Archive for the ‘Today’s Walk in the Word’ Category

There is nothing better for people than
to be happy and to enjoy themselves as long as they live.
—Ecclesiastes 3:12

Canadian broadcaster Robert Blondin toured numerous countries, asking 600 people of diverse cultures one question: “What makes people happy?”

The three highest ranking answers were: controlling one’s attitude, being thankful, and doing good.

Here are a half-dozen things you can do to make this a happy day:

1. Pinpoint a blessing that you’ve been taking for granted. Think about how much it means and thank God for it

.2. Take ownership of your attitude. Embrace the day with a smile; eliminate the scowl.

3. Be kind and considerate, even when others aren’t.

4. Do something nice for someone, without expectation of thanks.

5. Refuse entrance to thoughts about a painful past.

6. Be positive and cheerful all day.

Have a good day, my friend.

You can’t assign your happiness to
someone else; it’s an inside job.

How good is a timely word.
        —Proverbs 15:23

Being noticed and appreciated fulfills a deep human need.

Today consciously look for things that you appreciate and can praise in those you cross paths with. When you acknowledge someone’s work and worth, you contribute to their happiness and sense of self-worth.

Don’t wait for a newsworthy performance; keep an eye out for small things that are deserving of hurrahs. Don’t just see them; acknowledge them. Tell people you appreciate them—and tell them why.

Everyone needs to know that they matter; that they are valued. But they won’t know it unless you tell them. Well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise are priceless. Greek philosopher Xenophon said, “The sweetest of all sounds is praise.”

Praise God as the giver;
those who enrich your life as the gift.



Finally, my brothers and sisters,
rejoice in the Lord.
 —Philippians 3:1

It’s hard to be happy when you’re hurting. But happiness isn’t entirely at the mercy of circumstance. Here are three examples:

Habakkuk was hurting. His nation was in chaos. The economy was in the tank: failed crops; sheep and cattle dead. Even so, he said, “I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior” (Hb 3:18).

Mary was bewildered. She was going to have a baby. Her reputation and engagement were in jeopardy. Even so, she said, “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Lk 1:47).

Paul was in prison, “in chains” (Phil 1:14). Even so, he wrote, “I always pray with joy” (Phil 1:4); “I rejoice greatly in the Lord” (Phil 4:10). And he counseled his brothers and sisters to “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil 4:4).

Rejoice, my friend.

Rejoice, no matter what.
There’s always sunshine after rain.

All you have made will praise you, O Lord.
                            —Psalm 145:10

The Houston Museum of Natural Science features an exhibit of life-size specimens of the human anatomy, detailing the functioning of each body part: an animated model of the working of the brain, heart, kidneys, and more.

“Oh, that marvel of conception . . . What a miracle of skin and bone, muscle and brain! You gave me life . . . You watched and guarded every breath I took” (Jb 10:10–12).

If you live the average lifespan, your lungs will inhale oxygen-enriched air eight hundred million times before you check out. And your heart, which weighs a half pound and pumps five quarts of blood through your body every sixty seconds, will beat 2.8 billion times before you shut down.

You “have been remarkably and wonderfully made” (Ps 139:14).

God did what he did
to make you what you are.

Every generous act and every
perfect gift is from above.
—James 1:17

Unrequested blessings were the bookends of the Israelites’ wilderness odyssey.

On the front end was the dry-ground crossing of the Red Sea when they departed Egypt. On the back end was the dry-ground crossing of the Jordan when they entered Canaan forty years later.

They requested neither but received both.

You wouldn’t have lived to read this sentence if you hadn’t received blessings that you didn’t request: assuming that you haven’t asked for oxygen today to keep you breathing or gravity to keep you anchored to earth instead of soaring into space.

Name three blessings you’ve received that you didn’t request?

Every day of your life
has been a gift from God.

He who guards you never sleeps.
          —Psalm 121:3

Is something keeping you awake at night? A malignant marriage? A defiant child? A financial crunch? A health issue shadowing you or someone you love?

You long for security, stability, trouble-free days. And life isn’t cooperating.

Let this take the weight off your mind: “The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help” (Ps 34:15).

Mary Crowley, founder of Home Interiors & Gifts, and the Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center said, “Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He’s going to be up all night anyway.”

“I will lie down in peace and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe” (Ps 4:8).

Don’t put a question mark
where God has put a period.

Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.
   —Hebrews 13:5

When I was a child, the week before Christmas seemed like two months. Now the space between one Christmas and the next one seems like two months.

It’s unnerving when we suddenly realize that we’ve sailed—or slept—past midlife. We become reflective: regretting some missteps in our past or obsessed with anxiety about our future.

God takes care of both.

Regarding the past, he says, “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” (Heb 10:17).

Regarding the future, he says: “I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you” (Is 46:4).

God has a selective memory:
he doesn’t remember your past sins.

Curb Your Agitation


Do not be agitated—
it can only bring harm.
    —Psalm 37:8

Psalm 37 opens with these words: “Do not fret because of evildoers.” Various translations have it: “Do not be agitated;” “Do not be upset;” “Don’t be annoyed.”

Eugene Peterson paraphrased verse 8 this way: “Bridle your anger, trash your wrath, cool your pipes—it only makes things worse.”

So, how do we curb our agitation; cool our pipes? The answer is found in the same psalm. It repeatedly reminds us to stop obsessing about the cause of our agitation and get focused on the Lord:

Trust in the Lord (v. 3);
Delight yourself in the Lord (v. 4);
Commit your way to the Lord (v. 5);
Be still before the Lord (v. 7);
Wait for the Lord (v. 34).

Agitation is poison.
Don’t drink from that glass.

I will not be afraid,
because you are with me.
    —Psalm 23:4

Put these fear-fighting verses in your pocket . . .

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you” (Is 41:10).

My peace I give to you . . . Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (Jn 14:27).

“Don’t be afraid, because I have saved you. I have called you by name, and you are mine” (Is 43:1).

“God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.’ That is why [I] can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, so I will not be afraid’” (Heb 13:5, 6).

“In God I trust; I will not be afraid” (Ps 56:4).

Faith and Fear are fighting for control.
You have the only vote.

God is Able


Do you believe that I am able to do this?
             —Matthew 9:28

If your life is a mess, it isn’t because you haven’t read the right book, attended the right seminar, or listened to the right preacher. It’s because you haven’t tapped into the right power.

The words “him who is able” are embedded in three doxologies in your New Testament:

“. . . him who is able to strengthen you” (Rom 16:25)
“. . . him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Eph 3:20).
“. . . him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault” (Jude 14).

Now, throw these “alls” into the mix: “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need . . .” (2 Cor 9:8).

God is able to turn your mess
into a message of victory.