The Power of Positive Psychology? - John Van Sloten

March 07, 2010

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Media @ New Hope CalgaryWhat is God saying through this huge cultural trend?

Homework for the next month is to buy the book “Authentic Happiness” by Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, and read it. What John hopes to do is take the godly principles of positive psychology and apply them to the context of our faith. If you read the book, these sermons will make a lot more sense. Or, if you prefer, check out this website.

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive… This field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.
Positive Psychology has three central concerns: positive emotions, positive individual traits, and positive institutions.
Positive Psychology Center,

“When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn't do but on what God said he would do…” Romans 4:18, MSG

“Abraham didn't focus on his own impotence and say, "It's hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child." Nor did he survey Sarah's decades of infertility and give up. He didn't tiptoe around God's promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said. “ Romans 4:19-21, MSG

“There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!”
Romans 5:3-5, MSG

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May 02, 2012
Brett, That sermon was pttrey difficult for me too. I struggle with those same questions too! I wonder if an answer lies in how we define fruit and works . If it means feeling happy and leading people to Christ, then you're right, there are lots of times when that is lacking in my life. But if fruit means spiritual growth and learning to be more like Jesus, or loving people better, or being more patient, then I think we would typically (with maybe a few exceptions?) have that kind of fruit in our life.

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April 08, 2012
A seed must die before it sprouts new growth and not only that - the first shall be last says the liturgy of God and as the narrative goes you go out into the world as white as snow.
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March 30, 2012
I always thought of Positive things.. and it helps me a lot! and makes me feel good!
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March 19, 2012
why do you have to ruin everything bringing god into this? science shouldn't be mixed with religion, unless you're studying religion.
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March 14, 2010
Thanks for posting well done
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Authentic Happiness 2010
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Seligman,happy,happyness,Romans 4:19-21,Romans 5:3-5,Romans 4:18

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