Today's a new day but tell me where are my blue skies. -Kirk Franklin Ooo hunny that's a mothful! One thing about Kirk Franklin is he is not going to come with nothing stiff or stale. He's gonna smack you right in the face and make you worship. As my Dad would say, "I like that kind of carrying on." I really do. There was a time when I thought- ok this old man is trying TOO hard to keep up with the young folk, but the more I listened the more he dropped hit after hit and it wasn't just a chart topper it was actually stuff that spoke to my situation, I had to reconsider. His music made me think and made me grateful and reminded me that I owe God praise... I snapped right out of that. Now I don't always agree with his outfit choices, nor did I like all of his ad libs, but there is no denying this man has a heart for God and he knows good music. His worship is for real. No matter what private nor public struggles he's had, he is the real deal and you can feel it in his projects. While I'm on this let me talk to us church folks just one minute-- Please, Please, PLEASE stop jumping to conclusions about other believers and for the love of everything holy please stop participating in the cancel culture with mainstream America. Just stop it! It's not nice, it's not fair and it's not God's heart. If cameras and microphones were hooked to everything you or I did and it was played back in the media we'd cower in a corner so let's not throw stones. Let's stay as humble as possible and lift each other up as our Lord has called us to do. Now back to this song I Smile, in particular back to this line above. Is that a wow moment or what? We know God loves us and He grants us new grace and mercy each day. So when we wake up to a new day we should wake up with a praise on our lips and joy in our hearts. But the reality is many of us wake up dreading the day that lies ahead. We wake up to reminders of failures and lack. We wake up to competing priorities and overwhelm. We wake up to nagging responsibilities that we don't know how to deal with and many times we just want to get back under the covers. But the encouragement in the song is smile anyway. Live anyway. There is a brighter moment awaiting you. Where you are now is not your final destination. We are all on a journey and prayerfully aiming to flow in purpose, so if we get knocked down 7 times we have to get up 8. We can't be stuck or stagnant because the minute we stop growing we start dying. I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to die yet. I want to enjoy a full prosperous life. And more than that I want to lift others to a place where they'll live full prosperous lives. I want to make an impact on this world. I can't leave my work undone. When sitting face-to-face with that "end" I was terrified. I could not stand the idea of getting marked incomplete by God. I am striving for an A in this class! I want to make it to where He tells me well done. So I may feel down at times, but I refuse to stay down. God has an amazing track record with me. He has never left me, not even for one moment. He has never forsaken me at any time. He has never seen me without. He has never sought to punish me, only to make me better. Gray skies or blue, He will get the glory out of my life and everyone will know it.