Wealth – it’s emptiness, deception, and an alternative view

It is popular nowadays to point at people with a lot of money and try to blame them for the wrongs of the world, for certainly there are those who seek and use wealth to create trouble. However, the root of this attitude is largely based on covetousness, which is breaking the 10th of the Ten Commandments, so you are in as much trouble with God as a murderer. Think about that!

There are even those who foolishly imagine that wealthy people have somehow escaped the curse of humanity (and may even try to take a philosophical &/or humorous approach to it), but you couldn’t be more wrong – they experience turmoil, too.

It’s all for the Best – Godspell

When you feel sad, or under a curse!
Your life is bad, your prospects are worse.
Your wife is sighing, crying,
And your olive tree is dying,
Temples are graying, and teeth are decaying
And creditors weighing your purse…

Your mood and your robe are both a deep blue.
You’d bet that Job had nothing on you!
Don’t forget that when you get to Heaven you’ll be blessed.
Yes, it’s all for the best.

Some men are born to live at ease, doing what they please,
richer than the bees are in honey.
Never growing old, never feeling cold,
pulling pots of gold from thin air.
The best in every town, best at shaking down,
best at making mountains of money.
They can’t take it with them, but what do they care?

They get the center of the meat, cushions on the seat,
houses on the street where it’s sunny…
Summers at the sea, winters warm and free,
all of this and we get the rest.

But who is the land for? The sun and the sand for?
You guessed! It’s all for the best!

Don’t forget that when you get to Heaven you’ll be blessed!
Yes, it’s all for the…..(all your wrongs will be redressed..)
Yes, it’s all for the…..(you must never be distressed….)
Yes, it’s all for the…..(someone’s got to be oppressed!)
Yes, it’s all for the best!!!

There was a time in my life when I lived around people with more money and “influence” than they knew how to wisely handle. Few had REAL friends – most people just wanted something from them, not the pleasure of their company. This limited them to associating with others with money, even if they hated their politics, religion, morals, attitudes, lifestyles, shallow approach to life, or living with the peer pressure to live and dress certain ways.

They worked to pay to live in isolation, often behind walls and barred gates with security to protect them and their stuff, because jealous people target them. Some life, eh? Imagine people keying your cars, breaking your windows, breaking into your home (or trying), knowing that people say nasty things about what they think you are like, and more. Fame and fortune that you brought on yourself is a curse, not a blessing.

I quickly realized they were to be pitied, not envied, and decided I NEVER wanted wealth, but to have just enough to live on and help others. If you don’t get it, I pity you as much as them. Their marriages are no better (they are often targeted by gold-diggers), they often end up having to sell their fancy houses or cars because they are money pits, they vainly seek privacy, and they are just as prone to addictive behavior and suicide.

“The Power of Gold” by Dan Fogelberg

The story is told of the power of gold and its lure on the unsuspecting,
it glitters and shines, it badgers and blinds, and constantly needs protecting.
Balance the cost of the soul you lost with the dreams you lightly sold.
Are you under…the power of gold?

The letters and calls got you climbing the walls, and everyone wants a favor.
They beg to remind you of times left behind you, but you know the past is a loser.

The face you’re wearing is different now,
and the days run hot and cold.
Are you under…the power of gold?

You’re a creature of habit, run like a rabbit, scared of a fear you can’t name.
Your own paranoia is looming before you, and nobody thinks that it’s a game.

Balance the cost of the soul you lost,
with the dreams you lightly sold.
Then tell me that you’re free of the power of gold.
The power of gold!

The women are lovely, the wine is superb,
but there’s something about the song that disturbs you…
The women are lovely, the wine is superb,
but there’s something about the song that disturbs you…
The women are lovely, the wine is superb,
but there’s something about the song that disturbs you…

Money can’t buy freedom from trouble, disaster, disease or death, and you can’t take it with you… Wealth is a cold and heartless “god” and master and waves goodbye at the end, leaving you with…nothing. Remember, Jesus warned “what benefit is it to a man if he gains the world, but loses his soul?”

I follow the Savior of the world and daily understand, better than the day before, that since God made everything, when we are gone all that remains is His. My heavenly Father really does own everything, so why do I need to pursue stuff as if I could take it with me? He will provide what I need, if I ask, and has a history of doing just that. For now, we are just caretakers of what becomes part of our lives.

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When you are in turmoil…

Life is full of turmoil (and all the people shouted “Well, duh!”). For some it is more difficult than others, but here’s a big, obvious news flash: EVERYBODY suffers! NOBODY is immune to pain, sorrow and trouble, even the wealthy, so let this excellent music video encourage everyone.

God, who chose the children of Israel, and then offered salvation to us all, is a personal being. He can be known (to the extent that humans are able), and actually loves us and cares about puny people, as evidenced by Him choosing to live as one, then dying for us so we can become His children if we will just accept the gift. He will be there to help us through the troubles of this broken world. We don’t have to go it alone. I speak from experience.

