I've had a few rough days recently. Feeling misunderstood, confused by changes in circumstances, forays into the flesh, embarrassment, etc. They all challenge my ability to focus on truth and the truth's power to lead me to joy (and keep me there). So I show up at my desk this morning in desperate need of reassurance and encouragement, and what do you know... God speaks. Here's the word I received for today....
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." ~ 1 Thes. 5:16-18Dang! That's hard! Rejoice ALWAYS? "Lord, you're being insensitive! Don't you see what I'm going through?" Suddenly I'm reminded of what Garvisa and I have been learning from the wonderful little book entitled "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. Eucharisteo- thanksgiving is the precursor/predecessor of JOY! If I want to rejoice, I must choose to give thanks. Paul doesn't let me off the hook, here. My sorry circumstances don't justify a sour, ungrateful disposition.
I am SO blessed! I have so many reasons to be grateful! Here are just a few....
- I am a dearly loved child of the God of Creation. In Him I have significance, security, acceptance, love, courage, hope, joy and peace.
- I am married to my hero and dearest friend. She speaks truth to me when my emotions make me feel derailed. She loves me unconditionally, even when I .... (fill in the blank).
- I have a wonderful son of whom I am very proud who is about to graduate from high school and continue his journey into adulthood. He's funny, handsome, intelligent and very interesting! :)
- I work with some of the greatest people on the planet doing a job I LOVE to do, even on the hard days.
- I am surrounded by a plethora of amazing friends who bring so much color and fragrance to my life.
- I have siblings who love and care about me.
- I have a comfortable home to live in (for the time being). :)
- I am part of a fantastic church filled with wonderful people who know and care about me.
- I get to go to Indonesia this summer with Bob, Tom and Debbie! I get to see Asri, Kris, Suhenes, Nining, Theo, Susi, Sumbut, Marmi, Dewa, Putu & Julie and all their kids: Kheny, Sasha, Gloria, Jeffenex, Bobby, Esi, Dio, Danny, David and Rachel along with a whole bunch of other friends.
- God has use wonderful friends and family to raise up 75% of my personal support need so far! Only $950 to reach my goal of $4k!
See, just going through that little list of 10 things, I'm feeling more joyful already! To do that, I had to agree with God that He has blessed me. By enumerating those blessings, I'm declaring my agreement with God. The outcome is JOY!
This weekend is our "Cafe Bali" Fundraiser at Grace Life Community Church. We will offer a wide variety of fresh baked goods including donuts, muffins, breads, pastries and fruit for breakfast along with 3 delicious blends of freshly-roasted Indonesian coffee. The Cafe will be open from 10:30am until Noon. All food and drinks will be offered on a donation basis. Come and enjoy the refreshments and leave a generous donation to help offset the expenses of the mission. To make a secure, online contribution for the mission trip, click here.
Thanks for reading,