind that you would do anything for, that they might come to know Jesus like this? Let’s spend today praying for these names together, all across our community.


{Saturday, September 17}

Read Colossians 2:1-7

Today we extend our thoughts of those that we know who don’t yet know Jesus. As we continue to pray for them by name, let’s make sure our own roots (our story about how we came to faith in Jesus) is firm. When was the last time you shared your faith story, or wrote it down? Consider doing so this weekend.


{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources). You can also download The Bible Project App HERE.

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get the free YouVersion Bible for your phone, tablet, or computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

The Bible App For Kids YouVersion partnered with OneHope to develop the Bible App for Kids, designing it specifically to engage children with Bible stories on an age-appropriate level. The Bible App for Kids is a free app for Android, Apple, and Kindle devices, available in over 60 languages.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

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12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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