Why More Money Is Not the Solution to Your Anxieties

Are you struggling with financial stress, low self-esteem, depression, or marital discord? People often believe the solution to their stress and unhappiness is more money. Do you often think, “If I only had more money, I would be happier?” Perhaps you imagine winning the lottery and believe all your burdens and financial problems would melt away. Would all your troubles disappear and your attitude permanently change? 

Are extremely wealthy people happier? The rich and famous may have more earthly treasures, but this does not lead them to greater happiness or satisfaction. Many studies have shown that extreme wealth is a hindrance to happiness. American author, Graeme Wood, wrote an article in The Atlantic entitled “Secret Fears of the Super-Rich.” The piece included a behind-the-scenes look at a project that asked wealthy individuals, those with a net worth above $25 million, to write freely about their deepest concerns. The stunning revelation to most readers was that the participants faced many anxieties, including isolation, worries about work and their families, and insecurities about their wealth. Graeme Wood concluded, “The respondents turned out to be a generally despondent lot, whose money had contributed to deep anxieties involving love, work, and family). (The Atlantic, April 2011 issue). Since the release of the landmark project on wealth and happiness, more recent studies have verified these conclusions.

Let us not overlook the idea that some may be in a desperate position and struggle daily to provide the basic necessities of life for themselves. They will likely have some anxieties that money or access to the essentials could resolve. Otherwise, money is not your answer to your worries. 

Life is full of many challenges, and Jesus himself said, “In this world you will have trouble.” John 16:33. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the solution to reducing and managing your anxieties. However, the Bible does not suggest that all your troubles disappear once you have a relationship with Jesus. The scriptures offer a solution to managing our anxiety and lifting the burden of worry. 

Abie Kulynych, a pastor and author, believes one way we can reduce our anxieties is by actively remembering God’s provisions in the past. In his devotional “Thou Art with Me, Volume 2,” he discussed how the nation of Israel became anxious about their needs being met, despite God supplying them with manna daily.  “For Israel, there came a point where gathering manna was simply what they did rather than what God had done for them. They were so accustomed to the miracle that they forgot it was miraculous. What if the key to quieting the voice of anxiety is constantly reminding ourselves of God’s goodness? What if Israel, every morning, when they walked out into the open places to gather their manna, had stopped and said, “Look what God has done for us today?” What if we did more than count our blessings? What if we recounted them? I’m not talking about telling our story to someone else, but telling it to ourselves, regularly, daily, constantly. I think that if we told our testimony to ourselves more often, we’d have more opportunities to share it with others.” (Page 317, Commentary on Psalm 149)

God blesses each of us daily. If we reflect on God’s blessings and His past provisions, we will be more likely to trust Him to meet our future needs. God wants us to trust Him. He does not want us to be anxious but to come to Him with our needs.  

God instructed the Israelites to record their blessings and to remind their children of God’s faithfulness in the past. We need to incorporate that command in our lives and with our children. 

Here are a few suggestions to start recording God’s faithfulness in your life: 

  1. Create a blessings journal.
  2. Read your journal regularly to remind yourself of God’s faithfulness.
  3. Share stories of God’s provisions with your children to increase their faith and trust in God to meet their needs.
  4. Place notes around the house to remind you to take all your needs to God in prayer. He wants you to ask for His help and is delighted to answer your prayers and meet your needs.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 6-7

If you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you have not yet experienced the peace of God. I urge you to accept Jesus’s free gift of salvation and experience the true peace that can only come by knowing that your sins are forgiven, and you will spend eternity in Heaven. Guidance on how to take this life-changing step is in the link “Basics of Salvation.”

My Bible study, Honoring God with Your Money, is a great resource to help you understand how to manage your money better and achieve your financial goals. It is available on Amazon. If you would like to receive my quarterly newsletter with tips on managing your money, please complete this short form: Honoring God with Your Money (list-manage.com)

Remembering God’s Past Faithfulness

Recently I read a commentary on Psalm 103. The article reminded me of one of my anniversary trips and the magnitude of God’s provision for the cost of the vacation. The commentator focused on Psalm 103: 1 – 2, “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”  The author, Abie Kulynych, wrote that to “forget not” is to keep something front and foremost in your mind and hearts. He writes, “What would your thanksgiving sound like if you started at the beginning and worked your way back to today?”

