Archive for June, 2011

CHEER UP

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).

When asked each Sunday how she was doing a woman from my first pastorate, with the most downcast spirit I had ever seen, would begin going through a litany of things contributing to her misery.  I determined to try another approach.  On one particular Sunday, I said to her as she was coming out the door, “Well, look at you, girl.  Where did that spring in your step come from today?”  She, at first, looked shocked but then she responded with a chuckle, “I don’t know but I have to admit, I do feel better today.”  I never heard from her lips again a single word of lament.  The heart determines the attitude; never our circumstances.

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SWEET PERSUASION

“The wise in heart will be called understanding, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness” (Proverbs 16:21).

I confess there have been times when my passion for something has caused me to raise my voice to a volume so loud that it precluded the possibility of being heard.  On those occasions, especially with my children, I could see them pulling back and no longer engaging in conversation.  I would quickly catch myself and say to them, “My passion and volume doesn’t make me right.  I still want to hear your side.”

In the course of the day, we sometimes have to defuse a tense conversation with a softer, sweeter tone.  It’s then we have the best chance of being heard.

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FINDING GOOD

“He who gives attention to the word will find good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord” (Proverbs 16:20)

Have you read the morning paper? The USA Today? The Wall Street Journal? Your online news sources? If this is all that is read, it can easily skew ones perspective. It conditions the lens of the eye to see only the worst; to view others with cynicism and suspicion.

Have you read even a portion of scripture today? It offers another perspective; one that sees the good; the possibilities; a state of blessedness because it trusts in the Lords.

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WIDE-COUNSEL

“Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22).

You have had life-experiences that I haven’t and vice versa.  In facing the adversities and demands of everyday life we need not think we are alone or plowing new ground.  Others have been there before and, in the routine of the day, it’s these that God brings across our path.  Wisdom comes in wide-counsel.  Don’t be afraid to ask.

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WHO WILL TELL?

“Come and hear, all who fear God, and I will tell of what He has done for my soul”(Psalm 66:16).
 
While I appreciate the wisdom of the words attributed to St. Francis of Assisi—“Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words”—and the importance of living what we profess; it is an incomplete witness of our faith.  To simply live our faith and never speak of it says too much about us and too little of the gospel.  Living it and telling it are inextricably bound together.
 
Each day brings Divine appointments to speak of God’s faithfulness.

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IT MAKES SENSE

“The naïve believes everything, but the sensible man considers his steps” (Proverbs 14:15).

When you get where you’re going, where will you be when you get there?  Do you have a plan?  Goals?  What deliberate, proactive steps are you taking to see them accomplished?  Each day presents choices and decisions that either move us toward our goals or detract from them.  To consider your steps is to consider the consequence of any action. We cannot naively meander through the day thinking that things just happen.

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KEEPING AN UMBRELLA NEAR

“You visit the earth and cause it to overflow; Your greatly enrich it; The stream of God is full of water; You prepare their grain, for thus You prepare the earth, You water its furrows abundantly, you settle its ridges, You soften it with showers, You bless its growth” (Psalm 65:9-10).

As the dryness of our soul is quenched by Living Water, so our parched land is thirsting for sweet rain from heaven.  As the Psalmist was fully confident of God’s abundant provision, let us pray and wait with that same certainty.

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