Blaming My Racket and Buying Fair Trade

When I was learning to play tennis as a young teenager, I used what most of us did back then, an aluminum racket. These were quite a bit heavier than the various ones you can get rather inexpensively today, like the graphite rackets I bought for our girls. I play with a much better material these days when I do get out to the courts, one I couldn't have been trusted with in my early days.

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Ignoring Insults and Pretending to Be Rich

When I was a kid my older brothers unrelentingly teased me. Today I don't remember what they teased me about. I was a pretty normal kid. Maybe a little wimpy, but I couldn't say I made a natural target for teasing, except that I was the youngest. I would retaliate by tattling about anything and everything. When I would complain about my brothers' teasing, my mother's reply was always the same, "Just ignore them."

Serving Suggested: Thoughts on Dessert Cereal

In her book on writing, Anne Lamott recommends for all rookie writers to begin with childhood, specifically what school lunch was like. Write everything you can remember, she says, about school lunch. What you ate, what others ate, what you and they traded for. Everything. I suppose, as she recommends, I could begin here, and…

30 Pieces of Silver

During all of Jesus' homilies on money and greed and God's provision, two of his disciples received his words radically differently. One was a former tax collector, Matthew, who had enlisted with the Roman occupiers essentially to extort money from his fellow Jews. But he left his lucrative career to follow a homeless teacher. The other disciple was Judas Iscariot, whose occupation we know nothing about.

An Objection to the Worship Budget

At my church, a Brethren denomination that has German Baptist roots, we hold an annual council meeting every October. These are mostly business meetings for the election of committee chairs and such, as well as for the approval of the next year's budget. Each of us pastors is expected to give a brief summary of our particular ministry. I'll never forget the meeting in 2010.

Money Map

I'm excited to begin teaching a new financial class this week. As you're probably aware, I've been for quite a while a strong proponent of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. For some reason, however, interest in the class at my church has been minimal. We offered it two years ago and had a great response, but not much since. This lack of response led me to reevaluate FPU, and I discovered that I no longer wanted to facilitate it.

Capital Citizens in The Hunger Games

The stylist, whatever his name is, depicted for me some of the Capital characters in The Hunger Games. In my previous post, I wrote about how I’d gotten sucked into the young adult fiction trilogy. I read an interview with the author, who was asked if she could envision a post-apocalytpic America, where the capital city harshly rules over district cities, as in the book. To answer the question offered her, I believe this already exists, though differently ...

Why I’m irritated at the D-backs’ success

Well, my formerly hapless D-backs are hanging in there. Eight games above .500 and just four games behind the NL West leading Giants, winners of last year’s World Series. It’s fun watching budding sluggers Justin Upton, Chris Young, and Miguel Montero, and young dart throwers Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson all come into their own, guided by manager and former Fall Classic hero Kirk Gibson. But I have to say, I’m a little irritated that I’ll be losing more of my blow money.

How not to feel guilty for being rich

... What I’ve realized looking back on that time (a wonderful time, actually, when Cindy carried then delivered Micah) is that we never came close to losing our house, and our pantry, though it dwindled, kept us fed, and water was as accessible as the kitchen faucet. For that matter, we could drink from the pool in our backyard, if we had to. ...