Monday, February 2, 2009

Get Happier

Cynthia was wondering what we learned in church that had my accelerator foot so excited Saturday night. I was going to start a post something along these lines today anyways, but first I will share what we learned this week.
We had a guest pastor this week and his topic was Get Happier ~ with happiness described as: The ability to feel satisfied with one's life, to enjoy oneself and others, and to have fun.

Based on different studies and research he came up with his top 10 list on how to get happier and then followed them up with scriptures out of the book of Colossians 2-3 (NIV).

The people who are happiest:

1. See life through an optimistic lens (col 2:5)

2. Have a strong spiritual faith (this does not have to be Christianity) (Col 2:6-7)

3. Be grateful and say thank you. (Col 2:7, 3:15, 3:17)

4. Have meaningful goals. (Col 3:1-2) * see below

5. Put money low on the list. (Col 3:5)

6. Avoid comparisons. (Col 3:11)

7. Enjoy close relationships with friends. (Col 3:12-15)

8. Are happily married (meaning that if you are single, that is fine, but IF you ARE married, the happiest people are obviously in a happy marriage) (Col 3:11)

9. Treasure Family. (Col 2:20-21)

10. Take initiative at work. (Col 3:23)

*Pastor Roth read Col 3:1-2 out of The Message and I have always like this version best and I'm going to share 3:1-17:

So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ - that's where the action is. See things from his perspective.

Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life - even though invisible to spectators - is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you'll show up, too - the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That's a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It's because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn't long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it's all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.

Don't lie to one another. You're done with that old life. It's like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you've stripped off and put in the fire. Now you're dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ - the Message - have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives- words, actions, whatever - be done in the the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

I was going to ask you guys this week what your favorite bible story or verse is - and why.
Feel free to share in my comments or on your own blog. I'll share mine later today.


Anonymous said...

Hi Julie!

We had a similar message this week. It was based on Acts 12:2 about not being conformed to this world. That is actually one of my favorite verses. As followers of Christ we should be different than the world. Sometimes it's hard to live in the world but not be like the world, but like the verse says, only then will we truly experience God's perfect will for us! I also like Acts 12:1 which says to give your bodies to God and let them be a living and holy sacrifice. Actually I like the whole Chapter!! Ha! ha!

QuilLight said...

My mind has been returning again and again to Mark 9 where a man asks Jesus to help his som who is posessed with a spirit. The man says, "If you can do anything, take pity on us..."
Jesus answers, "'If you can'? Everything is possible for him who believes."
The boy's father exclaims, "I do believe; help me overcome my unblief!"
The man's words resonate with me. He believes but needs help from Jesus with his remaining unbelief. Lately, with this pregnancy, I've been feeling the same way. I believe, help me with my unbelief. I trust, help me with my trust. I have faith, help me with my faithlessness.

Julie said...

Abby - I'm going to go read Acts 12 right now! Thank you so much for sharing. I've thought about that a lot - that we are not to be like the world.

Sometimes I wonder how far we are to take it and then I seem to immediately know the answer: we are NOT to be like the world (pretty straightforward right?), but it's so hard.

I ponder about the tv shows I allow in my home, the music I listen to, the gossip I partake in.
You've given me a lot to think about :o)

Your comment brought me to tears. I am SO praying for you right now. You are a wonderful woman of God and I pray for all areas of unbelief, trust, and faith during your pregnancy and beyond...and my own struggles in this area.

This was a verse that maybe Kristin brought to my attention at one point and it it remains something I struggle with today. I DO believe. Whenever Steve asks me why, I tell him that "I just do". It's simple really. I have NO doubt. Then...someone will plant a thought in my head, whether it's Steve or the History Channel or whatever and I feel a brief moment of unbelief. I still believe, but I really in that moment need help to overcome my unbelief.

I totally GET this story!

Anonymous said...

Hey Julie,

I just realized I put Acts 12, I meant Romans 12. I don't know why I had Acts on the brain!!

I can relate to the story in Mark too. Mark 9:24 is a great verse. I absolutely believe God is capable of anything, but I think I don't always live like I believe that!

Julie said...

Hi Abby ~
thanks for the clarification. I got all curled up in bed last night with both bibles and opened up to Acts and thought I had lost my mind, so I just went to sleep instead :o)
Ahhhhh...Romans, I love Romans! I'll read that chapter tonight!

Anna with Revolution said...

The one that my friend sentme on my jourey to my goal weight was this, and it sticks with me in everything Id o, in all my daily struggles:
Romans 8:11
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

She said to me...
"So do you realize that the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead LIVES IN YOU????"

She is pretty amazing.

Also, Julie, our transformation team biggest loser progress pics are up on my blog. GO check !

QuilLight said...

Thanks, Julie! I value the prayers of others so much. I've seen what they can do.

It is really hard to live the way we believe and not get sucked in to the world and the busy-ness of life. Our pastor once talked about how God gave us the Sabbath not because He needed us to honor him with a day off but because we need the rest, the time with him or we would die. Oops, starting to ramble again. :)

Ah, Romans. What a wonderful book. So much wisdom. Paul just really breaks it all down. So simple and yet so hard.

Visionquester said...

That was awesome Julie!

Jessica said...

What a wonderful, wonderful post.

Thank you for sharing such an amazing lesson.