Okay, so here's today's news:

  • Baghdad Explosion Kills At Least Six
  • SARS Epidemic Continues To Spread
  • Scott Peterson To Face Death Penalty For Murder of Wife/Son

I understand there's also a tropical storm brewing somewhere out there, I've had a rotten cold for nearly a month-the prescription for the antibiotics alone cost me nearly $100!!-one of my children is struggling to "find herself," there's a leak in the front bathroom from who knows where, and I have a tooth that has to be drilled down to a nugget and then "crowned" this week.

And I hate going to the dentist.

I hate leaky faucets and struggles and drug companies that charge outlandish prices just so I can breathe without choking again. I wouldn't worry so much about the storm except that I'm planning a trip to the beach tomorrow and I really need this getaway time.

I also hurt immeasurably that this lovely woman with the infectious smile-Laci Peterson-died, at the hands of anyone. If it turns out to be true that the man she pledged her life to, took her life, I'll be even more heartbroken.

A disease like SARS concerns me. I would say that it's not in my backyard, but the TV News just told me differently. People are dying and there seems to be no stopping the rampage.

Personally I supported our president's decision where Iraq was concerned and it grieves me to read that Iraqi militants shoot carelessly toward ammunition guarded by our brave men and women, leaving so many behind to grieve and cry, "This is the safety Bush promised us?" and "No Saddam! No Bush! Yes to Islam!''

Yes to Islam, the fastest growing religion in our country. Even after 9-11. According to expert Rajendra Pillai "Islam is thriving in America. It is the fastest growing religion in the world and in the United States. There are more Muslims in America than Quakers, Unitarians, Seventh-Day Adventists, Mennonites, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Christian Scientists, combined.  It is on the verge of overtaking Judaism as the largest non-Christian religion in America. In the 1960s, there were hardly any mosques in the United States.  That number has grown to over 2,000 today, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The U.S. Department of State estimates the number of converts in U.S. mosques to be around 30 percent."1

With all this "good news," I fall to my knees, no...I fall on my face and ask my Heavenly Father, the Creator of all, "Why should I be joyous, Lord?"

God Is Good

Isn't it just like the Lord to answer my plea with a nudge toward His Word? I can't say that I blame Him. After all, I'm an author. I like for people to discover little things about me in the words I have penned. So, in that respect, God and I are a lot alike.

Look with me at 1 Peter 1:6b, 7: "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

In this you greatly rejoice...

Rejoice.... The Greek word is agalliao (pronounced: ag-al-lee-ah'-o) and it means to be exceedingly glad. Exceedingly. It's the same word used in Luke 1:47, the Magnificat, when Mary, the mother of Jesus said, "my spirit rejoices in God my Savior." It is also used in Revelation 19:7, which reads: "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready."

Well, sure...I can rejoice at the Wedding of the Lamb. After all, I get to be a part of the bride. His bride. And Mary had good cause to rejoice, right? She was about to give birth to Messiah, the Anointed One, the One Israel and the whole world had waited on since time began. Sure, she'd have a few loads to bear. After all, she was betrothed to the carpenter named Joseph and this wasn't going to look too good...being "with child" and all. And being His mother would mean heartache unlike anything the rest of us have ever known. To give birth to Messiah...to watch Him die a brutal death...and yet to know...