The Native: Silencing Our Doubts


We’ve talked about him before, In The Order Of His Course, but I would like to revisit the scene.  Zacharias, a Priest of God, a child of Abraham, is having a conversation with an Angel. He had his doubts, as a result, the Angel told him that he would not be able to speak until the prophecy was fulfilled. On the surface, we humans, might be puzzled at this, until you examine more closely.

Yes, Zacharias was human, yes, it was an extraordinary promise, but it was not an unprecedented one. Since David, the promise of Christ from the family of Bethlehem was well known. Also famous, was the birth of Isaac, to two elderly parents named Abraham and Sarah. If anyone knew the history of God’s people, it should have been Zacharias.

What we must be careful, not to misunderstand, was the reason for the silencing.Set aside for a moment, the fact that this was a Priest Of God, and that he was talking to an Angelic messenger.  Instead, look at where they were standing, at an Altar inside a building that had been destroyed once before.

At the time of the exile, many probably doubted that God would return His people to their land.  Perhaps, some thought they would never again see a Temple on that mountain, but they did.  God had prophesied, before the first Temple’s destruction, that He would return His people to their land.

Zacharias was standing in a place of miracles, talking to the Messenger of a Miraculous God, about God’s plan for our future.This son of Abraham, had a heritage of hope, and yet, fear attempted to drown out his faith.

Please understand, I’m not judging Zacharias, just identifying with him.  It would be easy to say, he should have known better, but then again, shouldn’t we? Every Sunday, we stand in a place of miracles while the Messenger Of a miraculous God reveals to us God’s plan for our future.  How often do I, do we, give more voice to our doubts than we do our faith?

Doubt is a form of fear, and it can be very deceptive.  In our minds we think, “It’s not that I doubt God’s ability, but the circumstances are so great.”  Or, “I know He can do it, and has for others, but will He do it for me?”  Fear comes to us disguised as doubt, it’s less aggressive, it is less blatant, but it is still fear.  It will take many forms before it is defeated.

I’m sure that the enemy tried to fill Zacharias’ head with doubts even after that day.  The thoughts of, “All that could go wrong …”, even after Elizabeth was going to have the baby. I admit, I would struggle with all the ‘what if’s’ just as he probably did.  We are human, and we are going to grapple with fear.  It’s a battle however, that we cannot afford to lose.

The difference between Zacharias and us, he couldn’t give voice to his doubts. He had no choice, but we must choose not too.  In the middle of the night, when whispers filled his brain, he only had to remember one thing. His vocal chords refused to communicate them, they refused to give fear a voice.

God did this for our example.  No, He doesn’t make a habit of stilling voices, but He was trying to teach us something.  If we will silence our doubts, and give voice to our Faith, then we will always be victorious.  Yes we will have fear, but no, we do not have to communicate it.  We must choose to speak our faith instead of our fear.

That isn’t to say we won’t have fear.  I’m not saying that we pretend that we’re not scared of, insert mental image here, but I am saying that we mustn’t focus on it.  I can choose to speak what God promised.

I can grab hold of the hope that is before us like the horns of an Altar.  Incense fills a room, the smell attaches itself to clothing.  Zacharias was surrounded by a cloud of faith, and fear still was successful in hindering him.  Why?  Because, while the room was filled with faith, his vision was filled with fear.

One of the greatest things that God did for Zacharias was silencing his fear.  It had spoken so loudly that it had drowned out his faith.  It took over nine months, but he watched as faith grew, and fear dwindled.  Zacharias was given his opportunity to speak again. He said first, “His name is John, (Grace), and then he praised God.

In verse 63, he spoke his son’s name, and in verse 64 he praised God. Last time he spoke fear, this time he spoke faith. As a result, in verse 67, he was filled with The Holy Ghost, and God spoke through him. When we refuse to verbalize our fears, and we speak faith, we become the mouthpiece of God.

Luke 1:70
70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:

The Bible says that God prophesied through Zacharias. It’s no surprise that he uses the word spake in verse 70, and called in verse 76.  He went from doubter to Disciple long before Thomas was given the nickname.

