Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ten Good Reasons for Complaining

So, how is life treating you these days?  Are you consistently happy and positive in your outlook and cheerful in your conversation? 
Oh?  So you do whine and complain, but very infrequently, and only when totally justified? 
Take a look at two guys who had ten good reasons for complaining.  Their shocking experience is recounted in Acts 16:11-40. Paul and his friend Silas recently arrived in a foreign city:   
  1. They had done nothing wrong, nothing illegal, yet they were falsely accused, 
  2. Yelled at by an angry crowd, probably insulted and cursed by them,
  3. Seized by the authorities,
  4. Stripped of their clothes by the arresting authorities,
  5. Beaten with “many stripes,”
  6. Thrown into prison, most likely a dungeon,
  7. Prison was dirty, dark, and smelly, 
  8. Lawbreakers, likely undesirable-types were chained in the dungeon,
  9. Locked in the “inner prison,”
  10. Feet were fastened down in stocks so they could not move around.
Any of this happened to you recently?  Anything even remotely similar to this happen to you at any time in your life?  Do you have ten good reasons for complaining?  
Well, you’d imagine as they sat there in the fetid darkness they would rehash the terrible things that happened to them.  Or, perhaps they’d sit in angry silence, each blaming the other for over-reacting?
No, that’s not the case.  They prayed out loud, sang praises to God and the prisoners heard them.  No silent sulking, instead a lot of noisy praying and praising.  Maybe even two-part harmony as they sang their favorite songs to God, perhaps praises from the book of Psalms, well known to all Jews.  
 When you are going through some undeserved or undesirable conditions is there another believer with whom you can pray and sing?  Or, are you alone?
Someone you aren’t even aware of may be watching and listening to you.  What can you do?
Putting on a brave front and gritting your teeth is not the answer. So, what is?  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Need a Reason to Smile?

It’s a new day so give a smile, and start off right.
There’s unexpected challenges coming before night. 
Maybe you made a list of what to accomplish today,
But, of course, small aggravations may be coming your way.

Smile as you fix breakfast, and as you drive down the street;
Someone may appreciate your kind look, so repeat.
Your smile is an exercise of your faith doing good,
Step out with confidence, as your mom said you should. 

You’ve already talked to your Heavenly Father, I’m sure.
For the ills of the world, He offers you the cure.
Trust and Obey: maybe you remember that old song,
Focus on what’s important, and don’t wait too long. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Why Do We Remember Things?

Time flies by, obviously that’s the way it goes,
So, what are memories good for?
Memories help us . . . 
Sort out
Learn from what we’ve heard, seen, done
Persevere with what’s good
Enjoy something again
Memories test us . . . 
See if we are ready to exchange that frown for a smile
Provide opportunity to pray for someone we’re remembering
Remind us if there is someone we need to forgive
Check to see how well our brain is doing
Find out if we recall advice we were given
Give us a little time to think of a Bible verse that applies
Memories bless us . . . 
When we use them to assess our new challenges 
When we remember to be thankful for God’s goodness
When we honestly give credit to Him
When we make the effort to learn more Bible verses
When we use God’s Word to encourage others
When we write our memories down

Now, you’ve seen this list of ideas,
So, what can you add to it? 

                                                                         By Elaine Hardt ©2014 

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

More Than Fireworks!

        Remember this important holiday,  Fourth of July.  Yes, it’s more thanfireworks!  It’s more than decorations and sales at the stores.
       Here’s four sites to view.  You’ll find more . . . 
       And pray for our nation; these are serious times and there’s concern about the future.  
       The Capitol Fourth celebration.   
       The story behind the Star Spangled Banner History.
       Famous Patriotic Quotes about America.