Dear FPC—
Do you find yourself grateful or grousing more often these days? I was struck by a quote a son of FPC posted today on Facebook—happiness does not make us grateful, gratitude makes us happy. I remember James Baird as a kid, and here he is teaching me! Developing a practice of gratitude is a very powerful way to reshape your experience of life. Thank you Pastor James!
Dallas Willard was one of the spiritual giants of the last 70 years. While he was a professional philosopher, his spiritual advice was often very pithy. Pastor John Ortberg once asked Willard how to become more spiritually healthy. Willard paused a long time and then eventually said: “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” Great, Ortberg said, got it, what’s next? “There is nothing else,” Willard responded. “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” I wonder if we have been able to eliminate at least some hurry during this time of pandemic.
Today I heard another story about Willard’s advice. Todd Hunter once was complaining to Willard about various circumstances of his life. You know—the way that we all do—”I’ve got too many meetings, I’m overwhelmed, these people are driving me crazy,” etc. Dallas responded by saying “You have got to discover the love of God in your actual life.”
We have to discover the love of God in our actual life. The place we encounter God’s life changing love is right here—in our everyday life right now. What is happening in your life today? Worried about COVID? Maybe you can be grateful for a day of health and strong lungs. Anxious about tomorrow? Maybe you can be grateful for provision for today. Exhausted from an endless stream of Zoom meetings? Maybe you can find someone to bless in those meetings. Irritated by someone close to you? Maybe you can surprise them by being helpful to them or by sharing your gratitude for them.
Look for the ways God’s love is showing up in your life right now. And look for the ways you can share His Love today. We don’t have to waste our time griping, we can join in God’s amazing plan for our lives! Just turn your focus out from yourself and onto what God is doing and the needs He’s put around you for you to help with!
May you be blest to be a blessing this week!

Pastor Steve

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