Tag Archive: money


rich

Continuing the passage i am sharing from the Ron Sider book, ‘Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger’, i’ll back up one paragraph just to remind us where we were:

= = = = =

If there are poor people who need assistance, Jesus’ carefree disciple will help – even if that means selling possessions. People are vastly more important than property. “Laying up treasure in heaven” means exactly the same thing. “In Jewish literature, the good deeds of a religious person are often described as treasures stored up in heaven.” Continue reading

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i know what you’re thinking? What absolute clickbait, right? How could Brett “Fish” Anderson possibly have stumbled on to a real and practical way to achieve peace [of the worldly variety]? Well, what if i told you right off the bat that one of those ways involves flourless pancakes? Exactly. Your mocking is not needed here, chaps. [Nor yours, chapesses although i doubt you’d stoop to that level – you’re just naturally better at some things].

But back to the most serious matter at hand, which was, of course:

WORLD PEACE

Everyone wants it. Most of us fight daily to wrestle back the hopelessness that easily pervades and fills us with such underpowering phrases as “It is only going to get worse”, “There is no hope” or “I can’t believe Telkom still hasn’t sorted out our internet, maybe this week”.

But, as previously, clickbai..um mentioned, i have found two definitive ways of achieving said goal [i don’t want to come across as arrogant and pretend these are the only ways to achieve World Peace cos none of these contain any reference to melted Lindt balls, all night Settlers of Catan sessions or a movie starring Chris Pratt, Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd AND Johnny Depp, so clearly there may be others…] and here they are:

FLOURLESS PANCAKES 

That is NOT a typo. Actual pancake type things with no flour in them. Not to be confused with the flourless brownies i made from Nicky Lloyd’s mouth-watering recipe that one time when i somehow accidentally managed to omit the entire bag of flour or whatever it was and somehow they still magically and mysteriously tasted flippin amazing [you can leave out the flour, Nicky!]. And what is more we are talking only two ingredients. Three if you count the second egg.

Two eggs and a banana

And look how happy it is…

So to test the power of the internet and whether everything on it can be believed or not, i ventured forth just half an hour ago to test run something i saw but could barely believe. Two eggs and a banana = pancakes. i couldn’t believe it a lot more once i’d chopped my banana into slices like in the picture and added the eggs and had it mixed into a chunky liquidy mess that looked nothing like their i’m-pretty-sure-they-substituted-a-picture-of-actual-flour-filled-pancake-batter pic. So i dived back onto the internet to read, “First mash up the banana completely and then add the eggs.” [They used a lying picture – thankx a lot flourless egg pancake consortium! You have betrayed my trust already, but fortunately i am too far in and so will have to continue].

Then i grabbed a hand whisk and tried my best to get it looking like the fake picture they had submitted which was suspiciously flour-coloured and didn’t look much like the bitty goop i was trying to tease into something more nourishing looking. When i stick my concoction in the frying pan it didn’t look much better and kinda resembled the mess that happens when you’ve finished making your french toast and throw the rest of the egg batter into the pan for a horrendous omelette type creation that NEVER tastes nice.

And then suddenly it happened…

A minute or so i looked back into the pan nervously and an amazing metamorphosis had taken place. Where my squiggly messy omelette flops had been floundering, were now some legitimate looking pancake types and i started to get really excited and hopeful. Like when there is news of a new Star Wars movie happening at the end of the year. But still quite nervousful. Like when there is news of a new Star Wars movie happening at the end of the year. Cos, you know, Jar Jar.

pancakes

But they worked and they were amazing and you should totally try them and if everyone in the world who was fighting or doing bad things to other people in the world just stopped for five minutes and made themselves a batch of two-eggs-and-a-banana flourless pancakes, then at least for those five minutes, the world would be a more peaceful place. Mission very much accomplished. [But seriously, try them and come back and report how amazing they taste!]

EXCHANGE BAGS OF MONEY

i see some of you are still a little skeptical about my Definitive and Practical Ways of achieving World Peace, and if that is you, then handing over bags of money is sure to win you over. Because money, right? Well, at the risk of losing the ‘But what about all the poor people with no bags of money?’ people, bear with me three more minutes [and by that i don’t mean have my children] and take a read of this.

I have been reading this book whose cover is below that i’m sure you can read the title of, and really finding it enlightening.

book

i am still very much quite new in the trying-to-understand-what-is-going-on-in-the-whole-Israel-vs-Palestine-conflict thing and have people [well, a person] telling me this book is more than likely evil [because the internet told him] but i have found it a really interesting read and have learnt a lot about life and nonviolence and perspective along the way. But this morning’s story felt like a must share and if we could harness the heart out of this one, then surely actual World Peace cannot be too much further away:

‘Four thousand years ago, two brothers lived near each other on a hill by Jerusalem. They each had their own farm, but they shared a threshing floor. Every year they would bring in the harvest and divide it equally between them. They they would take the grain to their farms and sell it in the market place.

