Several people have asked about a few things that have appeared in my last two sermons. For those who don’t attend FUMC, Monroe, I’m currently preaching a series entitled Happy, Happy, Happy: Discovering the Keys to Happiness in the Beattitudes. I’ve had a couple of lists that peaked some interest, and a couple of illustrations that some have asked about, so I’m posting them here (that and I’m not feeling very creative this morning).
First are the Ten Rules for Happier Living which were a part of Happy and All Heart from Matthew 5:4:
1. Give something away (no strings attached)
2. Do a kindness (and forget it)
3. Spend a few minutes with the aged (their experience is priceless)
4. Look intently into the face of a baby (and marvel)
5. Laugh often (it’s life’s lubricant)
6. Give thanks (a thousand times a day is not enough)
7. Pray (or you will lose the way)
8. Work (with vim and vigor)
9. Plan as though you’ll live forever (because you will)
10.Live as though you’ll die tomorrow (because you will on some tomorrow)
Next, this week’s message, Happy and Gentle, included five practical ways we can practice gentleness in our lives. They are:
- Actively seek to make other feel at ease. Be sensitive to other’s opinions and ideas.
- Show respect for the personal dignity of the other person. Use persuasion and kindness rather than intimidation and domination.
- Avoid blunt speech and abrupt manner.
- Don’t be threatened by opposition.
- Don’t belittle or degrade or gossip about someone who has fallen—instead, grieve and pray for them.
I also included a video in the New Beginnings worship that a couple people asked about. Here it is:
The horse in the film (whose name is Joey, by the way–and it’s a great film) is a great example of what the Greeks would call a “meek” animal–power under control.
Finally, I made my confession in this week’s message that Perceptions (my weekly radio and TV devotional) has changed my behavior for the better. Here’s the story I shared this week:
“Does meekness describe us? I’m not sure it quite describes me as much as I would like. I can tell you, though, Perceptions sure helps. Seriously, I have to be nice now. It’s amazing how appearing on TV three times a week and on the radio five days a week can change your public behavior. I’m not nearly as likely to blow my horn at people who cut me off in traffic anymore. They might know who I am! I’m much nicer to the slow cashier at Wal-Mart these days, too. Let me tell you. I was in Gulf Shores last week. One evening, Vanessa and I went over to the Ribs and Reds restaurant. I ordered a nice big plate of ribs for dinner. My mouth was watering. It was going to be great. The waiter brought our food over, sat Vanessa’s plate down, and just as he went to sit mine down, the whole slab of ribs slid right off the plate into my lap. My first inclination was to jump up and shout, call the guy a few choice names and storm out. I didn’t, though, and I didn’t even have on one of my shirts with the fumc logo on it. You know what came to my mind? Perceptions. Somebody might know who I am. Somebody might see me. You know what I did? I picked those ribs up off my lap, put them back on the plate, wiped the BBQ sauce off, told the waiter not to worry about it, and ate my ribs. Vanessa couldn’t believe it. Neither could I! Maybe God is doing something in my life.”
Hey? If you were in church on Sunday, this is old news to you. If you weren’t in church on Sunday, you should have been! Seriously, I hope you have as much fun reading as I have writing. I love getting to preach every Sunday!
Until next time, keep looking up…