Monday, August 31, 2009

The Joy of the Lord Is Our Strength


As a third-century man was anticipating death, he penned these last words to a friend: "It's a bad world, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people are the Christians--and I am one of them."

Today In The Word, June, 1988, p. 18.

Oh, that we would live up to such a statement today! We are living in very bad times, and it's easy to get discouraged, but let's strive to show the joy of Christ to a world who has no idea what such a joy could be like. If we don't introduce them to it, they may never have the opportunity to experience it!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

God Can Use You


Our church received a card in the mail this week. On the front of the card was a beautiful sketching of a little girl holding a stuffed rabbit. When the card was opened, we discovered that the drawing was done by a young lady with a horrible disease. The disease had crippled her hands, making them useless, and bringing an end to her artistry ( or so many thought). Through great determination, the young lady taught herself to draw using her teeth. Each 3x5 drawing takes approximately six months to complete, but the work is exquisite!

How many times have we thought that God couldn't use us for one reason or another? How many times have we doubted our talents and abilities? God has used this young lady to touch so many lives, not just through her artistic creations, but through her determination and desire to be used. We could learn a lot from her. God can use anyone, anywhere, any time. We only have to be willing.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Are You Teachable?


By showing a raise of hands, how many of you like to be wrong? Nobody, huh? How many of you like it when someone tells you you're wrong? Still nobody. We don't like to be wrong. In fact, we dislike it so much that it becomes difficult for us to accept it when we really are wrong. We fuss. We fight. We balk. We pout. We try to excuse it, but it boils down the fact that we were wrong. The Christ-like thing to do would be to take that situation, examine it, and say, "What can I learn from this so that I won't make the same mistake again?' Unfortunately, sometimes we're so defensive that we forget how to be teachable. We don't want to be taught. We want to be right! If you struggle with this problem (which I think we all do from time to time), here are few ways to become more teachable.

1. Learn to listen and listen to learn. - Many times we are not very good listeners. While the other person is talking, we're thinking about what we're going to say next. It would benefit us if we would learn to put our thoughts aside for a few minutes and completely focus on what the other person is saying.

2. Study God's Word - The Bible is full of advice and direction. No, it's not always pleasant, but God tells us what we need and not necessarily what we want. Jesus is the greatest Teacher of all time. Who better to learn from than Him?

3. Learn to accept criticism - Ouch! When we're putting our efforts into something, the last thing we want to hear is criticism. Some criticism is destructive and is meant only to hurt us. This criticism we should ignore. However, often criticism is constructive. It is someone's way of gently helping us to see the error of our ways. We don't like to have our flaws pointed out, so we pout or cry, but the fact is that we would learn so much if we would simply take the criticism the way it was intended instead of trying to turn it into an insult.

4. Set aside your pride - We don't always have to be right. If we are always right, that means we know everything, and there's nothing else to learn. WRONG! We are so far from knowing it all. We have so much to learn, but we'll never do it if we don't chunk the pride. We need to accept the fact that we mess up and are prone to mistakes. We need to acknowledge that we don't know it all and that someone else could be right in any given circumstance.

Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. - Psalm 119:33

Thursday, August 27, 2009

One Step at a Time


Let's play a little game. I'm going to give you a list of instructions. You are to read the instructions all the way through and then complete them without looking back. I hope you have a good memory!

Clap your hands once. Stomp your feet twice.
Stomp you feet once. Clap your hands twice.
Clap your hands once, snap your fingers four times.
Nod your head while stomping your feet three times.
Slap your knees twice, clap your hands once, and snap your fingers twice.
Roll your eyes, nod your head, and rub your tummy.
Clap your hands three times, snap your fingers once, and slap your knees four times.
Repeat the entire process in the reverse order.

Everybody got it? Now, without looking at the instructions above, perform the actions you just read about. Go ahead. Any time now. What do you mean you can't do it? It's not hard. I just gave you very specific directions. You can't remember? Why not? Could it be that I gave you too much information at once?

