recently a friend of mine returned from a missions trip to Mexico. he has always been a brilliant thinker and one who demonstrates a unique ability to put the seasons of life together in a meaningful way. his understanding of the scriptures is unique and special. he is one who loves God and others deeply. but something happened to him while in Mexico. i am unsure of what took place, but when i saw him leading on Sunday....i was compelled. i am still compelled. he is walking in a joy that is contagious and inviting. i hear it and feel it. it's calling me and pulling me over my obstacles and over my fears. joy. true joy it, as it appears to me, is becoming essential for effectiveness in leading in the church environment. i am learning that joy is the gateway to God's manifest presence and thereby a catalyst to power. Nehemiah, in the midst of rebuilding, not just a wall, but a city's pride and restoration of dignity and destiny, he find strength in God's joy. is my calling less than Nehemiah's? am i not also attempting to build, rebuild and lead a movement marked by His presence and demonstrations of loving power? i also need his joy. May the God of all hope fill me with joy as I trust in him because i want to overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. [Rom. 15.13]

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