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Extravagant Spending

Today’s Reflection

I OFTEN SIT in the café of the local mall, drinking coffee and watching people bustling to and from stores with their parcels. Day in and day out, thousands of people are shopping. Sometimes I shop there too, but I’m usually too stingy to shop unless I really need something.

Some of us are stingy and some extravagant. I could argue that when I am extravagant I’m giving work to manufacturers, to drivers bringing in supplies, to store workers, to raw-material suppliers. I could also argue that when I am extravagant, I’m spending money that could be used to serve people who are sick without access to healthcare, disabled, persecute—the list goes on.

I’d rather give than spend money on things I don’t really need. Giving seems more in line with Jesus’ teachings about God’s kingdom: “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat” (Matthew 25:35a, NIV). I think it also leads to a more radical, satisfying life than simply going along with the crowd. What do you think?


devozine, March/April 2018

“Bless the Mall” by Richard Lawton, from devozine, the lifestyle magazine for teens, March/April 2018. Copyright © 2018 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How does your spending reflect your faith? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.

Psalm 130:1, NRSV

This Week: pray for patience. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Boniface (June 5).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 23 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller June 5, 2018, 4:30 am

    I try to give more to help others than what I do for myself. Hopefully I’m successful.

    Thankful to have the reflection today. It’s didn’t come yesterday and didn’t open when I went to The Upper Room on line. It’s a tougher start to the day when it doesn’t come.

    Am on the road today, hopefully a good and safe trip. There might be a special meal, time will tell. Thankfully I was able to complete some errands for church yesterday. Will be able to turn in my results on time Wednesday.

    Making progress with my counselor and my son. It’s slow going, but I think positive.

    One day away and I feel like I have missed a lot, hopefully I can catch up by checked yesterday’s post below. Until I know more, I pray for your well-being, your concerns and joys, and ask God’s blessing on you. Thank You, Lord.

  • robert moeller June 5, 2018, 4:46 am

    Most surely it is pure coincidence, my birthday comes on the day we remember Boniface a missionary to Germany, particularly Frisia, Bavaria, and Hesse. My family is from Hesse. It took me almost 70 years to learn this fact.

    • Lou June 5, 2018, 5:22 am

      If today is your birthday – happy birthday Robert- mine is tomorrow! Blessings for safe travels and a special meal- hopefully some birthday cake or pie! as well…
      Glad that you and Erich are making progress together- you are a help to him I know. Helping children at any age is a sacrifice- but we do it out of our love.
      I too missed the morning posting yesterday- but it is back today.
      Thankful for all of the support you give others here.

      • Andrea June 5, 2018, 7:31 am

        Happy birthday, Lou. May the coming year be a blessed one in your new home, with much happiness for you and your family.

        • Lou June 6, 2018, 5:23 am

          Thank you Andrea- I hope you are feeling back to yourself and I hope your trip goes well- God’s peace and love be with you.

      • Marcy June 5, 2018, 7:18 pm

        Lou, wishing you a Happy Birthday tomorrow! I pray there are activities planned with your children, either tomorrow or the weekend!

    • Andrea June 5, 2018, 6:09 am

      Happy birthday, Robert. I wish you a good road trip.

      I also missed the reflection and comments yesterday and felt an emptiness.

      We are in the Badlands National Park. It is beautiful here – and hot. Yesterday and the night before, I had a food- borne illness and had to miss the hiking. After sleeping on and off all day yesterday, this morning I got up at 4:30 and I am outside watching the sunrise over the jagged crags and soft-hued spires of the rocky hills. It is moments like these that I feel closest to God.

      I pray for each of you and the prayer concerns you share. Wishing all a blessed day.

    • Marcy June 5, 2018, 7:15 pm

      Happy Birthday, Robert! Thank you for being you! Hope to hear about your birthday celebration tomorrow!

    • robert moeller June 6, 2018, 7:05 am

      Think I left some confusion. I didn’t know about Boniface coming to Hesse until recently. I’ve known my family was from Hesse for a long time.

  • robert moeller June 5, 2018, 6:26 am

    Thank you Lou and Andrea. Not sure yet on what the special food of the day will be. It’s nice to have surprises.

    Happy birthday Lou! Better early than late.

    What a void when there is no Reflection. God, makes up for it in different ways.

