It is mid-December, but we've already had four snowfalls, so it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The Christmas cards are in the mail, the decorations are up, and gifts are under the tree. Wish you could stop by for a cup of tea in front of the fireplace.
We're looking forward to some time over the holidays at home and some time in Colorado with our kids and granddaughters, to celebrate Jesus' birthday and enjoy winter sports in the mountains.
A few years ago Andy started a journey ~ taking one of the fruits of the Spirit each year ~ asking God to teach him and grow him in that area of his life. During the year of JOY he discovered a little book by Ben Patterson called HE HAS MADE ME GLAD, Enjoying God's Goodness with Reckless Abandon.
Joy is what we experience when we are grateful for the grace given us. The sequence is - grace, gratitude, joy. Grace - the unearned, unmerited favor of God. Frederick Buechner calls grace the "crucial eccentricity" of the Christian faith - God doesn't give sinners the bad things they deserve but the incredibly good things they don't deserve. Patterson goes on to write, "Grace and gratitude belong together like heaven and earth. Grace evokes gratitude like the voice of an echo. Gratitude follows grace like thunder lightning. And as gratitude follows grace, so joy follows gratitude, for joy is what we feel when we're hugely grateful." And, that's what we are - hugely grateful! Spend a little time reading and reflecting on Psalm 95: 1-7 to get an additional perspective on why and how grace, gratitude and joy flow together.
And so, while our deep desire is to live joyfully, gratefully, grace-fully all year, it seems particularly clear and focused at this Christmas season. We hope and pray that you too are fully alive ~ immersed in God's grace, grateful, and joyful. As you can read from our other posts to this blog, we really do enjoy God's goodness! We invite you to revisit this site for on-going news and pictures about our family. Merry Christmas!
Andy and Nancy