Continually count your blessings not your grumbles. A grateful heart makes life so much more worthwhile and cheerful. The Bible tells us, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful” – and – “the cheerful heart has a continual feast.” (Proverbs 15:13, 15.) So then, continually count your blessing, not your grumbles, and develop an attitude of gratitude.
It is not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.
A smile costs nothing, but gives you much. It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it. A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in business and is the countersign of friendship. It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad and is nature’s best antidote for trouble. Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen, for it is something of no value until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as they who have no more to give!
What a great blessing to be occupied with joy in your heart.
Someone once said to a grumbling Christian: “You Christians seem to have a religion that makes you miserable. You are like a man with a headache. He doesn’t want to get rid of his head, but it hurts him to keep it!”
Year ago when he was in America, John Newton used the following analogy of a man who inherited a large fortune – a million dollars (equivalent today to perhaps a billion pounds): ‘Suppose a man was going to New York to take possession of a large estate, and his carriage should break down a mile before he got to the city, which obliged him to walk the rest of the way; what a fool we should think him, if we saw him ringing his hands, and blubbering out all the remaining mile, “My carriage is broken! My carriage is broken!” – Question: Is our focus on the broken carriage, or is our hope in the glorious inheritance waiting for us?
Cited by John Piper in his article on ‘Adoption’ – www.desiringgod.org
‘The Symptoms of Inner Peace’
- A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fear based on past experience.
- An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
- A loss of interest in judging self.
- A loss of interest in judging others.
- A loss of interest in conflict.
- A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
- A loss of ability to worry (this is a very serious symptom).
- Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
- Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
- Frequent attacks of smiling through the eyes of the heart.
- Increasing susceptibility to love, extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.
- An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than to make then happen.
You can be happy without being content but you cannot be happy if you are discontent. Decide, right now, to be happy with what you have while you work towards achieving all that you desire.
The more we give God thanks, the more we realise how much we have to give God thanks for. Remember how the old hymn goes: Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
“When you look at a bright light and then close your eyes, what do you see? You see the same light even with your eyes closed. Keep your eyes closed and that light will slowly fade away. It is the same with gratitude.”
Paul J. Meyer, author
In his book ‘Money: A User’s Manual’, Bob Russell describes a farmer who once grew discontent with his farm. He griped about the lake on his property always needing to be stocked and managed. The hills humped his roads, forcing him to drive up and down. And those fats cows lumbered through his pasture. All the fencing and feeding – what a headache!
He decided to sell the place and move somewhere nice. He called a real-estate agent and made plans to list the farm. A few days later the agent phoned, wanting approval for the advertisement she intended to place in the local paper. She read the ad to the farmer. It described a lovely farm in an ideal location – quiet and peaceful, contoured with rolling hills, carpeted with soft meadows, nourished by a fresh lake, and blessed with well-bred livestock. The farmer said, “Read that ad to me again.” After hearing it a second time, he said, “I’ve changed my mind. I’m not going to sell. I’ve been looking for a place like that all my life.”
Source: Max Lucado, Cure for the Common Life, p.46
“Our circumstances do not determine our contentment, but our faith and trust in God do.”
Fact: Laughter strengthens the body’s immune system.
‘MORNING HAS BROKEN’
Like the first morning;
Blackbird has spoken
Like the first bird.
Praise for the singing!
Praise for the morning!
Praise for them, springing
Fresh from the Word!
Sweet the rain’s new fall
Sunlit from heaven,
Like the first dewfall
On the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness
Of the wet garden,
Sprung in completeness
Where His feet pass.
Mine is the sunlight!
Mine is the morning
Born of the one light
Eden saw play!
Praise with elation,
Praise every morning,
Of the new day!
Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965)
To enjoy a cheerful disposition adopt an attitude of gratitude. Being grateful acts like a vaccination; it protects you from the disease called ‘grumpy-itus’.
“The more you thank God for what you have, the more you will have to thank God for.”
Zig Ziglar, motivational speaker and author
“Gratitude takes three forms: A feeling in the heart, an expression in words, and a giving in return.”
John Wanamaker (1838-1922), U.S. merchant and pioneer of the department store
“To be happy you’ve got to learn how to rise above the ‘if onlys’. If only I had more money… if only I had more talent… if only I was better looking. Money never made anybody more generous, talent never made anybody more grateful, and looks never made anybody more fulfilled. Settle it once and for all… the happiest people are not the richest, the most beautiful or the most talented.”
God not only redeemed you and called you to serve him, he also equipped you. Everything you need to fulfil your assignment is in your life right now, just waiting for you to recognise it. (…) During the days of the California gold rush, a young couple became obsessed with the quest for gold. They sold their farm and everything they owned and went out West to search for it. Failure after failure, they eventually ended up bankrupt and moved to Europe. Many years later they returned to America and decided to visit their old farm. But when they arrived they found it surrounded by security guards and a high wire fence. When they inquired, they discovered that under their old farm was the second-largest gold reserve in America – and it was now owned by the government.
God has placed resources and people all around you that maybe you’re not seeing yet. There’s treasure in you and around you that you won’t see until God reveals it to you. And he will, if you seek him.
