Clasped hands on troubled man

It was the revival that almost never was.  It took place in New York City, back in the late 1800s.  By then the Salvation Army, under the leadership of William Booth in England, was becoming a global force.  Two young officers had been dispatched to the U.S. to establish a work in New York, and nothing was working. Frustrated and tired, facing nothing but hostility and opposition, they sent a telegram to “the General,” requesting that he close the mission.

They received a two-word reply:  “TRY TEARS.”

They did. [click to continue…]

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200516911-001Standing in the gap for you, as expectantly as I can, I am praying that on this day like no other, you know the extraordinary comfort of ordinary faithfulness.  I pray that you would experience:

Times of “dull” rest, where both your body and your mind can enjoy the stillness of a peaceful heart after a productive day… [click to continue…]


Oh happiness, there’s grace,
Enough for us and the whole human race
-David Crowder

Sometimes we just make it more complicated than it should be… than it has to be.  Can you relate?

We’ve long ago learned that money and things don’t buy it, though that doesn’t seem to stop us from trying.

Technology promises to serve it up, but that server keeps crashing… hard.  Of course, that won’t stop us from lining up for the next iThingy when it comes out (complete with a three-year service plan and a monthly charge).

Love?  Can’t love do it?  Sure, depending on whose definition you’re talking about.  Honestly, most people’s definition of love would complicate a two-car funeral or reduce the rest of the world to service providers.  And can you really be happy when the people around you are so miserable trying to keep you satisfied?

Yeah, I know.  It’s complicated.

We’re like the parents of that preschooler who just spent hundreds on that latest gotta-have-it toy with its techno-wizardry, who are mystified that the kid just wants to play with the box.  And he’s having a blast with the box, while the exasperated parents keep shoving this strange, noisy thing in his face trying to get him to be happy.

Most of us, though, have trained ourselves to look past the simple source of creative imagination (the box) and demand that the latest products or people provide us the happiness we demand.  And we never quite arrive at what’s advertised… at least not for very long.

Maybe we’re looking in the wrong place.  Maybe it’s time to go back to the box.  Maybe it’s time to unplug – to go from “batteries not included” to “no purchase necessary.”

Maybe it’s time to rediscover the beauty of Simple Happiness.  And you’ll find it: [click to continue…]

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It was one of those eye-opening days, I guess.  Back to school time for me.  I was living north of Dallas, and still involved in youth ministry.  I taught a Monday night Bible Study that served as the centerpiece of the ministry, and on this particular night I passed out blank paper with a special request:  List, in order, the five things it would take to make you perfectly happy.

How would you answer that?

I really thought I knew what the answers would be – a lot of selfish stuff like cars, a driver’s license, money, or popularity.  But what I heard taught me a lesson I’ll never forget.  Here are some of their actual answers: [click to continue…]

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The happiest man I ran into yesterday had a distinguishing feature.  He only had one arm. 

I don’t know is name, but I know his game; he’s a manager at one of the local fast-food Italian restaurants in town.  In the short time we were there during the lunch rush, I saw him take orders at the register, manage those delicious breadsticks they’re famous for giving away, manage his team to make sure orders got out and the place stayed clean, and – most importantly – see to it that his customers were happy.

We sure were.  And it started with him showing us that he was happy to be there.  He has an infectious smile and a good-natured laugh that invites you to laugh along.  Sure comes in handy when the lunch line is snaking out the door.

Hmmm.  [click to continue…]

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Inside you lurks a deep desire. 

It’s quiet, but compelling. 

It’s one of the secrets of everything that motivates you – in fact, your deep, abiding happiness depends on it.  Yet it’s so hidden, so behind-the-scenes, that if I were to ask you to list your strongest longings, I’m almost certain this wouldn’t make the list. 

But it’s there.  It’s powerful.  And your response to it may well be the difference between addicted and sober. 

Between ambition and actualization. 

Between frustration and fulfillment. 

The desire?  [click to continue…]

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