How to Achieve Happiness? Start here…

  1. (My bad – 9/15/13)
“The fact that God makes good come out of my wrong does not make my wrong any better; I have simply utilised God’s permissive will to go in a circle when I should have gone straight.” –Oswald Chambers
Our Pastor delivered an amazing sermon today that truly got me thinking…..
He told a story of his brother who, on a return trip from overseas had eaten a sandwich in London that was off. (And obviously didn’t know it)
On the plane trip back to the US, he found himself spending most of the time very ill in the tiny toilet, and mostly groaning and retching and truly wishing he hadn’t eaten that sandwich.
It is apparent that most people live like that…. we make choices in life that are not the best, and it causes us to live a life that is defeated, sad, self-loathing and “toxic” to our happiness.
If you knew that “eating a (toxic) sandwich” would cause you to get seriously ill; would you eat it??
Of course not. But emotionally we do that to ourselves all the time!!!
Sometimes: yes, you have decided that “eating the sandwich” at that moment was the best thing for you…
and, at first maybe you don’t realize the consequence; but most of us, the older we get, we KNOW what’s going to happen later…. down the road…. when we have to deal with the natural consequences of our poor choice.
From some of our poor choices we make, we suffer through  ….
… a strained relationship that makes your marriage a mess
… guilt and resentment for things that did not work out how WE selfishly wanted.
… private sin that (what the Psalmist says) “… made me miserable and filled my days with frustration. All day and all night Your Hand was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day”  Ps.32
 trying to rationalize and prove yourself right when you have made a wrong decision and it turns out worse than if you’d just admitted it and moved on.
…. bankruptcy because of an impulsive decision that we thought would be beneficial… but turned out disastrous.
… or just simply daily decisions, that have caused us to be shorted in our relationships, happiness and overall satisfaction in life.
When we realize that all we have to do is …  just make small changes here and there and things will be different.
some consequences of our poor choices lead to: unhappy jobs,
depression, suicide, poor health, divorce, wrecked friendships, etc. etc.
Just the refusal to make small changes,… we find that our old stinking thinking…
…it spoils everything in your life…
If I were paying attention…. and learned from my past mistakes, I would KNOW NOT TO DO IT AGAIN!!!
There is really a simple answer: What the Repentant Psalmist in Psalm 32 says is this:
“ 8 Let me give you some good advice;  I’m looking you in the eye and giving it to you straight:

“Don’t be ornery like a horse or mule that needs bit and bridle to stay on track.”

10 God-defiers are always in trouble; God-affirmers find themselves loved every time they turn around.

 (When) I let it all out; (Confess it out loud…) I say, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.”

Suddenly the pressure was gone— my guilt dissolved, my sin disappeared.

These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray; when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts

we’ll be on high ground, untouched.


How can I break this cycle?
How can I WAKE UP…( and stop eating bad food)… stop making the same mistakes over and over.
Repentance: … change your mind, change your life.
“You cannot take your old stinking thinking into your bright new future.” CB
Ask God to soften your heart, to take the spiritual blinders off…. …. by YOUR spirit Lord … help me to wake up….
We all have, in our lives: unhealed wounds, unmet needs, pride, hardness of heart, demandingness;
no one lives a life that has every need met perfectly….
the issue is how are we going to respond….
Our natural tendency is to respond by “ACTING OUT” or “SHUTTING DOWN”.
Acting out : anger/ revengeful / hate/ controlling/ dissatisfaction/ criticism / judging/ putting people down/ constant negativity / victimizing others
Shutting down: passive aggression/ isolating ourselves / denying   companionship / playing the fool /
These things are the emotional equivalent of the guy throwing up in the toilet, retching and groaning… and generally in a bad state of discomfort.
Its been said that half the patients in mental hospital beds would be vacated tomorrow if they could feel forgiveness and be rid of their guilt.
It’s a proven fact that Happiness is tethered to confession….
1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sinshe is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

‘The Message’ says 8-10 If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.”

confession and repentance will free you from the destructive forces that are hell bent on destroying your life.
…. Don’t be like a stubborn mule
that needs a bit and bridle to control it….. Psalm 32
Are you finding your life “stuck in the toilet of your poor choices”… retching, groaning and wondering why you are here AGAIN!?
James 5

13-15 Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven—healed inside and out.

16-18 Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.

