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live from Glenn Alpine

Im spending the first half of the week in an awesome little town in the foothills of NC called Glenn Alpine. Its like Mayberry. Courtney and I are on our “babymoon.” If you dont know what that is, im not sure either. I think its any vacation you go on when you are expecting a baby. Well, Im sitting on the porch of our 1918 colonial style B&B called the Inn at Glenn Alpine. Cool breeze, hardwood porch, rocking chairs, magnolia trees, and the foothills of NC. Lets just say Im pretty comfortable today. Ive spent most of the day reading or just staring blankly at trees while listening to the soothing sounds of One Republic (new favorite album).

Ive been reading Paul’s letter to the Philippians today and have really been shaken by something in his letter. He is writing from prison, yet the theme that spills out everywhere in the letter is JOY. He keeps on and keeps on urging the community (very important) of christians at Phillipi to rejoice together in the Lord. I have always read 4:4-7 as something I should be doing individually. You know, in good times or bad, rejoice in the Lord. Be thankful, yada yada. While this is true, Paul isn’t telling this to one person. he is talking about COMMUNAL REJOICING. In other words, an element of rejoicing in the Lord is sharing joy with other christians..Pause as my newest favorite song “Say (all I need)” just came on…admire clouds…im back. So when you and I rejoice in the lord, we gotta be thinking about who we are sharing our joy with. And we are always to be rejoicing according to Paul, so we must be constantly involved in the lives of other christians enough where we can rejoice together. So that brings me to what that rejoicing looks like:

  • First it requires you knowing and being known by a community of Christians. The anthem of my life these days is this: You are designed to live in relationships with other people. For Summit Church, that means small groups.
  • One we all seem to do well in churches is rejoicing through singing corporately together about how much joy we have in our standing before God through the blood of Christ. Great start.
  • This means communicating regularly to others what God is doing in your life. And to do that it means getting before God regularly to listen and hear from him through reading his word and praying. I think this one is easier than the next because when we catch just a glance of God at work, we get pumped and want to tell others.
  • This means sharing the joy of others when you dont feel like you have any reason to rejoice in your life. Yeah this one is hard. What about when a close friend shares how God has started to heal his marriage when you are in an extended period of frustration in your own? Are you genuinely able to rejoice with him or are you only able to extend a christianese “that’s great man.” ironically, their big hit “apologize” just came on. maybe you need to go suck up your stupid sinful pride and apologize to your own spouse since it’s not too late. When you cant rejoice in that situation because you cant stop thinking about why God wont do that in your life, ultimately you are considering yourself to be smarter than God. (caveat: I dont think God ever wants you to have a frustrated marriage. I think he will take you through difficulties to teach you though. because you are stubborn)

Conclusion: Repent of your pride, get into a small group, find a quiet place and some life reflection music, and start discovering how to Rejoice…In the Lord…always.

PS – if this post made no sense, its ok, im on vacation.

  1. July 17, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Great post. Made perfect sense. Paul’s life never ceases to amaze me. As my husband would say he was such a “stud.”
    By the way, we are taking our babymoon in one week to Mackinac Island in Michigan. I had never heard of a babymoon until we were expecting. I can’t wait! Have a great rest of your trip and soak in that time with your wife!

  1. December 9, 2008 at 5:45 am

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