Happy – what does it mean?

IF we strive to be HAPPY
by filling the silence of life with
[IF we strive to be] PRODUCTIVE
by turning all life’s leisure into
and [IF we strive to be] REAL
by turning all our being into
we will only succeed in producing a hell on earth.
If we have no SILENCE, God is not heard in our music.
If we have no REST, God does not bless our work.
If we twist our lives out of shape in order to fill every corner
of them with action and experience,
GOD will seem silently to
withdraw from our hearts
and leave us empty.
—Thomas Merton

HAPPY . . . so much of today’s marketing seems to be
based on selling me something to make me happy, BUT
what does it take to make me “happy”? What does “happy” mean?

some synonyms listed for “happy”: joyous, joyful, blithe, cheerful, merry, contented, blissful, satisfied – favorable, propitious; successful, prosperous – appropriate, fitting, opportune, pertinent

SO . . . what does “happy” mean to me? I guess that really changes
based on what is going on at any particular time:
–if I am hungry, food can make me happy
–if I am cold, clothing can make me happy
–if I am lonely, people can make me happy
–if I am threatened, safety can make me happy
and on it goes . . .

SO . . . what does “happy” mean to me?
cheerful? successful? prosperous?

Right now, in this time of my life, I am more inclined to desire strongly
“integrity” . . . the lining up of my inner self with my outer self,
more of the peace in accepting that my perceived imperfections
are a part of my journey to “integrity,” wholeness being a process
with life as a classroom drawing to “integrity” with a definition that
changes as I am open to deeper exploration of an ever-expanding
vision . . . beyond me, yet in me . . . Integrity, Wholeness, ONE . . .

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Unity in Diversity

PLANTING SEEDS encouraging violence, directly or indirectly, is
SO wrong–using the “divide and conquer” approach will
work in our country if we do not stay focused on what message we should be sharing . . .
we need to focus on:
-learning to communicate,
-learning to speak AND listen,
-respectfully exchanging diverse opinions
about important issues,
-listening to others with the same respect we want
for ourselves
-opening our minds and hearts
BEFORE opening our mouths

this is not easy and we need to work hard to exchange
OPINIONS and to remove the emotionally-charged,
insulting, rude words and degrading labels from
our speech

social media has often, unfortunately, driven many good
individuals to leave that medium because of the
hatefulness and intense judgements expressed by some
on their “friends” list and that decreases the number of
moderate voices being heard (I had an exchange the other
day with someone who had experiences with health care
that were the opposite of my experiences, but it did not
wind up with insults or harsh words. We just expressed our
opinions and we are still “friends”–this is as it should be – communicate, but don’t judge)

we do need to share our opinions and thoughts so that
we can come to better decisions about how we need to
resolve problems, BUT we need to review and improve
our communication skills FIRST and we need to remember
. . . we are ALL people, flawed perhaps, but people and we
ALL need to be heard in order for us ALL to live on this earth


Ego – Shadow – Integrity

thoughts . . .

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Searching . . .

wandering far . . . never leaving here . . .
looking but not seeing . . . longing to see all clear . . .
exploring circles . . . chasing out with inner near . . .
black holes dance . . . seeking breath of One so dear . . .
as day follows night, as Spring follows fall
so my heart follows light while my mind questions all
and my spirit whispers softly . . . come, have no fear

Light . . . Love . . . Vision . . . Peace . . . One







thoughts: December 10, 2018 Jeanne Hicks Barnett


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Touchpoints . . . our need for each other . . .

“Touchpoints” at different times
…bring a reality to our needs and
……our ability to continue on a path
……….we often cannot define at the time . . .
















our substitutes actually confirm our need for God—
we long for God’s touch,
to feel His unconditional Love
but our human nature
requires physical reassurances/reminders that God is real,
that He is truly with us and so
we consistently reach out for Touchpoints . . .
we need each other . . .
we need Touchpoints and we need to be Touchpoints . . .

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hope trusts
in the governing
force of LOVE,
not necessarily being
able to predict or define
the outcome of our
hope, but “knowing”
that it will be what it
should be within the
scope of Love’s highest
good for us because
“knowing” Love changes us

a place we run to because of trust,
a place where
we feel encapsulated in light and love,
hidden within the depths of the
shadow . . .
because here Love is unconditional—
no hypocrisy is needed,
Love transends, even knowing
our innermost beings,
our refuge
when we need the breath of Life
reinserted into our beings —
we can run to Love
knowing it is drawing us with open arms

So now the equation reads:
The sum of these two parts equals “free” . . .
wholeness in a way
we have never been able to comprehend
it frees us from more than the chains
we perceive,
it frees us to experience the Truth
of who we are as a part of the Whole . . .
it frees us to rest in the Trust that
comes from knowing Love . . .
it frees us to live within the relationship
we were created for . . .
it frees us to BE . . .

thoughts: Jeanne Hicks Barnett – 2007

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Contrasts in Living: David & Daniel

God has given us the life stories of individuals in the Scriptures for some clearly-stated reasons:
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)
Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (1 Corinthians 10:11)
‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Repeatedly God tells us that He wants to instruct us and that He wants to give us hope—the above verses are just a few.
With this in mind—two young men who started in humble or humiliating circum- stances and rose to greatness in their lives: Daniel and David.

Daniel: taken captive • slave status
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. . . . the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal family and of the nobles, youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence
in every {branch of} wisdom, endowed with understanding, and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the king’s court; and {he ordered him} to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. (Daniel 1:1-4)
David: was the youngest • tended sheep

And as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every {branch of} literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all {kinds of} visions and dreams. (Daniel 1:17)
And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:37)

Daniel: his formula—see the problem, petition God, praise God
. . . the king became indignant and very furious, and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon . . . Then Daniel replied with discretion and discernment . . . and said to Arioch, the king’s commander, “For what reason is the decree from the king {so} urgent?” Then Arioch informed Daniel about the matter. So Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would give him time . . . Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter, in order
that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven; Daniel answered and said, Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. (Daniel 2:12-20 excerpted).
David: his formula—see the problem, recount God’s acts, act
And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” . . . . Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. (1Sam. 17:37-45excerpted)

Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts, and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. (Daniel 2:48)
It seemed good to Darius to appoint 120 satraps over the king- dom, that they should be in charge of the whole kingdom, and over them three commissioners (of whom Daniel was one) (Daniel 6:1-2)
So this Daniel enjoyed success in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. (Daniel 6:28)
Then the men of Judah came and there anointed David king over the house of Judah . . . And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months. (2 Samuel 2:4, 11)
So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them before the LORD at Hebron; then they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he became king, {and} he reigned forty years. (2 Samuel 5:3-4)

Daniel: served foreign kings/rewarded with positions of trust and power, acknowledged God as His source/humble, remained faithful to God,                     saw visions, visited by angels
David: served as king of Israel, sinned against God/repented and was restored, waged war, denied right to build God’s temple (1 Chronicles 28:1-2), dysfunctional family
followed different paths which resulted in different experiences
God worked within each personality/strengths/weaknesses
Jeanne Hicks Barnett • December 13, 2003

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