Source: The UCB Word For Today, 22/12/2018
Happiness is a state of mind; it comes from within, not from without. Many people erroneously think that happiness is derived from outside sources, such as a larger home, a better job, more satisfying relationships or more money. What such people fail to understand is that happiness is an internal attitude. You, as an individual, choose whether or not to be happy.
Happiness comes from you counting your blessings; unhappiness from thinking your blessings don’t count.
“The secret of being happy is not in doing what one likes but in liking what one does.”
James M. Barrie
‘I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing’
I’d like to build the world a home,
And furnish it with love,
Grow apple trees and honey bees,
And snow-white turtle doves.
I’d like to teach the world to sing,
In perfect harmony,
I’d like to hold it in my arms,
And keep it company.
I’d like to see the world for once,
All standing hand in hand,
And hear them echo through the hills,
For peace throughout the land.
a song by The New Seekers
Happy is person man who wants what they have; who is appreciative and grateful for their many blessings.
Spread a little happiness where you go, not when!
Source: Bits & Pieces Magazine, Economics Press
A cheerful heart is good medicine.
Proverbs 17:22 NIV
Those who wish to sing always find a song. – Scandinavian saying
A smile is one little curve that sets a lot of things straight.
A genuine smile – not a smirk – always creates rolls of fat under your eyes. Check it out for yourself: Get in front of a mirror and give your face a joy ride.
A smile is quite a funny thing,
It wrinkles up your face,
And when it’s gone, you never find
Its secret hiding place.
But far more wonderful it is
To see what smiles can do;
You smile at one, he smiles at you,
And so one smile makes two.
He smiles at someone since you smiled,
And then that one smiles back;
And that one smiles, until in truth
You fail in keeping track.
Now since a smile can do great good
By cheering hearts of care,
Let’s smile and smile, and not forget
That smiles go everywhere! (Anon.)
An optimist laughs to forget. A pessimist forgets to laugh.
‘Blessed Are They’
Blessed are they who are pleasant to live with.
Blessed are they who sing in the morning;
Whose faces have smiles for their early adorning;
Who come down to breakfast accompanied by cheer;
Who don’t dwell on troubles or entertain fear;
Whose eyes smile forth bravely; whose lips curve to say;
“Life, I salute you! Good morrow, new day!”
Blessed are they who are pleasant to live with.
Blessed are they who treat one another,
Though merely a sister, a father or brother,
With the very same courtesy they would extend
To a casual acquaintance or a dearly loved friend;
Who choose for the telling encouraging things;
Who choke back the bitter, the sharp word that stings;
Who bestow love on others throughout the long day.
Pleasant to live with and blessed are they.
Contentment is not in having everything you want but in wanting everything you have.
“The most wasted of all days is that during which one has not laughed.”
Nicolas Chamford (1741-1794), French writer
“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
Helen Keller (1880-1968), US author and lecturer, blind and deaf from infancy
S.M.I.L.E. – Smiling More Increases Life Expectancy
R. Ian Seymour
A smile is such a powerful tool; you can even break ice with it!
Smiling is infectious
You catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today
I started smiling too.
I walked around the corner,
And someone saw me grin.
When he smiled, I realised
I’d passed it on to him.
I thought about the smile
And then I realised its worth.
A single smile like mine
Could travel round the earth.
If you feel a smile begin
Don’t leave it undetected,
Start an epidemic quick
And get the world infected. (Anon.)
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Confucius (551-479 B.C.) ancient Chinese philosopher and teacher.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Happiness is a decision; as Abraham Lincoln once said: “I have noticed that folks are generally about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Material things can’t make you truly happy, people can’t make you truly happy, situations and places and times and events can’t make you truly happy. It is only when you allow yourself to be happy will you then be happy.
First rule of happiness: It is not our position in life that makes us happy, but our disposition in life.
Second rule of happiness: “He who laughs… lasts.”
Laughter adds years to your life and life to your years.
“This is the true joy in life; being used for a purpose recognised by yourself as a mighty one; being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown out on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), dramatist and critic
Like a bread without the spread in,
Like a puddin’ without sauce,
Like a mattress without beddin’,
Like a cart without a horse,
Like a door without a latchstring,
Like a fence without a stile,
Like a dry an’ barren river bed,
Is the face without a smile.
Like a house without a door,
Like a garden without a flower,
Like a clock without a mainspring,
That will never tell the hour;
A thing that sort o’ makes you feel
A hunger all the while,
Oh, the saddest sight that ever was
Is a face without a smile!
The face of man was built for smiles,
An’ thereby he is blest
Above the critters of the field,
The birds an’ all the rest;
He’s just a little lower
Than the angels in the skies,
And the reason – is that he can smile;
Therein his glory lies!
So smile an’ don’t forget to smile,
An’ smile, an’ smile again,
’Twill help you all along the way,
An’ cheer you mile by mile;
An’ so, whatever is your lot,
Just smile, an’ smile. an’ smile. (Anon)
Smile and add to your face value.
“Too much of a good thing is wonderful.”
Mae West (1892-1980), film actress
“The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”
Joseph Addison (1672-1719), English essayist and poet