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A new study in the Journal of Religion and Health suggests that—at least for some women of a certain age—there’s a link between optimism and attendance at religious services. “We looked at the religious practices of nearly 100,000 women and—like it or not—found a strong connection between going to church or synagogue or any other […] Read More

The Irrational Season

A sermon delivered by Randy Hyde, pastor, Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, Little Rock, Ark., on January 30, 2011. Micah 6:1-8; Matthew 5:12 Did you know that in just 216 days – count ’em! – the Arkansas Razorbacks will once again be playing football? That’s right. 216 days. The season begins September 3rd when the Hogs […] Read More

(RNS) Close friendships among congregants, rather than theology seem to be the key to happiness among religious people, according to a new study. One-third of Americans who attend religious services weekly and have three to five close friends in the congregation said they are “extremely satisfied” with their lives. In comparison, only one in five […] Read More

Sermon delivered by Joel Snider, pastor of First Baptist Church in Rome, Ga., on October 4, 2009. 1 Kings 10:14-25 Meditation Text:        Materialism is not the same as having money.  As we’ve seen, once basic needs are       met, there is no relationship between money and happiness.  Materialism, on the other           hand, does […] Read More

The Happiness Trap

Sermon delivered by Joel Snider, pastor of First Baptist Church in Rome, Ga., on September 20, 2009. 2 Samuel 13:7-20   Meditation Text:        Half of the world is on the wrong scent in the pursuit of happiness. They think        it consists in having and getting, and in being served by others.  It consists […] Read More

If you’re happy and don’t know it, there’s an equation that can show it. So say two British researchers who last year developed a formula they say can be used to quantify happiness. The equation: P+5E+3H. P represents Personal Characteristics (outlook on life, adaptability and resilience); E stands for Existence (health, friendships and financial stability), […] Read More

Feeling like a slave to your schedule? This Oct. 24, thousands of Americans are just saying “NO” to overworking and overstress that is overwhelming them. Take Back Your Time Day, a project of the Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy at Cornell University, is a “nationwide initiative to challenge the epidemic of overwork, over-scheduling […] Read More

People with money and people with religious faith are more likely than others to say they lead a happy life, according to a new survey on quality of living. Despite threats of terrorism, war in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Iraq, SARS, a declining economy and national image problems, the study by the […] Read More

Forgiveness used to be for wimps, but things are different now. Dr. Robert Karen knows a thing or two about forgiveness. Karen has written two books about the subject. His most recent book, The Forgiving Self: The Road from Resentment to Connection (Doubleday), was released earlier this year. In a recent interview with the New […] Read More

Americans are overwhelmingly happy and optimistic, according to an October 6-9 Gallup poll. A majority (94 percent) of Americans identify themselves as “very” or “fairly” happy, while 78 percent of Americans are optimistic about the nation’s future. Marital status and religious involvement significantly influence levels of happiness, reported Gallup News Service. The happiest Americans are […] Read More