God gave us an example in Zacharias, but today, God wants us to silence our doubts. He will cause the miracle, but we must do the practical. We must still them, not by the absence of doubt, but the purposeful rejection of it.

The Lord was essentially saying, “Not here, not now, and never again!” We must actively do the same to our doubts. When we do, like the child in Zacharias’ arms, something new will be born in our spirit. It will grow, and produce an even greater future in us, that points only to Jesus!

Unlocking The Doors


The keys were in the ignition. The car was running, and the seats were warm.  It was ready to go, the only problem was it’s two normal passengers.  We were also excited, but for a very different reason.  I had locked my Wife and I out of the car.

In thirty eight years, I don’t think that I’ve ever had to call a locksmith to open my car.  Thankfully, it was covered by insurance.  However, I lost roughly two hours in the process. It may not seem like a lot of time, but a great deal can happen in two hours.

In reflecting back on this, The Lord directed my mind to His Church.  We’ve been in a series at our church, Point Of Mercy in Nashville, TN, called “Season Of Sacrifice”.  In it, our Pastor Denny Livingston, was calling us to a deeper place in the work of The Kingdom.  It was a truly great day this past Sunday.  The two images paralleled this afternoon, a ready Church, and a running vehicle.

Like our car, the Church is fueled and ready for the work of God’s Kingdom.  The keys are in the ignition, The Lord Jesus gave them to us before He ascended.  While, not locked, it is secure, and it is warm and inviting.  The problem is, too often, my focus is outside of it. For my fellow drivers, I have one question?

We attend Church, but do we attend to the Church? This vehicle isn’t only a means of personal Salvation, it’s a rescue vessel. Will its mission continue, or succeed without my involvement? Most definitely! However, if I neglect it, or give less than my all; I rob myself of being part of so many blessings.

There is nothing like seeing revelation on the face of a new convert. Or the feeling of praying with someone that you had a hand in witnessing too. There is excitement in everyday Evangelism. While I love the Mission field, we don’t have to go overseas to change lives.

My incident with the car robbed me of two hours. It robbed my coworkers of my help, and it made my Wife late. Aside from the great things I’ve robbed myself of, what have I cost those that I would have reached? Had I not been too busy on my ________ , who would have received this Message, hope, or encouragement sooner?

Thankfully, a Locksmith, wedged something between my car and the door. I received another chance to drive. Sunday was God’s way of stirring us to a call to action. Every day, we are given an opportunity to reach the person that we weren’t able to reach yesterday.

Maybe you’re doing all you can, if so, refuel, and keep going. If you’ve allowed yourself to focus on the traffic beside, and behind you, take heart. God knows how to clear the clutter. Breathe, focus on that person that needs a smile, and drive towards a new day. He unlocked the doors for us. It’s time for us to pick someone else up along the way.

The Red Steps

1 Kings 10:11-12

11 And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones.

12 And the king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of the LORD, and for the king’s house, harps also and psalteries for singers: there came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this day.

 2 Chronicles 9:11

11 And the king made [of] the algum trees terraces to the house of the LORD, and to the king’s palace, and harps and psalteries for singers: and there were none such seen before in the land of Judah.

In The Temple Of The Lord, King Solomon built what are called terraces in one place, and pillars in the other. While there are some opinions, they are most likely a pathway or steps, each with balusters attached. Solomon knew that at some point, these balusters would be needed. It’s one thing to simply have steps in the Temple, but it’s another to have railings attached.

Solomon must have known, that after a day of service, the Priesthood would be tired.  They would need the support that the banisters and steps would offer.  King Solomon had a son who would one day be king.  He must have known that his children would need the stability of those steps and banisters.

God had chosen King Solomon to lead his people, that made him the Captain of the Armies Of Israel.  He knew that his soldiers would enter the temple weary.  They would need the strength that those steps and railing would offer.

Finally, people who had made mistakes would come to the Temple with sacrifices.  In hopes of Atonement for their sins.  They knew that they would need the saving grace that comforted them from the embarrassment of their sins.

What made these steps and banisters special, was the type of wood that was used in them.  It was from the Algum or Almug tree.  According to Bible Commentators, it is mostly likely a type of wood known as red sandalwood.  Ophir, was believed to be a trade city of India, and this was where this wood was found.