What I asked of you sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? After all, who could possibly remember all of that? Why, then, are we not satisfied when God gives us directions one step at a time? Why do we want to see the whole picture? Why do we demand that He show us the blueprint of His latest plan for our lives? He has promised to direct us. He has promised to lead us, but He never said He would give us detailed directions from point A to point B. He knows we can't handle that much information at once. All we need to know is the next step. Once we take that, He'll guide us to the next step, and on and on.

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. - Isaiah 30:21

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Interesting Facts From My Weekend


This past weekend, we took our church youth group to the Atlanta area. We rented a cabin in Ellijay, GA, went to a Braves game Friday night, went to Six Flags on Saturday, and visited a nearby church Sunday morning before heading back to Pickens. Needless to say, it was fun but exhausting! I thought you might like to hear a little about it.

1. Three and a half hours in any vehicle with 8 people is bound to be a little irritating for everyone.
2. Rained-out baseball games are no fun.
3. No matter how warm the day is, getting soaked and then having to stay in those wet clothes for nearly two hours will cool you off. (Still referring to the baseball game.)
4. It is impossible to sleep when people are playing pool in the game room which is located just outside your bedroom.
5. Four hours of sleep is NOT enough sleep!
6. Preparing breakfast for 20 people in a cabin that wasn't as "fully stocked" as we had thought was truly an interesting task.
7. Six Flags is busy on Saturdays!
8. I understand how the roller coaster "Goliath" got its name. I didn't think we'd ever get to the top of that first hill. But, wow! What a blast!
9. For those who are little "iffy" about riding roller coasters, it's not a good idea to start with the scariest one. We had a few that wouldn't ride another roller coaster after Goliath.
10. If there's a long line for Batman, skip it. It's a fun ride, but REALLY not worth an hour-long wait.
11. On the water tube ride, when they say, "You might get wet," they are lying to you. You WILL get wet!!!!! If the raging river doesn't soak you, the water cannons will!
12. Acrophobia is really, really, REALLY high and can literally scare you to the point where it takes several minutes before you can walk again because your legs are shaking so bad. (We even had one poor girl in tears. No, it wasn't me, but I was close.)
13. Superman is totally awesome. I never thought I would like a ride where you look straight down most of the time, but it was fun! I giggled the entire time.
14. The car ride back to the cabin was much quieter since everyone was sound asleep except for Jason and me.
15. Sharing one bathroom with seven guys was. . . well, I just can't find a word for that one.
16. Sunday morning was crazy, and I'll just leave it at that.
17. The church we visited was very lively. The guest preacher preached until 12:00, but then the invitation went on until 12:35. I don't really mind that except that the last people to leave the altar were done at 12:05. I have no idea how many verses of "Just As I Am" we sang.
18. Changing clothes in the bathroom at Wendy's is not very pleasant.
19. A car filled with very tired people makes for a trip full of laughter and silliness.
20. No, I didn't fall asleep in church last night, but I did sleep until after 10:00 this morning.

It is a joy and privilege to have the opportunity to get together with other Christians and have a good time. I know a lot of people in the world think that Christianity is boring and that we aren't allowed to have fun, but if those people had gone with us, they would see differently. God's people should be the happiest people in the world. We should relish the times we get to go on outings with other believers. There's such sweet fellowship (most of the time). We had a really good time this weekend, and I am very proud of our youth group for the Godly examples they were.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Unthankfulness


I've dealt with this topic a couple of times recently, but I felt that the Lord wanted me to hit on it once again. To be honest, I think it's for my benefit more than anyone else's. I often have the tendency to be thankful for things that go my way and unthankful for things that don't. Not good! The Bible says we should be thankful in all things, not just the things that go our way. This is another area of spiritual housecleaning where I need some work.

