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Whatever Is

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 NIV

Last year at L Street Mission, I noticed one of our guests, I'll call him Stan, who always had a big smile on his face and a terrific upbeat attitude. Upon further conversation, he shared he had advanced Stage 4 cancer. He told me he wasn't afraid because his heart was right with God. As the disease progressed, Stan grew more tired, and we would find quiet and comfortable places where he could nap. Even then, his smile and positive attitude continued. As so frequently happens, our guests sometimes stop coming, so I'm not sure if Stan received housing or has passed, but I give thanks for the witness of his life.

It's easy to let our frame of mind influence our behavior. Some folks react negatively–you can practically see the stormy black cloud hovering over their presence. But Stan had decided that despite being without a home, uncertain where each meal would come from, and looking certain death in the face, he would dwell on the good things. He gave God thanks for each new day, for a place–any place to lay his head, for the food when it came, and for the love and care of friends who looked out for him. His faith in God gave him the peace to face what was ahead. While these words are mine, this is his testimony.

Whatever today brings, whether all is well or it feels like our world is falling apart, let's dwell on the good things. Let's praise God for this day, giving him thanks for another day to enjoy whatever we have, no matter how meager. Like Stan, let's experience the peace in knowing God and share the hope found in him with others.

Precious and loving Father, thank you for this day. Whatever we have going on in our lives right now, whatever we face this day, we thank you. We praise you for the peace and hope you bring. Help us today to focus on those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.


Pastor Tim

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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