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April 8th -- "Shut Up, Little Mary Sunshine!"

Devotion – April 8th – “Shut up, Little Mary Sunshine!” The other morning I woke up committing myself to being grateful for the things around me, rather than frustrated by what wasn’t going well due to the corona virus outbreak. I put the dogs out to do their duty, looked up in the sky and took in all the stars. I acknowledged God’s wonderful creation. I took in a deep breath of the new spring smells, and celebrated winter’s passing. During my morning time with God, the devotions and scripture seemed to speak to the idea of gratitude. After exercise and a shower, I went to the office and began my work with a grateful heart. Then Ann came downstairs. She put the dogs out and when she came back in, she said, “It’s another cloudy and icky day. I’m tired of this.” I replied, “Honey, I have to disagree with you. Did you take a deep breath and catch the smell of spring? Did you thank God for the fact that though it’s raining, it isn’t snowing?” She gave me a belligerent look and said, “No I didn’t, and you can just shut up, little Mary Sunshine!” Needless to say, we both broke into laughter and after some talking we decided to try our best to see everything around us through the eyes of gratitude (For the record Ann still hasn’t apologized for telling me to shut up). Here is a wonderful Psalm of Gratitude: Psalm 100: “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing. Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name. For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” I know I just shared a devotional on Lamenting – sharing our pain and frustrations with God over the situation we find ourselves in – and that’s a fair and good thing to do. But, today I also want you to consider looking not through eyes that see what isn’t right, but through eyes that see everything we have as a gift, given to us by a loving and generous God. There is an Christian Orthodox denomination that says this: “Do not leave your bed in the morning until you have delivered to God gratitude for 100 things.” Now that might be a lot, but would it be possible for you tomorrow morning, to send up a dozen things you are grateful for before you get out of bed? And throughout this day, write down all the other things you are grateful for, and then when your list hits 100, offer that list up to God in thanks. Give it a try and see if your “seeing” changes. Maybe you will see in new ways all the blessings you have, even in these times of confusion and unpredictability. God bless you all, you blessed children of God. ~ Pastor Dan P.S. The Maundy Thursday abbreviated service and sermon will be on tomorrow morning. Good Friday’s on Friday, and Easter Sunday, I will try and have up on Saturday. Just type in “Pastor Dan Bohlman” and you should find it. I will also email out the direct link when I have them. I will also be sending out a devotional on Saturday.

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