Many years ago, as the story is told, a devout king was disturbed by the ingratitude of his royal court. He prepared a large banquet for them. When the king and his royal guests were seated, by prearrangement, a beggar shuffled into the hall, sat down at the king's table, and gorged himself with food. Without saying a word, he then left the room. The guests were furious and asked permission to seize the tramp and tear him limb from limb for his ingratitude.

The king replied, "That beggar has done only once to an earthly king what each of you does three times each day to God. You sit there at the table and eat until you are satisfied. Then you walk away without recognizing God, or expressing one word of thanks to Him."

I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm guilty of the same thing. God provides for me day in and day out, and I take it for granted. God meets a need that I've been praying about, and I grumble that it wasn't quite what I had in mind. If others treated me with the ingratitude that I often show God, I would be livid. Like the royal court, I would scream, "How dare they be so ungrateful!" Yet, I discover it in my life time after time.

One of the best ways to "clean out" the unthankfulness in our lives is to stop focusing on what we don't have and start focusing on what we do have. Stop looking at everything that's going wrong and start looking at everything that's going right. Stop looking for something to complain about and start looking for something to praise God for. The things we focus on will greatly impact our attitude.

God has been so good to us. Yes, we have problems. No, things don't always work out the way we want them to. But, God has blessed us. Let's not forget to take notice of that!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Psalm 77


Do you ever feel like you're all alone? Do you ever feel like nobody can possibly understand the emotions roiling inside you? Do you ever wonder if you're the only one to ever feel this way? As I read Psalm 77, I realize that the psalmist knew exactly how I sometimes feel. In fact, I couldn't have put it better if I had written it myself. I'd like to share the passage with you today. Who knows? You might see yourself in there too.

1 [To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of Asaph.] I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me. 2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. 3 I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. 4 Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. 5 I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. 6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. 7 Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? 8 Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? 9 Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. 10 And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. 11 I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. 12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. 13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? 14 Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. 15 Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. 16 The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled. 17 The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad. 18 The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. 19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. 20 Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Gratitude By the Hour


As I was talking about gratitude yesterday, I thought of a practice I started years ago but for some reason abandoned. It's called, "Gratitude By the Hour." It's very simple. Here's how it works:

You need a clock, timer, watch, or something like that. Program it to go off every waking hour. When you hear the alarm, stop whatever you're doing and say a prayer of thankfulness. The prayer can be about:

1. something you're doing - Lord, thank you for this computer that I can use to spread encouragement to other believers
2. something in general - Lord, thank you for air conditioning on these hot summer days
3. something specific - Lord, thank you for the wonderful church service we had last night
4. something the Lord lays on your heart at that moment - Lord, thank you for meeting our needs

This is not a time for a long prayer. It's not a time for asking. It's not a time for pouring out the burdens on our heart. That can be done during our regular devotion time. This is in addition to that. This is just taking a couple of seconds each hour to thank the Lord for something He's done or will do.

I remember when I was following this routine, I stayed more positive and hopeful throughout my days. Not only that, but it helped me to keep that open communication with the Lord. I don't know why I stopped doing it, but I intend to start again. After all, we can never praise the Lord too much, and He is SO worthy of our praise!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Help! I've Misplaced My Gratitude!


For those of you who haven't heard, my husband, Jason, started his new job this week. He was laid off in January, and we've been struggling to make ends meet for months now. Despite the temptation to cry and pout, we've tried to be strong and keep the attitude that God knows what He's doing, and He must have something special in mind. And so, we've kept the faith, and we've waited, searching the classifieds, filling out job applications, etc.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend e-mailed me and asked if Jason was still looking for work. She went on to explain that they had lost one of their workers, and they needed someone who could start immediately. At first, I was very excited. Finally, I thought. This is what we've been waiting for. God's perfect timing, right? Then, I started thinking about the situation in a little more detail.

