Bulletin

Harvard And Science Journal May Be On To Something

     Harvard University and Science Journal are two places people go to learn some deep truths. And this time, I think they are on to one of the deepest of all. Their study was about how much money it takes to make someone happy.

     Here’s the finding: If you live below the poverty line, more money seems to make you a little happier. Life gets easier; some of the daily pressures lessen. But…hear this…If you are above the poverty line, having more money does not make you any happier. Interesting.  Hmm.

      The study showed that even if a family who earns $45,000 per year has their income doubled to $90,000 per year, they are no happier than before. Michael Norton, professor at Harvard Business School said, “Most people think that if you make a lot more money, you are going to be happier, but our studies showed that this is not actually true.”  

      But there is something the study showed about happiness and money. And it doesn’t have anything to do with your earnings, but rather how you use your money. Norton went on to say, “It’s what you spend your money on that makes a difference in your happiness.”   

      Regardless of income levels, those who spent more money on others in need or gave to worthy causes reported greater happiness in their lives. Those who spent money on themselves were not as happy.

      They then conducted a second study. Sixteen corporate employees were given bonuses, anywhere from $5000 to $10,000. And they were asked two months later how they used their bonuses. The results showed that the size of the bonus had nothing to do with their happiness. The only thing that related to happiness was that those who spent a portion of their bonuses on causes they believed in were the happier ones.

      Next forty-six volunteers were given from $5 to $20 to spend that day anyway they wanted. You’re probably catching on by now, but just so you know, the ones who spent their money on others or gave it away were much the happier group. Buying someone else coffee makes you happier than buying it for yourself.

     Now the SHOCKER! Harvard and Science Journal concluded… Are you ready for this?

      “It is better to give than to receive.” I think I heard that somewhere before.

—Phil Kinzer


“I Love You to the Moon and Back”

I read an article in the New York Times the other day about Neil Armstrong. It was a very interesting article, and it focused a lot on his two boys. The two boys, Mark who was six at the time and Rick who was 12 recalled the evening that Neil Armstrong became the first man to step on the moon. Mark had to go to bed at nine, and his mom woke him up just before his dad stepped on the moon. Rick, being older was able to stay up the entire time and watch it. When Neil returned to earth, he and other astronauts were treated like celebrities. There was a period when they first returned that they had to stay in quarantine for several weeks, to make sure they didn’t catch any sicknesses from the moon. It was during this time that Neil’s boys were able to first talk to him. They said that he didn’t talk too much about the moon. “It was more ‘What had we been doing? Are you helping your mom? Are you mowing the grass?’ All that kind of stuff.” Here is this man who has just made history and helped to change the trajectory of what is humanly possible and when he gets the chance to talk to the people who are the closest to him, he is more interested in being their father than he is about being someone famous.


I loved this story, and parts of it reminded me about our Father God. God comes to us from his place on high and when you indeed consider all that he has done, our day to day issues and concerns might seem inconsequential, or silly. God, being the perfect father, has a love and care for us that surpasses all things. With all that God is doing and all that he has done and will continue to do, his primary concern is for his people. His children.

Chris Gannon


(The following is an article by Ray Fuson that challenges us on our spiritual walk with God during 2018. I hope you enjoy it).

It's a new year–did we grow personally in 2017, and how will we pursue 2018? Genesis 1:26 says, "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness..." Romans 8:29 says, "To be conformed to the image of His Son, the first-born of many brethren." First, let's understand that Romans 8 explores in depth the work of God. Moving a Christian from the carnal nature to the spiritual nature is the work of the Holy Spirit in a process the Bible calls "sanctification." It is important that we understand that the work of the Spirit is a life-long process com­pleted only at the Resurrection.

Question–Can the Christian reflect Christ's image perfectly all the time? I don't believe we can in this life. If we could, we would not have to fight this spiritu­al battle each of us fight every day. Instead, I believe that there are moments when Christ is more evident than others–and then there are other moments when self and the flesh get in the way.

Sometimes, we may reflect and see a milestone of growth in our walk with God; but more often it is the little steps–little ditto marks that point the way. For­tunately, the blood of Christ makes up the difference.

The litmus test for us is found in Galatians 5:22-23 which says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-Control ..." Can we truly say that we continually express agape, or storge (family love), or even phileo (friendship love)? Of course not! Is it joy (the glad expectation of God's deliverance), or is it our own happiness we seek? Is it peace (the calm assurance of God in control), or the world's peace (the cessation of conflict)? Is it patience or is it our hurry–our "want it now"–that drives us to reach our destination?

The Bible says in 1 John 4:8, "God is Love". How much of God is love? All of Him and all of Him is joy, peace, patience, etc. I think we need to return to the burning bush on the mountain of God, take off our shoes because we are on holy ground, and hear God say, "I AM is My Name!"

When we bring that into the context of Galatians 5:22–I AM  Love, I AM Joy, I AM Peace, and I AM Patience–we get the whole complete sense of who I AM is and our relationship to Him. Our walk with Him becomes more than just a stroll. He can take our little steps, our ditto marks and keep drawing us to Him; making and conforming us to His image. Not an easy task–rather it is His love and His pa­tience allowing us to take missteps like a parent with a child, guiding us the whole way.

May "I AM" strengthen us to do His will and may we continue to grow in the nurturing love of His Son this coming year!

 

(If you were blessed by his thoughts like I was, please tell Ray "thank you.")