Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tonight at NRN: TRUNK N TREAT!

The activities begin at 5:00pm
9200 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh NC 27615 
If you are decorating your car and plan to distribute candy - join us no later than 4:45.
Looking forward to an awesome time!
This is an outreach ministry of North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene
Here is a little something to help put you in the mood for a good time...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Preparing for prayer this evening at NRN

Tonight we gather for prayer at 6:30 at NRN.   It is so important that we go before the throne of God each week.  Here is a reminder of the great truth that we have a great High Priest who prays for us.  His name is Jesus.... 

                   Before the Throne of God = Go Fish

 Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!

Words: Charitie Bancroft, 1863.
Music: William Bradbury, 1861.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Introduction of the church at Sardis

This Sunday I plan to continue in the current teaching series:

If I have ever been tempted to preach a "fire and brimstone" type of sermon - this is it! 
         Listen to this introduction about the church at Sardis:

Sir William Ramsay said of Sardis that . . . nowhere was there a greater example of the contrast between past splendor and present decay.
Please invite someone to join you this Sunday at NRN!
This Sunday will be a time of life changes at NRN...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Community ministry of NRN in pictures

Over the month of October I have taken a few pictures around the church.  They say "a picture is worth a thousand words."  I wonder how our community be affected if our church was not here?
                       I think the pictures may help us understand a sampling of our influence:

Baby shower for Brickman family

Voting Precinct for local community

New home of Comedy Café

Monday thru Friday mornings each week the YMCA uses our facility

We are in partnership with STEM and host a class each week:

 Sunday October 13 was an awesome day of worship and fellowship:

This coming Thursday we will provide a Trunk N Treat for our local community.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Reflections of my message today at NRN

Today I continued in the teaching series:

I included these words of review and introduction:

Part 5    Thyatira: The Tolerant Church
Ephesus: The insensitive church
Smyrna: The faithful church

Pergamum: The compromising church

       Respecting the authority of Jesus and His Word
       Recognize the deceptive nature of compromise
       Return to seeing the situation through God’s eyes
       Rejoice in your relationship with Jesus
Thyatira: The tolerant church
The definition I gave today:
   Tolerate: Becoming comfortable with things that should be uncomfortable. 
Here are some clips for your consideration:

Is it really time to revise the Bible?

Here is the clip I used this morning:

Plan to join us next week as we continue in this series:

‘Those who have ears should listen to what the Holy Spirit says to the churches.’ 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

As we prepare for a great Sunday at NRN my heart is full once again with anticipation of what God is going to share with us.  Let us gather with hearts filled with faith and expectation.  Here will sing praise to our God and worship His Holy Name!   Here is the worship set we have prepared as a gift to the Lord:

We stand in honor of our King Jesus - and sing of His greatest:

We now express our gratitude and thanks to the Lord in corporate prayer....

We continue in our worship by presenting unto the Lord the offering we have prepared and purposed in our heart to give today.  As we give - the worship team brings an awesome song of worship to the Lord:

And now we draw our attention to the preaching of God's Word.  We continue in the teaching series:


Friday, October 25, 2013

Introduction to the Church in Thyatira - The Tolerant Church

Here is an introduction to the Church in Thyatira.   Are you familiar with this church? 
This is a primer for the message this coming Sunday at NRN.

Also - don't forget:


Thursday, October 24, 2013

History of the name for the Washington Redskins

There's been a recent controversy surrounding the name of the football team, the Washington Redskins. But how many people know the history of the Redskins name?
Do you know the history of the Washington Redskins?  As the issue becomes increasingly contentious — with many claiming the name is racist or discriminatory and pushing for a change — Glenn Beck tackled the issue head-on Friday.

 “Ninety percent of Native Americans feel that the name isn’t offensive and shouldn’t be changed,” Beck remarked, echoing a letter written by the Redskins owner Dan Snyder to fans. “Students at primarily Native American schools all across America wear the name with pride, and say now they’re afraid they might lose the name. At Kingston Oklahoma high school, which is 58 percent Native American, the name ‘Redskins’ has been worn by its students for 104 years.  In fact, ‘Redskins’ was a name first used by Native Americans.”

