E - RoyalDear Friends and Family of LCC,

I had a very interesting week, and I was reminded how important it is to focus on having joy in my life.  Joy is such an important fruit or result of living with God and in His Spirit.

But it’s not natural to stay focused on the Spirit and live in a joyful state.  It takes discipline and prayer.  It’s so easy to get distracted.

The apostle Paul wrote“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13

Hope is such an important part of living our life out in faith, and joy is the strongest catalyst for a life of hope.  Hope is what keeps us on track to persevere as we run the race following Christ while we are on this planet.

Focus … Joy … Joy … Joy … How do I do that?  I look for it in everything I do.  I look for God in all situations and I will experience joy as I trust in Him.

Twice this week, on two very different occasions I was reminded I had not been focusing on joy.  I need to do that more often.

The first time was when my grand daughter and I went grocery shopping.  She can barely reach, but she wanted to push the cart.  When I let go and put her in charge she just started pushing and giggling.  She was having so much fun pushing the cart, she giggled.

When she veered off course toward breakable goods I would use one hand to guide her back.  Instead of getting mad at me for helping, she giggled more, brushed away my hand, and giggled “Da”.  “I can do it da.”

I asked her to choose the ice cream.  She looked carefully at the color of each carton and asked me what was in each one and we both laughed.  She was experiencing so much joy, and then I realized, so was I.

On the way home I thought to myself, “I need to do this more often.”

It was joy.  It was contagious.  I caught joy from my grand daughter.  It was love manifesting itself in joy.

Later in the week, a friend, a younger friend, died suddenly.  He had not been sick, it was not even on anyone who knew him’s radar.  He was gone.

It had been a busy week for me.  As I prepared to officiate the Funeral Service for my friend’s family, I realized something.  I had not really experienced any level of joy since earlier in the week with my grand daughter.

I realized again, “I need to do that more often.”

So … As I dealt with the situation I started focusing on my trust in God.  I started thanking God for my blessings.  I thanked God for my hope and for the hope my friend’s family had because of his faith in Jesus Christ.

And in the middle loving on a grieving family, I experienced joy.  It was not a giggling joy like I had with my grand daughter.  It was a peace.

How about you?  Are you experiencing joy?

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

I pray you put your trust in God.  I pray that your joy is overflowing.  I pray that your joy helps a person close to you realize he or she needs joy also.

LCC will be gathering to worship this Sunday.  I hope if you are not out of town you will be there.  If you are traveling I pray you have a safe and joy-filled trip.

God bless from your brotha from anotha motha

Royal

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