The good part is: (1) I know these people to be good Christian people, (2) They work from their home which is less than a mile from our house, (3) The work is a good fit for Jason. The bad part is: (1) The pay is about $2/hr less than what he was making before, (2) We were both really hoping to have our online business up and running to the point that he could continue to work from home, (3) With his hours of 8-5, there won't be much time for hiking or any other family activities.

We prayed. Oh, how we prayed! We wanted to make sure this was the Lord's will. After all, we've been waiting for almost 7 months. We were expecting something spectacular. We were expecting something miraculous. Instead, we got something mediocre. We were anticipating filet mignon, and instead were given a hot dog. The more I thought about the situation, the more I found myself saying, "Lord, Is this what we've been waiting for? Is this the grand plan You had in store for us? I'm sorry, but I'm not impressed."

This plagued me for several days until I finally had my "breakdown." No, I'm not talking about a mental breakdown. I'm talking about letting go of all the steam I'd been holding in for seven months. It wasn't pretty! (My eyes are still sore and swollen from the crying.) "It's not fair," I told Jason. "We trusted Him. We waited for Him. We did everything He told us to do, and this is His reward?"

Jason straightened me out very quickly. (He usually does.) He reminded me that God has met our needs for the past seven months even without work. He reminded me that we have not missed a meal. He reminded me that we still have clothes to wear, a house to live in, and a car to drive. He reminded me that God has given us seven months to spend A LOT of time together. In essence, he pointed out my ungratefulness. Needless to say, I was put in my place, and I needed to be. I apologized to Jason for my attitude. I apologized to the Lord for my lack of faith and thankfulness.

Things are better now. I don't have all the things I would like to have, but I've been reminded that I have all I need. And for that, I am thankful!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

You're Being Watched!


Dwight L. Moody once said, "Of one hundred men, one will read the Bible; the ninety-nine will read the Christian."

My pastor often states from the pulpit, "You are the only Bible some people will read."

These statements ought to convict us as Christians. They ought to make us pray, "Lord, help me to be a better Christian. Help me to better reflect Your love and mercy. Help others to see You in me."

Think about it. There are a lot of people in this world that have no desire to become a Christian. They don't plan on picking up a Bible any time soon. They view Christianity as an out-dated religion for fanatics. For this reason, they look for proof to justify their view of Christianity. In other words, they study us. If we claim to be Christians, we are under the microscope for all to see, and they will study us.

What will they see? Will they see lives that are no different than their own? Will they see "Sunday morning Christians" who only go to church when it's convenient, and even then, have nothing to share from the experience? Or, will they see Jesus shining through?

No, we can't be perfect, and I'm not suggesting we try. What I am suggesting is that we strive to become more like Christ so that when others look at us, they see Him. Wouldn't it thrill you to have someone come up to you and say, "I don't know what it is, but there's something different about you. I want what you have. Can you help me?" That would be awesome!

Let's live our lives as if the world were watching. We, as Christians, are under great scrutiny. Let's do everything we can to make sure that the world sees Christ and not our feeble attempts to play "Christian." Remember, the word "Christian" means "Christ-like." Let's live it or not claim it!

Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart. - II Corinthians 3:3

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Knowing What's Best


My dogs have fleas. Well, actually, at this point, my dogs AND my house have fleas. The little critters seem to be everywhere. I have so many bites, you can play connect the dots on my legs. It's driving me crazy! We've given them baths in the special flea formula. We've sprayed them. We've sprayed the house. Just when I think we've finally gotten rid of them, they seem to repopulate. Will it never end?

In our efforts to get rid of the fleas, we've taken to spraying ourselves and the dogs with a special blend of essential oils that repels and eventually kills the fleas. We feel this is better than constantly spraying them down with chemicals. However, the way they act when we spray them, you would think we were spraying them with liquid fire. They hate it! It doesn't stink. It doesn't burn. In fact, some of the oils even help soothe the bites we already have. Still, when they see the bottle in my hand, they run and hide. I've tried explaining to them that it's best for them, but they don't seem to believe me.

