Tag Archives: materialism

Ancient Greeks, Modern Memories

Steve Dresselhaus is a missionary with TEAM, and has done much to help that organization turn its attention to creation care as part of its world-wide gospel mission.  This is a lovely short piece exploring a tension we all face when dealing with the stuff in our lives.  Enjoy!
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The ancient Greeks believed in four natural elements from which everything else was made: earth, water, fire and air.  I’m thinking they may have been on to something.  Last week my family had the opportunity to spend three nights camping on Grand Island, an undeveloped island in Lake Superior and a part of the Hiawatha National Forest.  We camped with my sister and her family.  While we did take along a few man-made items such as tents, kayaks and headlamps, we only took in what we could carry on our backs or propel with our paddles.  The packing list was not predicated on seeing  what else can I carry in but rather, what else can I leave at home?   Less was more. Doing without was freeing.  Having less made it possible to do more.   For three days we were not controlled or manipulated by a cruel slave master named Stuff. Continue reading

Black Friday and a very good Friday

Originally posted Nov. 29, 2011.  Not much has changed, except that stores are now starting their Black Friday sales at 6 pm on Thanksgiving.

Last Friday was  “Black Friday”, when the world goes crazy over shopping.  There was a lot of controversy in the days leading up to the event concerning stores opening not at 5 am, not at 4 am, not even at midnight, but as early as 10 pm the evening of Thanksgiving.  This controversy was misguided.  The issue should not have been Black Friday “invading” Thanksgiving’s time slot, but Black Friday happening at all… As for me, my experience of Black Friday was different and unexpectedly blessed. What did I do on Black Friday?  I went to a funeral.  

I am an incurable news-addict, so I suppose it’s my own fault that I had heartburn before breakfast on Black Friday.  I woke up to a story from the Los Angeles Times that many of you probably saw in some form sometime during the weekend:

Matthew Lopez went to the Wal-Mart in Porter Ranch on Thursday night for the Black Friday sale but instead was caught in a pepper-spray attack by a woman who authorities said was “competitive shopping.” Continue reading