One of the brothers was wealthy but had no family; the other had a family but was poor. One night after the harvest had been divided into equal measures and taken to each brother’s home, the wealthy brother lay awake in his bed, thinking, “I need just enough grain to pay for my food and servants. But my poor brother, he has so many mouths to feed. He needs the money more than I do.’ He rose up out of his bed and went down to his granary. He lifted up as many sacks as he could carry and started to walk toward his brother’s farm. Just around that time, the poor brother was lying in his bed, unable to sleep: “I have a wife and children who will take care of me and the farm if anything happens to me. But my poor brother – if something happens to him, he will have to pay to be cared for. He needs the money more than I do.” Quietly, so as not to disturb his wife and children, he rose up out of his bed and tiptoed down to his granary.

He lifted up as many sacks as he could carry and walked toward his brother’s farm. The two brothers met midway between their farms, their arms laden with the sacks of grain they were carrying to each other. The full moon shone down upon them as they dropped their bundles and ran to embrace each other. And God looked down and smiled.’

According to legend, on this site Jerusalem was built. With this kind of a spirit, Palestinians and Israelis can move together toward a just peace.

Yeah? World Peace anyone? Bags of grain, bags of money, a loaf of bread, an invitation to a meal round our table, learning the language of ‘the other’, hearing each others stories, giving to people rather than projects… so many streams leading downwards towards this river of World Peace.

Well, there you have it. i guess the irony of Flourless Pancakes followed by a story all about Grain which is used to make flour. i hear the strains of Bono in the distant background crooning out the words, “With or Without Flour…” and maybe something else about “And you give yourself away” or something…

[If you’re a parent, or know one, ‘How To Raise Your Children as World Changers’ might resonate]

When tbV [the beautiful Val] and i were living in Oakland about a year ago, we came across a book titled ‘Free’ by a friend of ours we had met over here, Mark Scandrette.

free

The tagline of the book is ‘Spending your Time and Money on What Matters Most’ and that really does sum up the book. We decided to gather some people together and work through the book over an eight week period. Continue reading

mc

I have often said that ‘Being Married to the Right Person’ is one of the best things in the World’ and I hold by that.

Not the easiest though. Or the most comfortable necessarily.

A large percentage of the people I know who have gotten married typically go through some kind of marriage counselling or preparation before the wedding day happens. Dealing with conflict and putting a budget together and decision-making and things like that.

Then the wedding day happens and it is like a fairly young child being thrown in to a swimming pool with the genuine belief that it will be okay and pick up swimming. Except maybe with even less supervision or the sense that if something goes wrong there is already someone in the pool or someone more than ready to dive in to rescue.

Kind of like how we put so much focus on the wedding day as if that was the big event as opposed to a huge celebration signifying the beginning of a big event. The wedding is not the thing. The marriage is the thing. And it sometimes feels like we don’t put enough emphasis on that.

The idea of ‘Marriage Counselling’ once someone is married is typically reserved for a moment of huge crisis or last resort.

Marriage, like money or sex, tends to be something we typically don’t speak a lot about, especially when things are a bit of a struggle or really going wrong, even with our closest friends. Because there is a shame factor. If my marriage is struggling then something must be wrong with me. So we tend to walk that road alone and do our best to figure things out with our partner and hope for the best.

What I want to suggest though is that this is a Taboo Topic that could really use a lot more conversation. It needs to be healthy conversation and it needs to be safe for both us and our partner and so we have to be clever about how we go about it.

I also want to suggest that Marriage Counselling within a marriage can be the most helpful thing . It doesn’t have to be only when things are falling apart, but can be a helpful way of helping you as a couple steer yourselves in a healthier direction, by picking up on blind spots that may be causing conflict or by giving you tools to help you to live together in a way that helps you serve each other better. In a way that helps you both to shine.

Let’s be honest – the commitment to spend the rest of your life living with someone else, sharing their space and your money and your bodies and more is an enormous thing. We should definitely be giving it a lot  more attention than most of us do. Learning from those who have successfully journeyed for a number of years and inviting a professional to sit with us and help guide, direct and counsel feel like two very powerful ingredients for a successful marriage.

tbV and I have benefitted from spending some time with an excellent counsellor – having someone who was on both of our sides who helped create a safe space for us to be able to work through some difficult things. Someone who helped suggest structures, rhythms and equip us with some tools to be able to do this marriage thing better. We have seen the results in our relationship.

