Friday, October 31, 2014

Choose Joy

By Michael Halleen

"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 

The Psalmist had made a decision.  The Lord God had given him that day.  Now he chose to 
live through it with a positive spirit and a hopeful heart. 

Nothing is more crucial to the quality of our lives than the choices we make about HOW we 
will approach the circumstances, relationships and crises of each day.  In the end it is 
that attitude which largely determines the outcomes we will find.  I CHOOSE God as my 
refuge . . . I CHOOSE to believe . . . I CHOOSE to find a way. 

Mrs. S. had lived alone for many years and got out only with the help of a wheelchair.  
Every Sunday she wheeled herself into the side aisle of our sanctuary (one without 
handicap access) where she worshipped attentively.  She always seemed to be 
"up," a radiant person who made people smile just to be around her. 

One evening Mrs. S. spoke to the youth of the church and was asked how she could always 
be so alive, so full of joy.  She responded, "Well, I certainly didn't choose to 
live the last half of my life as a widow.  And I didn't choose to have my son killed in 
the Korean War.  I didn't choose to have to ride around in this chair for the past ten 
years.  But one thing I did choose - to be happy.  I decided to make the best of every 
day and to see the best in every person." 

A friend who has been a missionary in South America for many years told me of taking some 
American visitors through his city.  One of them spotted a beautiful large poinsettia 
tree in front of a small house as they passed by.  The visitor wanted to take a picture 
and, not realizing that the plant was brittle, reached up to pull down a branch for the 
camera.  A six-foot length of flame-red poinsettia snapped to the ground. 

At that moment the woman of the house stepped out of the door and confronted the gringos 
standing there, poinsettia branch in hand.  Humiliated, they tried to express regret and 
offered to pay for her loss.  But they could no more fix the personal damage than they 
could repair the tree.  Still, instead of adding to their embarrassment, the woman 
cheerfully asked them in for tea.  She chose to forgive them, to overlook their clumsy 
behavior.  She CHOSE to offer them grace. 

This is the day the Lord has made.  We are responsible to decide how we will live in it.
I personally really needed to hear this today. Nothing seems to be going right but I'm alive, my heart is beating and God has my in the palm of His it IS a GOOD DAY!!

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