October 9, 2012

In a Sense, I WAS Giving Away Riches. To a Store.

Does it seem amusing to follow a post lamenting the near-universal failure to follow a certain Bible verse about giving away riches with a post about purchasing unnecessary items? Very well then, it seems amusing.

And in any case, it has been pointed out to me repeatedly that that verse is no problem: as long as we don't LOVE our riches, we can feel free to keep them, unlike the guy in the Bible story who was sent away by Jesus for keeping them. It's too bad the guy in the story didn't think of trying that argument with Jesus. But it's not too late for US to try it!

I don't want to give my riches away, either. Except to the store, in exchange for possessions.



New bowl (right size for ice cream or soup), $1.99 at Home Goods. Paul was complaining that all our bowls were girly and had birds and flowers on them. This one looks like it was carved out of the thigh bone of a freshly-slaughtered mammoth and then smoothed in the violent waters of a wild river, so I hope it works for him.




Sixteen acorn-shaped placecard holders from Marshalls. I've started having Thanksgiving at my house, and one of the best parts of hosting is the sudden need that opens up for certain Festive Dinner Table Accessories.

I first saw these in white, and I thought, "Oh, what a pity they're WHITE. I'd want them if they were brown!" Then, several aisles later, I found a pack of brown ones. But I wanted four packs, so should I buy one pack, just on the HOPE that I would find more at other similar stores? Then I looked across the aisle, and there was a second pack. Well, then that's enough for my parents and for everyone in my house except me, and I don't need one because I'll know I'm sitting where there isn't an acorn. Then I thought I'd go back to where I saw the white ones and look again, because I hadn't been looking thoroughly at that point. So we went back and looked again---and found two more packs of brown.





My mom spotted this clearance bird-patterned box at Marshalls. She really wanted it, but didn't have a use for it. I thought it might be perfect for housing part of my postcard collection, so I bought it.




I keep a supply of these Melissa & Doug colored pencils and crayons in my gift closet, to be paired with either the Melissa & Doug coloring books or with any gift that seems like it still needs a little something.



This coffee I found at Home Goods might not even be any good, but I was sold by the packaging.

20 comments:

MomQueenBee said...

Oooh! You're a Thanksgiving hoster! Best holiday of the year. By far. I would covet your acorn placecard holders except that we're not fancy enough to assign seats. The answer to "where should I sit" is "down" around here.

Maggie said...

You know, at first I didn't understand the appeal of the bowl, but now that you've described it, I feel I must get one for my husband immediately. MANLY!!

Nowheymama said...

I love those acorns! They would be perfect for when we host Thanksgiving dinner. And brown was definitely the right choice.

Ann Wyse said...

Your description of the bowl is so exceedingly wonderful. I just had to be sure you *know* how wonderful.

Nicole said...

Ahaha!
"This one looks like it was carved out of the thigh bone of a freshly-slaughtered mammoth and then smoothed in the violent waters of a wild river, so I hope it works for him."

Men. Also, that coffee is adorable. FALL IN LOVE? That would sell me too, in a heartbeat. A HEARTBEAT!

Scottish Twins said...

I'm sorry for bringing it up in this post, because I know your intent wasn't to continue the religious discussion from the last post in these comments. However, you did make another inference about Christians in this one that I think deserves to be discussed.

I don't think that the Christians that are saying it's the LOVE of money that is the sin are trying to warp the words of Jesus in any way. I think you're missing the point. The point is that when and IF Jesus ever calls you to give it all away in order to follow HIM, a Christian should be willing to do so.

I don't think that Jesus was expecting all Christians to sell every single thing they owned in order to be a "good" Christian. We're not all supposed to live in mud huts, clothed in leaves. Even Jesus enjoyed the luxury of fellow believers' warm homes, food, and expensive oils and perfumes. But, if He at some point asked one of those believers to turn over that home to the church in order to help others or to sell the expensive perfumes in order to feed the family starving next door, He expects us to be willing to do so. The problem is that some of us LOVE our things and our money so much, we ignore Him when He does ask us.

So don't feel badly about buying your trinkets unless you ignored the urging of the Holy Spirit in order to do so.

Jujyfruit said...

Your description of the bowl made me hoot. With laughter, I mean. That is to say, you described its appeal masterfully. (Unlike this blathering attempt. heh) Moving on...

