Friday, September 27, 2013

Think Happy!

“Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!” (Psalm 144:15)

Have you ever noticed that for many people (maybe you have even been one of them), happiness can be an elusive thing? But the definition is clear; happiness is our emotional and mental state characterized by our reactions and attitudes which can range from contentment to pure joy! And what about our physical state? Just as studies have shown, our happiness not only influences how we feel today but can have a powerful impact on our health for years to come. Having a happier disposition, being positive and optimistic, living with hope and faith, are key components of health and longevity. When in the mental state of joy and happiness, our bodies release endorphins and chemicals that repair and heal us on its own. Evidence has shown that happier people have fewer health problems, have more energy, and a better quality of life.

…and one thing we know for sure; we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day…

“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.” Psalm 5:11)

Virtually everyone wants to experience true happiness; we spend a good part of our time and energy seeking fulfillment and eternal joy. Sometimes our problem is that we just can’t seem to grasp it! However, God provides us with a roadmap to happiness, and when we are living in accordance to His will we can free ourselves from the need to seek it out. According to the bible if we seek to know Him, we will find the happiness that has eluded us for so long. We will never find true happiness until He is the main focus and counselor of our lives. Rather than asking Him to give us more, we need to ponder on the abundant blessings and opportunities He has poured out on us and be grateful. God designed us to seek Him to find our fulfillment and joy in a relationship with Him. Happy are the people whose God is the Lord; He brings joy to the life of the believer!!

“Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things! (Psalm 118:15)

Another way to gain happiness and joy in our lives is to help make others happy. We are often so concerned on how to make ourselves happy, but ironically when we bring joy and laughter to others, it cultivates happiness that’s contagious! One of the very best ways to bring joy into our lives is to make the effort to spread joy wherever we go; a little extra time out of our day and a few kind words is all it takes to enhance our lives as well as the lives of others. Once we start spreading happiness to others that’s contagious, it becomes addictive, and we are filled with continuous joy!

“But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.” (Psalm 68:3)

Our positive attitudes in life allows us to maintain happiness in every stage of our life; we can see the good in the bad and the light in the dark when we fix our gaze on God and acknowledge His role in our lives. It can change everything we do and everything we say when we find something good and positive in every situation. Our faith in God is a constant reason for joy and thanksgiving no matter what temporary situation we are in; it sets us free from the past, gives us faith for the present, and hope for a glorious future!

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Embrace it!

To take or receive gladly or eagerly…

To avail oneself of…

To take in the eye of the mind…

To encircle or enclose..

Change is coming…its right around the corner. It is an invitation to experience something new that may affect your life in a positive way.

Are you ready to embrace it?

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; He changes times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him. (Daniel 2:20-22)

God is in the business of changing people, and He is ready for us to break camp, let go of the familiar, break some bad habits, and move on! Change is a part of life and requires our willingness to accept it even though it isn’t always easy to do. We tend to get a little too comfortable with our routines, and we rarely deviate from them. But let’s face it; there is nothing in our lives, except God, that remains the same. From time to time we find ourselves in a place of change, and rather than resist or resent it we need to embrace it. God is always looking to take us to a higher level, and He wants us to grow and increase in every area of our life to keep us from getting stuck in a rut.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

When we walk by faith and not by sight, it’s amazing where God will lead us. When we allow Him to use, transform, mold, create, and prepare us…things happen! New things…bigger things…God things!  When we learn to embrace change and accept it as part of our life, we grow and discover new insights about different aspects of our lives. We learn to…

…embrace our passions…embrace the unknown…embrace failures and successes…embrace the mysterious and the adventure…embrace the old; embrace the new…

Specifically, we learn to embrace God’s wonder and His splendor, and His amazing grace! He will turn uncertainties and uncomfortable situations into milestones along our walk with Him. Embracing God’s change today is knowing that He is using it to take us higher to achieve our full potential. We will celebrate what God has done in us when we recognize the positive changes He has wrought in us and we can do it right now with the changes He is making in us, around us, and through us!

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28)

Just because God has blessed us in the place we are today, doesn’t mean we can just settle back and stay in that place. He wants to do something new in us and through us; to grow, succeed, and flourish. Embracing the changes He brings to us, those doors He opens and closes in our lives, are part of His big design. He has great plans for our lives, and even when we are doubtful and scared we need to jump in with both feet, because with Him we will be alright!
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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Helping Hands

“My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever. (Psalm 73:26)
Do you ever find yourself with too much to do and not enough time and energy to do it? You’ve stared at your “to-do” list for days, but the list just keeps getting longer. It seems like these days there is so much to do, so many priorities, that we don’t even know where to start. There are just times when we feel so tired, worn out and stressed, that we think we are done and cannot take even one more step. And the funny thing is … when we feel overwhelmed we are usually busier than ever! I think we all know the feeling, and maybe we are even feeling it now.

But we are not alone, nor left to fend for ourselves …

God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the sea.” (Psalm 46:1-2)

Who do we look to to supply our wants and needs? Do we reach out to others or even ourselves to meet our physical and emotional needs? Having family, friends, or others to lean on and give us support is comforting and uplifting, and even though God places these relationships in our lives to bless us, there will be times where they will lack the capacity to support us. Likewise, our independence and desire to meet our own needs can often fail because of our own human weakness. Sometimes we forget to let God be the source of strength in our lives, and we think we must do it all for ourselves. But it was never the Lord’s intention to for us to have our needs met by others or ourselves all the time!

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Even the strongest people get tired and fragile at times, but God’s power and strength never weaken. God is our source of strength; nothing or no one else can give us that…only Him! The comfort of God’s helping hands is our ultimate source when we are overburdened and weak. The process of God’s amazing ability to strengthen us will only be effective when we slow down and listen for His voice. When we slow down, we are reminded of our complete dependence on His strength. And when we communicate to Him in prayer, we should be able to cast away fear and anxiety, and focus on what is important. With God’s help we will find alternative ways to deal with our challenges and have enough energy to cope with them.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Whatever challenges we may find ourselves in, we must remember that God is a God of strength and power, and He wants to reach out with helping hands and lead us out of any burdens or struggles we may be in. He is our refuge even in the midst of our busiest and most chaotic days; He is not just a temporary retreat, He is our eternal shelter and can provide strength in any circumstance.

Linking up with these wonderful blogs this week:
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