Are You Happy?

Did you win the lottery? I guess if you had we would have heard about it by now, unless you are playing it on the “down low.” Would winning the lottery make you happy? Sunday begins a new theme in our small groups from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. In it, Jesus talks about being happy. Funny thing, he doesn’t mention winning the lottery as a condition for happiness. Whatrambling on logo for newsletter would it take for you to be really happy? What would need to change in your life?

David Jeremiah comments on this question and here is part of what he has to say: (; page. 114-15)

Not long ago, ABC television ran a special called “The Mystery of Happiness.” They went to those we would normally expect to be happy to find out if achieving their dream had changed their lives. For example, they asked a woman who had won $26 million in a lottery if she was happy. “Not really,” was her response. They asked European royalty and Pulitzer Prize winners if they were happy, but they weren’t. They even talked with sports stars, but most of them could only talk about their dissatisfaction with their contracts. One guy, the quarterback of a Super Bowl winning team, said that after winning the big game, all he could think of was, “Is this all there is?”

I was amazed that non-Christians put this together, since the entire program pointed out the unhappiness of man. About all they could do was reveal how babies get happy when they get what they want and become unhappy when we take things away. But anybody can find out what God says will make mankind happy—just read Matthew chapter five.

Jesus says to us that we won’t find happiness in the things of the world. We can devote our lives to pleasure, accomplishment, fame, money, or anything else that the world values and promotes, but they won’t make us happy. Instead, Christ offers a series of startling messages on how to be happy, stating things in complete opposition to what the world says will make us happy.

… Let’s continue the conversation Sunday at 9 AM.

We labor Together With God, Wes

I Want To Be Buff

rambling on logo for newsletterJesus comes to Jerusalem and walks by a pool where many invalids are waiting for a “stirring” in the water and the possibility of a healing. He walks up to this one waiting man and asks him if he wants to be healed. (John 5) It would seem like a foregone conclusion that the man would want to be healed. But with the healing comes responsibility and change. He would have to get a job, provide his own transportation, pay his taxes, and a plethora of other brand new undertakings.

Often we would rather mosey along in the routine rather than embrace a future requiring changes on our part. If you were to ask me whether I wanted to get in shape, be fit and trim, I would say yes. However, when you ask me if I am willing to cut down on my Oreo consumption, eat kale, increase my exercise, and begin a weight lifting regimen, I’ll probably tell you that, round is a shape, offer you a double stuff Oreo, and just smile.

I want to be buff, but not enough to make the necessary changes.

The beginning of a new year is a great time to prayerfully consider goals and develop a vision for the future ahead. I would be happy to hear your personal goals and vison for the future. Just remember, achieving those goals and making our preferred future a reality requires us to embrace the necessary changes to make it a reality.

“Do you want to be healed?” Do you want to ____________ ?

We labor Together With God, Wes

I Found Extra Time

rambling on logo for newsletterHow often have you said, “If only I had more time …?” Well I have great news for you! This year we have more time! Yes it is a leap year, giving us 24 EXTRA hours. Rather than the usual yearly amount of 8,760 hours we can finally “catch up” since we have been gifted with 8,784 hours.

I wonder whether we will make any better use of our EXTRA time this year. When the year ends will we look back with joy or regret? Will we look ahead to the next year with anticipation or dread?

Here is some sage advice from Paul to lead us into this New Year. “Be very careful, then, how you live not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 4:15-17

Paul presents at last three important lessons we need to consider in this New Year.

  • Our time on earth is limited – All we have on earth is right now.
  • Make the most of every opportunity – Be careful not to become so preoccupied with the good we are doing that we miss seeing God. When we get so caught up in the here and now we fail to deal with the eternal.
  • Understand what the Lord’s will is. What do you think God’s will is for you in 2016? Is it to saturate yourself with worries & anxieties that you can’t think spiritual thoughts? Does God want your calendar so crowded that you don’t have time for the important things?

We labor Together With God, Wes