Photo via The Blaze TV

“In 1932, the NFL team moved to the historic Fenway Park and were left under the leadership of George Preston Marshall. The very next year, Marshall changed the name to ‘Redskins.’ Why?” Beck continued. “Well that’s a good question for the president to ask … the name was changed to ‘Redskins’ to honor then-coach Lone Star Dietz, an American Sioux.  So the name actually pays tribute to a great people.”
Switching to a deeply sarcastic voice, imitating those who want the name changed, Beck remarked: “But the people it pays tribute to?  Oh, I guess they just don’t know any better. But Obama does. And Peter King does. And NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell does. But the majority of the Indians … don’t have a clue at all.  The speech police using political correctness again to take care of these helpless, hopeless people so they are never harmed again.  It’s for their own good…”
Beck said perhaps it’s not those who don’t want the name changed who are out of touch, but those “who have no connection to the Native American culture, people out there trying to draw attention to themselves.”
Watch the complete clip below:


Story By:
Now, there has been a new logo recommended for the Washington Redskins. 
What do you think?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

One of the greastest motivations for prayer I can tell you....

Tonight at 6:30 we gather for prayer at NRN!  Each Wednesday I attempt to provide a primer for prayer.  This is one that is very different than usual.  I hope that after you see what I believe is one of  the greatest motivations for prayer - you will immediately call at least three people and ask them to view this and invite them to join you for prayer this evening.  Are you ready?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


1. Determine to have a good day.
Make up your mind that you are going to make the best of this day, no matter what! A firm decision to live positively is half the battle.

2. Start your day with a prayer. 

Before you get out of bed, pause and thank God for your life and ask for guidance and wisdom.

3. Don't sweat the small stuff. 

Isn't it funny how we can become so uptight about non-essentials? I have a friend who has calls these petty frustrations "bugs on the windshield of life." Refuse to let minor annoyances get the best of you.

4. Look for postcards from heaven. 

Every day God sends postcards that say, "I love you." He hides them in the most unexpected places - and you have to search in order to find them. Each day is packed full of blessings for you to enjoy. Look again!

5. Release your resentment and regret. 

Some people are hostage to the past. Regret and resentment (the Siamese twins of misery) bind us up so we cannot enjoy the present. Yesterday is history. You can't go back and change it - but you can do something about today. Make the most of your moments - and do not allow bandits from your past to rob your joy.

6. Invest your life in service to others. 

One of the best ways to be happy and fulfilled in life is to be a blessing to others. Look for ways to help and encourage other people, and you will be rewarded with happiness. I've never yet met a generous grouch.

7. Always tell the truth. 

Honesty brings freedom to the soul.

8. Nurture your most important relationships. 

Be sure to cherish your faith, family and friends. Don't get so caught up in the hectic pace of making a living that you forget to make a life. The human heart is rich, indeed, when full of love.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A time of personal worship Here is Love, In Christ Alone, Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus

A time of worship from a chapel at PLNU Chapel 02-22-13.  George Williamson directs a time of worship unto the Lord -  "Here is Love, In Christ Alone & Tis So Sweet"

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Church in Pergamum - A reflection from my message today at NRN

This morning at NRN we continued in the teaching series:

The church we studied today was the Church in Pergamum.  Revelation 2:12-17
Here is a reflection and additional thoughts about my message today:
Pergamum is referred to as the city where Satan has his throne.  Revelation 2:13 says that Pergamum is where “where Satan has his throne” and also says “where Satan lives.” This may be the only place in the bible where Jesus actually gives a physical address for Satan.  At Pergamum it is plainly obvious what John, the beloved, is referring to as “the throne of Satan”.
Pergamum, like most ancient cities has the common people living below in the valley, and the elite and religious leaders living high in a temple fortress.  In the Acropolis of Pergamum all the local leaders had their grand palaces, but even grander were the palaces of four major Roman deities.  These included Dionysus/also called Bacchus (next to amphitheatre); Athena (Wisdom; whose temple is next to library); Zeus (most powerful god); Trajan (Roman Emperor from 138AD) on top of the mountain. Surrounding the mountain were other minor deities.

