Friday, August 28, 2015

Is There A Secret to Happiness?

Is There A Secret
To Happiness?

I stepped off the bathroom scale with a sigh of frustration. How was I going to conquer these unwanted pounds?
Bookstore employees say diet and self-help books are their biggest sellers. Many women are not happy with themselves. Inside, we secretly know this involves much more than just our outward appearance. Soon enough we discover that all efforts to change are not working. We fail ourselves.
If only we could discover the secret to happiness.
What if I told you I know where it is?
This is not just a make-over. You get a total transformation from the inside out.
Mine began when I had a desperate longing to become a mother. It took months of seeking, asking, knocking. I read God's word continually, learning that faith comes by hearing and hearing His Word. That makes perfect sense. How can you have faith in His word  if you don't know what He says?
I also found an amazing thing.
God talks!
Right away people put you in the category of "weird" when you say God speaks. Yet He speaks from Genesis through Revelation. How could He not speak to His own sheep who know His voice?
"When you seek me with your whole heart, you will find me" (Jer. 29:13). God who is spirit, spoke that verse to my inner spirit ear and I took it seriously. I was expecting to "find " that He would grant me a child. I found much more. I found a real and vital relationship with Jesus. Indescribable joy!
Wow. Now that God and I were on a first-name basis. Surely He would answer my prayer for a baby.
He spoke to me a second time in the form of a question. "Why don't you fast?" At first, I thought it was my imagination. Yet the question kept popping into my mind.  "Okay, if that's You, Lord I'll fast."
I went all day without food, then opened the fridge that evening. Hungry. What if it was only my imagination and I was going hungry for no real reason? I decided I had better ask the Lord before I took a single bite.
Being young in the Lord, I put out a fleece like Gideon did in Judges 6:36. "Lord show me a verse on fasting if this is really your instruction to me." I let my huge encyclopedic study Bible flop open. My eyes fell on the words: "And they sanctified a fast unto the Lord."
Whoa! Was that a coincidence? My stomach growled. I knew Gideon had put out his fleece twice, and I wanted certainty. "Lord, pardon me if I ask again." I let the book flop open once more. The verse was on fasting. I am embarrassed to say, I repeated this process a third time.
Confirmation? Oh yeah. I went to bed hungry but curiously satisfied.
God will confirm His Word when you seek Him, and as you get to know it better, He brings it to your recollection (John 14: 26). That's how He usually speaks. You will not need to put out a fleece.
The second day of my fast, God filled me with His glorious presence so powerfully that I knew I had touched His throne room. I experienced such fullness of joy, unspeakable and full of glory.
Raising my hands, I declared, "Father, I no longer care if I ever have a child. You are all I want and all I need in this world."
Right then, I learned to seek the Giver and not the gift. I laid my deepest desire on the altar with praises. Guess what? I got it back again. I now have two beautiful daughters and four grandchildren.
My transformation has been ongoing. God did what I could not do to change myself. My listening ear needs fine tuning every now and then, but my heart beats with passion to do His will.
Yes, there is a secret to happiness.  "Happy is the man (woman) who finds God's wisdom and gains understanding" (Proverbs 3:13). I have not been free from the trials and challenges of life, however I have learned to trust in Him. The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Oh yes, with His help, I have lost thirty pounds.

Harriett Ford is an award-winning member of Faithwriters, the author of six books listed on Amazon, a member of Kingdom Xperience, and an inspirational speaker. Contact her at

Monday, August 3, 2015

Does the Bible teach Soul Sleep?

Do our spirits sleep in the grave until the resurrection? 
Does the Bible teach soul sleep as many people believe based on a few passages which seem to indicate this. Actually Jesus used the term "sleeping" to describe only the body of a person who has died, such as Lazarus, and also the little 12-year-old girl He raised. 
Think of what He said when Elijah and Moses appeared with Him on the Mt. of transfiguration. God is not the God of the dead but of the living (Mark 12:27). Clearly they were not sleeping.  And Paul wrote that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). This illustrates that we are spirit-soul beings and only our flesh is mortal. (I Thess 5:23). 

Luke 16:22 "And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;"

Comments by Andrew Wommack on LUKE 16:19-31 follow: 
 Jesus clearly teaches that there is life after death. It shows that there is no "soul sleep" where our souls are awaiting the resurrection of our bodies, but we go into a conscious eternity immediately. It also shows that there are only two destinations possible after death. We either go to a place of torment for the wicked or a place of blessing for the righteous. There is no "limbo" or "purgatory" and there is no second chance, illustrating the finality of our eternal destiny once we die.

Abraham's bosom is a symbolic term designating a place of comfort for the righteous dead. It was located in the heart of the earth, in the same region as hell, where the ungodly dead go. The rich man's body was in the grave and yet this scripture speaks of him lifting up his eyes and seeing Lazarus in Abraham's bosom. Our soul mirrors our physical shape so closely that it is recognizable. It is probable that one's soulish body is an exact duplicate of their physical body.

Part of this man's torment was from the flames. However, he was also tormented by the thought of his loved ones' lives on earth and their eternal destiny. Surely his helplessness to warn them would make his misery worse.

Also, the fact that he could see Lazarus and Abraham in a place of total blessing and comfort would keep him from ever adjusting to his situation.

In the light of Jesus' words, we can see that hell will be much more than just a place of physical torment. Those who are consigned to that place will also be tormented with the thoughts of what could have been if they had trusted Jesus. The greatest witness that anyone could ever receive is the witness from God's Word. The gospel is the "power of God unto salvation".

Share the Word today.