joy

GOD'S JOY PRODUCING GOODNESS

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Yesterday we enjoyed seeing the Pacific Ocean from the Chilean vantage point. It was a beautiful warm fall day as Mark, Pippa, Naomi, and Caleb posed for a perfect four generation photo. Tomorrow (Wednesday) we all head for home after a wonderful time of ministry and being with family.

I’ve been looking at Psalm 81 and considering the delight we have enjoyed being with Jorge and Naomi’s church here in Chile. The incredible strong bond that unites all of us is that God has rescued our souls. Can there be anything more amazing than God’s faithful work in our lives? No matter where a Christian goes in the world, an immediate connection happens with others who know the joy of having their sins forgiven. “Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob!” (Psalms 81:1) Spurgeon expounds on this a bit more. “Now if they, on their solemn feast-days, were thus to call to mind their redemption out of Egypt, much more ought we, on the Christian sabbath, to call to mind a more glorious redemption wrought out for us by Jesus Christ from worse than Egyptian bondage, and the many gracious answers he has given to us, notwithstanding our manifold provocations.” We are a highly blessed people.

This Thursday morning Patricia Hubbard will be leading the Ladies Bible Study in Psalm 81. Plan to study the lesson well and be prepared to participate in the discussion of this beautiful Psalm.

Mark and I will be home later on Thursday and look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday morning. Here is a short video of some of the happy time we spent with Jorge and Naomi’s church.

SELF WILL OR GOD'S WILL

Perhaps you have observed even in your own family the difference in peace and joy between children who tend to be compliant and those who lean toward doing what they please. The consequences of these contrasting attitudes become even more evident as children grow into adulthood and eventually old age. In other words you don’t find genuinely sweet little old ladies who have lived as they pleased. But to step this up to a much higher level, consider the outcome of a life lived in compliance to God. He knows perfectly the way we should live and that path results in peace and joy. Yet we lean toward doing as we please with the results always falling way short of what we had hoped for.

This Thursday morning we will immerse ourselves into Psalm 85 and clearly see what God says about self-will and His will. Psalm 85:8 “I will hear what God the LORD will say; For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; But let them not turn back to folly.” Let’s come together to encourage one another to live for God.

“Let’s Get Cooking”—this Friday evening at 6:30 at Sally Helland’s home we will be having a demonstration of the use of Instapots. Come and join in on the fun. Sally’s address is 12976 Gopher Hill Pl. SE, Olalla, WA 98359

I'M NOT IN CONTROL, BUT GOD IS

God continually works good things in our lives through the dark days and the bright days.

God continually works good things in our lives through the dark days and the bright days.

A couple of times each year I sense as starting points for the days and months ahead. One of those dates comes around on my birthday and the other on New Years Day. Do you get that fresh start vision at such times, or like many people, do you find yourself sliding in the direction of discouragement, or even depression. Just in the past couple of days I’ve heard well-meaning people in the media repeating New Year’s mantras such as “I’m a winner,” “I can do anything,” and “I’m in control.” Observation of life over the past 71 years convinces me that this kind of self-talk brings great discouragement sooner or later because they are not true of people, only of God. This is what I find to be so encouraging and uplifting in my life! God is in control, He can do anything, and He is a winner.

Recognizing God as my loving heavenly Father who loves me, directs my steps (through His Word) and perfectly cares for me through the hard and easy days of life gives me great peace, joy, and anticipation of the year ahead. I specifically said “hard” days of life because those days trip us up the quickest. But, “hard” days benefit us in countless ways that “easy” days cannot. Particularly, the difficult days should cause us to realize our need to lean hard on God and be dependent on Him, not ourselves, for everything. “Everything” includes all that pertains to our daily life now and forever.

As I have been reading the Bible in the past week, God’s call for us to be humble has really stood out to me. Isn’t this the real answer to living life fully? “Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,” (Colossians 3:12)

Beginning on January 10th at 9:30 a second study on Psalms will begin. You may pick up your study book in the foyer this coming Sunday morning. Please plan to have the first 3 days of Lesson 1 completed for the 10th. If you would like to be encouraged as the New Year begins, please plan to be part of this great study of Psalms.