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Just put on a happy face

posted Oct 27, 2010, 8:54 AM by Dan Dunbar   [ updated Oct 27, 2010, 9:59 AM by Unknown user ]
"Gray skies are gonna clear up - Put on a happy face!
Wipe off the clouds and cheer up - Put on a happy face!
Spread sunshine all over the place, just put on a happy face!"

These are some of the lyrics from a tune from the 1960s era musical Bye Bye Birdie written by Charles Strouse, and I thought I would share them with you on this gray Wednesday afternoon. I had a wonderful experience this morning in upper school chapel. Kathie Groenewold appeared in the room, standing at the bottom of the center aisle, and I spontaneously asked her, "Would you like to sing this morning?" Kathie slowly made her way down the aisle to the stage saying, "Oh, no. Not me. I can't sing. You know how I hate attention!" When asked if she would like a microphone, she declaimed, "Oh, no!" and then held out her hand for one. 

Robert Bridges was on guitar and Jordan Myers was tickling the ivories when we began to sing "Because of Your Love." I let the guys vamp the song for a while as Kathie and I showed the students how to bounce their heads to the rhythm of the song. When I finally started singing, there were plenty of bemused smiles throughout the audience and some outright giggles too. Kathie kept up with the rhythmic movements adding hand and arm gestures along with some swaying and even some hopping around. I enjoyed having someone there to help lead the saints in praise and I managed to sing and not laugh my way through to the end.

We followed that song with "Here in Your Presence," and I know that more people participated because they had been liberated from their gray sleepiness and self-consciousness by Kathie's Spirit-filled antics. Worship was beautiful and Pastor Bill Alderson's message on making a decision to exercise faith to practice the presence of God was anointed and built on the song service we had just had.

So, I am thanking God for yet another of His many blessings that I have been able to experience here at GGCA, and I have a happy face - no need for me to put one on today. 

Sometimes I see students with sad faces, and some of them have legitimate reasons to be sad. But some students (and some parents and teachers too) have sad faces and it's only because they choose not to see the blessings God has lavished upon them. They choose to focus on the few less than sunny things in their lives instead of looking up and basking in the light of God's boundless love and amazing grace! They look at what they don't have instead of praising God for all they do have and they are like little dark storm clouds weeping and lamenting when they could be laughing and doing a little dance of joy in the sunshine. I want to slip on a banana peel or do something to make them laugh and forget the gray and gloomy. I think it's healthier and what God has in mind for us - joy unspeakable and full of glory.

"Take off the gloomy mask of tragedy - it's not your style.
You'll look so good that you'll be glad that you decided to smile!
Pick out a pleasant outlook; stick out that noble chin.
Wipe off that "full of doubt look." Slap on a happy grin!
Spread sunshine all over the place, just put on a happy face!"