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You don't have to feel joyful in order to live joyfully (Philippians 4)

PHILIPPIANS 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. "Rejoice" means "to demonstrate joy." It is an active word. More than something you feel, rejoicing is something you do.   Nat King Cole sang about rejoicing. Smile though your heart is aching Smile even though it's breaking When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by If you smile through your fear and sorrow Smile and maybe tomorrow You'll see the sun come shining through for you Light up your face with gladness Hide ev'ry trace of sadness Although a tear may be ever so near That's the time you must keep on trying Smile, what's the use of crying You'll find that life is still worthwhile If you just smile He was mostly right. What he didn't mention (but Paul did) is that we can rejoice   IN THE LORD . Circumstances change, emotions fluctuate, relationships struggle but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Sometimes we struggle to

Can't We All Just Get Along? (Philippians 4)

PHILIPPIANS 4:2-3 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. We don't know much about Euodia and Syntyche. We know they were both followers of Jesus. We know they worked alongside Paul. But the thing they are famous for is that they couldn't get along with each other. Paul doesn't mention who was right or wrong, and he gives no details about their dispute. He simply begs them to AGREE. Do you have someone in your life with whom it is difficult to agree? Here are 5 actions you can take to increase agreement with disagreeable people. A -- Assume the best of the other person G -- Give the benefit of the doubt to the other person R -- Recognize the good in the other person E -- Engage in gracious conversation with the other person E -- Emphas

How Low Can You Go? (Sermon Leftovers From Philippians 2)

1. Relationships often get upside-down because we feel like we aren’t receiving what we expect or deserve. 2. I must replace selfish ambition (what is good for me) and vain conceit (what makes me look good) with humility (what makes others look good) and a concern for others (what is good for them). 3. The truth about who Jesus was and what Jesus did should define how we view ourselves and how we live our lives. 4. Jesus was God. He created all things, needed no things, and deserved everything. 5. Jesus chose to not hold tightly to what he deserved but to humbly lower himself so He could lift us up. 6. "Humility" means to make oneself lower. Or to place oneself "underneath", not in a demeaning manner, but in a supporting role. 7. A humble person never looks down on anyone and always finds reasons to look up to everyone. 8. A humble person recognizes that everyone around them is better than them... at something. Humility causes us to find the good in

My joy cannot be linked to my football team's success or failure.

PHILIPPIANS 3:1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, largely because I went to bed in the wrong kind of mood. I was disappointed. You probably know that I am a Detroit Lions football fan. We are really the most unfortunate fan base of all professional sports throughout the world. Our team is not only perpetually losers, but on rare occasions, when they have opportunities to win, something or someone always intervenes. It happened again last night. I am so disappointed. A few highly questionable penalties were called and cost the Lions a much-needed win. Had they won, Detroit would be the first place team in their division. As a result of losing their game, the Lions are in last place this morning. I am so disappointed. There is a part of me that would prefer to spend my day rage-scrolling through twitter, reading all the sports' pundits who agree with me for once. Everybody saw it, the Lions got robbed. I am so disappointed. I

CONFIDENCE IN THE CHAOS: Sermon Leftovers From Philippians 1

PHILIPPIANS 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 1. Reasonable confidence is often based on knowledge of past performance. 2. God has begun a work IN you. 3. God is changing you. He is not changing your situation or your circumstances. 4. God never promises to change our situation or circumstances. He changes us so that no matter where we find ourselves, we are empowered to handle it. 5. The work God has begun in us is GOOD work. When His work doesn't feel good at the moment we must remember that He is not finished. 6. God always finishes what He starts. 7. Confidence about the future is developed through gratitude for the past. 8. Gratitude is our way of filling our minds with God's record of success. 9. If you are struggling to be grateful, think about the people who have blessed you, the provisions you have received, and the possessions with which you have been entrusted.

More Time Means More [fill in the blank]

I'm still dragging a bit this morning as I cajole my body to join me back in the Eastern time zone. Marianne and I had a great time visiting with Liam this past weekend in Washington. A few days before our trip, we discovered we could change our flight and arrive in Seattle 12 hours earlier than our original flight. Excitedly, we began to make plans for our extra time in the Emerald City. More time meant more Seattle . More Pike Place Market More Coffee More Smoked Salmon More Views of the Puget Sound More Street Walking and Looking for Cool Shops More Time Together! In Philippians 1:21, Paul says that more time on earth meant more Jesus . I've always considered this verse to be a comforting verse, reminding us that death is not the end and is not to be feared as it is the pathway we take into eternity. As I read the familiar words this morning, the first half of the verse grabbed me. "For me to live is Christ." More Jesus means more time together with Him

REFRESH: 10 Sermon Leftovers From John 4 (The Woman at the Well)

1. Jesus came to earth to refresh people. 2. Jesus refreshes people by providing relief. 3. Jesus refreshes people by providing a new life. 4. People who have been refreshed by Jesus, seek opportunities to refresh others. 5. Jesus' disciples were so focused on physical needs and desires, they couldn't understand Jesus' deeper spiritual teaching. 6. When a farmer plants a seed, the harvest must wait. When God plants a seed, the harvest is immediate. 7. Jesus commissioned His followers to do for people what He was already doing for people. 8. Jesus desires His followers to refresh people by providing relief. 9. Jesus desires His followers to refresh people by pointing them to new life. 10. Jesus desires His followers to refresh the people they know, the people who are like them, the people who are not like them, and everyone else in the world.