December 2, 2013

True Joy~

It’s December and it’s official, Christmas is only 24 days away. So excited!
However, Christmas is not what I am posting about today…. sort of. I am so emotionally overwhelmed. Thanksgiving just passed and I have so much to be thankful for, especially afterthe holiday. Does that happen to you? You think of great things you can be thankful for after Thanksgiving?
That’s the way I should think everyday. And I know, you hear that from everybody, but it’s good to be reminded, right? In fact, when I had a very ungrateful attitude and my dad was teaching me a lesson, he made me read the book of Colossians 4 times in 3 days. And let me tell you, he made sure I knew what was in Colossians 3:14-17:
“Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
Read how many times it says to be thankful. Part of a godly heart is being continually grateful to the Lord. So I’m just giving a friendly reminder. However, I did not get on my computer to post about my Thanksgiving either.
This past week has been a whirlwind of so many emotions and happenings. I’ll start at the beginning.
Thanksgiving week came and went, and it was magical.
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I’m serious. Whimsical is another good description.
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These are photos of our church’s annual Thanksgiving Fellowship. For the first time, we held it in our backyard, an my mom and another church member, who both decorated, outdid themselves.
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What a fantastic time of fellowship; laughing, eating, photographing, talking, freezing (that’s a blessing, when it’s always so hot here!), and giving thanks. Normally, we have someone come up and give a testimony of thanks, and a man that has been attending our church with his family for about a year now, described our church like the one in Acts 17 (vs. 11-12, I believe). That was so encouraging.
The whole week was so great. Then last night there were a couple phone calls made–to us, and from us. My dad received some bad news, and I will not name it, but it was pretty heartbreaking. And right before Christmas too.
And it just made me think today, as I was sitting on a pew during service. We are to stand firm in the Lord. To encourage one another in the Lord. To rejoice in all things.  To reach out to the lost. To bear each other’s burdens. To endure trials. To pray. To always, always give thanks to the Lord. To live according to the gospel. To be witnesses.
Not all of those are happy things. I mean, in essence, they are all things that should be done in joy, but that joy doesn’t mean it’s always “say cheese, and everything is alright”. No, it’s an inner joy, that we receive when we are saved. When we know we are saved, we know that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. That is what brings us joy and peace.
Our hearts burst with an overwhelming love, too! Christmas, the celebration of Jesus’s birth, and Thanksgiving, a day designated to share our and hear others’ testimonies of what God has done in their lives, are reminders– good reminders–of what we need to do year round. There will be tragedy in some moments, and there will be happiness in other moments, but it should not keep us from doing what we are called to do.
True joy should not be a momentary thing. It should be everlasting.
On a couple holiday notes, because I absolutely love the holidays, one thing I will be definitely praying for is cold weather! I also wanted to express out loud, because I wasn’t given much of a platform during dinner, what I am thankful for. I’ll just name a few things:
  1. My youngest sister, who is a major ray of sunshine to us.
  2. My mom, who shows agape (selfless) and phileo (“brotherly”) love towards everyonearound her everyday. Such an example.
  3. And education
  4. My dad, for teaching and exhorting me through God’s word.
  5. All of my siblings, for loving me and keeping me accountable.
  6. And many more, but I promised only a few (;
I hope everyone is doing well, and if there are ANY prayer requests, please drop me a comment (or any other way, if you know me personally). I’d love to pray for you. Pray that I submit myself to all of God’s word.

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