One of the things that still surprises me when I land in Riga is that most of the plane erupts in applause. I had quite a few flights in the U.S. these past two weeks and none of them ended in applause.
As a kid I would cheer at baseball games. In December I applauded at the end of the Nutcracker. Yet sometimes I find crowds applaud because that is the expected or desired response though it may not be a heartfelt response. It had me thinking, "When do we applause and why?" I found I like to applaud in true appreciation, in heartfelt joy, in honor of a job well done, and in praise and thanksgiving to God. While I do not always applaud in these circumstances, maybe I should begin to do - even if people look at me funny. This entry will serve as a cyber-applause for some recent events.
Some recent reasons for applause:
* feeling the baby move in Courtney's belly
* a fantastic two weeks in the U.S. with the brief moments of blessing with friends and family along the way
* a great conference in California with many new ideas and insights into camping ministry
* a chance to preach and re-connect with folks at Center UMC
* a warm apartment
* safe landings of all my flights
* a tangible presence of God's grace and love for me
* the Redwoods!!
* morning coffee
* gracious and patient friends around the world
May you notice and discover reasons to clap your hands today!