Friday, August 7, 2015

Smile Therapy

Blade was having a wonderful time all by himself.  I could see him prancing around his front yard while his mom and little sister were in the house. They were moving. 

Lori, his mom, was gathering the remaining items and cleaning up for the realtors.  While three year old Chloe was busy helping mommy, Blade just wasn’t interested and chose to play in the yard … and the neighbor’s yard, mine … and in the street.  He was having a jolly time all by himself. 

Watching him I couldn’t help but smile.  He was wearing his flip flops on his hands like gloves and spreading his arms like eagle’s wings flying.  Not being content he ran over to the truck and chucked the rubbery shoes in the flat back of the vehicle.   

Freeing himself from any footwear, Blade danced and spun around the yard making his way over to my driveway.  Finding something of interest across the street, he ran to his neighbor’s house that connected to his side yard. 

I didn’t even have time for a picture, because Blade wasn’t in any place long enough for me to snap one. Within a few short minutes my liberated toe friend had visited every lawn as he zig zagged from place to place, only to wind up jumping in the back of the truck to retrieve his shoes.   

My six year old smiling neighbor brought sheer joy to my morning and he didn’t even know it. 
 
Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFBPokhra, Gandaki Zone, Nepal; Chichester, England, United Kingdom; Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India;  Accra, Ghana; Quenzon City, Marilao, Central Luzon & Metro Manila, Philippines; Chile; Nairobi, Kenya; Mongu, Eastern Province, Zambia; Benin-City, Edo State, Nigeria; Stockholm, Sweden; Jessore, Khulna Division, Bangladesh; Georgetown, Demerara-Mahaica, Guyana; Swan View, WA, Australia; Japan; Taiwan; Colombia.
USA Spokane Valley, WA; Manchaca & Grapevine, TX; Gerrandstown, WV; Fresno, Lomita & Lancaster, CA; Scotia & Ballston Spa/Lake & Bronx, NY; Kabetogama, MN; Eucha, OK; North Port & Fort Pierce, FL; Taunton, MA; Winston-Salem & Waxhaw, NC. 

Thank you for your continued support and sharing Believing Our Belief on Daily Favor.  (DFB - Daily Favor Blog) Living my life before God and man, by sharing experiences as I walk out my faith.
You are welcome to leave comments or prayer requests below.  All are private. I would love to hear from you and how Daily Favor has worked in your life.  Contact me by leaving a message in the box at the bottom of this week’s post.  

Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).
Read Messages, updates on Hubby’s Heart and visit the Q & A or other sections. 

From Challenge to Challenging


Wouldn't you agree the Writing Sisters
have great smiles?

After last week’s post The Balance Bar, I took on another challenge by going through my email.  When I looked at my new twitter followers there was something I found peculiar, yet encouraging. 
 
So many of the sites I viewed had bio pictures with people sporting the most wonderful smiles.  The “about me” section under the photographs made me want to learn more concerning their personalities. 

It was if God was telling me something (only I didn’t figure it out until the following Tuesday).  I took my questions to the Word of God and began my research.  Again I found myself smiling at what I read.  There are tons of smiles out there just waiting to be received. 

Relative Smiles  

Something that usually makes people smile, is when they see a loved one after many years apart.  I can “relate” to this scene not having been with my family for some time now. 

Jacob and Esau had such an encounter in their reuniting after parting ways when they were young adults.  The twin boys had an opportunity to mend fences and their relationship was restored. 
 
Each brought gifts to exchange hoping to find favor with one another, but their smiling faces gave more comfort. 

“And what were all the flocks and herds I met as I came?” Esau asked.
 
Jacob replied, “They are a gift, my lord, to ensure your friendship.” 

Wasn’t that a strange statement to a relative? 

“My brother, I have plenty (I have been favored by God with much bounty), keep what you have for yourself.” Esau answered. 

But Jacob insisted, “No, if I have found favor with you, please accept this gift from me.  And what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God!  Please take this gift I have brought you, for God has been very gracious to me. I have more than enough.  

And because Jacob insisted, Esau finally accepted the gift." (from Genesis 33 NLT)

Although their visit was short, it was joyful.  Each brought something to the relationship in giving and sharing what they had, including smiling faces.  How often do you offer the gift of a smile to a family member, especially those you see every day? 