It’s the secret to a happy life…. Such a great relief to know all I have to do is admit my wrongs, and move towards making them right….
But SSssoooo hard to do…

Hiding Place

Jared Anderson

I have found myself a hiding place
I have found myself a secret space
In the shelter of Almighty’s love

In the safety of the Savior’s arms.

I found myself a hiding place

I found myself a secret space

In the refuge of the Father’s care

In the cleansing blood of Jesus there.


I will run to the hiding place

I will run to the hiding place

Draw me ever closer to look upon Your face

I will run to the hiding place.


Though my fears may overwhelm me

And troubles, they surround

Though the wind rise up to take me

My hiding place is already found.

I have found myself a hiding place

I have found myself a secret space

In the shelter of Almighty’s love

In the safety of the Savior’s arms.

I will run to the hiding place

How to Achieve Happiness? Start here:
Allow God to do a deep spiritual work in your soul.
Further food for thought:
King David…. some of his poor choices soured his life.. he had to wake up…
although he was a follower of God he still had some periodic lapses in judgement….
he watched porn (kinda) he was a lustful adulterer…
he was selfish and manipulating…
a murderer…
his children were also kinda bad (he was an absent parent)
He tried to hilight his own legacy and tried to take the spotlight off God.
he was Arrogant and self-opinionated.
he took his eye off his REAL prize.



Be Ready with YES…

When you say “yes” to something that will better your life and give you guaranteed personal growth…. You’d better understand that there will be many yeses thereafter. One yes will not give you the success you wish to achieve.

Be ready to say many yeses as you grow and learn what needs to be changed.

Thought nuggets…. Inspired by one of my favorite quotes by mentor Chris Brady: “You cannot take your old stinking thinking into a bright new future.”


Forgive: As far as the east is from the west….

We all do things we can’t forgive. We stumble sometimes, beyond all measure. Our best intentions are thwarted by reality. Our shattered dreams lay dormant in the basement of our hearts, and our secret regret is that we made wrong choices, that we now have to live with. Pride won’t allow us to admit, and forgive. There are times our mistakes can’t be fixed. Not by us.

We often try to mend things with a vow to make it right somehow. Then we overcorrect and…
… Get a divorce;
… have a child;
… spoil a child;
… adopt a child;
… over discipline a child;
… Endlessly nag and scold;
… Hold grudges;
…Harbor bitterness and unforgiveness that makes us sick to the bones;
…Hate ourselves;
… Become unbareably demanding;
… Turn to drugs or alcohol;
… Become intolerable to live with;
reject a meaningful relationship; don’t let people close for fear of being hurt again;
…Settle for the first relationship that comes along for fear of never finding “the right one”;
…try to rescue things, animals, people… Mostly to our (and their) detriment;
…We feel we can’t say no;
… work 8O hours a week to “catch up”, “make up”, bury the sorrow, or hide.
Nothing seems to make it better.
Cause “we” can’t make it right.
These things make us feel even more desperate. Like we’re perched in the cliff edge of ourselves.
Detrimental. Important. Terrible. Lonely. Those are the minutes between when you realize that …
There’s no penance, no alms, no great works of charity, no human effort YOU can do to fix some mistakes.
Getting away from the things we regret, is not in our power.
The only thing that will mend a broken heart is to let it go. Repent. Once and for all. (means you only have to do it once.) Receive from our God His forgiveness and mercy.
As far as the east is from the west…. So far has God removed our sins from us. No human being can find east or west. The mystery is that East or west is so so far away that you’ll NEVER be able to get there because the more you try, the more frustrated you’ll get because IT IS A MYSTERY! The distance is infinite. It’s not meant to be found.
Psalm 103:12
God makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet. ……. God is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, he’s rich in love. He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever. He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs. As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is his love to those who fear him. And as far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins. As parents feel for their children, God feels for those who fear him. He knows us inside and out, keeps in mind that we’re made of mud. Men and women don’t live very long; like wildflowers they spring up and blossom, But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly, leaving nothing to show they were here. God’s love, though, is ever and always, eternally present to all who fear him, MAKING EVERYTHING RIGHT for them and their children as they follow his Covenant ways and remember to do whatever he said.
Psalm 103:11-13 (in Context) Psalm

less busyness… more to give

One busy grandma

One busy grandma

I have a burning frustration… I often (every day) have these random thoughts, inspired quotes and full-on compelling urges to write down what comes to my head… I try. But most of the time I find my thoughts on paper incomplete because life happens. Just wanted to put that here because I have a lot of posts to catch up. That is all.


