February 12, 2012

posted 11 Feb 2012, 17:36 by C S Paul   [ updated 11 Feb 2012, 23:23 ]

February 12, 2012


Sermon Of The Week
Devotional Thoughts for Aneedae Sunday

by: Rev. Dr. V Kurian Thomas, Valiyaparambil
source - www.malankaraworld.com

This Sunday is called "Aneedae Sunday." The Church solemnly commemorates the faithful departed.

From the beginning, Christians have prayed for the dead and have taken works of penance on behalf of their departed ones. The practice is still being continued. We pray for the faithful departed, those who have been baptized, for complete purification of the stains of sin before they come into full union with God in Heaven. This Sunday the Church honors the memory of the departed and offer prayers for them so that the purified souls will be assured of God's grace in Heaven.

Gospel Reading: St. Luke 12:32-41.

32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

35 Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 

36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can
immediately open the door for him. 

37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 

38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak.

39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 

40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

41 Peter asked, Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?

Message:

Jesus Christ's return is mentioned 318 times in the New Testament. In today's gospel, Jesus instructs his followers to be ready like a good waiter. Waiting is not the absence of doing anything constructive. Waiting is not a static state. It doesn't diminish us. It simply involves time and we don't know when our waiting will be over.

The three characteristics of "waiting" mentioned in today's gospel are:

1. Preparedness: If we prepare ourselves to meet someone today, we say, let's be dressed
and ready. Let's be like people who wait for their guests. When they come and knock on our door, we can open the door. We are ready. We are prepared. Likewise, we should be ready to receive our Lord when he arrives.

2. Expectancy: A good waiter expects his master to come at any time and will be ready when the master comes before or after midnight or any other time the master chooses to come.

3. Reward: The faithful servant who is ready for his master will be rewarded.

We will be blessed if we are ready to receive our Lord. Those who are ready for Jesus' return are alive and active, serving Christ the best of their ability.

Jesus tells us to be ready for his Second Coming. Our heavenly Father sent his Son to this world the first time to offer us salvation. Next time we will see him rule and reign on this earth as the righteous judge. We will meet him as our judge in his glorious Second Coming.

Now is the time to prepare ourselves for salvation.

In Luke 12:35, Apostle Luke gives us a picture of what it's like to be ready for the Lord's return.

Verse 35 says, "Be blessed and ready for service, and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return."

There is no way of knowing for sure when the master of the house would come back. So they kept their lamps burning, just in case if he comes at night. And they would keep the back of their robes tucked into their belts so that they could get up and greet him at the door right away without tripping over their feet. The picture of the servant with the tucked in robe is the picture of readiness.

Our readiness for the Lord's return will be rewarded with the gift of eternal life. The Lord has promised that to us.


Laughter the best medicine

Laughter is a contagious social activity. 

When people are in a group and they hear someone laughing, they often join in spontaneously.  

Laughing with other people helps us to make a connection with them, opening the door to communication and creating a bond.  

When two people in a relationship share a common sense of humor, it can reduce stress between them and defuse conflict.  

By introducing more humor and playfulness into your relationships, you can strengthen them and make them more satisfying.


BEN-HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST ***
by Lew Wallace

Part Two

Biblical references: Luke 2:51-52

Judah Ben-Hur is a prince descended from a royal family of Judaea. Messala, his closest childhood friend, the son of a Roman tax-collector, leaves home for five years of education in Rome. He returns as a proud and avaricious Roman. He mocks Judah and his religion and the two become enemies. Judah decides to go to Rome, as Messala had, for military training but use his skills to fight the Roman Empire.

Valerius Gratus, the fourth Roman prefect of Judaea, passes by Judah's house. As Judah watches the procession, a roof tile is loosed, falls into the street and hits the governor. Messala betrays Judah, who is arrested. There is no trial; Judah's family is secretly imprisoned in the Antonia Fortress and all the family property is seized. Judah vows vengeance against the Romans. He is sent to become a slave aboard a Roman warship. On the way to the ship he meets Jesus, who offers him water, which deeply moves Judah.


