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Listen while you read: "Ye Gates Lift Up Your Heads"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 96:9 – Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth. (NKJV)

During a recent holiday to Arizona, I would take two daily walks. Because of the intensity of the heat, I would walk in the early morning and before sunset. As I walked, I learned to meditate and listen for God's messages to me. In the midst of the desert, I could not help but wonder at our Maker's creation: cactuses, flowering fruit trees, and a plethora of bird and animal life. Only our God could create this abundance in an apparent wasteland. I started to notice something else as I focused on the beauty of God's creation: I felt peaceful, blessed, and content.

I think Paul was the originator of "positive thinking":

Philippians 4:11b – I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. (NKJV)

My faith is at the infancy stage of being content in all states, but I am learning, with God's help, how to be more content in my circumstances.

Have you noticed how easy it is to get sucked into society's negativity? The major natural disasters and brutal killings are hard to ignore, but it is also easy to be frustrated by spilling coffee on your favourite shirt, being stuck in traffic, and being cut off en route to work.

In a previous verse, Paul gives us instruction on how to be positive. I love this passage:

Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. (NKJV)

Hmm — it seems to me that, unintentionally, as I was walking in the desert, this is what I was doing, and as I walked, I repeatedly heard, "Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness."

So, instead of focusing on the coffee stain on the shirt, thank God that no one was burned. Maybe instead of grumbling about the traffic, we could focus on something "lovely" — the sun glinting off office towers or the different flowers along the route. Instead of silently berating the idiot who cut you off in traffic, perhaps you could thank God that your vehicle was not damaged and that no one was injured. Making these small adjustments in our thinking does make a difference in how positive we feel.

Prayer: Dear Lord, as life rushes past us, it is so easy to get ensnared in the "doing" and "going" of daily activities. Anything that does not quite unroll as we planned, we see as a hindrance — another thing to be endured in an already over-busy schedule. Help us, Lord, to take time to see and meditate on the many praiseworthy things around us. Help us to improve our attitudes, and make us better emissaries for You. Amen.

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About the author:

Orlanda Drebit <>
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen sister!

    Very helpful thoughts. Thank you.

    Great word of encouragement Orlanda.

    Thank you for such a good devotional; very good advice!

    So good to see a devotion coming from the Gentle Isle. Keep writing.

    Orlanda, thanks for the reminder to be positive and thankful. Blessings.

    Yes! Thanks for your words.

    Hi Orlanda..what a fitting devotional after a retreat. Hope you are enjoying and resting in Christ this week and into the future. God Bless.

    Hi Orlanda – This was a great devotional, and a great way to start the day. That passage from Philipians 4:8 was read at my wedding! A wonderful and inspiring passage.

    Well written my dear friend ! Also it encapsulated the ” focus ” teaching of the Daniel Plan. You may have found your calling …… Inspirational writing!! I so blessed to have you as a friend!

    Thank you for a very positive and instructive message. It’s far too often that we fail to ‘count our blessings’ instead of lamenting about insignificant ‘nuisances.’ I am personally guilty of such!!

    Dear Orlanda,
    Thanks for writing with the keynote, Philippians 4:8.
    Keep writing.

    Oh so very true, Orlanda.
    A good message to start me off ‘on the right foot’ – keep writing.
    Blessings to you.

    Thank you for these good words. Very nice reminder for sure! Just what I needed to hear. Love your Island! And your Festival of Small Halls will be starting next month. Love your music, your people, your island. May God continue to inspire you as you share His love with others.

    Good word today Orlanda right on! You are summing up Romans 12:1-2. As we put into practice, through the power of the Spirit these verses in Romans by means of those in Philippians the renewing of our mind to be like Christ happens in our lives, bit by bit day by day. A marvellous thought.

    Thank you, “Rev.” Drebit, for such a well-written and meaningful post. I love it that the guy who cut you off is still referred to as an idiot, even in the midst of your calm. That gave an air of authenticity to the whole reflection. Well done you! I’m going to tell everyone that I know you, and I need to figure out some way to take credit for you. I’ve forwarded the devotion to Dinah as well.

    Such good advice from the scripture and from you.

    Hi Orlanda,
    Another inspiring devotional.

    Many thanks for your encouraging and inspiring thoughts! I will go out into the day suitably energized! Have an awesome day and may you be encouraged too as you have done for many others. I will share this with my sister! God Bless.

    Hello Orlanda Drebit,
    Thanks for taking the time to share your devotional titled: The Beauty of Holiness.
    I have been struggling with criticising other drivers lately as they make driving errors and put others in harms way or close to harms way. We just drove 9 hrs. today.
    Thanks for showing me how to deal with this situation and be content.

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