Five Steps to a G.R.E.A.T. Day, Part 4:

June 27, 2010

The Rev. Dr. Anthony J. Godlefski, Pastor

Montgomery United Methodist Church


Psalm 118

This is the day which the Lord has made;

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!


We want to start our day in a good and positive way. We want to start our day with great energy. Friends, we have been exploring during this month how we can do exactly that.


We want to make each day a great day because as the Bible says, This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! We want to follow that Biblical direction. We have been doing that by using a prayer framework, based on the acronym G-R-E-A-T. Each of the letters in the word stands for a concept. Today we will talk about the final letter “T”.


Have you been using this formula to focus your day when you first get up in the morning? Let’s do a little review. The first letter of the word great is “G”. “G” stands for God. Put God first at the beginning of the day. We ask what Jesus would do as we begin our day. Also, remember that God is for you. God wants to help you and bless you and give you another chance. He wants to give new possibilities to you and has great things in store for you. That is all part of putting God first.


The letter “R” stands for remember. Remember your blessings. Think of some blessings that are yours today or that God has blessed you with in the past. Especially if you wake up a little worried or anxious about how things are going to go.  I have been going through the day and highlighting my blessings, seeing them and finding them and saying, “Ah, there’s another one.” You might want to do the same.  You will find them accumulating more and more. A few weeks ago, we made a song about that. (Pastor Tony plays the piano and sings with the congregation, while they clap along.)


I have got too much to be thankful for, to worry about anything else.  The Lord's blessed me a thousand times today, how can I feel any other way, I have got too much to be thankful for, to worry about anything else. 


Blessings are with us in abundance and all that we have been blessed with helps us to be ready for all the blessings that are to come. Remember your blessings.


The letter “E” stands for enjoy. This is arguably the hardest one for most of us-to plan something to enjoy each day. We are so consumed with all things that we are responsible for. Plan something to enjoy-paint that picture, practice the piano, tend your garden, read your book, take time to be still and pray. Do something you enjoy, look forward to something. Part of the key to enthusiasm in life in having something to look forward to, so what will it be? Plan it at the beginning of each day, and your plan will add new energy to your day.


The letter “A” stands for attitude. Is it a positive attitude? If not, you can push that needle over to the positive side.


G-R-E-A . . . and today is the final letter, “T”.  “T” stands for Treat someone wonderfully well.  Today, I am going to make my day brighter and someone else’s day brighter by treating them wonderfully well. It doesn’t matter if I get found out or not, whether the person knows that I have done this, or whether they don’t know.  The main thing is to do it. Make somebody’s life brighter; make somebody’s world a little bit happier. Bring a smile where there wasn’t one; bring encouragement to someone who is feeling low.  Plan on treating someone wonderfully well. Think back to your own life when someone has made your life brighter. Maybe they said an encouraging word.  Maybe they prepared food for you when you didn’t expect it.


Think about things that you can do for others. Help them to be spiritually fed.


How can we do it?  Let's think of at least three ways.  Forgive people.  Think about the last time you were forgiven for something. For the things I regret, for the mistakes I have made, for the things that I have wished I had done, but didn’t get around to in time. I need forgiveness and how abundantly I have been forgiven.  It feels great to be forgiven. Think about what you can do for people in your world, as you let forgiveness flow from your heart. You can begin the day by accepting forgiveness and giving forgiveness.


Forgiveness has enormous healing power, both for the forgiver and the forgiven. 


They say that the "magic words" are "please" and "thank you."  I'd like to add another "magic phrase" - "Please forgive me - I made a mistake."  Or, "Please forgive me - I never meant to hurt you." 


Just think how much smoother relationships would be, how much less tension there would be in the world, if people would learn to use these phrases sincerely and easily.  They cost us nothing - but the rewards of smoother, healed relationships are priceless.


There is tremendous relief in just "letting something go."  Yes, it's fine to stand up for the "Principle of the thing," but choose your battles wisely.  Ask yourself, "is this issue really worth pressing?  Might it resolve itself if I just let it go?"  If it may, you might find yourself brightening someone's day, and your own too, to just practice forgiveness - live and let live - easy does it.


Another way to treat people wonderfully well is to Encourage. Say the powerful, positive word.


I remember an email I received from the District Superintendent some time ago.  He simply said, "I'm just writing to say that I am praying for you, and being thankful for all you do.  You're doing a great job, and I want you to know I appreciate it.  Keep up the good work.  I'm praying for you, Tony."


The spirit and the power of that affirming message continues with me, and I am so grateful for it.  Speaking an encouraging word can brighten not only a day but the energy of that good word can last long into the future.


I was ordering food in a Wendy's restaurant the other day.  The young man that was waiting on me had a remarkably cheerful and encouraging attitude.  His words made me feel relaxed and welcome.  I placed my order, and he said, "Right away, sir!"   He filled the order, and I paid him.  I was preparing to leave, and he said, "Have a great evening, sir.  Drive safely now.  Safe home." What a lift he gave to my day!  He spoke the encouraging word.  That was a great experience.  It makes me smile inside to remember it.  He had to have made the decision that he was going to treat his customers that way.  I'll bet, however, that he never guessed his good words would be preached about in a sermon on Sunday!


You can delight someone today by speaking the encouraging word.  Thank the chef of the house for preparing supper.  Notice something good your children do, and say so.  Find something good to say, and say it.  You will be treating someone wonderfully well.


Also, delight somebody,  just do something neat, maybe a little extraordinary. Do something just to delight someone else. Stop and buy lemonade from kids by the roadside lemonade stand.     Bring home flowers.  Delight a child's heart.  Give a gift for no reason.  Send someone a card - even an email card.  Send compliments to the chef.  Open a door for someone.  Send a cheerful note. Go the extra mile to delight someone today.  You will be treating them wonderfully well.


Forgive, encourage and delight and you will treat people wonderfully well.   It will be a great way to energize and put extra value in your day.


   When you go to sleep at night, go through the day and let God’s peace fill you. Think about the ways that you put God first. Count your blessings. Think about what you enjoyed during the day. Think about how your attitude was during the day, can you make it even better tomorrow?      Did you treat anyone wonderfully well? If so, you will be walking in the footsteps of the Master. You will be enjoying the abundant life He has in store for you.


"This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it!"


God loves you; I do too, friend. I wish you a truly great day! 

© 2010 Anthony J. Godlefski