    Andrea your mountains at sunrise view is very similar to mine, but it’s not hot, but cool, and the mountains are usually mist or cloud covered. When the sun comes they move up and away in a most graceful, almost spirit powered, way. I never tire of it.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling June 5, 2018, 7:05 am

      Happy birthday, Robert and Lou!

      May God’s blessings and favor always be upon both of you!

      • Marcy June 5, 2018, 9:37 pm

        Blessings, sweet sister Mary! Good to hear how well your parents are coming along! May God continue to bless them and you! Prayers and praises headed your way!

        • Mary Ng Shwu Ling June 6, 2018, 7:16 pm

          Thanks so my much dear Marcy.

          So glad to hear from you again.

          May all be well for you

          Blessings

      • Lou June 5, 2018, 11:54 pm

        Thank you Mary- prayers for you and healing for your parents –

        • Mary Ng Shwu Ling June 6, 2018, 7:17 pm

          Thanks so much dear Lou

          May all be well with you and your children

          Blessings

  • Connie June 5, 2018, 7:19 am

    I am here every day, just haven’t been posting much….I do this when my posts would perhaps be on the negative side.
    Happy Birthday, Robert. Also to Lou tomorrow. Hope you both have good ones. AND MANY MORE!!!!!
    I am not a spender. The only time I am concerned about money is if I think my giving of it falls short. The Lord loves a cheerful given and I am one of them when it comes to Him. Everything I have comes from the Lord and I am very grateful.
    When the Todays Reflection doesn’t post, there is an empty space in the day, but I always know it will come again. May it always be so.

    • Lou June 5, 2018, 11:53 pm

      Thanks Connie- glad to hear from you- praying for your peace and relief from your concerns- chilly in Chicago today- hope you are surrounded by warmth and love-

  • Julie June 5, 2018, 7:45 am

    Happy birthday Lou and Robert.
    I very much missed the reflection because I needed you all and your earnest prayers.
    I am like Connie and generally keep my concerns to myself. But, on Sunday evening, completely out of the blue, my husband informed me that he wants a divorce. No real reason other than he wants one now that he is “retiring”. As you know we never got along really, but coexisted. However, I am disabled with no means of support. To day tht I am terrified is an understatement. Please pray foor me and my daughter. Please add me to any and all prayers groups you know of such as at your churches. I have thanked God daily for providing the husbaand’s support for me. I confess, I now feel abandoned by Good Himself
    Dear God help me to get through this

    • Lou June 5, 2018, 11:49 pm

      Prayers for your strength Julie- I still marvel that someone can just one day decide that they are done with the vow and commitment they made and announce that they are leaving- I pray that you get good counsel and are eligible for support – a good attorney can help you with that – having just gone through this myself I know the value of good legal advice – praying for you – I know he wasn’t nice to you so perhaps this will be for the Better -but I understand the financial worries – God is with you. Trust in Him.

  • Andrea June 5, 2018, 11:20 am

    Julie, I am keeping you in my prayers. May you feel prayers wrapping around you. Gracious God, guide Julie and keep her strong.

  • Marcy June 5, 2018, 9:15 pm

    Hello UR family, and I’ve been in the balcony also due to continued illnesses. There have been many days I’ve been unable to read, but even then, I pray for all of you individually each morning and catch up when I can read again. I haven’t been posting because of the negativity of my day to day situation. I am still waiting on the State of Illinois to provide home help. I have had insurance again since May 1st, but everything was tied up in approvals. I commented last that I’d be back the next day to post individual comments, but then continued to have very bad migraines, even with an increased dosage of preventative medicine, which then caused kidney, bladder issues and also depression, which was just getting back under control. Ongoing gastro problems, causing more issues and that’s been particularly painful. So I have appts with six specialists, four in June, one in July and one in August. I give it all to God and pray for healing and relief. In keeping this all to myself, I’ve reached the breaking point, so decided to post, even if it can’t be a rosey picture. Please forgive me. I know you all have plenty on your plates.

