The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

02/12/2010

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Be In Control


"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" (Rom. 12:12).

The famous song writer Johnny Mercer claimed in his memoirs that in the early 40s he went to hear the famous preacher known as Father Divine speak. His topic was; "You got to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative." From that sermon he wrote the lyrics in 1944 to the popular song, "AC-CECT-TCHU-ATE THE POSITIVE (Mister In-Between). If you are curious, google it...It even mentions Jonah in the whale and Noah in the ark. The chorus goes like this; You've got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative, don't mess with Mister In-Between." The song was recorded by many famous artists over the next forty years from Bing Crosby to Aretha Franklin. The advice is good!

The question, however, is how do we achieve this level of positivity? First and foremost, it is important to realize that being positive is a choice. There are so many things in life over which we have no control. The poor people of Haiti had absolutely no control over that earthquake. There are circumstances in life which we may not be able to control or change. What we can control is how we react to them. We can choose to put our tails between our legs and sulk when misfortune befalls us, or to think positive when times are hard. James writes; "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance" (1:2). If we can't figure out how to make lemonade, we are destined to have a sour disposition when we are tested.

Today's verse gives us the recipe for looking to the bright side. "Be joyful in hope." We can never lose sight of the hope that lies within each of us...."Patient in affliction." Every walk we take is always taken one step at a time. Each step brings us closer to our goal, whether we are eating lobster tail or gruel..."Faithful in prayer." Being positive means that we are always plugged into the right power source. James tells us if we want wisdom to pray for it (1:5). If we want to be joyful in our hope and patient in our affliction, we must be patient in prayer. The Lord has the power to make us paragons of positivity. Lets listen to Bing and Aretha...

Have a great day...Let your light shine for HIM.... Love mark Phil. 4:11 (a verse of positive)

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