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Shine Like Stars

Wow.  What a way to kick off MidWeek!  I am so grateful to everyone who came out last night, it was definitely a powerful time and I am so looking forward to what is going to happen on Wednesday nights.

Paul says in Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, and with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  It still blows my mind that Paul wrote this letter from a Roman prison cell.  Despite the fact that Paul is in a less than desirable situation, one of the things he seems to be telling us over and over in the book of Philippians is that peace, joy, contentment begins with gratitude, with thanksgiving, with this awareness that life is a gift.

I mean think about it.  When Jesus is teaching about the dangers of anxiety and worry he points our attention to the birds of the air and the flowers of the field; to these miracles of God that are around us all the time but we tend to miss.  Anxiety, stress, fear, worry, they all draw our attention to what we don’t have, to what hasn’t happened.  Gratitude, appreciation, thanksgiving…they draw our attention to what we do have, to how things are, and this results in peace.

We finished the night by reflecting on what we do have, on the miracles of God that are around us all the time, but we tend to miss.  We wrote these overlooked miracles on light bulbs and then worshiped God in the light of what He has given us.  It was a wonderful time of worship.

Peace, joy, contentment begins with gratitude, with this awareness that life is a gift.  That being said, what are you grateful for?

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.  Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”  Philippians 2:14-16

3 Responses to “Shine Like Stars”

  1. Cindy Cunningham
    September 9, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    Phillipians 2:14-16 are one of my favorite verses which I read alot. I have trouble with my tongue sometimes, and these verses have really reminded me to be more positive when speaking. Its easy to grumble and complain. What if we just reamain silent, or better yet, try to fix the issue we want to grumble about.

    This verse can be used for just about any issue in ones life.
    Thanks for sharing and reminding us of gratitude, which in turn always brings peace.
    Have a great week

  2. Jaime
    September 10, 2011 at 12:12 am #

    Nick,

    My husband and I attended this past Wednesday for Mid-Week while our kids went to the Avenue for Riot/Surge. The following day, we attended my daughter’s soccer game. She was the last one to be put in the game. I was very upset due to the limited time she got to play and really just felt very bad for her. I ended up leaving because we had to pick up our son from his soccer practice. My husband stayed; thought I should go ahead and go since I was so upset. So as I turn on the next road, I am thinking okay God I know I should be seeing things differently. As I am driving I see a young girl in a wheelchair going down the road. I thought okay God I get it. My daughter can at least be on the field and can run and play. What a real moment. Talk about gratitude!! When I returned, my husband said wow you came back with a new attitude. I explained what had happened. He said I guess you took last night’s “talk” to heart. Thanks Nick! Being there on Wednesday and what you had to say really helped me see things differently and ease much anxiety that I had! I just had to find your blog and post this cause I wanted to let you know it really helped. Thanks!!

    • nick
      September 11, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

      Wow! Thank you for sharing this Jamie, for real. I hope I would have the same perspective.

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