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Activated August 2011

Happiness - August 2011

Your happiness is high on God’s priority list, and He’s doing all He can to make it happen. He can’t do it alone, though. Here’s what He needs from you.
 

01-08-2011
Happiness Is What We Make It
Happiness Is What We Make It

Some say that happiness is what we make it. The more time I spend with a certain friend, the more I’m convinced that’s true.

Four years ago he was a successful businessman. Then one of his employees had a breakdown and showed up with a shotgun, intent on killing as many people as he could. In an attempt to disarm the man, my friend lost a hand and an eye. When he was released from the hospital weeks later, his savings were gone. My wife and I met him when we began volunteering at the homeless shelter where he was living....

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01-08-2011
Someone Bigger Than Me
Someone Bigger Than Me

I can still remember the first time I discovered what a few minutes in God’s creation can do. I was in grade school and was frantically searching for a misplaced workbook that I needed for class the next day. The more I searched, the more confused and frustrated I became. I was exasperated and on the verge of tears when my mom came into the room. Seeing my dilemma, she suggested I go outside for some fresh air and sunshine. “Perhaps it will give you new energy and refresh your mind,” she said.

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01-08-2011
Be Happy!
Be Happy!

There’s such a thing as being too sober and taking things too seriously, especially ourselves. The ability to laugh at ourselves is a great asset and helps keep us humble. People who can’t laugh at their own mistakes or take the mistakes of others with a sense of humor are either too proud or have too severe a sense of life.

God intended for us to enjoy living, and He has given us the ability, senses, and environment to do so. In fact, our main purpose in life is, as Martin Luther once said, “to love God and enjoy Him forever.”

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01-08-2011
The Difference-Maker
The Difference-Maker

Some Christian denominations, as well as some other religions, teach that suffering and sadness are measures of spirituality or religiosity, but it’s supposed to be just the opposite. God doesn’t intend for religion to be grievous, and Jesus certainly didn’t make it that way.

I don’t see how people can be truly happy until they have their deepest needs met. Even if they have everything they could wish for materially, they need something to satisfy their spiritual hunger. Thank God, Jesus does that!

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01-08-2011
This Little Light of Mine
This Little Light of Mine

The other evening my wife and I watched the sunset from our terrace, and we stayed until stars came out. As usual, the evening star was the first to appear. An hour or so later it was still the brightest light in the sky on this moonless night, its steady gleam easily outshining the twinkling competition.

The evening star had an unfair advantage, of course, since it is actually the planet Venus, masquerading as a star. Like the Moon, it emits no light but merely reflects light from the Sun.

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01-08-2011
Stressed?
Stressed?

When it seems there is more to be done than there is time for, it’s easy to get under pressure. We think we’re not getting enough done or are not getting it done quickly enough, so we push ourselves harder. But the fact of the matter is that when we do that, we usually wind up being less effective and getting even less done. What began as positive, motivated action turns into stress.

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01-08-2011
Embrace the Chaos
Embrace the Chaos

These days life is full of uncertainty for lots of people, including me. I was lamenting this reality to a friend the other day, when she said, “Maybe you just need to embrace the chaos.”

Embrace the chaos? Easier said than done. I don’t like chaos. I don’t know many people who do. But it got me thinking.

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01-08-2011
Contentment
Contentment

“Having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.”1 Those words went through my mind as I washed the breakfast dishes. Was that even possible? Could I actually be satisfied having nothing but food and clothes? The apostle Paul wrote, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”2 Not me. There have definitely been times when I wished I had some of the extras I saw others enjoying. I haven’t always been satisfied. How could I be satisfied with only food and clothes? I asked myself as I finished the dishes.

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01-08-2011
Bring Back the Joy
Bring Back the Joy

Question: I feel less happy than I did when I was younger. How can I regain some of the joy of life that I’ve lost?

 

Answer: At some point, most adults have looked at a child playing blissfully and wished they could turn back the clock. Children at play look happy, carefree, and thrilled about life. They laugh a lot, are easily entertained, and get excited about the simplest things. They have their problems and hurts too, of course, but they are resilient. Children live in the moment and generally spend more time being happy than adults. Here are a few...

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01-08-2011
Happiness Is Yours for the Taking
Happiness Is Yours for the Taking

Did you know that “Happy” is one of God’s names? In Psalm 43:4, the original Hebrew El Simchah Giyl means “God Exceeding Joy.” God created us in His own image, so it follows that He intends for us to be happy too.

 

Creation is brimming with happiness in praise to its Creator.

The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered with grain; they shout for joy, they also sing.—Psalm 65:13

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01-08-2011
Homegrown Happiness
Homegrown Happiness

We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.

Carlos Castaneda (1925–1998)

 

Resolve to keep happy and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.

Helen Keller (1880–1968)

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01-08-2011
The Walk of Faith
The Walk of Faith

The Bible has lots to say about walking. We are advised to walk in God’s ways,1 to walk in the way of goodness,2 to walk in the Spirit,3 to walk properly,4 to walk in love,5 to walk in wisdom,6 to walk in truth,7 and to walk in a way that pleases God.8

But what about those times when you don’t know which way to walk? Darkness has fallen on your way; a thick fog obscures the path ahead. Your footing is unsure, and you just don’t know which way to turn. It’s time for the walk of faith.9 We can walk by faith, without knowing exactly where we...

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01-08-2011
Here’s Happiness
Here’s Happiness

Some people think that they can’t be happy unless they’re free of problems. They do okay as long as everything goes their way, but the minute anything negative happens, it pokes a pin in their balloon and whatever happiness they had been feeling vanishes. Because they let circumstances dictate their level of happiness, they are always bracing themselves for the next letdown and are never able to relax enough to have fun or feel good about life. They will never find lasting happiness using that approach.

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