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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Misty tress (Doris High)
Our friend Doris High took this photo of misty trees. It reminds us of a line in a Gaither tune that has these words, "Like the fragrance after the rain".

"Dealing With 'Bad Days'"

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"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).

Yesterday we shared a message about a man who frequently replied to the question, "How are you?" with the response, "On, I shouldn't complain." That got us thinking about other responses to the same question. Mihad is a Bosnian friend who always says in his broken English, "Good Enough". In fact he's earned as a nickname,
"Good Enough". We recall Suzy, an elderly black lady now with the Lord. On our visits to Longwood Manor when we'd ask, "How are you?", without hesitation she'd reply with a smile and this phrase, "I'm too blessed to be stressed."

Years ago there was a song called "Bad Day" being played a lot on pop music radio stations that I am sure many of you heard and probably recall. I recall visiting job sites, stores and other places and hearing this song in the background. Ester enjoyed 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. I observe that so many people define good and bad days by the trivial things such as.... Because it rained on my picnic I had a bad day. My air conditioner is broken so this is really a bad day, especially when it's 90 degrees like it was yesterday! The traffic was terrible getting to work so I'm having a bad day.

Now social media gives people a broader platform to complain. Yesterday afternoon we had a severe lightning and thunder storm pass through around 5:00 PM. Power disrupted the Amtrak train east of Lancaster stranding commuters for several hours. It was surely an unpleasant experience but for at least some riders it was like the end of the world!

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. You've surely heard the phrase "bad hair day"?

As a family we try to pray for people who really are having a bad day. Yesterday we had a long discussion with a man who sat across from us broken and weeping due to the emotional pain he is suffering. We consider the families of soldiers killed in war, accident victims, and those dealing with truly despairing situations. Many of us have been praying for the church in Charleston, South Carolina where just last week a peaceful prayer meeting became a killing zone.

To some degree all of us have 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 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 days. We have a choice. Although we experience troubles every day let us choose to have the attitude of the Psalmist; "let us rejoice and be glad."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Heavenly 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 lead 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 amidst the bothersome and undesirable circumstances of our present day. We must keep calm and carry on until hindsight reveals to us how You were orchestrating events in our life to help build character, patience, understanding, and growth in our faith walk. It's all part of Your overall plan for our lives so we want our "hearts to unfold like flowers before You opening to the sun above, as we join the mighty chorus...ever singing, marching onward, victors in the midst of strife" for we serve a victorious Saviour. Amen.

Brooksyne's Note:  In 1907 William van Dyke 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, "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee", and you will soon realize how very good your day is! It is a great song to sing at the breakfast table. (From "Then Sings My Soul" by Robert J. Morgan)

Joyful, joyful, we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
hearts unfold like flowers before thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

All thy works with joy surround thee, earth and heaven reflect thy rays,
stars and angels sing around thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
chanting bird and flowing fountain, call us to rejoice in thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blest,
well-spring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our brother, all who live in love are thine;
teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the mighty chorus which the morning stars began;
love divine is reigning o'er us, binding all within its span.
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife;
joyful music leads us sunward, in the triumph song of life.

Brooksyne's Caboose Correction: Several alert readers
observed yesterday's photo with Brooksyne standing on the caboose "gripping the large steering wheel of an old caboose". Charlie for one, informed us, "I think you will find that the wheel is actually to apply the brakes for the caboose. Not a steering wheel." Warren, a train buff, elaborates, "growing up along and still living along the rail, Brooksyne is not holding onto a steering wheel. It is the brake wheel. When I was a kid, they would move the train at about 5mph, and break away the cars, from the rest of the train, that they wanted to go into a siding, each car had a steering wheel/brake wheel. That is what they turned to stop the cars. If you look at it closely, and it is still hooked up, a chain ran from the wheel down to a bar, which runs underneath the car to the wheels, which would manually apply the brakes."

I admit to making the mistake, not Stephen, though I did ask him to edit the captions, but I'm afraid he missed this one. At least I was half correct, I got "wheel" right. Surely no one can debate the round wheel thing I was holding on to. Thanks for correcting us, alert readers!

Garden 6/22/15

Brooksyne's Vegetable Garden: We have limited space but try to utilize it as best we can. This year we're growing tomatoes, several different peppers, zucchini, watermelons, cucumbers, and a variety of herbs, our favorites being basil and cilantro.

Ruler in piano
Mystery Solved:  In February I had my piano tuned and told our tuner, Leavitt, about some temperamental keys. Often when I struck the A just below middle C I'd hear a clicking noise. Sometimes it would travel up to middle D and A. He listened for the problem but wouldn't you know all three keys behaved nicely for the tuner, and didn't show up again until after he left. I finally called him to come again and so he set out yesterday morning to find the problem. He took the piano apart and began the usual inspection but nothing apparent showed up in the hammer and action of the keys. This led him to start lifting the keys up one by one. After he lifted the most problem key he then ran his fingers inside the key frame and felt something strange. Turns out a very thin 12" plastic ruler, running the length of my problem keys, had fallen into the front of the keys through the key slip. We had a good laugh upon his discovery. This was a first time for Leavitt who'd been tuning pianos over forty years, but it might not be a last time. (I hope I named the parts of the piano correctly in my attempt to tell this little story.)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

 Video   Brian Doerksen

"Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee"  Video  Casting Crowns

"Jesus There's Just Something About That Name"  Video 
Marshall Hall

"Bad Day"  Video 
Daniel Powter (This is the song referred to in the message)

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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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