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Like many of you, I’ve been thinking a lot about Thelma Simmons this week. While Heaven is certainly happier (and probably better run) now, her absence from our congregation is palpable.

At her funeral last Saturday, I was inspired by the dominant theme in everyone’s remarks: Thelma lived with joy. That joy was her expression of her devotion to the Lord and His Gospel. As she tirelessly sought out new ways to help and to serve, she was not seeking glory for herself. She was selflessly sharing the glory of God. The happiness she found in that radiated from her and warmed us all.

Each one of us is offered the opportunity to create a legacy of joy. No matter what our personal circumstances might be, when we keep God in our hearts, when we make service to Him the center of our lives, we can be joyful. We can banish fear and doubt from our own hearts and the hearts of others, and fill them with hope and faith.

How will you be remembered? Is your life creating a legacy of joy? Are you leaving your mark as a child of God? None of us knows how many days we have left to serve the Lord here. We must fill each day with thoughts, words, and actions that magnify Him. We must be conduits for His grace and peace, using the gifts He has given us to share His love with all.

To honor Thelma, I’m joining Jeri Kacena and her Thrivent Action Team campaign to create the Thelma Simmons Memorial Letter Writing Club: Details will follow. I pray you will consider a way to honor Thelma’s legacy, and the legacy of all the believers who have shaped your faith walk. May we all strive to shape our own legacies every day, inspiring those around us to live in the joy of the Lord.

“And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love.”
2 John 1:5-6