The Secret to Happiness

Today is Monday, November 7, 2016. Tomorrow is Election Day. Three days until our Glen Rose vacation. Five days until C’s birthday!

Quote of the Day

“Love is the difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.” – Iris Murdoch

Word of the Day

Auriferous – containing gold.

Today is Hug A Bear Day. No, we aren’t talking about real bears, although some of them look really huggable (which, apparently, isn’t a word), especially those Koala Bears from Australia, and those Panda Bears from China. This “holiday” is all about hugging those childhood bastions of keeping us safe from monsters under the bed, our teddy bears. Tell the truth; doesn’t it just feel good, sometimes, to hug a teddy bear?

We had a wonderful time with R & J, yesterday afternoon. It may have been one of the best Sunday afternoons in a long while. We had lunch at Hoffbrau, then came home and watched the Saturday Night Live episode with Lin-Manuel Miranda as the guest host (he’s the guy from Hamilton). We had saved it on our DVR so R & J could see it. Then we played a couple of games. It was a great day.

We also had a good worship gathering yesterday morning. It was fun to change things up a bit, even though it was out of necessity. As the pastor mentioned a couple of times, what we did yesterday was actually “Plan C.” We had Plan B activated, because we knew that our main singer would be out for this weekend, but then health issues kept the other leader out, so we had to scramble to come up with another plan. And it worked out just fine. Basically, it was our Night of Worship band with an additional background vocalist.

We have band practice tonight, and we only have two more rehearsals before the Christmas concert on November 19. That is for the Christmas Tree Lighting event in Southlake.

But the biggest news is that we go to Glen Rose Thursday evening, for our four day weekend and C’s birthday, which is Saturday. And the weather looks like it’s going to be beautiful. Highs in the low seventies, some clouds . . . perfect Autumn weather.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD. Isaiah 1:18
Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Psalm 71:3
The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times. Psalm 12:6
“Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the LORD; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.” Psalm 12:5

(From Praying With the Psalms)

A Song of Ascents. Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life!
May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!
Psalm 128

Most everyone wants to be happy. I suppose there are exceptions to that, but most people do want to be happy. However, not everyone “is willing to participate in the conditions of happiness.” In our case, God provides everything we need for a “happy life.” Perhaps we should substitute “joyful” for “happy?” Either way, God provides what we need, and “his ways and his presence are the context in which we experience the happiness that lasts.”

“Father in heaven, I want your presence to become such a natural part of my life that all my acts are motions of obedience and all my words are accented with praise, so that I may experience the prosperity you have for me in Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

“In the life of a saint there is no such thing as chance.” God brings us into circumstances that we cannot understand, but his Spirit always understands. We are brought into circumstances and among people and conditions so that “the intercession of the Spirit in you mat take a particular line.” We must not become our own providence in particular circumstances, but see them as an opportunity to bring them before God’s throne in intercession.

Father, help me to see the circumstances I am in, the people I am around, and the conditions I am place in, as opportunities for intercession; both for the Spirit to intercede within me, and for me to bring them before your throne. You brought me into this intercessory prayer role; help me and enable me to be what you need me to be within it. I also pray that, as Eugene Peterson prayed, your presence would be a natural part of my life, that I might experience true joyfulness in you.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” . . . Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:15, 18)

Grace and peace, friends.

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