As I was lying in bed last night, I kept thinking, If only they would trust me and realize that I have their best interest at heart. I'm trying to help them. I know they don't like it and that it's unpleasant, but it will help them in the long run. If only I could get them to understand. In the stillness of the night, I heard/felt the Lord say, Do you understand?

Ouch! In His own special way, God was reminding me that I need to trust Him in all areas of my life because He has my best interest at heart. Even when I don't like it and times are unpleasant, I need to remember that I will be better off in the end. The Lord wants me to understand that He is trying to help me, too. I need to do a better job of trusting that He knows what is best for me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Impending Storms


You've heard the Boy Scout motto, "Be prepared," right? Sure, we all have. The question is how many of us live by that motto. I'm sorry to say that the other day I was caught in a situation that I wasn't prepared for.

The day was just an ordinary day. It was late afternoon, and we had taken our dogs to the park for a walk. We were about 3/4 of a mile from the car when we heard the rumbling of thunder in the distance. Disappointed to cut our walk short, but now wanting to get caught in a storm, we turned around and headed back. We had only walked a handful of steps when the bottom fell out. To say it was pouring would be a serious understatement. In just a few moments, the sky was completely dark, the rain was coming down so hard I could barely see, and the thunder that had seemed so distant was upon us. We picked up our pace. Jason was walking briskly. I was half-running. The dogs were unhappy about getting wet, so they kept stopping to shake water from their backs (a lot of good that was doing.)

As we walked/ran to the car, I was sure that the rain would soon stop. It didn't. It poured the entire 3/4 of a mile. My clothes were drenched and clingy. My shoes were squishing with every step I took. My hat was soaked through to my hair which was soaked through to my head and so on. Mud splashed on my legs as I walked through the quickly forming puddles/rivers. It was not a pleasant walk!

Finally, we arrived at the car. We hurriedly got the dogs in the car and then jumped in ourselves. Now, before I go any farther in this story, let me remind you that we are seasoned hikers. We know that the trails can be unpredictable, so it is important to be prepared for many different things. We had our water, our first aid kit, snacks, flashlight, etc. We even had extra shirts in the car. What we didn't have was a towel or a change of shoes and socks. We know that we should keep them in the car. In fact, we've had intentions of putting them in the car for a long time. We just never got around to it. So, we changed into our dry shirts (which didn't stay dry very long) and rode home in complete misery.

If you live in South Carolina in the summer, you'll soon discover that thunderstorms can pop up very quickly. The sky can be completely clear one minute and dark and stormy the next. Scattered thunderstorms are a normal part of a South Carolina summer.

Unfortunately, storms are also a normal part of the Christian life. It may look like smooth sailing, but if you stick around long enough, you'll see storms on the horizon. The storms will come. The question is will we be prepared.

Preparing for the storms in the Christian life involves a little more than just grabbing a towel and an extra pair of shoes. It requires a well-rooted faith, a knowledge of the Word, and a close relationship with Jesus Christ. It's hard to work on these things in the middle of storm, and that's why we should have these things firmly established before we face the storm. Use the "sunny" times as opportunities to build up your essentials for facing the storm. Prepare yourself for the onslaught, for it will come. Just like a thunderstorm, you don't know where and when it's going to hit. Be prepared lest you find yourself soaking wet and shivering from the cold while thinking how much better things could have been had you listened to the Boy Scouts.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Watch Your Step!


The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. - Psalm 37:23-24

I took a little tumble yesterday. It was nothing serious, but I am a little sore today. We were visiting a beautiful waterfall since it was such a lovely day and the dogs had an excess of energy. The trail was actually a very easy trail. The ground was packed hard, and there were only a few roots sticking up here and there. Easy going! The trouble came when I veered off the trail. My oldest dog decided she wanted to take a short cut down to the water so she could go for a swim. I (being the genius that I am sometimes) decided to follow her.

