Do you see the glass half full?
Or half empty?
Optimism is a choice. So is pessimism.
Which will you choose?
Life can be very difficult.
But how we look at it makes all the difference in how we proceed.
“Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of good things, and no good thing ever dies.” -Shawshank Redemption
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There’s something about a fresh start. It’s a God thing.
The Bible encourages …
forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.
Some things we should carry with us into the new year.
Some things we should leave behind.
What are those things we should leave behind?
Those things we cannot change.
Memories are good things. But we should always look forward with anticipation – no matter what we’re dealing with today.
If you’ve had a bad year, look ahead with hope and expectation. It’s right around the corner.
Bask in it like it’s already here.
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Are you alone today?
It’s a day when there’s lots of being together.
But it’s just a day. A day that is one out of 364 other days.
Don’t be hopeless because you feel left out. Lots of people don’t get together at holidays. And some who do – end up fighting and not talking to each other the rest of the year.
Being with people isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
If you are alone, enjoy a movie. Just you!
Or, reach out to someone.
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Evil exists in a broken world.
People get sick.
Tires go flat.
Houses catch on fire.
We relish in the good – and so we should.
But sometimes, evil can shadow the good and we forget the good is there.
There is only one who can redeem the atrocities in our lives. God.
The Bible tells us he is compassionate and merciful. His love is so great that he died for the world because evil kept him at a distance.
Does his love stop there? No. It continues on and on and on.
And often, God shows he is with us when he surprises us with comfort when snowflakes fall gently upon the earth.
All around us is God’s presence.
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Like a wave, the crest of heightened emotion will fall to find a path as it crashes upon the shore of a new day … a new week … a new year.
Life will demand and routine will resume.
The fathers and mothers of the Sandy Hook school shootings will feel helpless. They will tread water as raw grief pierces deeper and the numbness wears off.
Everyone leaves and the temporary buoyancy of strength leaves, too.
You cannot leave them. Not yet.
There is a gaping wound in their heart. And life is pulsating out of it with every breath.
Place your hand of quiet presence upon their heart until it beats on its own.
The silence is deafening. Weeping openly was allowed.
Life must go on we tell them.
But life is on hold for them.
Let them. Please let them.
There are no words to comfort. All they want is their child back.
Time. They need lots of time.
Time to learn how to live again.
Some will not want to live again.
But they will.
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The beauty of innocence frozen in time.
And held closely to God’s heart.
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Where am I going?
I am baffled.
I was headed there. I was certain of it.
But when it happened, everything changed.
And now I am here.
It’s cold. Everything looks dismal. This is not where I want to be.
Then I looked up. I saw the light. It is the one thing that is constant. It’s always there. Even when I cannot see it.
And it will guide me.
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God is so great in his love, He continually places sure footing before our steps – even when we have messed up. God doesn’t sit back like some of us do, just waiting for the ax to fall on someone. His mercy is so great and His compassion is so deep that He weeps over us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
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Memories ebb and flow, washing upon the shore of our mind. Sometimes the tide comes in uninvited, carrying debris with it. If we allow the debris to lodge in our minds, we can become laden down with self-pity, discouragement, and depression.
The tide will go out. And with it, the debris.
But look! There are some surprising treasures that the tide brought with it. If you look carefully, you will find them.
Pain does not have to drown us. God knows we do not have the strength to tread water for long. He brings reprieve in the form of little joys that will make us smile in the midst of even deep sorrow.
The first clear notes of a cheerful robin, chasing away the bitter winds of winter.
The surprise visit of a summer breeze, bringing relief on a hot summer day.
The palette of warm, autumn colors painted on a dreary, gray canvas.
The gentle falling snowflakes quieting a troubled heart.
All is well.
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When we have physical pain, we rest.
When we have emotional pain, we don’t rest.
The world is busy, busy, busy. The only one who will get you off the treadmill is you.
Emotional pain is not visible. Take care of yourself. That doesn’t mean becoming a recluse. Find balance. Only you know how you feel.
Don’t be someone you’re not just to please others.
Rest when you need it.
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