Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hot Dog!

Luke 16:9
"I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings."

"I wish I had a million dollars!" Shouts an exuberant George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life.

His hand slams down on the giant lighter in Mr. Gower's drugstore. Up pops the flame!

"Hot dog!" He exclaims.

Every time I watch this scene, I find myself longing for George's wish to come true. I know it doesn't. But, I feel the same way when I watch Romeo and Juliet. I think, surely, they'll find each other before it's too late . . . surely, this time . . .

Surely, this time, George Bailey doesn't have to miss the world travels about which he has fantasized. Doesn't have to give his money to brother, Harry, so he can attend college. Doesn't have to run the Bailey Building and Loan when he dreams of being an architect. Doesn't have to battle Mr. Potter.

If anyone deserves a break, it's George!

But, he doesn't get one. At least, financially.

And, yet, the struggles and strife he faces throughout the story never diminish the integrity of his character. He may get frustrated or discouraged, but he always acts selflessly, putting others' needs before his own.

Willing, even, to take his own life if it means a more secure future for his beloved wife and children . . .

George Bailey embodies the qualities of servant-hood and stewardship. His life is a non-stop commitment to helping others and managing his and their assets with the utmost care and trustworthiness. He does much with the little he has.

And, he is rewarded with a great gift. One that money can't buy.

Friendship.

Do I still wish George had that cool million?

Yes!

Because, in light of his character, I don't think he would have acted any differently.

He would have answered Christ's call.
~
What would you do with a million dollars?

Will you pray with me?
Even when we don't possess much in the way of material wealth, Lord, make us ever mindful of the needs of others. Give us a spirit of selflessness and generosity. Increase our faith so that we may do more good works in your name. Amen.

I am thankful for my wonderful life!

Readings
Psalms 66, 67 or 19, 46
1 Maccabees 2:29-41, 49-50
Acts 28:14b-23
Luke 16:1-13

19 comments:

  1. The Spirit of Thanksgiving, eh, Martha!! :-)
    Giving with gratitude! That would preach...and you did!!! GLory to the Father, through Christ the King, amen.

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  2. I've thought about what a million dollars would do for me....sure it would make life easier ..but It wouldn't change anything except my living space..I'd still be who I am and always have been..it would be nice to share that wealth with others those I love and those in need...but I'm still me and always will be..I too wish George would get his million....As always...XOXOXOXO

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  3. Wasn't this filmed in another day and time...

    Today, it would be railed by every non-Christian purveyor of anti-Christian thought. They would say that this film was a fantasy, that it had nothing to do with Christianity. They would say that the rendition of 'Hark the Herold Angel Sings' at the finale is no evidence of Christian influences in the storyline. That's just what people sing at that time of year. It's all just a story, like Harry Potter is a story. There is no meaning beyond a feel good ending where everybody lives happily ever after.

    But nothing is further from the truth. This film is an excellent example of Christian principles at work. Love God with all your heart, soul and mind and love others as yourself. That is the lesson at the end. "Thanks, Clarence," is George's love and gratitude of God. The sacrifice of all George's friends is their equal regard for George's needs as for their own, a regard George has on display for the entire story.

    Yes, what an excellent story to invoke as we head into the Thanksgiving and Christmas Season. No man is a failure who has friends. There is no greater gift than to lay down one's life for one's friend. That is what gift's are, giving of one's life, or portions thereof to another. Because George gave these gifts his entire life, and was prepared to give the greatest gift, George received the greatest gift, redemption.

    And not to be lost in all of this is that God redeemed George through men, by the acts of kindness of others. In that way, we all get to experience God's glory! What a great story this is and will always be!

    Thanks for that, this morning, Martha. You have many friends.

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  4. Thanks to all of you, friends, who took time today to stop by!
    @Roy - So glad you enjoyed it, my friend!
    @Bernie - Thank you for the compliment! Giving with gratitude is what it's all about.
    @Bonnie - You are so right. Wealth can't change who we truly are inside. We will either own it or it will own us. Can't serve two masters! :)
    @Hank - Super reflection here, my friend! This is definitely a Christian movie, but never advertised as such when it's shown around Christmas time. If it were made today, I doubt any major studio would fund or promote it. What a shame! What does that say about the cultural poverty in our nation?
    And, Hank, I consider myself to have the friends that I do. Thank you for being one of them!

    Blessings to all!

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  5. Great post Martha!I'd love that million myself..it would definitely ease some of our financial burdens, that's for sure! But a relationship with Christ far outweighs anything the world can offer.
    ~blessings

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  6. Good one Martha..life would become much easier..but today I realize that my peace of mind is more important than anything else in this world.

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  7. My husband and I have talked of what we would do if we won the lottery, for both our first thought was to help my mother. Meh, money would not make us love each other more nor would it fix any problems it would just sugar coat everything for awhile. I loved this post and that movie, yes I too am grateful for this wonderful life.

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  8. As crazy as this sounds, I’ve found myself praying for characters in movies. Like my prayer is going to change the outcome. This happened just the other night during some show.
    What would I do with a million? Not sure because I’ve never contemplated having this much money.
    :-)

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  9. Thank you so much, everyone, for stopping by today!
    @Jessica - Definitely! A relationship with Christ is priceless! I can't imagine life without Him . . .
    @Alpana - Thank you! Yes, many aspects of life would be easier, but nothing can buy peace of mind, that's for sure!
    @Jan - I think it's great that you would help your mom with that kind of money! "Sugar coat" is a terrific description for what extra cash can do for awhile. Glad you share my love for this movie and that you love your wonderful life!
    @Debra - The prayer urge is really unique! But, it makes sense. When we watch a movie and really identify with or like a character, it's perfectly natural to want the best for that person, even if we know what we are watching isn't real. I think it's just the way our hearts work. And, yes, a million is a staggering amount to this ordinary Joe! :)

    Blessings to all!

