4/19/14

From Jim McGuiggan... BEAUTY & THE BEAST


BEAUTY & THE BEAST

Down the years many thoughtful people have observed that no one can free us from our ugliness unless he or she loves us even in our ugliness . Of course, they learned that from the all-wise Lover of Humanity.

The Disney screen adaptation of Madame de Villeneuve's story, The Beauty and The Beast, tells how a selfish and self-centered prince ruthlessly denied shelter to an old lady on a wintry night because her appearance repulsed him. When he discovers that the old woman is really a beautiful enchantress he apologizes; but his loveless apology is rejected and she turns him into a hideous beast. His outward appearance now reflects his inner ugliness [which says that the enchantress didn't make him ugly—she only exposed it].

The horrific appearance would disappear, the curse said, if he could learn to love and be loved by someone in his ugliness. Years pass and he falls into despair, losing all hope that anyone could ever love a beast like him.

When the Beast captures one of the villagers, the man's beautiful daughter, Belle, offers herself as a ransom to free her father. If she wants him free, the Beast insists, she must stay with him forever. Belle falters, asking him to step into the light where she can see him. He does and she recoils in horror at the sight of him but for love of her father she gives her word that she will stay with him.

Moved by Belle's love for her father the Beast tries to please her and by and by the desire to please her becomes something deeper. Though he's aware that his rage sometimes drives her from him, still, it enters his mind—the wish, the half of a broken hope—that she might be the one who can cure him. But he overhears her say in a fit of private temper that she wants nothing to do with him. Dismayed, he rumbles to himself, "I'm just fooling myself; she'll never see me as anything but a monster. It's hopeless."

Gaston, the handsome but vain, spiteful and cruel villager who wants Belle, gathers the villagers and works them into a fever that serves his own selfish agenda. "Kill the Beast!" He spreads his own inner darkness and the villagers go out to do just what he wants them to do.

But in the end, it isn't the villagers or the corrupt-at-heart Gaston that kills the Beast; it's Belle and the love she comes to have for the Beast. She doesn't deny his ugliness but she comes to see beyond it. ["Love covers over a multitude of things," a man of God once said.] In loving him she kills the inner beast and the visible beast vanishes along with it.

Her willingness to recognize lovely things about the Beast, to see possibilities where others, repulsed and fearful of his influence on their community, try to kill him—that's what saved the monster. And her commitment worked wonders for the Beast becomes a fine and honorable young prince. Love not only saved, it transformed!

Yes, yes, all very romantic, very appealing, very touching—but mere sentimentality, the Gastons of the world sneer. "Ugliness is ugliness and we need to save people from it!"

But God nor life allows us to believe that! The Bible is filled with the descriptions of our race and ugly isn't too strong a word for our state; beastly is not too harsh a description of our condition. That's true, but there's Someone who moves in the world seeking to save it not only from visible beastliness but from the handsome and starkly vain, spitefully jealous and vindictively sly Gastons who compare themselves too favorably with the beasts. There is one who even now moves about the earth transforming beasts into kings and queens in a royal priesthood. One who [so to speak] killed himself rather than rallying support throughout the community to: "Kill the beast!"

It's at this point, I'm convinced, that we are most unlike Christ. It isn't that we lack power—it's that we lack heart, or perhaps our tiny love pools have no depth and dry up, leaving in their place a little hole where the wind can stir nothing but the dust that remains. All that's there is the form of godliness without the heart, words that rattle out of mouths that speak everywhere to make a convert and when that's accomplished the convert is twice as heartless and dry and spiteful as the Gaston who made them [Matthew 23:15].

It didn't seem to enter Gaston's head that inside he might be as hideously ugly as the Beast was outside. The Beast deserved nothing but to be mangled and left a bloody wreck. It was all to save Belle, don't you know! It was holy work, saving work and it was to be done by gathering a feverish clan and making them feel as Gaston felt. And there's lies the special danger the Gastons are in! Though driven by envy and spite that's born out of that envy, they persuade themselves that their destructive malice is the will of One who dies for beasts. And because they believe this and fervently embrace that conviction they can't repent of it—how can you repent of doing the will of One who loves Beasts?

