40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life: Living the 4:8 Principle

40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life: Living the 4:8 Principle

by Tommy Newberry


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781414366906
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 10/02/2012
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 84,272
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

40 DAYS to a Joy-Filled Life


Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 Tommy Newberry
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4143-6690-6

Chapter One

Day 1

THINK THIS, NOT THAT The Joy of Free Will

A HEALTHY BODY produces energy. Likewise, a healthy mind produces joy. This is not an accident. If you want to experience vibrant health and abundant energy, it is essential that you consume certain foods and drinks and refrain from consuming others. The same is true if you want to lose weight or put more muscle on your frame. You have to say yes to the foods that lead you toward your goal and no to those that lead you away. Very simply, you need to eat this, not that. And while, for the most part, this is now considered common sense, it is not always common practice for those desiring to reshape their physical bodies or increase their energy levels.

Progress toward joy begins the same way, with a firm decision to cut back on joy-reducing thoughts and increase joy-producing thoughts. In short, you have to change your mental diet. You have to think this, not that. After all, joy is the sum and substance of emotional health.

Many well-meaning individuals desire to be leaner or more energetic but then continue to indulge in a diet and lifestyle that takes them in the opposite direction. Consequently, they do not reach their goal. Many with the goal of increased joy run into the same predicament: they keep consuming a mental diet mismatched with their goal. In both instances, there is a major disconnect between desired objectives and daily behavior.

Joy is a state of mind that must be purposely cultivated if you are to live and love and influence others as God intended. Fortunately, joy does not depend on the outer conditions of your material life, but rather on the inner condition of your mental life. Joy is the result of something strikingly simple, though not necessarily easy: consistently thinking joy-producing thoughts.

Is this within your grasp? Is it even possible for anyone to accomplish? Before you answer, let me remind you that few endeavors worth pursuing come easily to anyone, and the attainment of a joy-filled spirit is no exception. There are risks in shooting for this gold standard of faith in action. There is a high price to be paid, and it must be paid in advance. Certain comfort thoughts will need to be relinquished. Counterproductive habits will need to be abandoned. Tenured excuses must be surrendered.

Since you are free to choose what you think about, and you have billions of options, what specific thoughts should you increase to become joy filled? What specific thoughts should you decrease? What kinds of thoughts will distress your soul? What types of thoughts will nourish and hydrate your soul?

At any given moment we can consciously choose to

• think excellent thoughts, not mediocre thoughts;

• think focused thoughts, not scattered thoughts;

• think fresh, exciting thoughts, not stale, boring thoughts;

• think compassionate thoughts, not harsh thoughts;

• think innovative thoughts, not common thoughts;

• think loving thoughts, not indifferent thoughts;

• think energetic thoughts, not exhausted thoughts;

• think constructive thoughts, not destructive thoughts;

• think helpful thoughts, not hurtful thoughts;

• think successful thoughts, not failure thoughts;

• think faith thoughts, not fear thoughts;

• think fit thoughts, not fat thoughts;

• think bold thoughts, not comfort thoughts;

• think opportunity thoughts, not security thoughts;

• think giving thoughts, not getting thoughts;

• think serving thoughts, not self-centered thoughts;

• think grateful thoughts, not entitled thoughts;

• think abundant thoughts, not lacking thoughts;

• think responsible thoughts, not irresponsible thoughts;

• think reconciliation thoughts, not retaliation thoughts;

• think principled thoughts, not popular thoughts;

• think positive thoughts, not negative thoughts;

• think thoughts of victory, not thoughts of defeat; or

• think about the promises of God, not the problems of this world.

Think about what you want, not what you don't want. Why is this required for joy-filled living? Very simply stated, we tend to bring about what we think about. As King Solomon counseled, "As [a person] thinks in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7, NKJV).

Building on Solomon's wisdom, James Allen wrote that "the outer world of circumstance shapes itself to the inner world of thought, and both pleasant and unpleasant external conditions are factors which make for the ultimate good of the individual. As the reaper of his own harvest, man learns both by suffering and bliss."

It is my intention that during this forty-day regimen, you will start experiencing more of the bliss that is called joy-filled living. Starting today, release the need to hang on to thoughts that haven't worked well for you.

It is true that we can think this, not that!


Drill #1

Think about the person you intend to become. Then on the following page, identify a few specific thoughts that are incompatible (Not That column) with that vision. In the left-hand column, identify a handful of thoughts that are compatible (Think This column) and helpful. At the bottom, write a short sentence indicating your commitment to improve your thinking.

The Extra Mile

Invite a trusted friend to participate with you over the next forty days. Send a brief e-mail to each other before midnight every day sharing what you deem the most valuable concept or "aha moment" from that day's lesson. If possible, talk about the experience once per week by phone or over a cup of coffee.

