From: Rich Carlson
Date: February 20, 2020
Subject: It's February 20; Good Morning Union

Made it safely to Cohuta Springs Camp in Georgia with Buell and 5 of our Campus Ministries team for the annual North American Division Campus Ministries Convention. Looking forward to the interaction with our colleagues from the other Adventist schools and the blessings and inspiration that’s always here!! And now GMU for this morning

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again—rejoice.”        Philippians 4:4

In my Bible I have highlighted the word “rejoice” in this letter of Paul’s to the Philippian believers. Read the letter and see how many you can find! There are a bunch!

With assurance comes rejoicing. My first ah-ha this morning focuses on that word “rejoicing.” Maybe it’s one of the descriptors, or definers, or distinguishing characteristics of whether I am “maturing” in my understanding of God’s righteousness and my intention to keep on focusing on Him. Through the good and the bad, I may be able to assess my focus forward by my ability to rejoice.

Now, I’m no “wordologist” but it seems to me that the word “rejoice” has at least some foundation in the word “joy,” and  if I RE-joice, I must have already experienced some measure of “joy.” I find “joy” in Jesus and then whatever comes I continue to learn that the best response to life just might be responding with joy and thereby “RE- joy-sing,” not that I like everything life throws at me or my failures, but in can rejoice in the fact that I have been practicing focusing on Jesus and finding joy in His guaranteed presence with me through it all to the end. “My hope is build on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”

And thank you Paul for bringing more clarity to how to practice “joy” SO THAT I can “re-joy-s.”

            “Let your gentleness be evident to all (because the Lord is near)

            Don’t be anxious about anything

            But in everything, by prayer and petition, WITH THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God.”

And the result is not that I get everything I want, but “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus.” Joy comes because I continue to learn that I can have peace, which I cannot fully understand, but it’s there taking care of my heart and my mind BECAUSE I’m focusing forward on Jesus.

Have a great day finding joy and peace SO THAT you can “re-joy-s” in all things,

Pastor Rich


Quote for the day:      “Even Jesus’ spit was holy enough to heal the blind man.”   Olivia Carlson

PS        uGather- 10:35 in the church- A whole lot of Union College community updates! Come hear Kelina share senate news, Dr Sauder share our college vision, Dr Rose share academic accomplishments and direction, and Steve Trana tell you about ALL the amazing donor-gifted projects that are now coming true for our campus! It will be a day of celebrating Union!

PPS      Good time to go into your uGroups and record your uWorship activities!

PP..S    Are you looking for a spiritual boost? The Women’s Ministry Team is hosting an event at 8:30 tonight in the Rees Chapel. Come for a craft, food, and some encouraging words about valuing yourself! If you are a lady, we would love for you to join us!  Hosted by our Women's Ministiry leader Abigail and her team.