You know I’m all about some celebrating. Like Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Even amid the many layers of discouraging, disappointing and downright scary things happening all around us, it’s the glimmers of hope and moments of enthusiasm that can help keep us going.
For those of you who stay connected with our team at The Baptist Paper, you know we work hard to provide a healthy balance of encouragement and inspiration alongside the difficult news and information you need to know.
We also share resources and ideas to help you — and all of us — find solutions to the daily stresses of life as well as the looming crises in our churches, communities and society as a whole.
Additionally, we serve as a vital connector for Southern Baptists. We serve to connect you to missions opportunities, potential ministry partners, prayer needs and each other.
In some ways, we are like one gigantic, global church family where the doors are always open and the lights are always on — you are never alone when you are plugged into The Baptist Paper.
It has been fun to share about all we do during the various associational and state convention meetings across the nation.
As often as we can, our staff showcases our overall content, digital platforms, print products and how we assist churches with web development. We also enjoy sharing how we make sure everyone has an opportunity to engage with us — no matter their situation — through special resources like audio cartridges for the visually impaired and a partnership with Mission:Dignity.
How are you spreading cheer?
But enough about us. Tell us how you are spreading cheer in your circles of influence.
It’s the time of year when seasonal depression sets in because of shorter days, less sunlight, colder weather and, in many cases, the holidays.
Keep an eye on your family, friends and neighbors. Isolation and lack of interaction with others only enhances the blues.
Think of ways to genuinely reach out, include and spend time with those missing out on the joy of the season.
As you gather for meals and events around Thanksgiving, “Friendsgiving,” Christmas and New Year’s Day, decide ahead of time to find positive and optimistic topics of discussion.
Avoid political rants and harsh criticisms of others.
Focus on the people in front of you. Look in their eyes. Ask about their lives and dive deep if they will let you.
Most of all, listen more than you talk.
Give an intentional effort to truly know the people God has given you as special gifts in your life.
Determine to learn more about them so you’ll understand them better, know how to pray for them and know how to encourage them throughout the coming year.