Man standing on mountain looking at a mountain range

As I read those words, I reflected on the time when my husband and I could pay for our 17-day anniversary trip to Alaska even though he had been unemployed for over two years. I felt the Holy Spirit encourage me to share the details of God’s generosity with our grown children. While they knew of our extended trip to Alaska and that their father had been unemployed, I wanted them to ponder how astounding it was that God provided for us to take the anniversary trip. As I began to share, I also included other instances of God’s financial blessings which occurred before they were born or when they were too small to remember.

Three lengthy psalms follow Psalm 103; they deal with the need to recall God’s faithfulness and the problems that occur when we fail to remember. In Psalm 104, he first recounts how God met all our needs by creating the world in an orderly fashion. In Psalm 105, David provides a long list of how God led and blessed Israel. In Psalm 106, he looks at Israel’s failure to remember God’s blessings and provision for them. The Israelites became dissatisfied and, at some points, even desired to return to their life of slavery in Egypt because they did not follow God’s command to remember and memorialize the miracles He performed for them. 

God dwelt with Israel, yet they took their attention off Him and put it on their problems. God abides with us, yet we are just as prone to focus on our lack and our issues rather than on the abundance God provides for us. It is essential for us to “forget not all his benefits.” Start at the beginning and ask God to bring to mind all the ways He has provided for you and your family. I intend to create a written record for my children and grandchildren. Here are a few entries to get me started:

  • When I was applying to graduate schools, the school of my choice accepted me but did not offer me any financial assistance. One of my undergrad professors called the school and convinced them that I was deserving of a scholarship. Not only did I receive an excellent scholarship, but the school also waived my out-of-state tuition for my entire graduate school program.
  • No apartments were available when we applied to live in married student housing. God made one available just two months into our first semester. The rent was half of our previous rent, and utilities were included.
  • When we purchased our first home, the interest on a fixed-rate mortgage was 13%. We asked God for wisdom, leading us to accept a variable-rate mortgage at 8%. The following year, interest rates fell dramatically, and our mortgage payments dropped by $200 a month. We lived in the house for ten years, and our mortgage payments never reached their original level. We saved many thousands of dollars by not getting a fixed-rate mortgage.

God has likely moved in your life in similar ways. You can ask Him to help you bring these incidents to mind and record them. When needs arise, read your list and meditate on God’s faithfulness. This practice places your heart in a position to ask God to meet your current needs. It will also create a spirit of thankfulness in your heart.

My new novel, Letters to Mother from College, recounts God’s faithfulness in bringing my parents together and helping my mother to learn to follow God’s plan for her life. If you have never considered that God loves you and created you for a purpose, you may not have experienced the joy of knowing Jesus Christ as your Savior and having your sins forgiven. Please click on Basics of Salvation in the tool bar above to learn how you can invite Jesus to be your Lord and Savior.

Honoring Someone You Lost

Years ago, my husband and I owned a pizza restaurant.  Over time, many of our regular customers turned into friends.  One couple had suffered the loss of their son in an automobile accident.  At the time of his accident, he was a high senior planning to attend college.  His parents wanted to honor him and keep his memory alive, so they created a scholarship fund named after their son.  Each year, a local student would be awarded the scholarship to cover one year’s tuition at the college their son wanted to attend.

Flowers and the words Honoring Someone You Lost and Ideas to Avoid

The first year it was easy for them to raise money to fund the scholarship.  As the years passed, the challenge grew to fully fund the endeavor.  When we first met them, their son had been dead for several years.  His high school friends had graduated from college and moved on with their lives.  Fewer people were donating to his fund, so the parents held several events each year to raise the  scholarship money. The ongoing efforts to raise the funds consumed more and more of their time and prevented the parents from moving forward with their lives.  What began as a beautiful gesture to honor their son and bless a student in his name, ended up being a weighted burden to fund raise to meet the obligation.

In my job as a business consultant, I occasionally meet with a client who wants to establish a foundation to provide a scholarship in honor of a deceased loved one.  I educate my client on the process of establishing a foundation while stressing the difficulty of sustaining a scholarship over many years.  If an individual is independently wealthy, a trust can be set up and the interest used to fund the scholarship.  Otherwise, it is an endless process of holding fund raising events and soliciting donations.  In these instances, I think back to the family who frequented our pizza restaurant.

