Jesus was accused of much, but he was never described as a grump, sourpuss, or self- centered jerk.  People didn’t groan when he appeared.  He called people by name.  He listened to their stories.  He answered their questions.  He visited their sick relatives and he helped their sick friends.  Jesus fished with fishermen and ate lunch with the little guy and spoke words of resounding affirmation.  He went to weddings.  He went to so many parties that he was criticized for hanging out with questionable people. Thousands came to hear him teach.  Hundreds chose to follow him.  They walked away from … Listen Now

Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).  The words of Jesus are spot- on.  When you give, it has a boomerang effect.  Happiness happens when we give it away.  That is such great news! You can’t control your genetics, the weather, the traffic, or the occupant of the White House.  But you can always increase the number of smiles on our planet.  You!  Yes, you can help people to sleep better, laugh more, hum instead of grumble, walk instead of stumble.  You can lighten the load and brighten the day of other human beings. And … Listen Now

Doing good does good for the doer.  Research bears this out.  When volunteers were put in a functional MRI scanner and were told they would be giving some of their money to charity, the areas of their brains associated with pleasure— like food and sex— lit up like Christmas trees. Giving to others triggers dopamine.  Perhaps that could be a new fund-raising slogan? In another study a team of social psychologists distilled happiness factors into eight common denominators.  Two of the first three involve helping others.  Happy, contented people “devote a great amount of time to their family and friends, … Listen Now

As one Harvard professor said, “We think money will bring lots of happiness for a long time, yet actually it brings a little happiness for a short time.”   We’ve all seen happy peasants and miserable millionaires, right? There is another option.  It requires no credit card, monthly mortgage, or stroke of fortune.  It demands no airline tickets or hotel reservations.  Age, ethnicity, and gender are not factors.  You don’t have to change jobs, change cities, change looks, or change neighborhoods.  But you might need to change doors. The motto on the front door says “Happiness happens when you get.” The … Listen Now

Ninety-two-year-old Johnny Barnes stands on the edge of a roundabout in Hamilton, Bermuda, and he waves at people as they drive past.  He’s not asking for money or begging for food.  He’s making people happy. “I love you!” he shouts.  “I’ll love you forever!” And they love him!  Bermudans call him Mr. Happy Man. They route their morning commute to see him.  If Johnny’s not standing in his spot, people call the radio station to check on him. Johnny’s philosophy is simple.  “We human beings gotta learn how to love one another.  One of the greatest joys that can come to … Listen Now

Worship adjusts us.  It lowers the chin of the haughty and straightens the back of the burdened. It bows the knees, singing to him our praise.  It opens our hearts, offering to him our uniqueness. Worship properly positions the worshiper.  And oh, how we need it!  We walk through life so bent out of shape.  Cure any flare up of commonness by setting your eyes on our uncommon King. Worship lifts our eyes and sets them “on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power” (Colossians 3:1). We worship God … Listen Now

Long before you knew you needed grace, your Father had you covered!  “Christ died for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8).  Before you knew you needed a Savior, you had one!  And when you ask him for mercy, he answers, I’ve already given it, dear child.  I’ve already given it. There’s more!  When you place your trust in Christ, he places his Spirit in you.  And when the Spirit comes, he brings gifts– housewarming gifts of sorts.  “A spiritual gift,” the Bible says, “is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church” (1 Corinthians 12:7). … Listen Now

A person can be religious and yet lost. Attending church won’t make you God’s child. You must accept his offer.  “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). It makes no sense to seek your God-given strength until you trust in his. “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for” (Ephesians 1:11). Take a few moments and talk to God. Whether you are making a decision or reaffirming an earlier one, talk to your Maker about your eternal life. You might find … Listen Now

Christ takes away your sin, and in doing so, he takes away your commonness.  You no longer need to say, “No one knows me” because God knows you!  “LORD, you…know all about me,” David discovered.  “You know when I sit down and when I get up.  You know my thoughts before I think them.  You know where I go and where I lie down.  You know everything I do…You are all around me…and have put your hand on me” (Psalm 139:1-3, 5). God knows you and he is near you!  See how these four words look taped to your bathroom … Listen Now

No one knows me, we think.  People know my name, but not my heart.  They know my face but not my feelings.  I have a social security number, but not a soul mate.  No one really knows me. The response of heaven is that God does!  Prophets weren’t enough.  Apostles wouldn’t do and angels won’t suffice.  God sent more than miracles and messages.  He sent himself; he sent his Son. In God’s great gospel, he not only sends, he becomes. He lives with us… as one of us.  He knows our hurt.  He knows our hunger.  He knows betrayal.  Most of … Listen Now