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Be a ‘Happy to Do It’ Christian

15 Jul

Ever ponder some of these serious questions in life?

  • If a man speaks in the forest and there’s no woman to hear him, is he still wrong?
  • If a parsley farmer is sued, do they garnish his wages?
  • Do fish get cramps after eating?
  • What do little birdies see when they get knocked unconscious?
  • If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

OK… those aren’t so serious. But one of the questions Randy Draper asks in his book,* Happy to Do It: Get Your ‘Snap’ On! IS serious … a basic attitude check.

He asks, “Will you have an attitude of service today, or will this day be an ‘all about me’ day?”

“Every day, either consciously or otherwise, each of us is faced with the opportunity to either be ‘Happy to Do It’ or ‘Hacked to Do It,'” Draper wrote.

The spirit of living sacrificially for others, he said, can be summed up in four simple words ~ Happy to do it! ~ and it’s a perspective that can be developed. We can condition ourselves to have a serving “Happy to do it” attitude as simply as developing an attitude of gratitude or forgiving others. It’s all about making the serving choice and conditioning ourselves to have a new habit.

Draper says he likes to snap his fingers when he says “Happy to do it” to someone’s request, “because it mentally ‘snaps’ me into this conditioned mindset.”

“Not only will you serve with gladness,” he said, “but soon you’ll also get to the point where you don’t’ even realize you’re doing it! What’s more, you’ll actually begin to look for opportunities to live out Christ before others.”

Attitudes shape us, and this kind of serving with joy attitude wells up from within, not dependent upon circumstances or how others respond. “Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever your circumstances ~ attitude is everything,” Draper said. He echoes the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:4 and 11-14, and again in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

“This rejoicing mindset has got to be the default, not the attitude of convenience,” Draper said.

Scriptures like these challenge us to stay positive when it’s easier to enjoy a pity party or when we’re asked to do the tough stuff … to serve when it’s unpleasant or hard. And they remind us to trust God and be thankful in all circumstances ~ a sure cure for worry.

“Think of these three attitudes ~ the ‘rejoice regardless’ attitude the worry-free attitude, and the attitude of service ~ as a kind of trifecta of living like the Lord, Draper says. “Don’t expect to wake up tomorrow and have them all mastered. It’s a day-by-day thing, kind of like exercise…. Keep your eyes on the Lord and your heart before God and the attitudes will come in their right time.”

I have to admit that sometimes I don’t serve with a happy face. And an unhappy face comes from an unhappy heart that hasn’t fully learned to be content and joyful in service. Maybe I need to “snap” to it! How about you?

Do you struggle with a “Happy to Do It!” serving attitude? How have you learned to serve with joy?

* quotations from Randy Draper, Happy to Do It: Get Your ‘Snap’ On! (HeartSpring Media, 2012)

Nurture Your Humor!

8 Jul

Humor can soften the stresses of life, if we will let it. 

A frantic man got home from work to find his wife doubled over in pain. He grabbed the phone and called the hospital.

“You’ve gotta send help now!” he yelled into the phone. “My wife’s going into labor!”

“Oh, I see,” the nurse said. “OK, calm down. Is this your wife’s first child?’

“No,” the distraught man screamed. “This is her husband!” LOL!

Author  Karen O’Connor wrote many practical books with fun titles, including Gettin’ Old Aint for Wimps, Walkin’ with God Ain’t for Wimps and three other “wimp” books, plus books on aging beautifully and dealing with senior moments.

Karen is a frequent contributor to the blog, Finding God Daily. In a recent post, she wrote about “Finding God in Humor.” 

She asked, “Have you considered finding God in humor? … I believe God wants us to be full of joy and laughter, and to give up fretting and worrying.”

I thought Karen’s article, “Five Ways to Nurture Your Sense of Humor,” was helpful, and I want to encourage LOL with God readers to check their lives to see if these tips are part of their everyday experiences. Karen says:

1. Share a funny or embarrassing moment with someone you know, and enjoy it together.

My friend Melissa called to say she sprayed her hair with furniture polish. “It fell flat but had a nice shine!”

2. Laugh at yourself even when you feel like crying. I thought I’d misplaced my cell phone only to discover I was using it right then to speak with my neighbor. Oh my!

3. Cheer up sick friends with a book of humorous stories or jokes. Help them discover that, as Will Rogers said, “Laughter is the best medicine.”

Hmm… I wonder whether Rogers got that concept from the Bible?  Proverbs 17:22

4. Find humor even in serious situations. A woman whose hair was growing in after chemo treatments said her husband Dan helped her laugh every day. “We had a short-haired dog a the time, so when my hair started coming in, he clapped me on the back and said, ‘Great. Now I have a short-haired wife, too!’ I liked my new look so well, I never let my hair grow long again.”