And that's what makes John 9:39-41 a spooky piece of scripture and Christ's love almost incredible. 

                                          Love knows no limit to its endurance,
                                          no end to its trust,
                                          no fading of its hope;
                                          it can outlast anything.
                                          It is, in fact, the one thing
                                          that still stands when all else has fallen.
                                           
                                                  1 Corinthians 13:7-8, J.B. Phillips
      
   [Taken by permission from my little book: WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS.
          Howard Publishing/Simon & Schuster, 1999]                                   


From Caleb Colley, Ph.D. ... Torporific Biomimicry






http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2251

Torporific Biomimicry

by  Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

Certain animals, such as the American black bear, exhibit hibernation, a temporary, sleep-like torpor during cold, winter months (see Tyson, 2000). The torpor involved in hibernation is “a state of self-induced reduction in body temperature and metabolic rate” to conserve energy (Harder, 2007; Fury, n.d.). Evolutionists are unsure why animals hibernate (see Luis and Hudson, 2006). How hibernation works remains a mystery. Harder reported for Science News Online:
Researchers still don’t understand how natural hibernators put themselves into torpor or how they bring themselves out of it. But new studies are peeling away the outer layers of that mystery. Far from succumbing to hypothermia, it seems, hibernators exploit it. Experiments are also revealing how animal tissues evade the damage that comes from inactivity and low blood flow, and suggesting that relatively few genes are involved in torpor and hibernation. That’s an auspicious sign for researchers who strive to manipulate the process (2007).
Physiologist Hannah V. Carey, of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, added: “These animals have got it right. They know how to use hypothermia to their advantage” (quoted in Harder). Hibernating animals are resistant to tissue breakdown that would kill other animals exposed to frigid temperatures.
The arctic ground squirrel, for example, hibernates over half the year and adopts the lowest body temperature ever measured in a mammal (“Arctic...,” 2006). Researchers at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks have shown that the squirrel’s body temperature drops below freezing, a condition known as supercooling (“Arctic...”). Every two to three weeks, while still in a state of torpor, the hibernating squirrel shivers and shakes for 12 to 15 hours, warming its body to 98 degrees Fahrenheit (“Arctic...”).
Researchers hope to reduce the danger of certain tedious medical procedures, particularly when ill or injured human patients are involved, by inducing torpor. Harder reported that “recent findings in animals point the way toward medical shortcuts that might mimic in people the effects of torpor, although these measures don’t exactly reproduce the biological state” (2007).
In 2005, “[u]sing a natural chemical humans and other animals produce in their bodies, scientists...for the first time induced hibernation in mammals, putting mice into a state similar to suspended animation for up to six hours and then bringing them back to normal life” (Britt, 2005). This achievement, “the first demonstration of ‘hibernation on demand’ in a mammal, ultimately could lead to new ways to treat cancer and prevent injury and death from insufficient blood supply to organs and tissues” (“Buying Time...,” 2005). The mice required no freezing. Instead, “the rodents breathed air laced with hydrogen sulfide, a chemical produced naturally in the bodies of humans and other animals. Within minutes, they stopped moving and soon their cell functions approached total inactivity” (Britt). Mark Roth, affiliate professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington School of Medicine and leader of the mice investigation, said: “Manipulating this metabolic mechanism for clinical benefit potentially could revolutionize treatment for a host of human ills related to ischemia, or damage to living tissue from lack of oxygen” (quoted in “Buying Time...,” 2005).
Humans have gone essentially cold-blooded automatically in some emergency situations, so developing a reliable torporific procedure seems advantageous (see Britt). Clinical applications of induced metabolic hibernation could include treating severe blood-loss injury, hypothermia, malignant fever, cardiac arrest, and stroke (see “Buying Time...,” 2005). The potential medical benefits also include improving cancer treatment by allowing patients to tolerate higher radiation doses without damaging healthy tissue (“Buying Time...”). Roth commented: “Right now in most forms of cancer treatment we’re killing off the normal cells long before we’re killing off the tumor cells. By inducing metabolic hibernation in healthy tissue we’d at least level the playing field” (quoted in “Buying Time...”). Molecular biologist Sandra Martin, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, admitted that such applications “lie far in the future” (quoted in Harder, 2007).
While animals already “know” how to use hypothermia to their advantage, scientists, the alleged inheritors of millions of years of evolutionary development, are yet to understand the hibernation process well enough to manipulate it in non-hibernating mammals and harness torpor’s advantages. Man continues his quest to understand and apply God’s masterful design. Often, however, he does so while ignoring or denying the very existence of the Designer (Romans 1:19-22). Will multiplying examples of biomimicry open his eyes? Apologetics Press remains committed to offering him every opportunity to see the truth of the Genesis account and its massive implications for human life and spiritual afterlife.

REFERENCES

“Arctic Ground Squirrel” (2006), Denali National Park and Preserve, [On-line], URL: http://www.nps.gov/dena/naturescience/arcticgroundsquirrel.htm.
Britt, Robert Roy (2005), “New Hibernation Technique Might Work on Humans,” LiveScience, [On-line], URL: http://www.livescience.com/health/050421_hibernation.html.
“Buying Time Through ‘Hibernation on Demand’: Landmark Finding in Mice May Lead to New Approaches for Cancer and Trauma Care in Humans,” (2005), Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, [On-line], URL: http://www.fhcrc.org/about/ne/news/2005/04/21/roth.html.
Fury, Amy (no date), “Naturalist Notes: Birds in Winter,” Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, [On-line], URL: http://www.wolf-ridge.org/whats_hap/nat_note_archive/birds_in_ winter.html.
Harder, Ben (2007), “Perchance to Hibernate,” Science News Online, [On-line], URL: http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20070127/bob9.asp.
Luis, A.D. and P.J. Hudson (2006), “Hibernation Patterns in Mammals: a Role for Bacterial Growth?,” Functional Ecology, [On-line], URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2435. 2006.01119.x.
Tyson, Peter (2000), “Secrets of Hibernation,” NOVA scienceNow, [On-line], URL: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/satoyama/hibernation.html.

From Mark Copeland... Restoring Straying Saints (James 5:19-20)

                         "THE EPISTLE OF JAMES"

                   Restoring Straying Saints (5:19-20)
                                
INTRODUCTION

1. As James comes to the close of his epistle, he stresses the
   importance of restoring those who wander from the truth:

   19  Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert
   him; 20  Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the
   error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a
   multitude of sins. (James 5)

2. Restoring straying saints is a responsibility given to ALL who are
   truly the children of God - cf. Ga 6:1-2; 1Th 5:14

3. Yet, it is a responsibility that is so easy to neglect, and in most
   cases IS neglected!

4. The purpose of this lesson is two-fold:
   a. To impress upon our minds the importance of engaging in this work
      of restoring straying saints
   b. To suggest how we should carry out this important work

[To appreciate the grave importance of restoring saints who have strayed,
consider this question:  "What is the condition of those who have
wandered from the truth?"]

I. THE CONDITION OF SAINTS WHO HAVE STRAYED FROM THE TRUTH

   A. AS DEFINED BY JAMES IN OUR TEXT...
      1. They are in danger of DEATH! - Jm 5:20
      2. One who has wandered from the truth has also wandered from the
         from the source of forgiveness - cf. 1Jn 1:6-7
      3. Separated from the blood of Christ to cleanse him of his sins,
         he is in danger of suffering the consequences of sin: DEATH!
         - cf. Ro 6:23

   B. AS DEPICTED BY PETER...
      1. "the latter end is worse for them than the beginning" - cf.
         2Pe 2:20-22
      2. That such a person is in danger of more serious punishment is
         stressed by Jesus in Lk 12:47-48

   C. AS DESCRIBED IN THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS (He 10:26-31)...
      1. "there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins"
         -- the blood of Christ is no longer available for him in this
            state!
      2. "but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery
         indignation"
         -- all that remains is to be eternally lost in hell!
      3. "much worse punishment...will he be thought worthy"
         -- because such a person is trampling underfoot the Son of God,
            counting the blood of Jesus which had sanctified him a
            common thing, and is insulting the Spirit of grace!
      4. "the LORD will judge His people"
         -- for those who despise His mercy, they will face His righteous
            indignation!

