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My Focus

Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do. Remember that the Lord is coming soon. Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.

And now, brothers, as I close this letter let me say this one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you, Philippians 4:4-9 (TLB)

Melanie Sue Fretz lives in Pennsylvania. Some days everything seems wrong, and everywhere Melanie goes appears dismal. She notices dirt on the floor, smudges on the windowpane, a new gray hair, and an endless list of stressors. While driving, traffic lights take too long to change, drivers are aggressive, and she has to avoid potholes.

When Melanie meditates on today's scripture verse, she realizes that the real problem may be her focus. If she focuses on what's wrong, that's what she'll see. But if she focuses on what is lovely, pure, and just, that's what she'll find. The world is full of good and bad, and God tells us to meditate on and fill our hearts and minds with the good. In this way we can exhibit the peace that draws others to Christ.

When we change our focus, we are sure to find God in every part of creation. When Melanie notices the amazing aroma of coffee, the birdsong outside her window, or the stunning colors of a sunrise, her problems fade into the background. When her day is interrupted, she can pause to enjoy a few deep breaths and remind herself of her blessings. May we focus on what is lovely, pure, and just as we observe the world around us today.

Prayer: Dear God, help us to shift our focus away from what is stressful to see what is lovely in the world you have created, in Jesus' Name. Amen.

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