Positive Perspective- Musings and Prayer

There is so much in the news right now, between natural disasters, interpersonal violence, and ugly politics that if I dwell too much on those situations and issues I can easily feel overwhelmed and discouraged. I need to remind myself to focus on what is good and right and beautiful, in order to keep a positive perspective, even while considering how to respond to the various situations that present themselves. In fact, I find that, rather than being an escape, focusing on that which is good helps me then have a better idea of how to respond appropriately and constructively to situations that need my attention.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.    Philippians 4:8

We can choose what we allow our minds to dwell on. In this passage Paul points us in the direction of uplifting meditation.

Monday: Let’s discipline our minds today to focus on things that are just and honorable. Pray for a growing ability to recognize truth.

Tuesday: Let’s ask God to give us an appreciation for purity and true beauty, then look for such things today.

Wednesday: Do you tend to dwell on that which is commendable or that which is unattractive in others? Choose to focus on others’ strengths and see how that affects your attitude and speech.

Thursday: Throughout today let’s be alert for excellence, whether man-made or in creation, and stop to think about what makes it excellent.

Friday: Let’s look for reasons to praise God and people today. Be sure to give sincere praise wherever praise is due.

Saturday: Think about these things… Make the choice to dwell on that which is good and uplifting and encouraging.

Autumn Maple

Perspective in the midst of Injustice- Musings and Prayers

There is more than enough injustice in the world, and sometimes we can get very stuck when confronted with it, whether in the public arena or in our personal lives. How can we deal with injustice without getting tied up in knots or overwhelmed by it, without giving in to discouragement or exploding in unproductive anger? This week let’s see what Psalm 37 tells us about moving from agitation to peaceful trust.

Do not fret because of those who are evil
    or be envious of those who do wrong;
 for like the grass they will soon wither,
    like green plants they will soon die away.

 Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.

 Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him…
Psalm 37:1-2, 5-7

Monday: What is your natural response to injustice and evil? Anxiety? Anger? Agitation? Discuss the situation and your feelings with God and listen for his response.

Tuesday: It’s easy to slip into being resentful or envying others and their achievements. Let’s examine our attitudes today to see if we’re motivated by envy in any way.

Wednesday: God assures us that those who do evil will not last forever. Pray for faith to have this perspective and to be able to trust God in the meantime, even when it seems that evil has the day.

Thursday: Instead of fretting, we can commit our way to God and trust in him. This isn’t always easy, but let’s ponder how powerful and trustworthy he is and commit ourselves to following him.

Friday: If we commit our way to God and trust in him, we can count on him to make the justice of our cause clear before others. Let’s ask him to help us continue to trust and live in a way that honors him.

Saturday: Let’s take time today to be still before God, quieting our whirling minds and churning thoughts, and waiting patiently for him to act in his time.

Salt marsh watercolor