going to be sharing with for the next few weeks some lessons
and some understanding about happiness. Finding happiness
from the inside out.
I have a hobby.
Anyone here have any hobbies? I have a very strange hobby,
my first hobby is actually marlin fishing. Its one of my
first loves after my wife of course and my kids and the
church and all those other things, its marlin fishing. And
so if I can work it into something I'm doing, I try to do
that. For instance, my wife and I spent the last two weeks
in Australia and New Zealand. And what we were doing there
is every single night we were speaking to a group of people
who watch the Hour of Power and we were in an airport every
single day and a different hotel every single night. That’s
a lot of packing and unpacking. On Tuesday, we decided to
take a break and we went fishing, marlin fishing and we
caught absolutely nothing. Zippo. No exciting stories to
tell you, what I can tell you is I loved it because I learned
more about marlin fishing. What I learned is that the stripped
marlin, there’s lots of different marlin, I could
go on all day talking to you about marlin cause I know all
about marlin. Striped marlin specifically. There’s
four kinds of marlin but this is just the striped marlin.
I wanted to fish
in New Zealand because the striped marlin in New Zealand
are much bigger than all of the striped marlin around here
and in Mexico. They’re almost twice the size. So I
wanted to learn more and the only way I could learn more,
I looked on the internet, I tried to find everything I could.
The only way I could find more was to go and talk to someone
who fished marlin in New Zealand. Well guess what? Fisherman
in New Zealand are not on the internet telling all about
what they do. They’re not available by phone; they’re
out on their boats fishing. So the only way you can find
out what about those fish is to charter a boat, get on the
boat, sit up next to them as they’re driving the boat
and talk to them about the marlin. And that’s what
I did. And Donna was bored to death.
If we have a
love for something, you can never know too much about it
and there’s always some new horizon about that topic
that you want to know more about. Why do you think there
are four or five magazines on every.. on golf, that people
buy every single month and they read from cover to cover.
Why do they have magazines on home and garden? Why do they
have magazines on fashion? Why do they have magazines on,
name the topic? Dogs, oh not dogs they get very specific,
the type of dog. It’s because we thirst of things
we love. And the same thing is true with our relationship
with God. As we learn more about Him, we learn more about
Jon Calvin and
his institutes which he wrote over 500 years ago, his first
question, the first paragraph that he addresses, basically
states that in order to come to know God, you have to come
to know yourself and as you come to know yourself, you come
to know God, so either one leads to the other. Happiness
comes from the inside out. And the question is, how do we
find this happiness; where does it come from?
There was a letter
that St. Paul wrote years and years and years ago, it’s
found in the Bible, in the New Testament. Tiny little book,
its only four chapters, its called Philippians. It’s
known as the happy book in the Bible because there’s
16 references in that one four chapter book of joy and happiness
and rejoicing and different derivatives from it, 16 of them.
And so we’ve discovered that the keys to success and
happiness are found within this book. And it’s a fascinating
thing to realize that, golly, 27 years ago I was ordained,
that’s a long time. And when I first got, when I was
first ordained my father gave me a medallion, a gold medallion
and on that medallion was engraved three Bible verses and
one of the Bible verses on there was Philippians 1:6, “Being
confident of this one thing, that God who began a good work
in you, will carry it to completion until the day of Jesus
Christ.” What a great verse that is, being confident.
Being confident in this one thing that God and how in the
world people can find happiness without an understanding
of God is totally beyond me. I can’t figure it out.
I was talking
with a friend of mine he’s an MD, and he said you
know I was raised in a quasi-Christian home where you’re
supposed to be Christians but my dad would beat me once
in a while and I was really embarrassed in the house I was
raised in and we’d go to church once in a while and
that was about the extent of it. So we were Christians by
name and reputation only, cause we were born and raised
in a community where everyone was Christian, so if you’re
a Christian, of course you’re a Christian.
He goes then
I went to college and med school and by the time I was about
done with med school, God was not part of my language at
all. I didn’t have any faith. My institutional training
had taught me the rules of science, and science was my god.
And then I had a professor ask me a profound question. The
question simply was, “how does your heart tick?”
“How does your heart tick?” and he says I could
go and I could tell you exactly how the heart worked but
I couldn’t begin to tell you how it ticked. To this
day I can’t answer that question how a heart beats.
