Finding True Joy and Meaning

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Because it is not the main focus of this blog I have not posted much on my personal life happenings.  But, today I wanted to take a moment for a little life introspection.

At this moment I am looking out a window over the empty plains of Cheyenne, Wyoming.  I will be here for a month visiting my in-laws.  As missionaries who live in Papua New Guinea, we value every moment we get to spend with our extended families.  There is so much joy in seeing cousins interact with each other after two years of separation.  Those innocent little kids share strong embraces as if it was yesterday when they last saw each other.  The adults catch up on life – its joys, victories, struggles, and disappointments.

Having a baby also makes me reflect.  My wife and I have a brand new two week old baby. We also have a four year old and two year old.  Anyone who is or has been a parent knows the labor of child rearing.  The endless piles of diapers, late night feedings, and frequent cries.  But, I accept all of those things because they each bring so much joy in return.   Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography.

We recently sang Because He Lives (Words and music by William J. Gaither © 1971) at church. I want you to read this refrain:

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

    Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
    Because He lives, all fear is gone;
    Because I know He holds the future,
    And life is worth the living,
    Just because He lives!

We place our trust in God in the midst of all life’s uncertainties.  We also experience the overwhelming joy of holding a newborn.  Children indeed are a blessing from God.

This morning I was on the trampoline with my four year old and two year old.  Those laughs were priceless to me as a father.  Their soft voices and loving embraces mean the world to me.

Last night I met with Christian brothers and sisters who I have not seen in several years and I was reminded of the joy of Christian fellowship and the pain of separation.

Each morning when I do my Bible reading I re-experience the fundamental importance of my faith.  I am never left alone to fight through life’s challenges, but I have a Savior who walks with me.  A Savior who offers me life in abundance.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

Unfortunately, at times we miss out on the true blessings of life because we are busy seeking meaning in all the wrong places.  We don’t experience joy because we seek joy in places God never intended us to find joy.  We neglect the important and become slaves to the the tyranny of the urgent.  We run frantically, but often without direction.  What does all this have to do with the Bible and money?  Everything.  I encourage you to check out my guest post at Bible Money Matters (  The post is titled Net Worth: How Should it Be Defined and it encourages us to calculate the sum of our value by something broader than just money. You will need to click on this link to read the article as it is not posted on my site.

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