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i hope everybody had a happy thanksgiving last week. i know we celebrated with my family. we went to see my mom's family and ate with them. then we went to see shannon's family and ate with them. then we went to see my dad's family and ate with them. (yeah... lots of eating.)

three cities in three days for three different thanksgivings. it felt like a lot of traveling and honestly by saturday night i was happy to be home again and in my own bed. and as i saw people the past couple days i would comment about the traveling and all...

now, that's truly how i felt and i WAS happy to be home again, but it had almost become like a complaint for me say that.

think about that! complaining about thanksgiving... sadly ironic.

paul wrote in his letter to the philippians, "do everything without complaining or arguing."

it's amazing how easy it is to slip into being critical or negative. and really without even trying to be. our focus just shifts a little and our perspective about life can get so skewed and turned sideways. when we focus on what's going on around us, it's hard to see what God's doing right in front of us.

a friend recently wrote a song, and the main idea is this: she saw one of those starving-kid commercials on tv and thought, "that could be me." also, a well known pastor just found out he has a tumor in his brain. and our district superintendent was tragically killed in a car accident last week. there seems to be plenty to get down about.

it's easy to let painful events or tragedy steal our focus. and it doesn't have to be just "big" things like that. in fact, i think it's the "smaller" everyday kind of things that steal our joy sometimes without us noticing. when things don't happen like we hope for or don't go the way we think they should... it's easy to let our circumstances determine our happiness but our joy isn't found in circumstances. our joy is found in Christ.

paul, who wrote philippians, knew his joy was in Christ. he was writing from prison and in his letter wrote: "i have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. i know what it is to be in need and i know what it is to have plenty."

it says in the bible in the book of hebrews, "let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross"

God wants walk with you through whatever circumstances you face. because Jesus' focus was on God, He endured the suffering of the cross. take a few moments to take your focus off your circumstances, off just what's going on around you and fix your eyes on Jesus, who is a work in your life right in front of you.

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