April 2017

As you know, one of the aspects of our ministry is planning and leading backpacking ministry trips in Europe. Each year we read a book on the trip. This year I have selected “The Life You’ve Always Wanted” by John Ortberg. It is about “spiritual disciplines for ordinary people.”

One of those disciplines is celebration. He reminds us that: “Joy is a command”, “Joylessness is a serious sin” and that “Joy is God’s basic character” and “God is the happiest being in the universe.”

Ortberg goes on to say that “God’s intent was that his creation would mirror his joy.”

“How often have people misunderstood God because they have attributed to him the grim, judgmental, defensive, soul-wearying spirit of many how claim to be his followers?”

Now that is convicting?

One of our goals, as we ride trains and wander through European cities and towns with large backpacks looking for places to eat and sleep, is to exude JOY. We want people to notice how joyful we are, even if it’s pouring rain and we are soaking wet. It is our hope that our joy will point people to God. We will be noticeably different because of our JOY.

Are YOU a joyful person? Do people notice you, not because of your grumbling or complaining or negative spirit, but, because of your JOY?

Pray for us as we embark on our European adventures this summer. Pray that we will be joyful, no matter what.