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Celebrate AGAIN!

What an absolute honor and joy it is to CELEBRATE with Water Walking Women, Shyreka Sturdivant and, the amazing team on the commemoration of their 10 year Anniversary.  10 Years of YES!  10 Years of Dedication! 10 years of Commitment! 10 Years of Stick-to-itiveness! Now that’s worthy of a Celebration, and Rejoicing giving God all the Glory. To know me is to know that I love words and when I learned that the theme is CELEBRATION, almost immediately the song by the Iconic 1980’s group (Kool & The Gang) “Celebration” came to mind.  For those of you attending this year’s 10 Year Anniversary Cruise, I pray you get excited when you board and make your way to the “Lido” deck.  You’re sure to hear this song at minimum 3 times while sailing.  Here are some of the lyrics to the 1980’s hit song: Yahoo! This is your celebration  Yahoo! This is your celebration Celebrate good times, come on! (Lets Celebrate) Celebrate good times, come on! (Lets Celebrate) There’s a party goin’ on right here. A Celebration to last throughout the YEARS So bring your good times and your laughter too. We gonna celebrate your party with you come on. The verse that grabs me is “A celebration to last throughout the years” let that resonate for just a moment (Selah). I can’t help but notice how celebrating has become “scheduled” events and only noted when one has completed something. I can’t help to notice also that funerals are now “Celebrations” of life after the passing of a loved one, and I’ve seen the grief of missed moments to celebrate or rejoice while it is still day. To Celebrate means: acknowledge (a significant or happy day or event) with a social gathering or enjoyable activity. Now allow me to introduce another word REJOICE. To Rejoice means: feel or show great joy or delight. One of the synonyms to rejoice is “Celebration”. I will be the first to admit that Celebrating and Rejoicing is not always an easy thing to do, especially when you’re tired or just plain ole frustrated.  The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice.” Paul surely wasn’t telling us to “Be Happy”, but “Rejoice” in the Lord. We are simply to rejoice IN the Lord, not our circumstance, not our failures and not our frustrations.  Let me help you by painting this picture for you… Paul is writing this epistle from prison, yet this did not distract him to rejoice in his problem, although his circumstances did not “look” promising, but He turned His attention and energy to the LORD where he gets his strength. When is it most difficult for you to rejoice? Is it when you’re under great pressure? Is it when your name is being slandered? Is it when the Dr. Report isn’t favorable? Is it when you are challenged to be the bigger person again? When do you find it most difficult to “rejoice” in the LORD always? God the Master, Creator (Elohim), the one who fashioned us in our mother’s womb and, created us with an innate nature to “rejoice”.  To rejoice is an attitude that says regardless of the chances, changes, circumstances or, setbacks that come into my life. I will rejoice in the Lord always; and again, I say rejoice. So I come to encourage you to rejoice and to celebrate, not based on the conditions or circumstances you may be facing, but because when you think of the Goodness of Jesus and all He has done for you.  When you think of how he has redeemed you.  When you think of how He has provided. When you think of how He has kept you, when you couldn’t keep yourself. My, My, My I’m going to leave you with this, don’t wait for people to celebrate with you. Don’t wait until you cross the finish line to celebrate, but celebrate the small steps why you may ask? Because no one but you knows what it took to stick-to-it when quitting was easy and no one would’ve known you didn’t complete your goals.  No one knows how hard it was to stay committed to getting healthy.  No one knows what it took to finish that semester of school when you wanted to give up.  No one knows what you risked to make it to this point. Celebrate the small steps, they are equally as important as the finish line. “He is your Praise and Glory; He is your God who has done for you these great and awesome things which you have seen with your own eyes.” Deuteronomy 10:21 Shamilla Pennington

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