Posts Tagged ‘Happy Family’

The Fountain of Happiness and Joy

Friday, December 7th, 2012

“the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)

The Price of Invulnerability

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Being vulnerable with those close to you and with God is critical to having joy in our lives and being happy in life and at work.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.   Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;  don’t try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;  he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.  Run to God!  Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life!  (Proverbs 3:5-8  The Message)

I discovered this video presentation that helps us practically understand why God’s word encourages us to open up our lives at a depth we not accustom to, to share our lives more intimately than the world tells us we should, and be vulnerable with our lives with those we love and care for, including our Heavenly Father.  I hope you find it helpful.

Hope Our Anchor Of Life

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” – Hebrews 6:19

When you hear the word anchor, what images and thoughts come to mind? A large heavy object used to secure and hold a boat securely in place, keeping it from drifting off into danger? A large, heavy secure bolt, beam, or brace used to ensure a building is strong, stable, and safe? A strong device, that when fixed, ensures a rock climber is held safely and securely while dangling perilously high above the ground? A key military defensive position critical to protecting an important area, troops and/or citizens?

Another definition offered by dictionary.com is “a person or thing that can be relied on for support, stability, or security; mainstay.”

We have all had times in life when we needed and “anchor”; those times when we feel helpless and seek support, security, and stability in the people, things, and places familiar to us, that have always been there for us, and that we feel we can most trust and rely on to support us and make us feel safe and good. It is great to have these “anchors” in our lives, and they can be very helpful and comforting in dealing with some real rough storms in life or at work, but just as with the physical and mechanical anchors used by sailors or boaters, contractors, rock climbers, and our military the people, things, and places we put our trust in sometimes let us down, disappoint us, and fail us because they just aren’t capable of meeting the need, filling the void, and providing the true hope that our hearts really need and thirst for.

That is exactly what God offers us in his promises; a firm and sure anchor of hope! In The Message a modern translation of the Bible, Hebrews 6:15-20 tells us:

When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line. He said, “I promise that I’ll bless you with everything I have—bless and bless and bless!” Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him. When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they’ll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.

We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline (anchor), reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us…”

So, the next time you find yourself needing an “anchor” grab hold of the only person, place, or thing that offers us true unshakable security, strength, safety, stability, rest, peace, and comfort. Reach out and grab hold, tightly, to God, your creator and Heavenly Father. He will not disappoint you, fail you, leave you or forsake you. He will be an “anchor” for your soul, and make you more happy in life and at work.

Blueprint For Our Lives

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

In the midst of everything that life has to throw at us, isn’t it good to know that God has it all under control. In fact, you could say that He has the blueprint for our life. We just need to give up control and trust him; walk in faith, a faith that holds on to God’s truths and promises. We need to stop striving, and start abiding in the one who creates us, loves us, and has a wonderful plan for our lives.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 says:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Overcoming Fear and Anxiety

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”   (John 14:1-4)

Picture this scene. You are one of those closest to Jesus. You are gathered with others close to him in an intimate room with Jesus. You are all enjoying good food and drink, sharing stories, and building more memories. You are thinking back almost three years when Jesus approached you and said simply “Follow me!”

You and the others had done exactly that; you left your homes, jobs and families and three years you all placed your hopes in Jesus. Even when many others had given up and turned back because they thought the cost was to high, the group now gathered, including you, had not. You had denied yourself, been through great hardship, and continued to put your faith in Jesus; you loved Jesus and were committed to following after him no matter what!

Then it happens. Jesus tells all those gathered that one of you would betray him. You are stunned. The room becomes quiet. Everyone is looking at each other and saying Lord? One of us? It can’t be!

But wait, it gets worse. Jesus then begins to tell you that he is leaving you, and that you will not be able to go with him!

Can you imagine how you would feel as you began to understand what Jesus was telling you? What would be swirling around inside your mind and heart? You had left everything to follow him, and now he was just going to leave, move on without you! Why was he leaving? Where was he going? Why couldn’t you continue to follow him? What would you do? What would happen to you and the group? How would you survive? You no longer have a home or any money. And what about the promised kingdom? It wasn’t supposed to end this way. In short, what the @#*%?

