The first Friday of each month is RANDOM JOURNAL DAY. We grab a journal, preferably one of our own, not someone else's'! Open to a page and use what we see as inspiration for a new blog post, then connect up with others doing the same thing. You know you want to read the journals of strangers right?
So here we go........
My totally random journal entry is dated October 25, 2005. I was recording a beautiful morning of sensing God's unmistakable presence while being an Overseer for 45 ministry school students. We had the full school together for worship which began very somberly and somewhat half-hearted due to one leader in hospital, 2 students very seriously sick and most of the church staff was out of the country in Australia. Those left behind were feeling the load and the lack.
My journal reads.......
"I felt defeated and empty. Did not even want to stay in the worship room with the students at all. But God said, "Choose." So I reluctantly did choose to praise Him while still IN the "garbage".
"Praise Him IN the garbage" was repeating and repeating in my mind. I went up front to the whiteboard and wrote, "Victory not defeat" and we slowly changed the atmosphere of that room to one of joyful victory.
I literally KNEW that each dance step, clap and voice was doing warfare because we were doing the opposite of what the enemy wanted. It was so real to me. Then as the music changed to silly and fun tunes, I knew that now the dance was a true Victory Dance! I cannot fully describe how amazed I was at such a personal change in attitude coming so quickly and the joy I feel that I had a small part in it! Thank you Father, You are simply TOO good to me!"
Friends, One of the reasons I love these RANDOM JOURNAL DAYS is because the word "random" may mean that I had no preconceived agenda when opening a journal.....but God did! Coincidence? I think not. Those of us doing the RJD Challenge have seen over and over again that there is always an important message hidden in the post for others or for ourselves. (Right Pamela and Dawn?)
If you are "in garbage" right now, I want you to know that I am praying for you and God knows where you are and how much it hurts. Please hear this correctly: Praising Him IN the garbage DOES NOT mean that you are THANKING Him for the garbage or awful situation.
God does NOT send sickness, shooters, bad economy, early death etc to punish a supposedly "ungodly" country. He does NOT need "more little angels in Heaven". Sickness is not sent to teach you a lesson. He is not a punisher. He is a lover. He is a forgiver, a grace-giver, a do-over giver. God's arms are wide open, not folded across His chest in anger.
Praising God IN the garbage does NOT mean that we are to be thanking God for the bad stuff. I cannot imagine myself saying, "Father, thank you for the low paycheck this week, it will help us depend on you more." NOPE. Praising Him in the garbage means that I will say, "Father, I am trusting you now. I know how big you are. I praise You as the creator of all things and worthy of my love and trust. I rest in you and refuse to let myself worry."
Do I still worry and fuss? Yep. But He is a forgiver and a do-over giver. Turning my eyes off the problem and onto Him helps lift my spirit and my mood and my attitude.
He knows that. He designed us that way.
Friend, look away from the news channel. Look at Him. It is a much much better view.
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