Wednesday, March 03, 2010

World Day of Prayer

Our congregation has been praying each month this year for a different country or continent. We prayed in January for the country of Iran using the Iran 30 prayer guide produced by Elam Ministries located in Alpharetta, Georgia. ( In February, we prayed for the continent of Africa and for Haiti. To learn more about how to help in Haiti, visit the website of the United Methodist Committee on Relief at

During this month of March, we are praying for the country of Mexico and our missionaries who serve there, the Herrin family. To learn more about the Herrins, visit their website at We are also praying for the country of Chile as they begin to recover from last week's devastating earthquake.

This Friday provides everyone with a wonderful opportunity to pray for the world during the World Day of Prayer held every first-Friday in March. The World Day of Prayer website describes the purpose of the day on their website at

"WORLD DAY OF PRAYER (WDP) is a worldwide ecumenical movement of Christian women of many faith traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year on the first Friday in March.

Throughout the entire day, we collectively pray all over the world, beginning with the first sunrise and ending at the last sunset. Our prayers follow the sun’s path around the globe. WDP’s motto is “Informed prayer leads to prayerful action.”

Through World Day of Prayer, women affirm that prayer and action are inseparable and that both have immeasurable influence in the world.

Join others in praying for our world this Friday. We remember that the prayers of God's people are both powerful and effective. (James 5:16).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Where Does Joy Come From?

Where does joy come from? Well, the quick answer is that joy comes from God. The Bible teaches us that joy is a fruit of God's Spirit. In other words, joy comes from the Spirit of God who dwells within the life of the Christian believer. But how does God supply us with joy? How do we experience joy in the journey and circumstances of life?

Our immediate answers to those questions might lead us to think of the happy occasions in life...when a child is born, when a prayer is answered, when time is spent with someone we love, or when things are going well for us along the journey. But I wonder, can we only experience joy in the happy occasions of life?

At the present time, God is teaching me that joy can also come to us in the trials and sad occasions of life. The other day I was reading the Letter of James in the New Testament when I saw these words, "Consider it pure JOY, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds." (James 1:2) What is the logic here? James goes on to say that trials force us to persevere in our faith. He continues by saying that perseverance is necessary for us to become what God created us to be. So here is the logic: If we are facing a trial or trials, God is continuing to mold us and create us. What more could bring joy than to know that God is working in us and preparing us for something better or greater than our present circumstances...namely, His heavenly kingdom.

I don't rejoice in having trials more than anyone else. But I am learning to find joy in the fact that God is working even when it looks like the world, both personal and global, is falling apart. Part of faith is believing that God is doing something great even when everything looks terrible.

Paul said it like this: "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." (1 Corinthians 13:12) I look forward to the day when I understand the "what" and the "why" of what God is doing. Until then, I will trust that God knows better than I and is working out His plan in me...even in the trials.

God is good!