Sunday, September 25, 2011


I was visiting with a friend recently and in the course of our conversation he made a statement that captivated my attention. His words were all so simple but yet profound. “The pages of life are tough” he said. When I asked him to repeat his words he proceeded to tell me that his father had given them to him years earlier. He continued by saying, “Life is a book full of pages and we must live every page and when we come to the end of a page we have no alternative other than flipping to the next. We never know what’s on that next page but we have to live it.” It may be filled with sadness, joy, or both. It may contain failure or great success. Regardless of what we find, there is no way of detouring around it. In his closing remarks, my friend imparted yet another piece of wisdom. “Although we don’t know what the next page holds what we do know is that we will have help.” God has promised to be with us and to provide for our every need. When our faith rests upon this truth then whatever experiences are faced we can be filled with hope because with God “it’s just another page in the book of life.”

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I have a book in my library entitled “Happiness is A Choice.” While Psychologists tell us they agree with the title, people still want to know, “Is it really true?” I suppose to find out we have to ask, “What makes us unhappy?” When the answers start to come they fall upon a common theme—disappointment. We fail to get the job we wanted. Our mate doesn’t meet our expectations. The deal we worked so hard on falls through. The list goes on and on. One person has said, “Disappointments are like road humps; they slow you down a bit but you enjoy the smooth road afterwards. Just don’t stay on the humps too long. Move on!” The problem is we find it difficult to do that. This culprit seems to hit us from all sides and it has a way of lingering on. I have found that it continues to stay with us until we make that life-changing decision to be happy in spite of the circumstances. We can’t change the past but we can alter the future. In other words, “No one can go back and make a brand new start. Anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” It all has to do with the power of choice. But how do we come up with the mental fortitude to make that decision? Let me suggest some things to consider which have been called Simple Rules for Happiness:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
Since we have the tendency to live introspectively, considering these rules makes it much easier for us to abandon our feelings of disappointment. In such utter abandonment we can find ourselves saying and believing life can be different in the power of choice, so I choose happiness!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Trouble Tree

I read a story recently that spoke to me. Although the author is unknown the words contained within it are filled with good instruction. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. “I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job: (a flat tire made him lose an hour of work & his electric drill quit) his ancient one ton truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss. Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier. “Oh, that’s my trouble tree,” he replied. “I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, those troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then in the morning I pick them up again. Funny thing is, he smiled, “when I come out in the morning to pick ‘em up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.” After having read this I asked myself a question and I hope you will do the same, “Do I have a trouble tree?”

Monday, September 5, 2011

Learn to Serve

When Jesus took the time to explain His reason for coming among us, He was simple and direct. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Interestingly enough He did not come to be served, to grab the spotlight, or to draw attention to Himself. He simply came to serve. This concept was one of oddity in the world to which Jesus came. And although centuries have passed we still find the same challenges today. The reason being, serving doesn’t come naturally. Far too common is the age old problem that can be summed up with four words—I, Me, Mine, Myself. We are consumed with ourselves and make every effort to “look out for number one.” If we admit it we would have to say we live in an age of gross selfishness—the “me” era. As difficult as it was Jesus saw it to be his mission to eradicate this kind of thinking while teaching his disciples as well as us that being a servant is what Godly living is all about. It was the distasteful desire to be number one that led Jesus to rebuke James and John telling them that the position of first place only came with certain consequences. “Whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.” He was in essence saying your role in the world is not to be lords but servants. The same holds true for us today. We are called into the family of God to render service. But something begins to happen to us as it did to the disciples when we experience a sense of success, feeling that we have reached celebrity status. We begin to take on a spirit of entitlement, expecting to be served rather than to serve. However, what we must understand is that the only way to be sovereign is to be a slave and the way to the top is to live at the bottom, rendering a life of service which is the only way to fulfill God’s true intention for our lives. “The Son of man came to serve” and so should we!