Grumpy or Gracious?

grumpyWhenever I read the opening verses of Psalm 92, the number 1,440 flashes through my mind.  1,440 is the number of minutes in a day, and Psalm 92 is a positive motivator on how to manage these precious moments:

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and sing praises to Your name, O Most High. It is good to tell of Your loving-kindness in the morning, and of how faithful You are at night, with harps, and with music of praise.  For You have made me glad by what You have done, O Lord. I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands (Psalm 92:1-4).

Think about the words you spoke yesterday; was your vocabulary more grumpy than it was gracious?  How would your life be different if you would spend more time counting your blessings than tallying your slights?  Would you be happier and healthier?

Barbara Fredrickson, a researcher at the University of North Carolina, has examined the power of positive and negative thoughts. She has found that positive emotions enhance your sense of personal potential; opens your mind to new possibilities; and, they allow you to develop new skills and resources that add value to your life.

Fredrickson’s premise is a conformation of a principle from the Proverbs: Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. ~Proverbs 16:24

Over the next week, I encourage you to use some of the 1,440 minutes of each day to put Psalm 92 to practice:

  • Focus on the blessing of God, and give thanks.
  • Whistle a tune, hum a favorite hymn, and sing a song of praise to God.
  • When you get up in the morning, start with a God is Able thought, and end your day by rehearsing the history of God’s faithfulness.
  • Begin and end each day with the following prayer:

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. ~Psalm 19:14

5 Words and 1 Question

ableA show that was popular a couple of years ago was known for the five words that formed a single question.  The question was the title of the show:   Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

In the sermon this past Sunday, the message concluded with just three words that formed a single promise:  “God is able!”  You were asked to remember those three words and to think about them during this week.  The five verses below will  help you stay focused on this promise:

  • When it comes to the subject of grace, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you (2 Corinthians 9:8).”
  • Concerning the power that is necessary to live the Christian life, “God is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20).”
  • Paul told Timothy that he could trust God, because “He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day (2 Timothy 1:12).”
  • When hard times come, you should know that “Since He Himself was tested and has suffered, He is able to help those who are tested (Hebrews 2:18).”
  • A verse in Jude 24 summarizes these principles: “God is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.”

What are you doing to stay focused on these three words?  I suggest that every time you open or shut a door, remember to say:  “God is able.”  If you do this, God might open a door for you.

The Power of Green

Video_Landing-Page_0007_20131227_093457Before last week, there is a good chance that your roof was not at the top of your list of major concerns.  If it was pelted by hail during the recent storm, your roof may have become a source of worry. Because of the massive damage in the short-lived storm, Butler County has been swarmed by colonies of contractors hoping to make a buck off of you.

Unless you are a roofer by trade, you may given little thought to the decking, shingles, and the other components that are used to build a roof.  A movement underway to change the constitution of roofs, may change that.

Facebook, the social media giant, installed a 9-acre green roof at its office in Menlo Park, California.  “Green roofs can reduce the retention of heat in urban areas, help to cool down buildings and thereby lower their energy use, and even pull some carbon dioxide from the air and feed it back into plant growth (The Washington Post).”

In the June edition of the Journal of Environmental Psychology, a report focuses on the psychological benefit of green roofs: 40-second Green Roof Views Sustain Attention: The Role of Micro-Breaks in Attention Restoration.

Kate Lee, the lead researcher of the study (University of Melbourne) has concluded that “Modern work drains attention throughout the day, so providing boosted ‘green micro-breaks’ may provide mental top-ups to offset declining attention.” If a person can look outside his office window and see a flowering meadow green roof instead of a bare concrete roof, he will experience cognitive benefits.

This new research, reminds me of a very old peace in the Bible.  This piece of peace is found in Psalm 23 where David spoke of God leading him to the “green pastures” and “still waters” to “restore his soul.”

To help you have a “green” moment, take just a second or two to read Psalm 23 from  The Message:

God, my shepherd!

    I don’t need a thing.

You have bedded me down in lush meadows,

    you find me quiet pools to drink from.

True to your word,

    you let me catch my breath

    and send me in the right direction.

Whatever your concern might be today, remember God is able!

More of the All and the Always

bicycle-thievesI can remember my dear old dad telling me:  “Son, if there is any job worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”  I didn’t get the job done yesterday, so I’m going to finish it today.

In my post to this blog yesterday, you might remember that I focused on 2 Corinthians 9:8:

God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. ~NKJV

Because my post was starting to get a bit lengthy, I found a stopping place and concluded it with the thought that I would finish it today.

I want to finish by going back to where we started.  Notice again, the first three words of our verse:  “God is able.”  These three words are the key to understanding the verses below:

  • Daniel is proof that God is able to deliver you (Daniel 3:17).
  • Jude wrote to say that God is able to keep you from falling (Jude 24).
  • Paul wrote to the church of Ephesus and said God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think (3:20).
  • Timothy heard Paul say that God is able to keep what we’ve committed to Him (2 Timothy 2:12).

Yes, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8).”  You are not limited and restrained by your resources:  You are sustained and re-sourced daily because your God is able!