“I Just Wanna Be Happy!!” – (Part 4 of 4)

In my last post “I Just Wanna Be Happy!!”  –  (Part 3), http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kn, I ended with these 3 questions:

  1. Have you ever heard of making a New Year’s Resolution?  A promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good, or to stop doing something bad on the first day of the year.
  2. Have you ever heard of the concept – exercising mindfulness?  Meaning to pay attention “on purpose” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
  3. Have you ever heard this verse from the Bible?  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.Isaiah 55:8

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WHAT DO THESE SEEMINGLY, RANDOM, QUESTIONS HAVE TO DO WITH GOD’S WAY TO JOY?

1.  A New Year’s Resolution.

Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. –  Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (The whole passage can be read at, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+30:11-20)

It seems to me that our first step is to make a choice – God’s Way or the World’s Way.

But DON’T wait until January 1st, make a choice today!!  Follow God as the Lord, the leader, of your life.

2.  Mindfulness.

Many people go through life by way of their habits.  Some good and some not so good.  When I think of mindfulness, I think of becoming consciously aware of the choices/decisions I’m making.

Do I go to church on Sunday because I’ve always gone to church on Sunday?

              family-going-to-church

Do I have dessert after every meal, just because?

       Captain-Ds-new-month-of-desserts

Do I watch movies because the critics say it’s “good”, and put it up for an Academy Award?

               wolf

When I actively engage my mind vs. operating on habits, I’m consciously and actively retraining myself and my mind.  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think...  –  Romans 12:2

Instead of simply reacting, I am now choosing to respond.

  • In response to circumstances or situations, is my knee-jerk reaction – How will this benefit me?  If that is your answer, that’s GREAT!!  Why?  Because you have just made a mindful evaluation.
  • You stopped for moment, even if it was just for a split second, to recognize what was driving your thoughts/actions – me or them, them or me…

Every time we bring awareness to our reactions, we increase our chances of forming habits that we desire, verses unconsciously adopting our parents, friends, co-workers, fellow students, TV personalities, etc. ways of reacting.

Maybe what they do is good, or not-so-good.  Either way, you now have a way to evaluate your responses, instead of leaving them up to chance or habit.

3.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.Isaiah 55:8

This verse puts “my way of thinking” into perspective.

I, “the pot”, don’t completely understand every Biblical concept, idea, or God’s mode of operation. Nor, do I have the ability to know how my choices will affect myself and others. Only God, “the potter”,  does.

          potters-wheel

I’m reminded that if I did have all the answers, I would have no need for God.  All my relationships would be perfect, or at least my version of perfect, and in theory I’d live happily-ever-after.

Unfortunately, I have all to often acted or spoken too soon, wishing I could have a do-over.

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IN CONCLUSION:

We will experience joy when we invite God, and His Word to soften, and reshape our hearts.

Everything that God guides us to “do” in His Word, is for the purpose of growing our relationship with Him, and with others.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself.”  –  Luke 10:27

Additionally, God’s desire is to give us a rich and satisfying life.  – John 10:10

GOD’S WAY TO JOY ==>>  BE OTHER-CENTERED

REMEMBER:    We can trust God.  He always has our best interest in mind.

If God is for us, who can be against us?  –  Romans 8:31

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SEE ALSO:  “I Just Wanna Be Happy!!”                                                                                            

(Part 1), http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kK, 

(Part 2), http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kY,                                       

(Part 3), http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kn

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“I Just Wanna Be Happy!!” – (Part 3 of 4)

Let’s take just one moment to recap from the previous post, “I Just Wanna Be Happy!!” – (Part 2), http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kY.

God’s way to joy  =>> Other-centered  them, them, them  (How can I be a blessing to others?  What might I have to “give up”, sacrifice, to restore a relationship, to start a relationship, to set healthy boundaries in a relationship, etc.)

The world’s way to happiness  =>>  Self-centered – me, me, me  (What’s in it for me?  What will make me happy?)

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The life God calls us to live may seem, at first glance, counter-intuitive and challenging.  It seems to fight against every fiber of our being.  I often feel the way Paul describes himself in Romans 7:19 – I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.   

              Jekyll-Hyde-logo-black2

Referencing the slide from my previous post, http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kY, The Way to…, we can see that there is a battle being fought for our hearts.

            ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Satan, the god of this world, John 12:31, the prince of the power of the air, Ephesians 2:2, seeks to influence our ideas, opinions, goals, hopes, education, finances, and worldview (philosophies) towards his ways.  Forget about others.  You’re the only one who matters.  Look out for #1.

God, on-the-other-hand, wants to give us wisdom, James 1:5, He’s allowed us to experience love, because He first loved us. – 1 John 4:19. God, who so deeply desires a relationship with us, that He willingly gave His Son, Jesus, to be a sacrifice in our place, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16, and live forever with God.  He desires for us to look outside of ourselves, towards others.  Not for His benefit, but for ours.

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Have you ever heard of making a New Year’s Resolution?  A promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good, or to stop doing something bad on the first day of the year.

Have you ever heard of the concept – exercising mindfulness?  Meaning to pay attention “on purpose” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Have you ever heard this verse from the Bible?  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.Isaiah 55:8

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WHAT DO THESE SEEMINGLY, RANDOM, QUESTIONS HAVE TO DO WITH GOD’S WAY TO JOY?

< “I Just Wanna Be Happy!!  –  (Part 4), http://wp.me/p5nZpi-lH >

SEE ALSO:   (PART 1) – http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kK,    (PART 2) – http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kY

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  • It you are viewing with the mobile version, scroll down to the bottom of this page for additional info and pics 🙂
  • Take a look at the other tabs in the menu for encouragement and inspiration as you continue to BUILD A FOUNDATION!!

