True Wealth is Not Contained in a Bank Account

You're not rich until you have something money cannot buy   Garth Brooks

Today I share both a story and some wonderful thoughts!

I am one of the wealthiest people I know… not because of the number of digits that are contained in my bank accounts but because of the priceless blessings that are mine!

I have an incredible marriage! I am blessed to be married to my best friend. I think that since I have been happily married for almost 40 years that I have the right to make that claim! 🙂

I have wonderful children and grandchildren who bless my life with their love and their presence!

I am blessed to have true and supportive friends and to live in a country in which I am allowed to exercise personal and religious freedom. I do not take my freedom for granted and I am ever grateful to those who have sacrificed and will sacrifice so that I and my fellow countrymen can continue to enjoy the freedoms our nation was founded upon.

I live in a wonderful community and have kind, thoughtful and considerate neighbors.

I am truly blessed with an abundant life! I hope your life is blessed with abundance as well!

I hope you will have a wonderful weekend and that you enjoy today’s story and thoughts!

Time, Love, and Money

An old man asked me, “With what do you buy your money?”

I said, “With your life.”

He said,“Right! I wish I had known that when I was young. I spent my life working for money instead of living.”

Time, love and money are the three legs of truth wealth’s stool. The time allotted to your life is utterly fundamental; a finite constantly depleting resource. Have you loved enough? Have you made money, invested money, and spent money in a way that sustains life on this earth for seven generations to come? Most don’t think we have time for these questions. We can be occupied working for money that we buy cars, drive to places, buy food from thousands of miles away, thus depleting earth’s natural capital without noticing it.

Many people will say that they are making good money, but have no sense of free time. They hope that someday in the future they will have time for the things they really enjoy like family and nature. Often that day never comes. I once worked at the headquarters of Standard Oil. My life had become the company. When I went home, my mind was preoccupied with Standard Oil. One day I awoke to realize that I worked in an environment that was loveless. I had money, but love and time where in short supply.

What is money? It’s a symbol for value, it is information; it is abstract. Humans are driven by symbols to go to war and fight for abstract causes. Money, being utterly abstract, is often valued more for itself than for what it actually buys – it is the ultimate “field of dreams”. Individuals and societies measure self-worth by financial net-worth, but this devalues the deeper qualities of awareness and soul that are the true source of all value.

Walking by a beautiful garden filled with iris flowers, someone might think: “I don’t own it, how unfortunate!” So they miss the simple of joy of the experience. You don’t need to own things in order to enjoy them. To really “have” something we must be present to it. Taking time to appreciate the existence of an object, a friend, or a place is really having that object before us.

Wealth is transpersonal because it is “beyond the personal”. Everything that we do to accumulate wealth depends on past human efforts; as well as the Earth, the solar system, and the cosmos at large. You are not your own source of supply. Companies create private wealth by extracting resources from nature as if nature is “free” and unlimited. Water, for example, was always free. Industrial pollution turns water into another commodity with price barriers for the poor and helpless. This situation creates transpersonal poverty.

There can be a wealth of time. Societies can make time for living, for singing, for family, for just sitting and watching. This wealth is greater than the focus on consuming goods and working to pump up the “gross domestic product”.

A man can become homeless and starve to death in a big city filled with apartments, hotels, and food. It is not just lack of money that brings us to the homeless state. Depression, lack of faith in life, lack of friends, and lack of family ties can bring one to this place. Call it lack of love.

We cannot be truly wealthy in such societies with extremes of poverty and riches. The expansive homes of the few wealthy are beautiful, but the society is really poor and ugly. So many become restless and debased is such a society. I cannot relax in a mansion without security systems and insensitivity to the disparity around me. Just like the Buddhists who say they cannot become enlightened until everyone is enlightened, you and I cannot be truly wealthy until all are “wealthy”. Clearly, a new meaning of wealth needs to emerge for the culture at large.

Balanced Wealth Portfolio

An investor will diversify her assets into different categories of assets so as to balance out risk with the changing tides of market fortunes. The seeker of true wealth balances the assets of time, love and money across the dimensions of personal, interpersonal and transpersonal – thus optimizing abundant life for themselves, neighbors, future generations, and Earth.

