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Recipe for happiness

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EDITOR'S NOTE: One of the most common SINS among God's people has always been griping, complaining — called "murmuring" in the Bible. This attitude of criticizing, finding fault, grumbling, is negative, unspiritual, and is a disease that produces unhappiness and loss of faith in the perpetrator, and great annoyance to others who hear it.

The cure is to set your mind in the opposite mood — that of GRATITUDE. Perhaps the most common sin in professing Christians is ingratitude — failure to be thankful — to count one's blessings.

When the children of Judah, without any weapons, began to march directly toward the onrushing three allied armies, just singing PRAISES TO GOD, the God they were praising began to win the battle for them. I have known many to be healed when they began to thank and praise God for it in advance. Count your blessings — get your mind on them — they are more and greater than you probably realize. This is the recipe for overcoming griping, and for finding happiness.

I have received thousands of happy, joyful letters expressing gratitude to God. But I have recently received one, from one of the Elders in God's Church, that was simply bursting with gratitude and joy over blessings piling up one on another. I thought it was a lesson in joy and happiness — and in the ATTITUDE of gratitude and happiness. Mr. Hoops could have found things to criticize and gripe about — had he looked hard enough for them, as many do. I thought this exuberant letter would bring a spiritual inspiration and experience to all of God's people. So we are reproducing it here, in full.


The Letter


I don't think we have ever written you a long letter. Well, here is one . . . if it is too long just send it back and I'll summarize it for you and return it! But, we just cannot resist this. It seems that the blessings are overtaking us, are enveloping us and sometimes we are at a loss as to how to express our joy. Should we cry, laugh or what? We decided to share it with you!

The Akron church is simply bubbling over with excitement and gratitude. It seems God has loaded one blessing on top of another. Sometimes it is difficult to maintain emotional control, to prevent explosions of joy!

It all started to avalanche about the middle of May when the new DOUBLE ENVOY came and we could see all the progress and growth in the students and others in the Work and the phenomenal growth in the Work itself too. Then on the heels of that blessing came another "blast" of joy . . .The Bible Story. So well done and in such good taste! We know how the people in the churches really profit from this because it is in language they can understand and is explained by the mind of a converted minister of God whom they can trust. As if that were not enough. . .

The next explosion (and we just about exploded with joy) was the new forty-page PLAIN TRUTH! Not only was it now increased in size but we could see in this issue the growth and advancement of many of the people. . . the men God Himself has hand-picked to assist in doing His precious Work! We also were glad to know that you were going to write the "Heart-to-Heart Talk With the Editor" again. We were inspired by the way the scoffers and accusers were handled by showing that they, in scoffing against the Work of God, condemn Christ Himself! But, was that all? No!

Then you came to Pittsburgh and gave us the marvelous news of the growth in England, the possibility of adding a whole university to the "list" of Ambassador Colleges. I remember several times you said that Ambassador College would eventually fill the whole world! That was a prophecy because we're seeing it fulfilled before our very eyes just as we're seeing the other prophecy being fulfilled all over the world.

Your sermon that Sabbath was very good for me. Even though it dealt with basic material, and subjects and points with which many of us had been familiar for years, it is always new and vibrant! I remember that day back in Colorado — it was the Sabbath. I had asked you to explain Galatians. All afternoon you explained it and when you were through I said it dovetails, it fits, it hasn't a hole in it anywhere. You had made the TRUTH so plain.

But, this sermon you gave in Pittsburgh was especially good to me because I was able to see how you handle the same problems which I have encountered in making sermons and sermonettes. I find it is one great effort to MAKE THE TRUTH PLAIN! I think this is one of the most important features of your preaching and writing that attracted me in the first instance of contact. Then I came to Ambassador and read in the mail room the same thing expressed by thousands of people. They said, ". . .Mr. Armstrong, you make the Truth so Plain! . . ." I find that isn't easy to do with a mind that has habitually been complicated and confused by lying, exaggerating, stretching the truth all out of shape. Now, to tell just the PLAIN TRUTH without any distortion is a real task; it is the process of conversion. I am just beginning to be converted — may God continue to have mercy on me (and all of us) till the process is completed! I know He will! If He sacrificed His own son just for that purpose — and He did — there's still hope!

Anyhow, that was a real blessing to see you again and hear you giving us the good news about the Work of God, preach to us about our purpose, relate the plans for the coming Feast of Tabernacles (that was another wonderful blessing too, the solving of a multi-million dollar problem in the acquisition of Squaw Valley!).

It was a rare privilege and honor and joy to be invited to join you for dinner at LeMont (I thought Dick would have enjoyed that) and again, thank you very much from our hearts!

We considered it a blessing to be able to talk and hear you relate, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. McDowell, some of your valuable experiences the night Mr. Scott was with us. And Mr. Scott. . .some day that man (if he isn't converted soon) will be so sorry his eyes weren't open — but this brings us to the next blessing. You know how you suggested that we make a report on the radio stations here in the Akron and Cleveland areas so it could be decided which stations would be the best for the World Tomorrow Broadcast?

We talked to several people both in and near Akron and Cleveland. Some who live in Cleveland said they would rather listen to Akron station WADC. We ourselves conducted a little survey to see which station would be the most desirable and found that WADC is somewhat of a prestige station here in Akron. It has a power of 20,000 watts and is called Akron's Big Station. It can be heard easily in all of Cleveland, a city of over a million population.

Akron is a city of 300,000, an up-and-coming city. We were told by a prominent Jew in Cincinnati that Akron is one of the most progressive cities in the whole nation.

We were about to compile all this information and much more to send to you or to Mr. Scott as soon as we would get the list and information Mr. Scott was going to send to us. Before we could do this the program started at a perfect time, across the board, on the very, station we had selected as the one we would choose as number one!

All this just 23 days after we had talked about the possibility!

We about exploded!

Seriously, I join the grateful, happy people of God's Church in Akron, Ohio in expressing deep thanks and profound gratitude. We know it will make this church grow both numerically and spiritually as a part of the WHOLE Church. But, was that all? No, indeed!

Like a dark cloud always overshadowing our joy during the many weeks prior even to your visit in Pittsburgh there was the serious condition of Mrs. Warrington, the woman who had had a miscarriage. She lost literally quarts of blood and we didn't know whether she would live or die. There was nothing to be done except trust completely in. God! We were totally helpless. The family got wind of it and rose up in wrath . . .neighbors and welfare department became indignant it seemed, were against her but God. . . and this is exactly the lesson God wanted and determined He was going to give us all!

They were about to take her forcibly to the hospital for "treatment". . . they had gone to the Judge of the Probate Court . . . the Judge forced the welfare officer to file a complaint resulting in Mrs. Warrington's being called to court to face incompetency charges on Monday morning, May 29. . .less than three days following the serving of summons. We went to court and received a continuance on the grounds that less than three days had elapsed since the serving of the summons but the judge didn't like it at all! He turned a cherry red. . . shouted threatening statements at Mr. Warrington to the effect that if anything happens to Mrs. Warrington by the next Wednesday morning at 9 he himself would demand a conviction on manslaughter charges against Mr. Warrington. This had happened before, as you pointed out, in the 4th Chapter of Acts and you even mentioned it specifically in Pittsburgh. It seemed almost identical. Jesus told us we'd be called before rulers. Here we saw it and lived it.

Mr. Warrington and I went into action trying our best to find an attorney to represent them. Really contacted four of them, also tried to get a doctor to examine her to determine the exact condition of her health (because by now we knew God had healed her). Every door seemed to be closed!