BOOK SECOND - CHAPTER IV 

The mother resumed her easy position against the cushion, while the son took place on the divan, his head in her lap. Both of them, looking out of the opening, could see a stretch of lower house-tops in the vicinity, a bank of blue-blackness over in the west which they knew to be mountains, and the sky, its shadowy depths brilliant with stars. The city was still. Only the winds stirred.

"Amrah tells me something has happened to you," she said, caressing his cheek. "When my Judah was a child, I allowed small things to trouble him, but he is now a man. He must not forget"--her voice became very soft--"that one day he is to be my hero."

She spoke in the language almost lost in the land, but which a few--and they were always as rich in blood as in possessions--cherished in its purity, that they might be more certainly distinguished from Gentile peoples--the language in which the loved Rebekah and Rachel sang to Benjamin.

The words appeared to set him thinking anew; after a while, however, he caught the hand with which she fanned him, and said, "Today, O my mother, I have been made to think of many things that never had place in my mind before. Tell me, first, what am I to be?"

"Have I not told you? You are to be my hero."

He could not see her face, yet he knew she was in play. He became more serious.

"You are very good, very kind, O my mother. No one will ever love me as you do."

He kissed the hand over and over again.

"I think I understand why you would have me put off the question," he continued. "Thus far my life has belonged to you. How gentle, how sweet your control has been! I wish it could last forever. But that may not be. It is the Lord's will that I shall one day become owner of myself--a day of separation, and therefore a dreadful day to you. Let us be brave and serious. I will be your hero, but you must put me in the way. You know the law--every son of Israel must have some occupation. I am not exempt, and ask now, shall I tend the herds? or till the soil? or drive the saw? or be a clerk or lawyer? What shall I be? Dear, good mother, help me to
an answer."

"Gamaliel has been lecturing today," she said, thoughtfully.

"If so, I did not hear him."

"Then you have been walking with Simeon, who, they tell me, inherits the genius of his family."

"No, I have not seen him. I have been up on the Market-place, not to the Temple. I visited the young Messala."

A certain change in his voice attracted the mother's attention. A presentiment quickened the beating of her heart; the fan became motionless again.

"The Messala!" she said. "What could he say to so trouble you?"

"He is very much changed."

"You mean he has come back a Roman."

"Yes."

"Roman!" she continued, half to herself. "To all the world the word means master. How long has he been away?"

"Five years."

She raised her head, and looked off into the night.

"The airs of the Via Sacra are well enough in the streets of the Egyptian and in Babylon; but in Jerusalem--our Jerusalem--the covenant abides."

And, full of the thought, she settled back into her easy place. He was first to speak.

"What Messala said, my mother, was sharp enough in itself; but, taken with the manner, some of the sayings were intolerable."

"I think I understand you. Rome, her poets, orators, senators, courtiers, are mad with affectation of what they call satire."

"I suppose all great peoples are proud," he went on, scarcely noticing the interruption; "but the pride of that people is unlike all others; in these latter days it is so grown the gods barely escape it."

"The gods escape!" said the mother, quickly. "More than one Roman has accepted worship as his divine right."

"Well, Messala always had his share of the disagreeable quality. When he was a child, I have seen him mock strangers whom even Herod condescended to receive with honors; yet he always spared Judea. For the first time, in conversation with me to-day, he trifled with our customs and God. As you would have had me do, I parted with him finally. And now, O my dear mother, I would know with more certainty if there be just ground for the Roman's contempt. In what am I his inferior? Is ours a lower order of people? Why should I, even in Caesar's presence; feel the shrinking of a slave? Tell me especially why, if I have the soul, and so choose, I may not hunt the honors of the world in all its fields? Why may not I take sword
and indulge the passion of war? As a poet, why may not I sing of all themes? I can be a worker in metals, a keeper of flocks, a merchant, why not an artist like the Greek? Tell me, O my mother--and this is the sum of my trouble--why may not a son of Israel do all a Roman
may?"

