Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pursuit of Happiness - Part 13


Happiness was never supposed to be about what you get.
Well that is what I believe anyway…

Happiness comes from a two way relationship which generally begins with us. It has to begin with us.
Life can get very frustrating if you are waiting ever so patiently for someone else to make you happy.
You might get ‘lucky’ and someone may just do this for you, but most people are still left waiting if they think this is how it works.
I also have found that they it doesn’t last very long when we just receive. Either we take it for granted or the
person giving stops, out of their frustration.

I am not an uncaring brute!
I totally understand that someone who is unhappy with life may not feel the capacity to give something  to
someone else first.
But I also know that we were designed for something bigger than ourselves. When you don’t operate in the
bigger than yourself zone...you will get frustrated and happiness with ultimately allude you.

1 Peter 4:10 NLT say this…
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. 
Use them well to serve one another.

Inside of each of us is a key to a form of happiness.
A gift or many gifts to serve others with.
Find that key inside you and will go a long way to being a lot happier.
God promises each of us that we have this in us.
No one misses out.

I have found through just trying this out, that happiness for me comes from serving.
Not serving until I can serve no more. But serving where I use the gifts in me, from God, to minister to others.

You probably have got my point without me saying to much more…
But can I encourage you this week to look at what God has placed in you.
Do something with it to serve someone else.
And reap some happiness in life.

Something to think about…

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pursuit of Happiness - Part 12

I was thinking today about how much more comfortable I feel when I know where I am going…


Like when you are travelling somewhere for the first time and you are not sure where you are going, or even if you have the directions right? That can be stressful!
Like when you are trying to decide what the next step in your life should?
Sometimes it is even more simple than that?
Like when you are trying to make important little decisions during the course of your day?

You and I both know life can be a little stressful at times, especially in regards to this whole direction thing.
God understands as well and actually has designed a way to alleviate the stress levels.

I believe that God understands everything.
So much so that He even understands what is best for you and me. And with that, He wants to help us each step of our lives. He wants us on the perfect track He has planned for each of us.
He wants so much to give us great directions!

How?

The Bible talks about God speaking.
It is something He wants to do for you, with you, towards you.
It tells us that we have ears to hear Him as well.
We are setup completely to be able to get great
directions from Him.

This is what I do every single day!
I ask for directions.
I ask for directions on what to do.
How to do. How long to do. I mean everything.

I believe God gives us His Holy Spirit to not just minister to our hearts, but to lead and guide us.

Can I encourage you to continually seek Him for direction?
Don’t race out on your own but put your trust and hope in Him alone.

Something to think about…

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pursuit of Happiness - Part 11


In all of our general pursuit of happiness in life, health seems to play a huge factor in how we feel.
Take health away from any life and it is definitely more of a challenge to be happy.

I know this personally.
Having spent all this week laid up with a chest infection, raging temperatures, headaches, coughing...I probably don’t need to go one...I wasn’t feeling very happy!

When health is taken away somehow, you lose more that your health…
It takes away your choices.
It takes away whatever is normal to you.
It robs you of life and I think steals away happiness.

If you are reading this and feeling healthy in yourself then you should thank God for that reality.
It is something to be thankful for,
It is something that should make you happy…

A guy called John wrote this…
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

Jesus also cares about peoples health!
If you look at all the miracles recorded in the Gospels, 3/4’s of them were healing related.
That is because without health, you don’t seem to be able to enjoy life. God knows that and God is more than able to deal with this issue in these mortal bodies.

Acts 10:38 says this about Jesus...
...he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

If you are in need of healing this week, check in with the One who has the power to heal you.

Something to think about…

Friday, March 09, 2012

Pursuit of Happiness - Part 10

Some people got together not so long ago and conspired to have me thrown out of a plane.
I am very grateful that this conspiracy included me being strapped to an expert in this field of adventure.

There are many things I remember about that day, including the lead up to it and how I felt afterwards about it.
Beyond the feeling of accomplishment (even though I was there for the ride), I desperately wanted to feel happy about the whole thing!
Don't get me wrong...I am happy I did it...and there were moments I thought it was amazing.
But there was one factor that robbed me of the full extent of happiness I could have had from that day.

FEAR.

I was so scared!
For days leading up to it I was happy, but also I was freaking out.
As we tumbled out the plane I was fearful.
As the parachute finally opened I was fearful.
Coming into land I was fearful.

I look back now and realise that fear robbed me of the level of happiness I could have experienced.
I was scared of things beyond my control.
I was scared of the unknown parts of this whole adventure.
If I could have eliminated fear...I bet I would have enjoyed it even more!

God knows that fear is looking to rob us on the adventure of life He has for each of us.
That is why He asks us to not go there as much as possible. Not the adventure part...the fear part!
He encourages us to not let fear rob us or manipulate us.
And He encourages us to look to Him and not what scares us, so that potential fear loses some or all of its power.

One day I plan to do this same thing again.
Because I know I have less to fear...I think I will be even more happy to do it.

Something to think about...


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Pursuit of Happiness - Part 9


According to more ‘educated’ types than myself, the book Great Expectations is supposed to be a ‘great’ read…
I wouldn’t know to be honest.
Might have to put it on my to-do list one day?

I have found that expectations seem to affect happiness on some level.

Some say you shouldn’t have great expectations in life because if you don’t expect too much, you won’t be as disappointed.

Some say you should expect beyond all expectation.
Reach for the stars and you might reach the moon type thing.

While others say you should have realistic expectations, so that you fall somewhere in the middle of those other two.

I don’t think that any of the above work for me!
I have tried all three at different times of my life and failed I feel, to gain any happiness from them.
I found I needed some ‘God factor’ in this expectations vibe to make some happiness come from it.

There is a healthy tension for me about how God talks about expectations.
On one hand He asks us to be people of faith, to take steps of faith. To know He has great plans (expectations) for us that are even beyond even our wildest imagining.
On the other He ask us to be content with what we have, to rest in the waiting for our great expectations.

For me happiness is knowing both. Not just one.

I love the idea there is so much more with God to this life.
I also love the idea I can be content right now somehow.

Maybe trusting in God and His perfect timing will equal happiness for you and me?

Something to think about…

Friday, March 02, 2012

Pursuit of Happiness - Part 8

I have just come back from a few days away.

You might think that is my point...that the few days away were what made me happy.
Not this time.
It was something that made up this little detour from my normal week...

I was hanging out with some other great Pastors from around our area of the North Island.
We were talking about what we do, challenges, things to celebrate, that sort of thing.

But also during that time was something even more special.
At 3 distinct times during our hanging out, we took some time to worship God and just be in His presence.

That is what made me happy!

It seemed such a powerful moment for us all.
People were connecting with Jesus in a real way without any pressure or expectations from a Church.
You could really feel something going on that was more super natural than natural.

3 very distinct things happened for me in those times:

Peace - you could just feel it and its ability to take away the stresses I had arrived with.
Perspective - being in God's presence changed my perspective from here and now to who He really is. And to what He has for me. His promises. His dream for my life.
Relief - being in His presence brought me relief from my daily challenges. In fact it gave me confidence again due its ability to left my burdens.

Can I encourage you to find happiness not in a thing or a task today...but in the presence of God himself?
Sit on your own and ask Him to come to you.
Or sing.
Or listen to some worship music and soak.
Or if that is not something you have done before, talk to someone like me who knows how to get there, and let us introduce you to this amazing gift.

You might just get some more happiness...

Something to think about...
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