Thanks so much for your prayers and kind cards and support during my time away. Thank you so much for giving me some room to improve. The injuries I sustained are still not resolved but I have improved enough to begin gradually doing the work I was called to. I would like to tell you this has been fun, but it has not. The effect of a head injury is hard to fully explain. My providers say this can take a year or more, but I will likely fully recover. The back injury is something many of you can relate to. Pain!
I want you to know I have good providers that are giving great care. The time away has given me some time to reflect on life and what is important. This Sunday I will begin a series titled “The Pursuit of Happiness”. I do not claim to have arrived, but I do believe I am on the right road with the right purpose.
Many if not most people are deeply unhappy, young people, older adults’ famous people, wealthy, healthy people are living lives of quiet desperation. Many are so miserable they live in constant turmoil, relational tension and an inability to function well in work or family life.
Being religious is no guarantee in fact sometimes religious systems and warped ideas make people even more miserable or cruel. I must confess that I have both experienced religious unhappiness and put it on others.
Loss has a way of stripping you down to what you really want and need in life. Loss has a way of showing you how you build your happiness on people and things that cannot satisfy. Loss can make you aware of what true happiness is.
I pray you will join with me as we pursue the happiness Jesus lived and offers to His children.
I can’t wait to see you Sunday,
STEPS TO PREPARE
PRAY FOR THE SERVICES AND FOR YOURSELF
AND ME AND THE OTHER TEACHERS.
PRAYERFULLY READ THE SCRIPTURES
AND CONSIDER THE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.
MAKE PLANS TO ATTEND A PREACHING SERVICE AND A SMALL GROUP.
INVITE SOMEONE TO COME WITH YOU.
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY: SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
How would you describe happiness?
Share an experience where you were most happy.
When Jesus talked about happiness what did he mean?
Matthew 5:2-12 and he began to teach them: 3 “Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them! 4 “Happy are those who mourn; God will comfort them! 5 “Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised! 6 “Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully! 7 “Happy are those who are merciful to others; God will be merciful to them! 8 “Happy are the pure in heart; they will see God! 9 “Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children! 10 “Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them! 11 “Happy are you when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of evil lies against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy and glad, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven. This is how the prophets who lived before you were persecuted.
Word for happy
makarios; from μάκαρ makar (happy); blessed, happy: – blessed (1), blessed (46), fortunate (1), happier (1), happy (1).
What conditions did Jesus list for happiness?
What do you believe you need to be happy?
What emotions do you feel when you’re unhappy? Anxious….
How did Paul define happiness?
Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
1Timothy 6:6-8 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
Why are so many people so unhappy with our lives and others?
What do you need now to be happy?