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  10. I want George to HAVE IT ALL and stop perpetuating the myth that one must be poor to be pure!

    When I have a million dollars I will use it to continue reaching out to more and more people and keep nudging them, and myself, toward increased empowerment in all aspects of life ;-)

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  11. Really, I love what Dangerous Linda said because although George did help everyone in times of trouble, I so often want to say to characters like this that he is looking at the situation in an either-or problem solving framework (either his brother goes to college OR George keeps his money) whereas maybe the problem could be solved in an AND problem solving framework ( his brother could go to college AND George could keep his money) How many other options did they try... who else could have contributed, couldn't his brother have worked his way through college like so many other people have and on and on. Yes, I realize this would have ruined the point of the story but this is just how my mind works... What if George EMPOWERED his brother to go to college AND kept his money?

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  12. Martha, I hearted that prayer at the end – I kind of didn't expect it – and so it made it more special – and I prayed with you. And George Bailey – how I heart that movie – one of my all-time favorites – my sister says I'm George Bailey. I look forward to watching it every year, just so I can have that one moment when a tear drops – when they bring all of that money and at the end – anyway – a touch of Christmas in November – oh my gosh that's coming quick. God bless and keep you Martha – I hearted this. Thank you.

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  13. There was a time where I would wish for that million.... not anymore.. I would not want the headaches that come attached with that million.... What would I do with so much? Would it change my present situation? Not really...

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  14. Great post, My needs are few and simple.I would just worry and fret about keeping it safe and spending it wisely, so others can have the million :)

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  15. I have never craved for too much money but just enough to be comfortable and God has been kind to always lend a helping hand in times of need. I do no think I will change even if I have all the money in the world because for me money cannot buy good friends and I wouldnt want to ever lose them for money. Loved this post Martha

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  16. Oh, please forgive for not getting back to all of you sooner! Sometimes I forget to check my blog from the day before once the new one is up!
    @Linda - I'm with you! I believe people with money do marvelous works for others. What matters is where the heart is!
    @Lynne - Yes, I agree; real life is full of grey-area choices, not the black and white of either or. Of course, you are right, it would have ruined a great story, but it does bear asking the questions!
    @Craig - I'm so glad you liked the prayer - that means so much, my friend! Yes, it's my all-time favorite movie, too, and I always, always cry at the end . . . It's such a compliment from your sister, too!
    @Savira - I've heard it said that people who win the lottery end up being miserable in their wealth and precisely for the reasons you gave. They don't know how to handle it!
    @Sulekka - Keeping it safe and spending it wisely - those are definitely things to contemplate!
    @Rimly - So glad you liked the post! I agree, I'd much rather have friends than money. And, through the years, even the lean ones, God has always seen me through financially by one miracle or another.

    God's blessings to you all!

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  17. Hi Martha Orlando. You might enjoy knowing it's been just over 3 years since you posted this blog and that I am just now seeing it for the first time. I was watching "It's a Wonderful Life" on NBC tonight Dec 7, 2014 when I went online to research a few scenes that posed a question in my mind or stood out to me in some way. So my curious mind and tender heart took me searching to the Internet. I simply entered "George Bailey" and "I wish had a million dollars". I was wondering what that thing was that George was lighting up when proclaimed, "I wish had a million dollars". After a few clicks of the mouse, I viewed several pictures and various entries when I discovered it was a cigar lighter. But my most treasured discovery was your blog. Wow, your words seemed to jump off the page to me, mainly because I find myself feeling the same way you did then, that if anyone deserved a break that it's George. His character had character, now some 77 years later this movie is still touching people, remaining a must see for our family each and every Christmas. I'm only 48 myself but I remember it from when I was a kid. Every time I see it seems to touch me in a different way, strums my heart strings and always reminding me just how blessed I truly am. It makes me want to be the possible version of myself while giving God the glory for all the wonderful things in my life. Thank you for your blog, as well as for adding to my Christmas memories of this great movie. I continued on from here and found your blog. I also read some current postings that you've made. I really enjoyed how well you convey your faith and trust in God in your writing. You are truly gifted and inspiring as well. I'm glad that I found your post from 2011 and your blog, because I now have discovered that you are a published author as well. I'm heading to Amazon next to try to find your books. If your books are written with the same gift of word smithing as your blog then I can't wait to read them.
    I read some of your post from around Thanksgiving and after. I pray that Danny's back has improved since your November 28th blog. I suffer with severe chronic back pain myself so I can relate to what he was going through. I like what you said in response to his asking, "Why now?". I need to remember that myself on my really bad and not the devil have the satisfaction of bringing me down. Admittedly that is often easier said than done. But with friends in Christ to pray and also lift us up, we can win. So I'm grateful your faith and that you are willing to share that faith with others.
    I'm not really sure if or when you will see my post here or how I would even know if you did reply. Sorry I'm not a blog reader at least not until now, lol. But here's my email if you'd like to contact me. Kjdesign1@yahoo.com Thank you again and may God richly bless you and your family. - Joe B

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    1. Wow, Joe, your beautiful comments here have humbled me greatly. I am absolutely thrilled to have you on board at Meditations of My Heart, and hope you will be a regular follower. And, thank you, too, from the bottom of my heart for your interest in my novels; you definitely want to get the first three in The Glade Series before reading Revenge!
      Love and God's blessings to you and yours always!

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