About the Author
Susie Shellenberger travels as a fulltime speaker forty weeks or weekends every year. She has written fifty-two books, and lives in Bethany, Oklahoma with her two mini Schnauzers Obie and Amos. Susie is a former youth pastor, high school teacher, and editor. She loves Sharpies in every color, burnt hotdogs, and praying at OKC Thunder basketball games.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
CHAPTER ONE Having a Bad Day, but Still Happy! ut PHILIPPIANS 1:1-30 BITE #1 the New Testament) to fellow Christians. Th e book of Philippians is a letter he wrote to the church in the city of Philippi. [From] Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus. To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons. (Philippians 1:1) What does it mean to be a servant? Identify a specifi c time in your life when you served someone. (Maybe your mom was sick and you brought her breakfast in bed; or you put someone else's needs ahead of your own.) 14 Secret Power to Joy, Becoming a Star, and Great Hair Days Identify a specifi c time in your life when someone served you. Paul identifi es himself as Jesus Christ's servant. Th is meansa. Once he gets to heaven, he has to do chores throughout eternity b. He gets a weekly allowance from heaven c. He has totally surrendered his life to Jesus and is committed to serving him d. He must be pretty good at running the vacuum and emptying the dishwasher Guess what! If you chose the third answer, you're on the right track track. Paul is reminding all of his readers (that's you!) that Jesus Christ is the Master Master. He's the One in charge---not us. He is Lord Lord; we are his servants. And we don't serve him out of a grudging 'have-to' attitude, but we serve our heavenly Father out of joy and gratitude for all he's done for us! This makes me feel--- a. Like celebrating! After all, Jesus gave his life for me! So the least I can do is serve him with my life. b. Angry. I don't want to serve anyone. c. Sleepy. All this talk about servanthood makes me want a nap. d. Confused. I don't know how to serve God. 15 Having a Bad Day, but Still Happy! Th e way you can serve God is by giving him your whole life. Your entire life. Everything in your life. Th is is called complete surrender surrender. And when you do that, you serve Christ by your very lifestyle. And guess what---that brings true joy joy! (More about that later. Let's get back to the Scripture.) In the fi rst verse of this letter, Paul addresses all the believers as saints. If you're a believer (a Christian---someone who has asked Christ to forgive her sins and is living in obedience to him), Paul identifi es you as a saint! WOW! I--- a. Never thought of myself that way b. Realize it's only possible because of Jesus living inside me c. Am kind of scared because that's a lot to live up to! d. Better take this Bible study seriously Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:2) Have you ever stopped to think about what grace really is? Read the following scenario and try to identify when grace is given. Kaley was walking through the front door of her house when she heard the phone ringing. She tossed her books on the dining room table and rushed to pick up the receiver. 'Kaley? It's Monica. My older sister and I were going to see the early showing of A Princess Forever at 4:45. But she's BITE #2 16 Secret Power to Joy, Becoming a Star, and Great Hair Days not feeling well, and she said you could have her ticket. How 'bout it? Wanna go?' 'I'm dying to see that movie!' Kaley said. 'But I have a book report due tomorrow, and I still have fi ve more chapters to read!' 'Free ticket, Kaley! Come on. My mom and I can pick you up in 10 minutes.' 'Okay, I'll go.' Monica and Kaley munched on popcorn and drinks during the movie and giggled at the lead character. When Kaley got home, she picked up her book and began reading. She had four chapters left when her brother knocked on her door and told her she had an e-mail waiting for her. I really shouldn't answer it now, she thought. I need to keep reading. But I could answer it quickly and then get back to the book. So she went downstairs to the family offi ce and absorbed herself in e-mail. An hour later Kaley headed toward her room to fi nish the book but noticed her parents watching her favorite nighttime drama on television. 'Oh, I forgot that was on tonight!' she said. 'Shouldn't you be reading your book?' her mom asked. 'I'm almost done,' Kaley replied. 'I'll just watch the rest of this with you guys and fi nish the book in a few minutes.' 17 Having a Bad Day, but Still Happy! By the time the show ended, Kaley could barely keep her eyes open. She struggled to read another chapter in her book and fi nally fell asleep. Th e next morning when Mrs. McCormack asked Kaley for her book report, Kaley approached her teacher's desk. 'Mrs. McCormack, I'm almost fi nished with the book. I have two chapters left. Is there any way I can turn it in tomorrow?' 'Kaley, you've known about this assignment for three weeks!' 'I know. I'm sorry.' 'Is there a reason you need more time? Were you sick? Was there a family emergency?' 'No,' Kaley said quietly as she dropped her head. 'I really don't have an excuse. I'm just being honest with you. I watched a movie yesterday afternoon when I should have been reading. And when I got home, I stayed up too late watching TV. I don't deserve another chance; I'm just asking for one.' 'You're right, Kaley,' Mrs. McCormack said. 'You really don't deserve another chance. Other students managed to get their reports in on time. But Kaley, I care about you. I believe in you. I think with a little extra time, you'll do a great job on your report. So I'm giving you another chance. You may turn in your report fi rst thing tomorrow morning.' 'Oh, thank you, Mrs. McCormack!' Kaley said. 'I'll give it my best. You'll love it!' 18 Secret Power to Joy, Becoming a Star, and Great Hair Days Mrs. McCormack gave Kaley--- A. DETENTION b. Extra homework c. A note to take home to her parents d. Grace Kaley experienced grace grace. She deserved to fail the assignment. But she didn't get what she deserved; she got grace. Guess what! Th at's the defi nition of grace: Not getting what you deserve. Because we're all sinners and we have all disobeyed God, we deserve the punishment for sin---death. But when we ask God to forgive us, he gives us grace grace. In other words, he chooses NOT to give us what we actually deserve (punishment and death), but he forgives us and gives us a brand-new start instead. Describe a time in your life when someone granted you grace. 19 Having a Bad Day, but Still Happy! Have you granted someone else grace? If so, describe the situation in the space provided. If you haven't granted grace to others, pray about doing so. I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3-6) How are you being a 'partner in the gospel'? BITE #3 20 Secret Power to Joy, Becoming a Star, and Great Hair Days Paul wanted to thank the Christians in the church at Philippi for showing him such kindness while he was in jail for spreading the gospel. Th ough they were separated by many miles, they were still partners in sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. Your church may support missionaries in Africa who are sharing Christ with those who haven't yet heard the gospel. Th ough you can't be in Africa with them, you can partner with them by--- a. Praying for them b. Giving money to your church missions fund c. Writing a letter of encouragement to them d. Attending a church service when they share about their work in Africa You can partner with missionaries around the world by doing all of the above, but what will help the most is your prayer life. Write out a prayer in the space provided asking God to strengthen and comfort those in other countries who are working hard to share his love. Paul reminds us that God will fi nish the good work he started in us.
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