I can only imagine how God must enjoy watching His children dance and sing in response to His love and goodness. When I look around I see all kinds of things to celebrate. Our Heavenly Father is the giver of good gifts.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
As children of a Father who gives good and perfect gifts, we have much to celebrate. He is working in our midst; around us, in us, and through us! He is planning an ultimate grand celebration unlike any the world has ever known, and we are invited! (Rev. 19:6-9) Until then, let’s thank Him for His gifts, large and small, and look for reasons to sing and dance, and celebrate all He is doing.
What can you celebrate today?
I’m celebrating the children who learned about Jesus this month at the Mission Placerville VBS service project !
I’m also celebrating our time together at the Pool Party Sunday!
And I’m celebrating what God is doing every Sunday in the KidsWorld Elementary and Early Childhood areas, and in the rest of the church!
Keep celebrating His goodness! -Charlotte
“For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.
Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus 20:11
Have you ever wondered why God rested on the seventh day of creation? I have. After all, He is God, why would He need to rest? It seems He likes to stop and admire what He’s done. We see this when He stops to acknowledge what He made and proclaim it was good, every single day of creation.
“God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25
And “God saw that it was very good.” Genesis 1:31
Looking back over time we see God is not in a hurry. He makes plans and patiently carries them out. He even takes time to rest! If rest is important enough for God to do it, then it stands to reason it’s important for us too. We can liken Him to a father knowing his child needs to take a nap. Does the child want to be still and rest? Usually not, but his body needs it. It’s good for him.
Do you think God might like us to stop and look back over the week and what we’ve accomplished (like He did with creation) and see His hand in our days? To see the good He’s done in our lives and acknowledge it, and rest with Him (and in Him) on that seventh day?
Charles Spurgeon wrote,
“Faith is reason at rest in God.”
When all our days run into each other without stopping to contemplate and acknowledge the good, we become weary and run down. We were made to need rest, both physically and mentally. Not just time to sleep, but time to rest in Him…to be still and know that He is God; to be renewed in strength and restored in spirit and reset for the week to come. It’s wise to remember that our Father really does know best, and sometimes we actually do need to take a nap!
“Rest time is not waste time. It is economy to gather fresh strength…It is wisdom to take occasional furlough. In the long run, we shall do more by sometimes doing less.”
Are you taking time to rest?
In His grace,
For many, August is a time of gearing back up after a summer break. Kids go back to school and we start looking forward to cooler weather arriving. Along with the hot days, there are other things we will say goodby to until next summer.
Boats and kayaks will be stored away with life jackets and beach toys. Swimsuits will move to the back of our drawers, making room for sweaters to take their place in the front. Iced tea and the heat of summer will give way to crisp cool breezes, apple cider, and pumpkin lattes.
It’s a time of changing seasons, moving from summer to autumn. Life groups will start meeting again and Women’s Bible Study will start a new session. It’s also a time of celebrating what God is doing in people’s lives as we join together at the river for baptisms in September. God is always doing a new thing in a new season as sure as the earth rotates around the sun.
“For everything there is a season,
A time for every activity under heaven.”
What are you looking forward to in this next season?
I’m sure God has some amazing plans.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Romans 12:15-18
Isn’t is interesting that the above passage urges us to share in the emotions of those around us right before it exhorts us to be harmonious, humble and honorable? What does one have to do with the other?
Shared experiences unite us. Unity may lead to empathy. Empathy begets compassion. Compassion can result in humility. Humility breeds love. Love brings peace. These are important parts of following Jesus. Being part of God’s family.
If ever there was a time to demonstrate our need of Jesus and one another, it is now. It is always now, isn’t it? Now is the proper time to weep with the grieving in our midst. Now is the time to celebrate with those rejoicing too. Now is definitely the time to glorify God through it all.
Because this I know…
These are gifts of grace. Grace that allows us to boast in the power of Christ resting upon us, in the good times and bad. Lately, we have seen Jesus show up in our community in mighty ways, in both wonderful and devastating moments. Yet we know… we absolutely know… we can lean into his strength. His presence is strength and grace. And we can better lean, when we do so together.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Love God and do what you want. -Saint Augustine
This is one of my favorite quotes! I love the truth that it conveys: If I love God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength, then my desires will be in line with God's desires.
Oh the simplicity of life; if I love God, everything else will fall correctly into place.
I was just on a walk…
And I met up with some neighbors. I had planned on turning right to start a jog but decided to turn left and join them on their walking loop. One of them asked how my mother-in-law was doing and I explained that she was recovering from the last hospital visit but we were given paperwork for discussing and making decisions about her wishes concerning the end of her life…The conversation turned serious and sad and I tried to change the subject to something lighter but was met by loving opposition. I was so grateful for this afterward because it resulted in a beautiful conversation about how to address this sensitive topic and I walked away equipped with resources for the conversation.
This month, the freedom writers are writing about “Gearing up” because August seems to be the pivotal month where we savor the rest of summer and begin looking to Fall schedules and plans. While this story may not seem like an appropriate lead in to “gearing up” I want to share with you something that I learned to be important when things get added to the daily schedule.
In her book The Monastic Heart,..
Author Joan Chittister talks about the monastic (monastery) practice of horarium which is the way that life in the monastery is divided. The monastic days are divided into periods of prayer, work, study and rest. She goes on to say that “The ordered life is a life that has time for growth, for leisure, for study, for community, for reflection built into it, not grabbed on the fly. It plots a purpose and pursues it. It determines the self it wants and needs to be. It establishes life on a principle of wholesome self-development.”
The prophet tells us that “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait on him.”
What does all of this even mean?
I have learned that the important things in my day must be scheduled or they are overrun by the not so important things. When I made time with God yesterday morning, I saw my neighbors as friends and not distractions from the jog that I had scheduled. When I focused on God’s Spirit within me, I was able to receive instruction and lovingly respond.
My pray for you is that when you start looking to the coming months and all of the activity, that you will “schedule” God time and experience all of the little gifts He will leave for you along your way…they usually come in the most ordinary activities.
With Much Love,
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