Happiness is a state of mind!

You do NOT have a right to be happy!
You DO have a right to pursue happiness, however; so it is up to you to be happy. So, how can you be happy?

Happiness is a state of mind. Happiness is about your focus. If you hear negative news all the time, what will you start to think? If you are more optimistic about things, you will start to think positively, talk positively and act positively…and you’ll be more fun to be around, and you’ll have more fun too. It is contagious!

But, Haven, you say…the world is falling apart; how can you be optimistic in all this muck and mire? Is the world really falling apart? How do you really know?

You all have heard about the so-called Man-made Global Warming Catastrophe and the fear of a worldwide crisis. Those supporting this idea say there is a scientific consensus; there is not and those scientist pushing the hoax have been shown to have doctored the information to suit thier personal agendas. But this scares people! They have been claiming the world’s end for decades; in the 70’s, our doom was to be an ice-age. Historically, the climate temperatures do in fact naturally go up and down about every 25 years or so, and it is currently cooler than the temperatures we have had in the past couple decades. Polar caps change; they always have. It is all part of solar cycles…its a normal God-created thing.

So, why the fear? Why the worry? …and does all this “worry stuff” make you happy? Do you just want to stay in bed, pull the covers over your head and tune out?

Throughout history, every crisis has birthed innovation and new discovery; what made these people create these other options? What made people look beyond the acute problem immediately facing them? Was it a belief in what they could do? Maybe it was a belief in WHO created them and that they too might be creative enough to work through a problem. Notice I said: WORK THROUGH A PROBLEM. This is the difference…attitude & focus to move forward…that they could achieve results.

It was the FOCUS on the fact that THEY could do something! That they had God-given abilities to do something…it got them out of bed in the morning and to rise above any problems.

WORKING THROUGH A PROBLEM is not about “not having any problems”…it is about not letting the problems control you, but YOU control the problem. Problems are opportunities to excel in something, to have achievement and reach innovative solution. They are not to be feared, but to be conquered!

I have VERY good news for you…you are created to do amazing things, and YOU have already been granted God-given abilities to be creative!

Time to take a fresh look

In one of my daily devotionals from “Truth for Life”, I saw this small piece of text. It is from C. H. Spurgeon and updated by Alistair Begg at Truth for Life and published by Good News Publishers (2003). Somehow, as I reflect on life and thinking of Spring, it called me to share this portion with you.

“Reader, if you are not yet saved, may your heart, in keeping with the universal awakening of nature, be opened to receive the Lord. Every blossoming flower warns you that it is time to seek the Lord; do not be out of tune with nature, but let your heart bud and bloom with holy desires. If you tell me that the warm blood of youth leaps in your veins, then I entreat you, give your vigor to the Lord. It was my unspeakable happiness to be called in early youth, and I am thankful to the Lord every day for that. Salvation is priceless, let it come when it may, but oh, an early salvation has a double value in it.”

Have you thought of the value of time as it is reflected in nature? Every season has it’s time…time for this and time for that…new life and new beginnings happen annually. We have a chance at new life and new beginnings every day; all you need to do is to turn toward the Lord, your Savior and Creator. Perspective comes in many forms; a chance at a wake-up call is a blessing not to be overlooked. Why not take a walk, study a new blossoming flower and think about your life and the directions you should go. Blessings to you!

When I am 64…the Beatles' Question

You remember the questions don’t you? Will you still need me? Will you still feed me, when I am 64? I turned 64 on January 9th; I don’t feel old, though some non-visonaries would say that I am. I don’t have to ask the questions from the Beatles because I am surrounded by people who love me…my wife, two daughters, and three grandsons. Further, I know that my LORD Jesus is always with me; I am never alone.

We have just come through another Christmas time when the real meaning of Christmas is mocked and demeaned; a time when maybe the majority of the people celebrate a jolly old fat man dressed in red and white, rather than celebrate the birth of the Savior, the Redeemer of the world. By the way, I never understood why athetists attack Christians; if we are wrong as they say we are, why not just let us flounder in our own mess? Anyway, the attacks happen and Jesus told us that the world would hate us, but take heart for the world hated Him first (John 17). Back to the jolly old fat man…St. Nick, a giving man to all people; this is not a bad image, is it? We should be giving people and look to help others; what is better than to see the joy in the face of a child? I think we need to strive for balance…balance! Jesus loved being surrounded by the children and I’m sure He laughted as they laughted. You’ve got to love a God like that. We can feed the hungry, present toys to children in hospitals, spend time with the elderly, etc. Balance, don’t over do all the gift buying, give yourself and be there for others; but above all, be thankful that your personal Savior came into the world to show you how to live and love.

How about we all take ourselves less seriously, spend some time laughting and let the wind blow our hair around without thinking I just had it fixed. Be a kid again! Laugh out loud at a cartoon as my grandson did this morning watching Micky Mouse. Be a kid again and enjoy each day of your life as a blessing from God. Be a kid again even if you are 64 or 94.