Make It Stick: Thought of the Day

I am free t to choose my thoughts.


Heavenly Father, thank you for the freedom to select my thoughts. Today, nudge me to think the right thoughts all day long. Amen.


Excerpted from 40 DAYS to a Joy-Filled Life by TOMMY NEWBERRY Copyright © 2012 by Tommy Newberry. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Introduction: I Should Have Had a 4:8....................ix
How to Use This Book....................xiii
DAY 1 Think This, Not That: The Joy of Free Will....................1
DAY 2 Deal or No Deal: The Joy of Decisiveness....................7
DAY 3 Hundreds of Problems, Millions of Blessings: The Joy of Perspective....................13
DAY 4 The Fifteen-Minute Miracle: The Joy of Daily Solitude....................19
DAY 5 That's How God Made Dogs: The Joy of Prudent Thinking....................25
DAY 6 Write Your Own Headlines: The Joy of Goals....................31
DAY 7 Focus Creates Feeling: The Joy of Awareness....................37
DAY 8 Stop Identity Theft: The Joy of Knowing Whose You Are....................43
DAY 9 Take a Vacation from Yourself: The Joy of Shaking It Up....................49
DAY 10 The Secret Studio: The Joy of Creation....................55
DAY 11 Harboring Gratitude: The Joy of Appreciation....................61
DAY 12 4:8 Your Mate!: The Joy of Marriage....................67
DAY 13 I'll Have What He's Having: The Joy of Curiosity....................75
DAY 14 The Gift of the Present: The Joy of Right Now....................81
DAY 15 Gratitude Schmatitude: The Profile of an Ingrate....................87
DAY 16 Feeling vs. Fact: The Joy of the Truth....................95
DAY 17 Hunting Rats: The Joy of Being Battle Ready....................101
DAY 18 Acknowledge and Challenge: The Joy of Emotional Strength....................107
DAY 19 Just Exchange It: The Joy of an Easy Return Policy....................115
DAY 20 Visualize God's Blessings!: The Joy of Imagination....................121
DAY 21 A Cry for Help: The Joy of Compassion....................127
DAY 22 We Are Sponges: The Joy of Our Surroundings....................135
DAY 23 What Did You Eat for Dinner Last Night?: The Joy of Quality Questions....................141
DAY 24 Whatever Your Hand Finds to Do: The Joy of Excellent Work....................149
DAY 25 To Advance, First Retreat: The Joy of Reflection....................157
DAY 26 Stop and Drop: The Joy of Restraint....................165
DAY 27 Don't Sweat the Big Stuff, Either: The Joy of Conquering Mountains....................171
DAY 28 Words of Mass Destruction: The Joy of Speaking Life....................177
DAY 29 Way to Go!: The Joy of Other People's Success....................185
DAY 30 Affirming God's Goodness: The Joy of Telling the Truth....................193
DAY 31 Motion Rules Emotion: The Joy of Self-Discipline....................199
DAY 32 You Are Good at Certain Stuff for a Reason: The Joy of Using Your Strengths....................205
DAY 33 What's Your Goal: The Joy of Being His Greatest Creation....................211
DAY 34 The Master's Mind: The Joy of His Thoughts....................217
DAY 35 God Will Be Cheering!: The Joy of Discovery....................223
DAY 36 Own, Starve, Retreat: The Joy of Solutions....................231
DAY 37 The Mentalist: The Joy of Focus....................239
DAY 38 Routine or Exceptional: The Joy of Thanksgiving....................245
DAY 39 Cut the Clutter: The Joy of Simplicity....................251
DAY 40 Occupy God Street: The Joy of His Presence....................261
About the Author....................272

What People are Saying About This

Eva Piper

In 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life, Tommy Newberry lays out a plan for making joy an everyday experience. Timeless truths mixed with real life examples make this book fun to read and highly practical.

Jeremie Kubicek

Simple, relevant, and powerful, the 4:8 message continues to touch lives in deep and meaningful ways. If you want to live each day with more joy, then read 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life.

Doctor - Jeanne Mayo

The 4:8 Principle is one of only a small handful of books that have deeply influenced me over the last decade. I have shared it with many friends and thousands of youth leaders across the country. In 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life, Tommy Newberry amplifies his call for joy and shows us, step by step, how to activate 4:8 throughout our lives. Read this book and spread the joy!

Cecil Murphey

This is a book for serious people—for Christians who hunger for “something more” and are willing to exert effort to fulfill that yearning.

Tim Sanders

In less than six weeks, Tommy Newberry will change your life from the inside out. In a world where we measure transformation in years, this book is literally a Godsend.