I honestly don't know what happened. One minute I was walking carefully down the steep slope, and the next I was covered in mud and sitting on my bottom at the bottom of the slope. It happened so fast that I really didn't even have time to catch myself, although I tried. (My left wrist and shoulder can attest to that.) After a couple of minutes, I rose on my shaking legs and dusted my clothes off the best I could.

Isn't life the same way sometimes? You're walking along, minding your own business, and then suddenly you find yourself sprawled on the ground. The truth is life is hard, and we will fall. We will face circumstances that will knock our feet right out from under us. Encouraging? Hardly. But, what is encouraging is knowing that our Heavenly Father is ready to pick us up, dust us off, and help us to get back on the right path.

If I hadn't gotten off the trail, I probably wouldn't have fallen. The same is true in our Christian walk. God has laid out a path for each of us. We would do well to stay on that path. Now, I'm not saying that if we always stay on that path we'll never have any trouble. Even Jesus was tempted by the devil, and He was certainly in the will of God. What I'm saying is that it's harder to fall when we're walking in the footsteps of the Savior. Sometimes, the path is rough. Sometimes, it isn't clearly marked. Sometimes, the path seems really long. But, it we veer off, we're sure to find trouble.

Let's try to avoid these falls. They're hard on the body, and even harder on the spirit! But, when we do fall, let's remember that the Lord is there with us, drying our tears and helping us to stand. What a precious promise!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Satisfied; Not Satisfied


Mitch is a 90-lb Shepherd mix. He is precious and very-well behaved. But, when Mitch wants something, he WILL let you know. He will howl. He will jump. He will bounce. He will growl. He will dance. He will turn circles. He hasn't done cartwheels yet, but I'm sure it will come soon enough. The point is when Mitch wants something, he won't be quiet until either he gets it or he's reprimanded. (Usually, he gets it. My dogs are spoiled!)

This morning, I was reminded of how adamant he was to get his way. We had planned to take the dogs for a hike up to a local waterfall. As soon as the hiking boots came out, he knew what we had planned. The problem was that he was ready to go right then. We had to finish getting dressed, pack the backpack, take care of a few little things around the house, etc. Mitch doesn't understand this. He understands one thing: GO! (Well, actually two things: Go and eat!)

So, as we were going about getting things ready, Mitch was making his "request" known. He howled, jumped, barked, danced, etc. I'm sure the neighbors thought we were torturing the poor dog. He was hopping around so much that I got tired just watching him. Finally, we were ready to go. We walked out to the truck and opened the door. He immediately hopped into "his seat." We weren't even out of the neighborhood before he was asleep. All that fuss! All that commotion! All that temper tantrum! But, at that point, he had what he wanted, and so he was completely satisfied.

Don't we act the same way sometimes? We want certain things, and we're not satisfied with the things that we already have. Mitch has a nice home. He has a nice bed (unfortunately it is MY bed.) He eats good food. He has a "Mommy" and "Daddy" who love him, spend time with him, and take care of him. All in all, he has a VERY good life. But, it's not enough. He wants more. Aren't we the same way?

We have been so blessed by the Lord, but sometimes we fail to see those blessings because we're looking at the things we don't have. I don't have a big screen TV. I don't have a nice new car. I don't have designer clothing. I don't have this. I don't have that, and I won't be satisfied until I do! When we start itemizing what we do and don't have, our thankfulness will rapidly dwindle, and we'll become unsatisfied with life and what it has to offer us. That leads us to desire more. Then we'll stop at nothing to meet those desires. We'll jump through hoops. We'll throw fits. Hey, we'll even throw away our morals if it will get us the things we desire. More, more, more! We must have more!

The Bible tells us to be content with what we have. Today, instead of dwelling on what we don't have, let's thank God for what we DO have. Our lives will be better, and our soul will be more satisfied. Besides, who wants to hear us howl?

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. - Hebrews 13:5