I’m sure you know people who always seem to be upbeat all the time. They seem to enjoy life to its fullest. Their circumstances are far from ideal, but they choose to be happy anyway. The older I get, the more I’m learning to be content and even happy with even the small things of life. When I wake up each morning, I look forward to the glorious opportunity to fellowship with my Heavenly Father over a steaming cup of coffee before getting ready for work. I used to think, “Oh no, only twenty minutes before I have to get ready!” Now I just savor every moment as I prepare for my day. I used to dread having to mow my rather sizable lawn. But now I actually enjoy the time on my lawn tractor, usually in the cool of the evening. It is an excellent opportunity to pray. Do you get the point? I didn’t change my activities, just my attitude. And it made all the difference in the world.

I read an illustration about some mischievous young boys who decided to smear stinky Limburger cheese in their grandfather’s mustache while he was sleeping. As he awakened he said, “Something in here stinks.” So he went into another room and soon repeated, “Something in here stinks, too.” Then he went out onto the front porch, sniffed and proclaimed, “The whole world stinks!” Sometimes when we think the whole world stinks, it’s just the stinking attitude that we are carrying along with us. In the same way, a good attitude can be like a lovely fragrance that lingers in the air even after we have passed through.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not something you decide one time and your attitude is forever changed. It is a choice you make each new day and maybe even several times a day. Sometimes you have to do it with dogged determination. Sometimes it comes naturally. Where do you think the saying came from…“Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?” In other words, sometimes we just wake up needing an attitude adjustment! How do you think I know these things? Because I deal with them everyday, just like you. Our attitude is the ONE THING that we have absolute control over.

Rather than a pity party, wouldn’t you rather life be a continual feast? I know you’ve heard it said, “Your attitude determines you altitude.” If you want to be high on life, give yourself an attitude adjustment!

But thanks be to God, who always leads us
in triumphal procession in Christ
and through us spreads everywhere
the fragrance of the knowledge of him.
II Corinthians 2:14 NIV




For the despondent, every day brings trouble;
for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.
Proverbs 15:15
New Living Translation

Well, friends, the holidays are over. Is that a good thing? It all depends on how you look at it. Some people are terribly depressed during the holidays. I, myself, have the opportunity to be. I am divorced, my children are grown, I have no one special in my life and I’m all by myself on Christmas morning. But I do have all my family over on Christmas day and I found that I was so busy preparing that I didn’t have much time to think about it. But after Christmas is a different story. I can’t really explain it, but for me, there is such a letdown after the holidays. You cook and you clean; you put up Christmas decorations. You give gifts and you get gifts; you send cards and you get cards from friends you haven’t heard from in a year. You prepare for months for Christmas programs and cantatas. It’s a pretty hyped-up situation. But then…it’s over in one day! Like the old song says, “Is that all there is?” Well, fortunately, it isn’t all there is. The very reason for celebrating Christmas is here year round. Jesus doesn’t leave when the tree is taken down. Christ doesn’t depart when the last gift is opened. The Light of the World isn’t extinguished when the last candle is blown out! It all depends on our focus.

One of the definitions of focus is to render (an object or image) in clear outline or sharp detail by adjustment of one’s vision or an optical device; bring into focus. In this instance, what we have to bring into focus is our “mind’s eye” (or thoughts). Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he (a man) thinks in his heart, so is he.” What we focus on, dictates our mental, physical and emotional state. If I focus on the fact that I have no partner to share my life with, I can become despondent. But if I focus on the fact that I have two loving children and four beautiful granddaughters that think I’m wonderful, I have a happy heart. If I focus on the fact that I’m getting older, I can definitely become despondent! But if I focus on the fact that I’ve had a wonderful, fulfilling life thus far and it’s not over yet…I have a happy heart.

Let’s look at a more general area. The economy looks bad, doesn’t it? But the Bible tells me that “My God supplies all my needs.” On which thought should I focus? Absolutely every attitude and emotion we have depends on our focus. And be assured of this, it takes time to focus. You can’t glance at something and get a clear picture. Let’s make a resolution to focus on the positive promises in God’s Word this year. Let’s focus on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. By faith, let’s focus on the right things until we see the glass half full and not half empty. Do you want to have a continual feast this upcoming year? Then, by the grace of God, focus your mind’s eye on the things that cause you to have a happy heart.

May your New Year be free of trouble
And may your life be a continual feast!
Happy New Year!