2017-02-09 / People

Words of Encouragement

There must be a pony in here somehwere.

Longtime AP journalist Roger Alford has dedicated his retirement to a full-time ministry, and as a part of that enjoys writing uplifting and religious based columns that evoke laughter through serious biblical principals for daily life guidance.

There’s the story about twin 6-year-old boys who were total op­posites. One was always dreadfully sad and the other always vibrantly happy.

Their parents took them to a psy­chiatrist in hopes of balancing their personalities somewhat.

The psychiatrist first focused on the sad child, taking him to a room filled to the ceiling with brand new toys of all kinds. But instead of yelping with delight, the little boy burst into tears, saying he had seen much better toys at Walmart.

Next the psychiatrist took the happy child into a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. In­stead of wrinkling his nose in dis­gust, the little boy screamed with delight, climbed to the top of the manure pile, and started digging.

The psychiatrist asked him what he was doing.

“With this much manure,” the little fellow responded, “there must be a pony in here somewhere.”

Christians tend to be happy peo­ple and optimistic people. They tend to have absolute trust that God will meet their needs, and that kind of faith brings smiles.

You may recall the Apostle Paul wrote about “the peace of God that passes all understanding” in Philip­pians 4:7.

That kind of peace brings con­tentment.

Contentment brings smiles. And smiles are contagious. Happy Christians can make others feel good just by being in the same room with them.

No one should ever feel guilty about being joyful. When every­thing seems to be running amuck in this world, it’s still OK to find joy. In fact, happy Christians can have their greatest impact when times are tough.

When things were changing in the life of the Old Testament hero Joshua, God offered encourage­ment.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

Why would we ever be fright­ened or dismayed if we believed the Lord is with us wherever we go?

How to know peace of mind amid turmoil is no secret. It’s proclaimed throughout the Bible. This kind of peace comes naturally when you have a relationship with Jesus.

I’ve known an awful lot of people who have felt the need to go to the dentist office after meeting Jesus. They wanted their teeth cleaned, because they simply couldn’t get that ear-to-ear smile off their faces.

They’re as happy as that little boy on the manure pile digging for a pony.

Roger Alford offers words of en­couragement to residents of Ameri­ca's heartland. Reach him at roger­alford1@gmail.com

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