Archive for August, 2006

What Money Can't Buy

Monday, August 21st, 2006

Today’s Google quote is “Money can’t buy happiness, but neither can poverty. (Leo Rosten)”

I disagree. Happiness is a state of well-being based on good fortune and circumstance. And many (certainly not all) circumstances can be purchased. Good food, pleasant surroundings, luxurious comfort, even interesting companionship and in some cases, good health–all can be bought.

What money can’t buy, what circumstances cannot dictate is joy.
Happiness starts on the outside, with what’s happening to you, and affects your internal state. Joy starts on the inside–with God–and works its way out to affect the external world. “The joy of the Lord is your strength. ” (Nehemiah 8:10)

Happiness is a dependent variable; it changes with the weather, the existence and size of a paycheck, the smile or frown of a lover. Joy is independent and as constant as the love of God. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…” (Galatians 5:22)

Happiness is temporary; it comes and goes. Joy is eternal. “The ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy …” (Isaiah 35:10)

Happiness can be bought. Joy is beyond price, yet is freely given. “Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:24)

Happiness is natural; a happening in the normal course of things. Joy is miraculous; a creative act of God in my mind and spirit.

My happiness is mine alone; your happiness may come from my misfortune. My joy is expansive as God fills the earth.

Today’s quote (slightly revised):

Happiness can sometimes be bought, but cannot be kept. The joy of the Lord is yours for the asking–and for keeps. (The Blind Hog)

Deep Cover (Blessings in Disguise)

Saturday, August 5th, 2006

Sometimes we don’t recognize God’s goodness because He doesn’t work the way we think He should. Check out this offering of praise (posted with the author’s permission):

Thank you Lord for sheltering me when I was scared and alone.
You brought me through, not safely… no, quite the opposite!
You brought me through the dangerous passage and placed me in harm’s way
So that stubborn me would begin to grasp the magnitude of the work you were doing.

Just when I would try to retreat to safety in the belly of the ship,
You threw me up into the crows nest to see the gale first hand,
To feel the salt spray sting my wind burned face.
Just as I would begin to run a race,
You would cripple me so that I would have to crawl.

Lord, to those who have never known these blessings,
It must sound as though I am bitter,,, and that I have every right to be.
But, I know no other way that you could have taught me to relate
So intimately to the suffering of others.

I have been blessed to learn how to better be compassionate.

Sympathy, empathy, compassion,
How to eat crow.
If I had not suffered,
These things I wouldn’t know
– Mike Lanter

When the Lord says:

“Do you see what I’ve done? I’ve refined you, but not without fire. I’ve tested you like silver in the furnace of affliction. Out of myself, simply because of who I am, I do what I do.” (Isaiah 48:10,11a, The Message),

we can only respond, “Thank you, Lord!”

What else is there to say?