 

 

 

“I Just Wanna Be Happy!!!” – (Part 2 of 4)

Have you ever heard this verse from the Bible? –

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.Isaiah 55:8

Or how about this verse? –

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;  do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.  Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.  Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.  Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones. – Proverbs 3:5-8

 
As I mentioned in the last post, http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kK, our goal should not be the pursuit of happiness, but instead should be the pursuit of JOY.  Happiness is fleeting, joy in everlasting.

And the verses above, well, they put me and God into perspective.  They remind me that – I am not my creator, I do not have all the answers, I don’t always know what’s best for me, my friends, my friends, my career, my schooling, etc.?

What I do know, however, is that in a blink of an eye,    

                       blinking eye                                                           

my whole world can be turned upside down.

                       world

And then what?  What do I have left?

Thankfully we have an all-knowing, ever-present, all-powerful God who loves us so much, that He’s willing to freely share the Way to Joy with all people.

 

God’s way to joy  =>> Other-centered  them, them, them  (How can I be a blessing to others?  What might I have to “give up”, sacrifice, to restore a relationship, to start a relationship, to set healthy boundaries in a relationship, etc.)

The world’s way to happiness  =>>  Self-centered – me, me, me  (What’s in it for me?  What will make me happy?)

 

Slide1

 

SEE ALSO:      “I JUST WANNA BE HAPPY!!”

(PART 1), http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kK, 

(PART 3), http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kn,

(PART 4), http://wp.me/p5nZpi-lH

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            Slide1

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  • Take a look at the other tabs in the menu for encouragement and inspiration as you continue to BUILD A FOUNDATION!!

 

 

 

Response to Reader’s Comment – “I Just Wanna Be Happy!!!” – (Part 1)

< TO READ POST, “I JUST WANNA BE HAPPY!!!”  – (PART 1) – http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kK >

 

READER’S COMMENT:

Monica thank you for the great post! I absolutely believe that happiness and peace are possible for everyone regardless of their various situations. In high school I used to think, “I’ll be happy when my skin clears up. I’ll be happy when I make the Volleyball team. I’ll be happy when I get my braces off. Now…I’ll be happy when I lose my baby weight :)Etc” I was waiting for life to provide me happiness. What I had to learn is that I have the opportunity to chose be happy today. All people experience challenges, sadness, and disappointments in this life, but we don’t have to be consumed by our hardships; we can move toward peace (And yes, I know it is easier said than done, but that is why we have our Savior to help heal our wounds and hurts). I have learned from inspiring individuals who have made peace with their challenges and live with joy amid adversity. A great medicine that works for me is to serve others in a meaningful way. When we focus our attention on helping others we are accompanied by the Holy spirit, whose comfort is true peace.

MY RESPONSE:

Thanks for your thoughtful comment 🙂

Did you take a peek at “I Just Wanna Be Happy!!!” – (Part 2)?, because your comment –

“A great medicine that works for me is to serve others in a meaningful way. When we focus our attention on helping others… “

is just the prescription the Great Physician, Jehovah – Rapha: The Lord Who Heals, prescribes 🙂

Your “cure” for happiness, I’d suspect, is not so different from what we’ve all tried in an attempt to achieve the elusive “HAPPY” feeling.  For me personally, there are almost too many times to count, when I’ve allowed my “cures” for happiness to the direct my responses and reactions, with less than desirable results.

The key for me, and probably others who can relate to your comment, is to apply what I’ve learned, and practice what I preach.
I must just listen to God’s word. I must do what it says. Otherwise, I am only fooling myself. – James 1:22

Until the Lord Jesus Christ returns, I continue to be a work-in-progress 🙂

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“I Just Wanna Be Happy!!!” – (Part 1 of 4)

“I just wanna be happy!!”

After reading this post, I’m not so sure you’ll settle for just being “happy”.

“What?  Of course, I want to be happy!!  Who wouldn’t?”

 

HAPPINESS DEFINED:

Merriam Websterthe state of being happy, an experience that makes you happy.                  

Bible  –  a fleeting feeling that depends upon temporal factors, like circumstances or other people.

HAPPINESS EXAMPLES:

Everyday life – “I’m bummed out. I think some ice cream, with chocolate syrup, will be just the thing I need to make me happy!” –  At least for the moment…

    20100830-woman-ice-cream-happy-300x205

   stomach ache

BibleWhen Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. Then Leah said, “What good fortune!” So she named him Gad. Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son.  Then Leah said, “How happy I am! – Genesis 30:9-13

To read more about this intense “boy baby producing” competition between Rachel and her sister Leah read – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+30%3A1-13&version=NIV

    aztramp

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JOY DEFINED:

Merriam Webster – to feel great delight, to be glad                                                                          

Biblecontentment that comes from internal factors, like our faith in the Lord.  It is everlasting and not dependent upon circumstances. 

 JOY EXAMPLES:
Everyday LifeWhen life gives you lemons…
lemons-wide1
Bible –  Paul says, I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:12- 13, 19
SO MAYBE YOU’RE THINKING…
“I like this concept of joy.  I can be content with my life, I can appreciate the ‘present’, I don’t have to allow circumstances to dictate how I’m feeling, and it lasts forever.  Wow!!  Seems good to be true?  Seems like I’m on a seesaw.  Some days up, some days down.”
            kids-on-see-saw-black-white                                                                                                                    

IS HAVING “TRUE JOY” IN MY LIFE REALLY POSSIBLE?

FOR THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION, KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR “I JUST WANNA BE HAPPY!!!”  (PART 2), http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kY

SEE ALSO:   
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