When I am 64…the Beatles’ Question

You remember the questions don’t you? Will you still need me? Will you still feed me, when I am 64? I turned 64 on January 9th; I don’t feel old, though some non-visonaries would say that I am. I don’t have to ask the questions from the Beatles because I am surrounded by people who love me…my wife, two daughters, and three grandsons. Further, I know that my LORD Jesus is always with me; I am never alone.

We have just come through another Christmas time when the real meaning of Christmas is mocked and demeaned; a time when maybe the majority of the people celebrate a jolly old fat man dressed in red and white, rather than celebrate the birth of the Savior, the Redeemer of the world. By the way, I never understood why athetists attack Christians; if we are wrong as they say we are, why not just let us flounder in our own mess? Anyway, the attacks happen and Jesus told us that the world would hate us, but take heart for the world hated Him first (John 17). Back to the jolly old fat man…St. Nick, a giving man to all people; this is not a bad image, is it? We should be giving people and look to help others; what is better than to see the joy in the face of a child? I think we need to strive for balance…balance! Jesus loved being surrounded by the children and I’m sure He laughted as they laughted. You’ve got to love a God like that. We can feed the hungry, present toys to children in hospitals, spend time with the elderly, etc. Balance, don’t over do all the gift buying, give yourself and be there for others; but above all, be thankful that your personal Savior came into the world to show you how to live and love.

How about we all take ourselves less seriously, spend some time laughting and let the wind blow our hair around without thinking I just had it fixed. Be a kid again! Laugh out loud at a cartoon as my grandson did this morning watching Micky Mouse. Be a kid again and enjoy each day of your life as a blessing from God. Be a kid again even if you are 64 or 94.

What is Happiness #4…The Final Answer

I have discovered that REAL happiness is RESTORATION. It is not about having things or having money. It is not about having a “good time”. It is about being restored!

Take the “Parable of the Lost Son” or as commonly referred to, the “Parable of the Prodigal Son”, as found in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 15, vereses 11 to 32. The younger son selfishly asked for his inheritance early, which is a way of saying to his father, “I wish you were dead.” Lovingly, his father grants his wish, and the younger son leaves his father. How often have we selfishly ask for things from God, our Father, and then turn and leave Him as well?

So, the boy blows all his money on “being happy”, and where does it leave him? Ruined! Lost! Wanting! Broken! Hurting! Without anything! Do you know anybody like that? Are you like that? There is only one thing that gives long lasting happiness; return to the Father.

So the boy comes to his senses and decides that the lowest servant in his father’s house is much better off than he is right now…so he returns to his father’s house. What do you suppose he expects to find? Will his father whip him for blowing his inheritance? Will he be rejected by his father? Will he be shut-out, finding locked doors and closed gates? Hopefully, as the boy wishes, he will just be able to become a hired-hand…not even a true member of the family anymore. So what happens?

The father excitedly greets his son with a warm embrace, a great welcome, the best of clothes, and throws a great celebration party! His son has returned! This, my friends, is exactly how God acts when you too will wise up and return back to the Father who created you! This is restoration! This is grace and mercy; it doesn’t matter what you have done, only that you come home! This is what happiness is! Return to God, become a child in your Father’s house…again. Be restored to your original creation before sin ruined our relationship with our Father God…angels will sing! This is the salvation of the lost. There will be much excitment in heaven and we will all join in a great banquet of celebration for the restored. “Once I was lost, but now I am found”…thanks be to God! Amen.

What is Happiness?

This is will be an incomplete post; I am exploring a topic. Have you ever stopped to think what is TRUE happiness? It is not based in “things”. Happiness runs much much deeper; it is not even based on the lack of bad things happening to you.

We are coming into Memorial Day; a day we remember those who have died…and more focused, those who have died in the Armed Services for the good of all mankind. All week long we have been exposed to the awful disaster in Moore, Oklahoma; an huge EF-5 tornado tore the city apart, not 10 miles from my house. I have been praying all week for the 200 homeowners who lost everything. I have been crying all week for the 24 that died in the horrible storm; ten were children, their families now torn apart (not just thier homes). How can you talk about happiness in the wake of such loss?

Let me be clear about a fact…God did not create this tragedy! God is a loving God and wants a loving relationship with all who will turn toward Him. Due to tragic sin and moral sin, we live in a fallen world where bad things happen. We Christians are not promised a life without suffering, but when, not if, but when we suffer loss, we are to turn to Jesus Christ to find comfort. How can Paul and Silas, chained to an awful prison wall, having been flogged to within an inch of their lives, be found singing hymns of praise to their Lord? What is that? Where does that come from? More spiritual progress is made through pain and tears, than through laughter. Paul tells us in Philipians to rejoice in the Lord always; is THAT true happiness? I think so!