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Day fifty eight; Money. Giving it away.

29 Apr

In at the deep end eh!

Money. Giving it away.

The Nun running this series of meditations writes that ‘…after making sure her necessities were sorted, she was able to send a good amount…’

A good amount.

I had planned to do meditation AND church this morning, but I was irritated when I woke up for no particular reason.

I muddled around a little, then decieded to skip meditation. I contemplated skipping church – my car’s not working very well.

In the end, I chose to walk – it’s only ten minutes. I went to my wallet and picked a seventh of what was in there and I realised that sometimes my choice to go to church is influenced by what I have in my wallet to give.

Imagine.

Anyway, I sat through the service – it was the end of a months consideration of suffering.

Today we looked at the approach to how to pray – you know – the Lords Prayer.

I thought about the confession of my sins, and for the first time I kind of understood the power that there is in confessing before another human being – aka catholics – as opposed to just going off by yourself and confessing before God.

Not that one is better than the other but I think having another human being stand in for God, affects the way you confess.

I learned that those who are saved can pray for others who are living in sin, and suffering because of it. We have the power to ask that their sins be forgiven.

I wondered what gives me the right to notice other peoples sin, or pray for them.

I learned that suffering is of two kinds; environmental, where I suffer situations that occur, and I guess personal, where I suffer the consequences of My Sin in My life.

So I thought about sin on the walk home. None of this thinking was very deep – even church wasn’t very deep – it was kinda ‘just there’ and as I walked past a lady hawking sweets, I wished I had taken enough from my wallet to give.

I thought about the very rich and had a day dream about Bill Gates – so rich that he uses a portion of his wealth to look after himself and his family and then acts as custodian over the rest of his portion so that he can give it away.

What am I like when I am in the middle of monetary richness?

I have had a poem in my mind for a couple of months on what a big difference, a good sum of money can make in peoples lives.

I’m thinking about money and the role it plays in my life.

I have two debts that keep cropping up. I have never had debt. I don’t know how these ones came up. I feel bound by them and want some freedom.

And that’s it really.

Oh. I thought about how I relate to God and found that I speak to Jesus differently from how I speak to God.

And just now I’ve thought, that since the 40 days of Easter are long gone, must the meditation left in the One Hundred Days of Love always refer to my life as a Christian?

Anyway, I’m going to vary my relationship to God for a while; I figure a week each of; as friend, as lover, as brother, as sister, as mother as father and as Creater and Destroyer of all things.

A new project – wary of it – but this one I’ll take on just for myself and see where it takes me.

This was longer than I thought it was going to be – I wish you all peace this Sunday.

“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed.”

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9 Comments

Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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9 responses to “Day fifty eight; Money. Giving it away.

  1. Paula Tohline Calhoun

    April 30, 2012 at 05:09

    Here I go preaching again! Forgive me! But you wrote:

    “And just now I’ve thought, that since the 40 days of Easter are long gone, must the meditation left in the One Hundred Days of Love always refer to my life as a Christian?”

    First of all, Easter is never “long gone” – it is at the heart of every day, and cannot be separated from our lives as Christians, and moreover, everything you say or do refers to your life as a Christian, because being a Christian cannot be compartmentalized. It is first and foremost who you are and who you are striving to be, and as such cannot be pigeon-holed or relegated to only one portion of your life, or it becomes inauthentic – something you put on or take off as the mood strikes.

    Being a Christian, praising God, etc.are not things we do because we feel like it – they are things we do, and who we are because we choose to do them. We chose to live that life in spite of everything, and to live it (or at least try to! 😆 ) as an act of Love.

    OK. Now, I’ve said my piece! 😆 I feel better.

    There are many people I have heard of who essentially “live on their tithe (10%),” and donate the rest. Amazing! I, too, long to be out of debt, and I am working to that end. If I truly trusted God in all things, I would not have any problem with tithing. I wonder why it is so tough to do? The devil plants all these “worry” thoughts in our heads and I end up listening to it far too often. I wish I understood myself better, and that I was able to get a handle on why I feel about things the way i do. I know I am in charge of my own feelings and actions, but sometimes I think I cede that responsibility to the wrong forces. I content myself with knowing that I am forgiven my transgressions, and that I am trying to start anew each moment, each day. Thank God for His amazing Grace!

    Our pastor this morning preached a powerful sermon about The Prodigal Son. When it comes up online sometime tomorrow, I’ll send you the link – I think you will really like it. He is an extraordinary preacher..

