One of my dearest friends is named Gloria and I have known her since I was 18. We met doing summer stock theatre on the east coast and formed a deep friendship that has lasted for many years. I went off to Texas to university and by the time I moved to New York she had moved to Los Angeles. Still, our friendship grew through all those years, mostly through letters. (Remember those, hand written on stationary and actually mailed with a stamp?) I will always remember her sign off from the phone when we would speak and also the close of her letters. She would write or say, “Be of Good Cheer.” I have always thought what a wonderful thing to be reminded of each day. Yes, life can throw us lots of curves and twists, but we can “Be of Good Cheer” through it all with the affirmation that we are always held, provided for, nurtured and comforted by a God who loves us unconditionally. We can’t deny that we hurt when bad things happen, but through that hurt we can also have the assurance that healing has already begun. Oftentimes it may take a while for us to experience that healing, but we can know that the God who loves us unconditionally has never forsaken us. My grandmother used to say on cloudy days, “Well, we can still have sunshine in our hearts.”
Know that with whatever is going on in your life God is still there. And know even more that God is always walking with you through the darkness toward leading a Spirit filled life filled with Divine Light and awash with new possibility.
Dolores Leckey in her book, Seven Essentials for the Spiritual Journey gives us some great insight into ways we can lead a Spirit filled life that are all quite simple to do. She begins by reminding us that we must always remember that God is here, always. Right now, right where we are. She continues with the following thoughts: If you can, move slowly rather than quickly, noticing the things around you. (Messy? Neat? Sunny? Tasty?) and people (Tense? Relaxed? Angry? Sad? Friendly?) Be self aware. (Am I making a mess? Am I way too tidy? Do I like my clothes?) Notice what is going on within you (feeling Tense? Relaxed? Angry? Sad? Friendly?, why would that be?). Remember nothing can separate you from the love of God, and she encourages us to take that literally. Grab a Sabbath (take a real break) when you can. (In scripture we read that Jesus continually went off by himself to pray). Look back on the day – moments, people, events that brought joy or sorrow. Very importantly, remember God is a God of new beginnings. Stop and ask, “Wait. What’s going on here?” Practice gratitude throughout the day and linger over it, if possible. Practice smiling. A smile can go a lot further sometimes than any words we may offer. And finally, remember God, for God never forgets about you.
These essentials are indeed easy, but they are also vitally important. Remember that we can change our lives by changing our focus and our thoughts. So, what do you want your life to be like? And, what thoughts and beliefs are you willing to have to support that goal? Each thought is a new seed of possibility. Perhaps the obvious question then is, how does your garden grow? Good seeds produce good plants. Good thoughts produce an abundant Christ filled life of joy, happiness, love and hope.
Oh, and yes, Be of Good Cheer!
“Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his suffering ones.” (Isaiah 49: 13)
Affirmation: “My life returns to perfect focus as I connect anew with God.”
Rev. Jefferson Beeker
We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.
Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life. Please join us each Sunday at 5:30 PM in our Social Hall at First Christian Church, North Hollywood, CA for our Contemporary Celebration and Praise service. Come as you are and enjoy an hour of great music from our wonderful band and singers, inspiring messages and good fellowship. Those things in life that you have been seeking have also been seeking you. Now is a good time to receive them. We will lift one another to live exciting, abundant new lives of possibility and purpose.
Also, join me on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8 PM for an hour of guided and silent meditation, reflection, affirmation and prayer. As always, we will share communion together. Everyone is welcome.
First Christian Church, North Hollywood, 4390 Colfax Avenue, Studio City, CA 91604. http://www.fccnh.org
Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker