Fall Retreat in Review

We had an amazing weekend at Camp Canaan and wanted to make sure we shared what we were talking about and some of the resources as well as some other fun stuff. But first, if you attended the retreat would you be willing to fill out our student survey? Or if you were a parent who sent a student or two, would you fill out the parent survey? Thanks!

Photos on Facebook

Parent Cue for What Makes You Happy? Get the inside scoop on what we talked about and some ideas on continuing the conversation at home

Fall Retreat Quiet Time Guide

What Makes You (Un)Happy Flow Chart

Teaching Summaries for What Makes You Happy

Session 1

Bottom Line Happiness is more about who than what.

We all love to have the newest and coolest stuff. The upgraded iPhone, the newest fashion trend, the fastest model car—we’d all like to get our hands on the latest and greatest things on the market. And when we see people who have all the things we want, it’s easy to convince ourselves that we’d be happier if we could have what they had. But we’re going to let you in on a secret: most of the people you know who have all the things you want aren’t as happy as you think you are. In fact, some of them may not be happy at all. That’s because there’s only one thing truly happy people really need, and it isn’t something you can really even see. That one thing is peace. Peace is what all truly happy people possess, and the good news is that it’s available to us, too!  Not only does Jesus want us to have peace in our lives, but He also tells us exactly what we can do to get there. And as we heed his advice to take our eyes off of the what and focus instead on the who, we’ll find ourselves beginning to be transformed by the peace that brings true happiness.

Session 2

Bottom Line If you sow better, you’ll reap better.

Have you ever been hurt by someone you love? Maybe they said some cruel words to you. Or maybe they did something that betrayed your trust. No matter what it was, when it happened, you probably wanted to separate from them for a little while. It’s normal to want to put a little distance between yourself and someone who’s making you unhappy. But what if we told you that the person who has the potential to make you unhappier than anyone else is the one person you can never get away from? What if we told you that person is you? Think about it. When it comes to things in your life that have brought you the most pain, unhappiness, and regret—things you said, things you did, people you dated, places you went—they all have on thing in common: you. You’re making choices now that ultimately have the potential to rob you of your happiness later. But thanks to Jesus, it doesn’t have to be this way. He gives us access to a life that not only saves us from unhappiness now, but will also lead us to even greater happiness down the road. We have the power to choose a life that makes us happy—a life with Christ.

Session 3

Bottom Line Peace with God paves the way to peace everywhere else.

The idea of being at peace sounds pretty appealing. Who doesn’t want to be at peace with themselves or with the people in their lives? Easier said than done, right? We all know we can’t just wave a magic wand and make all of our problems with ourselves and others disappear. It’s just not that simple. But if peace is directly related to happiness, it’s probably worth trying to figure out how to get it. Believe it or not, the Bible actually lays it out pretty clearly for us. Time and again, the stories in the Bible illustrate one big thing when it comes to peace: if we want to be at peace with ourselves or anyone else, we first have to be at peace with God. Peace with God lays the foundation for peace in every other aspect of our lives. And because of that, God makes peace with Him readily available to all of us. Ultimately peace with God comes from obedience to God because all of the things Jesus asks us to be obedient to are about creating peace with God, others, and ourselves. When we unwrap happiness, we find peace; when we unwrap peace, we find obedience.