Devotional for Monday April 29th

Good Morning Everyone,

Our theme for this month: “Laugh Again”

Our Bible verse for today: “I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you …” Philippians 1:3-5 (CSB)

Our thought for today: “What do you choose to remember?”

Thoughts of my mother make me smile. She was such a kind-hearted soul. She smiled a lot, laughed easily, she was sensitive and considerate, and she was an easy person to talk to. Even as a troubled teenager I would sit with her for hours and just talk.

My mom was also my best playmate for most of my childhood. She was the one who taught me how to play baseball and football; she taught me how to build a snow fort and a tree fort; we played board games, hide-and-seek, and so much more. She taught me how to sew, how to bake, and how to do my own laundry. She was the greatest Mom ever!

But she wasn’t perfect. For one thing, she was a terrible housekeeper. Our house was seldom clean. (At least is was never clean for long. Not with six kids, two cats, a dog, a duck, and most of the neighborhood kids always at our house). No, our house was a mess. Mom did try to clean, occasionally, but seriously, it was a lost cause.

But it’s not the messy house or any of the other imperfections I usually remember. Instead it’s all the good things, the fun things, the long talks, and the happy times that I remember. Those are the things I choose to remember. And it makes me smile.

Philippians is the most joy-filled, positive, and upbeat book in the Bible. In verse 1:3 Paul started by revealing that his memories of the Philippians brought him thoughts of joy and thanksgiving. Thinking of them made him smile. But do you think Paul had only good and happy memories of them? The truth is that the Philippians were little different from you and me, and their church was the same as your church and my church. Those folks had their share of warts and pimples, they passed gas and had bad breath, they got grumpy and difficult – they were just people. But Paul chose to remember the good things about them. And that made him smile.

What do you choose to remember about people and places? You do have a choice you know. You can decide to remember and dwell on the good stuff. You can choose the memories that will make you smile instead of frown.

For instance, I still remember the cartoon I saw years ago of the SWAT team that was called to a little church in a suburban neighborhood. There were police cars with flashing lights, officers in tactical gear with guns drawn, and a police helicopter hovering in the air. Finally the door to the church opened, a deacon stepped out, he waved to the law enforcement officers and said, “Sorry everyone, it’s not a hostage situation. It’s just a really long sermon!”

As a preacher myself the memory of that causes me to smile.  It also causes me to keep my sermons short.

God Bless,
Pastor Jim

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