Concentrate on the good

Philippians 4:8 [Full Chapter]

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure,  whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
What do we spend our time thinking about? I’d be willing to bet that a lot of the time it does not fit the list above. Too often we are concerned about what someone else has done. We are quick to point out flaws in others. We can also concentrate on all the negative things instead of the positive.
good-gifts
Consider the good things. Remember the gifts that we have been given by God and praise him!

Sing a new song

Colossians 3:16

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

SING TO THE LORD

Today I’m reminded of how important it is to be grateful for everything that you have. God has given us so much. Many of us have so many things that we don’t appreciate. Many of us need to remind ourselves that we have a roof over our heads, food to eat, family and friends and lots of other things. Do we remember each day to thank God for those gifts? I don’t think we do. Somehow we spend time praying for other things. The things we pray for may not be bad. We may be praying for others which is important. But let us not forget each day to thank God for the gifts that he has given us.

The passage from Colossians reminds us to sing hymns songs from the spirit and sing our gratitude to God. St. Francis says that those who sing pray twice. So if you can sing songs of gratitude to God

We have it backwards

Psalm 9: 1-2

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;

    I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

I will be glad and exult in you;

    I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

When things are going badly we call on God for help. When we are afraid or ill or in danger we Immediately pray for help. When we don’t talk to God is when everything is going well. We just don’t think about it. We are too happy and satisfied.

Psalm 34 4

Somehow I think we have it backwards. When things are going great we need to thank God. We need to jump up and down for joy and sing aloud songs of praise.

I can just imagine the expressions on the faces of those around us. This is not something we see often. Maybe if we did that we would bring more people to our God. At least they would know that we counted on God for good things. Then they would understand that we belong to a God who is alive and well and present in our lives. Someone else may want that.

Learn

Even though I am a Christian I believe that there are things to learn from other faiths. My understanding is the Jewish faith concentrates on what you do with your life, Muslims stop their day to pray multiple times, Buddhists spend time in contemplation.

world religions

These are all things that I can admire and use in my own faith.

Simple things

Find joy in the simple things. That’s all love needs to thrive on. From the TV series Call the Midwife

simple things

 Our society has brainwashed us to think that happiness comes from things. The things we can buy. The truth is that happiness comes from inside us. It is almost as if it is hidden away to make us uncover its secret. Most joy comes from things we can’t buy. Love, the smell of a flower, the stars on a beautiful night, the sound of the ocean. These are the things that fill our soul and turn us toward true joy.

Prayer: Help us to see the things that are real.

 

Hope

“A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”
– Carl Sandburg

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The world seems to be getting worse and worse. I don’t know if it really is more evil or just that we learn about it so much quicker. Sometimes it is hard to believe that there is any hope for mankind. Yet good things still happen and babies are born. I guess God hasn’t given up on us yet.

 

Prayer: Thank you loving God for continuing to give us a chance. We just don’t seem to learn. Forgive us our sins. Amen

 

Music touches the soul

There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is.       William P. Merrill

Inspiring-beautiful-music-quote1

To me, music is not like prayer, it is prayer. I can sit in the church and listen to the music and be pulled out of myself. Attending a service where everyone sings out in praise can touch my soul. I can be moved to tears by a beautiful hymn. I thank God that he has gifted us with music.

Prayer: Thank you God for the beautiful music. May we continue to be touched by it and drawn closer to you. Amen

 

How can I keep from singing

I have always been move by music. The words of this hymn have always meant a lot to me and the music is fun to sing.

My life flows on in endless song;

Above earth’s lamentation,
I hear the sweetdagger, tho’ far-off hymn

That hails a new creation;
Thro’ all the tumult and the strife

I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul—

How can I keep from singing?
What tho’ my joys and comforts die?

The Lord my Saviour liveth;
What tho’ the darkness gather round?

Songs in the night he giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm

While to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,

How can I keep from singing?
I lift my eyes; the cloud grows thin;

I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway smooths,

Since first I learned to love it,
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,

A fountain ever springing;
All things are mine since I am his—

How can I keep from singing?

from Wikepedia

 

 

Present in the ordinary

Great Smokey Mountains 2012We keep searching for God. we spend most of the time wanting him to be in the spectacular. We forget that God is always present and can be found in the ordinary. He can be seen in the dinner we cook for our family, in the beds we make, the work we do and the times we play. He is present. Celebrate that!