Tag Archive: wealth


Mumford and Fish

Mumford and Fish

These are three of my best friends: Dunc, Majay and Rob. And missing from that pic is Reegs who is also one of my longest life buddies. And of course my wife, the beautiful Val [aka tbV, which so many of you keep thinking stands for The Lovely Val because of, um, the B, obviously] who made this photo [taken at my 40th after these clowns performed a satirical rendition of one of my favourite Mumford songs complete with homemade pizza box guitar and changed up lyrics] possible, plus of course let’s not forget the boob cake. Continue reading

the alchemist

i watch

through my window

and the rain

as you

dig through

my trash

to somehow

discover

your treasure

[For more of my shorter poems, click here]

good intentions

i see you

on the

street corner

cold and confused

and want to

reach out

a hand

to lift you up

until

that moment

i realise

that to properly do so

i might need

to take

a step down

[For more of my shorter poems, click here]

my beautiful wife val just wrote this blog and it’s been stuff that is on my mind and heart a lot these last few years and she pretty much nails it:

check out her blog titled “on immoral wealth”

do you see yourself as rich? i would imagine probably not

if i had to put myself on a wealth scale i would probably rate myself as below average

i would compare myself to the people i know who have so much more than me – own houses, better cars, holiday house, huge screen television, able to fly overseas on holiday (or even have lavish comfortable holidays here), more impressive toys and so on

would i see myself as poor? definitely not – having lived in a township for a year and a half i have witnessed a small aspect of what poverty can look like and so i know that i am completely not close to being poor (altho to be fair there were a lot of people in the K who had better phones, cars, toys, clothes than me so i wasn’t even the toppest rich there)

but the reality is that if i can read (which i can) then that puts me in the top 30% of people in the world – if i own a computer (which i do) that puts me in the top 1% of people in the world – when you look at things like acess to safe drinking water, three meals a day and so on then suddenly my wealthometer reading is skyrocketing

the truth is that wealth is relative – apparently 6% of the people in the world own 59% of the entire world’s wealth – India and China (two of the countries with some of the world’s poorest people in them) are top of the list of most new millionaires this last year

to some of my friends and people in my church i am poor… but to some of the guys i work with in the K and to the guys lining up in the road down the road from where we stay every morning looking for work i am most definitely very rich – my ‘poverty’ is another man’s ‘incredible wealth’ and my ‘abundance’ is another guy’s table scraps

in the Bible in the book of Timothy (1. chapter 6.10) it says ‘for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil’ – the bible doesn’t speak of money as evil (it’s the love thereof) and doesn’t even say you can’t be rich (but does say a lot that to be rich is more difficult and that rich people better use their money wisely) but it does teach us to use what we have well. very well.

i imagine wherever you appear on the wealth scale, there is someone less wealthy than you that you can reach out to and encourage and assist and help up, and so my question is, what are you doing with your wealth to ease someone else’s poverty?

and above all, i guess my point here is that as much as i would love to see myself as ‘below average’ i am in fact overwhelmingly rich, as are you if you are reading this.

that i am grappling with lately:

one of them is taking the incredible life-transforming simple-gospel stuff we are reading about in books like Shane Claiborne’s ‘The Irresistible Revolution’ and Erwin McManus ‘an unSTOPPABLE force’ and Rich Stearns ‘The Hole in the Gospel’ and even going back to the legen….dary Keith Green’s ‘No Compromise’ story and not just being excited and ‘challenged’ and ‘changed’ by it, and not just talking about it and maybe looking down on others who ‘don’t get it’ and all that and when do we actually start doing it and being transformed and changed – do we actually ‘get it’ or are we just excited by the idea? that is a tough one and i know my biggest problem is knowing the ‘how’ cos i am excited and i do think it’s great and i do want to live the simple passionate compassionate miraculous life to the full Jesus calls us to, but practically what do i need to do? question one i am grappling with.

part of question one is how do i justify the fact that i just spent R600 on an Eddie Izzard dvd boxset but don’t feel i can justify spending R700 to R900 for me and tbV to go watch him live (i guess that could be a problem with justifying both as opposed to either one of them perhaps) but then also not being able to justify someone else wanting to spend R300 on make-up for a wedding? why is mine okay and theirs not okay?

linked to that question will be that my lavish will be simple and ridiculous to Bishop’s Court residents and Saudi Arabia moguls but my simple will be wasteful and lavish and dreamed of for a typical Kayamandi shack resident – wealth and poverty can be relative to an extent.

question 2 regards being pastory type guy at enGAGE, a congregation that is part of the Vineyard church in Stellenbosch – are we really effecting change in the community or am i realistically simply just maintaining a small community of like-minded people? as in really, like what is really really happening there? cos if this year is all about just looking after 30 to 50 Christians and trying to make sure they are all still Christian at the end of the year and maybe a bit more Christian, then what the flippy flipperson? there MUST be more than this.

not needing answers (well, not from you) – just needing to ask the questions…

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