Over 50 years ago, my seven-year-old brother passed away due to a congenital heart condition.  While my parents were heartbroken over the loss of their first-born son, they were also thankful to God for sending John into our family.  John’s life and death drew many of our family members into deeper relationships with God. My parents wanted to honor John’s memory in a way that would glorify God. So, we sold vegetables that we grew and donated the money to build seven churches in Africa and India.   The money we raised paid for the building materials, and the members of the churches provided the labor.  I will never know the impact of those churches made in the lives of others until I am in Heaven; however, I am quite confident that the church members were blessed and that these churches  helped to spread the gospel and point people to Jesus.

I believe my parents’ example offers structure for others who strive to remember their loved ones.  The following suggestions will help you step through the process of finding a way to honor someone you have lost.

  1. Set a fixed goal, rather than a scholarship that will go on into perpetuity.  This allows you to have a natural end to your efforts.  Our family built one church for each year of my brother’s life.
  2. Be prepared to work hard.  Raising money is hard work, no matter how you raise it. In our case, we grew vegetables and we went door-to-door selling them over two summers.  Even if you write letters or hold a GoFund me campaign, you will have to put forth quite a bit of effort to accomplish your goal.
  3. Raise money by offering a product or service people actually want.  The number of people who cared about your loved one, like you did, is not often large enough to annually sustain a revolving fund. Those who did may donate cash, but you will likely have to hold fundraising events and/or sell products to reach your goal.
  4. Select a memorial that will be long lasting and in line with your loved one’s passions.  I know another set of parents who honored their son’s memory by donating a scoreboard for his high school baseball field. Their son was on the baseball team, a scoreboard was within their means without having to raise funds, and his name will be read by all who attend the games for as long as the scoreboard lasts.

It is correct and proper to mourn the loss of your loved one, and it may be right to do something tangible to honor their memory. The first thing you should do is pray.  Ask God how He would have you honor your loved one.  Then follow these steps to honor them in a way that does not become a burden to you emotionally or financially.

Biblical Guidelines for Helping Others

In Matthew 25, Jesus spoke to His followers about how important it is to show compassion and help those in need. He specified that we should help those who are hungry, thirsty, sick, imprisoned, in need of clothing, and foreigners. Jesus spoke of rewards for those who showed compassion by providing food, water, clothes, care, shelter, and companionship. However, nowhere did Jesus say we should simply hand out money to the poor and needy.

5 young people helping others by providing food, clothes, medicine, and love

There are many people today who are advocating giving monetary payments to people who are low-income earners, homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless. Just this week, some politicians in Oregon proposed a $1,000 per month to such individuals. While it is hoped that this money will be used for food and shelter, there are no restrictions on how it can be spent. While this plan is well-intentioned, it is riddled with flaws, because it does not follow Biblical guidelines for helping those in need.

In both the Old and New Testaments, the Bible encourages generosity toward those who are genuinely in need. At the same time, it discourages helping those who are able to work and provide for themselves but choose to be idle.

First and foremost, we are instructed to help members of our families who are in need, particularly the widows. We can read in 1 Timothy 5:3-4, “Give proper recognition to those widows who are in need. But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents, for this is good and acceptable before God.” If the widow has no family and if she is older and unable to provide for herself, then the church is instructed to step in.

But, what does the Bible say about helping other people?

  1. We should meet their immediate needs with food, water, clothing, shelter, and companionship, as Jesus instructed. 1 John 3:17 warns us against seeing a brother in need and not helping meet that need. “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”
  2. We are commanded to provide opportunities for the poor and foreigners to work and provide for themselves and their family members. In Leviticus 19:9-10, the Lord commands the Israelites, “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.” Notice, however, that the poor and needy were not given handouts. They were given access to the fields and vineyards, where food was available. But they had to do the harvesting themselves. They were able to eat because they did the work.
  3. In the book of Ruth, we see this principle in action. Ruth, a young widow provides for her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi, by going out to the fields and gleaning wheat. When Boaz, the field owner and a near relative of Naomi, saw her working, he told his men to leave more wheat for her to glean. He did not give her money or even provisions, but he made it easier for Ruth to provide for herself and Naomi. He also provided her with sustenance while she was in the fields working.
  4. In the fourth chapter of 2 Kings, we read a story about a poor widow whose two sons were going to be sold to pay her debts. God provided assistance through Elisha. Elisha did not pay the woman’s debts; instead, he instructed her to collect jars from her neighbors. Then he instructed her to pour the small amount of oil she had into the jars. The oil filled every jar. The woman could sell the oil to pay her debts and redeem her sons. God provided a miracle in that the oil did not run out until she had enough to sell. However, she had to make the effort to collect jars, pour the oil, and sell the oil.
  5. We are instructed to not help those who are lazy and refuse to work. In fact, God promises that such people will be poor. “Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.” Proverbs 28:19

God blessed Ruth and Boaz for their obedience, Ruth for working, and Boaz for leaving gleanings for the poor. They married and raised a family. Among their descendants were King David and Jesus Christ, our Savior. God also blessed the widow who obeyed and followed with the work Elisha told her to do.

