How to Be Happy

What we read and watch on the internet can make our hearts soar. 

It can also make our hearts weep.

Mine did both recently.

Logging onto my email from a remote computer, I watched MSN’s top news stories scroll by. A headline from and its accompanying photo caught my eye:

Paris Jackson happy with boyfriend Chester after pregnancy talk, suicide attempt.

Happy, according to the Examiner, is a 17-year-old girl with pink and black hair accepting an open-mouthed kiss from an 18-year-old Mohawk-sporting, wife-beater-shirt-wearing soccer player from a “family of means.” In a hotel bathroom, no less.

The article expressed delight that Paris, who had attempted suicide in 2013, looked “happy, healthy, and gorgeous.”

My heart wept for Paris.

Also in my news feed was another story, this one about another teenage couple. They, too, looked happy, healthy, and gorgeous. The Atlanta Journal and Constitution’s headline read:

Quarterback fulfills 4th grade promise, asks childhood friend with Down syndrome to prom.

The photo showed a tall, clean-shaven young man in a dark suit holding the hands of his prom date. Dressed in a stunning lavender floor-length gown and sporting a wrist corsage, the young lady smiled demurely, too shy to meet his happy grin.

Ben Moser and Mary Lapkowicz were friends in fourth grade when he promised, someday, to take her to the prom. Eight years later, he made good on his promise. 

Commenting on his decision to take his Down syndrome friend to the most important event of the year, Moser said, “There shouldn’t be a barrier between someone who has Down syndrome and someone who doesn’t. You should just be who you are, and do what’s right. Simple,” he said. 

Simple indeed, Ben Moser.

A wise man once said, “Your life is the sum of the choices you’ve made.” I couldn’t help contrasting Paris Jackson’s choices with Ben Moser’s.

At the end of the day, who do you think was really happy?

Here's a video clip of prom day. If you're reading by email, click here to view the video.

This week I'm privileged to serve on faculty at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers conference. Nestled in beautiful Black Mountain, NC, the conference is an amazing opportunity to pour back into the Christian writing community some of what I've learned. 

I covet your prayers as I pitch my next devotional book, tentatively called, Feeding Your Soul in a Drive-Thru World. Stay tuned.

You want to connect with God, but in the craziness of life, it’s just not happening. You want practical, biblical answers to situations you face every day, but you don’t have hours to pore over Scripture.

You need a resource that answers the questions you’re afraid to ask out loud. Questions like:

• Is my situation hopeless?
• If God already knows what he’s going to do, why bother to pray? 
• Why have you allowed this to happen to me? 
• No one appreciates what I do. Why shouldn’t I quit? 

Each devotion begins with a Facetime question and ends with a biblical answer wrapped in a modern day parable. Like a spiritual power bar, Hungry for God … Starving for Time is packed with enough scriptural nutrition to get you through the day. Wherever you are—in break rooms, carpool lines, or wherever you can snatch five minutes of quiet reflection—Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women is for you.

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  1. Good luck with your pitch and congratulations on being on the faculty at the writers conference.

    I enjoyed your post today very much. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Linda, stay tuned :)

  2. I'm crying watching that video. Good job to the 3 ladies - especially mama to Ben for rasing a compassionate son!

  3. My thoughts, exactly, Dicky Bird. Thanks for stopping by today.