It is red, or garnet in color, and rulers as far off as the Emperors of China, prized it for it’s value.  While it is most certainly beautiful, there are many more amazing qualities of this tree.  It is an unusual tree, it is so dense, it will sink in water.  Red sandalwood is used as a medicine to enhance mental function, at the same time, it is effective in giving rest to those with insomnia.  It’s no wonder that the royalty of China treasured it so.

It is said to treat both the inside and outside of man. Red sandalwood is used as a method of blood purification. From skin conditions to stomach ailments, it has even been known to be effective against multiple types of cancer.  Wouldn’t you love to have some of this tree?

Trees have been vital since the beginning, The Tree Of Life springs to mind immediately.  While the sandalwood tree may not have been the Tree Of Life, it pointed to it.  It pointed, not to the one in the Garden Of Eden, but to The One that would pray in the Garden Of Gethsemane.

Those steps imitate the steps of Jesus.  The journey to Calvary was covered in blood.  Christ was beaten and mocked by both Herod and Pilot’s men.  Blood overflowed from the whipping post to The Cross, and finally His blood covered body was carried to the Tomb. While He left death behind three days later, He kept the scars to remind us of His love and mercy.

The Lord Jesus knew that His blood would support the Christian throughout His entire walk.  When we come to Him as sinners, we turn from our ways in Repentance, and begin to die out to our old life.

Romans 6:4

4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

According to Romans 6:4, we are buried with Him in Baptism.  His blood is applied to our lives.  Our sins are dissolved in His blood when we are baptized.  Like the sandalwood, they sink into oblivion.  This connection with The Blood and Baptism is why, when Christ’s side was pierced, out came blood and water.  Just as He told Nicodemus in John 3:5 foreshadowing the future.

John 3:5

5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

When we arise to walk in newness of life with Christ, we will sometimes be weary.  We will struggle, and make mistakes.  This is why 1 John 2:1 the Apostle tells us two things. First, we are to purposely live a Godly life.  Notice The Bible still says, if we sin, not when we sin.  The second tells us that if we make a mistake, Christ’s blood is present, in our new life, to forgive us.

1 John 2:1

1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

He is the righteous pathway yes, but He is also the stabilizing banister.  This isn’t only for when we make a mistake, but like the Priests He strengthens us when we are weary from service.  He is The Rest for our souls! Christ Our King is the strength for the soldiers of The Cross.  He is the stability for our children, as we raise them in the fear and admonition of The Lord!

Lastly, Solomon also made harps and psalteries out of this same wood.  Christ is our song!  In the Temple, there were both the old instruments of David, and the new instruments of Solomon.  Whether it is played on the Hammond, or on the acoustic what does it matter?  As long as our song is Christ, and Him crucified, what difference does the tempo make?

 1 Peter 2:21

21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Let us imitate Christ, following His steps, holding on to Him. As He holds us up, let us hold up one another.  If we do this, then together, we will follow His steps in love and unity from here to Heaven, singing as we go!

Dr Ed Makes A House Call

The following is our fourth article in our Edification Series. My Father taught me that some of the best lessons are injected with laughter. This gave birth to the character of Dr. Ed, our Surgeon General Of Encouragement. We hope you enjoy his prescription for combatting worry today.

You’re all familiar with my brain’s resident encourager, Dr. Ed. By now, you are also expecting a trip to his studio, but not this time. Today Dr. Ed made a house call.

“Are you going to stand there with your mouth open, or ask me in?” I was in shock, I didn’t expect my daydreams to be interrupted by my smiling friend. “Of course, come in. Why are you here?” “I’m making a house call, you were daydreaming.”

He walked past me and laid his bag on the table. It wasn’t your typical physician’s bag, it looked like a large red velvet carpet bag. He pulled a stethoscope out and listened to my heart. “A murmur.” I blinked, then laughed. “How can a fictional doctor diagnose a heart murmur?”

He smiled back. “You were daydreaming.” I sighed, I was avoiding the obvious. The minute he had said daydreaming, I knew why he was there. The daydream was a pleasant experience, until a hint of worry reared it’s ugly head, that was the murmur.

