The Salem Tidings

From the Pastor’s Desk

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”   Proverbs 17:22

A Note from Pastor Paola:

     Knock Knock!
     Who’s there? 
     Heaven who? 
     Heaven seen you in ages!
Ok, maybe it was not enough to make you laugh, but hopefully it made you smile a little. 
The scripture above reminds us that laughter and joy are the best medicine. As it turns out, laughter, fun, and joy boost the immune system, relax muscles, aid circulation, improve mood, lower anxiety and protect against heart disease. And here’s the best part: they enrich social connection.
God created us in his image. God is a God of Joy.   When we are lacking joy, we feel depressed, exhausted and depleted.
I found that my joy is controlled by the ups and downs of my life that easily steal my joy away.
I believe this can happen to us, because we do things in the wrong order, like this:
     Achievement: Work, and work insanely long hours to build something
     Significance: Get recognition for the achievement
     Sustenance: Assume that recognition will be fulfilling
     Acceptance: Take your place as the recognized expert
Jesus achieved sustaining joy by doing things in the opposite order:
     Acceptance: Know that God accepts you without proving anything
     Sustenance: Fill your spirit with prayer, church, friendship, and community
     Significance: Know that God fills you with gifts, and when you use them, you find meaning
     Achievement: From God’s power, great things will happen
Let’s begin this New Year with this kind of joy. 
In worship for the next two months, we will learn the secret of joy from the best sermon ever told, Jesus’ sermon, the Sermon on the Mountain.  Break the blues of winter with a joy that cannot be stolen from you. Invite family and friends to worship with you!  Our souls starve for joy!!
Have a joyful New Year,
Pastor Paola