Happy or Sad

Image: www.freedigitalphotos.net

What makes you happy and what makes you sad? Have you ever experienced true happiness? Here are a  few steps that can lead to happiness.

  • Love the Lord with all your heart.  Mark 12:30-31 (NKJV) says, “And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Proverbs 16:20 says, (Amplified) – “He who deals wisely and heeds [God’s] word and counsel shall find good, and whoever leans on, trusts in, and is confident in the Lord—happy, blessed, and fortunate is he.” Ecclesiastes 3:12 (Amplified) – “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.”
  • Be a giving, caring and unselfish individual. God gave us the greatest gift of all, He gave us His Son, Jesus Christ.
  • Connect with others. Relationships are important. Ecclesiastes 4:12 (Amplified) “And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Take action to strengthen your relationships with family and friends.
  • Have an attitude of gratitude. Be thankful for the sunrise and the sunset. Be thankful for fragrance of the flowers. Be thankful for the beauty that God has created for us to enjoy. Colossians 3:15 (Amplified) “And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].”

Finally, our joy and happiness should come from knowing that we have salvation (we are saved) through Jesus Christ. True happiness can only be found in Godly contentment. Acts 17:28a (Amplified) says, “For in Him we live and move and have our being;…” and for this reason alone our happiness should shine forth like the of sunshine.

Whom have I in heaven but You? And I have no delight or desire on earth besides You.

Psalm 73:25

Higher Ground

The view from the window of an airplane is always an amazing sight. When looking out at the fluffy cotton-like clouds you realize just how high up you are. You feel like you could just reach out and touch those clouds. A few years ago, when flying to visit family in Louisiana, I was staring out of the window of the airplane and I couldn’t help but think about a gospel song the choir used to sing when I was growing up. The song is entitled “I’m Pressing On” and the first verse of the song says, “I’m pressing on the upward way, New heights I’m gaining every day; Still praying as I onward bound, “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.” We are sometimes onward bound through hospital bills, joblessness, illness, marriage problems, and the list could go on and on. We sometimes want to go higher on our jobs, in our relationships, with our family and friends, and in other areas of life, but do we really want to go higher with the Lord?

Going higher with the Lord does requires some active participation from us. What kind of participation am I talking about? Reading and studying God’s word and having a consistent prayer life are ways to actively participate in moving up higher with the Lord. Reading and studying our bible means God speaks to us and when we pray we talk to God. Praise, gratitude, and worship are also ways to go higher in the Lord. When we speak God’s praises He will bless us, guard us, keep us, and lift us up to higher ground.

Psalm 34:1(Amplified) “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

In 1989 the Mississippi Mass Choir recorded “I’m Pressing On” with Rev James Moore as the lead singer.  Listen and be blessed.

“Thankful Tuesday”

 

Today is “Thankful Tuesday” because to be thankful is to be happy.  Psalm 107:1 says, “O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!”

Today I am thankful that I woke up and was able to dress myself.  I am thankful that I had food to eat. I am thankful that I arrived at work safely. I am thankful that I can see, hear, feel, walk, talk, and think. Today I am thankful that God allowed me another opportunity to share His word with others.

“It is a good and delightful thing to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises [with musical accompaniment] to Your name, O Most High,” Psalm 92:1 (Amplified)

“Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (Amplified)

30 Days Of…Day 4 “10 Things I am Grateful For”

I am a big advocate of gratefulness.  As I listen to people talk and watch some of the crazy “reality” tv shows, I see and hear a lot of un-gratefulness. Many people push and scratch to get more and more, better and better “things” but never really show any gratitude for what they already have.

Sometimes I watch House Hunters on HGTV.  Most of  the people are looking for bigger and better houses with huge walk-in closets, open concept, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and the top of the line everything. Don’t get me wrong I am not against having the best things in life, but what I am against is thankless attitudes they seem to have. Sometimes they don’t even seem thankful for the home that are moving from.

Today, I have chosen to list 10 things I am grateful for.

  1. I am grateful for my mother. I am grateful that the Lord has allowed us both to still be here for each. Be grateful for you mom, because you don’t when she may not be here.
  2. I am grateful for the ability to feed and clothe myself.  If you’ve never visited a hospital, or a convalescent home, or even an assisted living facility, there are many people who can not bath or clothe themselves and  they rely upon the assistance of the nursing staff.
  3. I grateful that I am mobile. I have activity in my limbs and I can feed myself, I can walk and run when necessary. Many people need the assistance of a wheelchair, a cane, or a walker, but I thank God for mobility.
  4. I am grateful for my home. On several occasions before my mom was unable to do so, she and I would go downtown Los Angeles to feed the homeless. Those experiences alway made me grateful for my home. My home is not a million dollar mansion with the latest and greatest of everything in it, but is a blessing and a gift from God that I cherish.
  5. I am grateful for a bed to sleep in. In relation to my number 4 above, the homeless people did not have beds to sleep in if they were not able to get into any of the Mission facilities located in the downtown area. The bed they slept on was the sidewalk or they would take cardboard boxes to try to make some cushion to lay on. I am thankful for a bed with covers and pillows.
  6. I am grateful for my place of employment. Having a job allows me to pay my mortgage so that I can have a home to go to and a bed to sleep in. My employment allows me to keep going and to keep thanking God.
  7.  I am grateful that I can breathe without the assistance of oxygen. Many people have lung and breathing problems and require oxygen on a 24 hour basis. I am grateful that I don’t even have to think about breathing, it just happens.
  8. I am grateful for transportation. I am grateful that I have a car that gets me back and forth everyday to my place of employment. I am grateful that I can get in my car and go wherever I want to go whenever I need to.  This may seem like a small thing for some, but there are those who have to walk miles to get where they need to go.
  9. I am grateful for family and friends. Family and good friends seem to have a way making life more tolerable. I know that sometimes family and friends have disagreements and misunderstandings, but I believe that it can be worth the little annoyances ultimately will happen with any relationship. Finally, the number 10 thing that I am grateful for is:
  10. I am grateful that God has given me the ability to love. I believe that love is a choice and I have chosen to love. Love means taking risk and sometimes it even means rejection. Because God loved us first, we should show love to someone in need of love.

I Corinthians 13:13 (Amplified)

“And so faith, hope, love abide [faith—conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope—joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love—true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.”