Dr. Jeanne Mayo

The 4:8 Principle is one of only a small handful of books that have deeply influenced me over the last decade. I have shared it with many friends and thousands of youth leaders across the country. In 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life, Tommy Newberry amplifies his call for joy and shows us, step by step, how to activate 4:8 throughout our lives. Read this book and spread the joy!

Bryant Wright

If we desire more joy, then we need to line up our thinking with the apostle Paul’s advice in Philippians 4:8. Tommy coaches us to put this powerful principle into practice! With 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life, you’ll be inspired to leave your comfort zone behind and start living in the joy zone.

Janet Parshall

What Tommy has captured so beautifully in 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life is how Philippians 4:8 serves to get joyless, critical thinking under control. This book reminds us all that we have a choice when it comes to our thought life and that right choices generate right attitudes. Prepare to be challenged! If you want revolutionary thinking, then read this book!

Don Piper

Tommy Newberry’s book 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life is a surefire primer for finding authentic joy in the center of God’s will. And thank the Lord, Tommy is honoring God by writing books like this one.

Jon Gordon

Straight to the point and fun to read, 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life will inspire you to think differently about . . . everything! Read this book and feel the joy.

Greg L. Jantz

In 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life, Tommy Newberry makes experiencing joy simple and achievable for everyone. Follow Tommy’s game plan—live the 4:8 principle for forty days—and you’ll be amazed at the transformation . . . and so will everyone around you!

Doctor - Tim Elmore

40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life shows you how to guide, guard, and gauge your thoughts every day. Tommy communicates convincingly that if we can harness what goes on in our minds, joy can be the norm in our lives; the rule, not the exception.

Gregory A. Dale

40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life is a powerful and practical resource. It is a must read for anyone interested in improving their quality of life and their relationship with God.

Jeff Mullen

If you want to experience a joy-filled life, I challenge you to not only read but put into practice the wisdom in 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life. Tommy has a way of provoking, challenging, and inspiring that has transformed my life as a husband, a father, and a pastor. I hope you experience the same journey.

Dr. Tim Elmore

40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life shows you how to guide, guard, and gauge your thoughts every day. Tommy communicates convincingly that if we can harness what goes on in our minds, joy can be the norm in our lives; the rule, not the exception.

