Today is Thursday, the 3rd of November, 2022, in the 31st week of Ordinary Time.
May the peace of Christ guard your heart and mind, today!
Another reminder to set your clocks back an hour Saturday night/Sunday morning, if you live in the US.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes! (Psalms 119:12 ESV)
Lord our God, rule over us in strength, and grant us your light. Let your Spirit be with us to confirm what has already taken place in our hearts, so that we have joy and trust even under all the strain and stress of this life. Shine into the darkness of the world. Shine for all people. May we be shown more and more clearly what we have been created for. Strengthen our faith for the future, our faith in everything good, for however hidden the good may be, it must at last come to the light. May we and all the world bring praise and honor to you. Amen.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
(1 John 1:5 NIV)
Today I am grateful:
- that no matter how hidden the good may be, it will eventually come to the light
- that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all
- that God truly wants us to enjoy our lives in Him
- for laughter (the best medicine)
- that I have someone to love, something to do, something to hope for, something to believe in, and something to laugh about; therefore, I am happy!
I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live;
(Ecclesiastes 3:12 ESV)
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.
(Romans 10:8-12 ESV)
to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
(Ephesians 1:6-10 ESV)
But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
(Jude 1:20-21 ESV)
I really enjoyed Patricia Lorenz’s devotional reading in Daily Guideposts 2022, for today.
What makes you happy? What does it take for you to be happy? I’ve often talked about the difference between happiness and joyfulness, but that is usually in referenced to the subject of joy. Today, it’s about happiness. Because, even though we understand the difference between happiness and joy, it doesn’t mean that we don’t care about happiness.
And I truly believe that our God wants us to be “happy” in our lives with Him. I’m speaking in a broad generality, here. The only way to be happy 24/7 is to be totally oblivious to anything else around us. We aren’t always going to be “happy.” But, in general, I think that God wants us to have a happy life. He wants us to enjoy life.
Ms. Lorenz shares five things that she believes a person needs to be happy:
- someone to love
- something to do
- something to hope for
- something to believe in
- something to laugh about
That’s a pretty good list, I think. She narrows it down further, though, and says that the two most important are something to believe in and something to laugh about.
Is that surprising? That she includes laughing as one of the most important things? Perhaps.
When I was but a lad, my parents had a subscription to Reader’s Digest. I always looked forward to the next edition coming in the mail. Whenever it came, I would grab it and immediately read all of the jokes in the magazine. One of the joke pages was called “Laughter, the Best Medicine.” As I looked that up, today, I saw that there are a number of books that have been published, through the years, compiling a lot of those jokes.
Laughter is truly good for us. I believe that has been scientifically proven. One website says this about laughter: “It draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps you release anger and forgive sooner.” (Seen at HelpGuide.org)
Says Patricia, “If we believe in God and have faith that our lives will turn out okay with God’s help, then we truly have nothing to worry about.”
That is a truthful statement, that lines up with every bit of God’s Word. It’s a simplification of a lot of different Scripture verses all mashed together. And it echoes my favorite Dallas Willard quote, which can be found in different variations in different sources.
“Surely this world is a perfectly safe place for me to be
Because I dwell and abide with God in the fullness of his life in the Kingdom of the Heavens forever.”
That particular quote is from Dallas Willard’s own paraphrase of Psalm 23.
I have someone to love. Several someones, in fact.
I have something to do. Even in my state of semi-retirement, not a day goes by that I have nothing to do. In fact, I even catch myself thinking that I don’t have time to do everything that I have to do.
I have something to hope for. “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’s blood and righteousness.” My hope is for the future life of eternity in the presence of the fullness of God.
I have something to believe in. I believe in God the Father, maker of heaven and earth; I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son; I believe in the Holy Spirit, who encourages and empowers us.
I have things to laugh about. Some of my Facebook friends are quite faithful to share puns and “dad jokes” and other things that are funny.
I am, in general, happy.
And I am grateful to Patricia Lorenz for reminding me of this.
Father, I am grateful that I have someone to love, something to do, something to hope for, something to believe in, and something to laugh about. I am grateful that, because I believe in You, and that my hope is in Christ, and that I am walking in Your Kingdom (however unsteady that walk may be), that I have nothing to worry about, and that this universe is a perfectly safe place for me to be.
I am so very grateful for laughter. Not a day goes by, I don’t think, that I don’t laugh about something. I am thankful for my sense of humor, no matter how bad the jokes may be, sometimes. I am also thankful that You have given me the ability to laugh at myself, sometimes, especially when I do something stupid.
I pray for Your Church, Father, that we might all be aware of the blessings that we have in our lives. And if there is someone who does not think that they have someone to love, please bring that person or those people into their lives, that they will both have someone to love and someone who loves them, as well.
I thank You for Patricia Lorenz and her writing in Daily Guideposts. May You bless her richly, today, Father.
Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!
What kind of tree fits in your hand? A palm tree.
What building has the most stories? The library.
Grace and peace, friends.