Category Archives: Pursuit of Happiness

Pursuit of Happiness #29

Happy St. Patrick's Day - St. James Gate, Dublin, Ireland

There is nothing like good memories to bring a smile to your face when you need it. So, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I have to pull some old photos out of the archive. In 1998, I had a rare opportunity to go to Ireland for a long weekend with my friends Eric, Justin, Drew, Tracy, and Jason. Long evenings drinking Guinness and having great conversations in the pubs of Dublin became one of the best memories of my life. In the photo below, we were camped out at the Brazen Head, a pub which had been in continuous operation longer than the United States had been a country.

At the Brazen Head, Dublin, Ireland November 1998

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

I’m looking forward to making some more best memories of my life this weekend, but more about that in the days to come.

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Pursuit of Happiness #27

Today’s post pursuit of happiness post is actually a response to the message I heard in worship yesterday. It was a great reminder that we so often live each day wading through guilt and/or toxic shame which oozes into our souls from any number of sources. Followers of Jesus are so quick to believe the lies and critical blurts others throw our way, and so slow to believe the truth of our identity in Christ.

Many years ago I did a little personal study in which I listed out a host of affirmations about my identity in Christ from God’s message. I still pull this out and read through the list on occasion. It’s like spiritual chiropractic for me, straightening out my self-talk and helping me shed some of the twisted, shame based thoughts I whisper to myself. I post it here hoping that it might be an encouragement to others.

I urge you to find a quiet place and read through this list out loud, starting each line with “I am…” Your heart will feel lighter by the time you get to the end of the list!

I am…

fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139)
made in the likeness of God (James 3:9)
worth more than many sparrows (Mt. 10:31; Lk 12:7)
God’s workmanship (Eph 2:10)
chosen (I Peter 1:2; 2:9)
crucified with Christ; Christ lives in me (Gal 2:20)
brought near to God by the blood of Christ (Eph 2:13)
made holy through the body of Christ once for all (Heb 10:10)
saved by God’s grace (Eph 2:5,8)
delivered from death to life (Rom 6:13)
forgiven – my sins remembered no more (I Jhn 2:12; Heb 10:17)
purified from all unrighteousness (I Jhn 1:9)
clean (Jhn 15:3; Jhn 13:10)
of those who believe and are saved (Heb 10:39)
in Christ (Jhn 14:20)
born anew (I Peter 1:23)
justified through faith (Rom 5:1)
set free from sin (Rom 6:18, 22)
no longer under supervision of the law (Gal 3:25)
released from the law (Rom 7:6)
healed (I Peter 2:24)
given fullness in Christ (Col 2:10)
in him who is true (I Jhn 5:20)
raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly realms (Eph 2:6; Col 3:1)
blessed (I Peter 2:9)
receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Heb 12:28)
son/daughter of God (Gal 3:26)
an heir of God (Gal 4:6; I Jhn 3:2; Rom 8:17)
son/daughter of light (I Th 5:5)
a member of God’s household (Eph 2:19)
a citizen of heaven (Eph 2:19)
a branch (Jhn 15:5)
a friend of God (Jhn 15:14)
God’s field (I Cor 3:9)
God’s building (I Cor 3:9)
God’s temple (I Cor 3:17; 2 Cor 6:16)
God’s house (Hebrews 3:6)
the body of Christ (I Cor 12:27)
one with other believers (Gal 3:28)
a member of one body (Eph 4:25)
of a people belonging to God (I Peter 2:9)
called (Jude 1:1)
God’s fellow worker (I Cor 3:9)
of a royal priesthood (I Peter 2:9)
witness (Mt 24:48; I Thess 2:10)
competent as a minister (2 Cor 3:6)
led by the Spirit of God (Gal 5:18)
a letter from Christ (2 Cor 3:3)
the aroma of Christ (2 Cor 2:15)
Christ’s ambassador (2 Cor 5:20)
the light of the world (Mt 5:14; Eph 5:8)
the salt of the earth (Mt 5:13)
more than a conqueror (Rom 8:37)
being renewed day by day (2 Cor 4:16)
enriched in every way (I Cor 1:5)
given a trust (I Cor 4:2)
looking for a city that is to come (Hebrews 13:14)

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Pursuit of Happiness #23

Dean Vander Well Birthday Boy

I love old family photographs. They make me smile. They give me insight into the people I call family.  I love them the same way I love learning about my family’s history. Knowing about, and appreciating, yesterday gives me a better perspective on who I am today. I’d like to think it helps me make better decisions about where I’m going tomorrow.

Yesterday, my dad turned 74. I thought it appropriate to pull out this photo. I’ve always loved this picture of him standing next to his 3rd Birthday cake. What a cute little beaner.

Happy Birthday, dad!