The reader will refer these questions back to the conversation in the Market-place; the mother, listening with all her faculties awake, from something which would have been lost upon one less interested in him--from the connections of the subject, the pointing of the questions, possibly his accent and tone--was not less swift in making the same reference. She sat up, and in a voice quick and sharp as his own, replied, "I see, I see! From association Messala, in boyhood, was almost a Jew; had he remained here, he might have become a proselyte, so much do we all borrow from the influences that ripen our lives; but the years in Rome have been too much for him. I do not wonder at the change; yet"--her voice fell--"he might have dealt tenderly at least with you. It is a hard, cruel nature which in youth can forget its first loves."

Her hand dropped lightly upon his forehead, and the fingers caught in his hair and lingered there lovingly, while her eyes sought the highest stars in view. Her pride responded to his, not merely in echo, but in the unison of perfect sympathy. She would answer him; at the same time, not for the world would she have had the answer unsatisfactory: an admission of inferiority might weaken his spirit for life. She faltered with misgivings of her own powers.

"What you propose, O my Judah, is not a subject for treatment by a woman. Let me put its consideration off till to-morrow, and I will have the wise Simeon--"

"Do not send me to the Rector," he said, abruptly.

"I will have him come to us."

"No, I seek more than information; while he might give me that better than you, O my mother, you can do better by giving me what he cannot--the resolution which is the soul of a man's soul."

She swept the heavens with a rapid glance, trying to compass all the meaning of his questions.

"While craving justice for ourselves, it is never wise to be unjust to others. To deny valor in the enemy we have conquered is to underrate our victory; and if the enemy be strong enough to hold us at bay, much more to conquer us"--she hesitated--"self-respect bids us seek some other explanation of our misfortunes than accusing him of qualities inferior to our own."

Thus, speaking to herself rather than to him, she began:

"Take heart, O my son. The Messala is nobly descended; his family has been illustrious through many generations. In the days of Republican Rome--how far back I cannot tell--they were famous, some as soldiers, some as civilians. I can recall but one consul of the name; their rank was senatorial, and their patronage always sought because they were always rich. Yet if to-day your friend boasted of his ancestry, you might have shamed him by recounting yours. If he referred to the ages through which the line is traceable, or to deeds, rank, or wealth--such allusions, except when great occasion demands them, are tokens of small minds--if he mentioned them in proof of his superiority, then without dread, and standing
on each particular, you might have challenged him to a comparison of records."

Taking a moment's thought, the mother proceeded:

"One of the ideas of fast hold now is that time has much to do with the nobility of races and families. A Roman boasting his superiority on that account over a son of Israel will always fail when put to the proof. The founding of Rome was his beginning; the very best of them cannot trace their descent beyond that period; few of them pretend to do so; and of such as do, I say not one could make good his claim except by resort to tradition. Messala certainly could
not. Let us look now to ourselves. Could we better?"

A little more light would have enabled him to see the pride that diffused itself over her face.

"Let us imagine the Roman putting us to the challenge. I would answer him, neither doubting nor boastful."

Her voice faltered; a tender thought changed the form of the argument.

"Your father, O my Judah, is at rest with his fathers; yet I remember, as though it were this evening, the day he and I, with many rejoicing friends, went up into the Temple to present
you to the Lord. We sacrificed the doves, and to the priest I gave your name, which he wrote in my presence--'Judah, son of Ithamar, of the House of Hur.' The name was then carried away, and written in a book of the division of records devoted to the saintly family.

"I cannot tell you when the custom of registration in this mode began. We know it prevailed before the flight from Egypt. I have heard Hillel say Abraham caused the record to be first opened with his own name, and the names of his sons, moved by the promises of the Lord which separated him and them from all other races, and made them the highest and noblest, the very chosen of the earth. The covenant with Jacob was of like effect. 'In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed'--so said the angel to Abraham in the place Jehovah-jireh. 'And the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed'--so the Lord himself said to Jacob asleep at Bethel on the way to Haran. Afterwards the wise men looked forward to a just division of the land of promise; and, that it might be known in the day of partition who were entitled to portions, the Book of Generations was begun. But not for that
alone. The promise of a blessing to all the earth through the patriarch reached far into the future. One name was mentioned in connection with the blessing--the benefactor might be the humblest of the chosen family, for the Lord our God knows no distinctions of rank or riches. So, to make the performance clear to men of the generation who were to witness it, and that they might give the glory to whom it belonged, the record was required to be kept
with absolute certainty. Has it been so kept?"