   D. AS DECLARED BY JESUS HIMSELF...
      1. Such will be removed from His presence! - cf. Re 2:4-5
      2. He will expel such from His presence! - cf. Re 3:15-16

[When we truly understand the spiritual condition of our friends and 
loved ones who have strayed from the truth, it should move us to do 
something!

But how shall we carry out this responsibility?]

II. RESTORING STRAYING SAINTS

   A. IT REQUIRES SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES...
      1. PEOPLE WHO ARE SPIRITUAL - Ga 6:1
         a. Those who are producing the fruit of the Spirit in their
            own lives - cf. Ga 5:22-23
         b. Unqualified personnel need not apply for this work
            1) They might best work on themselves first - Mt 7:3-4
            2) Then they can help others - Mt 7:5
      2. A SPIRIT OF GENTLENESS - Ga 6:1
         a. We are engaged in delicate "soul surgery"
         b. This is not the time to misuse the "sword of the Spirit"!
      3. A CONSTANT SENSE OF SELF-EXAMINATION - Ga 6:1
         a. If we are not careful, we can easily fall into the same
            fault!
         b. As many do when they counsel those with marital problems
            without proper supervision
      4. A WILLINGNESS TO BEAR ONE ANOTHER'S BURDENS - Ga 6:2
         a. Which involves an expense of time and energy to help the
            weak to overcome their faults
         b. Our responsibility is not fulfilled by simply pointing out
            our brother's faults!
      5. HUMILITY
         a. This is implied in Ga 6:3
         b. It is stated outright in 2Ti 2:24-26
         c. People will not accept correction or advice coming from an
            arrogant person!
         d. In many cases, we may need to confess our own sin of
            negligence first! (for not coming sooner)
      6. AMPLE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S WORD - 2Ti 2:24
         a. We must be able to teach and apply God's Word to the
            situation
         b. For it is important that they respond to GOD'S word, and not
            just to OUR views or opinions!
      7. PATIENCE (longsuffering) - 2Ti 2:24
         a. The same kind that we receive from God for our faults
         b. The same kind that Paul showed towards the church at Corinth
            - cf. 2Co 1:23-2:3
         c. Of course, if repentance is not forthcoming, we can wait for
            only so long - cf. 2Co 13:1-2
      8. A SINCERE DEMONSTRATION OF LOVE
         a. Both at the time of rebuke - cf. 2Co 2:4
         b. And at the time of repentance - cf. 2Co 2:6-8

   B. IT REQUIRES THE PROPER PROCEDURE...
      1. The wrong procedures:
         a. Running around and talking to everyone but the person who
            needs to be corrected and restored!
         b. Preaching about these people from the pulpit at the very
            outset!
         c. Bringing it up at congregational business meetings at the
            very first!
      2. The proper procedure is outlined by Jesus in Mt 18:15-17
         a. Even though the sin may not be against you personally...
            1) This is still a good way to avoid misunderstanding
            2) This is still more likely to succeed
         b. Therefore...
            1) Go to the person first
            2) Then take others, if necessary
            3) Then tell it to the church, if necessary
            4) If he won't hear the church, withdraw any association 
               that might appear to give approval to their behavior
               - cf. 1Co 5:1-13; 2Th 3:6-15; Ro 16:17

CONCLUSION

1. The work of restoring or correcting saints may be unpleasant at 
   times, but it has the potential for great joy!
   a. Both in heaven:  "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in
      heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and
      nine just persons, which need no repentance." (Lk 15:7)
   b. And in our hearts:  "I have no greater joy than to hear that my
      children walk in truth." (3 Jo 4)

2. It comes down to this...
   a. Do we really love God?
   b. Do we really love our straying brethren?
   c. Read 1Jn 3:16-19, and substitute "spiritual goods" for 
      "world's goods" to answer our question

Brethren, let us love one another!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading April 19