“What have we said about worry Timothy?” “That it is unproductive, unnecessary, and very human.” He nodded. “True. Let us consider the symptom prior to the cure. The strongest Christian will face trouble, and we will have times of stress. Medically speaking, ‘A functional murmur or “physiologic murmur,” is a heart murmur that is primarily due to physiologic conditions outside the heart, as opposed to structural defects in the heart itself. Functional murmurs are benign (an “innocent murmur”).'”

He paused, took out something from his case and continued. “Chronic worry however is neither innocent, nor functional. It must be examined, extracted, and eradicated. For your well being, and for the well being of those around you.” “I agree, Doctor, by the way, what did you take out of your bag?”

The next sound I heard was, “Ow”, and it came from me. “What is that thing? A hyper-anti-hallucinatory-worry-ometer?” “No, it’s a mallet. I just hit you with it.” “I know!” I said as I rubbed my head. “Why?” “Because you know better.” “If I had wanted you to hit me on the head for worrying, I would have asked you too.” That was when he reminded me that he is a figment of my imagination. Next he quoted two of my favorite verses, Psalms 11:1, 4.

Psalms 11:1, 4
1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?

4 The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord ‘s throne is in heaven: His eyes behold, His eyelids try, the children of men.

“Why do you love those two verses?” I laughed. “Because when people try and worry me, I can say I know Who I trust in. As long as He is on His throne, everything will be ok.”

He just looked at me. Then walked around me a couple of times. Finally, I said, “What is it?” “A murmur can be caused by a valve leaking. The Truth of that Scripture is in your head, but it must have leaked out somewhere.” “It didn’t leak out, it just got…” “Buried, ignored, stifled, drowned out…” I held up my hand. “I get the point.”

“No, I’m not sure you do. Sometimes, the way to counteract worry is to verbalize what we know is true, and not what we fear might happen. It’s not enough to know it, it must be enacted, enabled, and evaluated. You enact it’s effectiveness against worry by stating it. That’s Faith working through your vocal chords. You enable the Scriptural Truth as the primary vehicle driving your thoughts by focusing on it completely, not half heartedly. Finally, as you evaluate it, you remember the past concrete examples.”

“Meaning every time that The Lord has taken care of me personally.” He was ecstatic now. “Scripture must be applied personally to counter a personal battle. When we remember that we are in a relationship with a faithful God, it will illuminate His work in our lives. It also does something else. It exposes the fact that the majority of our fears are false. They murmur in our minds scenarios that have never happened to us before, and have little chance of starting now.”

“We all experience some occasional fear. An idle worry is an innocent murmur, but give life to it, and it becomes a Frankenstein. Just ask the Israelites who walked through the wilderness. Their murmurs not only ended their lives, it changed their destiny. It is our choice what we do. Once the worry enters our thoughts.”

“What about legitimate fears, things that have, or actually will happen?” I knew where he was going next. “Legitimate fears still face a Legitimate God. One that rules, not only in our hearts, but the cosmos. The God who, not only formed the sun and moon, but caused them to stand still for Joshua. He who shined from Calvary when the sun was too sorrowed for it’s Creator to give light. The same One whose Glory illuminated the walls of the grave that He exited!”

“Worry is a con man peddling a shell game of maybes. God is Our Friend, and an unfailing One at that!” He took a breath, winked, grabbed his bag, and headed for the door. I hollered after him. “Thanks Doc, I’ll remember.” He responded as the door closed behind him. “I would cure the malady, else the mallet will return.”

Dr. Ed’s Hobo Apprentice

This morning I visited Dr. Ed once again. Now as I have said previously, it’s an inspirational yet quirky corner of my brain. Dr. Ed is among other things a Strategic Encourager. He goes to great, and unusual lengths, to accomplish this. You never quite know what to expect next, which is why I always enter with the intent of not being surprised, and yet I always leave amazed.

Prior to reaching the studio this morning, I was walking in the parking lot. I’m used to strange vehicles, after all this is an imaginary journey. I did not however expect to see a train box car parked near the front. You know the kind I’m talking about, you see it in old movies, it’s usually behind a steam locomotive.

