Sunday, July 10, 2011

July 10, 2011 - "Discouragement"

(Another installment in the series - "Yorkie Brigade Chapel")

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to Chapel this 10th day of July 2011.

It's hard to believe we've been holding services for almost five months now, and our parish is growing. I'm sure you all remember the "pup tent" we started in, when we borrowed someone's water bowl for a Baptismal font. And here we are, all comfy cozy, in our permanent digs constructed with the vision and imagination of us all.

We have a couple of gardens, a parking lot, a church bus, a bright purple and yellow fire hydrant (thanks to our Kindergarten pups) out by the curb, and several active social groups in addition to our regular Thursday night bingo and potluck in the social hall. The Ladies of the Leather Collar and the Fachsie Dachsie Brownie Troop #411 have been working their little fingerettes to the bone to provide yummy goodies for you all after services. I sometimes shake my head and wonder what we will achieve in the next five months.

We have a special guest speaker today - Miss Buffie, who is Gizzie's two year old 2 pound 'sissie'. She is a very big help to her mom, Merry, especially when Merry is in pain and needing some comfort. Miss Buffie has prepared a special presentation on "Discouragement" and I'd like you all to give her a warm welcome.

(applause...applause....clap clap...."Welcome, Buffie!"...more applause)

(Buffie steps to the microphone and the parishioners gradually quiet down and all eyes are on Buffie!)

Do you feel stuck in discouragement? If so, you are not alone.

At some point everyone experiences dashed hopes. Disappointment—an emotional response to a failed expectation—is the normal initial reaction. But allowed to linger, it can turn into discouragement, which hovers like a dense cloud. When that's the case, there is no sense of joy or contentment, no matter what you do.

The circumstances that trigger these emotions may be unavoidable, but the way we respond is a choice. We can either let sadness overwhelm our souls or face the situation with courage and bring it before the One who can help us.

Living in discouragement will divide the mind, making it hard to focus on anything besides our pain. Then as anger becomes habitual, we'll look for someone to blame—whether God, people around us, or ourself.

Frustration that isn't handled well may develop into depression, which in turn can estrange us from others—people do not enjoy the company of someone who's bitter and defeated. This isolation leads to a low self-esteem. Finally, in a fog of discouragement, we can make poor decisions based on crushed emotions instead of truth. Obviously, choosing this self-destructive path is not God's best for our lives.

Though we'll all face disappointment from time to time, believers are not to wallow in it. Instead, God wants us to trust Him with everything—even our unmet expectations and deepest sadnesses. Remember, there is divine purpose for everything He allows to touch His children's lives (Rom. 8:28).

(the congregation is silent as they let Buffie's words sink in....and then gradual applause, some tears, and vigorous nods of enthusiasm and agreement. The parishioners rise to their feet - all four of them - and arf their appreciation and approval)

Thank you SOOOO much for that, Miss Buffie. Such wise words from such a young pup. You are an inspiration to us all. I hope you will stay for a while while we meet for Spring Water and Great Danish out in the garden. I know so many of us would like to speak to you in person.

Everyone is invited to be a guest speaker and we encourage you to volunteer. Just email me privately with your presentation and we will incorporate it into one of our Sunday's services.

Now please turn to your neighbors and wag your tail or fluff your feathers as a sign of peace and love. Remember to always be as you wish others to be.

Go in peace...

Mary-Margaret O'Brien
Lt. Chaplain - Yorkie Brigade Chapel
"Yorkie prayers are Angel's wishes!"
"Pups for PPL"
"A dog has lots of friends because he wags his tail and not his tongue." Anonymous

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