A balanced wealth portfolio can be attained by disciplining the ego and personal pride. This spiritual practice has ramifications for self, society, and life on earth. Portfolios are lists of assets by categories. We could begin by playing with lists of “assets”. One simple list of categories for grouping our assets would look like this:

1. Personal-money

2. Personal-time

3. Personal-love

4. Interpersonal-money

5. Interpersonal-time

6. Interpersonal-love

7. Transpersonal-money

8. Transpersonal-time

9. Transpersonal-love

These categories are not absolute; they are starting points to help us on the road to true wealth realization. Make up your own categories and lists. Begin from where you are, and expand to include larger dimensions of wealth.

True Wealth Realization Practice

Wealth is usually defined by external measures: affluence, millionaire money levels, ownership and control of companies, and influence over people. Look deeper; and, there is the feeling of being wealthy or poor more or less independent of external wealth measures. Work with that feeling so as to become more independent of the strictly personal illusions of money-wealth and poverty.

Remember who you really are. This means giving yourself the time to contact your own ultimate wealth: the soul. Your own soul is your own ultimate wealth. As you begin to be wealthy in yourself, you will be able to extend your sense of wealth to include others and reality at large. Every soul is the same soul – only covered by different personality, history and circumstances. I could have been any one of the other people that I see everyday.

To awaken to this very moment is truth wealth. This moment is in truth all we really have and own. Everything else is just on loan; we must give it all back in the end.

Today’s inspiring story is shared from the following website: realizing-true-wealth-americ-azevedo

 

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Change the World With a Smile!

Peace Begins with a Smile. Mother TeresaHeaven showed me that change in this world does not need to be complicated – a gesture as small as a smile will do the trick.

Mother Teresa understood the power of a smile when she said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

There are times when we all need a smile!

Today, I share a story about the power of a smile! I hope you enjoy and that you will commit to changing this world for better by sharing your smiles today!:

Key to Happiness: The Power of a Smile By Maura Sweeney

Want a sure fire way to brighten your day? Consider a smile!

A few weeks ago, my husband and I enjoyed a relaxing Caribbean cruise filled with service-minded staff. But it wasn’t until we disembarked that I truly experienced the power of a smile! As a proponent of living happy from the inside out, I considered this experience one worth sharing.

It was an early Saturday morning when we stepped off our ship. As some of the first to disembark, we joined a small group of passengers in the Miami Cruise Terminal to await the arrival of our luggage. While many passengers remained groggy and not yet awake, my happiness radar unexpectedly engaged.

Dozens of workers caught my attention as they filed into the cavernous building, ready to start their day. Suddenly, the atmosphere began to turn pleasantly and progressively electric.

Burly guys slapped one another on the shoulder while exchanging familiar, funny remarks. Smiling women awaited welcome hugs from fellow workers, some jesting that they hadn’t yet received a hug or a kiss. Despite the industrial work environment, the climate conveyed a sense of family and friends happily gathering for a reunion.

The bantering continued as employees readied themselves for what would become a massively busy work day. All were in motion but recognized and acknowledged everyone in their wake with a happy remark and a ready smile.

Initially, I considered these pleasant faces and genial interactions a corporate anomaly. Yet wherever I gazed, it was the same. Regardless of uniform or rank, smiling employees greeted passengers — and each other — with a pleasing confidence, welcome and warmth. The effect was tangible and powerful.

These people weren’t just happy to be around each other. They were happy to be at work.

“Do you credit this positive work atmosphere to your senior management?” I asked a few porters. They smiled at each other, evidently happy to hear that someone noticed.

“No one tells us to smile. We’re just happy to be here,” offered one of the men. Then he suggested, as if pleased to share the glory, “Can we introduce you to our manager so you can tell him, too?”

Within moments, I was introduced to the supervisor who soon introduced me to his manager, a jovial and outgoing woman. Each employee seemed to carry his or her own joy, a happiness that spread as each one extended it to others.

