Thoughts become actions, actions become habits, habits become character, and character reaps a destiny There was once an optimistic farmer who couldn’t wait to greet each new day with a resounding, &quot;Good morning, God!&quot; He lived near a woman whose morning greeting was more like, &quot;Good God... morning?&quot; They were each a trial to the other. Where he saw opportunity, she saw problems. Where he was satisfied, she was discontented. One bright morning he exclaimed, &quot;Look at the beautiful sky! Did you see that glorious sunrise?&quot; &quot;Yeah,&quot; she countered. &quot;It’ll probably get so hot the crops will scorch!&quot; During an afternoon shower, he commented, &quot;Isn’t this wonderful? Mother Nature is giving the corn a drink today!” And if it doesn’t stop before too long,&quot; came the sour reply, &quot;we’ll wish we’d taken out flood insurance on the crops!&quot; Convinced that he could instill some awe and wonder in her hardened attitude, he bought a remarkable dog. It could perform remarkable and impossible feats, which, the farmer thought, would surely amaze even his neighbor. So he invited her to watch his dog perform.” Fetch!&quot; he commanded, as he tossed a stick out into a lake. The dog bounded after the stick, walked on the water, and retrieved it. &quot;What do you think of that?&quot; he asked, smiling. &quot;Not much of a dog&quot; she frowned. &quot;Can’t even swim, can he?&quot; Just as optimism & pessimism are diametrically opposed to each other, Like oil & water, Greed & godliness do not mix! In order to pursue the one, we must flee the other.
Three Chefs: Three chefs were working in a restaurant one day, when their kitchen supervisor approached them with an order, and instructions on how to properly prepare it. The first chef looked at the instructions, and said &quot;You can show a recipe to 100 different people, and each of them get a different meaning. You can’t understand recipes, so why even read them?&quot; The second chef took a slightly different angle. He said &quot;I don’t believe this recipe to be the literal directions of our supervisor. I believe the ingredients all have hidden meanings. I think the meat represents one thing, the spices and other ingredients symbolize something else, and the time and cooking temperature are some sort of mysterious allegory.&quot; While the other two were engaging in their debate, the third chef simply took the recipe, and prepared the dish according to instructions. The dish turned out to be delicious, and I’m sure you can guess what happened next. This chef was rewarded for following directions properly, while the other two were reprimanded, or worse. While this little story may seem somewhat silly, it sadly illustrates the attitude that many people take toward God and His Word, the Bible, which is to be OUR instructions, our &quot;recipe,&quot; for how to live our lives.
“ The Prayer of Cyrus Brown”: “ The proper way for a man to pray,” Said Deacon Lemuel Keyes, “ And the only proper attitude Is down upon his knees.” “ No, I should say the way to pray,” Said Reverend Doctor Wise, “ Is standing straight with outstretched arms And rapt and upturned eyes.” “ Oh, no, no, no,” said Elder Slow, “Such posture is too proud. A man should pray with eyes fast-closed And head contritely bowed.” “ It seems to me his hand should be Austerely clasped in front With both thumbs pointing toward the ground,” Said Reverend Doctor Blunt. “ Well, I pray while resting every day,” Said Mr. Henry Pack. “So I should think you say your prayers While lying on your back.” “ Last year I fell in Murphy’s well— Headfirst,” said Cyrus Brown. “With both my knees a’stickin’ up And my head a’pointin’ down.” “And I made a prayer right then and there, The best prayer I ever said, The prayingest prayer I ever prayed, A’standing on my head.” “So, if your prayers come From mouth and not from soul; God may just someday let you Fall into a hole!”