Bible Reading  

April 19

The World English Bible


Apr. 19
Numbers 29, 30

Num 29:1 In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing of trumpets to you.
Num 29:2 You shall offer a burnt offering for a pleasant aroma to Yahweh: one young bull, one ram, seven male lambs a year old without blemish;
Num 29:3 and their meal offering, fine flour mixed with oil, three tenth parts for the bull, two tenth parts for the ram,
Num 29:4 and one tenth part for every lamb of the seven lambs;
Num 29:5 and one male goat for a sin offering, to make atonement for you;
Num 29:6 besides the burnt offering of the new moon, and the meal offering of it, and the continual burnt offering and the meal offering of it, and their drink offerings, according to their ordinance, for a pleasant aroma, an offering made by fire to Yahweh.
Num 29:7 On the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a holy convocation; and you shall afflict your souls: you shall do no manner of work;
Num 29:8 but you shall offer a burnt offering to Yahweh for a pleasant aroma: one young bull, one ram, seven male lambs a year old; they shall be to you without blemish;
Num 29:9 and their meal offering, fine flour mixed with oil, three tenth parts for the bull, two tenth parts for the one ram,
Num 29:10 a tenth part for every lamb of the seven lambs:
Num 29:11 one male goat for a sin offering; besides the sin offering of atonement, and the continual burnt offering, and the meal offering of it, and their drink offerings.
Num 29:12 On the fifteenth day of the seventh month you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no servile work, and you shall keep a feast to Yahweh seven days:
Num 29:13 and you shall offer a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, of a pleasant aroma to Yahweh; thirteen young bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old; they shall be without blemish;
Num 29:14 and their meal offering, fine flour mixed with oil, three tenth parts for every bull of the thirteen bulls, two tenth parts for each ram of the two rams,
Num 29:15 and a tenth part for every lamb of the fourteen lambs;
Num 29:16 and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, the meal offering of it, and the drink offering of it.
Num 29:17 On the second day you shall offer twelve young bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish;
Num 29:18 and their meal offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, according to their number, after the ordinance;
Num 29:19 and one male goat for a sin offering; besides the continual burnt offering, and the meal offering of it, and their drink offerings.
Num 29:20 On the third day eleven bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish;
Num 29:21 and their meal offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, according to their number, after the ordinance;
Num 29:22 and one male goat for a sin offering; besides the continual burnt offering, and the meal offering of it, and the drink offering of it.
Num 29:23 On the fourth day ten bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish;
Num 29:24 their meal offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, according to their number, after the ordinance;
Num 29:25 and one male goat for a sin offering; besides the continual burnt offering, the meal offering of it, and the drink offering of it.
Num 29:26 On the fifth day nine bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish;
Num 29:27 and their meal offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, according to their number, after the ordinance;
Num 29:28 and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, and the meal offering of it, and the drink offering of it.
Num 29:29 On the sixth day eight bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish;
Num 29:30 and their meal offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, according to their number, after the ordinance;
Num 29:31 and one male goat for a sin offering; besides the continual burnt offering, the meal offering of it, and the drink offerings of it.
Num 29:32 On the seventh day seven bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish;
Num 29:33 and their meal offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, according to their number, after the ordinance;
Num 29:34 and one male goat for a sin offering; besides the continual burnt offering, the meal offering of it, and the drink offering of it.
Num 29:35 On the eighth day you shall have a solemn assembly: you shall do no servile work;
Num 29:36 but you shall offer a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, of a pleasant aroma to Yahweh: one bull, one ram, seven male lambs a year old without blemish;
Num 29:37 their meal offering and their drink offerings for the bull, for the ram, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the ordinance:
Num 29:38 and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, and the meal offering of it, and the drink offering of it.
Num 29:39 You shall offer these to Yahweh in your set feasts, besides your vows, and your freewill offerings, for your burnt offerings, and for your meal offerings, and for your drink offerings, and for your peace offerings.
Num 29:40 Moses told the children of Israel according to all that Yahweh commanded Moses.
Num 30:1 Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which Yahweh has commanded.
Num 30:2 When a man vows a vow to Yahweh, or swears an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
Num 30:3 Also when a woman vows a vow to Yahweh, and binds herself by a bond, being in her father's house, in her youth,
Num 30:4 and her father hears her vow, and her bond with which she has bound her soul, and her father holds his peace at her; then all her vows shall stand, and every bond with which she has bound her soul shall stand.
Num 30:5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he hears, none of her vows, or of her bonds with which she has bound her soul, shall stand: and Yahweh will forgive her, because her father disallowed her.
Num 30:6 If she be married to a husband, while her vows are on her, or the rash utterance of her lips, with which she has bound her soul,
Num 30:7 and her husband hear it, and hold his peace at her in the day that he hears it; then her vows shall stand, and her bonds with which she has bound her soul shall stand.
Num 30:8 But if her husband disallow her in the day that he hears it, then he shall make void her vow which is on her, and the rash utterance of her lips, with which she has bound her soul: and Yahweh will forgive her.
Num 30:9 But the vow of a widow, or of her who is divorced, even everything with which she has bound her soul, shall stand against her.
Num 30:10 If she vowed in her husband's house, or bound her soul by a bond with an oath,
Num 30:11 and her husband heard it, and held his peace at her, and didn't disallow her; then all her vows shall stand, and every bond with which she bound her soul shall stand.
Num 30:12 But if her husband made them null and void in the day that he heard them, then whatever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband has made them void; and Yahweh will forgive her.
Num 30:13 Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void.
Num 30:14 But if her husband altogether hold his peace at her from day to day, then he establishes all her vows, or all her bonds, which are on her: he has established them, because he held his peace at her in the day that he heard them.
Num 30:15 But if he shall make them null and void after that he has heard them, then he shall bear her iniquity.
Num 30:16 These are the statutes, which Yahweh commanded Moses, between a man and his wife, between a father and his daughter, being in her youth, in her father's house.