   An Archaeologist sketch of Pergamum in the first century.

The white marble grandiose temples would have easily been considered a wonder of the world in the days of the early church.  These deities represented power and control through the worship of Emperor Trajan.  This was more than just a political maneuver, but he was regarded as a major god.  With his divine status the Emperors could demand anything they desired.
Sexual immorality and other kinds of debauchery (our English word “debauchery” comes from the name of this god Bacchus also known as Dionysus).  Next to every temple to Dionysus is an amphitheater.  Here they performed dramatic plays, tragedies and comedies yet included performances which strived to seduce and bring out erotic sexual behavior.  Dionysus was a god who was worshiped with all kinds of sexual immorality beyond what I am prepared to explain in this blog. Literally everything you can imagine was done.
Zeus is the supreme God of the Greeks and represents the strongest and most powerful of deities.  Zeus was the chief of all deities.  He could control and manipulate other gods as well.  This altar to Zeus was one of the most significant places of worship in Anatolia (or Turkey).  Zeus was to be feared and served.  The emperors and all other deities were subject to his power as well.  Thus, Zeus has always been a significant deity worshiped by political leaders who need power and control to remain in their positions.
Athena represents wisdom and the power of humanism.  Next to every temple of Athena is always a library.  Athena is worshiped as a source of knowledge.  The Greeks were the most advanced civilization of their day and much knowledge we have today in science, medicine, religion, engineering and even politics is derived from the libraries collected at Athena’s temples.  Pergamum was a significant temple which included works from the Alexandria library (the biggest in the ancient world) given to them by Cleopatra herself.  Worship of Athena represents the power of humanity to conquer and understand everything.  It is the human pride and centers on humanism.
Together, this mountain of worship represents what Revelation, and Jesus himself, refers to as the throne of Satan.  But does the story of Pergamum stop there?  Are the ruined temples of the throne of Satan mean that Satan is defeated?  No, not by any means.
In the early 1980’s I lived in the Northern Virginia area outside of Washington, DC.  I visited the Capitol building itself and I was stuck by something odd.  The name of the center of the capitol, the rotunda, is referred to as the “Temple of Liberty”.  In that temple, it is full of Greek gods.  The entire architectural style is Greek as well. George Washington, our first President, is depicted as a deity in the center of the rotunda.  He is surrounded by depictions of numerous Greek gods.  The capitol building itself sits on a hill.  Other immediate buildings include the Supreme Court (most powerful body in the United States).  It is surrounded by libraries and museums which gathers knowledge from every part of the world in the various Smithsonian buildings.  The Presidential palace (White House) is nearby, along with the National Treasury (a very real god of America).  In the immediate area are also some of the most incredible places for performing arts, such as the Kennedy Center. At the other end of this elaborately designed city are the military offices, including the national cemetery with the entombed remains of America’s heroes.  The Pentagon remains the largest building in the world by square footage.  This one building controls armies, nations and millions of soldiers across the entire world.  There are US military in hundreds of nations of the world.  The resemblance to Pergamum is easy to view.  I am not suggesting that Washington, DC is the throne of Satan, but in this place we find power, wisdom, the arts, military, commerce, education and many more keys to controlling not only a nation, but global influence.  Millions, if not billions of people’s lives are impacted by what happens in these places.
Where does Satan live today?  Where is the throne of Satan?  It is not for me to say as I do not know.  Only Jesus knows.  What is Pergamum (the ancient throne of Satan) today? Nothing.  It is a tourist attraction for people who like to study and see the broken stones of empires of the past, which have ceased to exist.  The throne of Satan is no longer in Pergamum.  It has moved and it did so long ago.  Satan continues to exert his influence around the world causing evil in every form to grow stronger and stronger.
Jesus has called us believer to “overcome”.  Be faithful in the truth that we know in Jesus Christ.  Do not waver.  They will threaten, oppress, torture, persecute and despise true believers, but you must not give in.  We have a promise from God as to what will happen to Satan and his followers.
“When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever”                                                       (Revelation 20:7-10).
The day of Satan and his control is coming to an end.  Satan is active producing evil of every kind all over the world.  We have to stand strong till the end.  The end will come, and Jesus will win.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.                                                                     (Revelation 2:17)
Jesus Christ said he would give us a white stone with a new name written on it.  Do you think Jesus is literally going to hand you a white stone with a new name?



