Live

Every week… day… moment. Your choice.

Every week is a new challenge.

Today, our challenge was to turn this into a functional service:

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We made it happen with some good ole fashion sweat. I was proud of our team for out-working the event hall’s staff.

Every day has a new challenge.

You wake up and and go about your day. Then you receive news that you weren’t expecting. Like when I forgot to deliver something and I had to leave my family at the house at nap time—do you know how golden of a moment nap time is to a parent with young kids!?!—to make the delivery and pick up some items at the grocery store.

Frustrated, I drove to the store. I grabbed the items I was in pursuit of—well no I didn’t get them all because they were out of stock of one of the items—and headed to checkout.

When I arrived, I noticed the checkout ladies looking at each other as if they were talking in ESP. One lady then approached me. She asked me if I remembered P? (I am abbreviating her name to an initial to respect her) “P?” I replied. “Of course I remember her.” P was a sweet mom who’s aisle I would frequent. She liked it when I came by, but she loved it when my wife and kids were with me. I knew P didn’t have much. But I knew she loved her family. All I knew of P was what I could learn in the 2-5min we would spend at the checkout till several times each week. So yeah, “I know P.”

The lady looked at me as if she knew I would want to know what she was about to tell me. “Her husband passed away last night.”

“Passed away?” I tried to confirm I heard it correctly. “I am so sorry to hear this news.” Then through talking with some more of the ladies I was able to find a number to contact P. When I spoke to her I didn’t know what to say. I know. I’m a son of a pastor who grew up in ministry and who has been in full time ministry since 1999. You think I’d know what to say by now. But I didn’t. All I knew was that I had to call her and let her know I heard and that I would love to serve her and her family if there is anything they need.

My heart sank. I was frustrated because I forgot to tie up a couple loose ends that led me to my corner grocery store where I had the opportunity to share Jesus with someone by being present.

Every moment has its challenges.

That’s right. Everything we face has a challenge. Will we let it rob us of our joy or will we find strength in our joy?

Will we let the interruptions of life steal our joy or will we rely on our joy that gives us strength to sustain us when a challenge presents itself?

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Tonight, we celebrated advent with our family. We lit the third candle tonight that represents “joy.” We tried to explain to Judah (my 3.5 year old) what joy was. The simplest answer I could come up with was

Joy is being happy no matter the circumstance.

That’s what we want isn’t it? We want to be at a place that we are happy no matter what happens to us. Our problem is we search for joy in what happens but that isn’t the key.

They key is knowing that joy is something deeper. It is beyond the events that happen to us. The words that are said. The news we hear. The disappointment we encounter.

When we face the challenge of the moment we have a choice to let it steal our joy or make it an opportunity to find strength in our joy that is not based on a circumstance.

Every moment has a challenge. What will you choose?

Choosing Jesus allows us to choose joy.