The road to joyful living

Larry Erie will be 92 years old next month. We met during the 1960s. He was a friendly man with a good wife and three nice children. A few years later while watching Billy Graham on television, he accepted the Lord into his life. In 1973, we became friends. When I look back over the years, Larry was and still is one of the most joyful people that I have ever met.

A very special verse to me is Psalm 113:3. “From the rising of the sun to its going down; The Lord’s name is to be praised.” Larry and Gladys and my wife and I were privileged to start a Bible camp together in 1974. We spent many hard working days together in the woods and brush over the next 30 plus years. His joy was contagious. It seemed that the many volunteers that worked on the camp were drawn by that joyful atmosphere.

Yes, we say, “Praise the Lord” or “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 113 is one of my favorites. The Lord is to be praised all of the time. Many activities and relationships can be fun. A relationship with the Lord is joy. A close continuous relationship is most joyful. God gives us good times and hard times. We do not always understand the reason, but we know that He loves us and that all things work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

We know that God’s will for us is to be joyful all the time, prayerful all the time and thankful in all circumstances (I Thessalonians 5:16-18). This only works for dedicated children of God. If we look up all the words that start with joy in the Bible, we find many are found in difficult circumstances. Loving, giving, serving and encouraging no matter what our circumstances help make us thankful, prayerful and joyful. More is better

For the 2013 Club, Mar. 24 takes us to Joshua 13 and Luke 4.

Have a joyous, prayerful and thankful two weeks.

Crist Langelett writes a twice-monthly column on faith. He is a chaplain for the North St. Paul city, police and fire departments, a chaplain at Washington County Jail, a past president of the North St. Paul Area Emergency Food Shelf and one of the founders of North St. Paul’s Polar Arena. He is active in civic groups and his local church.

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