Sunday, January 11, 2009

Money, Prayer, and Burning the Old Year

I'm still not back into the groove of 2008 blogging, and I just may not ever return! In fact, I can't. Not to worry, I'll keep on blogging, but I may miss a day here and there. 2009 is a New Year. The groove of 2008 needs to give way to the new paths of 2009.

Some of my "missing" days are spent perusing other people's blogs and commenting there. That was partially the case this past week. So I've compiled three links and offerings from blogs I've visited lately. Three topics are presented: money, prayer, and the New Year. Read on!

One web-site I visit periodically is the One Minute Writer. There you are given a daily prompt and challenged to spend one of your allotted 1,440 minutes a day writing. One prompt caught my eye. It was simply: "Money. Can it buy happiness?" (I had also recently been challenged to writing cinquains over at Rambles from my chair, so I offered my post in such a poem (2,4,6,8,2 syllables... 5 lines).

A Monetary Cinquain

What can it buy?
Surely not happiness!
But godliness with contentment?
Great gain!

It was interesting to read the responses of others, most of who agreed that money cannot buy happiness. I did find one contrary opinion that was thought provoking, and I spent a bit of time checking out the contributor's blog. (It’s All Good at her blog: Rawan’s Random Thoughts.) She said:

"Money DEFINITELY buys happiness, without a doubt! I don't know to many truly happy people who have no food, shelter, or clean clothes. Now do you need A LOT of money to be happy? No, but to say that you can truly be happy without money is just non-sense! Being with family makes you happy? Well it takes money to travel to where they are (because I don't know to many people who have their ENTIRE family within walking distance.) and you need money for those Christmas dinners and fun vacations and adorable outfits worn in the pictures. Money makes memories a lot of the times."

Besides The One Minute Writer, I sometimes contribute over on a page called Pictures, Poetry, and Prose Here a prompt is offered via a photo and a phrase. The picture below appeared with the prompt, prayer. How could I resist? So I wrote...

Photo by Basir Seerat
visit Basir's photo blog at

Prayer: a conversation held with God, whom we assume cares, listens, and responds.

But just whose prayers does God listen to? Does God care enough to hear this woman's prayer? (She's a foreigner, probably not Christian.)

How big is your God? Have we forgotten this story from Acts...

"At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, "Cornelius!"

Cornelius stared at him in fear. "What is it, Lord?" he asked.

The angel answered, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God."

God takes note of the prayers and actions of those who make an effort to communicate with him.

How big is God? Big enough for Cornelius. Big enough for the woman in prayer at this door. Big enough for me. Big enough for you.

I thought the piece on prayer was a good one for a Sunday Morning Post.

The final topic is just a link about ringing out the old year and ringing in the new. It was one of several I found helpful. The whole concept of starting fresh has spurred me on towards Spring cleaning in January, both figuratively and literally. (My home and garage are now less cluttered and I have "new" sofas.)

My favorite line from the poem, Burning the Old Year by Naomi Shihab Nye, is "so few things are in stone."

If you don't follow the link, here's a short quote,

"So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone."

Happy New Year!


  1. Why of course, I'm honored! =)

    and that woman thats praying is Muslim (I should know, I'm Muslim too!) I hate saying that I don't pray as often as I should though... but I never take blessings for granted

  2. I'm familiar with the Naomi poetess, she recently judged a poetry contest in which my friend entered. She also appears in the Sun magazine from time to time.