Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ridiculous!


Today I was reading an an article by Andrew Leonard entitled, "The Great Depression: The Sequel" and among other things, he says:

"A record number of Americans receiving food stamps. Gas prices at an all-time high, and staples such as milk, eggs and bread costing a prettier penny every week. The average number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits reached its highest level in two years last week, while just this week, construction spending fell for the fifth straight month and manufacturing activity shrank to its lowest level in five years. Real estate values are even plummeting in the Hamptons, and hedge funds started off 2008 with their worst quarter ever."

There is no skirting the fact that indeed finances have gotten progressively tighter for everyone in America over the past year and that has not extended just to individuals but to organizations. I know of one mega church that stopped their building program for a while because of the recession and another that let go of several paid staff positions that they filled instead with lay-leaders. The sacrifices these churches made to keep their head financially above water have been hard, change is difficult for some and so they have lost some folks. Let me go on record saying I think that's totally lame. If the people were reallly "with" those churches, they wouldn't abandon them in a difficult time just to satisfy their cravings and would pitch in to do what they could to help. Many people today are filled with what I call church consumer lust. (Low investment/High Expectation) But that's another blog post.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store and despite that I'm on a 50 day fast I've been cooking for my kids as much as possible so they don't have to survive on cereal and frozen pizzas. I'm not as disciplined as Larry with food and I have my "issues" as most of you know. But my call to be a mother comes before my food issues anyday. So I have tried hard to make the kids things they love for dinner and such despite the fact that sometimes I feel like I will have a meltdown in the kitchen while I'm smelling chicken and chocolate cakes baking. I was going to make them my famous chicken casserole yesterday until I saw the price of boneless chicken. Yikes! It was ridiculous! I changed the menu and just made them baked chicken quarters with "shake and bake" instead.

Dear. Jesus. Help. Us.

I've said it before - I'm not gaga over any of the three possible presidential candidates. What a lame election. But I sure do hope whoever gets the presidency will call on God and use some wisdom to pull America out of this financial mess.

I do realize things here in the USA on our very worst day are a utopia compared to third world countries. We have so much to be grateful for. We don't realize what we have, until we go somewhere and experience those who live without daily. However, there is no denying our economy is an absolute ridiculous mess by American standards. Anyone who says we are not in recession has their head in the sand.

As for our family, we've changed some of our grocery shopping habits (much more bargain shopping, cutting coupons, cooking less expensive foods), making sure all our lights get turned off when we leave a room, turning the air back, and any other ways we can think of to save. Of course this is Larry and I determining to make the changes and then having several "family meetings" reminding the kids of "the plan." I realize it's just good wisdom to make sure a light is off when you leave the room - we should be doing it all the time - but honestly I didn't used to get too worked up over it, and had so much else on my plate to worry about besides a light that may have been on when I left the house. Know what I mean?

What about your family? Have you made any small or big changes as a result of the current economy?

7 comments:

Lady Melissa said...

Hello Pastor Deanna,

YES WE HAVE! Some of the same things your family is doing - checking the lights, cutting back on the air, smarter shopping and less eating at restaurants. I must say though, I do miss a few of my favorite items at the grocery store,if we have no coupon, we dont purchase - lol

Kerry said...

Hi PD,
Yes it is extremely crazy how much the prices of food have increased. I did notice that today while I was at the store picking up a few regular items. Milk, eggs, and apple juice were some that I noted the increase in prices. I'm with you...I do hope the next president will make some BIG changes. I've always been frugal but we are definitely pinching our pennies now. In the meantime, I am counting my blessings. We still have to thank God for all we have. What concerns me the most is people losing their jobs, this really saddens me. This country needs help in a HUGE way. Let's keep praying!

Deanna Shrodes said...

I'm with you ladies. I do have to say too that one thing I'm sad about is that some of my favorite places are going out of business or getting rid of most of their stores. I have seen lists of places that are supposed to go out of business if not for a miracle and it makes me sad.

I think they said unless a miracle happens, Linens and Things might be closing their doors or filing bankruptcy. I can't remember all the other places but when I read the list many were places I love.

This is the main thing my husband is fasting about on this challenge - for God to heal our economy. It stresses him out A LOT. He gets very concerned about people and those without jobs are at the top of the list.

DaNella Auten said...

Oh yeah... I hope my book will bring some income, but in the mean time, the lights were turned off last week. Of course we got them back on that same day, but only with a loan from Q's work. Oh well, it's God's problem...
DaNella

Deanna Shrodes said...

Oh my Danella...I am so sorry. I had no idea things were to that point. Is Q making steady money where you will be able to catch up?

Pastor L said...

I'm becoming a huge fan of recycling :o). As in - when I buy a plastic container of sour cream or whatever, NOT throwing the container away, but washing it and then using it for leftovers, lunches, etc. Those GladWare containers we used to buy are just too expensive! Also toying with a few more ideas - both to save money and the environment!

We were toying with the idea of getting a second car - but I don't know...I think once I get my license, we'll just have to share one (we could probably scrape together the $$ to get an inexpensive one; but putting gas in two cars and paying for insurance may be more than we can handle!).

You're right, though - SOMETHING needs to be done!!!!!

SpiritledWoman said...

We have recently moved to a new place of ministry and I will be working a secular job but have only looked at 2 jobs basically within 3 minutes of our house... gas is just so high! I am also shopping at our local Super center for groceries because travelling to the next store 20 minutes away for double coupons and specials just doesn't make sense financially.

We are also using and being content with what we have... I am looking forward to yard sales this summer to feel like I have some choices.