Yup, I went to Oil Painting Class in January and it was so fun. There was 12 there that time and it was so fun for everyone to paint and just see that all 12 were different, yet beautiful, at the same time. It will soon be time for this months painting class. It should be a real beauty this time. It is really more like a "real" painting with the kind of scenery and everything. Kinda like looking at a lovely view from the back yard into a woodsy area. Can't wait, but till then, I'll share what we done in January.
I had said January 1st, that my theme word for the was "rejoice". I'm still rejoicing! Sometimes is a little harder than other times, but there is ALWAYS something to rejoice about in every day, whether you feel like it or not. There really is.
1 Thessalonians 5:16 King James Version (KJV)
16 Rejoice evermore.
Such a simple verse, isn't it? Well, not really. Although it is beautiful in the KJV, it is nonetheless, NOT very simple. Paul wrote this letter to the church at Thessalonica. He loved these people dearly.
At the end of this letter he gave the "Instructions for Holy Living". This is my quick gist of what Paul was telling these people. Love each other; be at peace among themselves; encourage those not as strong in their faith; stay away from evil but follow that which is good; rejoice evermore; pray without ceasing; give thanks in all things; don't put out the fire of Holy spirit; hold no contempt for prophecies; test everything; hold on to that which is good; and avoid all appearance of evil.
Some pretty good guidelines for everyday lives, I do believe. They hold as much truth in them today as they did the day God breathed those words thru Paul! The two words I am focusing on is in the center of all theses is "rejoice evermore"! Simple, right? Well, that depends on the momentary situation I'm in, right? Well, that depends on what side of the bed I woke up on this morning, doesn't is ? Well, that really depends on how the religious folk treat me, right? Oh, that really depends on what kind of day I had on the job, right? Or, that depends on the news I got at the drs office today, doesn't it? Oh, well, that really depends on my child's behavior at school, right? Well, I'm really not expected to rejoice after the fender bender I just had, am I? How in the world am I expected to rejoice over the death of someone important to me? What about the victim of abuse, are they supposed to rejoice in that, really? What about all the trouble that our world seems to be in right now, rejoice, really!!!
Can you relate to any of those scenarios I mentioned? Of course you can! At least one or two and maybe even more. Do you have the mindset to rejoice in and thru any of them? This is where the rubber meets the road. Sometimes, I just make the conscious decision, that I won't. I'll be willing to say that you have too, at some time or the other. We rejoice or we don't. This is one of those things that we have to consciously think about and make ourselves do till it becomes second nature. Till it becomes as easy as our heart beating. Our heart beats and we don't even think about it, because we can't control it by the way we think. So, when we get so accustomed to rejoicing without even thinking about, because it is so engrained in us that it has become a part of our spiritual dna, then we can say that we are "rejoicing evermore". Paul wasn't saying rejoice when it's something worth rejoicing over or convenient. NO!!!! He said "REJOICE EVERMORE" as the KJV says. So, even if it isn't something we would consider worth rejoicing over, do it anyway.
Every day that you and I are blessed to have a part in is worth "rejoicing evermore" over. If your eyes opened this morning, rejoice! If you had the ability to get out of bed, rejoice! If you have a job to go to, rejoice! If you have a child, rejoice!!! If all you have is memories of your loved one, rejoice because you have those sweet memories! If it sounds like I'm preaching at ya', I'm not, this is just what I have to tell myself sometimes when it seems there's not a lot to rejoice over. But.......when I look with the expectation of seeing something good and worthy of "rejoicing evermore", Oh my friend, it's always there!!!!! Just being alive and being a part of God's plan, oh, that's something to "rejoice evermore". Having Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior is what gives me the ability to "rejoice evermore". If you know Him as your Lord and Savior, then you, my friend have an eternity that began the moment you accepted Him, that is also worth "rejoicing evermore" about!
I would ask you to be in prayer for all the sick, those with recent diagnoses of not so good stuff, those that are carrying a lot of burdens, those that have had surgery recently, and all the other stuff we know people are dealing with. Sometimes we look at prayer as the last resort, don't we? But I challenge us to look at prayer as the very first line of defense at our disposal any time, day or night, no busy signals, no put on hold and God is always happy to hear from us.
I hope the rest of your day is totally spectacular. Look for the beautiful sunset where you live, see if you can see one that looks like what I painted. I'll bet you will eventually see one just like it. Remember to "rejoice evermore", it won't be real easy just starting out, but it will become easier.
Ladybug, I hope you are having an awesome day and I know you have been a blessing to a lot of people today. For that, I am thankful. Sweetpea loves you!
Always remember that God loves y'all and so do I!!!! hugs, Patty