I bought the exact same bag at coffee for the exact same reason!! So lovely. :)

Swistle said...

Scottish Twins- My parents were a minister and a Christian school teacher, and they're still the sort of people who study Hebrew to be able to read the Bible in the original---as is my extended family. I went to church and did daily Bible reading and devotionals my entire first 20 years of life, had four years of Christian school in grades 5-8, also went to youth group all through my teen years, and then I went to a Christian college where I took 300-level classes in religion. I was ALL-IN as a Christian, and really STUDIED it and WANTED to find answers. In college, for FUN I would hang around with other students and discuss theology. I loved taking a tricky passage and finding out what the explanation could be for it.

So you can safely assume I've already heard all the answers that Christians have come up with to work around the tricky parts.

The difference is that from the outside, those answers look flimsy, and wrong, and make me feel like I need to HELP or FIX IT. But I know from being a Christian that from my position on the outside I CAN'T help, or fix it. It's frustrating.

Scottish Twins said...

Well, I guess there is a difference between feeling like you can explain all of the answers in your head, and having faith and the answers provided to you by the Holy Spirit within your heart. I understand your position as a non-Christian being frustrated. Truly I do. I guess as a Christian it doesn't seem flimsy or wrong at all because of the faith factor and also my understanding of Grace. Without that, I might agree and see your point. But when I take the entire Gospel in context (which I also often read in the original Hebrew text), without picking out this one passage you keep quoting to make it seem like there is no way you can be saved and be "rich" (which is also not what the passage says - it says it is difficult to do, but anything is possible with God), the explanations provided in the last thread do make sense, I think.

Once again, I understand your frustration. It's probably the same frustration Christians feel when they see a non-Christian making wrong choices and then wanting to help or fix them. I don't think words alone work very well in either situation.

And it's funny because the two of us come from opposite backgrounds. I grew up not attending church. I was actually the young athiest trying to point out the hypocrisy in all of the Christians I met, feeling like I needed to help them. Then I became a Christian and it all changed.

I'd be interested to read how you left the church. Have you ever blogged about that?

Anonymous said...

if a Christian ever saw me, a non-Christian, making a "wrong choice" and wanted to "help" or "fix" me, well, I, that wouldn't be helpful, I guess, is what I'm trying to say.

twisterfish said...

I will now be spending the next few days stalking my local Home Goods hoping they have that bowl. I want that bowl!!!!!

Swistle said...

Anonymous- Not fix a person, fix IT: fix an ISSUE, in an organization that used to be a huge part of my life. It's like leaving a job, but then seeing the company in the news all the time, and being able to see from a former-insider point of view what some of the problems are---but not being able to do anything about it. It's frustrating.

velocibadgergirl said...

I want to find those acorn place card holders, buy some, and then invent a reason to need them. They are just that awesome.

Joanne said...

I think your story about finding all those acorn placehorders, all the ones you needed just popping up all over the place, is VERY biblical in a loaves-and-fishes kind of way. It all makes me want to go to Home Goods TOMORROW.

Lynnette said...

Best bowl description ever. Make sure he keeps it forever as a symbol of his manhood.

Swistle said...

Joanne- Ha ha, YES! I said, "But there are only four acorns; how can they go around a whole table?" And then there was enough for everyone at the table, with plenty to spare!

Val said...

Decorating holiday tables is one of my favorite things. Great find with the acorns. :)

shin ae said...

I gave up coffee about 2 1/2 months ago, and I am missing it so badly right about now.

Those acorns are very, very cute.

Just Vegas said...

Good HEAVENS, you can't even *mention* religion in these parts! As another former Xian with my degree from a Bible college, let me just say that we are ALLOWED to still have an interest in theology. And that's all Swistle has expressed. She's not judging anyone, she's asking questions. Also, private faith does not ANSWER questions of theology, it only allows a person to not concern themselves too much with it. And that's OKAY. Not every believer needs to be a serious theologian. In fact, most Christians will tell you that it's the relationship that really matters, not the intricacies of the theological debates.
I guess I'm just saying, chill, you're not being judged but neither does your faith give you license to dismiss the theological discussions and determinations of others.
I know it looks as though this comment is directed at ONE person but I just read the comments on the other post before I read these so there is a collective going on in my head.

Anonymous said...

Personally I think Jesus would be pissed if he knew all this bickering was going on rather than just lovin each other... and those acorns!! :)