Earlier this month I received an email from Adele Rodriguez of Miami, who has written a book, The Way to Happiness: My Journey.
I get lots of mail from readers (which I appreciate), but this one really stood out. Rodriguez is 85, was born in Tampa, and has been married for 66 years to the same man. She has two daughters, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
That in itself is a remarkable accomplishment. But the one thing that caused me to sit up straight after I read her email: her thoughts are so like mine. We both live lives guided by this simple philosophy: doing unto others as we would have them do unto us.
In her book Rodriguez writes: “By doing good to others, you feel good, and our inner self feels satisfied with our actions while at the same time you are bringing about good to others. The motivation is selfish, but the end results bring benefits to both you and the other person.”
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Rodriguez said she has always loved to write. “My motivation was my faith in God and the things that I thought that should be adopted to make our life so much easier. I don’t understand why a person would go out of their way to make another person feel bad.”
She said The Way to Happiness is a self-help book that describes an “unsophisticated way, with God’s help, to lasting joy, peace and harmonious living. Throughout I express my deep faith in God and share my own experiences and many answered prayers ... The book shows a simple approach to living happily with yourself and others and encourages implementing the principles and attitudes outlined in it.”
“Happiness, as I define it,” she said, “is achievable for everyone if they keep God in their lives and are willing to help God by changing the negative attitudes and perceptions that are causing them unhappiness. Happy people are better persons in all their interactions as husbands, wives, parents, friends, and are more capable of giving love and making others happy, thereby contributing to a better world. ... My book is an inspiration to those in need of spiritual help and self-assurance by providing a down-to-earth guide that is easy to follow.”
In her book, Rodriguez said we should not apologize nor feel guilty for being motivated by our selfish desire to feel good. She said in one chapter: “If my selfish interest in feeling good can be satisfied by seeing my husband happy and content when he goes off to play golf, I will have obtained satisfaction not only for myself, but I will have also made my husband a happy man.”
In the chapter titled “Some Rain Must Fall in Everyone’s Life — Prayer Is the Answer,” she writes about the 13 major challenges in her life and how she conquered them through prayer and her faith in God. The range of challenges are wide — from severe health to professional and personal challenges and from Fidel Castro’s takeover of Cuba (where she and her family once lived), to unemployment and depression and more. Through all the challenges, the answer was prayer.
The book was recently released by Christian publisher Xulon Press and is available online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble, which also offers a short sample on the book’s introduction and an idea on its message and purpose.
For more information, email Rodriguez at email@example.com.
UNIVERSAL TRUTH CENTER HAS NEW LEADER
Congratulations to the Rev. Charles M. Taylor, who recently was installed as the spiritual leader and CEO at the Universal Truth Center for Better Living, 21310 NW 37th Ave., Miami Gardens. Taylor is a founding member of the new age church and succeeds the late Rev. Dr. Mary A. Tumpkin, its founding pastor. The installation was conducted by the Rev. Dr. Sheila McKeithen, president of the Universal Foundation for Better Living (UFBL).
For more than 25 years, Taylor served UTC in many capacities, including board member, youth minister, Sunday school teacher, pastoral care minister, assistant minister and Southeast regional director of UFBL.
A Chicago native, Taylor has taught nationally and internationally on how to use the new thought ancient wisdom to transform lives. He has a bachelor of science degree in political science and history from Florida A&M University and is the author of the H.I.P. Factor and a contributing writer for the Daily Inspiration, a signature publication of the Universal Foundation for Better Living.
He and his wife Shakira are the parents of five girls, whom he affectionately calls “Charlie’s Angels.”
Also at Universal Truth Center: On Friday, there will be a New Thought Seminar titled “Take Positive Action: Overcoming Injustice” taught by Twanicia F. Rowan. Participants will learn how to take New Thought Christianity from the “pages of books” and apply it to life’s challenges. The registration fee is $15.
The church invites you to the program “Men Expressing Christ on Super Bowl Sunday” at 4 p.m. Sunday. The event will include food, fun, fellowship and, of course, football in a safe setting. Tickets cost $10. To get yours, call the church at 305-624-4991.
On Wednesday, the community is invited to an Ash Wednesday service from 7 to 9 p.m. Those attending the service, “Let’s Eliminate Negative Thinking! (LENT),” will be provided with handouts and given guidance and tools with the use of Bible scripture on talks from Taylor as well as several of the church’s education staff. The tools will help eliminate unhealthy thoughts, actions and reactions that may be blocking the path to higher spiritual ground.
ISRAEL DOCUMENTARY TO BE SCREENED
The Inter-American Chapter of Hadassah will present Beneath the Helmet, a documentary directed and presented by Matthew Weisbaum at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at Temple Moses, 1200 Normandy Dr., Miami Beach. Weisbaum will attend the event.
The documentary tells the story of what happens in the lives of Israeli youths from their high school years until they are at the “home front,” risking their lives to save their country.
A minimum donation of $8 per person to Hadassah at the door is required and appreciated. Refreshments will be provided.
For more information, call Beby Gambach, 305-866-4700; Esther Litvin, 786-539-8115; Marta Olchyk, 305-867-5887; or Lola Order, 305-534-7034.
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