Our dog Missy now has to share our attention with another pet, actually it's a canary who we named in honor of one of our Native American friends, we named the canary Cherokee. This little yellow cheerleader is great for when you're in a bad mood, because he never is. As soon as you uncover his cage in the morning, he starts warbling his repertoire of happy tunes. It may be a sunny day and you got happy singing all day long. It might be a miserable day guess what happy singing all day long. The people around our canary may be happy, or stressed, or noisy, or quiet, or down, it just doesn't matter. No matter what, he's singing!
Well I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Stubborn Singing."
Bottom line today - we've got a lot to learn from the Hutchcraft canary. Our word for today from the word of God comes from Hebrews 13:15. "Through Jesus, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips that confess His name." Notice how frequently we are called to be praising God - continually.
And notice that a lot of times praising God is a sacrifice of praise. Now why? We don't feel like it, there's a lot of unpleasant stuff going on, we've been praying and haven't gotten any answer we can recognize. When times are tough and God seems largely silent, praise is not just the overflow of some gushy spiritual high, it's a choice! It's a sacrifice. And God's command to be praise talkers is not conditioned on our circumstances, He says "continually." Listen to 1 Thessalonians 5:16 and following, "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
Sounds like the lifestyle of a certain yellow bird I know. No matter what, he's singing. His script for the day is already written - everyone's going to hear positive sounds from him. That is a choice we are all called to make each new day.
Actually, a commitment to be a praiser is a new perspective on your day. You go into the day aggressively looking for the marks of God on that day - the subtle activity of God, the dramatic activity of God, the little things, the big things, the little surprises, the little encouragements. There is not a day in your life that does not have the fingerprints of God all over it, but like human prints, they are not always immediately visible. You have to go looking for them. That's what praisers do.
I've seen the effect of a stubborn singer on the people who hear the song. Our canary's happy sounds make it pretty tough to stay in a bad mood frankly, and we really appreciate that bird's consistent positiveness. I think you can have that effect on the people around you, lifting their load, lifting their spirits, changing the atmosphere - if you'll lose the complaining, lose the cynicism, lose the negative and dedicate yourself to continually praising your Lord. Not just with rote "praise the Lords" but with specific praises for specific evidences of God's character and God's working this very day.
You may be in a sickbed, or an unemployment line, or a lonely time, or a time of overwhelming stress, but it is not what should determine your attitude or your talk. It's the Christ in you, not the circumstances around you. I want to be like our little canary friend - singing, no matter what. And turning the sadness of others to singing, too.