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Friday, June 23, 2006

"Bad Day"

"Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34).  "This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24).

There's a song called "Bad Day" being played a lot on pop music radio stations that I am sure many of you have heard. I have visited job sites, stores and other places and heard this music in the background.  Ester really enjoys it and it has a catchy tune that I enjoy as well.  But there's something about the overall theme which speaks a lot about our current culture.

It's hard to understand the words (for me anyway) but essentially the "bad day" is due to relatively trivial things in life; in the case of the performer's song not doing well in a singing competition.  But I observe that so many people define good and bad days by the trivial.  It rained on my picnic so I had a bad day.  My air conditioner's not working so this is really a bad day. The traffic was terrible getting to work so I'm having a bad day.

Do you get the picture? Can you identify? I confess that I can easily slip into this mentality. Because of this trivial attitude, even in all of our blessings and affluence, so many experience one bad day after another. Have you heard the phrase "bad hair day"?

As a family we try to pray for people who really are having a bad day. We consider the families of soldiers killed in the war, accident victims, and those dealing with truly despairing situations.  The other night in church a prayer request was offered for a family who, in horror, witnessed their mother slip and fall off a cliff to her death at a national park. At times we personally know these people, but much of the time we just seek to compassionately pray for them, although we may not know them.  All of us have to some degree had these types of "bad days", although some surely with more intensity and frequency than others.

The first daily verse expresses the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. He forthrightly observes, "Each day has enough trouble of its own." How very true and personally observable by each one of us. Jesus shared this in the context of worry. If you focus on troubles, every day be assured you will have plenty.  That was true 2,000 years ago and it's true today.  But these troubles do not have to make a bad day.

The Psalmist, who surely knew troubles and had "bad days" expresses a great truth to live by. "This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."  God made today (this day) and everyday.  God doesn't make bad things.  We have a decision.  Although we experience troubles each day, "let us rejoice and be glad." 

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Father, upon awakening this day and drawing our first conscious breath we acknowledge Your hand of blessing in our lives.  Even as the rays of sunlight dissipate the vast darkness we're reminded of Your victorious power that melts the clouds of despair replacing them with renewed hope.  Enable us to look beyond the unwelcome, trivial frustrations of our day that leads to whining and complaining, instead of being joyful and thankful.  We, with absolute intention, choose to rejoice and be glad as the blessings unfold throughout this day.

Brooksyne's Note:  As noted in the daily encouragement previously, I often read about the origin of a hymn alongside my devotions.  This morning I read about Henry van Dyke who wrote "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee."   In 1907 he was a guest preacher at Williams College in Massachusetts.  At breakfast one morning he handed the college president a piece of paper saying, "Here is a hymn for you.  Your mountains (the Berkshires) were my inspiration."* If you're feeling like you're having a "bad day" sing or read the words to this hymn aloud and you will soon realize how very good your day is!  It is a great song to sing at the breakfast table.  I'm having a women's breakfast tomorrow morning here and that's exactly what I'm planning for us to sing before we eat!

As we were preparing the message this morning our cat let out a loud meow (it's very unusual for our cat to meow even softly.)  She certainly got my attention as I quickly swirled around in my chair to see why she was meowing in distress.  Laying down beside our portable CD unit on the floor and she had gotten her claw caught in one of the speaker holes.  I came to her rescue and all has been well since.  It reminded me that even animals have those unwelcome intrusions in the course of their day.  Perhaps we should take note of the animal's response to such intrusions.   She is not pacing the floor, shaking her head and meowww-whining while questioning why these things always have to happen to her.  Instead she is sleeping soundly (as is the norm) with her head just below the computer screen, completely oblivious to the problems she had only moments before.

*"Then Sings My Soul" by Robert J. Morgan

Here's an audio version of "Joyful, Joyful, We adore Thee"
Music by a group called "River"

Here's an mp3 audio file of "Bad Day" (just in case you haven't heard it!)  This song really does have a great tune. It would be great to hear another version with the theme of "Good Day" at the heart of the message!

The daily photo was taken in Maine by Greg Schneider, a friend of mine.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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