Providing the poor and needy with opportunities to work and be productive is God’s plan for taking care of them. Those who cannot work do need to be cared for, but most people are able to do some type of work. Work produces self-esteem and confidence, as well as independence and financial freedom.

Perhaps those legislators in Oregon should take a second look at their plan. How can they assist homeless people in getting job skills that will allow them to escape perpetual poverty and homeless? Giving them unrestricted money will help some for the moment, but it is not a lasting solution.

When you are given the opportunity to help someone in need, pray and seek God’s solution. God will always make a way.

If you grapple with how to help others and whether to give to charitable causes, my blogs on generosity can provide you with godly guidance.

To learn more about how to honor God with your money and build treasure in Heaven, please click the Finances categories tab to find many blogs on money management, budgeting, and stewardship. My book Honoring God with Your Money is a great tool for financial money management.

Letters to Mother from College

Title of book, Letters to Mother from College, and a picture of a college dorm on a southern campus

New Book—just published 

My newest book, Letters from Mother from College, is now available on Amazon. 

Will Polly discover God’s plan for her life in a small southern college?

Letters to Mother from College was inspired by the letters my mother wrote home during her first two years of college.  Mom was the only child of a single mother, and they were very close.  At 17 years of age, Mom left her home in Pennsylvania to attend a small college in a small Southern town.  Everything was new and different, and Mom wrote about her experiences in frequent, lengthy letters.  It appears that my grandmother kept every letter my mother ever wrote to her.

We discovered the letters after my grandmother passed away.  Mom wanted to toss the letters, but I took them and kept them for “safe keeping”.  Occasionally, I considered ways to share the letters with my siblings.  I began reading them in order a few years ago, after my own mother had passed,  and they were enlightening and engaging.  The letters inspired me to write at story, and I simply needed to add some details.

The letters provided the framework for the novel.  Many of the details were added from family stories that my mother told us or were fabricated from my imagination.  However, the primary elements of the story are the actual experiences my mother had as she adjusted to college life and being away from her family for the first time.

I hope that you will enjoy this look at college life in the 1950’s.  Polly discovered that God was directing her path and had a wonderful plan for her life.  God also has a wonderful plan for your life.  I pray that you will open your heart to the Lord and allow Him to direct your footsteps.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28

If you have never considered that God loves you and created you for a purpose, you may not have experienced the joy of knowing Jesus Christ as your Savior and having your sins forgiven. Please click on Basics of Salvation in the tool bar above to learn how you can invite Jesus to be your Lord and Savior.

One Nation Under God

A friend of mine post daily on Facebook the Pledge of Allegiance, along with a picture of an American flag. The pictures are different each day, and they always are in a beautiful or unique setting. Recent flags have reflected fall and harvest season and have been set in rural areas. At other times, he posts flags flying in major urban areas, small towns, commercial districts, military bases, and everywhere in between.

Photo by Jessica Lewis Creative on Pexels.com

In his own way, he is reminding us that America is one nation under God. Americas come from different backgrounds and ethnicities. We are a nation of different cultures, skills, talents, and passions. But we are all Americans. And we are one nation under God.

This morning I had a strong desire to hear the hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.” I went to YouTube and found many versions. I chose one by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. It is amazing, and I highly recommend it. As powerful as their version of this beautiful hymn is, it was their church members that made the biggest impression on me. Thousands of people of various skin colors and ethnicity were standing in close proximity and worshipping God with their whole hearts.

It occurred to me that this scene was being repeated over and over all across America this morning. In hundreds of thousands of Christian churches across American, tens of millions of Christians gathered to worship God and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Tens of millions more joined in virtually.

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Those who oppose Christianity try to convince the world that Ameria is not a Christian nation any longer. In fact, a former president stated that not too many years ago. But he, and they, are wrong. More than 63% of Americans identify as Christians. We are the majority, and this is a nation created by God as a Christian nation.