Would you agree that if there was anyone who had reason to be frightened, worried, and fearful, it was this group…the disciples, who had faithfully follwed Jesus for three years. All their hopes and dreams were being dashed in an instant. They had to be terribly confused and very fearful!

But, in steps Jesus. He knew how fearful and confused they were, for he himself had experienced being deeply troubled. As he contemplated going to the cross, he cried out to God “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.” (John 12:27)

Jesus knew what was required to overcome fear, and knowing that his disciples were about to experience great fear and anxiety, he wanted to let them know what to do and to comfort them.  That is when he says to them:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.”   (John 14:1)

Jesus instructs, even commands the disciples and us to not allow our hearts to be troubled.  This may sound harsh or abrupt at first, but think about it, Jesus would not instruct us in this way (give us this responsibility) if we did not possess the ability to do it.  And he says as much when he says “You believe in God; believe also in me”.  He is saying you can do this; you have what it takes; because you believe in God, you have the power and strength to handle this, it is within you!  He is telling us to take our eyes off of the situation and circumstances, put them on God and then him, call on his Holy Spirit for strength and courage, and to exercise our faith.

If we believe in the truths and promises of Jesus, who overcame the greatest fear, the fear of death, and we exercise our faith in him by knowing and holding onto the his promises, we too can overcome our fears.  We have access to the very same truths, promises, and power that Jesus called on to overcome death!  

But Jesus does not stop there.  After he intructs the disciples on how to overcome their fear, anxiety, and worry, he comforts them by saying I know you are freaking out right now and I know you think that me leaving is the absolute worst thing that could happen, but let me tell you why I am leaving.  He then says:

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”   (John 14:2-4)

Now just stop and picture what Jesus is saying to his disciples and to you and me.  He is saying there is no real reason to be fearful, but since you are please know this…I am going to heaven where there are many rooms, and in fact, I am going there to prepare a very special room for each of you.  And, in case that is not enough, also know that I am not leaving for good; I will come back to take you to that special room prepared just for you.  Do you think this changed things for the disciples?  Do you think that they might have drawn new strength and courage to overcome their fear knowing this?  Of course, and so can we!

And the last and greatest thing he says to his disciples and to you and me (in this passage) is that because we know him, Jesus, who is the way the life and truth (John 14:6), we know how to follow him there.  So, once again he utters(to his disciples and to you and me) the same words he said when they first met, “Follow me!”

Believe in Jesus, put your faith in and follow Jesus, hold onto the truths and promises of Jesus, do not let your heart be troubled, be courageous, and call on the power that overcame death!  Do this and I believe with all my heart that you will find happiness in life and at work.

Rest For Your Soul

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

I used to race bicycles competitively. From 1990-1997 I raced in over a dozen states. In order to do so, I trained regularly and rigorously. You may be familiar with cycling, if only from watching the Tour de France on TV. In cycling, the riders will form packs or groups to work together and conserve energy. Each rider taking a turn in front then slipping back to take shelter and rest until it is again their turn to “take a pull”. Riders in groups will even share food and water, knowing that they are stronger as a group.  They will watch after each other and work together in hopes that the group will be successful and make it to the finish ahead of the other riders.

In some cases riders who become fatigued get “dropped” from a group and are left alone. They may, for a while, attempt to work very hard to maintain the pace of the group, and even hope to rejoin the group, but invariably the physical and mental demands to maintain such a pace can cause them to “crack”.  At that point the wise tactic is for that single rider to drop back to another group, take shelter from the new group, rest, and recover.  If you race long enough, it happens to everyone. From experience, I can tell you that, when you are “dropped” and left alone, it is an awful feeling. The feeling of being “dropped” and left alone is difficult to overcome. The physical weariness is one thing, but mentally motivating yourself to continue and finish can be a great battle of will.

However, when another group comes along and you are able to join them, you become re-energized, refreshed, and recommitted to finishing the race. The new group accepts you,  welcomes and encourages you, provides you the relief and rest you need, they pull you along, they nourish you, and there is exchange of important race information and friendly conversation. They are just what you need to finish the race you started!

