I admit it, I am a waterfall lover. Last week I got to visit a wonderful location. The picture above is of the High Falls of Cheat in a remote section of the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. (take a look at this video clip [Real Media] of the same falls). There is something majestic, mesmerizing and peaceful about them. I also like the roar of the water, I like how the water moves from a tranquil flow to a raging torrent at the lip of the falls. I have stood close to Niagra Falls on the deck of the Maid of the Mist, I have stood at the base of Staubbachfalle in Switzerland with a drop of more than 900 feet, and I have enjoyed many lesser ones. In a word, waterfalls are cool.

I don’t know that there will be any waterfalls in heaven, but there at least will be flowing water. Revelation 22:1-2 indicates that a river of the water of life will flow from God’s throne through the main thoroughfare of the celestial city. The river though real, seems to symbolize the continual flow of blessings, provision and joy from God Himself for the benefit of the redeemed. Let your mind meditate on that a while and you may blow a few circuit breakers in your brain. What a great and wonderful God we serve. To Him be all the praise.

So let my few thoughts on waterfalls – or better yet – go enjoy one yourself—cause you to reflect on God’s goodness.

“There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God.” (Psalm 46:4)

Forty-three adventurous souls have just completed the BCC Senior Saints Fall Foliage Tour. It was great time in the mountains and touring by bus and train. One stop was at the American Mountain Theater (www.americanmountaintheater.com) for an evening of fun and music. The picture is of Joe Gainer on the banjo; Joe is an accomplished banjo player as well as a comedian. While listening to Joe and the rest of the bluegrass group, “Hardly Ever.” I recalled a quote I heard sometime ago. Someone said that they could not imagine someone being sad and playing the banjo. I agree it is just generally seems like a happy instrument. As I reflected a little deeper I wonder what people think of me (or if you are brave…insert your name) do they see someone they just can’t imagine being sad, or is there some less positive emotion on display?

I do know that my emotional disposition is connected to my focus. If I focus on what I don’t have, can’t do, etc. I end up playing in a minor key. If I choose to focus on the ever-present blessings of God and trust in His care and plan then I am a lot more like the ol five-string! Keep on picking!

Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”

Often we are encouraged to raise our expectations or we are to have high expectations of ourselves, our team or others. It sounds so positive and forward leaning doesn’t it. Ever heard some of these? “When you go on that field you need to expect the best from yourself and your team-mates.” “This sales team is the best ever, but next year we have high expectations for you.” and so it goes. In reading “The DNA of Relationships,” by Gary Smalley, I ran into this definition. “The difference between what I expect and what I get is stress.” Therefore all of you who are overstressed and over frustrated, you angry, ill-tempered over-expecters –listen up. The key to happiness is (drum roll please) LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS!

This is especially true when dealing with others, for all others are imperfect people who are riddled with flaws. When others don’t provide the love and affirmation we crave – lower your expectations. They are coping with their own overwhelming issues. If others do not make decisions with which you agree, remember this they should not be expected to. Their logic and values are fouled up so we should not expect consistent wise choices. If we are living with the false hope that we will always receive what we want, when we want it and in the way we want it, we will be in a state of continual stress. Rather, expect less and when a little love and cooperation comes your way be thrilled with the surprise. A few concise statements from the Bible may help with in the expectation game.

Forbear one another Eph. 4:2

Forgive one another Col. 3:13

Love one another 1 Thess. 4:9

Build up one another 1 Thess 5:11

Don’t judge one another Rom. 14:13

Have compassion for one another 1 Pet. 3:8