Thrive Training 7/14-18, 2014

This week is the final Thrive Training event for 2014 and  with 92 participants this is the largest training ever! This is cause for great joy! Join us in praising God for what He will do as the attendees scatter across the country creating trails of joy.


Prayer Points–

  • that everyone will receive from the Lord all that God wants to give them
  • that the Lord’s protection and travel safety be over everyone attending—students and teachers alike and that the Lord restrain the enemy from taking collateral damage out on friends, family, businesses and so on
  • that the Lord sustain Jenn as she had to step in and help lead since Ed and Marisa Khouri who were scheduled to lead could not. Ed’s recovery from surgery is taking a bit longer than he would like. Jenn will also be leading the dance segment of the training.
  • Jen requests prayer that their joy remains high as she and Chris will go home to their boys each night…that little boys would do well with Grandma and that Grandma holds up! That Chris’s back be strengthened—all these details are in the Lord’s hands.

An Idea For Growing Joy–

This week a facebook friend sent the following video to show what is being done in schools in Israel to help mitigate the anxiety and fear children have during rocket attacks. I sent it to Dr. Wilder with the comment that I thought this would go toward preventing PTSD. He said it would do quite nicely! Take a look…

My suggestion is to use this as a model; incorporate the insights, for example affirming the physical symptoms you might feel during times of stress or an anxiety attack such as rapid heart rate or shaking, and add those insights to a Psalm such as Psalm 91 and sing it to the Lord during times of fear and stress.

Singing gives your brain something to do other than be overwhelmed by fear. It keeps your eyes focused heavenward rather than on the object of your fear. Your brain amplifies what you focus on. This could go a long way toward diffusing the traumatic power of an event when you cannot stop it from happening.

Footprints.pngAction Steps–

Sing your Psalms during personal times of fear and stress.

Share this with someone you know who struggles with PTSD.

The children of Israel went into battle led by the singers and dancers. Have your worship team set it to music and teach the whole congregation how to sing in the battle.

May your joy be full,

Chris & Carol

Chris Coursey, MA Theology – Author, Speaker and Thrive Trainer,                                   

Twitter – @coursey_chris   

Carol A. Brown, Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive  

Carol’s email –




Low Joy… (Now what?)


In the Joy Starters blog we have talked about the dangers of low joy and presented the relational brain skills as the antidote for low joy. There are times when there is not much you can do about the fact that you are experiencing low joy. On our July 1 Round Table Talk, Ed Khouri, one of the authors of the Joy Starts Here book commented that he was quite familiar with that particular flavor of low joy. He has had three major surgeries in the last 18 months and two of them related to the spine. Anything relating to the spine says P.A.I.N!

surgery_recovery-ggogleSurgery can sap all your body’s resources as it diverts everything to repair the wound. Adrenal fatigue and auto immune diseases are also conditions that make the task of growing joy overwhelming. Even being in the presence of high joy can be overwhelming.

What I am saying here is that there are times when you are in low joy and it is not because of a conscious choice to live a bad life style or willful sin, but a result of living in a fallen world where bad things happen to good people. Or, we could say, hard things happen (surgery) so our lives will improve and we will return to higher joy…it just takes time. But we seem to be impatient people, we don’t want to wait.

 American society as a whole tends not to have tender responses to weakness. We have been trained to take a dim view of weakness; so, we don’t like being weak. We don’t like or want to be around ourselves when we are weak even if it is no fault of our own. (Ask me how I know!) Consequently we are hard on ourselves; we do not have a tender response to our own weakness which depresses joy further. We blame ourselves and right behind blame is shame. These are “sticky” emotions and difficult to throw off.

If you are feeling blamed and shamed; if you find yourself in such a low joy state that just the thought of expending the effort to grow joy is painful…what can you do?

Look for something, anything to be grateful for and then express appreciation.

  • Thank the nurse who adjusts your bed or gives you ice.
  • Thank the candy striper who brings flowers.
  • Appreciate the friend or spouse who sat by you all those hours in ER and recovery, who would not go home until they knew you would be okay.
  • Thank the person who brings your meals, puts supper in the crock pot or does your laundry.
  • Appreciate the little things someone does without being asked…

You get the idea…find something to appreciate. It only takes one or two brain cells! : ) Our brains tend to amplify what we focus on…so use the thimble full of strength that you have to practice the brain skill of gratitude.

For those of you who are stronger, please read this to a friend who doesn’t have the strength to even read. Make a tender response to weakness!

May your joy be full,

Chris & Carol

Chris Coursey, MA Theology — Author, Speaker and Thrive Trainer,

Twitter – @coursey_chris

Carol A. Brown, Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive                   Carol’s email —

P.S. The Thrive Training begins July 14 in Peoria, IL. Please join us in prayer to cover this event. For last minute preparations to come together. For travel mercies for everyone. For protection for families, businesses and all the etc. of life. That the enemy be held in check and not allowed to take collateral damages out of friends and families. May the Lord’s kingdom come and His will be done in each and every life.