What Makes You Happy?

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Psalm 31-32; Acts 23:16-35

The one whose wrongdoing is forgiven,
    whose sin is covered over, is truly happy!
The one the Lord doesn’t consider guilty—
    in whose spirit there is no dishonesty—
    that one is truly happy!

When I kept quiet, my bones wore out;
    I was groaning all day long—
    every day, every night!—
because your hand was heavy upon me.
    My energy was sapped as if in a summer drought. 

Selah

So I admitted my sin to you;
    I didn’t conceal my guilt.
    “I’ll confess my sins to the Lord, ” is what I said.
    Then you removed the guilt of my sin. 

Selah

 

That’s why all the faithful should pray to you during troubled times,
    so that a great flood of water won’t reach them.
You are my secret hideout!
    You protect me from trouble.
    You surround me with songs of rescue! 

Selah

A couple of weeks ago I found myself buying a new car (well, new to me). It wasn’t something I was very excited about doing. I liked my old car. I had it less than a year. For perhaps the first time in my life, I was buying a new car and wasn’t something I wanted to do.

For many of us, or at least for some of the people we know, happiness is something elusive because happiness doesn’t come from a relationship with God. Happiness isn’t even something that comes from within.

Instead, happiness is something that comes from the stuff we can accumulate. A new car will make me happy. It does make me happy, until it doesn’t. For many people, the things of life are the source of their happiness until the new wears off and they are no longer happy with what they have. They need something new to once again make them happy.

It is no secret to those who know me, I love my guitars. I have started collecting them and I do enjoy them. I will tell you a secret if you promise not to tell Cindy (just kidding, she does read this occasionally). My happiness doesn’t come from the guitars, it comes from the music I can make with the guitars, all most all of which is music that sings praises to God. Without God, there would be no music and no need for a guitar.

In today’s psalm, David is singing with joy, he is happy, not because he got him a new chariot or something. David is happy because of the work God does in his life! David knows that without God’s hand, nothing is forgiven and if you have read much of 2 Samuel at all, you know that David, a man after God’s own heart, needed forgiveness as much as any of us.

It seems to me, when I have wronged someone and they forgive me, that forgiveness makes me pretty happy. If I am happy when I get forgiveness from another person, how much greater does it make me feel to know God has forgiven me too.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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