Something else I know from experience is that sometimes in life and in our careers, we can get “dropped”; we become both physically and mentally weary and fatigued; the burden becomes so great that we feel as though we just can’t continue or finish; we want to give up. In those times, God wants to be that group that comes along when we most need it. He will always accept us right where we are, there is always a warm comforting spot for us in his arms, he wants to give us the rest we need, he wants to renew our strength, he is “the bread of life and wants to nourish us, he offers the peace we are looking for, and he wants so much for us to talk and share our lives with him. He is the one who can help us, not just continue the race, but to finish it…and finish strong!

Go to him, find rest for your soul, and allow him to help you find happiness in life and at work.

Stand By Me, You, Somebody

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

“As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

Take a look at that first verse again; “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. It says “never”. That has been a tough one for me at times; admittedly, there have been times when I have been unhappy, sad, hurt, discouraged, dissapointed, disillusioned, afraid, lonely, or angry, and I have felt like God had foresaken me. But, without fail and at just the right time God always shows up! Oftentimes, he shows up in the form of a friend or family member, who knows just what I need, or don’t need.

Sometimes in life we just need someone to stand by us, not to do anything specifically, but just to know that they beleive in us and are willing to stand by us and with us. Do you have a friend or family member like that? I pray you do, and If so, I hope you recognize and acknowledge how blessed and fortunate you are. If you don’t, I pray God will meet that need; send you that special someone to stand by you, love you, and encourage you. I want you to pray for that too, then have faith and believe that God will help you find that “friend that sticks closer than a brother”.

Secondly, and just as important, I hope you will take the time to be that friend for someone else in their time of need…because no matter who we are or where we go…at some point we all need somebody to standy us. Do this and I know you will be happy in life and at work.

Playing For Change: Song Around the World “Stand By Me” from Playing For Change on Vimeo.

Something New!

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Happy Life and Work wishes everyone God’s best this new year. My prayer is that your heart will be open to what God has in store for you in life and at work. I hope this passage and the short two minute video will encourage you to allow God to work in and through your life in 2011.

 

 

“This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”    (Isaiah 43:16-19)

A Cheerful Heart Is Good Medicine

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Are you someone who normally finds it difficult to be happy in life and at work?  Is it worse for you around Christmas and the holidays?  If so, I am sorry, and I hope a favorite passage of mine will help.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22)

Proverbs 15:13 says it this way: “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit”

You may read this and say “duh…I get it, but first you have to have a “cheerful heart”.  You’re right, but many times we don’t have a cheerful heart because we chose not to.  We chose to think about and dwell on the very things that get us and keep us down.  The pity party begins and before we know it we are in the pit and can’t find our way out.

This leads me to another one of my favorite passages…

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 every situation, 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.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.  (Philippians 4:4-9)

This great passage tells us how to get out of the pit and stay out; how to create and maintain a “cheerful heart”.   God does not want us to sad, discouraged, depressed, or downcast…even when we are faced with trials, challenges and times of uncertainty.  Quite the contrary, look at what he says we should do during these times: turn toward him (did you notice it says “The Lord is near”), seek him, rejoice, stay calm, pray and give thanks, present our requests to him, think positively, and do what is right.  And, do you see what he promises us when we put our faith in him and trust him in our circumstances:

  • “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
  • “the God of peace will be with you.”

I don’t know about you, but I think it is very comforting to know that the God of the universe loves me, and wants to walk with me through tough, painful, unhappy situations and give me a peace that “transcends all understanding”!

The question is, how will we respond to our Heavenly Father?  Here’s how I beleive we should respond; starting this Christmas and continuing beyond, let’s all follow God’s prescription for a cheerful heart, after all, it is good medicine.  If we do this, I believe we will be happier in life and at work.

A very happy, merry and meaningful Christmas to you all; God’s peace!

Key To Happiness And Goodness

Monday, November 15th, 2010

As I continue to study, research and discuss with others the concept of happiness and what it really takes to be happy, I discover more and more information, data, and feed back that supports the notion that the key to happiness and being content is significantly and directly linked to our degree of thankfulness or gratitude.  I hope you will listen to this short video on this topic by Dennis Prager, and let me know what your thoughts are.