The book title, “Finding Joy” is more than a play on words, it’s a goal.
Joy Brown authored the book of 70 Christian devotionals. And while it does take the reader to the “joy unspeakable” found in a relationship with God, it also introduces readers to a woman who knows how to get you there.
She’s written, co-written or been a part of writing 13 books, and she always writes about what she knows well – how to live your best life by getting and maintaining an ongoing interaction with God.
She’s one of those women other women want to emulate, but that always brings a “Who, me?” reaction.
When she was in high school, Brown told her pastor’s wife that she also felt called to marry a pastor, and was told it was the hardest life imaginable.
Married to Baptist Pastor Wayne Brown for 50 years, with two daughters and three grandchildren, she admits there are challenges being intimately and intricately involved in church work.
But Joy Brown is a natural when it comes to being a role model for other women, bringing grace and class to her calling, and being genuinely approachable.
She was posting weekly devotionals on her Facebook page in the week leading up to her 70th birthday, with each post representing a decade of her life.
She was asked by Facebook friends to continue posting them which she did, weekly instead of daily.
Those posts have turned into “Finding Joy.”
Forgiveness is the key to inner peace. Brokenness serves a purpose we usually only see in hindsight. When emotions run high, logic runs low. Most of the things we learn are in the valleys, not the mountaintops.
When Brown expounds on these beliefs, and dozens of others, she takes the reader from despair, fear and confusion to hope, comfort and clarity.
There’s even a profound message in the books’ cover picture of a winding road leading to a clearing. It was done by Rodger Painter, a high school friend turned photographer, writer and motion picture cameraman.
“I like it because it’s a crooked road that’s a little out of focus, and that’s the way our life is, but you just keep going towards the Light,” she said about the photograph.
Brown tells the story of her father, a TV repairman who went back to school at 77 years old to learn how to fix computers.
The brain aneurysm he suffered, ultimately leading to his death, was, Brown said, the worst thing that ever happened to her.
But moments before he died, when the muscles in his face moved – the aneurysm had left him with no brain activity or muscle movement – he smiled. Not once, not twice, but three times.
The worst thing that had ever happened turned into one of the greatest blessings of Brown’s life.
And so it goes, reading her devotional.
Brown’s relationship with God has turned what could be horrific events into learning experiences.
She passes them along in “Finding Joy.”
Today, after decades of the couple serving in churches, they continue their ministry through the four-part Diversified Ministries.
One part is through mission work either on the mission field or helping those who are. For example, the computer belonging to a man working in India, translating the Bible, crashed. Diversified Ministries helped buy him a new computer, complete with Bengali characters.
Another aspect of the Brown’s ministry is evangelism and outreach which includes everything from speaking engagements to leading revivals.
A third part is the production of Christian literature, and the fourth part of their work is encouraging ministers, missionaries and their spouses, and she recently was a guest speaker at the South Carolina Upstate United Methodist Ministry Spouses Retreat.
In addition to her work with Diversified Ministries, Brown is looking forward to doing podcasts, bringing women’s retreats to Myrtle Beach, and continuing work on her first novel.
A love story between baby boomers, it takes place in South Carolina and the working title is “Heaven on Earth.”
In the meantime, “Finding Joy” will keep women – and men also – busy enriching their own lives through its devotionals.