Video

Boomer the Cat Loves His Ball Pit

If you like cats, here’s some cat-therapy to make you chuckle.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.  Proverbs 17:22

 

Unmet Expectations, Disappointments, and Getting Over Them

misc_welcome2[1]

Come on in! This is a rare peep behind the scenes. I don’t reveal much about myself often, at least not in this way, but after reading some things I have seen some Facebook friends saying about their ongoing pain from unmet expectations, disappointments, and their emotional struggles, I thought that maybe I should. A bit. Their own confessions seem to be of some help to others, but this post is not even the same category, since it is not an outpouring of angst, but a tale of triumph over my reactions to my disappointed expectations. I generally don’t see how ME sharing this can benefit anyone, and no one has ever seemed to want to listen (that I know of), but I have been wrong before – about a lot of things. We’ll see. At least no one is forced to read this. Meh.

filipino_chinese_christmas_ham_by_chewychua[1]Oddly, in elementary school, I made an OVERT decision to suppress my expectations, primarily because I’d get extremely wound up about holidays and events, then I’d feel let down; I’d also eat stuff that gave me migraines – not fun, either, so I stopped eating certain things and it helped the getting sick part, and moderating expectations helped.

Easter-Eggs[1] Since I had already begun to approach holidays and celebrations with a new attitude, I then developed a stubborn determination to get past the annual disappointment of the empty, superficial “junk” fed to kids and find the eternal (and truly satisfying) “meat” of the matter which, I found out later, most people don’t really think about until they are much older (3rd grade Me: “What do eggs and bunnies have to do with Easter, anyway?”). I even embarked on childish philosophy when, in 3rd grade I recall telling people my favorite quote was “Expect the worst, then the worst can never happen.” It’s warped logic, I know, but what do you expect from a 3rd grader?

two_little_girl_friends[1]Aside from a 6 year hiatus when we were little, we moved fairly often, so some time in high school I eventually (sort of) gave up any expectation of having/keeping/ever seeing close friends again, since getting close to anyone was slow and difficult – these things take time, and I never really had the time in any one place  (and eventually the inclination itself just sort of lost hope) to get past making easy acquaintances. Consequently, I have…not many, plus a small handful of old ones I found on Facebook, but we live far away  (my high school was in another country), are not close like we were, and can’t do the things friends do to keep up the relationship (whatever they are).

That “lonely” disappointment is the hardest to deal with, so I make the most of acquaintances or just helping people with information, since I am thick as a brick at knowing when anyone is really interested in pursuing a more substantial friendship, and am nonplussed when it appears they are (“who? Me? Really? Why?”). That’s actually funny, because I could always read any guy’s romantic interest in me to an extremely subtle degree.

Our mobile existence meant we siblings didn’t even see each siblings_by_junkosakura01-d6w7fcz[1]other much – age differences, frequent social readjustments, school in other countries, and the like – so we rapidly lost the habit of writing (air mail was expensive), or even calling (long distance was also expensive then). However, we love each other and we know it, and seem to have simply accepted it as a part of life. The odd late card, random phone calls, and now Facebook posts and messages, are welcome but not a trigger for recriminations and guilt trips, though I am sure we all secretly dream of dan21904-boxed-christian-greeting-cards-4[1]something more ideal. Me? I’m just glad I have them because they are family and precious to me, and I cherish the memories I have, especially since my “cousin” circle is tiny. Compounding the family connections problem were several years, mostly effectively “by myself”, in a foreign country, so celebrating holidays and birthdays (including my own), was a habit I lost and has been hard to re-establish.

Raft_paddle[1]The disappointment of not being able to make any choice (easy part) and be able to pursue it to fruition without an apparent Divine “Nope. Not this. Door closed.”  has been tough, but I don’t expect many people can relate to that. ANYTHING I wanted to happen RARELY did, and after high school graduation absolutely NOTHING (truly!) I planned to do worked out. This upset me since that was NOT the case with anyone else I knew, so I couldn’t even find anyone to commiserate with! When I tried to make plans of any substance there were always immoveable roadblocks and/or dreadful results/consequences of the choice, so I finally stopped fighting or trying (somewhat fatalistically, I’m afraid), threw away my figurative paddles and just hung on for the ride. If I would have sought God’s will or understood that He had a unique path for me, it would have made it much nicer and more interesting, but spiritual counsel was literally hard to come by where I was at the time, so the constant disappointment was always eating at me.

Eventually, with God’s help as I found spiritual guidance, hard-headed realism, a no-nonsense support group, and developed a quirky sense of humor about my life and myself, I accepted the pain, inevitable losses that all people have, and the many disappointments of life (including those I live with even now) as just part of living in a sin-broken world, but one that is not my real Home.

pity-party[1] I learned that to dwell on them is just wallowing in self pity, which only repels people, changes nothing, makes you bitter, and could hurt others’ feelings, so I almost never mention (or think of) them. I struggle to even write this much, and I haven’t even touched on deeper, more specific and painful disappointments, and I won’t (see the first sentence of this paragraph).

nostalgia-1[1]Some people are disappointed with where their life is and find nostalgia an easy escape. I not only don’t dwell on the past, I don’t even indulge in ANY form of nostalgia – I can’t (won’t?) relate to it because it is ultimately a false memory that can make one’s current life seem depressing and painful, so I avoid it like a hot burner.