Today is the first day of the rest of my marriage.

(Yes, I said marriage).
DISCLAIMER: in posting this, I am not implying that I’m having problems with my spouse or my marriage. I have committed to look deeply into my life this year. This is one of the commitments I have made in 2014. To work on having a more AWESOME marriage. Starting with me!

Dear Abba, I ask for your forgiveness for any wrongs I may have committed against You and my marriage. I ask for your protection as I embark on a spurt of learning with Your help and the help of some great books*. If there is anything that would distract me from the truth, I ask that you would keep it away, that you would open my mind so I can see how I can change to make things better. In want YOUR goals accomplished in my life and in my marriage. Amen.



Bountiful Fruits of the Soul



“Fitness Is a byproduct of personal integrity.” Orrin Woodward.
“So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-10 The Message.

Mmmm “bountiful in fruits from the soul”.

Deep thoughts. You cannot be satisfied with loving others until you are satisfied with loving yourself; who you are, and happy/satisfied with that. We’re often times self loathing because we have let ourselves down in some form or another. We have a mental picture of how we want ourselves to look and be. When we have those momentary glimpses of who we really have become, sometimes in character and sometimes in physique. We realize that we have let ourselves go, allowed ourself to “give in” even though we know what’s good for us. And we become depressed and hopeless. Thinking we have no control over it.
That feeling if dissatisfaction bleeds onto others… And sometimes it’s not pretty.

The thing is : WE DO HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE IT. All it takes is the realization of that, and a strong resolve to love yourself enough to hold to your wisdom; the self-control you know you need to commit to, that will give you “the fruits of the soul” that you long for in yourself.

Establish what is appropriate, sincere and intelligent; make the decision to live like that in public AND in private. Simple as that!

I resolve to live my life circumspectly: (deliberate and guarded), and exemplary: (admirable, blameless, with character, honorable); a life Jesus will be proud of.

* I am worthy of the best, worthy of being satisfied that I have personal integrity that, when I “catch a glimpse of myself” through someone else’s eyes, I am satisfied that I’ve been true to myself.

(This deep moment was inspired by:
1) the instructors in Bikram Yoga who often say: “Be honest with yourself.”
2) Orrin Woodward in a LLR cd, in explaining personal integrity, said “Fitness Is a byproduct of personal integrity.”
3) The words that are spoken of me when I get up to speak to a group.)


Am I Being Totally Honest with Myself?

Beautiful picture example of being 'under His wing'

Beautiful picture example of being ‘under His wing’

Never say that it is not God’s will to give you what you ask. …….. Do you have to say to the Lord, “I have been irritable and cross, but I still want spiritual blessings”? ……… We mistake defiance for devotion, arguing with God instead of surrendering. … Ask yourself…. Have I been asking God to give me money for something I want, while refusing to pay someone what I owe him? Have I been asking God for liberty while I am withholding it from someone who belongs to me? Have I refused to forgive someone, and have I been unkind to that person?

We are all good at producing spiritual fog that blinds our sight. But if we will search out and examine the evidence, we will see very clearly what is wrong— a friendship, an unpaid debt, or an improper attitude, unforgiveness, denial.
There is no use praying unless we are living as children of God. Then Jesus says, regarding His children, “Everyone who asks receives . . .” (Matthew 7:8).
If I want to prosper in all areas of life, I must PDCA (Plan Do Check and Adjust) all areas of my life.
To feel smug and satisfied with regards to my spirituality when comparing myself to other people is a false reality. My spirituality must be compared to the Word that God has written to give guidelines to our honest standing with Him.
He does not “demand” my perfection, but He sure watches and waits for my obedience, teachableness and pleasure at His approval. That approval doesn’t come in the form of a pat on the back or even a nod. But it comes in the form of a deep seated satisfaction… unexplainable and unexpected… knowing that He is pleased with me. His approval comes in the form of my smiling heart, clarity of vision for my ‘next right thing’ I have to do, and His smile comes in the form of an AWESOME sunset, an exquisite, perfectly formed irresistible orchid, or a visit from a vibrant Red Cardinal at my window.
(inspired by My Utmost for His Highest 8/23/13)

There must be something more?

