January 25, 2016

It’s a beautiful Monday here in Fort Worth. I am praying that God has you awake and going strong already! I am also praying that He will use you in someone else’s life today to bring glory to Himself!
Today I want to focus on an article I read a few weeks ago from Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN, called “Happiness is Healthy.” He starts by saying, “Happiness feels good, but guess what: It’s also good for you.” That is the premise of the article and one which I think scripture would agree with. King David wrote, "In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11, NKJV) I don’t believe God wants us to live a sour and bored life. He wants great joy for us that is often expressed in happy ways.

Dr. Gupta then quotes another doctor, Dr. Amit Sood, a professor of medicine and head of the Mind-Body Medicine Initiative at the Mayo Clinic. He says “hundreds of studies have established that people who are happier are also healthier, in measurable ways. Here are some of them:

        The cells of people who are happier appear younger than their biological age, which may be why people who are happier live longer.
        Happiness affects your DNA. Genes that produce inflammation are less active in happier people.
        Happier people have stronger immune systems, so they have a lower risk of infection.
        They are more likely to be physically active. So, it’s not surprising they have a lower risk of a heart attack.
        And they feel less pain after injury or illness. Happiness actually decreases activity in the brain’s pain network.”
I could go on but you get the idea. The old saying “Happiness is the best medicine” is in a lot of ways very true. God’s design for you is to live a healthy life. We are not promised a long life but I do believe that God wants us to do all we can to take care of our bodies as vessels to be used by Him. They shouldn’t become “idols” where all our attention is focused on our bodies and trying to make them perfect but we should take care of them to the best of our ability. Part of that means making sure to include a good dose of happiness in your life each day. Your body will thank you and you can thank God!
I also wanted to repeat a little of yesterday’s sermon here, just as a reminder. I talked about how we need to be actively inviting people to God and what I said was: “We need to show them why they need God, by showing them the difference he's made in our lives. When they see the fruit of the Spirit in us—God's love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—they will want what we have. This is why many of you became a Christian—you saw something in Christians you didn't have in your life.”

I also included a couple of quotes which I will also repeat here: “Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words." (St. Francis) It is always necessary to use words. But first it is necessary to live what we preach, to show what we believe to be true. Ken Medema also said: "Don't tell me I have a friend in Jesus until you show me I have a friend in you."

As I said at the start, I am praying God will use you in someone else’s life today for His glory!
Finally let me close by wishing my baby daughter, Olivia Jordan Hixon, a very Happy Birthday today!! She is actually in Poland again (third year in a row to be there on her birthday) so we don’t get to see her but I am praying for her the same prayer I am praying for you . . . be used by God in someone else’s life. And hoping she has an amazing day.