Saturday, October 19, 2013

Preparing for Worship on Sunday October 20

As we gather we worship tomorrow at NRN - my heart is overflowing with praise to the Lord!  God is moving in an awesome way at our church.  I look forward to greeting returning guest and several first time guest tomorrow.  I am very excited about the Word of God given to me by the Lord.

Here is the planned order of worship - Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise!  Praise the Name of the Lord! 


We enter into a time of prayer.  

As we bring our financial gifts to the Lord - I prayer God will be pleased by our generosity.

Here is a little something to consider as we prepare to give to the Lord...

The worship team will lead us in a great song of commitment and praise unto the Lord:

Now - It's time for the preaching of God's Word....

Friday, October 18, 2013

Why is my church not growing?

My church is not growing. People come, but they do not stay. We’ve analyzed all the majors and feel we are doing what we should, but they do not stay.
Here is an expanded version of the advice from a trusted friend:

It’s hard to diagnose here without more information. I do believe God wants the church to grow. We are to make disciples, and part of discipleship is making more disciples. That, in and of itself is growth.
A few quick comments first:

God is in charge of the numbers.
People can disagree with me (and do) when I say I believe healthy churches are growing. Some grow in different ways. Some internally and some by raising up people who go outside the church to make disciples. Regardless of how growth occurs, all of us must agree God is ultimately in control.

The Holy Spirit grows people and therefore the church.
We aren’t without responsibility in doing our part. We’ve been given an assignment to be a body with many parts, but we don’t ultimately grow people or churches.

Churches go through seasons, just as individual believers do.
There are seasons we grow more than others and seasons we are simply maturing to grow later.

There are no cookie cutter answers.
Just as God makes people unique, churches are unique because they are comprised of unique people.
With those clarifications, here are a few quick thoughts to help you discern your particular situation:

1. Do a survey of anyone who visited in the last year.
Ask them why they stayed or didn’t stay. Ask them for ideas they have to improve a visitor's experience. Ask them how they found the church. Be prepared for some hard answers, but you may discover things you aren’t seeing.

2. Do a church wide/or leadership wide half-day brainstorming session, depending on the size of your church.
You want enough people to have a wide range of ideas, but not so many that you never get anything accomplished. I’ve done this with 12 and I’ve done it with 100. That’s getting a little large, but you don’t want to exclude people who are genuinely concerned and want to help the church.

I prefer people who have positive dispositions, but you need a range of thought. You might even bring someone in to facilitate this process. Many times there are answers in the room that come from collected thinking. Ask, why aren’t people staying and what can we do?
You may need to do a second half-day, perhaps with a smaller group, to summarize and make conclusions from the feedback of the larger group. In my experience, you will produce some key thoughts from an exercise like this which will spur momentum, in addition to creating renewed energy among these key leaders. (But you’ll have to act on some of the suggestions.)

3. Pay a community member (or a professional consultant if you can afford it) to “secret shop” your church and give you honest feedback.
You can often find someone to do this free of charge simply to help the church, but there are professionals who know what to look for in a church visit. Many times, we can’t see what’s missing on our own.

The bottom line is that you’ll have to do something intentional to get the answers you don’t have.

There are good church consultants out there if you want to take that step. Let me know if you want some names and contact information. But, keep asking the questions you’re asking. Our mission as a church hasn’t changed, but the culture around us is changing rapidly. We must continue to grow as church leaders in order to continue to make new disciples.