From Gary... The missing ingredient


The secret of happiness is t....  I guess someone just doesn't want others to know!!!  And how many of us can say we are truly "happy"? I guess it boils down to how we define the word, doesn't it?

Happy Hap"py
   1. Favored by hap, luck, or fortune; lucky; fortunate; successful; prosperous; satisfying desire; as, a happy expedient; a happy effort; a happy venture; a happy omen. [1913 Webster]

   2. Experiencing the effect of favorable fortune; having the feeling arising from the     consciousness of well-being or of enjoyment; enjoying good of any kind, as peace, tranquillity, comfort; contented; joyous; as, happy hours, happy thoughts.  [1913 Webster]

And then there is the definition of Jesus....

         

Matthew, Chapter 5
(Young's Literal Translation)

Mat 5:3  `Happy the poor in spirit--because theirs is the reign of the heavens.
Mat 5:4  `Happy the mourning--because they shall be comforted.
Mat 5:5  `Happy the meek--because they shall inherit the land.
Mat 5:6  `Happy those hungering and thirsting for righteousness--because they shall be filled.
Mat 5:7  `Happy the kind--because they shall find kindness.
Mat 5:8  `Happy the clean in heart--because they shall see God.
Mat 5:9  `Happy the peacemakers--because they shall be called Sons of God.
Mat 5:10  `Happy those persecuted for righteousness' sake--because theirs is the reign of the heavens.

Most translations use the word "blessed", but I like Happy better, because I think it conveys the meaning of the original more accurately.  If I were to go a bit farther, I would say "Oh, the blessed state" of the one who...  and fill in the blanks.  So, how can someone be blessed or happy or be in a blessed state if they are: poor in spirit or mourning or persecuted???  The answer that seems to work best for me is that only those whose lives are truly in accord with the will of God can truly be HAPPY!!!  I mean, a happiness that transcends health, wealth, possessions and longevity.  To some out there, this might sound like foolishness, but look at the LONG PICTURE.  In a thousand years, what will matter? Answer: How you have pleased God!!!  I know that this is difficult, but just think about it, OK?

In the meantime, here is an additional little something from the 114th Psalm to add to your definition...

Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord. --Ps. cxliv. 15.   [1913 Webster]