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(I chose Joy over misery)

(1 Chronicles 16:34-: Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever.)

# I am the first to admit that I have many days that I feel like running away from everything and everyone

# I admit that I have many days that I felt like quitting and throwing in the towel.

# I admit I get discouraged some of the time.
# I admit I do get anxious and fearful sometimes
# I admit that there are days, I do not want to get out of my bed
# And I admit that I can get frustrated and tired as well.

# But the thought of giving up comes on my, then I remember all the great people that appreciate the little things I do for them, in that place, I find strength and encouragement

# But at the end of the day when I stopped and think, then I will realize that I have more working for me than against me

# That I have more to be thankful and grateful to the Lord Jesus
# Thank I have more gratitude's under my belts than regrets

# There are so many in the body of Christ that I have come to know in my short years of pastoral Life, spreading across three-continents, Africa, Europe, and North America

# And a large percentage of them have brought more joy to my heart Than sorrows, and a great number of them have been a source of great joy and encouragement to me

# Presently, I have the privilege of pastoring one of the greatest churches, in one of the greatest and the most beautiful, and friendly town on this side of heaven

# And I can make bold to say that I have more in my church that brings me joy and encouragement than those who cause me grief and pain

# I am thankful because I chose to focus on the good more than the bad

# I chose to focus and appreciate those church members with a great attitude, the ones who encourage me, who pray for me and have a ready smile for me.

# I am thankful and full of appreciation for those church members who in spite of the lockdown still find a way to be involved and active in worship services almost every week. Directly or indirectly

# I am very thankful for all the wonderful members that serve in the church with joy and commitment. Though are busy, and their family does come first, but they still make time for the church as well.

# I am thankful for those church members that refuse to harbour grudges against me and their fellow Church members or engage in petty gossips - rather chose to walk in love and forgiveness

# I am thankful for all the wonderful folks in my local church and the ones online that have their hearts and Bibles every week to listen to me yak away as I teach and preach the word of God

# I am thankful for all those in my local church and online that trust me enough to call me their pastor. For its one thing to be a pastor of a church, and it's another altogether to pastor the people.

# For those who have allowed me not just to be a pastor in the church, but trust me, enough to pastor them also, I say, thank you for I do not take your trust in me lightly

# I am so encouraged by the men and women who just joined our local church and who are so hungry for God that you find them in every Bible study and prayer meeting. What a joy their presence brings to my heart

# I am thankful and so encouraged by the one who after listening to me online decided to rededicate their lives to the Lord

# I am thankful for all my senior citizens though in retirement but still devoting their time, little energy and resources in actively promoting the kingdom of God. As they witness the love of Christ both in words and deed

# I am very thankful for to those members that give abundantly. I know they have to stretch their dollars, but they trust God and are always generous without hesitation.

# I am very thankful and encourage by that family that was tempted to drop out of the church but didn’t. They were hurt by other church members, but they chose to forgive and to stay.

# I am very thankful and encourage by that young man, that young woman. Who just had a God moment, and decided to stop playing Church and decided to recommit and re-dedicate their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. What a joy to see the authentic transformation

# I am so thankful and overwhelmed with emotion each time I think of those wonderful members that sees me first as someone's son, someone's father, and someone's husband and treat me with love and respect and not just some hireling

# I am thankful for those members who also make it a point of duty to drop by the Office every now and again just to see how things are going with the church and myself

# I am always filled with joy thinking about those members that also take it upon themselves to check on my family and me, just to see how we are keeping, through texts messages and phone calls

# I am very thankful for all the loving, caring and forgiving, members who also choose to walk away from strife and contention and are always committed to keeping the bond of love in Christ Jesus

# I am very thankful for those members who are making a difference in our community as they walk in love, spreading the good news of Christ through their love walk

# I am thankful for those prayerful men and women in our church family. That are always in the place of prayers for me and the entire church family

# I am very thankful for those sons, and daughters of encouragement, in my life, and the body of Christ, who are bridge-builders both in the church and our community

# The list is endless. for I have many more reason to be thankful than I have to be sad and miserable as a pastor

# I could choose to focus on the tough and discouraging times, the fault-finders, the grumblers and the critics, and sometimes I do.

# Even today, if I chose to focus on all that is going wrong around me, and the world and all the negative vibes coming from the very few, I will not be able to get out of the bed today.

# But I rather choose to focus on the wonderful, loving, gracious and forgiving, friends, and family.

# I chose to think about the kind and encouraging words spoken to me, rather than the words of complainers, grumblers and critics, this is why I can be thankful and joyful even when things are going too, too well

# I am thankful for, so many church members and friends who bless me week after week. And months after months

# Lord, I am thankful that you count worthy to serve your people

# Lord, I am very, very grateful because I know that the responsibility to serve your people as a Pastor spreading across three continents, is a privilege and not a right

# And I thank you, Lord, for letting me serve my local church and the great people of Grande Cache

(Philippians 4:8-: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise — dwell on these things.)

I chose Joy over misery

(Ochegba - and the Lion is sober)

John Oche Omale