Come and take a pause, for no other cause than to suspend the clock … and the onslaught of bad news. In 2017 many innocents have died and the darkness is heavy on us all. However, we are called to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn….just for a bit, then let us come together to listen, to care, to comfort and to encourage others in their grief. Sisters and brothers, let us choose to rejoice and pray for full restoration, as we sweetly encourage “This too shall pass”. For the sake of those who are too stunned by the shock, let us be strong and of one mind, and choose to live in peace, regardless of our troubles, or of the news. It is noble to be an example of strength and hope in the midst of crisis. With all the turmoil and despair of the Vegas shootings, Mexico’s earthquakes, Florida’s hurricanes and the Flooding of Texas….finally sisters, lets us gather to think about whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – let us commit to think about such things. As little girls, or as grown women let us rejoice in the beauty of a rose, or of whatever is covered by the glorious colors in nature. The girls and boys who are watching our reactions are learning how to respond to the certain folly of many undesirable misfortunes that will persistently come in this life. Obediently we trust and obey. “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so ( as it is promised ) we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words…. “encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” 1 Thess 4:13 – 5:24 – In this we are reminded that that He is faithful, that He will ever equip us to face what comes and to encourage those who are disheartened. Let us focus on the good and think whatever is lovely. Ask the Holy Spirit to make you ardently aware of what Jesus revealed during the last supper. He broke the bread, a symbol of His death. “Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” “Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. He drank from the cup.” A cup of His sacrifice, His life, that we may live ‘in Him’. Hallelujah, the sun rises each day to overtake the darkness. “The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.” Do not spend time alone, mix with others, host a tea party and invite those who are in the dark and show them the Light of Jesus by your words, your hospitality, your hope for the future “in Him”.Do NOT worry about what you can do, keep the eternal JOY flowing and spread it with a smile and a sweet word. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Reflect on your blessings, your gifts and rejoice in your inheritance and share it.