"Good Evening," said Reverend Brown to his congregation in his well-modulated baritone voice. "If you read our Church's Bulletin, you know that tonight will be my last service because I will retire at the end of this year, which only has five hours left. Because of it, in tonight's sermon which will be "My last sermon" instead of the Bible readings and prayers I will share with you the most important thing I learned during thirty years as a servant of God, and I will called it "MAKE A HAPPY NEW YEAR, ONE DAY AT A TIME."As he glanced at his parishioners sitting in the front pews he noticed that the sermon's title had called their attention, so, he continued: "Those of you, who believe it is possible, please raise your right hand." Nobody did. Some parishioners sneer.
"I see nobody believes it is possible." he said."So, maybe I should have clarified my original statement. I never meant to say that every day during your year will be happy, because there is no such a thing as a "happy day." Every day seems to bring us problems, disappointments, aggravations, and something that disturb us, but, in spite of that, we can still make a Happy New year at the end. How? Simply by changing our thinking." As he glanced at his congregation, he noticed that those sitting on the front pews had stopped sneering, so, knowing than his words had captured their attention, again, he continue speaking: "And to validate the suggestions that I am about to give you tonight, I will start with facts"
During his life, which dates from 563-483 B.C., pondering for truths, Gautama Buddha discovered that our lives are shaped by our minds; so, he concluded that we become what we think about most of the time. In l611, when The King James Bible was written, we read the same idea in Romans 12:2 written in a different way: "And be not conform to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewal of your mind, Asserting the fact that we can control our lives, by changing our thoughts." He paused for a few minutes before continuing.
"What this renewal of mind means, is that we as Christians must allow our faith in God to impregnate our thoughts, so that God could give us not only the strength to bear our problems, but the thoughts we need to understand them, and the wisdom to solve them at the end. Because of it, we will never feel hopeless again. This time, the congregation got so silent, that the minister could listen to their breathing. He continued:
"And if you are wondering how all this is related to having a happy new year one day at the time, I will add one more fact. During their studies of human behavior, psychologists have observed that the first five minutes of each day, after we wake up, are extraordinarily important because in those first minutes the conscious mind is in the most malleable and easy to influence state. So, they suggest to depressed patients, to use those minutes to saturate their minds with positive thoughts and look forward to a good day.
Since I have practice this for all this years, today I am going to suggest to all of you to do the same: Starting tomorrow, when you wake up, start saturating your mind with hope by saying aloud to yourselves the text from Psalm ll8, verse 24.
This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Repeat that every day, thinking of that day as a "gift from God, and since it is a GIFT give it a purpose: Start, continue or finish a project that you must finish but has been postponing: at work, or at home: cleaning a room, a closet, the garage, writing an assignment, paying a bill. You get the idea. Then, during the day, do something for somebody else. Drive your kids to school, cook for your family, visit e-mail or call somebody. And the third thing you do, is spend at least an hour of every day, doing what you want to do: go to the gym, watch TV, read a book, go see a movie, go shopping. And at night, just before going to sleep, spend a few minutes thanking God for the day. even when things did not go as you wanted to go because when something goes wrong during the day. or does not turn out as you planed, it may have been for a reason. And you do not know the reason. So, instead of cursing, calling names to yourself, getting enraged, which may caused you a stroke, feeling frustrated, or getting depress, continue thinking that if you placed this day under God's control, what happened was for a reason.
Maybe HIS reason was to teach you something that you needed to learn, or because what you wanted was not good for you, or your approach was wrong, so you should try a different way. You get the idea. so I just will add that when things do not work the way we wanted, we need the humility to accept Failure, and continue believing that with God's help you eventually you will be able to resolve your problem, By doing this every day, you will eventually have a good year."
"Not if you have an incurable disease." said a woman in the back
"Even if you do, Because you may not die, you may even be cured, because you have to remember that "Nothing is impossible for God," said the minister. And he added: "And even if the person dies, as Christians we don't believe that is the end of a person, just a transition to a better place. We believe in eternal life. remember? Shortly before dying on the cross, Christ told one of the thieves Truly I tell you; today we will be meeting in Paradise."
Minister Brown ended the sermon by saying "And now, let us bow our heads and pray for peace around the world, for the end of the pandemic, for our needs, and for all the souls of those who are now among the Angels in heaven, and promise to remember that every Day is a day that the Lord had made and that we will rejoice and be glad in it. HAPPY NEW YEAR
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