In 1992 I came to the University of Oklahoma to study Journalism.  Even though I had felt the Lord’s call on my life to go into vocational ministry in the fall of 1990, I knew I needed an undergraduate degree before going to Seminary.  So, I came to OU to pursue a broad general education focusing on developing skills I had in writing and talking.  Journalism was a natural choice.

Though I have never worked as a journalist, I have used a number of the skills I learned in my course of study throughout my ministry career.  The ability to think critically, ask good questions, write clearly, and speak effectively – were all skills further developed during my time in J-school at OU.  

Today, though, I was thinking of a different aspect of my training in broadcasting as I prepare for Sunday’s sermon – the technical skill of “white balancing.”  Now this may sound like the title of a new best-selling book on race relations, but it is far from it.  It has nothing to do with ethnicity, and everything to do with how cameras see light.  Different lights have different “temperatures.”  Sunlight looks different from lightbulbs, etc.  Our eyeballs (being as advanced as they are – THANK YOU GOD), connected to our brains (the most amazing “computers” in existence … again WHAT A CREATOR), are able to adjust to different light temps, to allow us to always see colors the same, even in different lighting.  However, cameras are not as sophisticated.  The average camera has a basic setting for light that does not automatically adjust to different light temperatures.  Therefore, sometimes “whites” in pictures look more blue or orange.  In order for the colors to always look “right” we have to educate the camera as to what “white” really is.  I remember as a student holding a white card in front of a camera before a shoot, allowing the camera operator to adjust the lens so that “white” looked “white.”  When that one color was set, then all other colors would be rendered accurately as well.

Now, I know what you may be saying … WHAT.  ARE.  YOU.  TALKING.  ABOUT!  How does this relate to Philippians 1:12-18 (this Sunday’s sermon passage).  I know, I know.  I’m weird when it comes to analogies.  Give me a second to explain.

In our lives, we sometimes need to “joy-balance” our lens.  So many different circumstances come at us, that it is hard for us to accurately render each of them for their true significance or intended meaning.  If we are to properly project joy in our lives, we must “balance” our lives with the right perspective.  

If I focus on “fun” and think that I need “fun” to have joy, then my life will be “off color” and out of joy when hard times hit.  If I focus on “achievement of my personal plans” as being at the center of my joy, then what happens when 2020 unfolds, and my life takes a wild detour?  

If we are to have enduring joy in our lives, we need to “joy-balance” ourselves by focusing on the right thing to help us understand our lives.  In Philippians 1:12-18 the Apostle Paul tells us how to “joy-balance” our lives so that we might rejoice even when our plans are disrupted or our lives are mired in hardship.  

Join us this Sunday at Wildwood in our 9:00, 10:15, 11:30 services (indoors with classes for children, student, college, and adults running concurrently) or online in the livestream at 10:15 (at or outdoors in our chapel service at 8AM, as we will see how to “joy-balance” our lives from Philippians 1:12-18 in part 2 of our series, “Connect 4 the Gospel.”  Hope to see you Sunday … and bring your friends!! 

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