A Snappy New Day

I have a collection of coffee mugs.  Some have been given to me by friends, some advertise non-profits or businesses I endorse, some offer poignant or witty sayings to ponder.  A few even have my own artwork on them – from when I was actively working as a freelance cartoonist.

One I especially like is a Mr. Rogers mug.  You remember him, right?  That beloved children’s television star whose show ran on PBS for a hundred years or so.  Mr. Rogers would offer words of encouragement to his listening audience of kids and many of those words have made their way into our every day conversation.  Things like

  • I like you just the way you are.
  • Won’t you be my neighbor?
  • There is nobody in the whole world that is exactly like you.

This particular mug is covered with sayings like that, along with a photo of Mr. Rogers, wearing his signature brightly colored cardigan sweater.  Through some bit of chemistry I don’t understand, when I fill the mug with hot coffee Mr. Roger’s dark sport coat magically transforms into that bright yellow sweater and he sits there quietly smiling, offering me helpful thoughts while I sip my morning joe.  Pretty cool if you are an aging PBS Geek like me.

At any rate, one of those sayings is “I think I’ll make a snappy new day!”

I know.  It sounds silly, clearly meant for all his adoring public of three or four-year-old children but in my book it is really sound advice.

Every single morning we have a choice to make.  We can either roll out of bed grumbling and complaining, worrying and fretting.  Or we can decide – consciously, deliberately decide – to begin the day with a positive attitude, a heart full of thanksgiving, and a smile on our face.  In Mr. Roger’s parlance we can choose to make it a “snappy, new day.”

I try to do that.  I don’t always succeed.  Sometimes, I am barely awake before I am already fretting about something – a thousand things.

I can, however, choose differently.  When I do, it makes a huge difference in my life.

The apostle Paul put it this way,

“Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  – Philippians 4:4-7

Mr. Rogers, who happened to be an ordained Presbyterian minister as well as a television star, would approve.

So, go ahead.  I promise it won’t hurt.  Choose.  Make this a “snappy, new day.”

Everybody will be better off for it – including you.



By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton


  1. I love it. My coffee mugs are all over the dining room table waiting for a shelf to be built. My daughter has the same Mr. Rogers’s mug. Have a SNAPPY day.

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