TERRE HAUTE —
I’ll be honest with you: I’m finding it difficult to “be happy.” I’m usually one of those obnoxiously happy people. I love to hear and tell “good stories” that make me and others laugh. I’m probably the most optimistic person I know. But I confess, lately, the “happy” part has been zapped right out of me.
Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t lost my joy. I still experience the joy of the Lord, for it is where my strength comes from. But the happy, giggly, laughing part of me has gone dormant. Since I believe the Bible has the answer to any question I have, I used my handy-dandy computer-generated Bible concordance and looked up words like “laughter” and “joy” and “peace,” hoping I could find a way to restore my “be happy” attitude.
While looking up Scriptures to bring my happiness, I stumbled upon 1st Chronicles 16:34: “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” That verse led me to Psalm 100:1-5: “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever. His faithfulness continues through all generations.” As soon as I read that passage, I remembered the words of 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
And that’s when it hit me. Did I want my “be happy” attitude back? Did I want my joy to once again to bubble over into laughter? The answer was staring me right in the face: GIVE THANKS. And that’s just what I did. I gave thanks for my wonderful husband, who loves me more than I deserve. I gave thanks for my children and grandchildren and the joy they bring to my life. And then I got some paper and began to list some things God had given me — things for which I was thankful.
Sisters and brothers, for they are special people who share our childhood memories. A warm bed to sleep in on a cold night. A tall glass of iced tea and a good book. Strawberries and ice cream. All things chocolate. Air conditioning (especially this summer.) Good friends — the kind that Scripture says can love you more than a brother. A long-distant phone call from a long-distance friend. Diet soda. Peanut butter. Pepperoni pizza. Buttery popcorn. Snuggling with my cat. Putting down the cat to snuggle with my husband.
But I’m most thankful for Jesus. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8).
Guess what? Finding so much to be thankful for makes me want to laugh!
Verna Davis, speaker and writer, maybe reached at VrdSpeaks@yahoo.com.
TERRE HAUTE —
Cross Lane Church accepting shoe donations
Terre Haute residents are invited to donate their shoes to help millions of peopleworldwide with a shoe drive at Cross Lane Community Church on June 2.
- Church briefs: May 18, 2013
The Joy Lady: A good morning: everything that rises must converge
Last Monday, I had a good morning.
Unity Presbyterian plans retirement open house
The congregation of Unity Presbyterian Church will stage a retirement celebration open house to honor the church’s pastor, Linda Jo Peters, from 2 to 4 p.m. on May 19 at 1207 E. Springhill Drive.
Organist will be the featured guest at church
Organist Benjamin Kolodziej will be the featured guest at an organ recital at 4 p.m. on May 19 at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, 645 Poplar St.
THE JOY LADY: Call your mom; tell her you love her, that you miss her
In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a resolution proclaiming “the second Sunday in May to be hereafter known as ‘Mother’s Day.’”
- CHURCH BRIEFS: May 11, 2013
Celebrate the women in your life with The Living Rosary
On Friday, May 10, join the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods for The Living Rosary and experience the grace and power many people have discovered by “praying by hand.”
THE JOY LADY: When awe leaves us, we leave room for doubt
In any given gathering of grade-schoolers or even a gaggle of teenagers, in all likelihood, you will hear certain words over and over:
- CHURCH BRIEFS: May 4, 2013
- RELIGION BRIEFS: May 4, 2013
Good Friday service today at St. George Orthodox
St. George Orthodox Church at 1900 S. Fourth St., Terre Haute, will celebrate its Good Friday service at 7 p.m. today (May 3) and its Easter service at 9 p.m. Saturday. The Agape (Love) service will be conducted at noon on Sunday.
Organist’s concert May 5
Organist Jonathan Rudy will be in concert performing works from the 1600’s to the present day at 4 p.m. on Sunday at Central Presbyterian Church, 125 N. Seventh St.
The concert is free and open to the public.
THE JOY LADY: Christ is coming again. Are you ready for that?
An older couple had a grandfather clock that announced each hour with the ringing of chimes.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: April 27, 2013
THE JOY LADY: Let us pray that our hearts be blessed by God
Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my uncle and his family in Florida.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: April 20, 2013
- CHURCH BRIEFS: April 13, 2013
THE JOY LADY: You can learn a lot from a box of crayons
Denis Omar is a handsome third-grader in Ocotillo, Honduras. The last time I was in his home, his colored chalk drawings decorated the concrete block walls. His mother said when she got tired of one drawing, she’d wash the wall and have Denis draw another.
- RELIGION BRIEFS: April 13, 2013
BBQ fundraiser April 13 at Allen Chapel
Historic Allen Chapel’s annual barbecue dinner fundraiser is Saturday, April 13, in the Chapel at Third and Crawford streets. Serving will be from noon to 6 p.m. with a full-line of dinner, sandwiches, sides and desserts available. Chef Stephen Miller, formerly owner of the Black Skillet and now a caterer in Cincinnati, will again prepare the barbecue.
THE JOY LADY: Most complaints tend to be pretty selfish
Complainers never think they are in the wrong. How could they be when they know everyone else is so wrong?
Church briefs: April 6, 2013
What's going on this week at area churches.
THE JOY LADY: Our attendance in worship services encourages other worshippers
There are all kinds of church attendees. Some attend church services once or twice a month, some once or twice a year. Some attend only Sunday morning worship.
African children’s choir to perform at Mount Pleasant
The Watoto Children’s Choir, traveling from Africa, began its five-month eastern U.S. tour in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on Oct. 6 and are continuing the tour through Terre Haute, Lebanon, Indianapolis, Peru, Bloomington, Columbus, Evansville and Vevay, from April 16 to May 1. All performances are free and open to the public.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: March 30, 2013
- Religion briefs: March 30, 2013
THE JOY LADY: Is it time to change your habits, attitudes?
I’m usually introduced to people as “the preacher’s wife.” No name, just “the preacher’s wife.” But I’d prefer being known by what I call my “I am” statements. For instance, I am a wife. I am a speaker, I am a writer. I am a mother, I am a mother-in-law, I am a grandmother.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: March 23, 2013
Public invited to explore Guerin’s connection to nature
The Sisters of Providence invite the public to St. Mary-of-the-Woods on April 6 to explore Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and her connection to nature.
- More Religion Headlines
- Cross Lane Church accepting shoe donations