Monthly Archives: January 2010

Puttin’ On The Ritz

In Life Group tonight we talked about finances. We spent a little time going over what the Bible has to say about stewardship, responsibility, and money. If you believe in the God of the Bible you should believe that everything we have is Gods. No exceptions, everything we have, everything we worked for, everything we made, everything we’ve been given. ITS ALL HIS!

I will not be spending any more time on that concept, but I could talk for years on it. I am writing to talk about a story that one of the women in the group talked about.

She was talking about going on a vacation when she knew someone who worked at the Ritz Carlton. So they got a great deal and stayed there one night for the experience. She described her feeling as she watched people spend money as if it was free. People paying $80 for a cup of tea and desert like it meant nothing. She talked about her attitude as she questioned why these people could live so extravagantly when so many people are jobless, homeless, and hurting. Its like their concept of money is just ridiculous.

As I listened I was just thinking about how many times I have felt this way. How many times have we looked at what someone else spends their crazy money on and been frustrated at their choices, and their lifestyle. Have you ever done this? Can you relate?

Lets step back and change our perspective. If you are reading this you probably live in America. You have a roof over your head, clean water, and enough food to survive. You probably own a car, or a computer, or a cell phone that costs $50 a month. YOU ARE RICH! Most of the world would walk down your street and be in the Ritz. Why would we spend more money on a phone then 99% of the world gets paid? Seriously! 99% of the world makes less than the average American pays for their cell phone bill! The $2 we would spend for a glass of tea at a restaurant would feed an Ethiopian for two days. Think about that next time you order a $10 mixed drink. The car you drive…if you own your car it makes you wealthier than %90 of the world. If you are lucky enough to make a salary of $35,000 a year then you are in the top %1 of wealth in the world. YES, %1, that is not a typo. YOU ARE RICH!

You live in the Ritz.

Thank God! No matter how hard we work, we don’t deserve it. We are blessed as a people. We have won the lottery by being born in this amazing country. We are in a recession compared to our past, but still in the Ritz compared to our neighbors.

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If you feed them, they will come.

Ok, so if you are truly perverted you might catch the pun I really wanted to place in the title. I didn’t want to offend anyone in the title. I will let you get into the content of the blog before you get offended.

If you haven’t heard the “immoral” remarks of SC politician Andre Baure you should probably check out yahoo.com or any newspaper. He was the hopeful replacement for Gov. Sanford and in a few sentences has brought his political career to a screeching halt.

Here’s a quick quote from the Town Hall Meeting last Thursday, “My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed (ok, now you will catch the pun if you haven’t already)! You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that.”

These remarks have been called immoral, disgusting, awful, etc. Democrats have, of course, ran Bauer out of town. How dare him compare people to squirrels!

I think Bauer’s grandmother was correct. In fact, these words are borderline prophetic. This is and will continue to be the end of the American Empire that we have been priviledged to experience in our lifetime. YES! I SAID IT! THE END…

Most great empires before us have lasted less than 100 years and very few successful empires have lasted hundreds of years. America has been The World Power for over a century and has had a great run, but like all that have come before, we are doomed to failure by our own hands.

How does this relate to the immoral comments of Bauer? I’ll tell you…

The second we forget that we are human, and humans are not entitled to anything, we begin our downfall. God has promised us enough to survive, but he has not promised to give it to us. We have to get it. We have to earn it and we deserve nothing more than that. We (Americans) have lost sight of this. We feel we are entitled to assistance, retirement, well-fare… We feel we deserve things much of the world would kill for.

We are people, just like Africans, Europeans, and yes, Haitians. We are entitled to no more, and no less than the street kid of Ethiopia. Why should we deserve more, because we live within a man-made hypothetical line that is drawn in the dirt? We think a law written on paper entitles us to more, a creed we think is above us. Don’t you think the Roman’s thought their laws would live on forever. We live by a “living constitution” that changes with time so it should forever change with the times, right? All this implies to me is that one day the constitution will be dead.

We deserve nothing, and our culture is a dependent culture. If we can’t afford to buy a house, we have a bank give us money we haven’t earned. If we “need” a car we don’t wait until we have a few thousand and buy a car that runs, we borrow money from a bank that we haven’t earned and buy a car with AC, power locks, bluetooth, and heated seats. When we can’t afford food we are given stamps that we trade for the cigarettes and alcohol we need to survive. And yes, we feel we are entitled to health care and higher education. I can’t afford to go to college, but my government tells me I deserve a higher education so they give me money to do it.

And the more kids you have the more you deserve, so it doesn’t matter whether you can afford a kid or not, the kid will be raised by the government because they are American.

We must not forget that we deserve nothing. We are given opportunity by the grace of God, but we are not given prosperity. We are given potential, but not essentials. We have to earn it. The second we forget that we are deserving of nothing we become self righteous and that has been the downfall of most great civilizations before us. Yes, there were others before us and there will be others after us. We are just hurrying it along by giving to people who feel they deserve it.

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