Sunday, November 8, 2015

A few pictures and a few thoughts.

I was told that there were going to be days like this.  Days when the cupboard looked bare from the blogging standpoint.

So, you are about to be fed crumbs from the table:

Swamp rose, Rosa palustris.  Picture taken on my walk this morning.
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Early pioneers in Michigan were amazed as they traveled into Michigan.  They saw trees that had been cut by axes.  The trees were cut at a height of 18'-to-20'.   

Later, they figured out that the trees had been toppled by a wind storm.  Settlers had cut the trees and the weight of the root ball had Weebled them back upright.

That root ball may be a unique opportunity for some planting of an island of upland species in the middle of a swamp.

Sunday readings


Today's readings were about Elijah imposing upon the poor widow and demanding a portion of her last bit of flour.  The other reading was about the widow's mite, where she gives out of her need while others, who gave more in absolute terms, gave out of their surplus.

I struggle with these readings.  I don't think that Jesus intended that the Gospels should be used as economics textbooks.  Rather, I think that Jesus intended that the Gospel's should speak to our hearts.

Were you to listen to Kubota, you would learn that we "need" an ATV, a new truck, a bigger house, a PSE Stinger compound bow, unlimited data, a bigger TV, more discretionary money, a lawn tractor....  One man's "needs" are another man's luxuries.  It appears that I have failed to teach Kubota that we are rich in proportion that that which we do not "need".

The watered down version of today's readings would make a bolt for that door, that we be clear on what is a "want" and what is a "need".  The challenge for me is that this might be literal-literal.  Jesus used hyperbole to make his point....pluck out the eye, for instance.  I want this to be similar hyperbole.  I must pray about, and consider that it might not be.

6 comments:

  1. I am certain, in my study of those same readings, that you are correct in your understanding of wants and needs. However, we must also remember that money, even great wealth, in and of itself, is not evil. Something that I, along with many, if not most of us, will never have to worry about.

    Remember that Solomon himself was a very, very wealthy man. As well as many men whom God chose to bless in the O.T. of the Bible, God often did it with material possessions and not just spiritual ones.
    The problems crop up for mankind when we start to believe that our temporary blessings are somehow based on our worth and not on God's favor. Often difficult to follow in practice. Often we fail to be good stewards, whether we have a little or a lot. That is what the passages are teaching us. It matters not the amount of zeros in our account, what counts is how we take care of what we are given to take care of. I think that God is not just talking about money here, but also our families, children, ministries in our local churches, outreach in our communities, youth football coach job, volunteer job teaching young ladies how to sew after school at a program, etc.
    We must be good stewards of our money, time, talents, and our entire lives. It is something to be learned over the entire time on earth. And something we pass on to our next generation. Just like passing down stealth planting practices. It is about taking care of what God has entrusted to us.
    Just my .02 cents. I am a reformed Bible school geek from way back. I sometimes butt in where I shouldn't but can't help it. Ignore me, I am harmless.

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  2. Your two cents is worth more than two cents.

    Someday, when you have a little more time...you ought to blog.

    You write well.

    -Joe

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  3. Well said on both you and pigpen! It's all about the 'dividing line' between needs and wants and knowing the difference... It's NOT about keeping up with the Jones...

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  4. Well said on both you and pigpen! It's all about the 'dividing line' between needs and wants and knowing the difference... It's NOT about keeping up with the Jones...

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  5. Thank both of you for your kind words.
    If you would like to know more about me, I had a discussion with an atheist at the Zelman Partisans, in the post called Faith and Firearms. I try and not convert anyone on the internet, as it is just too easy to pretend to be someone else, and I never really know who I am talking to. But I am never afraid to tell someone what I believe if I think they are interested.

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