    Now – when are you coming to visit me? I have to keep saying that so the possibility of it will stay in your and my mind! BTW, we have a mission team from our church that is going to Kenya this summer to help build a school for children affected by the AIDS epidemic. I wish I could be a part of it, but perhaps you might find a way to meet them, maybe take some photos for me? That would be almost as good as seeing you in person! I’ll give you the dates and location later.

    Have a great week contemplating how we use money, our stewardship of it, and trying t view it objectively, and not as a target of our love. That’s a hard thing to do, when we know what money can do. I have to learn to separate my understanding of what money can accomplish from money itself. Fine line. . .

    See you at the campfire. Remember who you are! Keep me in your prayers as I struggle with establishing a better relationship with food. It is a constant problem.

    Love,
    Paula

     
    • kolembo

      April 30, 2012 at 11:40

      Hey there,

      I think, 50 days in, I’m aware of being so self absorbed that I’m foreign to what is happening around me.

      At church yesterday, I asked myself what I think being Christian is all about.

      Although Jesus lies at the center of my life, I absolutely cannot bring myself to discount other belief’s or walk around as though I cannot see or find God except through the lens of Christianity.

      Christianity has a very specific message, one that sets it apart from all other religions, just as their teachings set them apart from Christianity.

      I have never been comfortable being defensive about my Christianity, nor being so completely filled with Jesus that I cannot reach out otherwise.

      I am looking forward to finishing the 100 days, I cannot lie. It doesn’t mean that I’ll stop being a Christian.

      I want to see what happens in my life as a result of having immersed myself deeply, over a course of time, what happens to the quality of my life and my interactions with other people. Where I can speak with someone else about the Good News of Jesus, I will do my best.

      But being a proud Christian I think, I must colour with humility.

      I am not the end all and be all of things just because I am a Christian.

      Much of this may be discomfort written into my relationship with Christians as a whole.

      There are many things that Jesus can take care of in my life and this is one of them.

      So what is my responsibility as a Christian?

      What is my responsibility to myself and to others?

      What is my responsibility to Jesus?

      Onward.

       
    • kolembo

      April 30, 2012 at 12:09

      I enjoyed reading about knowing that things should be as easy as trusting God and then having to face those devil planted doubts!

      It’s funny isn’t it, how these thoughts are so clearly from the devil, you know, even at the moment I am having them it’s like a letter with his return address on it!

      And yet there they are, percolating through….

      Why do you want to give money to that one – they’re just gonna spend it on drugs!

      What’s a dollar gonna do here – you may as well keep walking!

      You only have enough for lunch. You deserve something too. (the worst ones!)

      I’ve learned to just run – soon as I here them – just give the money however I can (clear my heart so it can make a difference to the receiver) and run!

      I can hear Jesus laughing sometimes…saying attaboy!

      I really believe that if I’m in a position to help, God has put me there and it’s a privelege for me to let him use me.

      What people do with the money, I don’t want to know. My donations are not big enough to be responsible for what the ramifications on the receiving party may be. And it keeps me safe from the insinuation that what I have is mine anyway!

      Still, money is one area of my life that I really want some change in – and I’m going to talk to Jesus about it. I’d love to have some freedom around it.

      Send me the dates for when they are in Kenya, and have a wonderful day.

       
  2. Paula Tohline Calhoun

    April 30, 2012 at 22:00

    This is a combined comment – both for the above post and the one before it.

    You are so right about identifying yourself as a Christian, and I completely agree. I realize from rereading my initial comment that it could be taken differently than the way it was intended. I guess what I was trying to say, essentially, is that your faith is not part of your life, it is your life. I do not feel that the man or person Jesus is the only way to salvation, but I believe that the NAME of Jesus is.

    When you consider what “Name” meant back in biblical times, it makes since that Paul said, “At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” He mean “name,” not like we do – in other words, what we call someone, but “name” in the sense of character, or quality of being. When children were named back then they were given names intended to describe character or the circumstances of their birth. They were often renamed later according to how their character may have changed – i.e. “Jacob” became “Israel.” n So the name of Jesus means something altogether more than just a common name.

    For that reason, I also feel that people come to God in different ways. I personally feel that Jesus is the most accessible, because he is so relatable, but that does not mean that it is best for everyone. I try to live what I believe and not talk it. My mother used to say, “If you were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” That mean to me, that no matter what I say, if I don’t walk the walk, then it means nothing. I attempt, and fall short, to life my life by Love – in the agape sense. It is not easy, but I believe it is the only way. I have known several people who would never in a million years call themselves Christian, but who behave in every way in a Christ-like manner. I would never think they were not “saved,” (whatever that means(. They are living the way Christ asked us to! I try to to apologize for Christ, or for being a Christian, but many so-called Christians have made it very difficult for people to admire Christ because of the way those self-named Christians behave – which in no way resembles Christ that I can detect. It’s a shame that Christ’s name has been so muddied and slandered by awful behavior.

    As far as giving money – once it’s given, it’s forgotten. As you say, it isn’t mine to start with, and if I have been moved to give it away, then I believe that God will direct its use, however God sees fit! The money we give to church is never “designated giving,” i.e. to a particular project or whatever, but it is given anonymously and just put “in the plate.” We might make other offerings at specific times when they are requested, but as a general rule, we don’t tell the church how to use the money. The same goes for panhandlers. If I have money, I will give it. It’s like you said, I have been blessed to be a blessing. I don’t ever want to walk away from such an opportunity. If the money ends up being wasted, or used for ill means, so be it. My mother also used to say (my, she was talkative, wasn’t she? 😆 ) “I’d rather be a fool for Christ, than just a fool.” What both Ashley and I will do, when we see people begging for money for food is to take them to a restaurant and buy them a meal, or to a grocery store and but food and supplies for them. That way we can be assured – especially when children are involved, that food probably gets to the ones who need it most. We try to be discerning of what God is asking of us at any given moment, but sometimes we never know, and that is probably good.

    Now, on to hospitality: Once again – I would love to show you our hospitality! 😆 We love having guests, and try to treat them as our own family. But you are right about what has happened to hospitality in general – world wide. It ha changed – but I believe that a lot of it has more to do with mobility than capitalism – although I’m sure money-grubbing and “keeping up with the Joneses,” probably has much to do with it as well. Back in the day, people didn’t move around much, and they lived farther apart – so when a guest came, it was an event. Now people move around and travel so much, that they see home as a sanctuary where they can escape. No excuse. Yes, “entertaining,” if you mean always being “on,” is a pain, but if your guests can be treated with love and acceptance, that is no chore. Besides, I love to cook, and talk, and share. I don’t especially like to clean up, but so what? I have to do that whether I have guests or not! 😆

    When I have had to deal with depression, I have found it VERY difficult to interact with people – even with my family. So I know what it is like to want to be alone or isolated. If that goes on for an extended period of time, then isolating myself becomes a habit, that i find very difficult to break. That has happened on more than one occasion. What I have to do is just “put myself out there,” and practice being outgoing. Once I get the hang of it again, it’s OK.

    There are many times when I would rather not have people come to my house, but that’s only because my house is messy. I’m getting over that, mainly since I realized that I never care what someone’s house looks like when I visit them! I came to see them and not the house. If people come over here to see the house (unannounced!), then what they see is what they get! I have a motto I learned once long ago: “A clean house is a sign of a misspent life!” On some occasions, if you were to see my house, you would know that I had not misspent one single second! 😆 Now that we are trying to sell our house, and must be ready at all times for prospective buyers, then you will think that I misspend most of my life – but that’s another story!

    Take care, keep walking the walk – forget the talk, unless you are asked. Mainly, keep doing what you are doing. It seems Jesus is walking with you! (Me too – but don’t rely on me – I’ve been known to go astray and take people with me!) Oh, and just tell the devil to shut up! I’m trying to; but why does he seem so reasonable at times? 😆

     
    • Paula Tohline Calhoun

      April 30, 2012 at 22:04

      One of those lines up there says “I try to to apologize. . .” It should say, “I try NOT to apologize. . .!” Sorry about that and for all the other typos. I failed to proofread it before posting it! 😳

       
      • kolembo

        May 1, 2012 at 20:31

        Ha! I know the feeling! I absolutely MUST proofread my stuff before I send, but when I’m writing you and doing this meditation, sometimes I just let it happen – sometimes the net goes wonky – and I don’t even think about changing it, off it goes!

         
    • kolembo

      May 1, 2012 at 20:29

      Ahhhhhh, Paula.

      I am so enjoying you.
      “I’d rather be a fool for God than be just a fool!”
      Super.
      You know, I thought about our last conversation.
      When I was younger, new to God, I was a real bible thumper.
      It got so that looking back, I can see that I wanted so much to be Jesus’ friend that who I became was special because I knew Jesus.
      Now I’m dealing with the truth of that – really allowing myself to feel specially loved by him and it’s difficult. I’m really enjoying getting to it because I think he’s trying to let me know that it is true. That I am special because I’m me, and Christians are especially special because they love Jesus.
      And sometimes I feel, gosh, am I being Peter? Would I stand away from Jesus just when I need to stand up for him?
      And on, and on.
      Anyway, today at the Brahma Kumaris, i actually spoke about Jesus and Christianity in general and the Jehovah’s wittnesses and the Catholics and the idea of the finishing of the the grand plan, the play of Good and Evil for now, the new heaven and the new earth and the everlastingness of the promise.
      I did it in my own rambling way, and they listened.
      And I felt good that I had done it.
      And I felt that being ‘uncomfortable’ with it, alot of times, has to do with – as you said – how Christianity is lived and shown today.
      But that I also can’t make excuses that way – blame the ‘lesser’ Christians for my tiredness of Christianity sometimes.
      And I heard Jesus chuckle behind me and say how he loves me.
      But he really doesn’t need my help.
      And what he loves is how I try to stay true.
      And it’s funny because it makes me walk funny
      And he’s laughing watching me walk with you because we’re funny.
      And we’re genuine.
      And it makes it easy on him because he enjoys being here.
      And that he’ll let me know when I should be Christian, and when I should be Hindu, and that the reason he’s freed me in this way is because I can handle the dichotomy and that I should remember in all situations that I, first, should be learning from the things that become possible for me and for others, being ‘who I say I am at that moment’, and to keep in mind always who Jesus is, and who I am, and the relationship between the owner and the owned, and to understand that this is the way it is, and that because I have asked, he will share ownership with me, after he has made it so that I can own that, and be owned too, by what I own, and that whole thing has to do with love, and that I should know that he loves his little Paula – the things she gets up too! – and that he is enjoying watching the internet work and that we will meet in person, and he’s really looking forward to accepting our praise and that he’s prepared a really good time for us too – just for us – and that we will be really surprised when we see what he was REALLY up to!

      And that I should carry on giving that way, and be a fool with him because he’s never foolish but can be silly, and that this week is a very important week for me, and that ‘giving’ was what it was all about this time, and that the rest of the 100 days, from the end of this week, will be about enjoyment, and yes, he already knows how much I’m going to miss him, and he’s not going very far away, and I’ve learned all I needed to, like he was sure I would, because I was obedient and earnest.

      And that you should tell me when your miracle comes so I can tell you, yes I agree, everyday is a miracle, but this one, this one wow! Jesus is alive.

      A kiss my Paula, and another sloppy one for Ashley (I thinkd?! I’m on a slow network and can’t get out and check – I’m really bad with names – they don’t stick unless I’ve had an experience with the said -and onward.

      Onward!

       
      • Paula Tohline Calhoun

        May 1, 2012 at 20:49

        Yup! It’s Ashley! And he sends his “Holy kiss” back to you, and of course I send my own across the miles. We have shared so much together, and with God’s help we will continue sharing!

        Now, our Mission Team is coming to Nairobi to construct a school building at “Candlelight,” which is a home for AIDS orphans. They will be there during the month of July, but I do not yet have the exact dates. I really hope that you will be able to meet them. I will tell them that you would like to visit and meet them, so they will be on the lookout for you should you be able to go there! That will be almost like meeting you in person – and of course it will be just a prelude to our actual meeting!

        You know what is most interesting to me about our cyber friendship? While I have enjoyed “meeting”
        many people in the Blogosphere, you are to date the only one that I feel it is important to meet for real. I have developed some good cyber-relationships with many, and there are some that I would like to meet someday if that is possible – most of them are somewhere in Africa, oddly enough – most in South Africa – but you are the only one that I feel this imperative to meet. Since I feel that way so strongly, I can only deduce that it is a God thing, and that because of that, we will actually meet!

        Won’t that be something! I also hope to get to meet Simon! And I do so want to share some “Southern Hospitality” with you, with a little “Yankee” hospitality thrown ibn – which is also wonderful, but has a little different quality to it. I just keep seeing us laughing, and being in church together – the four of us, and I imagine your meeting our sons and granddaughter, and I can envision me proudly introducing you to other people as my friend in Christ. What a day it will be.

        The thing is, I also know that you have something to give me – something not material but spiritual, and I know that my life will be enriched by it, and my horizons expanded. And I have also imagined meeting your mother and the rest of your family, so I guess that means that I will someday get to visit Kenya. Talk about a dream! My camera is itching to go as much as I am to take it with me! 😆

        Onward and upward my friend! Remember who you are!

        Love,
        Paula

         
      • kolembo

        May 1, 2012 at 23:14

        Ahhh, love, love Paula! It’s cold here at the moment (well ‘our’ cold – you’d probably think it was early autumn!) and VERY wet so imagining the camp fire has developed into images of a medieval camp with forts and stone walls and us under a tarpaulin, bedraggled, dealing with the down trodden, patching holes in worn out linin and doing our best to attend to the the ill! Ah, King Arthur!
        Tomorrow!

         

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