Churchie Feeds

Re-post: How to Raise Your Happiness Levels

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 02/13/2017 - 11:00

A lot of material that comes at me from the Internet gets a glance and then I press the delete button, but one recent item caught and held my attention.

It offered five ways to improve one’s happiness. These were not merely some psychologist’s suggestions, or points from some pastor’s “how to” sermon. They were strategies brought to light by recent research. That is, each point was backed up by information gained from studies involving large groupings of people.

Upon reading these five points, I saw immediately how fundamental they are to one’s being a happy Christian. Here they are, with my comments.

1. Be Grateful.

If one person in a wheel chair with crippling arthritis can be grateful for his blessings while another with a million dollars in the bank and a boat at the marina can find things to be grumpy about, that can only mean that gratefulness is a matter of “selective perception.” It has to do with what we choose to highlight in our living.

In one of his moments of worshipful exuberance King David exhorted himself to “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” As an antidote to forgetting, he then listed several — forgiveness, health, rescue from disaster, God’s love and compassion, even the satisfaction of one’s holy desires and the renewal of one’s youth. Lest we forget, we all should make our lists from time to time.

2. Be Optimistic.

Perhaps our genes regulate in some measure how inclined we are to be either optimistic or pessimistic. And for this reason, some may never reach the levels of Browning’s maiden who sang, “God’s in his heavens, all’s right with the world.” Christians with biblical understandings are realists, so we know that all is not right with a fallen world. But faith in God’s sovereignty helps us face every day, saying “God’s in his heavens.” This is the basis for our unforced optimism.

3. Count Your Blessings.

When I was 13 year of age, on Sunday afternoons I sometimes attended a Salvation Army Sunday School a block from our home. The Salvationists sang exuberantly to the accompaniment of horns and tambourines, and sometimes they revised their choruses imaginatively. For example, the chorus, “Count your blessings, name them one by one” became, “Count your blessings, name them ton by ton.” Whether we measure our blessings by the tons or not, it’s good to take time daily to identify blessings that permeate our lives. They are beyond numbering, and reviewing them expands our happiness.

4. Use Your Strengths.

We all have both strengths and weaknesses. It is a simple principle of Christian effectiveness to build on our strengths while at the same time monitoring our weaknesses. I recall Alma, a Sunday School teacher assigned to teach a high school class. Her effort was a disaster. While she attempted to teach, the boys climbed in and out of a first floor classroom window and otherwise disrupted the class.

The wise Sunday School superintendent reassigned her to a small class of nine-year-old girls. It was an immediate fit. The class flourished and grew and Alma was happy with her assignment. She had a strength that matched the needs of those nine-year-olds. We do ourselves no favor if we fail to find and build upon our strengths.

5. Commit Acts of Kindness.

Paul’s advice to the Galatian church during a time of severe conflict can be a tip to us all. He wrote, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Gal. 6:10). Upon retiring from school teaching, Lila asked me for a list of shut-ins to whom she could take Sunday School papers each Monday. She developed a weekly ministry, even in some cases taking elderly folks to the store to do their grocery shopping. Happiness and service are close cousins.

We Christians know that happiness is not life’s primary goal. But we also know that when our spirits are joyful and our countenances bright our faith tends to be more contagious. So we’ll take all the help we can get to tone up our happiness.


Photo credit: Ivana Jurcic (via flickr.com)


Categories: Churchie Feeds

Engage – Thursday, February 16th – Rock Talks Coffeehouse

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Fri, 02/10/2017 - 19:47
Rock Talks Coffeehouse
Thursday, February 16th
7:30pm
Youth Room

Rock Talks is a casual evening where
we invite a guest speaker to
challenge us on a topic of their choice.

Tammy Junghans from Segue at the University of Manitoba
is our guest speaker for the evening but
her topic is being kept a surprise!

Come out to the Youth Room for a night of great discussion
and to find out what challenge Tammy with give us to face!

We’re going back to coffee!
We have a coffee machine that can make dreams come true for only $1.50 each.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

We Groan

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 22:03

There are many things which can cause us to groan from within, whether it be the pressures of life, the burdens of others or the sickness of a loved one.  The frustration or sense of helplessness within ourselves will cause us to groan over our inabilities.  In Romans 8 we are told that at times we don’t know how to pray but the Spirit groans within us, making intercession on our behalf.

2 Cor 5:4 talks about a different type of groaning.  “For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.”  This is not groaning because of an injustice or unreachable goal, but rather a cry for something better that is still to come.  It is yearning for a future walk with God that is stronger and more tangible than what we presently have.  We often groan as we look for a change to our situations, yet God’s word tells us that something inside of us is craving for a sensing of God that will truly satisfy all desires of the heart, for in His presence is fullness of Joy (Ps . 16:11).

The nature of exciting experiences and fulfilling relationships always cause us to desire more.  There is a parallel between the fulfillment of things here on earth and the spiritual fulfillment of our walk with God.   Just as good experiences here on earth leave us yearning to have more, so too, a good walk with God will always leave us somewhat empty and unsatisfied, wanting more of a relationship with Him.  Because of our finite nature, here on earth we can never fully receive enough of an awareness or experience with God to be truly satisfied.  We need to keep coming to Him again and again to experience more and more of Him.

How do we experience God?  A good place to start would be with a desire to see and sense Him.  To this we can add:

  • Learning about the life and nature of Jesus – no one can come to God except through Jesus.
  • Reading the scriptures and asking that God would make them relevant to your life.
  • Praying for God to help you to see Him working in and around you
  • Asking for the Holy Spirit to gently drop His thoughts and impressions into your heart.
  • Seeking to be more aware of the love of God in your life, and the peace of God in every situation.

In your heart there will be groanings of dissatisfaction, wishing that things would be different.  Take time to turn this groaning into times of great satisfaction as you experience the love and nature of Jesus Christ, the one who truly satisfies.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Pages

Subscribe to Furiously Eclectic People aggregator - Churchie Feeds