How’s that for a stupid question!?!! I don’t start anything with the intent to fail & I most certainly do not like to fail, full stop. But some of my thinking about success has been changing & I’m becoming more aware that many of my ideas about success have been more influenced by my American culture rather than the Bible. My culture says that success is all about being bigger, better, more, power, stronger, wealthy, popular, image driven, new, hip, trendy & all things glitz & glam. In the American culture, success isn’t about being broken, serving, homely, unpopular or tarnished, some of the things that Jesus personified & taught. The more I think about success from a cultural versus a biblical perspective, I have to conclude that my culture and the Bible don’t always agree. The important part of the disagreement is the side on which I chose to live. If I have to chose between being successful based on the Bible or on my culture, I’m going to side with the biblical definition of success 🙂
I had a very cool opportunity to talk about the Holy Spirit today w some friends! These are some reasons why I love getting to study the Bible in a small group:
*I get to hear what God is saying to other people
*my understanding of God broadens when I get to hear the perspectives of other people
*God challenges me in ways that I don’t always hear by myself
*I love the mutual support for each other that a small group can provide
*I love the “a-ha” moments when the light goes on for me when I sense the Holy Spirit’s presence, truth & revelation; I love getting to see this happen as well in others
Growing as a person often happens through our relationships & interactions w others 🙂
The longer I do the Christian adventure, Im becoming increasingly convinced that God is after our hearts & fellowship w us more than anything else. As I consider His goals for my life, I find myself wanting to cooperate & give myself to His desires. I think there are 3 simple ways that I can easily present myself to Him, everyday:
*prayer: whether it’s the quick “HELP!” or giving Him our requests & thanksgivings or going through a prayer pattern, like the Lords Prayer, I find that prayer has become a spiritual adventure for me, unduplicated in any other activity of my life
*Bible: the Bible gives my soul substance to feed on rather than the froth & cotton candy that’s so readily available in pop culture. I’ve found the Bible sustains, chalenges, comforts, corrects, guides, . . . . . me. If you don’t have some Bible in your daily living, try reading a Proverb or a Psalm a day as a starting point 🙂
*community – working out my Christianity into a daily context especially in my relationships makes my experience w Christ deeper, richer & more 3 dimensional than just attemtpting the solo act.
Get a lil prayer, get a little Bible, get a little community in this day & see God where He couldve have been invisible in the past 🙂
He’s deeply in love w you!! Hosea 11:4
Happiness isn’t as elusive as it sounds. For all the philosophers & philogists who are now figuring out if they want discuss etymological differences between joy & happiness, philosophical conundrums in epistemology as it relates to the existential state of happiness in a post-modern context, based on emerging paradigms and other complicated things – this blog may be too simple for your taste.
For the rest of us, here’s something interesting I read in last week’s paper about some simple things we can do to increase our happiness.
give thanks – always find things to be thankful for (when you look, you automatically find your focus will improve)
Do good – carry someone’s groceries to the car, take some soup to someone who’s sick, call a friend & tell them that you appreciate them, tell your boss that you appreciate having a job, donate blood. Kind acts always leaving you feeling good
Get involved – hibernating in your apartment or house can lead to some deep depression. Volunteering at church can be a nice antidote because it helps get us out of the axis of self-centeredness. Participate with life by engaging with others
Chose or lose – a scientific study showed that “only 10% of our well-being is determined by circumstances & 40% is a matter of intentional activity.”
These suggestions are from a secular perspective, but they sure sound alot like Biblical principles. Gee, makes me think that there might be something worthwhile in that there Bible. 😉