(In The Life Of The Church)
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” - Jesus
I got a scooter. I’ve wanted one for years. I’ve spent more hours than you might think researching name brands like Vespa, Genuine, and Piaggio. The reason I’ve never purchased a scooter, despite the fact that I’ve wanted one for years, is that it was not practical for our family. We need two cars. With six family members, two jobs, four different school locations, and all the demands of recreational activities, we’ve needed a minimum of two cars to meet transportation demand. So even the small investment of a scooter seemed impractical given our need for two cars.
I’ve driven a Subaru Outback for the last couple years. I bought it in May of 2015 with 175K miles. Dave Ramsey told me not to borrow money, so I paid cash for what I could. It was terrible advice. My car died a slow death, culminating in my refusal to replace the dead alternator.
You need another detail before I can proceed with this story. My mom brought her minivan down here last fall. It now resides at our house. It’s a Honda Odyssey that has a movie screen. I love it because my kids don’t yell at me when I drive. They watch the movie.
In the midst of brainstorming about what I was going to do to solve my scooter problem, it dawned on me. Having always needed a second car to transport children and in the event of inclement weather, I’d never really considered buying a scooter. But now !!!! …. I can use my mom’s car when need to. So on a Thursday night I Craigslisted “scooters,” and by Friday I had test driven and purchased a 2015 Bentelli Valor with 140 miles on it.
I was a business major. I wish I had majored in something else. I picked it because I was told it was easy. Looking back, I think business is intuitive. It probably doesn’t need to be an entire major. I think people should major in something like a language or sociology and then spend one year learning how to do the business they will be doing. Anyone who I have talked to about “doing business” tells me they learned how to do it by doing it. I liked my marketing classes, though, because that’s a kind of subset of psychology and art.
The other exception would be my economics classes. I had a Russian econ professor who constantly reminded us that economics was originally a branch of philosophy and he taught our class that way. We spent an entire class period talking about why women are traditionally given diamond rings when they get engaged. Another class period was given to chatting about the exponential value of a left shoe when you only have a right shoe.
Every once in awhile I’d encounter an econ term that was covered in the residue of philosophical thought - language to explain human behavior in the marketplace that had pragmatic and explanatory power for the way people behave in all life. This is why I’ve always thought that a handy way to diagnose sin is by reading a book on human economics.
One such term is marginal diminishing utility. It means that every time we return to an experience, our satisfaction with that object, person, or experience will be lessened. Clothes wear out. Children lose interest in toys. Eventually, we move because we need a new scene. That’s diminishing utility.
Because I was exposed to this word in college, I’ve made it part of my purchasing experience. I’m asking, how will I feel about this in a year. Does this thing have any chance of bringing me satisfaction in the future? Or will it only make me happy now? Indeed, that is a difficult question for us to answer as humans. Sometimes we just simply don’t know.
Because of this, I feel like I’ve gotten good at consumption. Outside of disposable needs such as food and beverages, I don’t buy much. My clothes usually last me about seven years and my wardrobe is minimal. So when I do make bigger purchases or purchase “capital expenditures” that have substantial shelf life (say, anything over a year), I usually feel good about it.
That is a long introduction for me to make the following point: I LOVE MY SCOOTER. I have so much fun riding it. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why everyone in America with a reasonable commute and who also does not need to drive multiple human beings, does not own and drive one. Am I in the honeymoon period with my scooter? Yes. But I suspect the marginal in my marginal diminishing utility will be ever so slight. I take and get great joy in riding my scooter...
Which makes me wonder about Jesus’ statement that I began with. What does Jesus think about my relationship with stuff?
Jesus warns against money and having things all the time. I could argue a list of pros and cons. I could ride a bike. I am burning fossil fuel. I could have donated that money to charity. It does take less fuel than most modes of transportation. It was much less than a car. I get to be outside when I ride it.
But that’s not actually what I’m asking. Does Jesus consider my affection misplaced or does He take joy in my joy?
Humans have needs. We are not robots. We need shelter, food, air, and clothing. Is it okay to enjoy the things we need? What if those needs get conflated with wants? And how much does my life need to look like my Christian brother or sister in a developing country before I enjoy what I do have without guilt?
