Summary: To live in daily happiness and Joy, we must make the right decisions.

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By Wade Martin Hughes, Sr.

I often ponder, -- I would be happy if ? -- Then I try to fill in the blank. I have asked friends, what would it take to make you happy? The answer varies greatly, but after accepting the answer, I press would you be happy then? Most say, NO!

Seems like the heart desires are never satisfied? There is a lesson few learn, happiness is a choice and a lifestyle, not just more toys and more money. Few happy homes? Few happy individuals? Ponder why?

In the Wizard of OZ, it appears Dorothy had the power with her, at any time, to accomplish her goal, just click your heels? Yet, her journey had many lessons to learn. One of the greatest lessons was -- There is no place like home!

I have often seen greener pastures. The greener grass was from a higher water bill, or from a septic tank. Where there are people there will be septic tanks. The more people the quicker the septic tanks fill? Joy grows from the heart, not from things or other people.

The enemy sneaks into the camp of Ministry and steals the JOY that rightfully belongs to the minister and his family. Ministry lacking joy can never accomplish the potential God has planned.

Singing and Joy have a direct correlation? How shall we sing in a weary land? We must learn, the most effective song, is the songs sang in a weary land.

Most of us desire ministry with little to no people problems. Problems are God’s opportunities. Patience is such a dirty word, that preachers say: don’t pray for patience. I say: Well, honey, life is going to teach you patience, like it or not. James says we need patience to be entire, whole.

I have often sang that song, -- Home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play, where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day.

I have not found the cloudless day, or the place where seldom is heard a discouraging word. I have looked for OZ, and that place somewhere over the rainbow, but that place does not exist. OZ is only OZ to those that do not live in OZ. We live in reality not make believe.

The problem is not the discouraging word, but loosing our happiness and joy in ministry because we are not applauded and appreciated as we think we should be? Or we get down because we can’t see the results of ministry as quickly as we expect.

Expect people problems, thrive and find solutions! Find real joy in waiting on the Lord, and pressing against the odds. Quit crying because someone disappointed you, laugh and trust God.

1. People are usually happy, that make up their mind to be happy. You can fix your mind on what ever you desire. Make the choice to be happy and notify your face.

2. Better is bread and happiness, than great wealth and anger and bitterness.

3. Your happiness and joy depend on no one. You are the author of your book. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what happens in you. The lions den has a purpose.

4. Accept you will go through seasons, and prepare ahead. The ant survives winter, because all summer the colony has prepared. The grasshopper dies when cold weather comes, because all summer he has just jumped around making no preparation. The grasshopper will blame everything, but his excuses will not warm him in cold weather.

Joy and happiness stay where one prepares for the seasons of life. This to shall pass. Solemn days will come and go. Be ready. Learn to laugh and find joy in the small things.

5. There are several T&P items to life. (T&P means tried and proven) We know there are golden threads of life that keep us. The golden thread of a Mother’s love is very sustaining. Let’s think about some T&P realities.

A. Worry and stress are Joy stealers. We must discipline our minds to avoid worry, keep your mind as free from worry as possible. Worry never improves life. If you want JOY you must grow above worry.

B. Hatred and bitterness will always back fire. Joy cannot grow in the soil of hatred. God is love, and the heart must stay clean and free of

hatred. Hatred will always mask itself.

C. Life at best is very complex, live simply. Love little things. Take time to smell the roses.

D. Love to give. Where there is great love giving does not seem to be a sacrifice. It is more blessed to give than receive.

Joy rest in giving hearts.

E. Learn to expect little. Joy is not demanding and giving ultimatums.The gift of a dandelion from a child can make you happy.

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