An American, British and Filipino pastor got talking about giving money to God. The American pastor says: &quot;when God tells me so, I just empty my wallet in the collection plate.&quot; The British pastor is quite impressed with this impulsive but charitable attitude of his American colleague and is ashamed to tell of his approach. He says: &quot;I draw a circle of about a meter or three feet around me, I throw the money in the air and everything that lands within the circle, I’ll put in the collection plate.&quot; The Filipino pastor, thrifty and penny pincher that he is, is not ashamed of his own approach. &quot;I just throw everything in the air and everything that God wants, He’ll just keep and the rest that falls to the ground is mine again.&quot;
Holy Land Conversion A Jewish man had a son who did not take his faith seriously. The father warned him that if his attitude did not change, he would send the boy to the Holy Land to become a good Jew. The son continued to refuse and true to his word, the father sent the son off to the Holy Land. Six months later the son returned, and to his father’s dismay, the boy had become a Christian. The father was absolutely dumbfounded, so he went to share his confusion with his best friend. His friend replied, &quot;Funny you should mention. I too had trouble with my son. I too sent him to the Holy Land to become a good Jew, and he too came back a Christian. What DO we do?&quot; After discussing it a while, they decided to go seek counsel from the Rabbi. They said, &quot;Rabbi, what do we do? We both have the same problem. We both have trouble with our sons. We both sent them to the Holy Land to become good Jews. And they both come back Christians. What do we do?&quot; With an incredulous look, the Rabbi replied, &quot;Funny you should mention. I too have trouble with my son. I too sent him to the Holy Land to become a good Jew, and he too came back a Christian. What DO we do?&quot; After discussing it for a while, they decided to pray. They said, &quot;God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, what do we do? We all three have the same problem. We all three have trouble with our sons. We all three sent our sons to the Holy Land to become good Jews. And all three sons came back Christians. What do we do?&quot; Then lightning flashed, thunder clapped, and a booming voice said, &quot;Funny you should mention . . .&quot;
Stay Positive Philippians 4:8-9
Stay Positive <ul><li>Philippians 4:8-9 (NIV) 8 Finally, brothers, 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. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. </li></ul><ul><li>Philippians 4:8-9 (The Message) Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. </li></ul>
Stay Positive <ul><li>Our God is a positive God. We witness the positivity of God each day as God allows dew, rain, sunshine, clouds, and storms to permeate the earth. All are necessary for the furtherance of life, whether each is welcome at the point in time in which they happen is of no consequence to God. One of the keys to life is the development and the sustenance of a positive attitude. The wise king and poet Solomon shares with us that there is nothing new under the sun; the core of what happens in life is consistent, it is our response to the happenings that seems to change from time to time. In today’s message we will take a basic look at some principles that will help us to remain positive when less than positive situations occur. </li></ul>
Stay Positive <ul><li>Peace comes through positive thinking. The word "think" ( logizesthe ) means to consider, reflect, reason, and ponder. The idea is that of focusing our thoughts until they shape our behavior. The truth is: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>what we think is what we become. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>where we have kept our minds is where we are. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>our thoughts shape our behavior. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what we do is what we think. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>William Barclay says, "...it is a law of life that, if a man thinks of something often enough and long enough, he will come to the stage when he cannot stop thinking about it. His thoughts will be quite literally in a groove out of which he cannot jerk them" (The Letters to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians, p.97) </li></ul>
Stay Positive <ul><li>By Your Decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV) This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live </li></ul><ul><li>The Story of Joseph </li></ul>
Stay Positive <ul><li>By Your Devotion </li></ul><ul><li>The Parable of the Persistent Widow – Luke 18:1-8 </li></ul><ul><li>The experiences of David </li></ul>
Stay Positive <ul><li>By Your Diligence </li></ul><ul><li>Psalm 84:11 (NKJV) For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly. </li></ul><ul><li>Proverbs 11:27 (NIV) He who seeks good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it. </li></ul><ul><li>Joshua 1:7-8 (NIV) 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. </li></ul>
Stay Positive <ul><li>By His Direction </li></ul><ul><li>Psalms 32:8 (NIV) I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. </li></ul><ul><li>Proverbs 3:6 (NIV) in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. </li></ul>
Stay Positive <ul><li>Make a decision for God and stick with it </li></ul><ul><li>Remain devoted to God regardless of circumstances </li></ul><ul><li>Be diligent with God’s business </li></ul><ul><li>Follow God’s directions </li></ul>