I can highly recommend it. And am hoping to share some stories here from others who have experienced a similar thing. Don’t wait until you’re standing right on the edge of a cliff before calling out for help.

[And now our prompt: keeping to the theme of poetry’s value, Wallace Stevens famously wrote that “money is a kind of poetry.” So today, I challenge you to write about money! It could be about not having enough, having too much (a nice kind of problem to have), the smell, or feel, or sensory aspects of money. It could also just be a poem about how we decide what has value or worth.]

hidden treasures

please forgive me, if i seem a little withdrawn

i was hoping i might find a safe place to deposit myself

but that doesn’t seem to be something i can bank on these days

something of a cache-22 situation perhaps

which i would have previously appreciated

but now? well it is not something i would pursue

as i take note of the people who would

coin it at my expense

you have to give them credit i guess

while constantly checking to make sure that they are not always simply

After The Money

[To continue on to my first ever Palinode, i know, click here]

southafrica

i do not know all the answers.

Let’s start there, shall we. This is not a post from the guy who knows all the answers, trying to make you feel bad because you don’t. In fact, at the moment i’m really just working on trying to figure out the right questions.

I’m not expecting you to have all the answers, and i’m not claiming that you do and that you’re ignoring them or a really bad person for not jumping into action and putting everything right. None of this is about that.

When i post a rant about the ridiculous amount of money that football players get for being transferred from one club to another and you jump in with your statement of, “Yeah, but the football player doesn’t see that money. Most of it goes to the club.” as if you are suggesting that the poor football player is barely keeping his head above the breadline…

When i speak about the idea of ‘White Privilege’ and how we need to address some of the imbalance that still exists between black and white [and others] in this country and you are quick to defend with a statement about how it’s okay because “the blacks stole it from the khoi and the san” or something that looks more like, “i worked hard for what i have, so do you just want me to give it up?” as if the wealth is now equally distributed in our country and as many white people are caught struggling to even make enough for a daily meal as black people…

i am not wanting you to take the blame and admit that everything wrong in this country is your fault…

i am not even wanting you to take partial blame and say that anything that is not great in this country is your fault…

i am not asking you to give up everything you have, sell it and give the money to the poor…

i am not expecting you to have all the answers we need to fix government and education and service delivery and more…

and i am not even expecting you to have one answer to one problem and feel the responsibility of getting that one sorted…

unequal

All i am wanting to hear and see from you, right now, is for you to be able to look at the picture of wealth standing alongside the picture of poverty in South Africa and to be able to utter the words, ‘That is not okay.’ 

This is not acceptable. It is not good. Something really needs to change.

i feel like if we can just get to there, that will be such an excellent starting point for everything that is to follow.

“I want to be part of that change.” is the war cry i would like for us all to work towards after that.

But can we just agree, when we drive to the airport in Cape Town and look to our right [if we can pull our head out of the sand, long enough to do so] that ‘That is not okay.’

Do i know what to do? No. [Although i may have some ideas to start us off and know people with ideas]

Do i need to ‘fix it’ all myself? No.

Do people with money need to feel bad? i hope not. i have money. so only if we are not using it well, i guess.

All i want to hear from you as step 1, is whether you think this is okay or not. Reply in the comments. 

My name is brett “Fish” anderson and i do not believe this is okay!

[For other South African related posts and taking this conversation forwards, click here]

moneymouth

The Bible says, ‘The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.’

i have noticed, however, that for most people, talking about money seems to be the evilest of evil. Or close to.

Why is it that people do not like to talk about money? As if it is this hallowed ‘That-Which-shall-Not-Be-Named’ mystical creature upon whose mentioning chaos and damnation occurs?

You don’t believe me? Try asking someone sitting with a group of friends how much they earn.

noentry

And it goes a little something like that.

Well, i’ve been thinking about it a bit lately – tbV and i did a preach on kingdom economics on the West Coast and it feels like time to get some conversation going on about it here.

People react uber strongly any time i dare question the exorbitant prices football stars get paid in transfer fees.

When i called it evil that the “U.S. will spend $350 million on ‪#‎Halloween‬ costumes for our PETS which is 32 x’s more than Liberia’s healthcare budget” there were a bunch of people jumping in to justify or explain to me why it was not really that bad.

And more.

So this is just an intro piece, but what would YOU like to hear on the topic?

And how free would you be, in a group of relative strangers, to say what you earned? Deal or no big deal?

[To look at Giving that Costs, click here]

[For a piece looking at how we spend our TIME, MONEY and ENERGY, click here]

[For an excellent piece on ‘Storing her Money in the Stomachs of the Needy, click here]

 

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