Choose to Rejoice!

Last night, we entered into the feast of Tabernacles -- in Hebrew -- Sukkot. Sukkot is known as "The Feast" in which God commands us to rejoice. As we entered this feast of rejoicing on Sunday night, I think it is only fitting that we commit ourselves to a life of joy. "But how?" you say. We need to make a choice -- a choice to rejoice! Wow, I’m a poet and didn’t know it, lol!

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Get your game on!

You've probably heard of tennis champion Boris Becker, but you may not know this. He had everything, talent, money, fame and every other worldly pleasure one could want, yet he still struggled with depression and frequent thoughts of suicide. "I had won Wimbledon twice before," he said, "once as the youngest player. I was rich. I had all the material possessions I needed ... It's the old song of movie stars and pop stars who commit suicide. They have everything, and yet they are so unhappy. I had no inner peace. I was a puppet on a string."

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He's looking for a few good men (and women)!

"A young man enlisted, and was sent to his regiment. The first night he was in the barracks with about fifteen other young men, who passed the time playing cards and gambling. Before retiring, he fell on his knees and prayed, and they began to curse him and jeer at him and throw boots at him. So it went on the next night and the next, and finally the young man went and told the chaplain what had taken place, and asked what he should do. 'Well,' said the chaplain, 'you are not at home now, and the other men have just as much right to the barracks as you have. It makes them mad to hear you pray, and the Lord will hear you just as well if you say your prayers in bed and don't provoke them.'

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Is there grass on your path?

Early African believers were earnest and regular in private devotions. Each one reportedly had a separate spot in the thicket where he would pour out his heart to God. Over time, the paths to these places became well worn. As a result, if one of these believers began to neglect prayer, it was soon apparent to the others. They would kindly remind the negligent one, "Brother, the grass grows on your path."

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Continue to be Faithful!

In my first years serving the Lord, I was dedicated to serving with an inner city bus ministry in the heart of Baltimore. We would go door to door and offer "free Sunday morning babysitting" for their kids. If they agreed to let us take their kids to church, we would come and pick them up early every Sunday morning. Many times, the obvious change in their kids' lives would make a great impression and their parents would be moved to come out to the church as well --- then they too would give their lives to the Lord! It was exciting to see whole families come to faith! The following story touched my heart, from Max Lucado's book, God Came Near.

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Do you like puzzles? Here's one for you.

As members of the body of Messiah, we can be compared to pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece has protrusions and indentations. The protrusions represent our strengths (gifts, talents, abilities), and the indentations represent our weaknesses (faults, limitations, shortcomings, undeveloped areas). The beautiful thing is that the pieces complement one another and produce a beautiful whole.

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