Journeys & Writings of Paul

Sunday, July 22, 2012


My life has been marked by the generosity of others.

I recognize that everything that I have been entrusted with thus far in my life I could have never have achieved without the love, support, and generous giving from an amazing base of supporters who have believed in my over the years.

I acknowledge this and yet still I put my hope not in government, not in family, not in friends, not in money, wealth, resources, but in the Lord. I say in my heart as the psalmist wrote, 
"I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, maker of heaven and earth." -Psalm 121:1-2
Thinking about all the opportunities I have been afforded and how I have been a recipient many gracious gifts over the years, my heart overflows with gratitude. I only hope that I am able to be a blessing to others in the same way that I have been so amply blessed.

This verse has been the one running through my brain like a broken record as this gratitude has been deeply resonating with me:
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for one another. If any one of you has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in you? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth." -1 John 3:16-18
My friends joke about me having only one facial expression: a huge smile. Whether I'm happy, excited, sad, mad, injured, what you'll likely see is a smile. I smile when I frown, when I cry, even when I'm seriously injured (see photo below); I have come to realize that this can be a huge source of confusion. Though admittedly I sometimes use my smile to mask my sadness, fear, anxiety, or anger, I would say 96% of the time my facial expression is a true reflection of what my heart is feeling, even if the circumstance and my face don't match according to what it "should be". What my heart feels is joy from God, whose generosity I am most deeply grateful for above all else!

Photo credit: Anna? I smiled the entire night that I busted my head open, though I was in some serious pain and extremely sick.

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