"Celebration brings joy into life and joy makes us strong."
"The only thing that will produce genuine joy is obedience to God."
Richard Foster, in his book, Celebration of Discipline, goes on to say:
God's normal means of bringing his joy is by making the ordinary junctures of life holy. He breaks into the routine experiences of our daily existence. Celebration comes when the common ventures of life are redeemed.
God has established a created order full of excellent and good things, and it follows naturally that if we think of those things, we will be happy. That is God's appointed way to joy. If we fill our lives with simple good things and constantly thank God for them, we will know joy.
Celebration is a spiritual discipline, an act of our will. It's the result of a consciously chosen way of thinking and living. Joy begets joy, and laughter begets laughter. Of all people, we should be the most free, alive, and interesting.
Celebration adds a note of gaiety, festivity, and hilarity to our lives. Jesus rejoiced so fully that he was accused of being a wine-bibber and glutton. Celebrating the glory and wonder of God helps us relax and enjoy the good things of the earth.
Encourage yourself with good conversation,
~ Francois Fenelon, 1651-1715
(French theologian and writer)
The joy of the Lord is our strength.
~ Nehemiah 8:10
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I hosted a fun, fun party - with much gaiety and laughter, great fellowship and delicious food - for a few of my friends (30, counting myself). The entire purpose was to celebrate God's faithfulness in my life, serving him as a missionary in Kenya for the past 15 years.
|Joy and Cliff, enjoying their mango juice|
|Rose with beet juice cocktail, and Jim with a Coke|
|Carol, Jasmine, and Jeremiah|
|Gloria and Masudi|
|Pastor Ken and Joan|
|Jim, Debbie, Perez, Moses, Jaiden, Emily, and Malakai|
|Joshua, Jacky, Dorothy, David, and Joy (our excellent server for the day)|
|The kids played with toys, while we adults had fun with a 'white elephant' gift exchange.|
|Sammy, Linet, Daisy, Rose, and Jim|
|Debbie, Ben, Dorothy, David, and Veronica|
God’s loyal love won’t run out,
and his merciful love won't dry up.
They are created new every morning.
How great is your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with you, God.
I'll say it over and over.
You're all I’ve got.
~ Lamentations 3:22-24, Message