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Here is a clip from the Godonomics DVD where I explain some practical ways to teach our kids to give generously and wrestle with their own greed.

          Here is a clip where I helped our kids wrestle with how important money is in their lives.

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The economy continues gasping for air.   Credit cards continue to be used to buy essentials like food and groceries according to Bloomberg.  The inflation caused by the Federal Reserves devaluing our dollar makes prices go up on food as well as the price of Gold which reached over $1600 with silver hovering around $40 an ounce.   The jobless rate continues to go up.  So, with the continual litany of bad news, where can we find hope?

The Bible challenges all of us to deal with our SPAM.   Not the SPAM in Monty Python or worse the Spam and eggs they sell at McDonalds for breakfast. (True story, I walked by a McDonalds selling SPAM for breakfast…see photo.)  I’m not sure how much you’d need to pay me to eat SPAM, but I think the answer will always be “a little bit more.”  🙂


The Bible says that human beings all worship something.  We all have something in our lives that is our ultimate source of hope, life, strength, and hope.  Rather than turning to God as our center, we turn to SPAM.

S  is for Staus

P is for Performance

A is for Appearance

M is for Money

Every culture offers an idol in the form of SPAM. If it’s status, then we find our worth in our clothes, our car, our reputation in the community. That idol will bless us when things are going well, but curse us when things are going poorly.  If we are our Status, our worth leaves when our status wanes.  Others of us find our value in our Performance.  It may be the way we perform as an employee, a spouse, a mother, or an athlete.  We feel good when we perform well.  We are crushed if we fail.  Our identity is all about our performance.   Some of us build our lives on our Appearance. We need to be skinnier.  We wish we were taller or had fewer wrinkles.  Blonds have more fun… no, I wanted to be a brunette.  As long as our appearance is our identity, we will be caught in a cycle of pride (“I look better than others”) or a cycle of fear (“I wonder if I will ever be desirable?”).  More times than not, our sense of self-worth is tied to our Money.  It may be our savings, our spending, our assets, or perhaps our retirement.  When the numbers are up, we feel safe and good. When the numbers are down, we are devastated.  Our money is our life.

God offers us a new source of hope and peace. God Himself, the maker of the universe and the owner of all the cattle on a thousand hills chose us.  He chose to love us.  He chose to die for us.  He gave us riches beyond imagination in Christ.  We who receive him are heirs, joint heirs with Christ.  We have riches that neither moth nor rust can touch.  Though we may gain or lose the whole world, we cannot lose our soul which is kept by Him.  We may have a vault full of cultural SPAM or we may be runny a little low on SPAM these days, but we have something of surpassing value which is the eternal security of grace, the power of being kept in His hand. We know that nothing can separate us from His love: neither height, depth, principality, or power.   How Great is our God.

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Margaret Thatcher said, “The problem with Socialism is you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

I had a conversation with a teenager recently who parroted the typical bumper sticker thinking of our culture: “Why don’t those rich people pay more taxes?”   I asked him how much they are currently paying?  He admitted that he didn’t know.  I asked him what percentage of the national tax revenue would meet the definition of “their fair share?”  He didn’t know exactly.  I then gave him some facts to consider:

  • 86% of all income taxes are paid by the top 25% of income earners.
  • The top 50% of income earners pay 97% of all income taxes.
  • The top 1% of income earners pay 39% of all taxes.

This young man was shocked. He had never heard these facts.  As I looked into his eyes, he looked…almost…like he was…THINKING for the first time. He was engaging his brain and chewing over the chasm between his assumptions and reality.  I encouraged him to look it up.  I suggested he research the facts to confirm them.  Then I asked him to think some more.

If those facts are true (and they are), does it look like the “rich” are paying their fair share?  If not, how much would be enough?  Did you know that when the income tax was first proposed by politicians, they promised the national income tax would NEVER be more than 1% tax on ONLY the top 1% of income earners?   We are a long way from that promise.

Then I asked him,  what happens when the producers of an economy get taxed more?  What are the consequences of that decision?  Hmm, well, unless they have a magic money tree in the backyard, the new money they pay in taxes is no longer going somewhere else.   Where might that money come from?   Well,  when a producer pays more in income tax, they have less money to hire people. Who gets hurt by that decision? The poor and middle class workers. When a producer needs to pay more in taxes, where else might they come up with the money?  By increasing prices on their products.  Who gets hurt by that? The consumers who buy their stuff, usually the poor and middle class.  What happens if they increase the price, but no one buys them anymore? The producer lowers the price and cuts costs somewhere else in the organization by laying off people.  Who gets hurt by that decision? The poor and middle class.

The rich versus poor mantra that sweeps through the American political scene is so, well, predictable and old hat. It’s like listening to someone sing 99 bottles of beer on the wall. The verses are so redundant. As a pastor, I care about all the members of my church. I care about my poor friends, middle class friends, and rich friends.  When I work with friends trying to find a job, I am hoping there is a company who is hiring so they can make an income.   If we punish the people who are hiring or divert their money away from hiring into nameless bureaucratic waste, why are we surprised when unemployment remains high?

I want low taxes for everyone, so that the poor and middle class can find work.  It’s not about rewarding the rich. It’s about fairness, property rights, and opportunity for all. All through the Old and New Testament, God reveals Himself as one who does not show partiality. He doesn’t treat people differently based on outer appearance, wealth, status, or background.  God treats all people without partiality.  The dialog at the typical water cooler (if there is such a thing anymore) is sadly almost pure partiality today.

Romans 2:11.  For there is no partiality with God.

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