A new study claims that excessive use of Facebook brings discouragement, even depression. Now I enjoy using Facebook to cheer people up, but experts are now calling it a “Mental health time bomb” saying it “elicits feelings of envy and the distorted belief that others lead happier, more successful lives.” We take our finest moments, our shiniest trophies, and post them to Bragbook. So today I thought it would be fun to introduce to you some normal, unvarnished people who admit that their lives are anything but perfect. I hope these true stories bring you a little cheer today.

A little guy had just absorbed the birds-and-the-bees explanation from his mother. He asked, “Is that how we were born?” “Yes,” she said. He thought about this, then pointed to his father and asked, “Where’d we get him?” During a noisy dinner at Pat’s parents’ home, her Dad was having trouble following conversations. He kept asking for things to be repeated. Finally Pat told him he needed to get a hearing aid. He looked at her as if she was crazy and said, “What would I do with a hand grenade?” Cindy was expecting. Her four-year-old nephew asked her, “Are you going to have a boy or girl?” “I don’t know,” she told him. He thought about this, then asked, “When will you decide?” Barbara’s granddaughter loved grandma’s puppy. “When you die,” she asked, “can I have Romeo?” “Of course,” said Barbara. Her granddaughter was a little too thrilled. “Oh, I can’t wait!” she said. Well, it’s encouraging to know that things go wrong in other families too. We’re all far from perfect.

Each morning before I fire up the phone, check Facebook, or eat breakfast, I go to a place where I meet people with the same problems I have and get ample encouragement. It’s a devotional jammed with Bible verses that never cease to be timely. This morning I was discouraged. This is what I read. “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Those are God’s words to Israel and certainly to the rest of us as well. “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” “Why so downcast oh my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 32 says, “The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.”

I hope you’re as encouraged today as I am hearing those words. In fact, I think I’ll go post them on Bragbook.