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No good, very bad days

Pastoral Messages | September 19, 2017

As a child, one of my absolute favorite books was “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” As you might guess from the title, the book details a (very bad) day in the life of a red-haired, teen-aged boy named Alexander. From the moment he wakes up and discovers gum in his hair, it’s clear this day is no good.

From there, things seem to get progressively worse. Among other things, he stubs his toe when he trips over his skateboard in his room. He has to go to the dentist and learns he has a cavity. Alexander’s best friend Paul decides someone else is his best friend. Worse yet, when he gets home that evening, he discovers his mom has made lima beans for dinner—and Alexander hates lima beans.

At the end of this long, frustratingly awful day, Alexander goes to bed as his mom tells him, “Some days are like that.” And with that, the book ends.

As a child, I remember wondering what happened to Alexander the next day. Hoping, for his sake, it was better. Did he wake up without gum in his hair and his toe feeling less sore? Did his tooth stop hurting or maybe he got to eat pizza instead of beans for dinner that evening? We’ll never know.

Like Alexander, all of us most certainly have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. They are unavoidable at any age. Maybe it’s a flat tire instead of a visit to the dentist. Or more substantial grief in place of not having the most delicious dinner. But we’re all bound to have not-so-good days.

When I crawl into bed after such a dreadful day, my closing, sleepy thought is to think about what the next day will bring. Mostly, I remind myself of the promises made to us in the Old Testament book of Lamentations: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. God’s mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.”

For me, there’s something about the sun coming up on a new day. The promise of a new start no matter how unpleasant the day before was. The interesting thing about our faith is that nowhere in the bible does God ever promise us we won’t have bad days. Terrible, horrible ones even. “Some days are like that,” God might say, sighing right along with us.

But throughout the bible, God promises us a new start. The gift of grace that tells us we can always begin again. Every morning, the chance to see God’s goodness in our lives. Some days are no good and very bad. But maybe not tomorrow. God’s mercies are new every morning.

Katy Warren, associate pastor

10 Comments on “No good, very bad days”

  • Jana Baltimore

    September 24, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Lovely message and reminder that everyday is a fresh start, a new beginning…as “God’s mercies are new every morning”

  • Diana Holland

    September 21, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    One more home run.
    Thank you for sharing right on the mark comments.

  • Ronda Bird

    September 21, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    Hi Katy! I like the image of God sighing right along with us when we have “one of those days.” (By the way, I used to do reading/writing lessons with this book. It’s favorite of children and adults alike!) Thank you for the reflection.

  • Jordan D

    September 21, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    This is just what I needed for these past few days. Thank you for the reminder to have faith that tomorrow will be better!

  • Carrie C.

    September 21, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Its been a very frustrating, bad day at work for me today. I happened to open my email and read your message. It is just what I needed to read! Thank you, Katy!

  • Don Garrison

    September 21, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    There are those days. I have added Orphan Anne”s theme song to memory ever since first seeing the musical. ” The sun will come up tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that it will. Just wait and see”. Sally and I thank God every day for his continued presence in our life.

  • Heidi Watkins

    September 21, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Some days are like that, even in Australia. 😉
    Thanks for the reminder, Katy, that each new day brings with it “the chance to see God’s goodness in our lives.”

  • Vida Luth

    September 21, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    You are so correct. The very best thing is when I go to the YMCA to swim between 5:30 and 6:00 (a.m.) I see the majesty of God renewing the day as the sun comes up over the treetops. It is magnificent every day, and everyday I thank God for giving me a new day.

  • Kyle B

    September 21, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks, Katy. As always this is a very good message and it was much needed today.

  • Lucia Moore

    September 21, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Thanks, Katy……I too have been a big fan of Alexendar and as I recall, didn’t he have a red, green and white strip zebra/horse that he blamed everything on when he was a little boy? I read this to my boys, grands and the kids I tutored at Ericson in Moline and Madison. We do all have some really horrible, bad days but sure enough, as God is with us, the next day proves that God loves us even if the check-out person does not.

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Daniel 12:1-3

The Time of the End

1“Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.2“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.3“Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

Psalm 16

1Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.

2I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord;

I have no good besides You.”

3As for the saints who are in the earth,

They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.

4The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied;

I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood,

Nor will I take their names upon my lips.

5The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;

You support my lot.

6The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;

Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

7I will bless the LORD who has counseled me;

Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

8I have set the LORD continually before me;

Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;

My flesh also will dwell securely.

10For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;

Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

11You will make known to me the path of life;

In Your presence is fullness of joy;

In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Hebrews 10:11-25

11Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;12but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD,13waiting from that time onward UNTIL HISENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.14For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.15And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,

16“THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM

AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:

I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART,

AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,”

He then says,

17“AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS

I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.”

18Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

A New and Living Way

19Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,20by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,21and since we have a great priest over the house of God,22let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;24and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,25not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Christ or Judgment

Mark 13:1-8

Things to Come

1As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples *said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!”2And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.”

3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately,4“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?”5And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.6“Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many.7“When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end.8“For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

Daniel 7:9-14

9“I kept looking

Until thrones were set up,

And the Ancient of Days took His seat;

His vesture was like white snow

And the hair of His head like pure wool.

His throne was ablaze with flames,

Its wheels were a burning fire.

10“A river of fire was flowing

And coming out from before Him;

Thousands upon thousands were attending Him,

And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him;

The court sat,

And the books were opened.

11“Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.12“As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.

The Son of Man Presented

13“I kept looking in the night visions,

And behold, with the clouds of heaven

One like a Son of Man was coming,

And He came up to the Ancient of Days

And was presented before Him.

14“And to Him was given dominion,

Glory and a kingdom,

That all the peoples, nations and men of every language

Might serve Him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion

Which will not pass away;

And His kingdom is one

Which will not be destroyed.

The Vision Interpreted

Psalm 93

1The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty;

The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength;

Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.

2Your throne is established from of old;

You are from everlasting.

3The floods have lifted up, O LORD,

The floods have lifted up their voice,

The floods lift up their pounding waves.

4More than the sounds of many waters,

Than the mighty breakers of the sea,

The LORD on high is mighty.

5Your testimonies are fully confirmed;

Holiness befits Your house,

O LORD, forevermore.

Revelation 1:-4-8

John 18:33-37

33Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”34Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?”35Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?”36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”37Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”