Monday, November 07, 2011


“We aren’t happy anymore.” How many times have we heard that statement?

Happiness is a popular subject in today’s world. People seek it, read about it, demand it. A quick search of books on happiness turns up over 10,000 options. Near the top of the best-seller list is a book by a  popular, Christian pastor that includes this phrase in its title, “How to be Happier 7 Days a Week.”

We use idioms such as “a happy camper”, “happy-go-lucky”, “happy as a clam”, “fat and happy.” Marketers capitalized on our desire for happiness by creating “happy hour” and “Happy Meals.” 

The Declaration of Independence states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Americans have made “the pursuit of Happiness” a priority. Many have moved to the next step of believing and demanding that they have happiness.

The expectation of happiness in this life on earth is a fairly new phenomenon in the history of mankind. Once believed to be something that one attained after leaving this world, the Enlightenment proposed that happiness was “a natural human endowment attainable in theory by every man, woman, and child.” (Happiness, a history by Darrin M. McMahon) In fact, if a person is unhappy, something is wrong.

We now have elevated it to a sense of well-being that we each try to attain and maintain, usually by trying to change something in our circumstances, either people, geography, our looks, or our possessions. Research has shown that only 10% of our “happiness” comes from our circumstances, and those circumstances only bring a temporary change. About 50% of our happiness quotient comes from our genetic make-up, factors that we cannot change. That means that 50% of our sense of well-being can be changed but only 10% has to do with our circumstances. However, we spend most of our life pursuing that 10% change, virtually ignoring the other factors that influence our happiness. 

What are those other factors? One of the top factors is being grateful! Scientific research affirms this solution to our sense of well being. This fact is not new news! God told us in His Word thousands of years ago to give thanks and to be grateful. This directive is not just for the optimistic or for the positive thinkers or for leaders or Sunday school teachers - it is for all of us! Expressing gratitude and thankfulness is not only part of what God says is a practice of His children but it is also what brings us to a better place emotionally in our lives. Whatever God shows us to do is the very best for us!

I will give thanks to the LORD because of His righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High…. Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever. 

Instead of looking at your mate or your circumstances and dwelling on what is wrong, practice gratitude and thankfulness. Begin a gratitude journal or a prayer list to God about all that is good in your life and in the people around you. As we approach Thanksgiving, we challenge you to express one item of appreciation or thanks to your spouse every day and to eliminate complaints or criticisms for one week and see what happens. Give God a chance to work miracles in your marriage!

We are very thankful that God has provided funds for a new computer for the ministry. We are thankful for the continued prayers and donations of many people. We are asking you to join with us and ask the Lord to raise the shortfall in our monthly budget. As a nonprofit, we operate similar to an incorporated business, except our income is all from donations; we do not sell a product. We receive salaries as employees of the organization. Our salary amount is set by our board of directors. If we do not have enough income to provide for all of our monthly expenses, the only place that we have to cut back is in our salaries. During these times, we do not receive our full salary. We want to continue in the ministry as God has called us; He has promised that He will provide for us.

You are an valuable part of our ministry! We love and appreciate you and your support of what God is doing at Living Well! 

Our love in Christ,
Donna and Ed Edwards