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Monday, May 4, 2009

Don't be Anxious

I totally needed yesterday's sermon -- so thank you Tom Rodgers for the message (click on today's title and it will take you to Grace Church's website. Sunday's sermon is not available yet, but I'm sure it will be within a couple of days).

I am an anxious person. Always have been, striving to be "not so much" going forward. I love being around people who have a joy for the Lord and who have true "peace" on their hearts.

We had dinner with our friends Mike and Marsha the other evening. Marsha just returned from a trip to China with her mother. Before our dinner arrived, Marsha showed me beautiful pictures of the countryside and people. She told us about the villages she visited, their customs, and all the people she met along the way. She told me that at the end of the trip, their interpreter (the original male interpreter was not available and was replaced by a female interpreter) asked Marsha and her mom how old they were. When they told her how old they were, the interpreter was surprised, because she thought they were much younger. She asked Marsha what her secret was to looking so young and for their happy hearts.

Her beautiful response to this question was that when you are a Christian, it brings peace and love to your heart, which makes you happy and it shows (not verbatim -- but you get the jest of the conversation).

Marsha had brought a devotional book to give to another friend in China, but did not see this friend during the trip, so she felt drawn to give the devotional to her new friend. I got goose bumps thinking about how this lady was not supposed to be their translator, and how Marsha had originally brought the devotional for another friend, but did not get to see this friend on their trip. Isn't it amazing to see God's hand at work?

I am so thankful that I have a God who loves me, who understands me, who listens to me, and who is always willing to pick me up when I stumble and fall.

My prayer for all of you is that you find the peace and joy that comes from the One who loves us, who sent his only son to die for us and to redeem us.

Phillipians 4

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

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