“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
I have always been amazed and a little envious of the people I have known who always seem to be so upbeat! How do they do it? I sometimes have tough days and at times it shows. Yet, through the ups and downs of life, I am aware and at peace with the fact that my life, hope, and center is Jesus. When all else is shaken, Jesus and His Word remains my rock, comfort and security.
This was always part of what was shared with me by my parents and others along the way of my life and walk with Jesus. My Dad, now dealing with Alzheimer’s, still remembers Jesus and is comforted by me and others sharing with him what he always shared with us, “Take it to Jesus, His grace and strength will see you through.  Keep leaning on Jesus!” In so many ways, as I think of grace, mercy, forgiveness, eternal life, family and dear friends, I have been richly blessed.  
Yet, I know that I can be so foolish. I am certain that I am not alone in often taking the many blessings that I have received for granted.   Sometimes it is good to just stop, truly stop!, ponder anew, and learn to again appreciate what we have to be thankful for. Sometimes events take place that help make it happen.
I am new (and temporary) to the Fairbury area as I have now served for two months as the Intentional Interim Pastor at Grace Lutheran.  I am helping them take a fresh look at God’s will for them and our community at this time and looking forward. In this effort, over the next several months, you may see me occasionally walking around town getting needed exercise and a better understanding of possible needs and opportunities for ministry in our Fairbury area. It is a type of ‘prayer walking’ in the beautiful outdoors of Fairbury and the surrounding area. 
I have always enjoyed nature and being outside. I have met some great people along the way and seen some beautiful sights. The pelicans and blue heron’s I’ve seen at Crystal Springs park come to mind.  Saturday night, I saw a beautiful 6/7 point deer, briefly up close, right in front of my car’s right headlight, north of town about 25 miles.  I was kept safe through the impact.  The Saline County Deputy and Todd from TAS towing were both helpful. I share this because, though I was shaken up by the event, I noticed in the following days that I had a renewed appreciation for many blessings. Blessings that I am certain I have often taken for granted. The sky looked so beautiful in its bright blue color. It was a special joy listening to a squirrel standing on top of a power pole chatting up a storm. A squirrel I would not have seen except that I was walking to church instead of driving, Sunday morning.
Even in the ‘tough’ events there can be elements of the blessings that are already ours in Christ and received by all who look to Jesus and trust in Him. Yes, you may be going through some tough things. Our world indeed has much trouble and pain. However, in the midst of it all, I urge you to take the time to pause, notice, remember and appreciate your blessings! Maybe even something as simple as a chatting squirrel will also bring a smile and joy to your heart!   
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
Pastor Glenn Meyer
Grace Lutheran Church,