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40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life: Living the 4:8 Principle 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Nicnac63 More than 1 year ago
This is an awesome daily devotional. There are 2-3 pages for each day's topic.  There are 2-3 pages for each day’s topic. The exercises allow you to tweak due to your specific needs. I really enjoyed the thoughts for the day and simple prayers that close out the devotion. Isn’t it nice to look at things from a difference perspective? Many prompts in this book nudge the reader into alternative ways of looking at things. That’s a good thing when we tend to focus on negative thoughts or events.  Positive thinking not only changes moods – but outcomes as well. Making it a habit to greet the morning with the practical and inspirational devotions will certainly uplift the reader. What it all boils down to is—to change our thoughts is to change our life. The chapters are short, but the impact on the day is immense.  "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report,  if there is any virtue and if there is anythingpraiseworthy—meditate on these things." Philippians 4:8, NKJV
Ginger_Wade More than 1 year ago
The 4:8 Principle and its sequel 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life by Tommy Newberry are truly a package deal. Through I am still working through my 40 Days, I am so thankful to use them together in my study. The author's approach to teaching and coaching is something to appreciate as the 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life is a journey that requires you do your homework. I have taken my time through these lessons and have gained much truth to arm me with the strength to choose joy and set my thoughts towards what is praiseworthy and not of fear. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things arejust, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8, NKJV I love that Newberry refers to joy as "proactive happiness" in chapter one of The 4:8 Principle (5). For me, this implies and active faith in spite of myself. One might look at The 4:8 Principle as the textbook and 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life as its accompanying notebook to journal your progress. Each book prompts further thought at the close of each chapter or day helping you to directly apply what you've read. You'll want to take this journey slowly so you don't miss joy as you pass through the pages. Application is key, especially when working through the drills following each of the 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life. Through this combination study, I have begun to craft my mission statement and write the vision for my future (The 4:8 Principle, Chapter 3). This has proved timely in both my personal writing and application of financial wisdom to our household. In fact, as I close the book on The 4:8 Principle I am embracing steps seven and eight of Newberry's "Eight Steps to Fortifying Your Self-Concept" (Chapter 4) by dwelling on the person God wants me to become and acting with joy now. Though I am marking through the pages in my journal, I know there is still much work to be done. I know I will be referring back to what I have learned as I complete my 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life. [. . .] you will only receive what, deep down, you feel you are worthy of having" The 4:8 Principle (65). These books have confirmed Hebrews 11:1 faith and reenforced the teaching of Ann Voskamp and the counting of gifts. It seems one cannot escape this process in seeking joy. So today I continue, one lesson at a time. * This review is on behalf of Tyndale House Publishers who provided a complimentary copy of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This isn't a sample, it's the table of contents and the introduction. I wish they would start giving us a true sample from the book. I would not buy anything based on seeing these pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a self-admitted lover of all things "self-help" or "personal improvement" I found this book to be everything I could hope for. I know that's a big claim, but there's not much else to say. It's cutting edge with it's science and psychology and it's biblical to boot. Sure, that might turn off some of you. But if you're looking for results, and wanting to feel the passion, happiness and finally the joy of life that has thus far escaped you, you honestly can't go wrong with this newest release from Tommy. The book is about a journey to delve into who we are and how we work in our minds, thought lives and what we can do about changing our experiences so that we can have the joy we know is there waiting for us. The book is truly easy reading, but deep and profound in principal. I found it to be very insightful and best of all, easily applicable to my life. That's quite a combo you can't say for say many other books that are "woo-woo" or out there. I've told others that this book replaces so many of the self-help classics on my bookshelf for good reason - it works. Yes, you have to work the plan to have it work for you, but it's truly homework you'll be in love with. It gets my highest recommendation. I'm excited for the changes I'll experience as I go through this book again, and slower. My wife and I plan to go through it together, and I hope it blesses you like I know it will us. Pick it up and read it. You'll be glad you did.
alfowler More than 1 year ago
If you would like a practical book that will help you learn to trade worry, fear, resentment and other negative emotions for joy, you should read this book! It's practical and grounded in solid principles that will help you understand and harness the power of your mind in a positive way. Tommy has captured these principles from Philippians 4:8, other biblical passages and research to provide a roadmap toward real change. Instead of trying to change outward symptoms, this book will help you change your thinking so that you can experience real, lasting change in most every area of life. I will recommend this to all my friends and give several for Christmas gifts this year.
J4Life5 More than 1 year ago
I liked this book very much. It is perfect for a busy person who is looking for a easy way to do a daily devotional exercise. I like the way that all of the writing exercises can be done right in the book without having an extra journal to keep track of. The chapters are short, easy to understand, and encourage readers to make small changes that will impact their outlook on life. I especially liked the little post-it type note with the thought of the day. I copied it down and posted it and found that it helped me to remember what I was working on each day. I think this is one of the most user friendly books I've used in a long time. Very simple to do, but with valuable lessons in the pages. However, it is not a miracle book and you will get out of it what you put in. Also, it is not a substitute for regular time reading the Bible. The message of the entire book is to look for and strive for joy. Does this guarantee that life will be chocolate and roses all the time? No, but Newberry's book can help readers reframe their thinking into seeking the joy in every circumstance, by giving us chances to practice it. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a morning reflection type of book to get the day off to a positive start!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Virginia76 More than 1 year ago
This book tells how to have a joy-filled life. It has daily readings and exercises for 40 days, with the reader using one section per day. It is based on the Bible verse Philippians 4:8, which the author wrote about in his previous book. I thought this was a good book and had plenty of material and ideas to have a joy-filled life.
Grannie-Reader More than 1 year ago
I found this to be well worth the time to read, to ponder and to apply the questions to my life. It seems like a simple premise, but does indeed make one probe thoughts, feelings, goals, attitudes and more. I found it to be challenging though simiply stated. Immersing myself into this for the 40 days, did bring about changes to my my thinking and behaviors. I certainly don't believe I have "all the answers" because of it, but I do think that it is a great asset to my journey of becoming a joy-filled person who is striving to live a whole-hearted life. Would recommend to any one who want to grow and is willing to invest the time/effort/and examination necessary.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A excellent daily encouragement to lead your mind to a happy, healthy and peaceful place.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A life changing book--giving you a different outlook for your life. I have already sent this book to several friends and using it for ladies Bible study.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Your life can be transformed with this book!
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FeB13 More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic follow-up to The 4:8 Principle! If you're looking for motivation to begin anew in your life,or need a boost to get back on track to a better "you" this is the book. The tasks to complete everyday keeps you focused on creating a joy-filled journey of life for years to come, and the short chapters make it possible for anybody with a crazy schedule to take a moment and improve their normal everyday.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life” is spectacular! This book will change your life and help you identify ways to start living a more positive and joyful life NOW! The author captures the reader by engaging him/her in soul searching questions and exercises that WILL inspire change. Unlike any other book I’ve read, the ideas expressed in this book are attainable and leave you wanting more. If you struggle understanding why you aren’t in a “happier” place, what your life purpose is or why your relationships aren't where you want them, then I highly encourage you to read this book! You will think differently and stronger if you do just one of the suggestions presented! I can only imagine how much JOY I will have when I tackle them all! Thank you Tommy for this game changer!