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.”

January 1, 2018

The Apostle Paul and the Washington Redskins

Growing up in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, back in the Forties I was a Washington Redskins fan. From 1940 through 1945, the Skins won four NFL East Division Championships, and I rarely missed listening to each game on the radio on a Sunday afternoon. 

On October 27, 2014, the Redskins played the Dallas Cowboys who had only lost one game by that date. Prior to the game, everyone of the pundits picked the Cowboys to win, but through determination, perseverance and passion for the game, the Washington Redskins won.

Two thousand years ago, the apostle Paul was not familiar with any sport remotely similar to modern American football, but his letters reveal a general knowledge of the popular athletic events of his day like running, boxing and wrestling. As a result he often used a sports metaphor to remind church members that a Christian life also requires training, discipline and strength of purpose.

In addition, St. Paul told his readers that the prize for athletes is a perishable garland of green leaves, but the prize for faithful Christians will never die! In a letter to his close friend, Timothy, the aging apostle Paul commented on the prize he anticipated as a result of a life devoted to the Lord.  
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. 
                                                                        2 Timothy 4:7-8