The fan played to and fro, until, becoming impatient, he repeated the question, "Is the record absolutely true?"

"Hillel said it was, and of all who have lived no one was so well-informed upon the subject. Our people have at times been heedless of some parts of the law, but never of this part. The good rector himself has followed the Books of Generations through three periods--from the promises to the opening of the Temple; thence to the Captivity; thence, again, to the present. Once only were the records disturbed, and that was at the end of the second period; but when the nation returned from the long exile, as a first duty to God, Zerubbabel restored the Books, enabling us once more to carry the lines of Jewish descent back unbroken fully
two thousand years. And now--"

She paused as if to allow the hearer to measure the time comprehended in the statement.

"And now," she continued, "what becomes of the Roman boast of blood enriched by ages? By that test, the sons of Israel watching the herds on old Rephaim yonder are nobler than the noblest of the Marcii."

"And I, mother--by the Books, who am I?"

"What I have said thus far, my son, had reference to your question. I will answer you. If Messala were here, he might say, as others have said, that the exact trace of your lineage stopped when the Assyrian took Jerusalem, and razed the Temple, with all its precious stores;
but you might plead the pious action of Zerubbabel, and retort that all verity in Roman genealogy ended when the barbarians from the West took Rome, and camped six months upon her desolated site. Did the government keep family histories? If so, what became of
them in those dreadful days? No, no; there is verity in our Books of Generations; and, following them back to the Captivity, back to the foundation of the first Temple, back to the march from Egypt, we have absolute assurance that you are lineally sprung from Hur,
the associate of Joshua. In the matter of descent sanctified by time, is not the honor perfect? Do you care to pursue further? if so, take the Torah, and search the Book of Numbers, and of
the seventy-two generations after Adam, you can find the very progenitor of your house."

There was silence for a time in the chamber on the roof.

"I thank you, O my mother," Judah next said, clasping both her hands in his; "I thank you with all my heart. I was right in not having the good rector called in; he could not have satisfied me more than you have. Yet to make a family truly noble, is time alone sufficient?"

"Ah, you forget, you forget; our claim rests not merely upon time; the Lord's preference is our especial glory."

"You are speaking of the race, and I, mother, of the family--our family. In the years since Father Abraham, what have they achieved? What have they done? What great things to lift them above the level of their fellows?"

She hesitated, thinking she might all this time have mistaken his object. The information he sought might have been for more than satisfaction of wounded vanity. Youth is but the painted shell within which, continually growing, lives that wondrous thing the spirit of man, biding its moment of apparition, earlier in some than in others. She trembled under a perception that this might be the supreme moment come to him; that as children at birth reach out their untried hands grasping for shadows, and crying the while, so his spirit might, in temporary blindness, be struggling to take hold of its impalpable future. They to whom a boy comes asking, Who am I, and what am I to be? have need of ever so much care. Each word in answer may prove to the after-life what each finger-touch of the artist is to the clay he is modelling.

"I have a feeling, O my Judah," she said, patting his cheek with the hand he had been caressing--"I have the feeling that all I have said has been in strife with an antagonist more real than imaginary. If Messala is the enemy, do not leave me to fight him in the dark. Tell me all he said."

(to be continued)

Story of The Week
I
Is Santa Real?

I remember my first Christmas party with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!" My grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her world-famous cinnamon buns. Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus!" she snorted. "Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad. Now, put on your coat, and let's go"

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's. I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobbie Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobbie Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out for recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobbie Decker didn't have a cough, and he didn't have a coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobbie Decker a coat. I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. "Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes," I replied shyly. "It's ... for Bobbie." The nice lady smiled at me. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons, and write, "To Bobbie, From Santa Claus" on it-Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobbie Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa's helpers. Grandma parked down the street from Bobbie's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going." I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobbie.

Forty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my grandma, in Bobbie Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were; ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

Provided by Free Christian Content.org

Just for Laughs

Curious?

The teacher asked her students, "Where would we be today if no one had ever been curious?"

Little John responded, "In the Garden of Eden?"



