S-L-O-W down!

September 25, 2021Pastor Nancy No Comments »

We’re in the second week of Lent.
Are you listening to Bryan’s sermons?
(If you miss a Sunday, you can hear them online at churchofthelakes.org).
Are you in one of the Lenten study groups?
If so, you know that this week we are to practice slowing down, finding joy, and celebrating.  The assignment from the study book is to find 8 hours and set it aside to be quiet, to meditate on God’s word and to seek Him.  It may not be possible for you to find 8 uninterrupted hours in your schedule this week, but how about trying an hour or two on a couple of different days.
When I was a seminary intern at Church of the Lakes from 1992-1994, I started the discipline of setting aside one day a month for spiritual renewal.  I remember the first time I did it and when I came home, it was like entering a foreign nation.  I had truly enjoyed that silence.  I learned some techniques of “decompression” that I’ve used since then.  I used to think that one day a month was a luxury, now I know it is a necessity that helps me to center my life.  I have maintained that discipline to this day.  It has become part of the rhythm of my life.  Usually I go to Loyola of the Lakes Retreat House off Arlington Road.  But always, it’s somewhere without a TV or a telephone!!
What can you do to intentionally increase the silence and the solitude in your life?  What can you do to s-l-o-w your life down?
Be in the moment!
Another part of this week’s emphasis is joy.  Jesus said in John:15:11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy  may be complete.”
How complete is your joy?  Do you know the difference between happiness and joy?  For me, happiness is based on circumstances and joy is based on a relationship with God.  That’s why people can say that they still have joy in the midst of horrible circumstances.  That’s how joy and pain can be mixed together.  Cultivating our relationship with our Lord deepens that “joy.”  When you’ve got it – be sure to share it.

How about asking God to put someone in your path today that you can share joy with?   Try to be the one that is the “joy-infuser”.  Increase your positive self-talk today!  Increase you positive talk with others and your encouragement of others.  Find someone doing something right today and tell them!  (It will make both of you feel better.)
Have a joy-filled day today!
Pastor Nancy

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