Get the Right Sense of the Good Life

The following excerpts are taken from You Are What You Love – The Spiritual Power of Habit by James K. A. Smith.

Our actions and behavior – indeed, a whole way of life – are pulled out of us by this attraction to some vision of the good life.

If our loves can be disordered by secular liturgies, it’s also true that our loves need to be reordered (recalibrated) by counter liturgies – embodied, communal practices that are “loaded” with the gospel and indexed to God and his kingdom.

Thoughts on Happiness

From the book Happiness by Randy Alcorn in the chapter titled We Find Lasting Happiness in God: A Closer Look at the Hebrew Word Asher. It is not as dry as it sounds!

Those who worship the Lord and obey his commands are happy.

People who live by God’s wisdom are happy.

People who turn to God and partake of him are happy.

God’s redeemed are happy people.

Those pardoned by God are happy.

God promises happiness for righteous acts and attitudes.

Those who are kind to the needy find happiness.

Happy people follow the spiritual guidance of their godly parents.

Those who know the one true God are a happy people.

A Quote

““the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart.””

The Road to Character by David Brooks

Community

Below are some good quotes about communal living in a counter cultural way from the article The Idea of a Christian Village by Rod Dreher from Christianity Today Magazine. And while I found them helpful, I was thinking about how sometimes it is hard to find people to live communally with you. You cannot do it by yourself! But one thing you can do is commit to being community toward other people. For some that is easy as they extend friendship easily. For others of us it is harder either due to being introverts or to our social laziness. But the commitment should be for us to involve ourselves in the lives (in the best way) of our fellow Christians, walking out our faith and our struggles with one another.

Traditional, historic Christianity—whether Catholic, Protestant, or Eastern Orthodox—ought to be a powerful counterforce to the radical individualism and secularism of modernity.

We seemed content to be the chaplaincy to a consumerist culture that was fast losing a sense of what it meant to be Christian.

There’s something weird when none of the communal parts of your life are overtly Christian.

. . . you may visit your house of worship only once a week, but what happens there in worship, and the community and the culture it creates, must be the things around which you order the rest of the week.

Snow in the Forecast

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Snow in the forecast

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And this is a good quote from the morning.

Nazi death camp survivor Viktor E. Frankl (1905– 1997) wrote, “Happiness [is] the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.”[ 10] This explains why so many of us aren’t happy  — we’re our own biggest cause, the most important people in our lives. And we’re way too small and powerless to create or sustain our own happiness.

Alcorn, Randy (2015-09-17). Happiness (p. 172). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

“Cool” People at Church

I didn’t meet a lot of “cool” people in the church where I first heard the gospel. I met some regular people who displayed profound peace, contentment, and happiness. When I saw these qualities, I couldn’t ignore them. These were qualities I wanted, too, and they drew me toward the Christ they worshiped. And when I came to know Jesus myself, the happiness I found in him was deeper than I’d ever dreamed.

Alcorn, Randy (2015-09-17). Happiness (p. 156). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

More on Happiness

The God we love is the enemy of sin and the creator and friend of fun and laughter.

Many Christians in church history knew that happiness, gladness, feasting, and partying are God’s gifts.

But habitual unhappiness is a pitiful way to live.

When we seek holiness at the expense of happiness or happiness at the expense of holiness, we lose both the joy of being holy and the happiness birthed by obedience. God commands holiness, knowing that when we follow his plan, we’ll be happy. He also commands happiness, which makes obeying him not only duty, but also pleasure.

Alcorn, Randy (2015-09-17). Happiness . Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.