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Routine Joy
Theme of the Week: Bring Joy to the Heart of God
Thursday, July 3, 2014

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Key Bible Verses: My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love. This is the only way we'll know we're living truly, living in God's reality. (1 John 3:18-19, The Message)

Dig Deeper: 1 John 3:11-24

[Each weekday morning] my alarm sounds at 6 a.m. It's my signal to make my way downstairs to find my 13-year-old son eating cereal and waiting for me to get his lunch together. He can make the lunch himself, but I enjoy packing it up for him.

When it's about time for him to go, I give him a big hug. I tell him I love him and that I will be praying for his day ahead.

My 5-year-old daughter is usually the next one to show up, seeking hugs and food. Eventually the other two join us, and breakfast is served. Then backpacks and lunches are prepared. Susan and I drink our coffee as we finish the details and then nudge the last kids out the door.

This depiction of our mornings is misleading. It is never this easy. Unexpected twists like forgotten homework, dropped milk, tears, and missed buses always find their way into this routine that connects us as a family.

Think about your morning routine now, with the lens of God watching and anticipating. His experience of joy is when he sees his creation—his children—connecting, interacting, and loving one another. The love we experience and share, even in our routine, is that sweet aroma to God.

—Rob Strong in The Big Guy Upstairs

My Response: How am I doing at connecting with my family, coworkers, or friends in my everyday routines? How could I do better at connecting?

Thought to Apply: [Every day] you encounter hundreds of small chances to please your friends, delight your Lord, and encourage your family.—Joni Eareckson Tada (Christian writer, artist, leader in disability ministry)

Excerpted from the book The Big Guys Upstairs: You, Him, and How It All Works by Rob Strong. Copyright © 2013 by Rob Strong. Reprinted by permission of Jericho Books. All rights reserved.

Prayer for the Week
Lord, help me to carefully consider how I live my life before a watching world. Most of all, may the way I relate to family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers bring joy to your heart.

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