Yesterday was FANTASTIC!!! Thank you to each of you that helped, brought food, and came for the fellowship! It was another successful Celebration Sunday at HBC and you all made that possible! So thank you! I also thank so many of you for bending and moving with chaos of the morning. No power at church...so we had to make a quick decision. I'm sorry a couple made it to HBC before the message had gotten out but for the most part there wasn't many show up at the 11:00 hour. The weather was beautiful and God provided a nice morning to head out early and do service at Coonskin (I think the power outage was His way of sending us there). I also heard several people state they loved that format and would want to do it more in the future--the leadership team will take that into consideration. The weather was good and fellowship was even better!
I want to remind you of the short word of encouragement yesterday coming from Philippians chapter 4. My heart is heavy and it's been that way for weeks over the state of our homes, churches, and country. We live in troubling times of rampant selfishness, pride, sin, and the products that sin creates (death, pain, relational turmoil, fear, hopelessness, anxiety, etc.) and if you and I are going to make it, we need to focus on Godly things that increase our faith, strengthen our hearts, and stiffen our spines.
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:4-8 Remember verse is a COMMAND, not some haphazard "if you feel like it" kind of self-help talk! It's a command because Paul knows our lives are going to be tough. He knows there's going to be pain, struggle, and frustration to work through DAILY and that you and I must be MADE to rejoice. The problem with "making" someone rejoice is that you and I can only make ourselves. We must bring under rule our thoughts, emotions, and the visual/audial intake of our lives. How do we do that?
Verse 8 and 9 of the same chapter tell us how.
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."
We must focus on God's good and the good of this life. We must also focus on the example of those that live well beside us and those that have lived well before u. Paul, used by the Holy Spirit, states that if you and I will do these things, the peace of God WILL saturate our lives and make us extremely peculiar to this world. We will be different, we will gain a hearing, and we will be used by God to further His Kingdom on this earth.
Rejoice today my family--make yourself rejoice today. I promise you, whatever is weighing heavy on you will not even be a thought on your mind a 100 years from now. 1,000 years from now it will have faded into the same abyss where all your tears were banished to by Jesus Christ. 10,000 years from now it will be absorbed by God's glory NEVER to be seen or heard from again. Rejoice my friend, REJOICE! The eternal piece of you, your soul is cared for and in the care of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. You have an untouchable piece that's intimately known only to God and there you are safe and secure forevermore.