Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Thinking About Wealth

Today’s reading gives us a lot of food for thought about wealth and how we use it.

At one time, when I was still an Army wife, we had returned to the United States. We didn’t even have furniture – the military had provided it all our years overseas, and were in the process of picking up a few necessary things – like beds! All we had were some beautiful Oriental carpets, which we had picked up, piece by piece, as we were living overseas.

I would wake up at night and worry about thieves breaking in and stealing my carpets. Then I read Matthew 26: 19 – 21 – this verse:

19″Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I stopped worrying about the carpets. I’ve never worried about them since.

Now, like others, we have watched all the monies we have carefully invested for our retirement dwindle, and it is hard not to despair. And here again, comes a reading to make it clear to us where our real wealth lies. Our “wealth” is only on paper – it doesn’t really exist until we buy or sell. Our real wealth is what we are storing, day by day, towards our next life.

This reading is from Forward Day by Day:

Luke 12:13-31. So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.

How often have you interrupted a preacher during a sermon? Probably never. In today’s story, a man interrupts Jesus while he is still preaching. Perhaps Jesus sniffed greed behind the man’s question as he responded with a parable about the right attitude to riches.

Advertisers try to convince us that good food, comfortable homes fitted with all modern conveniences, a healthy bank balance, and no financial worries are the stuff of which the good life is made. Jesus, who came that we may “have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10), warns that an abundance of possessions cannot secure for us this abundant life.

Yet there is no condemnation of riches. It is not because of riches that the man in the parable is labeled a fool, but because wealth, rather than God, took first place in his life. The rich man’s barns overflowed with perishable grain, but he was spiritually bankrupt, for he had failed to store up imperishable riches in heaven by wise and generous use of his wealth.

God’s concern is not ownership (what we have) but stewardship (what we do with what we have). To be truly rich, be rich towards God.

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November 1, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Living Conditions, Spiritual | 5 Comments

The Great Kuwait Sand and Surf Challenge

OK, so here it is, the new photo challenge. You will have three weeks. All your photos must be in to me or posted on your blog and linked to me by Saturday, November 22. The poll will go up then, and voting will continue to November 29, when the polls will close and new winners will be announced.

Sand and Surf can be anything related to beach activities – tidal pools, boating . . . this contest is open to Kuwaitis, residents of Kuwait, and people who have an attachment to Kuwait. We don’t require that the scene be recognizably Kuwait, because well, sand is sand and surf is surf. The photos do not have to be Kuwait, but we want them to be entered by someone remotely Kuwait-related.

Ready on the right!
Ready on the left!
Photographers, take your target!
Fire!

Off topic but related – on the top floor of the Al Rayya Shopping Center (attached to the Marriott Hotel near Dasman Circle) is a really intriguing photo exhibit. It looks to me like all Kuwaiti, and some of the photos are purely spectacular. Some are very moving. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you enjoy photography, this exhibit is worth a visit.

November 1, 2008 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Blogging, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Photos | | 4 Comments

All Saints Sunrise

Good Morning, Kuwait, and a gorgeous day it is out there. It is a mere 59°F / 15°C out there early this morning, and the high today is only expected to get to:

Truly, sweater weather on this the first day of November. 😉

I had those anxiety dreams this morning, that got me out of bed early on a day when I have a lot to do, and need to be places at certain times. One dream kept recurring – I was supposed to be flying somewhere, and I kept packing my suitcase – leisurely – when I should have been leaving for the drive to the airport. The phone rings and it is the airport asking if I am planning on making the flight, and I say “yes!” even though the flight is supposed to leave in 35 minutes and the drive to the airport is about 30 minutes and I am not packed!

Think I am feeling unprepared about something? Think I am maybe worried about my relaxed attitude when I have obligations to meet?

Here is the drama of the sky just before dawn this morning – no, it wasn’t all that early, dawn is coming earlier and earlier every day:

Those lights are one of the big freighters heading south.

Here is the sunrise:

Just look at those autumn colors! WOW. Not a cloud in the sky, barely a wisp of haze on the horizon – this is going to be another of those gorgeous days in Kuwait that we have all been dreaming of during the hot, steamy days of summer. Gooood Morning, Kuwait!

November 1, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, sunrise series, Weather | 2 Comments