Category: Christian living

“I Want The Good News First”

That’s not my usual response. When someone says to me, “I have good news and I have bad news,” I generally say, “Give me the bad news first.” I do this so that I can get the initial sting out of the way and enjoy the boost from the positivity that follows.

The problem is that right now the bad news seems to be so thick that we can’t even get to the good news.

When I was in high school, I took a class on journalism. I remember one of the first things the teacher told me: “bad news sells.” As an optimist, this struck me to the core. Don’t people want to hear good news? Don’t they want to know about the great things that are happening all around them instead of focusing on the terrible, tragic, heartbreaking things?

I’m not suggesting that we just put on rose-colored glasses and ignore the pain and suffering all around us. I am suggesting, however, that we will drown in it if we don’t find opportunities to catch our breath and recover a bit.

Which brings me to the title of this post. I want to emphasize some good news that seems to be struggling to be heard right now.

You woke up today to be able to read this.

There are people who look up to you, value your opinion, and care about you. You make their day better by being in it.

The sun will rise tomorrow. Clouds may obscure it, but make no mistake–it is there.

Do you have a spouse who loves you? That’s a gift. Kids? They, likewise, are precious. Friends? Even if they are few, treasure them. To borrow a line from James Taylor, “shower the people you love with love–” it makes everything better.

Wherever you live, there are people who would do anything to be there. Take the time to look around and enjoy where you are in life right now.

Today can be better than yesterday, and tomorrow can be better than today.

You can reject the false narrative that pineapple belongs on pizza (sorry, that was just to see if you’re paying attention).

No matter how bad your day was, your dog will be more happy to see you than you can imagine. Return the feeling.

And yes, God loves you more than you can comprehend. He’s proved it time and time again, most powerfully and effectively through the cross of Christ, but He continues to show us each and every day, by means great and small.

If you’re still reading this, you may be saying, “But what about all the bad things? The death, horror, and tragedy all around us?”

It’s still there. And, in this life, always will be. But getting a little fresh air, smiling a little, and spreading that around can be helpful to keep us going through the bad. And is we keep going long enough, we’ll get to the good again.

Let’s make the good news easier to find.

Timing is Everything

Have you ever wondered why things happen when they do? Of all the times something could click into place, or fall apart, why now?

As I was starting to write this in my office earlier today one of the staff here at Oasis called my cell to let me know there was a vehicle in the parking lot outside. Someone in the vehicle had rang the doorbell but the staff person couldn’t get to the door. My office is at the far end of the hall and I didn’t hear it ring. I headed downstairs to see if I could catch them, and sure enough they were still in the parking lot.

I looked outside the glass door of the office and saw a late-model vehicle with four occupants, all looking down. At first I thought they were all on their phones, but as I approached I saw that their eyes were closed–they were praying. I stood there for a few moments trying to figure out how to get their attention without being intrusive when they looked up and saw me. The driver rolled down his window and introduced himself.

Patrick (not his real name) and his family are in town looking at homes. They are planning to relocate here from another state, so they are in the process of trying to find just the right place. They are a little anxious because they’re stepping out into the unknown somewhat. Their realtor attends the church I pastor (Oasis Church in Ormond Beach). Patrick and his family was telling her that one of their biggest fears was trying to find a new church home, so she told them when they move to the area they really need to give ours a try. They went by to look at a house down the street from the church, and decided to just stop by and see if anyone was here. When no one immediately came to the door, they got back in the truck and decided to pray for God’s will in the parking lot. It was at this point I had walked up.

They shared their story with me, how they are seeking to be obedient to what God is calling them to. It doesn’t make a lot of sense on the surface, they said, as they are leaving a lot of sure things for a lot more unknowns, but they are certain God is working all of these things out in His timing. I prayed with them in the parking lot, asked them to keep me in the loop, and they went on their way, encouraged by the turn of events.

Why was my blog-writing session interrupted by a seemingly random visit from people looking to relocate to our area? Because God was at work. Maybe He wanted to show Patrick and his family that He was working things out in their lives in ways beyond what they could see at the moment, but He was working nonetheless. Maybe He wanted to show me that the article I thought I needed to write should be about something else entirely. Maybe He wanted to show us that He is at work around us, in ways great and small. Maybe it’s all of this, and so much more, because He is God. And He is always at work around us.

And He is always right on time.