5. Make a list of scripture verses that encourage laughter and tack them up on your mirror or bulletin board to review each day. Here are a few:

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy” (Psalm 126:2).

“A happy heart makes the face cheerful … ” (Proverbs 15:13).

“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh” (Luke 6:21).

Finding God in humor is easy, Karen says, once you look for him there.

She’s so right. Our circumstances can change in a moment, but we will always have the option of choosing our attitudes and looking for God and the lessons He might want to teach us in those circumstances.

I recently heard about a woman whose husband died. In time, she discovered that her life in widowhood ~ which would never be the same ~ had some unexpected blessings. God often surprised her with wonderful moments of joy in her new, single-again adventure with Him. It wasn’t easy, but with great courage, and trusting in the Lord’s presence and promises, she chose to look for positives and “grow” her joy.

I like the word that Karen used … nurture. We must nurture our sense of humor. We must actively help it grow. Karen gave us five ways, and I want to add one more. I think that one of the most effective ways to nurture our humor is to relax in the great purposes of the sovereign God who loves us.

I was at a playground recently and I watched children laugh and play with abandon, knowing that their parents were watching over them. They felt safe, so they could give in to joy! It reminded me of one of my favorite songs: “This is my Father’s World.” One of the verses says: “This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet”

Yes, God is in charge. Even in the tough times, God rules! His purposes are sure. He has a plan for our lives. Ultimately, we will rejoice in praise and worship throughout eternity ~ but we get glimpses of that incredible joy this side of heaven, too.

In her post, Karen quotes Isaiah 55:12:  “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” What a great picture!

Want a big smile? Imagine God leading you forward in joy and peace ~ in victory in the midst of your circumstances.

And then picture the mountains bellowing out a hearty, happy song of praise with all the trees joyously swaying and “clapping” along.

Are you smiling yet? Talk about finding God in humor!

Got Post-Christmas Blahs?

26 Dec

There’s a funny “Day after Christmas” poem that might describe many homes in America:

‘Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house,
Every creature was hurting — even the mouse.
The toys were all broken, their batteries dead;
Santa passed out, with some ice on his head.

Wrapping and ribbons just covered the floor, while
Upstairs the family continued to snore.
And I in my T-shirt, new Reeboks and jeans,
Went into the kitchen and started to clean.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the sink to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains, and threw up the sash.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a little white truck, with an over-sized mirror.
The driver was smiling, so lively and grand;
The patch on his jacket said “U.S. POSTMAN.”

With a handful of bills, he grinned like a fox.
Then quickly he stuffed them into our mailbox.
Bill after bill, after bill, they still came.
Whistling and shouting he called them by name:

“Now Dillard’s, now Broadway’s, now Penny’s and Sears;
Here’s Levitz’ and Target’s and Mervyn’s ~ all here!!
To the tip or your limit, every store, every mall,
Now chargeaway-chargeaway-chargeaway all!”

He whooped and he whistled as he finished his work.
He filled up the box, and then turned with a jerk.
He sprang to his truck and he drove down the road,
Driving much faster with just half a load.

Then I heard him exclaim with great holiday cheer,
“Enjoy what you got … YOU’LL BE PAYING ALL YEAR!” (1)

And then there are all the “returns” after Christmas.

Brian Bill dealt with this by quoting a poem by Dave Veerman called “Many Happy Returns” ~

“‘Twas the day after Christmas, And all through the room
Strewn wrappings were crying For use of a broom

The children were scattered, The friends’ gifts exploring,
Since now most of theirs Were broken or boring.

All tummies were stuffed From the fabulous feast;
Leftovers would serve For one month at least.

And mama and papa Were countryside ranging,
Those unwanted gifts Returned or exchanging.

Yes, Christmas is past With its bustle and noise,
Sales and carols, Santas and toys.

Decorations are packed, The Yule tree’s discarded.
The holiday’s over, Just as we got started….” (2)

It’s so true … if we’re not careful … all the post-Christmas bills and returns will get us down (unless, of course, we paid for it all with cash and chose perfect gifts).

Sometimes, as hard as we try, Christmas is disappointing. It’s like the child who opened all his gifts and then declared, “Is that all there is?” Or maybe there are some relationship problems. Or maybe there is so much activity and you run on adrenaline … and then you crash.  (I know it’s only the day after Christmas… it might take a bit to catch up with you!)

Here’s how I’ve always dealt with post-Christmas blues Continue reading

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