Here are a few things I’d learned about the power of a smile at the Miami Cruise Terminal that day.

Smiles don’t need to start at the top.

There was no corporate directive to be happy at work. Employees brought their own happiness with them and, as they shared it with each other, they created a happy and joyful atmosphere starting in the trenches.

Smiles make heavy work lighter.

Saturdays are long and stressful days at the Miami Cruise Terminal. Workers convey thousands of passengers, suitcases and supplies on and off several ships — all within the confines of compressed time frames and nail-biting deadlines. The uplifting power of a smile helps employees carry out the high levels of strength, coordination and cooperation required to successfully execute these herculean tasks.

Smiles fill our cup.

One worker offered me a secret to the joyous atmosphere I’d been observing. “Each day, I come to work with just a little in my cup. I share the little joy I have and, by the end of the day, my cup is completely full. There’s a lot of us here who work the same way. We leave feeling better than when we came in.”

A smile is a powerful key to living happy from the inside out. The next time you’re feeling weak or heavy-laden, remember to ask yourself: What’s in my cup?

May you discover your own smile, then multiply it by sharing it with the world!

Story shared from the following website: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maura-sweeney/key-to-happiness-the-powe_b_6340868.html

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Love is Never Wasted

Love is never wasted for its value does not rest upon reciprocity.  Neal A. Maxwell

It can seem as though for love to be valuable that is needs to be reciprocated. Perhaps it is true, that for love to be most enjoyed – it is better when it is reciprocated. However, no love is wasted – God, in his own way, makes sure of it!

Today, I want to share a precious video! It so completely encapsulates the truth that love is never wasted! Normally, I like to share a story but I honestly don’t think any story could teach the value of love (even when it is not reciprocated) better than this video! I hope you enjoy it!

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Gratitude…Best Expressed by the Way We Live and Love

As we express our Gratitude, we must never forget that the Highest Appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.    John F. Kennedy

As we express our Gratitude, we must never forget that the Highest Appreciation
is not to utter words, but to live by them.     – John F. Kennedy

Gratitude is perhaps the most underrated component of a meaningful life. Heaven is full of love – but it is also full of gratitude. As I witnessed in heaven all of the abilities, talents and gifts which had been given to me by God, I recognized those incredible blessings with love and gratitude, not with arrogance or an air of superiority. I felt deep appreciation that those gifts I received from God would enable me to serve Him and help improve myself and others.

If I could wake up the world and help the world as a whole, I would want to ingrain the world with the understanding that this life is precious and an incredible learning opportunity. As such, it is too short to live chasing the golden eggs that have no lasting value or wallowing in self-pity and bitterness.

A meaningful life can be filled with wealth or poverty – but it is always filled with gratitude.

I hope you will choose to live your live with gratitude and love! You have the personal power to make that choice!

I hope you enjoy today’s story! It is a wonderful reminder of the importance of gratitude!:

Paid In Full

A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted. As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car.

Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box. Curious, and somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man’s name embossed in gold. Angry, he shouted at his father and said “with all your money, you give me a Bible?” and stormed out of the house.

Many years passed and the young man had become very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father now was getting old, and thought perhaps he should go see him. He had not seen him since that graduation day.

Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.

When he arrived at his father’s house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father’s important papers and saw the still gift-wrapped Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages.

His father had carefully underlined a verse, Matt.7:11, “And if ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father which is in Heaven, give to those who ask Him?” As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer’s name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had wanted. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words PAID IN FULL.

– Author Unknown

Story shared from the following website: http://www.motivationalwellbeing.com/motivational-stories-7.html

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Setting Priorities…Spending Time on Things That Are Important

SeMost of us spend too much time on what is urgent and Not enough time on what is Important

Setting Priorities – easy to say and not always easy to do. It may seem like getting that pay raise or new car is important. Or perhaps, we are intent on getting our garage cleaned and organized or the kids have to be taken to practice. It all seem important until something happens to a loved one and then, as their life hangs in the balance, none of that is important at all.

