May 2008

Keep things humorous.

                                                                                                                     Story of the day:  Keep things humorous

   Chuck Swindoll wrote an interesting piece in his book titled Finishing Touch.  He touches on an important topic that I just love.  He asks in this book, “How is your sense of humor?  Are the times in which we live beginning to be reflected in your attitude, your face, your outlook?  Solomon talks straight, friend.  He (under the Holy Spirit’s direction) says three things will occur when we have lost our sense of humor:  a broken spirit, a lack of inner healing, and dried-up-bones (Prov. 15:13, 15; 17:22).  What a barren portrait!

   Have you begun to shrivel into a bitter, impatient, critical Christian?  The Lord tells us that the solution is simple:  “A joyful heart” is what we need…and if we ever needed it, it is now.

   By a sense of humor I am not referring to distasteful or vulgar jesting, nor to foolish and silly talk that is ill-timed, offensive, and tactless.  I mean that necessary ingredient of wit:  those humorous, enjoyable, and delightful expressions or thoughts that lift our spirits and lighten our day.  When we lose our ability to laugh–I mean really laugh–life’s oppressive assaults confine us to the dark dungeon of defeat. 

    Humor is not a sin.  It is a God-given escape hatch, a safety valve.  Being able to see the lighter side of life is rare, vital virtue.  Personally, I think a healthy sense of humor is determined by at least four abilities:

   The ability to laugh at our own mistakes.  The ability to accept justified criticism–and get over it!  The ability to interject (or at least enjoy) wholesome humor when surrounded by a tense heated situation.  The ability to control those statements that would be unfit–even though they may be funny.

   James M. Gray and William Houghton were two great, godly men of the Word.  Dr.  Houghton writes of an occasion when he and Dr. Gray were praying together.  Dr. Grey, though getting up in years, was still interested in being an effective witness and expositor.  He concluded his prayer by saying:  “And, Lord, keep me cheerful.  Keep me from becoming a cranky, old man!”

   You and I should pray the same prayer.”

Quote of the day:  Fred Allen

“It is bad to suppress your laughter because when you do, it goes back down and spreads to your hips.”

Bible verse of the day:  Proverbs 15:13

“A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray that You continue to teach me how to laugh!!  I want to enjoy life in every way possible and do so in a way that honors You.  Father, joy and laughter is something that is dear to my heart and at times, I may tend to lose sight of that funny side of me.  Father, I don’t want to be cranky the older I get.  Instead, I want to embrace all the moments of life that have made me smile and laugh and share them with others.  I pray for wisdom in knowing when to be funny and when not to be.  I don’t want the portrait of my life to be portrayed as a life that was a broken spirit to all that I came across.   Instead may I be remembered as one that always laughed and enjoyed the life that You have blessed me with!  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

 

April 2008

Our attitude is contagious

Story of the day:  Our Attitude is Contagious

     I love to laugh,  and although I may not feel like always laughing or smiling, my attitude is very contagious so I must be aware of it.  My family can tell right away if I have a good attitude or bad attitude just based on my facial expressions.  “If you’re upbeat and optimistic, people tend to emulate you.  But, if you fall prey to cynicism or pessimism, others will also.

    How will you direct your thoughts today?  Will you obey the words of Philippians 4:8, by dwelling upon those things that are true, honorable, and right?  Or will you allow your thoughts to be hijacked by the negativity that seems to dominate our troubled world?  Have you become so overwhelmed and preoccupied with the concerns of this day that you fail to thank God for the promise of eternity?  Are you fearful, angry, bored, worried, confused, bitter, or pessimistic?  If so, God wants to have a little talk with you.

    God intends that you experience joy and abundance, but He will not force His joy upon you; you must claim it for yourself.  So today and everday hereafter, focus your thoughts and your energies upon ‘whatever is commendable’“(Family Christian Press), and remember that your attitude is contagious.

Quote of the day:  Barbara Johnson

 “Developing a positive attitude means working continually to find what is uplifting and encouraging.”

Bible verse of the day:  Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praise-worthy- meditate on these things.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I first of all want to apologize for anytime that I have allowed my attitude to effect others in a negative way.  God as much as I always want to be happy, sometimes it doesn’t always happen.  I pray that during these times, I am able to recognize this and can push through the way that I am feeling and remember that my attitude, whether bad or good, is very contagious and can have a lasting effect on others.  God, prepare my heart for the times that I am fearful, angry, or upset so that I can pray to You about them and they can be lifted.  I give all that I am and have to You and while dwelling on things that are true, Your peace will be with me, which in turn changes my negative attitude to a positive attitude and effects others in a positive way.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen 

April 2008

Power made perfect in our weaknesses

dsc00753.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                                     Story of the day:  Power made perfect in our weaknesses

    Do you feel strong in your weakness?  The pain we may all experience, that can be found in our weak times, although challenging, can be rewarding when all is said and done. It may not seem like it while you are going through the pain, but power is made perfect in our weakness.  As I continued on with this thought about our pain or times of persecution that we all go through at one time or another, God shed a little more onto this by sharing this marvelous Scripture with me last night at church.  It is found in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, and He so gracefully says this “but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”  So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.” 

    Well, here is a little piece of art that I found that helps to illustrate the power of God making us strong in our weaknesses or the trials and tribulations that we may experience.  “A little piece of wood once complained bitterly because its owner kept whittling away at it, cutting it, and filling it with holes, but the one who was cutting it so remorselessly paid no attention to its complaining.  He was making a flute out of that piece of ebony, and he was too wise to desist from doing so, even though the wood complained bitterly.  He seemed to say, “Little piece of wood, without these holes, and all this cutting, you would be a black stick for ever–just a useless piece of ebony.  What I am doing now may make you think that I am destroying you, but, instead, I will change you into a flute, and your sweet music will charm the souls of men and comfort many a sorrowing heart.  My cutting you is the making of you, for only thus can you be a blessing in the world.”  Thank you M.R. Dehaan for this wonderful story.

       Although we can’t always see the big picture of why we go through the things we go through, it truly is for our best interest and we will only become stronger for having gone through our weak times, if we allow God’s power to be made perfect in our weakness.   

Quote of the day:  C. S. Lewis

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains:  it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Bible verse of the day:  2 Samuel 22:31

“This God–His way is perfect: the promise of the Lord proves true:  He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You that in my weakness Your power shines through.  I am grateful that Your power is made perfect at the times when I am the weakest.  God, I thank You for always being there for all of the times in my life.  You are there when I am happiest, when I am saddest, and when I have overcome whatever obstacle was placed before me.  I thank You for being my Everything.  I thank You or the times in my life when I have been weak, You have made me stronger.  I love You and thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen