Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thinking about God & Money, cont'd

In my previous post, I gave some thoughts about Goldman-Sachs employees making a zillion dollars while pretty much everyone else is bearing the brunt of a painful economic collapse. This isn't a surprise, what was (and is) a surprise to me was that they tried to say they were doing "God's Work". I was reading this in my Bible today, and wonder what they would say to it:

James 5
"Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter."

Now, that should put to rest any arguements about if these dudes are "doing God's work." But, so that it isn't all point-the-finger-at-those-guys, this passage presents a challenge to me and probably you if you are reading this. Most of us make more than 80-90% of the rest of the world, so by that standard we are also rich. Consider that a challenge - what are we doing with our money that IS God's work?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mom thoughts...

You know that you have two children when you actually finally buy under eye concealer and use it everyday. When will I get to sleep again...?

Note from Mike: Posts like this are why I wish Jen would get her own google account so she can post stuff under her own name.

Halloween Fun!

Halloween in Cleveland was fun and cool. We took Addie out trick-or-treating for about 45 minutes and only took Sam out to a few select neighbor's houses. It was Addie's first night trick-or-treating and she loved it. About half way through the night she realized the candy people were giving her was hers and she could eat it. She calls it her "treats" and this was really her first taste of chocolate candy bars (besides those bribing M & M's for potty training...see below). Sam was a cute little dragon and despite Addie screaming for a good 15 minutes about not wanting to wear her costume she decided it was "cute" after we finally got it on and took a peek in the mirror. All in all, a successful night...


Every so often I eat foods that I think I hate just to make sure I don't like them. I recently re-tried hummus (roasted red pepper) that some friends brought over and really liked it. I'm eating it for lunch today.

The cool thing about hummus is that it counts as a vegetable, but doesn't necessarily taste like one.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Help me out here...

So Mike has recently started watching (brace yourselves, please) Battlestar Galactica. This show is about some aliens and space. It's super dorky. Dorkier than Lost and Star Wars. He told me that "Nerd is cool now Jen." I told him that "Nerds think Nerd is in." I used to pride myself on having a only semi-dorky computer nerd husband. I think Battlestar Galactica just took us to a new low. Or high. Depending on who you ask...

Back me up here...

Potty Update

Earlier post referenced bath ball in potty. Potty now clogged. Pretty certain it was the bath ball despite Mike's efforts to convince me otherwise. ("I've seen those pipes, they're really wide.")

Greed and Goldman Sachs

An article caught my attention today on a news website. The title is "I'm doing 'God's Work'. Meet Mr. Goldman Sachs" You can read it here.

The article goes on to explain how the people that work on Wall Street for Goldman Sachs justify how much money they make: "Average pay this recessionary year for the 30,000 staff is expected to be a record $700,000. Top earners will get tens of millions..." Blankfein, from whom the title quote comes from, makes an insane amount of money: "$68m in 2007 alone, a record for any Wall Street CEO, to add to the more than $500m of Goldman stock he owns"

Let's get this out in the open: Greed is a sin. This is clearly a guy who worships money, and as the Bible tells us, you cannot worship both God and Money. Let's be clear - Christianity does not promote greedy, self-indulgent, self-centered living, period. This guy making 68 million bucks a year is not serving God, he is serving himself, period. Read the article - the lifestyle of a typical Goldman employee revolves around luxurious homes, boats, vacations, clothes, etc. Read it, seriously, and listen to how the employees' only purpose for living is to serve the company.

In fact, I propose to you that even making profit the way a company like this does is borderline sinful. Read the OT, and it is pretty clear God doesn't like us exacting profit when lending:

Leviticus 25:
35 “If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. 36 Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you. 37 You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit."

Exodus 22:
"If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him. 26 If ever you take your neighbor's cloak in pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down, 27 for that is his only covering, and it is his cloak for his body; in what else shall he sleep? And if he cries to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate."

Ezekiel 18:
"10 “If he fathers a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things 11 (though he himself did none of these things), who even eats upon the mountains, defiles his neighbor's wife, 12 oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination, 13 lends at interest, and takes profit; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself."

Proverbs 11:4
"Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death."

These are a very very small selection of what the Bible has to say on the issue of interest, profit, greed, and generosity. Look people, making gobs of money when the average Joe is having a really hard time making ends meet is sin.

I saw a quote from another article - "Griffiths also used religion to justify his stance, saying, 'The injunction of Jesus to love others as ourselves is an endorsement of self-interest.'" You can read that here.

Let us, perhaps, contrast this with the words from the New Testament, and you can decide what "God's Work" truely is.

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matt 6:24

The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. Luke 16:14

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:33

Matt 25:34-46
41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Luke 12
13Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."
14Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" 15Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
16And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'
18"Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '
20"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'
21"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Potty Adventures....

So no one actually told me how funny and aggravating and ridiculous potty training can be. Addie asked to go to the potty while she was in the bath so I popped her out of the bath onto the potty so she could do her business. I flushed the potty and then turned around to see her throwing her bath toy right into the flushing potty. It was a small pink ball that quickly went down the bowl. She started to cry and said she wanted it back but I told her it was all gone. Now, whenever she sees a potty, she promptly announces, "My ball is in the potty. It's allgone."