Gathering Graces 12/4/2017

*Eased into the work week today, getting ahead of the game on a few things, which felt good.
*I had a great conversation with co-worker Dan about the book he is reading, a novel based on the life of the Apostle Peter.  Then I shared with him what Paul and I discussed about the Apostle Paul from our Advent devotion this morning.  This morning the theme was Thanksgiving for Suffering, and the verses were 2 Corinthians 1: 8-11. The question posed at the end of the reading was “Have you ever reached the point where you felt like giving up?  How in those circumstances did you find your way back to God?”  Both Paul and I felt that talking to people have helped us in those situations, and asking people to pray for us.  As I then reflected on the Apostle Paul in this situation,  I realized he probably didn’t have anyone to talk to, because this was a new thing.  He was one of the first to suffer for the cause of Christ.  Plus he was the leader.  No one on earth could really relate to what he was going through.  So he couldn’t share his burden with anyone except to Jesus in prayer, as evidenced by these words he wrote in the passage in 2 Corinthians...”The load we had to carry was far too heavy for us; it got to to the point where we gave up on life itself. Yes, deep inside ourselves we received the death sentence. This was to stop us relying on ourselves and to make us rely on God who raises the dead.”  This was a good reminder for me.  I often tend to rely on myself when I should be relying on God.
*The Christmas show continues to come along nicely.  But I do admit, Paul and I are ready to be done with going to rehearsals for a while, and get our evenings back.

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