Excuse me are you listening? 7-22
Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dear Readers,

Holiday shopping is about to begin. As I read the stories in this edition,especially the one about the Nyaka School, I begin to cringe at the thought of overspending this Christmas. 

I can visualize the children in the Ugandan village praying because they received a pair of underwear.  Our children have cell phones and we can’t pay the rent/mortgage in full.

I’ve a friend who always informs me how decadent this country is and we have to go no further than downtown Lansing to witness the homeless.  I’ve been talking about the homeless for years.  Everyone wants to talk about the chronic drug and alcohol addicted person who cannot seem to get it together.  Take a good look at yourself and your own finances and tell me how easy it would be to take care of an entire family without a paycheck or some place to live. 

With the current foreclosures, individuals who were making it now know that feeling of being hoodwinked.  Someone was really smart and made a lot of money off of the current foreclosure problem much to the chagrin of many people.  I know that if you steal from a person you should go to jail.  Michigan has very stringent rules about breaking the law.  I’m still waiting to see who goes to jail as a result of this mess.

Please consider giving to those who are less fortunate this Christmas too.  If you don’t have much to give, collect items over the year. 

Open Door Ministries which is located in the Central United Methodist Church isn’t going to turn you away if you only bring two bars of soap or one gallon of laundry detergent.  It’s a place where the homeless, working poor and those who just would like to shower go when there’s no place else.  The last time I was there 15 people had used the shower before 12 p.m.

Christmas should be a day of reflection.  While stimulating the economy, turn off the cell phones, put away the computer, put away the video games and just spend time with family and friends. 

When I was a single mother, my son only received 3 gifts for many years.  I was born on December 27 and always found that Christmas was so commercialized.  If Jesus only received 3 gifts, why are we receiving massive amounts of gifts that we really don’t need.  Jesus only received frankincense, gold and myrrh and I’m sure that it wasn’t to excess.I can see the difference in my 16 year old and my 6 and 7 year old.

We’ve been overspending for decades keeping up with the “Jones’” that now since everyone is a “Jones’” that it doesn’t matter anymore.  Today more people would forfeit paying rent to buy a
pair of $300.00 shoes or


Not paying rent or mortgage and knowing how long it takes you to get an eviction notice isn’t a good Christmas savings plan.  Sometimes waiting for an income tax check to save you will not have been worth the wait.  You’ll owe back rent, have an income tax check and then have to try and get another apartment or place to live.

My own children received gifts last year that were in the toy box for the entire year (I just threw some of them out).  By the time Christmas is over and you begin to move things around pieces get lost, time is lost and life is lost.  I’m proud to say that they’re still using the books that were purchased and the personal items like underwear lasted a long time.

I wonder if this year for Christmas, if my children will form a prayer circle like the Nyaka children did, for me if I just give them a package of underwear...

I wonder if we can all recognize the true meaning of Christmas isn’t monetary it’s what the moment brings.

Please consider helping the family written about in our Opinions section (above).  A police officer was shot in a domestic violence case.  Domestic violence affects all of us.

Love and Light Always,

Rina Risper


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