All posts tagged: Contentment

How much money do you need?

“Money can’t buy happiness.” We have been told this since at least 1750. It is probably true that money can’t buy happiness, but money does generate unhappiness when it goes away. So, how much money do you need? What will make you happy? 95 thousand U.S. dollars. Researchers studied income and happiness, and they now have an answer: an income of $95,000 USD per year will give you “life satisfaction” and $60,000 to $75,000 USD per year will give “emotional well-being.” Now you know. The research is too simple, in my opinion. I know places where that money would make you the richest person in town, and there are other places where you couldn’t afford to buy a house. The researchers could probably explain and modify their findings, and it is interesting that they studied money and happiness, and they have a scientific answer. READ: Experts say there’s an ideal income for happiness — here are three ways you can reach it But is there a spiritual answer? I am writing this as a Christian, …

Scaly Breasted Wren from Ecuador Credit: Nick Athanas/Flickr/Creative Commons

A song in the day and a song in the night

For the past couple weeks a robin has been singing in our backyard. Its clear melodic sound has drawn me outside onto my deck to be entertained again and again. I typically make a cup of coffee so I can sit down and appreciate the solo performance that seems to be for my ears only. The other day, as I sat down on my chair with coffee in hand, there was silence. I thought I had missed my morning performance. Then I heard rustling in the branches hanging over our deck. He was sitting right above me and sang his beautiful song over me once again. The sound and intensity of the song was so wholehearted, clear and clean. He was singing his heart out to me. This song from Zephaniah resonated through me: “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in his love, He will joy over thee with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17) God sings over us. He …

Photo: Ed Yourdon/Flickr/Creative Commons

The secret mystery of contentment

A favorite verse many Christians often quote is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Found in Philippians, I think we often miss how Paul intended these words to be understood. The phrase is found in the larger context of being content in whatever circumstance life hands us. As we live life, we are subject to change. Growing older. Changes in jobs, some planned some unplanned. Changes in marital status. Life can often blind side us. Even as Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians he was sitting in a dark, damp and gloomy Roman jail. His death was imminent. From this prison, Paul writes: 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens …