This week we consider sources of happiness.

To prepare, stop the world around you.

Breathe, be still, and feel God’s presence.

Invite God’s calm.

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Jesus came down from the mountain with them and stood on a large area of level ground. A great company of his disciples and a huge crowd of people from all around Judea and Jerusalem and the area around Tyre and Sidon joined him there. They came to hear him and to be healed from their diseases, and those bothered by unclean spirits were healed. The whole crowd wanted to touch him, because power was going out from him and he was healing everyone.

Luke 6:17-19

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Have you had an “aha moment” when you realized you were a part of something really big? As a boy, I attended college football games with my father, the alumni director for the university in my home town. My dad took me to games of special importance, contests where our team played “David” to the other team’s “Goliath.”  While I endured my share of lopsided losses, I occasionally witnessed a football miracle – a game where our team defeated one of football’s elites. These games are remembered today for their significance in college football history, and I was there, an awestruck bystander!

Today’s verses follow Jesus’ choosing of his apostles. How the new apostles must have marveled when observing the Jesus event described in the passage above – the crowds and the healings, the power in the moment! Do you think they wondered just who it was they had decided to follow? Were they awestruck?

Consider the Jesus you follow. What possibilities await you in your faith journey? Are you ready?

Bill Ogletree

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God, keep me mindful of just who you are. Let me find happiness in your awesomeness and embrace the possibilities associated with following you. Amen.

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The Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, wrote:

“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.” (in Love and Living, 1965)

Go now and find happiness and God’s love in the community of others.

Bill Ogletree

Billy T. Ogletree is a professor at Western Carolina University. He is forever grateful for the love of his wife and two adult children and appreciates little more than living in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina. Dr. Ogletree is the author of the 2018 book Mean Christianity: Finding Our Way Back to Christ’s Likeness, available through Wipf and Stock, Amazon, Kindle, and Audible.

I Come to the Garden Alone

Ken Medema

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