STATE COLLEGE, PA — During the second day of the 2011 HTOC Vacation Bible School there was brief discussion of the possibility of chaining the nickname of the local area to Joyful Valley but this was tabled for future consideration.
In other news, students today focused on the spiritual fruits of joy and peace. Students learned that joy is more than being happy but rather it comes from us living in the way God wants and being glad no matter what is happening in our lives. To live in the joy of the Lord we are told not to worry about tomorrow for God will take care of us. “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor spin.”
Students also found that peace is being free from worry and fear and getting along with people around you. Peace is mental and emotional calmness in the midst of problems and that peace is love’s security.
Joy — It’s Much More Than Being Happy
In our culture there is plenty of happiness and merriment (just go downtown on a football weekend). Also, think about some of our most cherished greetings, “Happy Birthday!”, “Happy Anniversary”, and of course, “Merry Christmas!” But when we greet each other with these words do we really express upon them a sense of His deep joy — that desire that only comes from knowing and understanding from whom the Joy truly springs forth?
Happiness is oftentimes relatively easy to come by (for kids, this may be a new toy or a day at the amusement park) but it is fleeting. Real joy is sometime that takes happiness to a whole new level — it’s like a thousand birthdays at once. Joy brings a sense which encompasses the depth of the soul that warms like nothing else. Find His joy and get warm! (BTW — most kids have found it — ask them their secret.)
The peace that Christ has left to us has been conveyed through the centuries from the first announcement to the apostles during the Mystical Supper (John 14:27): “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you, not as the world gives, give I to you. Do not let your heart be troubled and be not afraid.” To find that peace is to give up the search for the imperfect peace that the world gives. Oh, how we search for it everywhere, from so many people in various situations. Yet we find that even the best of humans ultimately will let us down. Each time we hear the celebrant during the sacred services utter the word, “Peace be with you,” we hear the promise of the Master in the voice of the priest. Only His peace and presence offers abiding comfort. Only the Holy Spirit quells the confusion of our thoughts and raises us to an awareness of bliss in God.)
— Rev. V. Berzonsky
FPO — For Parents Only
VBS is a great time for your kids — but it is even a better time to talk with your children about the important thins which they have learned. It’s your responsibility to reinforce these daily lessons (Hint: Read your VBS Daily News.)