    Robert, thank you for the information on migraine medicine. I see the neurologist June 14th. It’s been so good to read your words and take them in on so many days I didn’t think I could stand one more minute of pain. I’m praying for Erich in his job, very hard work, with little appreciation at times. It’s good you have each other, loving one another, father and son, even when the road is rocky at times. I keep praying for him to accept God into his life. This could happen any time, and I encourage you to never lose the hope he will one day. I’ve also been praying for Annaliese, with the diagnosis of three related heart issues, along with her pain. I’ve been following your Alzheimer’s trek also and commend you for your courage in doing so. I pray mightily for good results there, Robert. I so enjoy reading about your trains and model of your ancestral German town. Indeed, Saint Boniface’s “neck of the woods.” According to our Spiritual types here on the UR Reflections site, he is considered a Sage. I think that word could apply to you also, in your knowledge of the Word and in your comments here. And little Pearl’s adventures also help me smile. My cat, Lucy, and I have been playing fetch again lately. She fetches back water bottle tops! But when she decides to quit, I have to fetch them. Sometimes they go under the bed or other places I can’t get to. When she feels like it, she brings them to me again, at times in the middle of the night! I’m so grateful you are among my siblings here in the UR family and praise God for all of you. I pray to become as active as you are, still not losing hope. Thank you for your prayers for me!

    Lou, you and your family are always in my prayers. I pray that your new home will help you turn another page. It’s good to hear about the positive things that God is bringing to you. You are an inspiration to me, and I’m sure to others also, as your faith carries you through each day. Thank you for your prayers for me. I don’t remember without looking back at older posts, if I had praised the graduation of your daughter? Or son? I’m sorry for the memory glitch (if I go back and look now, I’ll lose this whole post!) God bless you, my sister, Lou!

    Andrea, it’s been a challenging month, I’m sorry I’ve been so isolated. I don’t mean to cause any worries. You also have brought me through some dark days when I’ve been reading your comments. Please know I keep you, Lowell, your daughter, son-in-law and sweet grandson in my prayers. You also mentioned others, requesting prayers for them, which I did right away. I haven’t been up to date on my prayer notebook and will update it soon. My Dad was born in South Dakota, in the very northeast part of the state, in a very small town called Waubay, near Webster. The Badlands remind me a bit of Cappadocia in the looks of the place. I remember traveling through the miles and miles of them in the 1980’s with very little gas and very few gas stations. This was when I was younger and definitely not wiser. God was watching over us, for sure! Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills, many other good memories. I love your descriptive words of nature and places, Andrea. Thank you, so much, for keeping me in your prayers. Enjoy your trip and safe travel mercies! You are another sister to me here, and I am thankful.

    Connie, I know the feeling! I will continue to keep you in my prayers. You have also had challenging times lately, I know. I pray God brings you comfort and peace. You surely have a cheery attitude in your posts! I do not spend money, on a pretty tight budget, but was able to send a small donation to church last month. I pray it helps and was happy to be able to give. Thank you for remembering me in your posts every now and then. I hope to get back to daily posting soon and I do feel like you’re another sister to me here. Thank you!

    Dear Julie, when I first was out on my own after the being married to my husband for nearly twenty years, it was sudden. One day was another day of fear and the next day, Zap! I was on my own. Even though I had lived in fear, I had a roof over my head. God has NOT abandoned you, though it feels very much as if He has. At first, the fear I didn’t know was worse than the fear I knew. I had no children, no money and my cousin who lives in Illinois wouldn’t take me in. I don’t know why or how that could be! My parents were gone and I didn’t have the skills needed for a job. I was just beginning to feel the disabilities I had, which further made finding work extremely difficult. I couldn’t survive on minimum wages and at an age that impeded things even worse. Thanks be to God that over the course of the next three years, I was able to live in the spare bedrooms of three different houses, one of which was awful, but God saw me through. Then another five years of worry and toil, but again, help from the Lord above. I have been praying for you now more than ever. Your daughter

  • Marcy June 5, 2018, 9:31 pm

    Sorry hit submit by mistake. Julie, I pray that you and your daughter have some time to make a plan. You need a lawyer right away. The Department of Aging has programs to help you. Please look them up or their equivalent in your state, it’s a federal program. I’m still not old enough to contact them, but I believe you may be. It may look and feel numbingly bad right now, but God will guide you and help you probably from most unexpected places. I felt frozen at the time, but had to get on the phone and when I did, our Loving Father helped me help myself. I pray this doesn’t sound harsh and insensitive. I will continue to pray mightily for you. Your situation is different from mine, but there are programs available to you. You were my first inspiration to come to the UR Reflections family. Thank you for that, once again. Remember, I’ll be praying….God is still here for you and always will be.

    • Lou June 5, 2018, 11:52 pm

      Prayers for your health Marcy- praying for your strength and relief.
      Thank yo for praying for all of us here.

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