Christians need to remember that our country was built on a solid foundation of belief in God our creator and Jesus Christ our Savior. We need to look at each person we encounter as either a child of God or as a person who needs to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We need to let the light of Christ shine brightly in us. Jesus told his disciples, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” Matthew 5: 14 – 14

Commit to being the light today and every day. Those living in darkness need the light that can only be found in Jesus.

The Law of the Lord is Perfect

When I was growing up, it was fairly common in church to sing Scriptures set to music. Many of these Scripture-songs were from the book of Psalm, as the psalms were created as songs or poems. Psalm 19 was a favorite in my church. It speaks to the perfection of God’s law and the blessings of following God’s law.

It is common in today’s world for people’s opinions on right and wrong to be based on their feelings, rather than on a concrete set of principles. Feelings are subject to many variables, including one’s mood, public sentiment, and other’s opinions. This has led to values being fluid and fluctuating. An opinion that is valid today might be considered wrong or offensive tomorrow.

God did not intend for our values and our sense of right and wrong to fluctuate based on our feelings. He gave us the Bible to be our guidebook. He laid out for us a firm foundation to guide our laws and norms. When we don’t stand on the foundation, we are subject to the whims of public opinion rather than the truth of God’s word. I encourage you to follow the law of the Lord and make the Bible your guide.

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
 More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward

Psalm 19:7 – 11

How Great is Our Creator

Carl Gustav Boberg penned the lyrics to “O Store Gud” (O Great God) in 1885.  This song was later translated into English as the beloved hymn, “How Great Thou Art.”  The opening stanza proclaims the wonders of God’s creation.

“Oh Lord, my God
When I, in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.”

Photo of a galazy
Photo by David Kopacz on Pexels.com

In 1885, astronomy was a well-developed field of study.  The Congressional Record of 1886 reported that scientists had counted nearly 300,000 stars, 476 new nebulae had been discovered, Andromeda had been identified as a massive spiral nebula, and the Milky Way was thought to be the only galaxy.  About 40 years later, Edwin Hubble discovered that Andromeda is actually a galaxy and that the Milky Way is one of many galaxies. One hundred years after Boberg composed his tribute to God’s amazing creation, Carl Sagan postulated the existence of billions and billions of galaxies.  His estimate was too low by a factor of more than 117 times according to the newest estimations that between 6 and 20 trillion galaxies exist.

I read this new estimate yesterday online.   I was astonished by the arrogance of the author to attribute this amazing and ever-expanding Universe to the Big Bang.  He even stated that the Big Bang occurred 13.8 million years ago.  He did acknowledge that the Universe is infinite and that it is impossible to accurately estimate how large it is, but he failed to mention our Creator at all.

In 1885, Carl Boberg’s comprehension of the size of the Universe was a fraction of what astronomers have observed it to be today. Yet, Boberg was awed by the amazing God who created the Universe.  He worshiped the God of creation and wrote powerful lyrics that should remind each of us that God created the world and all that is in it.

As you look at the stars or at nature, ponder the wonder of our Creator who created an infinite number of galaxies and an infinite variety of plant and animal life.  In the first chapter of the book of Romans, the apostle Paul warned that no person has an excuse for failing to recognize the existence of God.  He wrote, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

Picture of the heavens
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Paul goes on to say that those who fail to honor and glorify God think that they are wise, but they have actually become fools. “Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” (Romans 1: 21 – 23)

Paul’s words echo those of the psalmist David, who wrote, “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”  Psalm 14:1     

Open your eyes to the beautiful and wonder of creation, and open your hearts to our wonderful Creator who loves you so much that He desires to have a personal relationship with you.

Celebrating Motherhood and the Creation of New Life

Tomorrow, we celebrate motherhood.  All across our nation, people will take time out of their busy schedules to recognized the sacrifice their mothers made in giving them life and in raising them.  A common denominator across people is that everyone has, or had, a mother.  Someone gave life to each of us.

Expectant mother nearing full-term
Photo by Caleb Oquendo on Pexels.com

When my husband and I decided that we ready to have children, we waiting anxiously each month for the first signs that we had conceived a baby.  It took a few months, and we were disappointed in each of those months when it became evident that I was not pregnant.  Our hearts soared with joy when a pregnancy test confirmed that a baby was on the way.

