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Pastor’s Corner

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Music Trivia:

If you guessed that the song written by Bob Dylan was titled from a line in the Shakespeare play Hamlet was "Murder Most Foul”, you were right. Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, in the middle of the coronavirus lock down, wrote this song which addressed the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and its many political contradictions and lessons.


Ecclesiastes 5:20 "God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past."

We notice the two types of people that this verse addresses:

1) He who thankfully receives God's gifts of wealth and health, or the lacj thereof, in their lives.

2) The person who lives his life unhappy with his station in life.

The first person recognizes the many blessings which God has brought in his present life, refusing to focus over his past struggles. This wise person finds joy and rewards in each day to the point that he is busy being thankful with his many blessings and the challenges brought to him in life, whereas the other person spends his life feeling slighted, and harmed by the difficulties with which his life is filled .

We all have these same choices. We can fill our lives with thoughts of drudgery and disappointment or we can be filled with thoughts of future challenges and opportunities. Will we brood over the shortness of life and its tragedies and inequities? Or will we joy in God's faithfulness, and keeping our mind occupied with the joy of our present circumstances?

These differing outlooks are in our hands to choose which path we will take.

In my childhood, we lived in a small community outside of Joplin that was called Royal Heights. We were nestled between two houses on our street, with two children on either side of us with very differing outlooks. On one side was a boy who seemed to wake up with a smile on his face ready to meet life with a new joy in the events of his day. On the other side was a boy who woke up with a frown and a reason to find unhappiness that was sure to come to him in his day.

Can you guess who had the most friends and fun in his day? Of course, it was the smiling joyful boy.

We had a vacant lot next to our house that we gardened with vegetables. Many days our first duty was to pull all the weeds then hoe each row when we came home from school. Greg, the happy boy, on most days would join me in this task and then we would be able to play sooner. On the other hand, Mike, the frowning boy, would stand outside the garden and complain about his day, and how no one wanted to play with him.

I think this experience in my life demonstrates this very lesson drawn from our verse. Will you complain and be filled with unhappiness, or will you see each struggle in a positive light and attempt to work through each challenge? You can clearly see that both the joy or the complaining come from the same incidents. The difference is in our outlook. This difference is our willful choice.

Yesterday Kevin, Lindsay's husband, was recounting a Christian group of men who partner together to help to bring aid and comfort to various nonprofit groups. His reflection of the efforts that these noble men seek to do to assist and build up programs that are bent on good causes was undeniably positive. His sharing of their personal benefits and the joy that these men gain from their efforts was undeniable. From our conversation yesterday, this thought came to me this morning: Their focus on assisting others in a joyful positive way brings joy to all that are involved, both to those giving and those receiving! This is what Solomon was reflecting on.

So Go With God and He will fill your mind and heart with joy and blessing. The outcome is up to you, will it be Joy OR Brooding. It's in your court, my dear one.

brenda x
Lindsay Winterton


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