Saving Money by Filling Up on Expensive Gas?

Driving these days has become somewhat of a necessity for some people, unfortunately. With the gas prices going upwards to about $4.17 here in Seattle, it’s definitely a burden on one’s wallet. So being able to save money on gas is rather important. So when you see two gas stations kiddy-cornered to one another, one with $4.17 (the cheapest between 87, 89, and 92) and the other being $4.03, your first instinct is “Hey, let’s go to the one that’s $4.03 because I’d save $0.14 a gallon”. Right?

But is this really the case? If I were to see a Chevron for $4.17 and an Arco for $4.03, I actually would hesitate to go to Arco. I’ve actually told people to not go to Arco lately because of the logic I’m about to write here. Let me explain…

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“$30. That can feed a family of four in Viet Nam for a month.” –My Dad, to me

… I headed downtown with some guys in my small group this past Monday as part of a serving event we participate in. We get the opportunity to serve Seattle’s homeless dinner with the Lord’s Table, a program that serves the homeless every Monday through Thursday. It’s good in the sense that we know that they’ll get a good hot meal that evening. It wasn’t exactly the warmest weather either. But getting the opportunity to talk to them, hear their stories, and just serve their needs is something we’re called to do as Christians.

We’ve all served through the Lord’s Table numerous times. But as the first couple of individuals came around, I think for a number of us, there was a bit of surprise and heartache. Continue reading $28

The Reality of Christmas

It’s been several days into the Christmas season. And what does that mean? The thing that while we love getting from others, but we also dread finding for them: Gifts. I still wonder where the concept of giving gifts during Christmas comes from, but regardless, it’s there. As I’ve been approaching this and thinking of ideas for my loved ones, it’s been rough thinking something up for each person.

While I’m usually the one that looks for gifts that will be useful and practical for someone, this year, I’ve wanted to go with something that’s more sentimental and cheap and using the rest of the money that would have been spent on gifts to donate to more charitable organizations to use more wisely. Why the change? Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve had more of a changed heart with regards to Christmas. Maybe it’s the fact that my eyes are finally open to the reality of the world around me and the needs that so many people around me need answered. Or maybe it’s the realization of the current events that have made us fearfully aware of the path we’re taking today. Let me explain. Continue reading The Reality of Christmas