Friendly Smiles 

During the most trying time of his life, Job encouraged his friends when referring to his former blessing as “God smiling down on him with favor.”  The people sat and drank in every word like a refreshing rain. 

“When they were discouraged, I (Job) smiled at them.
My look of approval was precious to them.” (Job 29:24 NLT) 

I know that feeling, “the being approved by someone that cares about you” feeling.  When that particular person sends a smile your way, it means the world to your ego, and can really change how you handle a situation. 

Job expressed that even though he was suffering the most devastating time of his life he wasn’t going to wallow in it, but chose to put off his sad face and wear a smile.” (Job 9:27 NLT) 

While in the grocery store this past Wednesday (8/5/15), I talked to a lady who was cleaning the floors in the front of the store.  A checker walked over to her and asked why she was smiling.  The cashier didn’t know about my “smile week” conversation with the cleaning woman, however the lady replied to her co-worker:
 
“Even though I’m really tired I will still smile.” 

Like Job, she chose to do something that went against what she was feeling. I patted her on the shoulder and thanked her for sending out her smile as I walked past her. 

Toothy Smiles
 
Watch Andy smooth talk
Ellie into smiling.
When I looked up the next passage the first thing I thought of was the Andy Griffith Show episode “Ellie Comes to Town.” 
 
Andy welcomes lovely Elinor aka "Ellie", the new female pharmacist and tries to warm up to her with his charm.  It has to be the ultimate one line opener for catching girls! 

“Well now, that’s a nice smile, just as toothy.
‘spect folks will take to that.” 

Apparently Solomon felt the same way with his beloved. 

“Your teeth are as white as sheep, recently shorn and freshly washed. Your smile is flawless, each tooth matched with its twin.” (Song of Solomon 4:2 NLT) 

I don’t know if I’d want to be compared to a sheep that has just brushed its teeth with none of them missing, but it worked for Solomon.  Maybe he had something after all. I have to admit though, smiles that show lots of teeth make me smile!  They’re contagious.  Let me prove my point with an illustration. 

Closed Mouth Smiles 

To test “smile therapy” I went into action yesterday morning (Thursday 8/6/15) I decided to try out my theory in the grocery store.  While waiting for my husband to get his items at the deli counter I looked around for a suspect … AH, found one. 

I stood next to a gentleman who was stocking the potato salad in the cooler and didn’t say anything, but just smiled with my lips being closed.  Joe looked at me and backed away thinking he was in my way.  I kept smiling. 

He didn’t know what to do so he went back to working.  I didn’t go away, but continued to watch him.  When he stepped back again he looked at me smiling and smiled back with a giggle to follow. 

“Is there something you wanted?” he asked.  Looking up at him I said, “I was just testing a theory and you passed.”
 
I went on to explain that next week (actually the month of August) is National Smile Week, which is mainly to do with dental hygiene. This is where “Ellie” toothy smiles get thumbs up according to the dentist.  A visit to your orthodontist this month would bring a smile I’m sure. 

My exercise had nothing to do with teeth, but merely to seek smiles as a way to encourage people and brighten their day. 

Not even two minutes after my interlude with Joe he became elated and shouted out to the deli attendant, “Come on smile, it’s National Smile Week.”  His mouth was wide open now showing all his teeth with pride. 

The attendant gave a grumpy response, but he kept smiling and became rather joyful.  It turned my smile into laughter watching how the smile therapy changed people.  I like that. 

Then there is ... Singing for Smiles 

David gave direction to the choir director to have these lyrics sung using stringed instruments in the selection. 

“Many people say, Who will show us better times?
 Let your face smile on us, LORD.” (Psalm 4:3 NLT) 

... and ... prayerful smiles like when Hannah prayed with thanksgiving for how God had blessed her with victory over her enemies.  I’ve said a few of those prayers myself, haven’t you? (1 Samuel 2)

Smiles from Heaven

When God is pleased with His children it’s as if smiles from Heaven bring new life and restoration to the brokenhearted. 
 
When we do what is right in His eyes, it makes the Lord smile and open paths for us to receive His blessings.  It's not something that can really be described, but it can be felt and is visible.
 
Someone once expressed it as Heaven touching earth.
 
“Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed!  

Truth springs up from the earth, and righteousness smiles down from Heaven.  Yes, the LORD pours down His blessings.  Our land will yield its bountiful harvest. 