       More from Ron Edmondson or visit Ron at

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Introduction to the church at Pergamum - The Seat of Satan

A preview of this coming Sunday.  Are you familiar with the church at Pergamum?   Here is a background for this church:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

As we pray - what are we really counting on...?

This evening at NRN we will once again gather for a season of Corporate Prayer.  Each Wednesday I look forward to gathering with others for great conversation and then a time of prayer.  I seek God's Face this evening as we pray and lift our prayers in faith.  And the importance of our time together?  Here is a short primer for our time this evening:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The truth of the letters to the 7 churches of Revelation

As we continue this coming Sunday is the current teaching series from the Book of Revelation I felt the need to remind you that as this is a wake up call to the church.  Here the truth of God.

This is written from God's perspective to the seven churches mentioned in Revelation 2-3 as a whole. My hope is that this maybe inspires you because we are the church and we are called to be the body of Christ to the world. Satan will tell us that we are not worth it and that we have no chance of making any difference but God's Word reminds us that Satan and the world have been overcome by the power and blood of the perfect lamb, Jesus Christ. That same power lives inside of us and gives us the victory. All that is left is for us to take action. So let us arise, church, for the battle is won and the victory is ours!

Blessings and peace to you.


Monday, October 14, 2013

The 70's in 6 minutes and more....

Last week I posted a picture from my high school year book.  My senior year in high school took place in ( are you ready......) 197...

Here is the music of the 70's in 6 minutes.  Enjoy....

Here is a little more music humor.....

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Reflection from my message today at NRN!

This morning at NRN we celebrated a great day in the LORD!  Thanks to all who made the annual Pig Pickin' a HUGE SUCCESS! 

I believe God spoke to us last Sunday as I had prepared a message from the current teaching series and was unable to preach the sermon due to a moving of the Lord in our worship.  Each Sunday as I stand before our church family I strive to be sensitive to the leading of the Lord and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

Today I shared the message God laid upon my heart.  It came from the current teaching series:

Imagine a group of believers that Jesus dictated a letter of COMFORT and ENCOURAGEMENT.   Even the way in which He identified Himself must have uplifted these persecuted followers who daily faced the treat of death: “I am the first and last, who was dead, and has come to life.” This is the church in Smyrna.

 “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:

These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.”                      Revelation 2:8-11

The name “Smyrna” means “bitter.   It is an encouragement to us because no matter what experiences God’s people may have, Jesus identifies with them. 

2 Corinthians 4:17 (The Message) “So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.  These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us.  There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”
Here is a testimony of a dear friend who is facing at time of suffering and has a wonderful testimony of the Lord's strength and of her faith. 

Sharron and I met Crystal when she was a student at Indiana Wesleyan University.  She married Matthew Blake and they serve as missionaries with the Wesleyan Church. 
 In November 2009 when began her Caringbridge  journal with these words:

I'm not sure how to begin.  How does one begin to share from the heart the uncertainties that come from the diagnosis of cancer?  Here is her story:
I believe God is a good God.  I believe that He is carrying me and my family through this journey.  This is so important to me because at only 35 years old, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer on November 20, 2009.    My husband and I live in the Czech Republic.  We are here to share about the hope we have in Christ Jesus.  My hope continues to be in God who is much greater than I can imagine.  Blessed be the Name of the Lord.
I found my first lump in my breast in the middle of January 2009.  I had an ultrasound of it and the doctors said not to worry.  It was normal for someone my age and fit the criteria for fibroadenoma.  I went back to have another ultrasound in August to check on the size.  It had grown from 6mm to 9mm.  That's not much in 6 months, so the doctors again said that we would wait and see.  I should come again next April or May 2010.  It's a good thing I didn't wait!  In October while my husband was traveling back to the States, I found a second lump and 3 weeks later when I made another appointment for the ultrasound, a third lump.  I had an ultrasound and mammogram on November 10th.  Two days later, I met with an oncologist who did another ultrasound, mammogram, ultrasound of the liver, chest x-ray, and a biopsy of the 1st and 2nd lumps.  The first lump had grown to 16mm.  It had almost doubled in three months!

The results came back on November 20th.  I have breast cancer.  It is aggressively growing. 

