I know plenty of things that make me happy, but it seems no matter what I try in this life, it’s never “perfect”.
For example I recently finished months of HCG low-calorie dieting, and then went on a two night vacation with Haleh to Valencia California to visit Six Flags. I went from 282 lbs in October of last year, down to 219 lbs. Since I was not down to my goal weight, which is currently around 180 lbs, I decided before finishing my diet that I would start another one in June. So, back to the vacation, since we decided to drive there, and since I would be starting another diet soon, I believed that I could have “perfect happiness” if I allowed myself to eat all sorts of candy, snacks, and energy drinks while on vacation.
I did enjoy myself the first night, on the drive there. To start things off, I had half of a King-size Sweet & Salty Snickers bar, followed by several handfuls of peanut-butter and cookies and cream “buddy” Chex mix. I also had nearly a whole pack of Swedish Fish, which I kept calling Gold Fish.
At the next stop I was feeling candied-out, so I got a delicious bag of guacamole chips (the dip is in the chip, the bag said). I got more candy and snacks then written here, but I don’t remember it all.
For dinner the second night, we went to Salt Creek Grill, near Six Flags. The appetizer bread was tasteless and while the butter was nicely whipped, it too was tasteless. My meal was meatloaf, which tasted “Ok” with a decent amount of salt I had to add. My two sides were Gorgonzola mac and cheese, not good, and the worlds hottest order of au gratin potatoes... they were also, just “ok” after they cooled down. The best thing there was the carrot cake I shared with Haleh after stuffing myself with dinner and appetizers. Dinner was very expensive, and totally not worth it.
At Six Flags, I was super excited to get a seemingly delicious Thrill Shake which they stated packed 980 calories. The shake included, tasteless ice cream, strawberry syrup, about half of a strawberry pop tart, and an old fashion strawberry good bar (I think it’s called). The shake was a disaster. It might have been better if they would have blended it... but it was a 1 star experience as it was. It was ridiculously expensive, and totally not worth it, price-wise or calories. It did not make me happy.
On the drive home, I ate less calories than the drive there, but that was only because I felt sick after two days of eating bad decisions. On my three day adventure, the scale said I put on about 10 pounds. Yikes!
I was totally wrong about what I thought would provide me happiness. You’re probably saying “Duh!” but I bet you do it too. If not with food, then with something else.
I believe that perfect happiness is not achievable this side of heaven. With our sinful & broken bodies and all of the sinful & broken bodies around us, I think life is a constant disappointment. Especially if you’re looking to this life to provide perfect happiness. I think perfect happiness is only possible without sin, and therefore heaven will be the only time I’ll experience it.
But what even is perfect happiness? I think it consists, partially, of loving, meaningful relationships. Perfect happiness would either have no arguments or at least discussions where all participants communicate clearly and listen graciously. Perfect happiness would be where my cravings are for only healthy things. Perfect happiness would include a life perfectly balanced with fulfilling productive activities and peaceful rejuvenating relaxation.
I believe that perfect happiness is spending eternity with a God, that is Himself perfect and loving. That’s my plan. If you’re not sure where you’ll be spending eternity, find out now.
A couple of days ago at about 10:30 pm, I found out that Scott Hill passed away. Scott was one of my childhood best friends. We haven’t really connected in the past dozen years or so, but before that, we were certainly close!
Back in the day I used to spend the night at his hour and he at mine quite often. I remember that we snuck out often and rode our bikes to the Seatac Mall area in Federal Way, Washington. Once a police officer strongly advised us to go home but we weren’t breaking the law so we just laughed off his advise and did what we wanted to do.
I remember that Scott would eat meals in the bathroom, while using the bathroom... I’ve always thought that was strange, but he did what he wanted. Scott and I were quite different people, but we had fun together, until we didn’t.
One of the last times we spent time together was when Scott drove all the way down from Washington to visit me in my Phoenix apartment. It’s about a 24 hour drive.
At that time, I was a pretty religious person. I had gone to a youth group and I believed that I was a Christian (I’m not sure I was actually one, but more on that later).
I was very ignorantly, but passionately, trying to share Jesus with Scott. I don’t remember the exact words I used, but I told him things like how much better his life would be if he’d ask Jesus into his heart. I remember that he brought some girl with him to my apartment, as well as alcohol, and I was very judgmental and condescending about how Jesus wouldn’t like that.
I annoyed Scott so much with my attempt to proselytize him that he turned around, without sleeping, and drove all the way back to Washington. I know my intentions were good, but I felt so bad about how I made Scott feel, that I wrote something like this in my journal “I will never again open my mouth for the purposes of sharing Jesus with someone.” But, a few short months later, something happened... I got saved. I became a Christian myself.
I went to church and heard a different type of message. Not the normal “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” message I had heard before. But a message that actually helped me see why Jesus, and specifically his death on a cross, mattered.
I heard from a guest speaker at our church that God has a standard of goodness and if you don’t meet up to it, it’s called sin, and if you die in your sins, the destination is not heaven, but hell.
He went through God’s Ten Commandments and I realized for the first time that I wasn’t a good person, but in fact, I was a liar, a thief, an adulterer (Jesus said if you look with lust, you’re committing adultery in your heart), and a murderer. Jesus said if you hate, without just cause, you’re a murderer.
I realized I wasn’t good... but Bad. God opened up my eyes that if I got what I deserved, it wouldn’t be a reward, but a sentence. It was then, and only then, that what I already knew (that Jesus died for sin) wasn’t just generally nice news for sinners, but really really good news for me.
So... back to Scott. I sadly do not know where Scott will spend be spending eternity. Of course, I hope it’s heaven. I know that unless we believe in the Good News of Jesus, it doesn’t apply to us. And it’s not really believing..... because demons believe in Jesus and it doesn’t help them... it’s trust. I don’t know if Scott trusted that Jesus’ death on the cross paid for his sins and therefore he received forgiveness from God. But I do believe that wherever he is, he wants you to know the truth.
I believe he wants you to consider your life, and all that you’ve done... I believe he wants you to realized that God demonstrated His love towards us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. I believe he would want you to know that you broke God’s Law, but (if you’ll in Him) Jesus suffered and died on the cross for you. I believe Scott would want you to know that Jesus didn’t just die, but that God raised Him from the dead three days later.
I believe Scott wants you to pray to God, read your Bible and find a good church family and friends.
It is my prayer and hope that Scott is indeed resting in peace, by the Grace of God. I hope to some day see him again and reminisce about other fun memories.
I, Brandt Dary, am a normal Bible believing Christian with a heart to share the Biblical Gospel and teach others to do the same. I'm married to my beautiful wife Haleh and have four amazing kids. I live in Queen Creek, AZ. I make a living from Software Development.
My Bible Reading Notes are not scripture. It's not the BDV (Brandt Dary's Version). These are just my notes as I'm going through the Professor Grant Horner Bible Reading System. These bible notes may not be complete, or accurate. If you see something I got wrong, or wish to comment on something I've said, feel free to do so.