Righteousness goes as a herald before him, preparing the way for his steps.” (Psalm 85:10-13 NLT) 

Godly Smiles  

I’ve visited a lot of churches throughout the years and have been fascinated and bewildered as to how some pastors close out their services.  Not to be biased, but I like how ours sends out the flock after a message. 

One of the things we receive in our church is a blessing from our minister as he closes in prayer.  He bestows the “pastoral blessing” on us, otherwise known as the Moses blessing. 

During their years in the wilderness, Moses would give his older brother Aaron messages to relay to the people that he had received from the LORD.  This was one of those he shared with the Israelites.  

“Then the LORD said to Moses, Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing: 

May the LORD bless you and protect you.
May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the LORD show you His favor and give you His peace. 

Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them.” (Numbers 6:22-27 NLT) 

Does God smile on His people? I believe we just read that smiles are on His agenda.  God smiles on those that bless others in His name.  Those “smiles” are Him being pleased with us. They transfer into His favor, blessings and covenant benefits for believers in Jesus Christ. 

The people obeyed God and listened to what Aaron told them. They believed the LORD would bless, protect, grant His peace, show grace and favor on them, and He did. 

Their belief led them to act. Their correct action caused them to be blessed. 

I want the LORD smiling down on me with His favor, so it’s vital that I keep my blessing card handy at all times. 
 

This Week’s Challenge:
Bearer of Smiles 

Our opening story was sparked by an unsuspecting bearer of smiles, who was enjoying life in the moment in his own world.  I didn’t know I’d end up smiling at my little buddy Blade much less writing about him, but it happened.  

God will always be faithful to showing us the good things in our lives when we set our focus on what He puts before our eyes.  He does this for a reason, and that is so our journey will be a joyful one regardless of what is happening all around us.  He wants to make us smile. 

There are smiles in us waiting to burst forth. What kinds of things make you smile?  When I asked my husband to give me a few things, he literally gave me a few … two!  One of them was me, so I told him that didn’t count (even though it was nice to hear.)  

There are oodles of things that stimulate smiles out of me, but I’ll share ten with you. 

Singing makes me smile, especially Christian songs.

Hearing a toddler’s belly laugh.

Rainbows … what a beautiful promise from God.

Christmas lights, lots and lots of them.

Making strangers smile for no reason, like Joe.

Waving to my hubby (trust me, it’s funny).

Chocolate, but that probably doesn’t count.

Giving and receiving flowers.

Having my hand held during prayer.

Holding my pets to make them look like they are dancing.

Watching birds and squirrels out my windows with cats chirping by my side. 

Our challenge this week will have us put into practice things that will make people smile.  Share with people that you are taking the Smile Therapy Challenge and invite them to join in on your quest. 

What caption would you write here?
First select a media location to post a smiling photo of you, the family, friends or pets.  It doesn’t have to be “toothy”, but it may help. 
 
Be sure to leave a caption that will make people smile. (Don’t just say, “Smile, God loves you.”)  To really make it effective try to post a different one for the next seven days. 

Next make a list naming ten things that make you smile.  Share a few with me by leaving a comment here or on any of my media sites.  You may want to incorporate the list with your photo posts. 

Finally, get out there and be a bearer of smiles.  I know there are hundreds of case studies about the effects of smiling linked to healing and overall mental health, but this study is about you and your walk with God. 

Conduct your own Smile Therapy test. The best way to share the love of God is to show people that Christians are happy people, not doom bearers. 
 
… and one more. Hearing kids sing about Jesus makes me smile! 

 
 
 

As you take on this week's challenge, I’d like to leave you with a blessing as God instructed Moses to do for those that believed. 

May the LORD bless you and protect you.
May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the LORD show you His favor and give you His peace.  

 
 


Thank you Lord for making me smile today, and every day! 
 

Until next time, may God show you His favor! 

Check Messages throughout the week.  

“My smiles are followed by My favor.”
Jesus Christ 

Note: The words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives.
Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness.

What’s New This Week: Click on book or link.
 
http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?event=AFF&p=1167566&item_no=297444
Encouragement and Inspiration for Life's Ups and Downs
by Zig Ziglar

Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy. 
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image:  Boys Flip Flops  Ellie on Andy Griffith Show Toothy Smile  Smile Therapy  May God Smile on You  God You Make Me Smile  Numbers 6:24-26 NLT  Boy and Dog Smiling
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.

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