And he said it totally revolutionized my whole philosophy
and understanding of life. Suddenly God had to be real,
He was the source, He was the power, there is such a thing
as a miracle of life, it’s a beating heart.
Today this man
is probably the most contented man I know, and it starts
with God. And God created this body and this soul that we
have to work meticulously. You know we’ve now mapped
out the entire genetics of the body and every single cell
in our body contains all the DNA, to do everything that
it needs to do. And so every single cell in your body holds
a genetic key called 33 KDA. That’s the gene. We all
have it. If you didn’t have it, you’d be dead.
You cannot live without 33 KDA. What 33 KDA does is it tells
the cells when to switch on and off. It tells the DNA when
to work and when not to work, and it’s vitally important
for us to have this genetic code because other wise when
you cut your finger, it would not heal. The blood would
not clot because the DNA would not be turned on to say,
oh I have to clot up now, and without that DNA code, the
minute you pricked your finger, you would bleed to death.
You would never get well and you would die. We all have
it. It was given to us by God, an on and off switch.
And we have an on and off switch in our minds. The on and
off switch is the ability to be able to make the decisions
of life. God’s given us that so we have the ability
to go through life and make the decision whether or not
we want to be happy.
My wife gave
me a devotion that she read in belief.net, its one of her
daily devotionals. And it’s such a great devotional,
I'm going to read it a minute, it will only take a minute.
A 92 year old petite, well poised and proud lady who was
fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with
her hair fashionably done and make up perfectly appointed
even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home
today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making
the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently
in the lobby of the nursing home she smiled sweetly when
told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to
the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny
room, including the eyelet curtains that had been hung in
her window. “I love it!” she stated, with the
enthusiasm of an eight year old having just been presented
with a new puppy.
Mrs. Jones, you
haven’t seen the room, just wait. “Oh that doesn’t
have anything to do with it” she replied. “Happiness
is something you decide on ahead of time, whether I like
my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture
is arranged. It’s how I arrange my mind. I already
decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning
when I wake up. I have a choice. I can spend the day in
bed recounting the difficultly I have with the parts of
my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful
for the ones that do. Each day is a gift and as long as
my eyes are open I’ll focus on the new day and all
the happy memories I've stored away. Just for this time
in my life, old age is like a bank account: you withdraw
from it what you’ve put it. So my advice to you would
be, deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories.
We make the decisions. We make the decisions whether or
not.. we want to be happy or we don’t want to be happy.
God has given them to us. “Being confident of this,
that God who has begun a good work in you will carry it
to completion.” We look at our lives and we come to
the realization that God will help us carry everything to
completion. That’s our job. Our job is to just keep
on keeping on. God is the one who carries it to completion.
speech ever delivered was delivered by Winston Churchill.
Hitler was bombing London daily, the people were depressed.
His charge was to motivate and inspire and uplift a nation
that was on their knees, living in cellars, being bombed
every night by a horrible, evil enemy. Now what was he going
to say? What do you say a situation like that? And Winston
Churchill gave us the words we’ll remember, “Never
give up!” he said. “Never, never, never give
up!” And he sat down. Eight words; the greatest sermon,
the greatest message, the greatest inspiration that that
nation needed when they needed it and he gave it to them,
“Never give up.”
our on and off switch that we have to realize that we can
control. We don’t have to give up and if we just keep
on keeping on, as my father has said many times, then God
will carry it to completion. Our job is to wake up in the
morning, realize that God is blessing us and to just keep
on keeping on, “never give up, never, never, never
give up!” “Being confident of this thing, that
God who has begun a good work in you will carry it to completion
until the day of Jesus Christ, until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Let me conclude
by giving you and we’ll recite actually the five simple
rules of happiness. Repeat after me: Free your heart from
hatred. (AUDIENCE: free your heart from hatred) Free your
mind from worries. (AUDIENCE: free your mind from worries)
Live simply. (AUDIENCE: live simply) Give more. (AUDIENCE:
give more) Expect less (AUDIENCE: expect less)
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You that You are a God who
performs miracles every minute of every day and so as You’re
performing miracles within our lives, give us the freedom
to be able to release our worries and our hatreds to You.
Give us the confidence and the assurance to live simply,
to give more and expect less. And so we thank You for giving
us happiness from the inside out. We love You Lord. Amen.