Tag: 1 Timothy 6:17

Advice from Warren Buffett

Known as the most successful investor of the 20th century, Warren Buffett recently said:

USCurrency_Federal_Reserve“With a wonderful business, you can figure out what will happen; you can’t figure out when it will happen. You don’t want to focus on when, you want to focus on what. If you’re right about what, you don’t have to worry about when.”

Mr. Buffett does his research when he is considering an investment opportunity. He said, “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.”

Although extraordinarily wealthy, he has a realistic view concerning money. “Money will not change how healthy you are or how many people love you.”

“Don’t risk what is important to you, to get what is not important to you.” Warren Buffett shares his wealth freely and launched the Giving Pledge which encourages the world’s richest people to share at least half their wealth with charity while they are still living.

Raised as a Presbyterian, Mr. Buffett says he is now an agnostic. He may not realize, however, that his words of advice can apply to one’s relationship with God.

  • “If you’re right about what, you don’t have to worry about when.” As hard as it is, I try to leave the “when” to God because He is the One with an eternal perspective. I trust Him to do what is right in His perfect timing.
  • “Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.” The biggest risk in life is doing things without God’s guidance. I don’t always know what to do, but God does and He promises to direct my steps.
  • “Money will not change how healthy you are or how many people love you.” That is true. Riches are uncertain. God’s love is not. Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on thjesus_nails_1e uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).
  • “Don’t risk what is important to you, to get what is not important to you.” Every earthly life comes to an end. What should be important is what will last for eternity.

It is hard not to admire Warren Buffett for his investment insight and philanthropy, but I do not envy him. I pray that this smart and generous man will receive Christ into his life.

I don’t know when I will die, but I do know what will happen. I will meet Jesus face to face because I know Him who invested His life for mine. The riches He gives will last forever.

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”  (Mark 8:36-37).

Things and People

I have heard of families squabbling over possessions when a family member died. Perhaps family members are upset when there is a large estate and their expectations of inheriting something are dashed. It always makes me sad to hear of those cases and wonder what the deceased loved one would think if he heard the dispute.

Thankfully, that has not been the case when my parents or my husband’s parents passed away. The estates were small and there were not many things of monetary value but we each wanted some mementos of their lives.

When my husband’s grandmother died, I got a set of her dishes – incomplete, but I was thrilled to have them – and her button collection. When my own grandmother died, my father gave me a platter and serving bowl that matched the set I had received from my husband’s grandmother.

Photo on 2013-01-23 at 13.42 #2When my dad died, my sister (actually my stepsister but we claimed each other as sisters) and I had no issues at all. She wanted photo albums and a few items of her mother’s. I wanted some things that actually belonged to her side of the family if she didn’t want them. She graciously let me have the hand crocheted bedspreads her grandmother made and the few pieces of silverware that did not go with her set. I have my father’s typewriter and some other memorabilia. These remind me of times I saw each of them use those items.

When my father-in-law died, his four sons were very thoughtful. They were hesitant to speak up about something they might treasure for fear that someone else might want it. In the end, though, I think everyone came away with reminders of Mom and Pop they most wanted.

The important thing was that some of these belongings stayed in the family. At the estate sale, I especially hated the thought of my husband’s grandmother’s cedar wardrobe being sold, especially after learning it had been given to her on her wedding day in 1920. Having no place for it in my home, I still wanted to take it if no one else would. I was thrilled when my brother-in-law said he wanted it. I think his grandmother would be pleased.

Each of the items that were brought home from our parents’ house was not worth much to anyone except us. It was the reminder of time spent with a loved one or their contribution to our lives that gave the item such value.

I often look about and think of how I enjoy the good gifts of life. This includes many things: sunrise and sunset, moon and the stars, a butterfly, hummingbirds, a piece of furniture that is well made because God gave someone that creative gift, a painting done by a friend, things my husband purchased for me that make my life easier, gifts from my children and grandchildren that make my smile when I use them and many more.

Every gift ultimately comes from God. The things He gives contribute to our enjoyment of life, but they are mere representatives of His presence. I am well aware that I am not taking anything with me when I meet Him at the end of my life. The pleasure they bring me today is a reminder of Him – the Creator and Gift Giver of all.

O Lord, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of Your possessions (Psalm 104:24 NAS). Command those who are rich in this world’s goods not to be haughty or to set their hope on riches, but on God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment (1 Timothy 6:17 NET).

Can You Multitask and Smell the Roses?

I am grateful for time saving devices. I love my laptop. I remember the days of typewriters, messy corrections and copies and typewriter keys getting stuck in midair. My fingers could not fly on that old typewriter like they can on my laptop. What takes minutes now used to occupy hours.

Before cell phones, you had to be in the house in order to get an expected call. Sometimes that meant staying at home when you really needed to be somewhere else. Now that is not a problem. However, it also means that you are accessible everywhere at any time. Some people are unable to turn their phones off or leave them behind – just in case.

Some restaurants are now rewarding customers with a discount on their meal if they will check their cellphones at the door. It may be that all the time, effort and money the owners have spent to create a certain ambiance for their clients was going to waste because many of their customers never noticed.
The wonders of modern technology were supposed to make our lives easier and in many ways, they did. However, even though we are more efficient in many ways, the workload has not decreased. It seems that we are now all in a mad race to accomplish more – and more – and more.

Most of us try to do several things at once. Certainly, there are times when that can be successfully accomplished. What comes to my mind, however, is my attempt to carry groceries in from the car while talking on the telephone at the same time. What was supposed to be a time saver became just the opposite when I dropped a grocery bag full of jams and oils. I not only had to clean up a huge mess, but also lost the products and money in the process – not quite what I had in mind.

“Jack of all trades and master of none” in a positive sense describes someone who was competent in many areas, but not expert in any particular skill. It now seems that expression can be used of practically all of us. We are doing too many things to do any of them well. That was the finding of a 2009 Stanford University study on multitasking. The results showed that heavy multitaskers actually lost their mental edge. Trying to do too many things at once had the effect of their being good at nothing. The study’s author said, “We kept looking for what they’re better at, and we didn’t find it.”
Thinking back on my use of the old manual typewriter, I remember there were fewer distractions. I was never interrupted by email, SKYPE, or Facebook. There has been a renewed interest in old manual typewriters for this very reason. It is one way to turn off the background noise of our busy worlds and just write.

I have also noticed another trend. There are several blogs with “stop and smell the roses” as a417px-An_elegant_lady_smelling_roses_by_Hendrik_Jacobus_Scholten_(1824-1907) theme. In reading through these blogs, I discovered that many of the bloggers were forced to slow down and discover the beauty of what was around them.
Balance is the key. We need to be productive, work and accomplish the tasks assigned us. However, juggling work, home, church, exercise, meals and everything else can lead to frustration, leaving no time for fun or rest. In the process, if we miss out on the beauty of God’s world, what have we really accomplished? In our rush, we may trip over some of our greatest blessings.

How can we stop and smell the roses if we rush right past them?

God…who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).