Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, ponder on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, March 15, 2014


     Finally, warmer weather was on the way and Tracy McDonald couldn't wait. She was getting tired of doing chores in the cold and not being able to ride her bike into town to play with her friends. So, when the temp reached 50 degrees, she decided to jump on her bike and peddle her way through the slush to see her friend Stella Peterson.

      “YES!!! YES!!!” Stella came running out of her house hollering when Tracy pulled up in front of the her house. “Wow.” Tracy thought to her self, “I didn't think Stella would be this excited to see me.” As Tracy jumped off her bike she hollered back to Stella, “You sure sound excited to see me.” “Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!” Came Stella's reply.

     “Well, “ Tracy said hesitantly, “I guess I'm excited to see you too.” “YES!!! YES!!!” Stella hollered again. “Stella?” Tracy said, “Can you say anything besides yes?” “YES!!!” Stella replied. “Okay.” Tracy said, “What else can you say?” “HAROLD!!!” Stella replied, “HAROLD! HAROLD! HAROLD!”

     “You're excited about Harold?” Tracy asked a bit puzzled, “I've never known you to get excited about your brother before.” “He's not coming home.” Stella said gleefully. “That's Terrible!” Tracy scolded, “Does that mean they never found him after the earthquake?” “Oh they found him alright.” Stella said, “They even found him alive.”

     “I guess that would be a reason for being excited.” Tracy said nodding her head. “Are you kidding?” Stella blurted out, “I’m excited because he’s staying at the monastery.” “You mean the earthquake didn’t scare him away?” Tracy asked in unbelief. “This may sound a bit on the weird side,” Stella replied, “But Harold claims he saw an angel when he was buried in the rubble.”

     “Harold?” Tracy questioned, “As in the boy who sees space aliens and giant June bugs?” “Well,” Stella laughed, “maybe it’s not weird for him, but he claims that the angel told him to stay at the monastery and continue to learn.” “Do you miss him?” Tracy asked for even though she knew Harold was a bother, she sort of missed him.

     “ARE YOU KIDDING!!!???” Stella screamed as if she had been hit by a ton of bricks, “I’m planning a big celebration party because he’s NOT coming home.” “And you think somebody is going to come?” Tracy questioned. “I have already received 30 replies saying they would come.” Stella replied smugly. “By the way, would you like to come? Maybe you could help me with the party arrangements?” “No thanks!” Tracy answered, “I think I'll go visit Barney.” and then she left.

      David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim. - 2 Samuel 6:1-2 (ESV)

     Some years before this statement was made, the Philistines had captured the Ark - not the one Noah built but the one containing the commandments, and a pot of Manna, etc. and after experiencing troubles, they sent it back. It came Baale-judah and there it stayed. Now David wanted to bring it to Jerusalem. Let us follow the arks journey in 2 Samuel 6 .

      And they carried the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart, with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark. And David and all the house of Israel were making merry before the LORD, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God. And David was angry because the LORD had burst forth against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzzah, to this day. And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and he said, "How can the ark of the LORD come to me?" So David was not willing to take the ark of the LORD into the city of David. But David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. And the ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the LORD blessed Obed-edom and all his household. And it was told King David, "The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God." So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing. And when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. And David danced before the LORD with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn.

     Do you like to party? Stella wants to Party because Harold won't be coming home. David partied because the Ark was coming home. Celebrating is something we can do and can be found in the Bible. It often comes out in expressions of Joy.
  • Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. (ESV)
  • 1 Peter 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, (ESV)
  • Psalm 118:24 This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (ESV)
  • Psalm 119:162 I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil. (ESV)
  • Acts 5:41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. (ESV)
  • Acts 8:39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. (ESV)
     Even in Heaven we can find rejoicing. When you turn to Luke 15 we find three stories of celebrating which is then compared to the joy of heaven as found in Luke 15:10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (ESV) Are you rejoicing. We have many things to be joyful for.

     Here's Something To Ponder
  • What are the things you have to celebrate?
  • In what ways do you celebrate before the Lord?

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