Top 10 Signs You May Not Be Reading Your Bible Enough

10. The Preacher announces the sermon is from Galatians ... and you check the table of contents.

 9. You think Abraham, Isaac and Jacob may have had a few hit songs during the 60's.

 8. You open to the Gospel of Luke and an insurance brochure falls out.

 7. Your favorite Old Testament patriarch is Hercules.

 6. A small family of woodchucks has taken up residence in Psalms.

 5. You become frustrated because Charlton Heston isn't listed in either the concordance or the table of contents.

 4. Catching the kids reading the Song of Solomon, you demand: "Who gave you this stuff?"

 3. You think the minor prophets worked in the quarries.

 2. You keep falling for it every time when pastor tells you to turn to First Condominiums.

 And the No. 1 sign you may not be reading your Bible enough:

 1. The kids keep asking too many questions about your usual bedtime story: "Jonah the Shepherd Boy and His Ark of Many Colors."


The Power of Positive Thinking

by Norman Vincent Peale


Chapter V -Continued

A group of boys and girls were asked to list the things that made them happiest. Their answers were rather touching.

Here is the boys' list: "A swallow flying; looking into deep, clear water; water being cut at the bow of a boat; a fast train rushing; a builder's crane lifting something heavy; my dog's
eyes."

And here is what the girls said made them happy: "Street lights on the river; red roofs in the trees; smoke rising from a chimney; red velvet; the moon in the clouds." There is something in the beautiful essence of the universe that is expressed, though only half-articulated, by these things. To become a happy person have a clean soul, eyes that see romance in the commonplace, a child's heart, and spiritual simplicity.

Many of us manufacture our own unhappiness. Of course not all unhappiness is self-created, for social conditions are responsible for not a few of our woes. Yet it is a fact that to a large extent by our thoughts and attitudes we distill out of the ingredients of life either happiness or unhappiness for ourselves.

"Four people out of five are not so happy as they can be," declares an eminent authority, and he adds, "Unhappiness is the most common state of mind." Whether human happiness strikes as low, a level as this, I would hesitate to say, but I do find more people living unhappy lives than I would care to compute. Since a fundamental desire of every human being is for that state of existence called happiness, something should be done about it. Happiness is achievable and the process for obtaining it is not complicated. Anyone who desires it, who wills it, and who learns and applies the right formula may become a happy person.

In a railroad dining car I sat across from a husband and wife, strangers to me. The lady was expensively dressed, as the furs, diamonds, and costume which she wore indicated. But
she was having a most unpleasant time with herself. Rather loudly she proclaimed that the car was dingy and drafty, the service abominable, and the food most unpalatable. She
complained and fretted about everything. Her husband, on the contrary, was a genial, affable,
easygoing man who obviously had the capacity to take things as they came. I thought he seemed a bit embarrassed by his wife's critical attitude and somewhat disappointed, too, as he was taking her on this trip for pleasure.

To change the conversation he asked what business I was in, and then said that he was a lawyer. Then he made a big mistake, for with a grin he added, "My wife is in the manufacturing business."

This was surprising, for she did not seem to be the industrial or executive type, so I asked, "What does she manufacture?"

"Unhappiness," he replied. "She manufactures her own unhappiness."

Despite the icy coolness that settled upon the table following this ill-advised observation, I was grateful for his remark, for it describes exactly what so many people do—"They
manufacture their own unhappiness."

It is a pity, too, for there are so many problems created by life itself that dilute our happiness that it is indeed most foolish to distill further unhappiness within your own mind. How foolish to manufacture personal unhappiness to add to all the other difficulties over which you have little or no control!

Rather than to emphasize the manner in which people manufacture their own unhappiness, let us proceed to the formula for putting an end to this misery-producing process. Suffice it to say that we manufacture our unhappiness by thinking unhappy thoughts, by the attitudes which we habitually take, such as the negative feeling that everything is going to turn out badly, or that other people are getting what they do not deserve and we are failing to get what we do deserve.

Our unhappiness is further distilled by saturating the consciousness with feelings of resentment, ill will, and hate. The unhappiness-producing process always makes important
use of the ingredients of fear and worry. Each of these matters is dealt with elsewhere in this book. We merely want to make the point at the present time and stress it forcefully that a very large proportion of the unhappiness of the average individual is self-manufactured. How, then, may we proceed to produce not unhappiness but happiness?