Like many expectant parents, we began immediately to consider possible names for our newly-conceived child. We went shopping for baby furniture and paraphernalia, decorated the nursery, and childproofed our home.  But the first thing we did was call our parents to announce that a new family member was on the way.  “We are having a baby,” we exclaimed with great joy.

As great as our joy was, however, it dimmed in comparison to God’s joy at the creation of a new life.  God knew about our child that moment he was conceived, and God already had a plan for his life.  Psalm 139: 13 – 16 tells us,

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.”

God knew our child upon the moment of conception.  God knew him, and God had a plan for his life.  Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  My child, and every child, was born with a God-designed destiny in mind.  My job and my husband’s job, as our child’s parents, was to raise him up to fulfill God’s plan for his life.

In recent years, technology has advanced to where scientists can detect the creation of new life the instant a sperm penetrates an egg.  At the exact moment, a zygote is formed.  The zygote is a new organism with a combination of the DNA of the two gametes (sperm and egg) that created it. That DNA contains all the genetic material form the new child. A new life is created in the moment of conception.

Another technological advance has allowed scientists to detect the emission of zinc sparks when new life is created. In his book Whisper, author Mark Batterson describes this event, “At the exact moment a sperm penetrates an egg, the egg releases billions of zinc atoms that emit light.  Sparks fly, literally!” (Mark Batterson, Whisper, Page 20, Multnomah Press)

Fireworks exploding in air
Photo by rovenimages.com on Pexels.com

I like to think of these zinc sparks as fireworks that God is shooting off to celebrate the creation of a new life.  The joy that Steve and I felt at the realization that we were going to be parents was akin to the explosion of fireworks.  I hope that your parents felt that same ecstasy upon learning of your impending arrival as part of their family.  Every life should be celebrated as a gift from God.

If you are a mother, I pray that your children recognize the love, time, and energy you have poured into their lives and that they celebrate you tomorrow.  I also pray that you recognize the wonderful joy and privilege of conceiving, birthing, and raising a child. Every child is a blessing, and every child has a divine purpose for his or her life.  As a mother, I pray regularly that my children and grandchildren will allow the Lord to reveal to them to His plan and that they will follow it. There is no greater joy in life than to be on the path that God has chosen for us.

Happy Mother's Day card, purple flowers, macrons, and gift
Photo by George Dolgikh @ Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

Money Won’t Buy You More Time

As I read Psalm 49 this week, it brought to mind the lyrics of Dust in the Wind, “Now don’t hang on. Nothing last forever but the earth and sky, It slips away and all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Psalm 49: 6 – 9 expresses a similar sentiment this way, “Those who trust in their wealth
And boast in the multitude of their riches,  None of them can by any means redeem his brother, Nor give to God a ransom for him— For the redemption of their souls is costly,
And it shall cease forever that he should continue to live eternally, and not see the Pit.”

There is great truth in both the Psalm and the lyrics by Kansas. Money cannot buy us a longer life or a future in Heaven. Only faith in the blood of Jesus Christ can provide assurance of eternal life.

Photo by Jordan Benton on Pexels.com

Another stanza of Dust in the Wind goes like this, ” Same old song. Just a drop of water in an endless sea. All we do crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see.”

If you live seeking riches, power, and pleasure, then your works will be futile and meaningless, as expressed above by Kansas or in Psalm 49:10, “Life the fool and the senseless person perish, and leave their wealth to others.” The psalm continues, “For when he dies, he shall carry nothing away; His glory shall not descend after him.” (Psalm 49:16)

If you want your life to have meaning after you are gone, you need to live a life of selflessness and trust in God. Put your faith in Jesus Christ, serve your fellow man, give money to those who are less fortunate, and spend your money as God leads you. Then you will build eternal treasure in Heaven. No, you cannot take your wealth with you, but as Randy Alcorn says, you can send it on ahead of you.

Are you living a life that pleases God and will secure you a place in Heaven? If you are not, you should make it a priority to give your heart to Jesus. Not only will you have the promise of eternal life, you will have a more fulfilling life on earth. Please click on Basics of Salvation in the tool bar above to learn how you can invite Jesus to be your Lord and Savior.

To learn more about how to honor God with your money and build treasure in Heaven, please click the Finances categories tab to find many blogs on money management, budgeting, and stewardship. My book Honoring God with Your Money is a great tool for financial money management.

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