This is Olivia playing in a ‘waterless’ water play set while I was watering some dry patches in the garden.
It got me thinking. Sometimes our lives are like that… We have everything we need – we think! But there comes a time when we wonder, is there something more?
If we had just one more component … Life would be complete. It could be in any area of life… Faith… family… Finances. ..Fitness… Fun… Freedom… Friends… Following…
If this resonates with you… Go check out

Then, I was especially blessed when the Beatitudes came to my mind and I looked them up in The Message…. it’s awesome…
3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

Mattew 5:3-10
… and then further down in verse 13 it says:
Salt and Light

13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.”



I just had a revelation

Rare events, properly interpreted, have been the source of much progress. Some evidence has suggested that in order for mankind to move forward and change, there needs to be a catastrophic event.

It’s true that in our lives when we have a “crisis of belief”, we find ourselves re-evaluating what we have done, and reframing what we are going to do in the future.

In science, most of the time it’s the ever so “Slight Change” that makes the difference and causes the desired outcome.

So it is in our lives. We have to know that it is the small choices of our daily habits and routines that cause us to be where we find ourselves today. If I desire something different on January 1 2014, I must embark on evaluating what my “slight edge” will be during 2013.

When you “get that”, it could be construed as a “rare  (catastrophic) event”.

Use it to your advantage.

I pray you will be ever mindful of “the slight edge”.


Happy New Year – 2013… be sure to find the Champion in you.

Here are a few thoughts from my life…

Having a baby grandchild in my life has given me so many “Ah Ha” moments of joy and exuberant realization of the potential that lies in each of us. To watch Olivias open mind absorbing every little experience, experimentation, determination, tenacity and persistence is nothing short of an awesome miracle.  This 14 month old just gives me so much inspiration and insight into what we can do if we just try.


As we get older we give up so easily… the persistent passion we had as babes wears off, it’s really sad. We become GIVEN UPS not GROWN UPS!


To think that we truly CAN do anything, but we are not prepared to make the effort. As soon as things become a little difficult or challenging then our response is to move on to the next thing… usually watching TV or something banal. Don’t leave dreams stuck in storage man!


A few things I’ve learned that I am going to drag with me to 2013.



If my life has not yielded the results I was hoping for, i should look no further than my daily habits. Orrin Woodward.


My future comes at me one hour at a time. i will run boldly towards it. I want to be proud of every choice I make. (Paraphrased quote, Lana Hamilton).
My habits will be my best servant or my cruelest master…. I should choose them well. For whatever habits I choose, they will be what where I go in life. (Paraphrased quote, Lana Hamilton).


Life is not a dress rehearsal… There are no do overs!


So this year I’m going to live like I mean it! I’m not going to give in to myself. I’m going to live up to the challenges that are before me on an hour by hour basis. I’m going to try new things, go to more places, keep promises to myself.


One day I’m going to wake up and I’ll be dead.


The Clock is ticking…. I’m getting on it!




Isaiah 28:4ish -11 (Tested in the Furnace of Affliction.)


For a long time now, I’ve let you in on the way I work:
I told you what I was going to do beforehand,
then I did it and it was done, and that’s that.
I know you’re a bunch of hardheads,
obstinate and flint-faced,
So I got a running start and began telling you
what was going on before it even happened.
That is why you can’t say,
‘My god-idol did this.’
‘My favorite god-carving commanded this.’
You have all this evidence
confirmed by your own eyes and ears.
Shouldn’t you be talking about it?
And that was just the beginning.
I have a lot more to tell you,
things you never knew existed.
This isn’t a variation on the same old thing.
This is new, brand-new,
something you’d never guess or dream up.
When you hear this you won’t be able to say,
‘I knew that all along.’
You’ve never been good listeners to me.
You have a history of ignoring me,
A sorry track record of fickle attachments—
rebels from the womb.
But out of the sheer goodness of my heart,
because of who I am,

I keep a tight rein on my anger and hold my temper.
I don’t wash my hands of you.
Do you see what I’ve done?
I’ve refined you, but not without fire.
I’ve tested you like silver in the furnace of affliction.
Out of myself, simply because of who I am, I do what I do.
I have my reputation to keep up.
I’m not playing second fiddle to either gods or people.”