Friday, November 23, 2012


"Morning, Tom!  How are you this Sunday?"

"Not go good.  My leg still aches and I think I'm catching a cold again."

I hugged him.  This was our regular routine as we greeted each other at church.

After service I closed the piano lid and stepped onto the stage to get my regular hug from Nellie, a precious widow.  Her husband and Doug fished and talked about Jesus for many years.  They used to come greet me together.  After he died of cancer, she continued to climb those few steps. We cried sometimes as we hugged now.  But whenever I ask, "How ya doing, Nellie?" she finds something good about her week to share.

Why do some people give you an organ recital ("my back aches, my stomach's acting up, my head hurts") and others count their blessings?  It's not because of their circumstances.  Some of the happiest people I know have real problems.  Often complainers have pretty comfortable lives.  The perspective seems to be an internal thing.

Though I'm generally an optimist, I can slip into that griping mode pretty quickly.  It's a fast spiral down to the mulligrubs!  But I found the cure.  It's not a pill but the answer is found in a song.  This one is by a very young Hovie Lister and The Statesmen.

This old hymn contains a truth about counting your blessings even when life is discouraging. There are several ways to do that and change habits and perspectives.

1. Keep a daily journal and list 3 blessings.
2. Before you get out of bed, find one thing to praise God for.
3. As you lay your head on your pillow, count the day's blessings aloud again.

When I go to the front door to lock it each night, I step onto the porch and speak to God.
"Thank You for those beautiful stars."

"Lord, I appreciate my piano students.  Thank You for them."

"It's been a hard day but I know You walked with me.  Thank You for You!"

"I really blew it today but I thank You for a fresh start and new mercies tomorrow!"

If you have trouble finding those blessings, let Chuck Swindoll get you started.  He named a few benefits we enjoy because of others to whom God gave creativity.  

Above my head is a bright electric light. Thanks, Tom
On my nose are eyeglasses that enable me to focus. Thanks, Ben.
In my driveway is a car ready to take me wherever I choose to steer it. Thanks, Henry.
Across my shelves are books full of interesting and carefully researched pages. Thanks, authors.

My list could go on and on. So could yours.

That's enough to spur me on. How about you?
There will always be problems in our lives.  While we can't necessarily change the circumstances, the Lord can change our perspective. There's always good in our lives too.  We can train our brain to praise and see the daily blessings of life. 

Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—" Psalm 103:1-2 (NIV)

Philippians 4:8

King James Version (KJV)
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

You won't forget the message from this child.  And a child shall lead them:

You make beautiful things out of dust, Lord.  Open the eyes of my heart to see them!

‎"It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night..." Psalm 92:1-2


  1. Dear Kathy,

    Beautifully done. You’re on my list, my friend!

    Kaye Singleton

  2. My distant cousin, Bobby Tippett, writes:

    Beautiful, Kathy, and so true! No matter what our circumstances are, there is always something to be thankful for.