Category Archives: happiness
Finding Deep Joy in a Sad, Shallow World (A Study of Philippians) Part 3 (Some Books on Happiness)
We are thinking about JOY as we work our way through the epistle to the Philippians (where the word “joy” and its variants are used 16 times). Before we look at the 1st use of the term “joy” in that letter, let’s focus a bit more on the term happiness.
Some of you know that my wife and I have a small Amazon business. We sell about 10-12 books a day. I was looking through our inventory and found the following titles (just read through the list. I then have a few concluding thoughts):
ABCs for Life: 26 Principles for Success and Happiness
Bliss to You: Trixie’s Guide to a Happy Life (Trixie is a dog)
Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness
Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough
Compulsory Happiness (Writings from an Unbound Europe)
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
Dying to Be Happy: Discovering the Truth about Life
God Wants You Happy: From Self-Help to God’s Help
Happy to Be Me (Joyce Meyer)
Happiness: God’s Invitation to Delight, Celebration, and Joy (Randy Alcorn)
Happiness: Lessons from a New Science
Happy: Simple Steps to Get the Most Out of Life
How to Live Until You Die: The 7 Keys to Living Happy, Healthy & Whole
Human Nature in Its Fourfold State of Primitive Integrity, Entire Depravity, Begun Recovery, and Consummate Happiness or Misery
Looking Forward to MORE Monday Mornings: How to Drive Your Colleagues Happy
Lost Virtue of Happiness: Discovering the Discipline of the Good Life
Parenting the Strong-Willed Child: A No-Nonsense Approach to Raising Happy, Healthy Children
Quantum Wellness: A Practical and Spiritual Guide to Health and Happiness
Radically Happy: A User’s Guide to the Mind
Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy
Seven Things That Steal Your Joy: Overcoming the Obstacles to Your Happiness
Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It
Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy Healthy Longer Life
Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health
The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World (Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu)
The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life
The Happiness Equation: 100 Factors That Can Add to or Subtract from Your Happiness
The Happiness Makeover: How to Teach Yourself to Be Happy and Enjoy Every Day
The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific
The Law of Happiness: How Spiritual Wisdom and Modern Science Can Change Your Life (Henry Cloud)
The Light Shines on in the Darkness: Transforming Suffering through Faith (Happiness, Suffering, and Transcendence)
The Marriage Makeover: Finding Happiness in Imperfect Harmony
The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: King Solomon’s Secrets to Success, Wealth, and Happiness
The Secret to True Happiness: Enjoy Today, Embrace Tomorrow
The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Happy Hour: Over 325 Recipes for Your Favorite Bar Snacks and Beer Cocktails
The Way of Serenity: Finding Peace and Happiness in the Serenity Prayer
The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life
This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life (Volume 1)
Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: 50 Years of Happy Frustration
That’s a lot of books on the topic of happiness! I’m not sure I want to know about Buddha’s Brain, but there really is a neuroscience of happiness. I love my dog (Bliss to You: Trixie’s Guide to a Happy Life) — but I don’t think he’s the one to teach me about happiness (he sleeps all day and snores).
I’m not sure that God “wants” me happy, but I’m fairly certain that He’s not happy if I’m always miserable! I’m intrigued by the title Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough.
Some of my books make me want to take them off our inventory and begin reading them, such as Randy Alcorn’s Happiness: God’s Invitation to Delight, Celebration, and Joy or J.P. Moreland’s Lost Virtue of Happiness: Discovering the Discipline of the Good Life or the classic Hannah Whitall Smith’s The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life. However, Human Nature in Its Fourfold State of Primitive Integrity, Entire Depravity, Begun Recovery, and Consummate Happiness or Misery looks like a tome from some Puritan writer, so I’m sure it would be deeply spiritual and profound.
I wouldn’t waste a second reading The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Happy Hour: Over 325 Recipes for Your Favorite Bar Snacks and Beer Cocktails, but, I must admit, I can envision myself curling up with The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific. The Happiness Equation: 100 Factors That Can Add to or Subtract from Your Happiness sounds like too much work to wade through.
As a Christian, I’m not sure I want to know what The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu says. I’m grateful for our happy marriage, so I don’t feel a need to read Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy.
Some of these books sound great — but I’m more interested in what God’s book, the Bible, has to say about JOY. (to be continued)
Time for a Great Cartoon! (Secret of Happiness)
Our lives are made up of a multitude of “moments,” aren’t they? Some are pleasurable, some — not so much. You may have heard the story of an elderly sister in Christ who was asked the question, “What is your favorite Bible verse?” She thought about her life and the many deep waters the Lord had taken her through, and she said, “My favorite verse is ‘And it came to PAST!”
Are you going through some moments now that you wish would become the past? I was greatly encouraged the other day by reading through the book of Lamentations. In the midst of all of his legitimate complaints, Jeremiah writes —
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions [mercies] never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
My problem is that I sometimes live on what a preacher called “stale mercies.” When I was a kid, every morning was an adventure of reading the cereal boxes when we had breakfast. Sometimes they were fascinating; sometimes they held the promise of a prize at the bottom. My brother and I would occasionally fight over which cereal box each of us got to read.
I think we Christians have had too many breakfasts of God’s “stale mercies.” His mercies are NEW every morning, waiting for us, reminding us of His compassions and His greatness.
Time for a Great Cartoon (happiness)
Calvin has a point, doesn’t he? If HAPPINESS depends on HAPPENINGS, then having the financial where-with-all to control life’s circumstances seems a very reasonable goal.
But even the filthy rich can’t buy themselves out of some life’s tragedies. As one bumper sticker puts it, “He who dies with the most toys — still dies!” Psalm 1 (which we looked at way back on December 8’s post) makes the simple point that true happiness (what the Psalmist calls “blessedness”) is a relational, not a possessive, issue. If I know the God of Creation in an intimate and personal way, I can be truly happy, regardless of what happens around me.
How’s your relationship with the Lord going?