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From the Pastor's Pen

Every Cinco de Mayo, our family celebrated. It was always a special day for us as a family. Not because we have Mexican heritage, but because our daughter, Kalia, was born on the 5th of May. On more than one occasion, we would get a piñata to hang from a tree branch and let the kids take their turns taking a whack at the paper mache vault. Eventually, someone would get the turn that would break open the
piñata and release all the candy goodness that was inside.


We didn’t have a piñata for Kalia this past May, but I have been thinking about the concept. Why? Because we are a lot like a piñata. When we face stress of any kind; when we experience a
blow that comes from outside of us, (our circumstances), we tend to release that which is inside us.


When a phone call or a letter comes with bad news; when plans we made come to a screeching halt due to Covid-19 protocols by our state government, my natural reaction can be anger, fear, or depression. (If life were a movie, this is where we cue the soundtrack to Jaws!) But it is in these moments that we can see what comes out of us.


There are two questions we can ask ourselves that can be helpful here. The first is, “is God still in
control?” The obvious answer is, “Of Course!” God has continually shown us that he holds all the happenings in the world in his hands – as well as everything in my own life. He is holding you right now.


The second question is, “God, what do you want me to learn through this?” When we ask God what it is He wants us to learn about ourselves, the answers can be illuminating. And when we take it to heart and ask God to keep changing us, He does. So the next time I’m “whacked” by life, I can see new things coming out of me.


Bob Goff wrote, “Give love away like you’re made of it!” I love that quote! Because what happens when we allow God to fill us, and shape us from the inside out – he can exchange bitterness, resentment, anger, judgmentalness, and frustration and exchanges them for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, humility and self-control. So the next time something in life hits you out of left field, watch to see what comes out. It can be a good indicator of the work we’re allowing God to do on the inside of us.
Blessings,
Bob


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Address:  1200 Moreland Dr.
                  Belleville, IL 62223
Phone:  618-397-5994
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