Money

Losing Your Soul

Blog_Wolf

a ravenous wolf
devouring the weak
in a bloody race
to survive and to surpass
seeking for glory
whatever the cost

is this what you call success?

you’ve gained the whole world
while losing your soul

Source: Buried Alive

Photo Credit: Red wolf watching deer at Cades Cove – Great Smoky Mountai… | Flickr

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Temporary

Blog_AbandonedMansion

There is an allure to the temporary: it comes cloaked in light only to steal our lives. God, help us…that we do not fall victim.

 

Source: Buried Alive

Photo Credit: Crumbling Mansion

Fading Away

Blog_TreasurePile

“There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 (MSG)

 

Source: Buried Alive

Photo Credit: treasure pile with lots of gold coins and jewelry riches | Flickr …

Gathering Dust

Blog_Dust

I don’t want to come to the end of my life and regret that my time was spent on things that gather dust. I don’t want to waste my breath on things that rot, or my labor on that which can be burned in the fire.

Source: Buried Alive

Photo Credit: Stroma, Scotland – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Buried Alive

Blog_StuffI don’t want to be buried alive. And I would guess if a survey were taken on the ways people least want to die, being buried alive would top the charts. Yet quietly, imperceptibly, it’s happening. Here. Now. In our own homes. Each day, we are suffocating unaware.

Who is the evil perpetrator seeking to steal our lives?

If a crime scene investigation series were devoted to finding the villain behind the madness, it would take the slyest of sleuths to crack the case—because the antagonist is among the least noticed and most unsuspected, and so much the object of our affections that we would never believe it a silent killer.

Are you in suspense wondering who the evil nemesis could be? Let me ease your curiosity. It’s…our stuff.

That’s right. Our stuff. Stop and think back to the moment you first noticed your lifeblood draining, your strength failing. It may have been in the midst of that endless succession of phone calls to customer service trying to resolve an issue with that “thing” once so needed. It may have been the last time you attempted to organize your basement or garage into some semblance of sanity. Or maybe it was when you walked by your teen’s bedroom and found them them swallowed alive by electronic gadgets as the slow-dawning realization came upon you…that a significant chunk of your labor was spent to pay for those gadgets now stealing your child away.

Yes, we need things for daily life, but when those things start to devour our life, it gets dangerous. Our precious time is spent working for, purchasing, cleaning, maintaining, refurbishing, storing, organizing, and getting rid of…things. We work extra hours, spend time away from family, all so we can have stuff we think we need, only to realize this stuff has robbed us of what we need even more.

I don’t want to come to the end of my life and regret that my time was spent on things that gather dust. I don’t want to waste my breath on things that rot, or my labor on that which can be burned in the fire. There is an allure to the temporary: it comes cloaked in light only to steal our lives. God, help us…that we do not fall victim.

“There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 (MSG)

Source: Buried Alive

Photo Credit: All my worldly possessions… | Flickr – Photo Sharing!

Hold on Loosely

Blog_HandsLettingGoI keep thinking about that lost little boy I crossed paths with last week. My heart feels heavy to think he was lost to begin with, but also grateful God orchestrated everything so perfectly for him to be found before anything horrible could happen. And at peace, now, to know he’s safe with his family.

The most powerful memory of that day is of his mother embracing him with all her might, tears running down her cheeks in relief. The other is of my kids, following him to the door, their favorite toys in hand, insisting the little boy take them home. My son held a racecar track about as big as him in his chubby little hands and held it out to the boy, “Here! You need this at your house.”

On witnessing this gesture, my first thought was, “No, that’s your favorite toy! You can’t give it away.” But the beauty of it all quickly erased that idea. In their desire to comfort the boy, my children were offering their very best, and without hesitation. Isn’t that how giving should be?

My son was holding so loosely to his toy that it nearly broke apart in his hands. And that’s how we should hold to everything we own…loosely. Nothing this side of heaven is permanent. It’s in vain that we cling to that which is destined to fade away. What’s most precious to us gains far greater value when given away.

Children somehow grasp these truths more readily than those of us who’ve been around for a while, though we should know better. We’ve been around long enough to see just how temporary things are. So why do we hold on tightly to things that don’t last?

Maybe we’ve come to believe that these things give us significance, instead of knowing these things only become significant when we let go of them.

When my children willingly sacrificed their best toys to comfort their new friend, they created a memory more precious than anything we own. I’ll never forget the purity and innocence of their generosity. It inspires me to hold everything with an open hand, knowing it was never mine to keep.

“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17)

Photo Credit: Hands | Flickr – Photo Sharing! Hands | by Moyan_Brenn

Not Quite Generous

I was wondering why my baby boy was going through food so quickly while the puppy was getting so chubby. So when they thought I wasn’t watching, I spied on them and discovered the baby was feeding the puppy his extra food. It seems they had an unspoken food-sharing agreement going on behind my back. Whenever the baby had an abundance of food, he was more than happy to share with the puppy. But when I gave him only a couple bites at a time, he was a little more stingy with his offerings—much to the puppy’s dismay.

It’s easy to give when we have abundance. Our local newspaper runs an annual tally of the nation’s most generous people. Usually those featured are the wealthiest among us. It’s a noble thing, to give. But is giving truly generous when it comes only from abundance? If there’s no sacrifice, is it generosity at all?

I’ve heard it said that generosity is not measured by how much a person gives, but by what percentage, and what’s left over after the giving. It’s admirable that a millionaire gives a big chunk of their income to charity, but it’s not so hard to do when there’s mansions, vacation homes, luxury cars, and an infinite supply of gourmet food waiting when the giving’s done.

The more interesting newspaper article would be…who lives on the least so they could give the most? Of course, this article wouldn’t exist, because sacrificial giving is most often matched with genuine humility. When giving is self-serving—to draw attention to self and to inflate an image of nobility, it is not generosity but selfishness in disguise.

Lord, I pray you’d give me a truly generous heart—that I would give even when it’s hard and when it hurts. Let me give abundantly and sacrificially, with humility. I don’t want my giving to be self-serving, but to come from a heart of genuine love for others.

Source: Not Quite Generous