Sweden 

Cashless

Last week something happened to me on the tunnelbana (the underground, subway, metro) here in Stockholm , that I predicted would happen almost two years ago. I gave some money to a homeless person. Now you might think that makes me an incredibly mean person that it’s taken two years for us to give to a beggar. But here’s the distinction. I gave them money but I did not give them cash. As me and my children were sitting on the train, a woman walked on and quite clearly and politely…

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Christian Living 

Seeking to excel

Excellence in the church is a subject I have strong feelings about, but there are a couple of areas that we should strive to excel in. Paul encourages the church in Corinth to excel in building up the church (1 Cor 14:12). I think whether you seek the spiritual gifts (as Paul encouraged the Corinthians to do) or not, the goal of building up the church is a pretty good one. The second area Paul challenged the church in Corinth to excel in was giving (2 Cor 8:7).  It’s an…

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Articles 

Going cashless

I rarely carry around cash with me these days. Coins are stuck in a pot somewhere and I can’t remember the last time I went to an ATM. Everything I pay for I pay either by card or on the net. Simple. If I want to give some money to a friend, we have a money-transferring system in Sweden, called Swish and that’s all done on you phone. In fact according to this article, Sweden is closer than any other country on Earth towards the goal of cashlessness But that may…

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Christian Living 

Money: 4 questions, 4 principles & 5 lessons

There are few more powerful forces in the world than money, the wanting it, the having it, the losing it, the using it causes great upheaval in the hearts of men and women all over the world. As Ian Paul notes, It is Jesus who characterises Mammon as a rival to God in Matt 6.24 (‘You cannot serve both God and Mammon’) as well as Luke 16.9, 11 and 13. It is the ‘deceitfulness of wealth’ which is one of the three causes of the unfruitfulness of the seed in…

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The Curiosity Index (03.02.2015)

If you’re in the UK you may be aware of an important debate happening today in parliament with the headline grabbing three-parent babies. Peter Saunders asks five good questions. I think in an age of austerity where benefits are cut for the poorest it’s reasonable to ask how a company, Apple, can accumulate a $178 billion cash pile. It seems the answer is through strenuous efforts to avoid paying tax (anywhere). To try and visualise that enormous sum of money here is what $1 billion looks like This is an…

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The Curiosity Index (02.02.2015)

Welcome to February! This article on Raoul Wallenberg calls him the Swedish Schindler but the fact is that Wallenberg saved tens of thousands of Jews in Budapest before being captured and executed by the Soviets (for no known reason). This article says 2014 but ignore that, nothing much has changed. Foreign Policy lists 100 key people who are shaping the world we live in. It’s an interesting collection. Money can’t buy you happiness but that’s not to say that how you spend your money won’t make any difference. There are some good principles here.…

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What everyone missed in ‘the elephant room’ controversy

A while ago there was a storm in an internet teacup about the second Elephant Room conference over the invitation to TD Jakes, who it is said, holds heretical views on the Trinity. It was quite a big hoo-ha. But that wasn’t the only thing they should have made a fuss about. In his original invitation (no longer on the site), organiser James Macdonald said, “I am also excited to hear him state his views on money, which may be closer to Scripture than the monasticism currently touring the Reformed world.” In…

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