Donate to our COVID-19 Fund

Help us support our caregivers who serve the elderly and medically fragile in our community and are suffering financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.

Lasting Joy

Close up headshot portrait of overjoyed elderly husband and wife sit on couch hugging looking at camera, happy mature spouses couple embrace cuddle relax together on sofa enjoy time together

Note:  When I stop to consider the meaning of joy, its origin and role in my life, I go to my daughter, Ann, and one of the wonderful lessons she has given me -a truth that God has given through her…

When my daughter, Ann was four, she came to me, very excited.  She took my hand in hers and led me to her bedroom to see her manger scene that she had set up on her nightstand.  As she proudly led me over to her bed, I noticed right away that the animals, shepherds and wise men were in some non-traditional positions.  Her nightstand top was completely cleared, except for the very center – and there in the center was every figure of the manger scene, all pushed up against each other so that the manger was barely visible.  I complimented her on her arrangement and asked her why the figures were so close together. With a face of delight, she answered that they were there for the baby Jesus to keep them all warm!

  Her efforts and outlook bless me to this day.  Her joy was not found in what the other figures were doing, but in what the babe of the manger was doing – for them!  For her, the individuals in the Christmas story were not important – their stories were set aside. To this day, I marvel at her ability to see the true source of lasting joy in her life and the wisdom that it continues to give me.   Ann has continued to “keep Christmas” that same way. While enjoying the traditions, she does not find her deep sense of joy there, nor does she find its significance in herself or others. She continues to teach me that true and lasting joy is found as we lose ourselves into what Jesus does in us!   To look to ourselves and our concerns for meaning and purpose robs us of the true, lasting blessing of having the true joy found in God’s loving gift of His son…

In my own frailty, my aim, still, is to live my life being lost to all my worries, my control and my self-centeredness – and to gather close to the manger to find the warmth of God’s love and grace that accepts me just as I am.  It is there that I finds a measure of the joy that my daughter has so wonderfully shared with me.

Carl has served in the Spiritual Care Office of Christian City for 33 years.  He currently serves as the Chief Spiritual Care Officer, directing the Spiritual Care office in serving the spiritual needs of residents, families and staff.  Carl is an ordained minister in the independent Christian Church/Churches of Christ, serving churches in Tennessee and Georgia. Carl grew up in nearby East Point, GA.  He moved to Tennessee for undergrad and graduate studies – Milligan College and Emmanuel Christian Seminary. While there, he met and married his best friend, Patty. Carl and Patty have 3 grown children: Thomas, Ann and Martha.  They live in Sharpsburg, GA

Dr. Dave Lescalleet

Dr. Dave Lescalleet serves as the Director of Chaplaincy for PruittHealth. He is a graduate of Knox Theological Seminary.

Recent Devotionals

Strikes Like Lightning

By The Rev. Dr. Jim Crews “For God has not given us a spirit of ...
Read More

What are you worth?

By Dave Lescalleet For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that ...
Read More

The Ducks in Spain Speak

By Chaplain Franklin Sasser ... I know them, and they follow me. - John 10:27 ...
Read More
Scroll to Top