Thick, juicy Filet Mignon wrapped in a fluffy layer of tasty carbohydrate––that’s like Heaven on a plate. Tina and I went on a wonderful rendezvous last weekend to a fabulous restaurant. We chose the restaurant based explicitly on one particular menu item, Beef Wellington. If your a vegetarian, it’s no “misteak,” it’s more steak for me.
I’ll tell you what, nothing says lovin’ like the taste of something from the oven. If you want to grow in your love together, grow your waist together. Food is a direct path to my heart (probably figuratively and literally). It started off with delectable French Onion Soup, then the entrée, my first stab at Beef Wellington, with yummy Garlic Mashed Potatoes and flavorful Grilled Asparagus on the side. Then the finale: Creme Brulee for me and Chocolate Mousse Cake for my T-cup; with coffee of course, about a pot each I think. (Asparagus and coffee together––talk about stinky pee!) Food for a prince on a pauper’s salary is a rarity.
Compare that to the Gospel. It is satisfying, fulfilling, and downright good. The irony is that it has already been paid for, it is not harmful to my health, and there is more than enough to go around for daily intake of the Lord’s Word. It’s a Prince’s feast on a pauper’s salary everyday. If you really want to grow in your love together, forget about growing your waist, instead grow your faith together. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to eat some steak along the way. (Just make it cattle without defect and consider it an offering to the Lord.)
*No animals were injured in the making of this post.
Wall Street and Main Street might well be Easy Street compared to the effect the current financial calamity has had on Skid Row (in keeping with the “street” theme––no disrespect intended). With little money to go around these days, perhaps the charitable organizations have been the biggest victims. Some companies have realized this as an opportunity, not just for generosity but for profitability too.
Saturday night, we went to Ruby Tuesday’s with some friends. At the end of dinner, the server solicited a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank through the purchase of a half-dozen cookies. I was familiar with the name of the organization from a story about the shrinking support of charities caused by the worlds economic mess. Earlier in the day, we drove through a shopping center parking lot that was hosting a media-sponsored food drive for Second Harvest. So as you can imagine, my heart was being softened for an organization that is apparently starving for resources. Upon further questioning though, it turns out that the cookies cost $8.99 with only 10% (or about $0.90) going to Second Harvest. WOW––what a lame way to be charitable.
Who would I really be feeding by buying those cookies? $1 to “feed” the hungry and the remaining $8 to feed six cookies to a “healthy” couple still full from a $40 meal. Something about that just didn’t seem right. We did make a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank but it wasn’t through buying cookies (I need a cookie like I need a hole in my head). Through another corporate donor, Harris Teeter (a grocery chain), we purchased two $5 gift cards that will go directly to Second Harvest to be used at their discretion. Here’s how it all adds up:
$40 meal + $10 cookies = $1 donation (or 2% of total cost)
$40 meal + $10 gift cards = $10 donation (or 20% of total cost)
Did we make a good deal? Yes, we made a very good deal! To whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48). God wants us to be good stewards of what he has entrusted to us. Remember the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30, the man who made the most of what was given him was rewarded generously and the one who did nothing, neither spent it nor invested it, received nothing. Are you making good “deals” with what God has blessed you with?
Posted in Charity, Crisis, Economy, Food, Generosity, Giving, God, Money, Stewardship
Tagged Charity, Generosity, God, Hunger, Stewardship
Women like reruns too. No, not King of Queens, Two and a Half Men, or Seinfeld. They like our attempts at repeating or even topping a previous hot date. Hint guys: you actually have to take your girl on a hot date before you can try to repeat it.
Here’s what I did on Saturday: I spent several hours of the day shining up the carriage so that I could escort my queen in style. My pastor says that “if you want her to act like a queen, you better start treating her like one, Bubba!” Not only does that advice make sense but I find it to be true. Anyway, the previous night, I made some reservations at a high class restaurant and picked out the appropriate chic flick with which to woo my bride. Then I spent some significant time on the computer putting my creativity to good use by designing a few little cards expressing my love. She got the first of the cards early Saturday, giving her a general time frame of the night’s activities. Second only to the time of departure for her is what to wear. Beyond that, I kept the specifics a surprise, even driving in the direction of one of her favorite restaurants. If you want to show her some real value, set a meaningful course of events independent of her. My wife likes steak so I took her to Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. Also, I find that life has a way of distracting us from what’s truly important in a relationship (each other) with such things as politics currently for me or my driving technique for my wife so we agreed to set up some ground rules. No discussing politics, this blog, or my driving all night period. Oh, and I opened her doors for her. I don’t care how “independent” your women claims to be, don’t let her fool you, she will freakin’ explode on the inside if she’s not used to you doing this. So here’s the final tally:
Expensive? You bet. Was it worth it? Yes, there’s no 8 ounce piece of steak, no matter how tasty, worth $32.00 alone but the experience and how it made my wife feel is invaluable. I know what some of you are saying but hey, you spend that much on your cell phone bill every month . . . or the NFL ticket . . . or [insert own personal luxury item].
