Ah, the Joy of Autumn

How we love Fall! The changing colors of the leaves… the cool crisp air… the fall
fairs and festivals and everything pumpkin…
Wait! In Florida we don’t have changing colors of leaves and cool crisp air,
(except that one day…) Of course there are other subtle changes, and all things
pumpkin, but it isn’t like elsewhere. And that’s just the point.
We are here for a purpose. As God’s children, dearly beloved and chosen by Him
and empowered by His Spirit… He has plans and a purpose for our lives to impact
those around us with His truth and His love and His hope.
Each one of us has a circle of influence that only we can impact for Him.

As we do enjoy the end of the year and subtle weather changes and look forward
to the holiday season, we get an unprecedented opportunity this time of year to really
share the love of Christ and impact communities around us for God.
We can distribute (the best) candy and bless people in Jesus’ name and build
and grow relationships as we meed needs. We can express great gratitude and let
others know how much they mean to us, beginning with the hard-working cashier at the
grocery store, or the person behind the counter receiving your money at a gas station.
The hair and nail salon employees. The car oil changing place. The garbage collectors.
The mail distributors. Fill in the blank for yourself… look around you… who is making
your life better everyday with the small acts of service they provide? Bless them. Thank
them. Let the love of God pour out from you into their lives.

And then of course we’ll hit the grand finale of Christmas for the year. As we
celebrate the truly great gift of God’s only Son to this desperate world in need of His
love and hope and grace, we have more opportunity than ever to love others through
Christmas parties and cookies and gifts and music and worship and so much more.

To fuel us all for all of this, however, we must be centered in and filled with the
Spirit of Christ. We must make time to rest in His Presence before pouring out so much
to so many. We must shake off the frazzled hectic contagious consumerism waiting to
overtake us and spend dedicated, quiet, private time with God, instead.
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus invited us to this special time: “Come to Me, all you
who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn
from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and your will find rest for your souls. For
My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

This Scripture can be unpacked and taught and preached in great detail. It is so
powerful and so profound. But it is my prayer that all who read this will respond to the
invitation. Go to Jesus. Take Him up on His offer and receive His rest. (Notice we are to
also be gentle and humble in heart, like Him.) Carve out that special time and place to
simply be with Him in prayer and worship, and rest.
Then, from this centeredness will come all that is needed to truly enjoy a great
Fall, and bless others! Happy October!