Romans 12:6-8

“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”

Why Does a Person Serve

Could it be for selfish reasons perhaps?

The straightest path to happiness is devoting ourselves to the happiness of others.

If you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday. And the LORD will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.   ISAIAH 58: 10-11, NASB

Alcorn, Randy. Happiness (p. 291). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

My Friend April

At least once every day I shall look steadily up at the sky and remember that I, a consciousness with a conscience, am on a planet traveling in space with wonderfully mysterious things above and about me. . .  . I shall open my eyes and ears. Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud, or a person. I shall not then be concerned at all to ask what they are, but simply be glad that they are. I shall joyfully allow them the mystery of what Lewis calls their “divine, magical, terrifying, and ecstatic” existence.[ 23]

Alcorn, Randy. Happiness (p. 282). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

I have a friend April who goes on walks or runs or swims almost everyday, and she takes Instagram photos of what she sees giving some sort of fun quote or Bible verse that snaps the experience into focus. These images and quotes always encourage me, and they challenge me to pay attention to what is going on around me for which I can praise God.

We were having an “Ask Allison” time at dinner last night, and the question was posed to her “How do you stay optimistic and joyful?” And she mentioned that recently when she was tempted to dwell in discouragement as she was walking home from the school, thinking of all the lesson plans and teaching she had in front of her, she heard a bird sing, and she was reminded that God had made it all, and that the song of that bird was one of his gifts to us. And her worries lifted some, and her optimism and joy settled in again.

This morning I could hear the monkeys yelling as I read my Bible. What weird and wonderful animals they are!

And I found this quote, and I remembered April and Allison. I want to look around at what God has done and is doing in his creation for the sake of remembering the happiness I have in him!

 

Psalms 39:4-5 NLT

“ Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.”

Psalms 39:4-5 NLT

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