Optimism is defined by Webster as the belief that good will prevail and cheerful hopefulness

Optimism is defined by Webster as the belief that good will prevail and cheerful hopefulness. When we are prepared for change the change is not as frightening and can be challenging and fun. God’s changes in our life are always for our good .
 Faith is defined by Webster as unflagging trust; belief without firm proof; belief in a Supreme Being; fidelity. As we trust in God our faith grows.
 Can we have faith without optimism or optimism without Faith?

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Do you see the glass half full or half empty? Somebody said that optimists invented the airplane, but a pessimist invented the parachute. “Blessed is the Man Who Remains Steadfast”:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown
of life, which God has promised to those who love him.  (James 1 : 12 – ESV)

Some people complain about Autumn. They hate to rake the leaves. They have to prepare the house for winter. The weather fluctuates so much between hot days and cold days no one knows what to wear or how to dress the kids for school.  Autumn means Winter will come very soon.  Many think Autumn is a time of leaves dying and leaving bare trees for a dismal landscape where winter is cold and bitter and dead.

What?? Just look at the colors of those leaves!  The brilliant reds, rich maroons, 

neon oranges, chartreuse, grass greens, emerald greens, flaming yellows, fiery oranges majestic purples, rust, and  chocolate browns. My favorite trees have all the colors and look like painter’s palates ready to bring the rest of the trees to blazing life. The evergreens provide a background which makes the Fall colors even more vibrant. What a breathtakingly beautiful season! 

As for those leaves to rake, leave them there to enjoy as an Autumn blanket of many colors. Then be a kid again and jump into the pile. Or use a mulching blade on the mower and use the leaves to feed the lawn.

By making us get the house ready for Winter, Autumn is forcing us to do something which helps keep your house comfortable and safe and cheaper to heat. It also helps us attend to little problems so they don’t become big expensive ones.  In Autumn there are many days when we don’t have to use air conditioning or heat J 

We should take the time to enjoy the exhilarating chilly-sunny days of Autumn, with its collage of colored leaves, pumpkins, chrysanthemums, geraniums, Fall festivals, football games, and Thanksgiving dinner. 

And Fall and Winter bring Spring with its promises of new life and new beginnings, and the warm luxurious days of Summer. God gives us such reminders of His incredible love for us. We should enjoy them. We truly have much to be thankful for and optimistic about.

Optimists are healthier, happier, more productive, less accident prone, are more successful in school, relationships, work, and life, and they live longer than pessimists.

Studies show that people with strong faith and especially those with a strong social support of other believers show these same characteristics. No wonder. Can you have optimism without faith or faith without optimism?

SCRIPTURE

“Ask And You Will Receive”: And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.  (Luke 11 : 9-10 – ESV)

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever, amen.  (Psalm 23 : 1 – 6 – ESV)

Don’t Worry”:
25 ‘Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you  (Matthew 6 : 25-33 – ESV)

Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”:
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’
2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them
3 and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 ‘Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me,
6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.  (Matthew 18 : 1 – 6 – ESV)

“A Prayer for Spiritual Revival”:
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, To venture on wider seas Where storms will show your mastery; Where losing sight of land, We shall find the stars. We ask You to push back The horizons of our hopes; And to push into the future In strength, courage, hope, and love.Because we have dreamed too little, When we arrived safely Because we sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us, Lord, when With the abundance of things we possess We have lost our thirst For the waters of life; Having fallen in love with life, We have ceased to dream of eternity And in our efforts to build a new earth, We have allowed our vision Of the new Heaven to dim. Amen.

“The Blessing of God’s Abundant Goodness”:
19 Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!  (Psalm 31 : 19 – ESV)

The Blessing of Being in God’s Care”:
7 The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
8 The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.  (Psalm 121 7 – 8 – ESV)

The Parable of the Lost Sheep”:
10 ‘See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?
13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.
14 So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.  (Matthew 18 : 10 – 14 – ESV)

A Prayer for Spiritual Strength”:
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,
21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  (Ephesians 3 : 14 – 21 – ESV)

“Blessings for Obedience”:
1 ‘And if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.
2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God.
3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field.
4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock.
5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
7 ‘The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
8 The LORD will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
9 The LORD will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in his ways.
10 And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you.
11 And the LORD will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give you.
12 The LORD will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.
13 And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them,
14 and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.  (Deuteronomy 28:1-14 ESV)

Blessings for Obedience”:
1 ‘And if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.
2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God.
3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field.
4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock.
5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
7 ‘The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
8 The LORD will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

 

9 The LORD will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in his ways.
10 And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you.
11 And the LORD will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give you.
12 The LORD will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.
13 And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them,
14 and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.  (Deuteronomy 28 : 1 – 14 – ESV)

PRAYERS

“A Prayer – I Arise Today”:
I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through the belief in the threeness, through confession of the oneness of the Creator of Creation. I arise today through the strength of Christ’s birth with his baptism, through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial, through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension, through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom. I arise today through the strength of the love of Cherubim, in obedience of angels, in the service of archangels, in hope of resurrection to meet with reward, in prayers of patriarchs, in predictions of prophets, in preaching of apostles, in faith of confessors, in innocence of holy virgins, in deeds of righteous men. I arise today through the strength of heaven: light of sun, radiance of moon, splendour of fire, speed of lightning, swiftness of wind, depth of sea, stability of earth, firmness of rock. I arise today through God’s strength to pilot me: God’s m ight to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to save me from snares of devils, from temptations of vices, from everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and near, alone and in multitude. I summon today all these powers between me and those evils, against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul, against incantations of false prophets, against black laws of pagandom against false laws of heretics, against craft of idolatry, against spells of witches and smiths and wizards, against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul. Christ to shield me today against poison, against burning, against drowning, against wounding, so that there may come to me abundance of reward. Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the threeness, through confession of the oneness, of the Creator of Creation. Thought to be by St.Patrick

 

“A Prayer for Spiritual Revival”:
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, To venture on wider seas Where storms will show your mastery; Where losing sight of land, We shall find the stars. We ask You to push back The horizons of our hopes; And to push into the future In strength, courage, hope, and love.Because we have dreamed too little, When we arrived safely Because we sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us, Lord, when With the abundance of things we possess We have lost our thirst For the waters of life; Having fallen in love with life, We have ceased to dream of eternity And in our efforts to build a new earth, We have allowed our vision Of the new Heaven to dim. Amen. Sir Francis Drake

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