That was odd enough, but when I walked through the front door, I heard train sounds in the lobby, when I walked to where Dr. Ed’s office was last visit, a make shift tent and clothesline had replaced it. I walked through the opening and instantly everything was even weirder than I expected, no surprise.

It was what we would have called years ago, a hobo’s camp. Various character traits, and figments of my imagination, Tom Sawyer etc. were all around. I asked if the Doctor was in and they pointed me east. When I arrived, I couldn’t help but laugh at what I saw.

There was Dr. Ed, shoeless, socks in his coat pocket, his suit legs rolled up, wading in a creek. He was holding a make shift fishing pole talking to a hobo that looked very much like me when I am severely depressed, he called him Rome.

“Rome, you can’t get so down when you have a problem. Everybody goes through things, some days you’ll have good days, other days will be absolutely, completely, utterly horrible. Some days will be terrible, excruciating periods of time that you will fight the entire day.” It was there that I stopped him. I took him aside, for the first time ever, Dr. Ed was off his game.

I said, “I don’t want to hurt your feelings Dr. Ed, but I don’t think you’re being very edifying right now. That’s not the way I would lead in to fixing this guy’s problem.” His response was to laugh at me, and hand me his fishing pole. Then he stuck both hands in the water, and pulled out a 10 lb trout.

I stood there dumbfounded and confused, a byproduct of a visit to Dr. Ed. “My dear boy, Rome is not the one that is discouraged. He is my apprentice, Dr. Ed. Jr. if you wish. Trademark and Patent pending of course. I’m training him on what to expect in his practice of roaming the countryside encouraging others.”

He continued, “You see, encouragement is not done in a vacuum. It’s easy to encourage others on good days. It’s even somewhat easy on mildly perturbing days. The real challenge is to encourage others on those days when they feel that they are fighting for their very existence.”

All of this he explained while wrestling to hold on to a flopping trout. “Ok, I see I’ve stepped into another one of your visual workshops, so explain the hobo and the fish.” He laughed, “My dear boy, Rome is merely going to travel the box car of your cerebral cortex attempting to encourage those who are somewhat perplexed or cast down by life’s circumstances.”

“In other words, preferably English words, he’s going to Edify when someone’s down. That I get, but how does talking about the horrible days, an imaginary hobo, and that trout accomplish that?” At which point, he pitched the trout towards me, so I dropped the fishing pole. Now I stood there, the pole submerged under my feet, fighting to hold on to the daily catch.

Dr. Ed sat down on the bank and began to explain. “As I was saying to Rome, people fight every day just to hold on to some form of peace. The mistake we, even as Christians, make is this, we think that our happiness depends on our circumstances. In other words, much like a fisherman, we’re only happy when we ‘catch’ something.”

“If we don’t catch anything one day, were mildly unhappy. Two days we’re worried, three days and we’re in a panic. We can get so overwhelmed that when we do finally catch something, we toss everything out just to hang on to what we’ve accomplished, or pursued.

“We sacrifice the tools of our trade for the results, much like you sacrificed the instrument that would catch more fish for one measly trout. The songwriter said in this way.”

O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

I nodded, he wasn’t off his rocker at all, he was just getting my attention. “In other words, we should cherish the Provider more than His provision, especially in the hard days. I should have dropped the fish, and held on to the fishing pole?” He smiled, “You’re close, but the fishing pole is merely the tool that God gave you to reap His provision.”

“Too many people substitute trusting in their talents instead of trusting in the Giver Of Talents. In those times when you’re cold, tired, and frustrated, don’t hold on to your things, or your means of obtaining those things. Hold on to The God that gave you both, but this isn’t about material things, this is about your state of mind.”

I dropped the fish and smiled. Dr. Ed smiled, “What have you learned?” “Oh no”, I said, “Rome is your pupil, give him the pop quiz.” Rome joined us, “Dr. Ed was saying two things actually, one before you got here, and the other after you arrived.”

“First, my mission is not to explain to others why they should be happy. Edifying leads to happiness, but it’s not it’s first stop. The Scripture tells us not only to Rejoice with them that rejoice, but to mourn with them that mourn. I’m too support those who are going through a battle.”

