In Luke chapter 12, Jesus tells a parable of a rich man who had a great harvest. He then built bigger and bigger barns to hold all his gains. He was comforted in knowing he had acquired more than he could use. “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’
In recent days, we have heard a lot about “hoarding.” There is even a show about how people try to help others with their hoarding problems. If we are honest, most of us are probably “storing” plenty of things we could do without. Why do we collect things beyond our needs? Some people are so driven to get “stuff” they will even steal to get more!
The recent fall of the disgraced former Congressman, Jesse Jackson, Jr., is a good example. Congressman Jackson was recently sentenced to 30 months in prison for buying $750,000 worth of personal items illegally with campaign funds. Not only will Jackson serve prison time, but he must pay back the money. Unfortunately, Jackson doesn’t seem to have that much in petty cash!
Since Jackson hasn’t paid up yet, the US Marshall’s Office said they would recoup part of the money Jackson owes the government by auctioning off his ill-gotten property. Included in the items to be auctioned are: mink-lined cashmere capes, a fur, a mink-hooded parka, a woman’s mink black jacket with silver fox sleeves, Michael Jackson signed posters, sports memorabilia, and other odds and ends.
Of course, Jackson got his gain illegally, and will be watching from prison as others now enjoy the benefit of his “barns.” Jesus closed His parable saying, “So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:21). Most of us aren’t stealing or committing fraud to fill our barns with things. But it does raise the question…if someone were to confiscate and auction our items of “value,” what would they find? Things that were used for God’s glory? Or barns stuffed beyond our needs?
I’m thinking I might need a little “spring” cleaning this fall! How about you?
Posted in Devotional
Tagged auction, barns, campaign funds, Congressman, disgraced, hoarders, hoarding, Illinois, Jesse Jackson, Jesus, Jr, Luke 12, US Marshall
You may never have heard of photographer Dina Goldstein or her series, “Happily-Never-Afters” about what happens to Disney Princesses after their happy endings. In this work, Goldstein imagines what their lives would be like in reality. Her controversial photographs are based on depressing scenes from life she has imagined after the happy endings. For example, Goldstein portrays Snow White as an overwhelmed mom with a “not so charming” Prince; the Princess and the Pea heroine is portrayed in a garbage dump with a hoarding problem; Little Red Riding hood struggles with obesity; Belle tries to hang on to her beauty with plastic surgery; and Cinderella drowns palace life issues in alcoholism.
We are horribly shocked by the images. Disney princesses are timeless. They remain pure and perfect. Whether at the theme park or on the big screen, Disney girls have fairy tale endings! Or do they? Of course we know differently, don’t we? Whether it is Miley Cyrus twerking, Britney Spears’ being “not so innocent,” or the recent Spring Break shocker with former Disney girls Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, and Ashley Benson, the rule seems to be, “be a good girl to get a good reputation until it is time to ‘go bad’ and make the real money.” Even Betty White from the Golden Girls has made a new career of being trashy!
Sadly, It is probably too fairy tale-ish to believe that Miley and the other girls will turn toward a Godly life. Over 300,000 tweets per minute is a fame that tells Miley that she made the “right” decision. But she would do well to remember that nothing is more delicious to a fallen world than a train wreck that ruins purity and a good reputation. Solomon cautioned young people to guard their reputations, saying, “a good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” (Proverbs 22:1).
The life that Miley and the other “Disney Princesses” are choosing is more likely to end in a Happily “Never” After than happily ever after. Seek God while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6) for a true happy ending.
Posted in Devotional
Tagged alcoholism, Ashley benson, belle, Betty white, Brittany spears, Cinderella, Dina Goldstein, Disney, hoarding, little red riding hood, Miley Cyrus, obesity, plastic surgery, princess Ian's the pea, reputation, Selena Gomez, Snow White, Solomon, tweet, Twerk, twerking, Vanessa Hudgens