Here is a good thing!

I am so excited to do this! It seems like just the thing I need after the distress of the past week. Hoping you can join me and others worldwide to celebrate joy! The book by Bishop Tutu and the Dali Lama was tremendous. This summit ought to be on your To-Do list big time!! https://www.globaljoysummit.org

Feeling the pain of the world and recognizing how many are struggling with isolation and despair, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu met one last time before Arch’s passing to create a final gift for us all – poignant, practical, and often humorous teachings on how we can live with more Joy, even during deeply troubled times.

I loved and shared the book with many!

How could you resist this sort of joy?

There is evidently a video which I intend to watch very soon!

From what I can gather the video is presented by YouTube in short sections. Still, these guys are some of the greatest teachers on earth.

Remember this Artwork?

My writing this week began with a blank page as it always does, then sorrows and struggles of others, the sound of dry leaves, climate change and some poetry. How to sum that up? I think my newest t-shirt says it best with a quote from Mother Teresa, “Do small things with great love.”

How to shine the Light of the Lord in these situations? For those in sorrow and struggles, cook a meal if you can. Surprise someone with flowers and a slice of cake. Pray for their situations and the strength of their hearts. Remind them as you are enabled that the paths of the Lord “drip with abundance.”

Dry leaves falling upon dry leaves are about to end today as rain is forecast in our area. Then we will have dry leaves falling upon soggy leaves. And oh how we need that rain! Yes, the voice of the Lord is still here like the whisper of leaves upon leaves, that still small voice of love and encouragement, challenge and reproof. (1 Kings 19:12) Are you listening for His voice of instruction to you?

My reminders

I have returned to wearing this homemade bracelet. It reminds me that I am called to Constant, Yielded, Peaceful, Joyful Obedience to the Lord. When I am diligent to this He shines His light through me, usually when I am not even aware it is happening. Why is this important? As His servant and ambassador in this age of darkness, like Paul, I am to reflect His glory. My occupation is to give light to those around me, Light from the Son.

for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak

Ephesians 6:20

When the bracelet annoys me, catches upon something or hinders the use of my wrist my practice is to make that draw my attention back to Christ. Am I listening? Am I doing the last thing He asked of me? Is the Trinity trying to get my attention right now? Am I humble enough to yield and to listen? Will I obey Him?

Some say they do not know what God wants them to do. If you keep praying and asking, the Holy Spirit is quite capable to make the Father’s will clear to you. You must wait and listen. When you receive instruction obey as much of that instruction as you are able. You might mess it up and make a mistake. We all do that. Our God is able to clean up our mistakes and make the most of our efforts.

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

2 John 1:6 NIV

I pray you will use the empty page, the empty canvas of your life to do works of His desiring. Though you might not be able to see what is being created, He does and He will be careful to keep your heart until the day of His coming. Work diligently, as unto God. He reads your heart and knows your efforts on His behalf.

Ask Him, “what would bring pleasure to You today, Lord?” Then set out to delight your Lord with all of your heart!

Known and Unknown

I believe one reason we fear silence and stillness is we do not want to know ourselves and what God has to say about us. If we could only trust Him in a small way we would learn that He loves us more than we love ourselves. In fact, He treasures and adores us.

The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing

Zephaniah 3:17 NRSV
Stefan Kunze Upsplash

The writings of Oswald Chambers contained in the book noted below were excerpted from articles published by God’s Bible School in Cincinnati. The articles were taken from his classroom lectures and Bible studies and published in the school’s periodical God’s Revivalist.

What does the Bible mean when it says to be an example to the flock of God? You must be a walking example of what you believe, in every moment of your life, known and unknown. You must bear the scrutiny of God until you prove that you are indeed a specimen of what He can do. Then He will send you out to disciple all nations.

Oswald Chambers, September 18 selection from “Devotions for a Deeper Life”

Every moment known and unknown. Things done in secret. I do not think this refers just to shameful things. Our deepest wounds are often kept private. The healing the Lord may give from those wounds is also usually given in private. The deep formation of a disciple usually takes place in private.

But whenever you pray, enter into your inner room and shut your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6:6 NIV

Your Father who sees in secret. He hears every whisper or shout of a prayer. Your Father knows you inside and out. He will not require that you share with others what He does in your secret place of prayer. There may however, come a time when you want to shout His work from the rooftops.

Matt Hanns Upsplash

Dietrich Bonhoeffer captured my attention writing in The Cost of Discipleship when he emphasized that we each walk alone with God.

Every man is called separately and must follow alone. 

Bonhoeffer, Cost of Discipleship, Discipleship and the Individual

Many of us admire other Christians but we know little or nothing about what it takes for them to be public Christians. We have no clue what happens between them and the Trinity in private. No idea the depth of their wounds or the strength of the healing times the Lord has sent to them. All most often occur in private.

You interact with your Father in a private place, even if you are kneeling in a sanctuary packed with other people. We can share our experiences with others but we are essentially alone with Christ in our walk. Yes, He encourages fellowship with those who are like minded, but in the final analysis we are each alone with Him. He reads our heart. He corrects our course. He convicts us when we go astray. He gives us His righteousness. He suffered and died for our salvation and for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despised the shame and sat down at the right hand of the Throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 NRSV)

Public, private, the deepest things occur in a private place with your Holy Trinity God.

Steffany Gretzinger in her song “Forever Amen” sums it up for me. “I was made to love You. Let me hear the sound of Your voice…”

I would strongly encourage you that when you hear the sound of His voice, go running to a quiet place. Listen up! For unlike human parents, the Father does not waste His breath. He speaks to us with power, love, meaning and transformative powers.