These are questions I think about quite a bit and cannot answer for myself in a satisfactory manner. So this is how I own what I have: With open hands. The best way to love my scooter and all things that God has lent to me is by not owning them. To be content if they were taken from me tomorrow. Because tomorrow they will be rusty and stolen.
Meet Our Newest HR Team Member
Name: Kristen Evans Richardson
what you do in Waco: I am the Director of Pastoral Care at Baylor
best Waco restaurant: Lula Jane’s, brunch at Homestead, Taqueria #9 (the white queso is the best!), and Zoe’s Kitchen
book, chapter, and/or verse of the bible that has been meaningful for you: Matthew 22:37-40
favorite movie/show: This year…The Big Sick and La La Land, This is Us and Jimmy Fallon
a book that you’ve really enjoyed: This summer, How to Be Here by Rob Bell has been one where I have read and re-read chapters.
Order of the Phoenix Meeting
After church this Sunday we will be hosting a meeting to discuss the upcoming year for the youth group. If you are new to UBC our youth group begins when kids enter 5th grade and runs through high school. Please either bring a lunch for your family or plan on grabbing something after church
UBC Summer Party Dos
The summer is coming to a close, and we are throwing a party! Join us at 6pm, on August 13th, for a grand finale to summer. We will be eating dinner and hanging out at the Wood’s casa. UBC will provide the main dish, as well as drinks, you need to bring a side to share with everyone. Please sign-up after church this Sunday or next, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Jameson McGregor House Show (8/18)
Next Friday, August 18th, at 8pm, Jamie is playing a benefit show for his friends Casey and Brittany Ramirez as they prepare to move to China as CBF Partnership Advocates. Tickets are $15, and all proceeds go toward their expenses. You can get more info and purchase tickets here.
UBC Kids Back to School Movie Night/Parent Date Night (8/18)
Next Friday, August 18th, from 6:30pm-9:30pm, we are going to be having a Back to School Movie Night for all UBC Kids! We will be playing games and having some back to school fun and watching a movie! (Also - I heard there's a really cool house show that night so if you're looking for childcare we've got you covered!) Dinner is NOT provided so make sure kids have eaten before they come. Please sign-up after church this Sunday, or you can email email@example.com.
Work is Worship
Greeters: Ricky & Juliet
Coffee Makers: Burns
Mug Cleaners: Nelsons
Money Counter: Hannah K
- Sunday Sermon: Matthew 14:22-33 "Stay In The Boat"
- 8-13 OOTP Parent Meeting After Church @ UBC
- 8-20 Kindergarten Commission
- 8-23 OOTP First Meeting!!! (Welcome 5th graders!) 6-8 P.M. @ UBC
- 8-27 Welcome Back Lunch after church served by Crucero
- 9-13 McLennan County Orphan Care Event 1: Generation Adoptions
- 9-17 Family Weekend Breakfast
- 9-22 Backside Event 1
- 9-24 NUBCer Lunch
Do you have an emergency and need to talk to a pastor?
254 413 2611
If you have a concern or an idea for UBC that you’d like to share with someone that is not on staff, feel free to contact one of our leadership team members.
Chair- Emma Wood: firstname.lastname@example.org
Byron Griffin: email@example.com
Stan Denman: Stan_Denman@baylor.edu
Adam Winn: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bridget Heins: email@example.com
Sharyl Loeung: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Davis: email@example.com
Student Position: Samuel Moore: firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Position: Leah Reed: Leah_Reed@baylor.edu
UBC Finance Team
Do you have a question about UBC’s financial affairs? Please feel free to contact any of your finance team members.
Josh McCormick: Josh.McCormick@dwyergroup.com
Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.com
Justin Pond: email@example.com
Anna Tilson: Anna_Tilson@jrbt.com
Doug McNamee: firstname.lastname@example.org
UBC HR Team
If you have concerns about staff and would like contact our human resources team, please feel free to email any of the following members.
Rob Engblom: Rob_Engblom@baylor.edu
Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu
Jared Gould: email@example.com
Rebekah Powell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristen Richardson: email@example.com