I have lost people, pets, places, and lots of things (many of great value) , but I am so grateful for what I have now that there is no disappointment or bitterness there at all. Call me Pollyanna, if you wish, but I am truly glad at how things have worked out, with time, maturity and  my Lord’s help.

It is all behind me! Hallelujah!

grateful_7286c1[1]

Instead, through Divine appointments with people and places, acquaintances and friends-at-the-time, prayer, and seeking the One (Jesus) who is always there, I am grateful for what I have now, what God brings every day, to release any bitterness (it’s called forgiveness), and to take pleasure in every little thing, no matter what I wish was different.

Not that I don’t have worries or anxieties, but now I have a peace that doesn’t make sense and JOY! I live in His present and look forward to my future that He holds in His hands; I do not fear, for He is already there.

peace[1]

Goodbye now, my friends, I now return to my usual style.

Older ladies, let’s smile, laugh and be happy!

It’s happy video time (just 3, this time)!

Guys, you can appreciate these too, but sometimes ladies get pretty down on themselves, and aging in our culture can be a big downer for us. Yet, in this far-too-often stressful, tragic, unhappy, negative world, we often forget that pain is inevitable, but misery is OPTIONAL. Call me Proudly Pollyanna!

So, knowing that a little encouragement goes a long way to helping us turn things around, if you’ve feeling a bit down (or a lot), watch these and laugh and sing along or dance and get some of that exercise that we all know we need but don’t get enough of.

(There’s a 24 hour version of this in 1 hour increments if you want to try dancing that long! Here’s the link to the playlist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIqO1DPOkR0&list=PLp9XTIHDvWR_sIC6TpWd_igY8xH86C2H5)

Oh, and if you want some funny (not mean) stuff about Moms, Dads and family watch Anita Renfroe and Tim Hawkins. Enjoy!

Is anxiety and stress “killing” you?

This world is causing more and more people to feel greater anxiety and stress than they know how to handle. You may think its worst manifestation is in poor interpersonal reactions and maybe some heartburn. The truth is much deeper, and could explain a recent health crisis I experienced, and I am sure even these graphics depict just the tip of the iceberg.

AnxietyInfographic-850x2064

 

17-reasons-to-avoid-stress

But someone has gone to the trouble to list a few possible herbal remedies:

7-herbal-remedies-for-stress

It’s time to reconnect…

This man makes an excellent point. Watch and then go out – with your phone off.

 

Choosing to end well

Too many people use their upbringing, background and experiences as an excuse to…you name it. This young blogger has an excellent perspective on that. No more excuses.

background2 The greatest king in the world started out by being a mere shepherd boy.

The bravest queen in the world was an orphan girl.

The most influential evangelizers in history were simple fishermen.

The savior that came down from heaven was born in a barn full of farm animals.

What about you?

How does your story begin?

Some of the most influential men and women in history were not born into prestige but in poverty.

We know their names not because of where they were born but because of how they lived.

Because what matters in the end is never how you start, but how you finish.

We don’t get to choose where our how our story starts but it is up to us to determine how it will end.

Whether when we are lying on our death bed reflecting on our lives we can be proud of the person…

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“Trust helps you move quickly. It increases your speed. When it’s absent, you can see it – more checks, controls, and processes. That’s bureaucracy.” Randall Stephenson

Today is the Best Day of Our Lives

Beauty cannot hide

“One of the first things I did is,
I asked the leaders, How do you think you’re performing versus the competition?
The first thing you want leaders to do is recognise the truth,
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
A lot of them make excuses, but literally, and I’m really not kidding,
our margins were half of our competition’s.
I wanted people to acknowledge that our performance was terrible.
And then, when you dug deeper, it was terrible by branch,
it was terrible in expenses, it was terrible by product.
It was terrible on all these different levels.
To me, the first thing was just acknowledging that.”
– Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase,
defining reality when he first joined the company after being Head of Bank One

「我做的其中第一件事就是問那些管理人(領導人):
你們覺得比起競爭對手你們表現如何?
第一件事你要你公司的主管坦坦蕩蕩認知一個真相、
全然的真相、除了真相什麼都不是。
許多管理人會找藉口,
但是,我說真的,我們的毛利比我們競爭對手的少一半;
我要我的人認知我們的表現很糟,再往下評估,我們的分行(狀況)很糟、
我們的花費(項目)很糟、我們的產品(服務)很糟、所有層面都糟透了。
對我而言,第一件事(亦最重要的一事)就是坦然地承認真相。」

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“Eight Things to Convince You of a Man’s Character” – a link

For the ladies out there who identify themselves as Christians and who are single or “still looking,” here is an article about what to look for in a man that to read and considered. It’s not a WordPress so I can’t do more than give you the link, but…such wisdom! I think it could be better titled. Maybe, “Things you should consider when looking for a husband,” or “Things your mother probably never thought to tell you,” or “Things I wish I had considered when I was single” or something similar. What do you think?

http://marshill.com/2012/10/03/8-things-to-convince-you-of-a-mans-character

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