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02.12.17 | by Ray Jones


    An article in Forbes Magazine by Eric Savitz reported the effect of smiling on our lives. According to the article, we're actually born smiling. 3-D ultrasound technology now shows that developing babies appear to smile even in the womb. After they're born, babies continue to smile (initially mostly in their sleep) and even blind babies smile in response to the sound of the human voice.

    An intriguing UC Berkeley 30-year longitudinal study examined the smiles of students in an old yearbook and measured their well-being and success throughout their lives. By measuring the smiles in the photographs the researchers were able to predict: how fulfilling and long lasting their marriages would be, how highly they would score on standardized tests of well-being and general happiness, and how inspiring they would be to others. The widest smilers consistently ranked highest in all of the above.

    Even more surprising was a 2010 Wayne State University research project that examined the baseball cards photos of Major League players in 1952. The study found that the span of a player's smile could actually predict the span of his life! Players who didn't smile in their pictures lived an average of only 72.9 years, while players with beaming smiles lived an average of 79.9 years.

    While smiling doesn’t always indicate genuine joy in a person, for the Christian, there should be a connection between the joy on our face and the joy in our heart. Why? Because our joy is found in Christ and in our eternal hope. The Devil loves to steal your joy and rob your hope. If that’s where you find yourself today, let me encourage you to lift up your eyes and look at Him and believe the Word of God in Psalm 34:5-- “Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” What does your face say about your heart today? So smile, and let the radiance of our wonderful Savior be reflected on our face and in our countenance.

    WAY TO GO… Ridgecrest!... Here is what you did this past week on “Prove the Tithe” Sunday. You set another record for tithing, with one day giving just shy of $200,000! And with your other gifts along with the tithe you gave more than $226,000. That is larger than any other previous “Tithe” offering in our history. If, for the first time, you began tithing last week, keep it up and watch how God keeps His Word. Watch how He provides for you and watch for His blessings along the path of your obedience. I am so proud of you all, and not because you brought in such a record tithe, but because you listen to and believe the Word of God—that is what makes me so proud to be your pastor.

    As I said last Sunday God is biased toward obedience and righteousness… as long as we stay His course, we’ll see His hand in many ways. We’ll experience His presence when we go through the fires and we’ll be blessed with His provision for our life and for His glory.

    Speaking of Glory… keep praying for our Greater Glory Committee who will bring to us a recommendation on March 5th regarding the refurbishment of our auditorium. Our committee has been working with a company that has refurbished the greatest Churches in our Southern Baptist Convention and country…Here are just a few… First Baptist Dallas; Idlewild B.C. Tampa; Biltmore B.C. North Carolina; Bellevue B.C. Memphis; Prestonwood B.C. Dallas, FBC Naples, FL; Sherwood B.C. Albany, GA;… and that is just a very small sampling. In other words, the committee has worked with the best under the leadership of our Lord to bring to you the best, so that the Word of God given to us might be fulfilled through us and the “The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.” (Haggai 2:9) and remember that God is always trying to take us someplace new. I love being your Pastor!!!!

    For God’s Glory Alone,

    Bro. Ray