When you are setting your priorities, do you look at your responsibilities and weigh the importance of what effect your schedule will have on your relationships? Do you look at your life through those glasses that allow you to see what would truly be important if everything non-essential were stripped away?

This last summer as I sat in the hospital beside my granddaughter, I was reminded of the importance of keeping my focus on the truly important things.

It can be so easy to get caught up in living life without really giving importance and priority to the things that are eternal and timeless.

As we start out this new year, it is my prayer that all of us will give time to those things that are truly important and stress less about those things that aren’t.

I loved the sweet humor in today’s story. I hope you enjoy!:

Putting First Things First

Gordon J. Pennock

I once read an amusing story about a farmer who told his wife, as he tumbled into bed, “I’ll plow tomorrow.” “The next morning,” as the story goes, “he started to lubricate the tractor. But he needed oil, so he went to the shop to get it. On the way, he noticed that the chickens had not been fed. He started for the crib to get some corn, but he found some sacks there which reminded him that the potatoes needed sprouting. He headed toward the potato-pit. En route, he spotted the woodpile and remembered the shortage of kindling at the house. But he had to chop it first, and he had left his axe in the chicken coop. As he went for his axe, he met his wife who was feeding the pigs. With surprise, she asked, “Have you finished the plowing already?” “Finished?” the farmer bellowed, “I haven’t got time to get started!”

This story illustrates what happens to too many of us on too many days-especially preachers. We plan a day’s work, but then, we get an unexpected telephone caller or visitor who wants to discuss with us some personal problem or Bible question. And of course it is important that we do so. So the work that we planned must be set aside for the present. Or, it may be that we are informed of someone who is sick or hospitalized, so the planned activities must be postponed in favor of such missions of kindness and helpfulness. These interruptions are of course gladly and cheerfully accepted, because we recognize that priorities must always play a part in every plan.

What we must avoid is the upsetting of meaningful and important plans by trivial incidents or matters which are mundane and of but momentary value. An interesting Biblical lesson along this line may be drawn from the record in Luke 10, verses 38 through 42. While visiting in the home of Mary and Martha of Bethany, Jesus saw contrasting dispositions in these two women. While Mary “sat at the Lord’s feet and heard His word, . . . Martha was cumbered (distracted) about much serving.” Poor Martha! She was so concerned and preoccupied with the details of entertaining that she failed to take advantage of Jesus’ presence in her home by sitting down and listening to His word, like Mary did. And, thinking that what she was doing was so important, she felt unjustly treated by her sister and complained to Jesus about Mary’s indolence, as well as His apparent indifference toward it. He responded in words. which need to be heeded by all who are faced with the sometimes perplexing problem of priorities. He said, “Martha, Martha, thou art anxious and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful; for Mary hath chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Yes, it is also necessary for us to make careful evaluation and give proper priority to the many worthwhile demands upon our time. Surely, we will never have the time to do all the things which can and should be done. Consequently, we must use discrimination in choosing what we do. Like Martha, we need to be careful to choose “the good part” or that which is “needful.”

When we speak of priorities we refer to matters all of which may be proper but only of relative value when compared with others. It was in this vein that Jesus was speaking when He said: “Seek ye first his (God’s-GJP) kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things (food, drink and shelter) shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). Note, that Jesus did not say, seek ye only God’s kingdom and righteousness, but rather seek them first.

Jesus certainly knew as well as we do that man has certain physical needs which must be satisfied if he is to survive. Spending time and energy to provide for these needs is not only proper but a serious obligation, as spelled out in such passages as these: “If any (man) will not work, neither let him eat” (2 Thess. 3:10); again: “Let him (the Christian-GJP) labor, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have to give to him that hath need” (Eph. 4:28). Plans and provisions to supply these needs nevertheless become sinful whenever we allow them to subordinate and displace our obligations to God and the neglect of our spiritual needs.

Friend, let us keep our values unmixed and our priorities straight. Put God, His kingdom and His will, first in your life and everything else that is needful will be enjoyed as a bonus.

Truth Magazine XIX: 48, p. 757
October 16, 1975

Story shared from the following website: http://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume19/TM019330.html

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