Archive | April 2013

Turns out money actually can buy happiness.

Whoever said money can’t buy happiness wasn’t there the day I opened my Macbook Pro for the first time. They could not have been on my flight to Maui a few years back, and they have most certainly never watched the scene in Jerry Maguire where shirtless Cuba Gooding Jr. emphatically screams “Show me the money!” while dancing around his kitchen like a lunatic.

From what I can tell, cash is accepted wherever happiness is sold. Unfortunately, happiness, like money, is a limited resource. It’s circumstantial.

On any given day, an individual can start out in the best of moods and end in the worst, laughing one minute and crying the next.

Life doesn’t review your checking account balance before deciding to fall apart. It doesn’t consult your accountant or read through your five-year-plan. Trouble drives through the ghetto and the gated community, and when it shows up it doesn’t ask for your checkbook.

Sadly, you can’t buy your way out of a heartbreaking phone call at 2 a.m. You can’t pay for mental health or stability, and while money can definitely start a relationship, it can never sustain one. Just ask a Hollywood divorce lawyer.

Happiness, like the thin sheets of paper we exchange for goods and services, is fragile. And like money, it can disappear without warning. Read More…

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How do we change the world?

For much of my life, I held the opinion that Christians were wise to keep their noses out of matters of state and culture. After all, Planet Earth, along with its unsavory inhabitants, is headed to hell in a handbag. A literal hell, with flames and tears and gnashing teeth.

Therefore, we should spend our limited time wisely, plucking souls from the gas-soaked Louis Vuitton before the match is lit, moving as many people as possible from lost to found.

What is the point of pushing social and political change in light of the reality of hell, to make the ride a little more comfortable?

How valuable is a vote or a tiny carbon footprint when eternity is crouching around the corner? Christians should be planting churches, not running for office or helping Al Gore combat Global Warming. Right?

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was operating from an Either/Or worldview, either focus on the culture or focus on God’s kingdom. But much of the faith experience—much of life in general—is actually Both/And.

Grace and Truth.

Justice and Mercy.

The Here-And-Now and The Hereafter. 

John Piper says that “Christians tend to be in two camps: Caring only about suffering now or caring only about suffering in eternity.”

Sadly, for years I proudly pitched my tent at Camp Eternity—not that Camp Now is a better alternative.

Ignoring eternity to clean up the present is like dressing someone up for a car wreck.

So, what is the proper approach? Read More…

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