“Not so much by the words that I say, but the shoulder I have to bear their burdens with. I can’t get so caught up in results that I miss the point. I’m not here to erase every problem, I’m to be with them until the problem ends. Edifying your friends is an act of relationship. One of the most famous Scriptures in the Book of Psalms is in Psalms 23, Verse 4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me;”

“David was encouraged in this, not by the words God said, but by God’s presence. At times, all I have to be to encourage others, is too simply be there for them. Even if it’s as simple as going fishing with a friend who’s down.”

Dr. Ed gave Rome an A+ that day, and like always, I learned something in the process. The three of us spent the afternoon setting on the bank fishing. We caught some, missed others, and enjoyed some fellowship.

His apprentice learned a lot this summer, as did I. This included the fact that encouraging others is more about relationship than accomplishment. It’s taken time for me to learn that over the years, but it took his apprentice some time too. You’ll forgive me, but after all, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’

Dr. Ed’s Life Altering Elixir

Ephesians 4:29
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Hello, I wanted to share with you my latest adventure with Dr. Ed. As you know, Dr. Ed’s studio is a fictitious place in my imagination. Dr. Ed is a character, and what a character. It is my hope in these small articles to bring a smile to your face, and an encouragement to your soul. With that being said, please join me on another trip to Dr. Ed.

It was this morning, I proceeded to his studio, and I heard elevated voices from within. When I let myself in, I saw a crowd of people gathered around a small stage. The people looked sad, angry, mad, and confused.

Standing beside of a small, smiling, gray haired man was Dr. Ed. He was listening quietly to the man. “I am a changed man. I’m no longer sad, sour faced, or sarcastic since starting taking this elixir. My wife says I seem happier than I’ve ever been in my life, she’s nicknamed me Smiley!”

With that he waddled off the platform and Dr. Ed began to speak. “Thank you Mr. Grumpus for that rousing endorsement. Yes friends, with Dr. Ed’s Life Altering Elixir you will snap less. You will smile more! When someone comes to you complaining about their day, you will have something sweet and wonderful to say!”

There were shouts across the crowd. “I’ll buy one!” “I’ll try a bottle!” He must be an incredible salesperson, because they each bought four tiny bottles of red liquid. He waved to them as they walked out. “Are you going to explain, or just leave me standing here confused.” To which he replied, “Of course, of course, come with me.”

We walked past the open air of the studio into his corner office. Inside was a drink dispenser and a small conveyor belt. He stirred up two batches of rasberry iced tea and poured it in the top of the machine. “So the tea mixes with the medicine to create the elixir I see?” He shook his head, “No my boy, the tea is the only liquid ingredient of the elixir.”

“So the rest is powdered form?” He shook his head again, “No, verbal. The most potent ingredient of the elixir are it’s instructions.” I looked at him like he was crazy, he remarked. “Considering this whole allegory takes place in a corner of your mind, and I’m a fictitious character of your own creation. Do you really want to take up the question of mental rationality?”

I cleared my throat and he continued. “You see my friend, Mr. Grumpus and his sad sack pals are in need of something stronger than medication. They are in need of an altered attitude. They mitigate their misery through aggravating one another. Mr. Grumpus grumps. Goselyn Gossip spreads slander about friend and foe alike. Sad Sally always looks at what’s wrong in the world, and her twin sister Connie the Complainer gripes.”

“I have to admit, they’re some of the saddest and meanest looking people I’ve ever seen!” “My dear Timothy, you should have looked at them more closely. May I remind you that all of us are potential personality traits rumbling around in your head? Did you not see the resemblance of Mr. Grumpus to you in the morning?” I was shocked, “Are you saying that I’m Mr. Grumpus?”

“No, but you have the potential to be. You, and every person, has the potential to grump, gripe, saturate in self pity, and even spread rumors about others through your life?” I nodded again, I do that a lot when Dr. Ed starts talking.

“What I had to do was offer them an alternative, a nature change.” I interrupted, “In other words, you wanted them to be more Edifying!” He slapped me on the back, “You’ve got it, they needed to spread good words, not bad, positive emotions, and not negative ones.”