An incident from one of my railroad journeys may suggest an answer. One morning in an old-style Pullman car approximately a half-dozen of us were shaving in the men's lounge. As always in such close and crowded quarters after a night on the train, this group of strangers was not disposed to be gay, and there was little conversation and that little was mostly mumbled.

Then a man came in wearing on his face a broad smile. He greeted us all with a cheery good morning, but received rather unenthusiastic grunts in return. As he went about his shaving he was humming, probably quite unconsciously, a gay little tune. It got a bit on the nerves of some of the men. Finally one said rather sarcastically, "You certainly seem to be happy this morning! Why all the cheer?"

"Yes," the man answered, "as a matter of fact, I am happy. I do feel cheerful." Then he added, "I make it a habit to be happy." 
 
That is all that was said, but I am sure that each man in that lounge left the train with those interesting words in mind. "I make it a habit to be happy."

The statement is really very profound, for our happiness or unhappiness depends to an important degree upon the habit of mind we cultivate. That collection of wise sayings, the
book of Proverbs, tells us that "...he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast." (Proverbs 15:15) In other words, cultivate the merry heart; that is, develop the happiness habit, and life will become a continual feast, which is to say you can enjoy life every day. Out of the happiness habit comes a happy life. And because we can cultivate a habit, we therefore have the power to create our own happiness.

The happiness habit is developed by simply practicing happy thinking. Make a mental list of happy thoughts and pass them through your mind several times every day. If an unhappiness thought should enter your mind, immediately stop, consciously eject it, and substitute a happiness thought.

Every morning before arising, lie relaxed in bed and deliberately drop happy thoughts into your conscious mind. Let a series of pictures pass across your mind of each happy experience you expect to have during the day. Savor their joy. Such thoughts will help cause events to turn out that way. Do not affirm that things will not go well that day. By merely saying that, you can actually help to make it so. You will draw to yourself every factor, large and small, that will contribute to unhappy conditions. As a result, you will find yourself asking, "Why does everything go badly for me?

What is the matter with everything?" The reason can be directly traced to the manner in which you begin the day in your thoughts.

Tomorrow try this plan instead. When you arise, say out loud three times this one sentence, "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm  
118:24) Only personalize it and say, "I will rejoice and be glad in it." Repeat it in a strong, clear voice and with positive tone and emphasis. The statement, of course, is from the
Bible and it is a good cure for unhappiness. If you repeat that one sentence three times before breakfast and meditate on the meaning of the words you will change the character of
the day by starting off with a happiness psychology.

While dressing or shaving or getting breakfast, say aloud a few such remarks as the following, "I believe this is going to be a wonderful day. I believe I can successfully handle all problems that will arise today. I feel good physically, mentally, emotionally. It is wonderful to be alive. I am grateful for all that I have had, for all that I now have, and for all that I shall have. Things aren't going to fall apart. God is here and He is with me and He will see me through. I
thank God for every good thing."

(to be continued)

Did You Know ?

  • The harmonica is the world’s best-selling music instrument.
  • A piano covers the full spectrum of all orchestra instruments, from below the lowest note of the double bassoon to above the top note of the piccolo.
  • The term “disc jockey” was first used in 1937.
  • The last note of a keyboard is C.
  • The first recorded revolution took place at around 2800 BC when people from the Sumerian city of Lagash overthrew bureaucrats who were lining their own pockets but kept raising taxes.
  • The very first bomb that the Allies dropped on Berlin in World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.
  • There are 92 known cases of nuclear bombs lost at sea.
  • The first reference to a handgun was made in an order for iron bullets in 1326.
  • The word millionaire was first used by Benjamin Disraeli in his 1826 novel Vivian Grey.
  • If you stack one million (ten lakhs) Rs.100 notes, it would be 110m (361 ft) high and weight more than a  ton.
  • US and European expenditure on pet food is $17 billion per year.
  • Tourism is the world’s biggest industry, affecting 240 million jobs.

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