After two years of writing this blog, a definite pattern has emerged. I post often in the summer, but slow to a stop once school starts. Once stopped, I don’t resume until the NEXT summer.
My plan going forward is to post every Saturday at 6 pm. To keep this going, I am writing and scheduling posts now —when I have more time to write. My goal for this fall is to set a time-slot every week to write. This way, I’ll be more consistent with content.
I enjoy applying scripture to stories from my own life and others. Thanks for reading my blog, and I look forward to reading yours. God’s best to you. David
As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.
My mother grew up on a 160 acre cotton farm in the sandy hills of southwest Oklahoma. The nearest town, of any size, was 15 miles away. Such isolation made self-reliance a given.
Because the farm was a ‘far piece’ from anywhere, as my grandfather liked to say, grandmother often served as a country doctor. Cuts were wrapped in a clean rag soaked in turpentine, and the cure for almost any internal ailment was a substantial dose of castor oil.
Grandmother also had a curious way of determining a diagnosis prior to treatment. If you told her you weren’t feeling well (I did this only once) she would say, “Let me see your tongue.” This was the only time I was allowed to stick my tongue out at my maternal forebearer.
You see, Grandmother believed the color of one’s tongue revealed their general state of health. I tried to tell her about the green Jolly Rancher I’d been sucking on, but she STILL brought out the castor oil.
Jesus knows a thing or two about tongues as well.
But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man unclean. (Matthew 15:18 NIV) For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45 NIV)
The REAL me is reflected in my words.
Here’s how I picture it:
The tongue is like a thermometer, while the heart is like a thermostat–the former is effected by the latter.
This connection between words, actions and heart is as real as death and taxes.
I love how the psychedelic NYC street performer, Matthew Silver, talks about human beings. He’s quite the philosopher.
You’re already doing, you’re always doing what’s in your heart; you can’t get away from your heart.
Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
“Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it.”
In the early 1990’s, social psychologist Roy Baumeister began exploring the negativity bias–the widely accepted belief that bad has a stronger impact on people than good. His team conducted extensive research, hoping to find situations where a single positive circumstance was actually stronger than a negative one.
They couldn’t find any.
In fact, Baumeister and his colleagues discovered that negative life events are typically three to five times stronger than positive ones. In other words, it takes four compliments to make up for one put down.
He lays it all out in his 2019 book, The Power of Bad.
Here’s my favorite take away: our brains are hard-wired to focus on bad, but the rational mind can take this in stride by finding the good.
Baumeister recommends a positivity ratio of 4 to 1 (4 good to 1 bad).
Finding the good isn’t a new idea; it’s as least as old as the 1913 novel, Pollyanna. In the book, a young orphan named Pollyanna uses the “glad game” to cope with the circumstances and sorrows of her life.
Here’s how to play:
Always look for something to be glad about in any situation.
This makes sense. Maybe it’s why gratitude journals are so popular, while keeping an ingratitude journal is a non-starter.
But let’s take it all the way back to the first century. The apostle Paul reminded the Christians in Rome that God uses EVERYTHING for the good of those who love and serve Him (Romans 8:28).
“Child, I got this. It’s ALL good.”
Finally, brothers, Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.