Welcome to my blog, or should I say to the ramblings of an old man. I doubt that my ramblings are of much value, but at least I have an opportunity to share them.  So, please be kind and humor me. If nothing else of value stands out in these thoughts, I hope that you at least sense the value I place on a daily walk with the Lord.  That walk is what has provided me with motivation and a sense of purpose throughout my lifetime.  My prayer is that you, too, are experiencing this direction and joy in daily living which is available to everyone who puts his trust in Christ.  So, thanks again for joining me.  Please don't go without leaving some comments here so I can get to know you better as our paths intersect today in this blog.

Saturday, January 27, 2018


          As you probably know, life can be very hard at times.  Even for believers, it is very easy to get discouraged.  And that can sometimes even lead to depression and bitterness, even though our mind tells us to trust in Jesus who cares for us.

         I find it is especially difficult to face the senior years.  You begin to lose your good friends and loved ones and life can get very lonely.  Few care about seniors and real fellowship is hard to find.   You often aren't needed for anything anymore.  You develop new and difficult physical problems and it becomes harder to get around and take care of yourself.  The cost of living sky rockets and your income doesn't.  A few people might ask how you are, but they really don't want an answer and they are too busy to help you anyway.  Been there, experiencing that.  It is often hard to stay positive.
          But we seniors aren't the only ones who face hard times.  Right now we know some younger adults who have suddenly lost their jobs.  Some are also facing difficult physical problems, including cancer.  Some have lost parents or are helping to care for them.  This too can be very discouraging.
         Then there are younger folks who are also experiencing trials.  We have a fourth grade girl in Awana and a 15 year old boy who goes to our church who have both been diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer. They are facing serious treatments and surgeries. We know of some other young people who have other serious physical conditions and some who are going through rebellion.  That too is hard and discouraging. Discouragement isn't limited to one age group.
           Now we know that Jesus is with us in the good and bad times.  I guess at times I wish that He would just talk to me and reassure me.  But He does speak through His word.  And I am not alone when I feel that way, for the Psalmist often lamented that He wondered if the Lord really was there and cared.  But He found that He was. And He always is.
          On a recent day when all the news and events around me seemed to get worse, I was reminded of a hymn which we no longer sing in our church services.  But we can still sing it and claim it in our hearts.
1   When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. 
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

2   Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, ev'ry doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by. [Refrain]

3   When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. [Refrain]

4    So, amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey's end. [Refrain]

Listen to Guy Penrod sing this.   Count

          Now as you can probably guess, I have often been discouraged in recent months.  Sometimes it seems as though there is no solution to the growing problems, except heaven. And so I thought that I needed to try something different to try and develop a more positive attitude.
         For many years I have kept a journal, adding new entries once or twice a week.  Unfortunately, in recent months as I've recorded events, some of the entries have grown negative.  So I decided to start another journal - a praise journal.  Each day I will try to add a sentence about something positive that I experienced that day. You know, the things you often forget.  It has been interesting.  I've made numerous comments about having a good day breathing or exercising, a good day with my grand kids, safety in travel on ice and snow, problems solved and a variety of blessings I have experienced.  God has been good and I am hopeful that this new activity will help me stay positive as I face the many trials and difficult problems which haven't gone away.
         Are you discouraged?  Remember that you aren't alone.  Jesus promised never to leave us or forsake us and He won't.  Try counting your blessings and be reminded of what God has done.  Maybe a praise journal will help.
"I will sing to the Lord all my life, I will sing praise to my God as long as I live."    Psalm 104:33

No comments: