"It's a great day!"

That's what I have woke up each morning of this week telling myself. Such a simple phrase has gone a long way in changing my attitude and setting the mood for the rest of that day.

My pastor, Cory Porterfield, preached a message one Sunday called "Celebrate the Win." In his message, he told the story he was told recently of Bishop Billy McCool of Knoxville, Tennessee, who back in the '70s started a slogan, "It's a great day," across the city on billboards and radio broadcasts. Bishop McCool did not place his church logo or church name on the billboards or flyers because he did not see it as an opportunity to necessarily grow his church, but rather to uplift those who were hurting.

Pastor Porterfield went on to speak of a tragedy in the Walnut community. Back on Wednesday Nov. 7 of 2018 my cousin, Haley Wilbanks, passed away in a car accident on Hwy 72. Haley worked as a respiratory therapist at Magnolia Regional Health Center in Corinth and her death had really downed the spirits of her co-workers.

A nurse manager called Pastor Porterfield and asked him to come speak to the staff, specifically those who were closest to Haley, hoping it would do some good. Pastor Porterfield told those in attendance at the meeting the same story of Bishop McCool and how it changed the way the people of Knoxville looked at life everyday as they drove by one of those billboards or heard that phrase on the radio.

After Bro. Porterfield left, he received another call from the same nurse manager who told him that on their bulletin board it now says, "It's a great day!"

The moral of the story is, despite how down life has gotten one's self or how difficult the situation that one may be facing, we are still blessed beyond measure. To wake up and say that phrase is not just a ploy to try and tell yourself that what you are facing is not bad, but rather a self-examination of how good we really have it.

In his sermon, pastor read off a post that had an underprivileged child's Christmas list. In that list was things like: running water, a coat, a toothbrush, no drugs, to keep their games and not have them taken from them. That list was a huge slap of reality in my face. Often times, I can complain about my situations without ever acknowledging how truly blessed I am. My Christmas list looks vastly different from the list of that poor child.

In this holiday season, many call this "the happiest time of the year." But to many, that's not the case. To some people, this time of the year brings forth depression due to lack of family involvement, financial issues and tragic losses of family and friends that generates both frustration and pain.

Growing up, I did not have it all. I was by no means the richest kid in my class but looking back, I had everything I needed to live. One thing my parents always told me was "There is always someone who has it worse than you." That has stuck with me and I try and remember that in my low times.

To those who are suffering right now, I'm praying for you and my thoughts are with you in this season. As for me, everyday is a great day, no matter what. God has blessed my family more than we deserve. I'm thankful for everybody and everything in my life.

It's a great day today. It's a great day tomorrow. It will be a great day from here on out.  

dillon.barnes@journalinc.com

Twitter: @SS_Sports_

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