Pastor's Corner

26 Jun
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Mid-Week Challenge

Looking for a little travel excitement this Fall?  Well I have the job for you! The Swedish mega company Ikea is holding a contest in search of “Happiness Hunters.”  Your job, if you’re lucky enough to be selected, will be to travel to Copenhagen this September for two weeks of “getting close and personal with the Danes.” You will spend your time going from home to home, taking guided tours, and attending talks and dinners with locals.  You will enjoy free ‘köttbulla’ at the IKEA restaurant (we’ve all had that)! You will also get a salary for your services (you will have to pay taxes over there) Hurry to apply because the deadline is July 1

Happiness Hunter! Wouldn’t it be great if the world really knew Christians as we should be known?  If we really lived the life Jesus provides we should have the abundant life, right?  In John 10:10 Jesus tells us “A thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly.”  As a people it appears that we say that we believe the words of Christ but we are allowing the Thief to rob us of our joy. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports a 30 percent increase in suicides in the US from 2000 to 2016. Rates increased in all age groups, but “adolescents are of particular concern, with increases in social media use, anxiety, depression, and self-inflicted injuries.”

Our own Declaration of Independence proudly proclaims our founders knowledge of the obvious truth God has provided us when they penned: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The key word there is “pursuit,” there is no guarantee of happiness, happiness must be sought after and found.  Our problem is we want it delivered, with a big red bow on top with our name on the tag.  That could explain why we’re not doing well in achieving what we are pursuing. In fact, the United Nations ranks us in eighteenth place in its World Happiness Report. Finland comes first, followed by Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Switzerland. We trail Canada, Costa Rica, and Luxembourg, among other nations. 

We have been taught to pursue happiness like the Fountain of Youth or the Lost City of Gold, as if happiness is something tangible, that once we have our hands on it we will forever be in bliss.  True happiness, the kind that the Bible talks about is not a thing but a state of being.  In Matthew 5 Jesus gives us what we call the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount. Most of us grew up hearing these as “blessed is the…” “Blessed are the…” and so on.  The Greek word translated “blessed” really means “happy, blissful” or, literally, “to be enlarged.”  The key to happiness is a state of mind, an attitude and in most cases the reason we are not happy is we have a bad attitude.  

Today, make a point to change your attitude. If you focus on the real cause of your unhappiness you might be surprised on how quickly joy can be found!  If you do this, there is no doubt you will be a true Happiness Hunter!  

Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD. Psalm 144:15

Serving the Savior

Bro. Jonathan

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