Don’t forget to compliment her either; tell her how beautiful she is, even if she looks like a Tonka Truck. Something attracted you to her, what was it? If you cant find it, maybe your the problem–stop being so shallow.
And the movie we saw: Fireproof. Awesome date movie, especially if you are considering marriage, already married, or on the verge of being unmarried. Check out the trailer below:
I had a great time, Baby–I love you!
On Saturday evening,Tina and I went out for a good meal at the high-end restaurant 131 Main. Then, (and I’m going to get a little “womanesque” on you) we went shopping at the high-value Goodwill. We’ve got a friend who thinks she is the Queen of the Night when it comes to Goodwill but I’ve got news for her. No, this is not a coup to lay claims to the “Queen’s” title. As far as I’m concerned, she can keep it. I’m just saying: We’ve been doing it longer and we do it better! Sorry Kellie! We’ve been Goodwillin’ since ‘62––ok, so maybe that’s a little bit of a stretch; it’s more like ‘02. Anyway, I’m not afraid to admit that a large percentage of my wardrobe comes from Goodwill, though you’d never know it. Now, I don’t necessarily have the corner on being cool (there’s a real news flash) but I try to stay hip (do they still use that word?) to the latest fashions. I wear the same brands that the young people wear, names like Banana Republic, Guess, DKNY, Abercrombie & Fitch, to name a few, except at a huge discount. And I’m talking new, or like-new stuff. I have no idea what I have saved over the years but you be the judge based on an outfit bought this past weekend. A silk-cotton shirt by Calvin Klein $3.79, a designer pair of jeans by X2 Denim Laboratory $4.49, and a brown, soft leather winter coat (get this) $4.99––that’s not a typo, there are no missing zeros. Total cost of the outfit (drum roll please): $14.23 including tax. You can barely buy a belt for that amount, even at Walmart. The irony of it all is that we enjoyed two Zebra’s (mocha, not the animal) at Caribou Coffee afterwards for a cost of $7.75 (I may have left out a zero here). That’s highway robbery but well worth it after such a productive night shopping.
The icing on the cake: Goodwill is fertile ground to sow into. Founded in 1902 by Rev. Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister (and a real “community organizer”), Goodwill is “North America’s leading nonprofit provider of education, training, and career services for people with disadvantages, such as welfare dependency, homelessness, and lack of education or work experience, as well as those with physical, mental and emotional disabilities.” And most of the time, the workers are genuinely nice. It’s one of the best kept secrets in America in my opinion. Oops, not any more, I just spilled the beans.
Stayed tuned over the next few weeks for a post about a “Goodwill Challenge” that Tina and I took my mother up on.
I know everyone is sick of the Wendy’s meatatarian commercial but it hits home lately, as the leadership and other obedient participants of my church engage in the Daniel Fast. In short, the Daniel Fast eliminates all foods that are sinfully delicious––no meats, no deep fried foods, no bread (unless unleavened and whole wheat a.k.a. cardboard), no refined sugar (or substitutes even), no caffeine, no processed foods, and no ice cream to name a few. It’s a heart healthy (and colon cleansing) diet. It’s a meat-lover’s nightmare!
Thankfully, I’m still sleeping well. But I do have to give props to those who have made the sacrifice to do this for 10, and some for 21, days. I applaud your obedience and I pray that you will hear from God and deepen your relationship with Him. As for me, I’m probably going to Hell for my disobedience. Really though, I’m struggling enough right now simply to not gorge and to just eat my adequate portions. There is certainly no excuse for disobedience and I’m not trying to make any. All I can say is, thank God for His amazing grace. I have made some sacrifices in the past and my next season for an Olympic-caliber sacrifice is probably right around the corner. Of course, no sacrifice would ever be big enough to come close to that of Christ’s.
To anyone making the Daniel Fast sacrifice at Elevation Church, only eight days to go. I cheer you on and admire your efforts!
My little girl is growing up . . .
Her Eleventeenth (that’s 11 going on teenager) Birthday Party featuring Hawaiian luau theme, hamburgers, fruit kabobs, cookie cake, hula hoop match, water guns, water balloons, limbo contest, crafts, piñata, dance competition, five non-stop screaming girls, sleepover: $200.
Whew! This old dad’s wore out!
Megan seemed a little disenchanted that I was preparing a bologna sandwich for breakfast the other day. I was tempted to tell her about the contents rumored to be in bologna but realize that she would likely ban it from her menu. There are some things you just don’t tell your kids.
Then it occurred to me. That’s how it is with the Heavenly Father. We often want to know why things happen the way they do. There are some things you’re just better off not knowing. His ways are higher, His thoughts are higher. God’s infinite wisdom and sovereignty is far too great for our human minds to conceive.