I'm letting you into my private secret thinking. I am so tempted to drive into the ditch of discouragement. The pull is strong at times; especially lately. In the past few days since the workshop, stressful arrows have been shot. In addition to having the funeral of the 18 year old who had no church, the workshop wind-down is in play.
One brother wrote that unless we do something about the dull evening worship assemblies regarding upgrading the singing, a huge portion of the younger generation will stay away. His letter was quite lengthy. The next day I got a note from an older brother so angered over the workshop being liberal that he told me I was killing the workshop and he would be praying for its death. And yet another has written twice of his disagreement over my comments on the Holy Spirit working in a Christian's life. In the midst of that a mass mail out comes saying the brotherhood is in a mess and the tip of the problem is failure in our a cappella singing. Yesterday a note came in suggesting I need to run the workshop the way Marvin did.
Honestly? This chatter gives my brain arthritis. It's very dangerous. If I'm not careful I will let the negative comments begin to roost. But I have a choice and I must not let my mind go there. First, I thanked God again this morning for the stress and complimented Him that He would count me useful in the Kingdom. Second, I will continue to evaluate what each critic offered. Third, I will not let the unnecessarily hurtful comments roost in my rafters.
I will do again what He said to do. I will choose to think on the workshop attendance being up. I will choose to ponder the workshop CD sales were at record high over the past five years. I will select to review the hundreds of comments from the workshoppers pleading for more of what they got this year. I will treasure the grateful hug offered me yesterday when I delivered a DVD of their friend's funeral. I choose to be in awe of how many 100% Natural Evangelism tapes are selling and the regions they are covering.
I will remember that while discouragement surely has strong pull, God gives me a way to avoid its pitiful and even imprisoning moods. ....whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.....practice these things (Terry); and the God of peace shall be with you. What shall we do to be saved from this stress? We shall think on the good stuff!