Extravagant Gratitude
Joy comes in the morning.
                                 Psalm 30:5b
“We are a nation Hungry for more Joy: Because we’re starving from a lack of gratitude.”   Brene Brown
This statement stopped me in my tracks this week when I read it. I hadn’t really considered a “lack of gratitude” fueling the “hunger for joy”. I know I am aware of how negative thoughts, disparaging remarks, lack of respect and understanding for others and their thoughts/opinions/feelings dot the landscape of communication. But how do we turn this around?  We are each just one tiny fish in a very large sea.
The word JOY has always been an acronym for me. In fact , using acronyms was a study method I relied on through all of my own schooling and my teaching career. Here are a few that have stayed with me, including some I remember from Bible study.
  Pray Until Something Happens

  Fully Rely On God   
T. H. I. N. K. –(Think before you speak)
     T- Is it True?  H-Is it Helpful?  I- Is it Inspiring?
 N- Is it Necessary? K- Is it Kind?
And now comes Joy.   
    J. O. Y.    
 J-  Jesus    O- Others       Y-You
This may be the answer! If we practice putting Jesus first, others second and ourselves last, we may experience more JOY than we’ve ever felt. If we practice putting Jesus first, others second and ourselves last, we may find ourselves sharing and extravagantly giving thanks that exceeds all expectations and extends to unexpected measures. 
We may not be prepared for the Joy that gratitude brings, the Joy that flows from the inside out, the Joy of having the God of miracles living inside of us. I encourage you to give some thought today to the Joy you feel after praising God through our worship services, the Joy you feel when your eyes connect with a friend in Christ, the Joy you see in the faces of the children who run forward for the children’s message, the Joy you feel when 2 or 3 are gathered in His name, and the Joy you feel with the gift of a new day every morning. Extravagant gratitude for Christ- what He did for us-what He’s doing for us- and what He will do for us brings abundant JOY ……Every Morning. What more can we ask?
Heavenly Father, when we are faced with uncertainty, when peace seems elusive, when we have more questions than answers, help us remember…..
 Be still and know that I am God.   Be still and know that I am.   Be still and know. Be still .  Be.     Amen.
Barbara Schneider

St. John's Ivyland
820 Almshouse Road
Ivyland, PA 18974
Rev. Brad Leight, Pastor