True Positive: Day 15 – Happy List

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Recently, my friend Sharon Hill gave me two plaques for my birthday. One read, “Do one thing everyday that makes you happy.” The other was simply blank, so I could write the one thing I did that day to make me happy. Isn’t that great?

Have you ever stopped to think about what truly makes you happy? Maybe it’s spending time with family, perhaps it is reading a book or taking a stroll through the park or painting a picture. I encourage you to take some time to thoughtfully make a list of at least 15 things that make you smile. Next, determine to set aside some time on a regular basis to do one of the things on your list.

I’m not condoning self-centeredness or thinking only of your own happiness. In fact, one of the things that increases our joy is to love and serve others (which we will talk about tomorrow). But, there are times when we need to rejuvenate and be deliberate about self-care in order to avoid burnout, fatigue or exhaustion. God has made each of us with unique desires. Psalms 103 reminds us that God satisfies our desires with good things, so that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Ask God to satisfy your desires and renew your strength. Look for simple ways to enjoy your “Happy List.”

My Fifty Sense


The Big 5-0!

“If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should not grow old.”  James Garfield

This past week I turned fifty.  Yes the big 5-0!  It honestly wasn’t so bad.  The highlight for me was on the day of my birthday I met with some friends in downtown Dallas to attend a luncheon for Sheila Bailey’s ministry.  After the luncheon my friends and I walked across the street to First Baptist Church Dallas.  I grew up in this church, and I first trusted Christ as my savior through it’s ministry.  I was also baptized and married there, so it holds many life memories for me personally.  But the highlight wasn’t just being there on the church grounds, the best part was that we went up to the prayer tower,  got on our knees and prayed together.  We prayed for our city, for our friends and for each other.  It was a great way to celebrate my fiftieth. 

I must admit I do love fun birthday cards, and there is no shortage when it comes to turning 50.  One friend gave me a card that read: 

                “In dog years, you’d be 350, but in Giant Redwood years, you’d only be about 3 ½….See? Turning 50 is all in how you look at it!” 

Well, the card is right. Perspective is everything!  I must admit I still feel like I’m 30, so I’m not going to let my actual age bother me.  I hope as I am getting older, that I am also getting wiser.  I’ve been pondering some of the truths I have learned over the years and am trying to apply to my life for the next fifty years.  So here’s my Fifty Cents (Sense) Worth of living with wisdom.

  • Focus on loving God more, and focus on myself less.
  • Serve more, and demand less.
  • Love more, and get annoyed less.
  • Seek God’s direction more, and seek my own agenda less.
  • Care about eternal things more, and get upset about temporal things less.
  • Give more, and keep less.
  • Listen more, and talk less.
  • Learn more, and eat less.
  • Choose joy more, and choose bitterness less.
  • Encourage more, and complain less.


Most importantly the older I get the more I am amazed at God’s greatness.  Let us all pay attention to the way He works, the way He comforts, the way He loves and the way He reveals His mighty power in our lives.

Psalm 36:5-9

5 Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
       your faithfulness to the skies.

6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
       your justice like the great deep.
       O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.

7 How priceless is your unfailing love!
       Both high and low among men
       find refuge in the shadow of your wings.

8 They feast on the abundance of your house;
       you give them drink from your river of delights.

9 For with you is the fountain of life;
       in your light we see light.