October 2, 2017

And here we are back to Monday morning and a busy week/month for some (me included). Yesterday we kicked off Missions Month here at FBCWS and we are focused on how God wants to use all of us, here and around the world. Our vision needs to increase, not decrease. Our prayers need to be outward focused rather than inward focused. Our lives need to be lived On Mission for our Creator, our Savior, and our Lord. I am praying that today each of us will be reminded of our Mission. It is so easy for the world to come in and distract us. When it comes to living how God would have us live most of us suffer from a little ADD, attention deficit disorder. We are like Dory in “Finding Nemo”, who could not stay focused for longer than a second. Instead we need to be like the bomber pilots in “Star Wars” and we need to “stay on target!!”

This morning I was thinking of an old book by Norman Vincent Peale called “The Power of Positive Thinking.” It was a huge seller and influenced the lives of many people. I can’t say that I buy into all the concepts found in that book but I do like the overall concept of keeping our minds focused in a positive direction. It seems like the default mindset most of us have is more negative than positive. We look at a situation and we easily find the bad. We look at a picture and we quickly focus on the one ugly mark and miss the beauty of the rest of the picture. We look at our windshield and all we can see is that one bug that messed up our beautiful view. Sometimes as I ride to work I lose the joy and freedom that comes from a wonderful and relaxing ride into work and instead I focus on the nut weaving in and out of traffic. I am much more miserable when my team loses than I am joyful when they win. I become obsessed when I hear someone saying “you know?” repeatedly when they talk and I miss the wise words they are sharing. I see others’ mistakes very quickly and clearly but I lose sight of mine astonishingly fast, if I ever notice them in the first place. I could go on and on as I am sure I haven’t hit your hot button yet. But my point is that it takes great effort to live a life characterized by a positive spirit. For some of us it takes more work than others but all of us default to the negative.

Let me encourage you today to stop and count your blessings. Count how good God has been to you. I can assure you for every negative thing you can list there are many, many more positive things. When your boss annoys you, remind yourself of their good attributes. When your spouse frustrates you, thank God for them and for the good things they add to your life. When your kids drive you crazy rest assured that they will grow up much too quickly and you will miss these days. When life feels hopeless let God comfort you by reading Romans 15:13. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Life is never as dark as it seems when you are in the middle of the storm. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” I know it is easy to quote scripture but sometimes it is tough to live them out in our lives. Life can sometimes be a grind that can threaten to overwhelm us. Let me encourage each of you to again focus on the positive. Forget the negative. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
Our prayers go out today to those victims in the Las Vegas shooting attack. It is in times like this that we don’t fully understand the why but it is also a reminder to all of us of how precious each day should be. As we grieve with those families who will never again be able to hug that loved one, may we take some extra time to show our family and friends how much we love and treasure them today!

Happy Birthday today to Dillard Hill. And in case you didn’t get the word, last Monday evening our granddaughter, Ree Ann Fuller, was born! We are thankful that she arrived healthy and well. Mom, Lauran, and baby, Ree, are doing great!

I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?