“I wanted them to connect with the metaphor, ‘Put good in, good will come out. It has made a world if difference. Now are you ready to hear the instructions I gave them?” I nodded again, told you that happens with him.

“They are to take two teaspoons after prayer and Bible reading in the morning. It is also imperative that they not utter one negative word while the medicine is in their system. Mr. Grumpus has replaced griping over coffee with family devotions. Goselyn has stopped her gossip, and now has time to help others. Connie and Sally now go around with a smile and a song”

“How much do you charge for this Life Altering Elixir?” “Why isn’t it obvious, one cent per bottle. A penny for their thoughts! It covers the cost of the tea and the bottle. You see my medicine is inexpensive, but the value of the instructions is priceless. Anything that causes us to spend more time with The Master will cause us to react like Him.

So we poured ourselves two glasses of elixir, which is odd, because I don’t like Tea, and we reflected on God’s goodness all day. Thinking about God will alter your outlook, and brighten your day.

If you’re struggling, or having a bad day, and we all do, try following the doctor’s instructions. I guarantee that concentrating on Jesus will improve your day, but you don’t have to take our word for it. Here is the God given prescription from the Apostle Paul.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Meet Dr. Ed

The following is a fictional, hopefully inspirational, interaction. It occurs in a studio in a corner of my imagination. It is my hope that this light hearted interview will bring a smile to your day.

T.J.: As it is our readers first time talking to you, I’d like to let you just give them some background.

Ed: I will be glad to proceed with the interesting interrogation examining my inner character and characteristics.

T.J.: You’re a doctor aren’t you?

Ed: Yes, I’m a H.O.P.E. and am trained in S.I.L.L.Y. and J.O.Y. Seminars.

T.J.: Those letters mean what?

Ed: You mean other than how much school cost my Parents?

T.J.: You’re fictional, so it didn’t cost them.

Ed: Well, you get what you paid for. H.O.P.E. stands for the study of the History Of Positive Encouragement. S.I.L.L.Y. seminars are Strategically Inspiring those you Love and Lead while denying Yourself. J.O.Y. is paradigm training, it means Jesus Others and You. This is the order that we should follow in our lives.

T.J.: So through laughter you help people.

Ed: I try. There is so much negativity in the world today. So many hurting people, desperate folks, and angry people. Why put down when you can build up? Why not find a way to make people laugh?

T.J.: You got your name for a reason, what was it?

Joshua 22:34
And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad called the altar Ed: for it shall be a witness between us that the Lord is God.

Ed: I was named after an Altar, loosely Ed means Witness. So I witness to those who need a shot of upliftment the arms. After all, flabby arms aren’t flattering, neither are flattened spirits. Sadness seeps into lives and controls them. My job is to edify, enlighten, and engage in laughter!

T.J.: With your looks, I can understand the laughter. Orange and yellow bow tie, silver buzz cut, Einstein mustache, cowboy hat in your hand, and a brown suit with burgundy shoes. You look like a cartoon drawing Ed!

Ed: That’s Dr. Ed to you, and my visual characteristics are your curious construction sir! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a patient arriving soon.

T.J.: Who are you treating today?

Ed: A songbird that’s forgotten her song.

T.j.: How will you help her, give her sheet music?

Ed: You hopeful boy, you went looking for humor, too bad it alluded you so completely! No, I merely shall remind her of her reason for singing. She is alive, living in a world of God’s creation, with an opportunity to bless others.

T.J.: To bless others?

Ed: Yes, through her song! Give her a reason to be happy, and she’ll remember her song. You see, she’s not really forgotten her song. She has forgotten her reason to sing, remind her of that, and the words will come easy.

T.J.: So if I meet someone sad today, I should tell them they have reason to be happy?

Ed: No! No! No! They won’t need your knowledge, but they may need a kind smile, a hug, or simply a I love you! Lift them up to where they can see the sky, and they’ll know what to do once they’re there. Share your love, not your opinions Timothy!

T.J.: Yes, Dr. Ed, see you next time!

Click here for your next appointment with Dr. Ed!