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In her new book, The Sacrament of Happy, Lisa Harper unveils a similarly extravagant, unexpected surprise, declaring that happiness - just plain feeling happy - is a gift from God that you can unashamedly enjoy.
Wearing the twin hats of seminarian and belly-laughing adoptive mom, Harper delivers a warm, vignette style built upon solid theological scaffolding. She observes, for example, that God's choice of wording for the first verse of the first psalm (a word often translated as "blessed") literally means happy - one of many biblical reasons for dismantling the old-school idea that joy, not happiness, is the truly spiritual one of the Christian family. In truth, they're more like fraternal twins than distant cousins, meaning we as Christ-followers are not called to jettison happiness - like a no-longer-needed set of spiritual floaties - as we learn to swim in the deep waters of intimacy with God. Beyond merely a circumstances-based, up-and-down emotion, happiness comes from a deep conviction in the unmitigated goodness of our Creator-Redeemer, freeing us to feel and express genuine joy, fulfillment, and contentment, regardless of personal or global tumult.
The author's personal story includes such happiness killers as sexual abuse, the deaths of near loved ones, a heartbreaking failed adoption, followed by the arrival of an adopted daughter from Haiti who is HIV-positive. Yet she writes on themes like:
The lost sacrament of laughter
Does happy have a personality type?
Tuning out the Pharisees who try to mute your happiness in the context of spiritual maturity
So this is obviously not a book of trite, untested clichés. It goes well beneath most people's surface understanding of happiness, gently guiding listeners closer to the heart of God...with naturally a few genuine laughs and grins to enjoy along the way.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Buddy & Connie on 06-14-17
The Happy Girl
Lisa Harper is a joy even though I've never met her. However, I must confess I didn't even know who she was prior to a few months ago when I was totally immersed in a Bible study she had written. If there is anyone who one would want to hear, learn, or read about happiness from, it's someone who seems to exude said topic! I would encourage anyone to not only read this book, but listen to the Audible version. To hear it in her voice and to laugh alongside (out loud) Lisa's imagery, hilarious stories, and jaw dropping lines from people she has encountered in her life, is a push in the direction of the pursuit of "happy". She brings great wisdom and touching personal experience to the reader that truly helps one remember that there is such hope to be found even in the midst of the darkest, deepest struggles of life. I am so thankful for reading this book.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Angie on 06-29-17
Simply a blessing!
I am sure I will be listening to this book if you more times at least. And I will be getting the hard copy as well! Very well written and the narration by Lisa herself makes it even better! To have a whole new look on what happy means is exactly what I need in this book has helped to start that process in my heart. Full of silly and funny life events and jam packed with God's truth
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Jessie on 05-05-18
Loved every moment of this. Spoke to me at a fundamental level. The face that it was read by the author made it that much more special.
By olive on 01-18-18
Real Soul Food
I don’t think I could ever tire of hearing the wise and encouraging words of this charming, warm and compassionate woman. A natural teacher, a caring Godly friend, she makes me laugh and she makes me cry while simultaneously drawing me closer and strengthening my relationship with Him, our loving Lord and saviour.
Thank you Lisa. From the bottom of my heart, thankyou.