TERRE HAUTE —
I’ll be honest with you: I’m finding it difficult to “be happy.” I’m usually one of those obnoxiously happy people. I love to hear and tell “good stories” that make me and others laugh. I’m probably the most optimistic person I know. But I confess, lately, the “happy” part has been zapped right out of me.
Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t lost my joy. I still experience the joy of the Lord, for it is where my strength comes from. But the happy, giggly, laughing part of me has gone dormant. Since I believe the Bible has the answer to any question I have, I used my handy-dandy computer-generated Bible concordance and looked up words like “laughter” and “joy” and “peace,” hoping I could find a way to restore my “be happy” attitude.
While looking up Scriptures to bring my happiness, I stumbled upon 1st Chronicles 16:34: “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” That verse led me to Psalm 100:1-5: “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever. His faithfulness continues through all generations.” As soon as I read that passage, I remembered the words of 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
And that’s when it hit me. Did I want my “be happy” attitude back? Did I want my joy to once again to bubble over into laughter? The answer was staring me right in the face: GIVE THANKS. And that’s just what I did. I gave thanks for my wonderful husband, who loves me more than I deserve. I gave thanks for my children and grandchildren and the joy they bring to my life. And then I got some paper and began to list some things God had given me — things for which I was thankful.
Sisters and brothers, for they are special people who share our childhood memories. A warm bed to sleep in on a cold night. A tall glass of iced tea and a good book. Strawberries and ice cream. All things chocolate. Air conditioning (especially this summer.) Good friends — the kind that Scripture says can love you more than a brother. A long-distant phone call from a long-distance friend. Diet soda. Peanut butter. Pepperoni pizza. Buttery popcorn. Snuggling with my cat. Putting down the cat to snuggle with my husband.
But I’m most thankful for Jesus. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8).
Guess what? Finding so much to be thankful for makes me want to laugh!
Verna Davis, speaker and writer, maybe reached at VrdSpeaks@yahoo.com.
TERRE HAUTE —
Lilly Trio concert now set for Dec. 13
After last week’s winter storm, the Angela Lilly Trio has rescheduled its performance to 7 p.m. Friday in Highland Church of Christ at 500 W. Highland Ave., Robinson, Ill.
‘Lessons and Carols’ Dec. 15 at St. Stephen’s Church
The eighth annual Community Service of Lessons and Carols will be presented at 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 215 N. Seventh St.
Puppeteers to celebrate Christmas Dec. 15 at Paris church
The Sonshine Puppeteers will present their 12th annual Christmas musical at 5:30 p.m. CST on Sunday in the Presbyterian Church, 241 W. Court St., Paris, Ill.
This year’s musical is titled “The Christmas Puzzle: How We’re All Part of God’s Picture.”
Walk through Bethlehem
The second Walk through Bethlehem Christmas is scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Vermillion County Fairgrounds in Cayuga.
Church to present ‘Music Inspired by The Story’
The Worship Arts Ministry of First Christian Church in Brazil will present “Music Inspired by The Story” at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday in the church auditorium. This multi-media program will feature the FCC Worship Band, Choir and several soloists.
Thirteen celebrate 60 years as Sisters of Providence
This year 13 Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods celebrate 60 years in the Congregation. In addition to other ministries through the years, six sisters served in the Wabash Valley, giving 105 total years of service at the places listed below.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: Dec. 7, 2013
THE JOY LADY: Shouldn’t we follow that star, bow down and worship Him?
Ask any person in any group of people to name a star, and you will get surprising answers. For instance, if you ask this certain preacher I know for the name of a star, he will smile and say, “Sandra Bullock.”
VERNA DAVIS Remember the perfect gift has already been given
I know some people who are experts at buying gifts. No matter what the circumstance, they find just the right gift for the right person at the right time. I envy those people.
CHURCH BRIEFS: Nov. 30, 2013
- Church briefs: Nov. 23, 2013
The Joy Lady: It shouldn’t be difficult to hide His Word in your heart
Psalm 119 is an interesting Psalm, too. Not only is it the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119 devotes eight verses about God and His Word to each of the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet.
- Church Briefs: Nov. 16, 2013
Campus minister making a difference
When new campus minister Andrea Beyke drove through the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College gates for the first time, she knew she was home.
Providence Center Gift Shop plans moving sale
The Gift Shop at Providence Center, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods, is having a moving sale from Sunday to Dec. 15.
Joy Lady: ‘Everything that we have … comes from God’
If I were in charge of the world, I would make sure that under-eye concealers would actually conceal the bags under my eyes. I would make my cheeks blush only when I want them to, and my lipstick would never wear off. I would make my eyes do their own bifocaling so I would no longer need glasses. And that’s just to take care of my face.
- Church briefs: Nov. 9, 2013
Gary woman receives Guerin Ministries award
Frances Ginther of Gary was recently named the Guerin Outreach Ministries Leadership and Advocacy Award recipient for 2013.
- Church briefs: Oct. 26, 2013
Joy Lady: What’s a Christian to do when bad things happen?
Remember that children’s book by Judith Viorst titled “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day?” The story recounts how, through no fault of his own, things were not going well for poor Alexander. Boy, can I relate. Last week was a terrible, horrible, no-good very bad week for me. It was only God’s hand sustaining me that got me through it.
Sisters of Providence retreat offers spiritual renewal
The Sisters of Providence invite the public to retreat to St. Mary-of-the-Woods Nov. 8-13 for the retreat, “Woodscape: A Week at the Woods.”
Maple Avenue Church to host turkey dinner
Maple Avenue United Methodist Church will host its annual turkey dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 9 in the Family Life Center, 1203 Maple Ave.
- Briefly: Oct. 26, 2013
Joy Lady: Do we have so many blessings we have forgotten to thank God?
My father was a romantic soul. He would often buy flowers or perfume or jewelry for Mom for no reason other than he loved her. He went all out for anniversaries — new dress for Mom, dinner at a nice restaurant, and a mushy romantic card. But, there was one anniversary that was a bit different. It was Tuesday, Oct. 8, 1968, and I remember it like it was yesterday.
- Briefly: Oct. 19, 2013
Marshall church planning annual Chili Day
First United Methodist Church is planning its annual Chili Day for Nov. 5. The church is at 702 Plum St., in Marshall, Ill.
- Church briefs: Oct. 19, 2013
Church Lady: Music and singing in church is all about worshiping God
OK. Check the front of the nearest Methodist hymnal for “John Wesley’s Rules of Congregational Singing,” written in 1761. Among other things, Mr. Wesley wanted church-goers to learn the hymns before they learned any other tunes.
- Briefly: October 12, 2013
- Church briefs: October 12, 2013
- More Religion Headlines
- Lilly Trio concert now set for Dec. 13