March 22, 2018

My Favorite Easter Story

George and Rosie loved each other deeply, so much so that during the forty years they were married, they did everything together  They were inseparable in every area of life . . . except one. When George drove Rosie to church every Sunday, she went into church, and George sat out in the car and read the Sunday papers.

In time, Rosie died, and for many Sundays after that, church members looked in the parking lot, but George’s car was no longer there.

Several months later, on Easter Sunday morning, George’s car appeared again, and this time, George went into the church. The preacher delivered a stirring message on the resurrection, and then, as was his custom, he invited the members to respond.

At that moment, George stood up, and with deep emotion, announced boldly and loudly, “ROSIE LIVES.”

Then George began to sing, “My wild Irish rose, the sweetest flower that grows . . .”  One person joined in, then another, and finally the entire congregation was joyfully singing what someone described as, “The most beautiful Easter Hymn ever sung in our church.”

So it was with Rosie. So let it be with you.

January 17, 2018

Don’t Let the Devil Steal Your Joy II


Recently, Nancy and I had breakfast at Simply Crepes in Canandaigua, New York where the menu is especially seductive for anyone who is anxious about being overweight. 

Despite my concerns about the calories, I opted for the oatmeal topped with crème brûlée, banana, strawberries and powered sugar with a cinnamon crisp on the side. For the rest of the day, I was in a guilt funk until a friend reminded me that oatmeal is a good source of fiber, fresh fruit is healthy and breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

My “Gloomy Gus” mood changed, and I began singing, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” which incidentally, in a recent study replaced Frank Sinatra’s “I Did it My Way” as the the most popular song, other than hymns, played at funerals.

I ate judiciously for the rest of the day, and when I stepped on the scale the next morning, I discovered I lost weight!

I am grateful to my friend who encouraged me to take a second look at my culinary adventure and treat. The Devil tried to steal the joy I experienced eating my remarkable breakfast at Simply Crepes, but my friend reminded me that my attitude toward any experience is always my choice. 

In his book Strengthening Your Grip, Pastor Charles Swindoll described the power of attitude:
“I believe the single most important decision I can make on a day-to- day basis is my attitude choice . . . Attitude alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope.”