Just before this last appointment, God gave me a verse to claim throughout this journey: Isaiah 41:13, "For I am the Lord your God who holds you in his right hand and says to you, "Do not fear, I will help you."  First of all--God is God, second, he's already been holding me (before the doctors ever began examining me), and third, HE will help me. 

We will stay here in Brno, Czech Republic to have all of our doctor visits and treatments.  It is the best choice for us at this stage of life.  I am the proud mom of three kids--ages 9, 7, and 4.  Our kids will have fewer disruptions than if we headed back to live in the States.  So, may God go with us.    

Thank you for joining our journey!
And the journey continues on... on June 20, 2012, my cancer came back...this time in my bones.  I believe that God touched and healed me from breast cancer...and while I am surprised that it came back...I know that God isn't.  I look forward to seeing how God is going to show his power and heal me again...while at the same time revealing HIS plan for my life.  I still believe that our God is an awesome God and I am so thankful that HE directs, comforts, and cares for me.  My hope is that one day everyone will know that there is a God and that through Jesus Christ; we can live in Heaven for all of eternity...if we believe, and ask God to forgive the bad in our lives.  He is merciful and so amazing!

Let's continue on this journey...


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Preparing for Worship at NRN on our Annual Pig Pickin' Sunday - October 13, 2013

As we prepare for worship tomorrow at NRN I hope we have made that phone call; email; text message or tweet to invite a friend, neighbor, work associate, family member  - somebody - everybody - to church tomorrow.  Let us go out into the field and bring forth the harvest by inviting guest to the table of the Lord.  I promise an invitation for salvation will be given and lives will be changed and transformed before our very eyes.
Here is the worship set that is prepared for tomorrow... enjoy and be blessed as you sing to the Lord:

We begin by putting our hands together and sing loud to our Great God....


Friday, October 11, 2013

Are you ready for this coming Sunday at NRN! Pig Pickin' Sunday is near....

Join us this Sunday at NRN!  This Sunday could be a great day of worship and celebration as you invite your friends, work associates, neighbors and family members.  I am praying we reach our goal of over 100 adults in worship!   This is easily achievable as every regular attender commits to be in attendance and if you bring a guest. 

 Who will you invite to church for this Sunday?

I know we are not "Rocky River" ...but I think you get the point.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Nurture a grateful heart - Change the channel

You and I were created to be thankful. Deep down inside our hearts and minds, we know we're supposed to be content. Unfortunately, envy, resentments, and various circumstances of life can derail us along the way.

 Instead of being positive and thankful, we find ourselves being negative, ungrateful, and petty. (In other words - hard to live with!)

 Think about it for a moment. If you were to measure your uplifting thoughts of gratitude vs. your mental visits to the "complaint department" during the last week, which would win out?


Most people would find that the complaints outweigh the praises.

I don't think anybody is grumpy on purpose. Nobody intends to be ungrateful. Discontentment sneaks up on us and attacks us from behind. Often, we don't even realize when we are being a negative pain in the neck!

The Bible recognizes this fact of human nature, and reminds us to "Give thanks in all circumstances." (I Thess. 5:17)

Here are a few thoughts for those who wish to nurture a grateful heart:

1) Declare war on petty negativism!

As soon as you are aware of its nasty presence in your heart, evict it immediately and lock the door. Why keep a smelly skunk in the house?

2) Count your blessings.

There are many things going right in your life. Focus on these, rather than the annoyances.

3) Refuse to compare yourself with others.

The comparison trap breeds selfishness, self-pity and greed.

4) Change the channel!

Your mind can broadcast the day's events through Channel P (positive) or Channel N (negative). You get to choose your announcer. In our house, if someone is being a grouch, it's not uncommon for somebody else to say, "It's time to change to Channel P!"

5) Keep God at the centerand you will not dwell on the garbage.

A person who habitually complains, gossips, and criticizes needs a spiritual tune-up!

6) Commit yourself to encouraging others.

As you focus on helping others, your heart will be filled with sunshine! I've never met a negative encourager.