Tag Archives: Wealth creation

Rough day at BK

Transcribed from my diary for Sunday 2017-03-12, for now I am intentionally leaving this unfinished.

Rough day at BK.  I may not have the guts to recall and tell it all.  But behind it I feel certain of (1) what Jesus did among the poor, and (2) what my task is at the shelter, and what it takes for me to leave.  (3) I have suspected for some time that the real means of wealth creation, of upward mobility, is different from anything we have ever imagined.  I have a notion of what it may be, and enough confidence in it to act on it, but it’s still very hard to believe.

The question is whether these certainties are enough to overcome my fear of uncertainty, my fear of the unknown.

Continue reading Rough day at BK

All about breads

(Originally posted 11/02/13.)

I have been asked to share my vast wisdom on the subject of yeast breads (chometz).

I’m not a big fan of lots of different recipes for bread. My philosophy is to find one basic recipe and then do variations on it: experiment with different ratios; stir in a cup of raisins or nuts or grated cheese; make rolls, using cinnamon, sugar and butter, or jelly, or peanut butter and jelly; use milk or evaporated milk or even fruit juice or cream instead of water; and so on.

I’ve forgotten the basic recipe I used before becoming homeless. One could start with this one, and experiment with different ratios until one settles on one one likes.

Continue reading All about breads

About the Parable of the Talents

Main points:
(1) God always provides more than you need.
(2) Use well what you’ve got now; only then will you get more.
(3) What you abuse, you lose.
(4) Absent a disease process, chronic poverty is not a natural condition.

I write as a man with next to nothing, concerned principally for others who have next to nothing.  God put me in this position for a reason.

I am strongly tempted to want to rename it “The Parable of the Bootstraps.”

Continue reading About the Parable of the Talents

Grow the pie, or re-slice it?

(Originally posted 09/30/13.)

Here comes the spoils society

Don’t let that odd title put you off. I think this op-ed by Robert J. Samuelson is pretty important.

The question is whether we direct the economy so as to increase wealth for everyone, or instead merely give poorer or richer people larger pieces of the “pie.”

In my conversations with other homeless folk and poor people generally, I hope to emphasize the desirability of creating wealth as opposed to merely taking it away from others.

On that point, I’m certainly prone to agree with Andy Kessler, though I have uneasiness as to whether or not he would support corresponding policies.

Other recent articles on similar questions:

An Obituary for the American Middle Class
Race, income, education increasingly polarize U.S. families since recession
Higher education’s biggest challenge is income inequality

As to Catharine Hill’s piece, I really have to question what “special services” rich families are “demanding” that are bidding up tuition costs.

For us

A grassy lot inspires a vision of what can be when a community cares for itself.

When I take the bus to church in the morning, I normally get off at the closest stop, walk three blocks north and one block east.  At the corner where I turn is a vacant lot.  I don’t know who owns it.  In months past, it has typically been heavily littered.

One morning not long ago, as I approached that lot, I saw that it had been cleaned.  I saw this from fifty feet away.  The way things are around here, that little bit of beauty nearly knocked me down.  It took my breath away.  It lifted my spirits.

A tiny bit of beauty can powerfully affect one’s mood.  A mere glimpse of a pretty face can make one’s whole day.

I reflected:  harmony is the essence of beauty, exemplified in the orderliness of the clean lot as contrasted with the chaos of its previous litter.  I reflected on the relatednesses among light, love, harmony, order and prosperity, on the one hand; and darkness, strife, chaos and need, on the other.  What does it take to begin to establish harmony?  I concluded that perhaps love, or self-love, is the beginning of creation.

What if the whole community cared for itself as someone cared for that lot? Continue reading For us

Issues with upcoming posts

In the process of “recycling” old posts on Wednesdays, I am now coming upon a number of posts with which I’m not completely comfortable. I probably would not write them, now or in the future, the way I did at the time; but I’m also still not sure exactly how I’d write them differently.

At the time I wrote those posts, I supposed my homelessness would be brief, and William Tell would soon enough become a public figure able to speak to what he saw as the pressing social issues. My homelessness continues eighteen months later, and my perceptions of those issues have changed.
Continue reading Issues with upcoming posts

* All about breads

I have been asked to share my vast wisdom on the subject of yeast breads (chometz).

I’m not a big fan of lots of different recipes for bread. My philosophy is to find one basic recipe and then do variations on it: experiment with different ratios; stir in a cup of raisins or nuts or grated cheese; make rolls, using cinnamon, sugar and butter, or jelly, or peanut butter and jelly; use milk or evaporated milk or even fruit juice or cream instead of water; and so on.

I’ve forgotten the basic recipe I used before becoming homeless. One could start with this one, and experiment with different ratios until one settles on one one likes.

BASIC RECIPE

½ cup butter, melted but not hot
1 cup warm water
¼ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 package commercial yeast
flour: I don’t know how much. Have at least four cups available.

This is destined to produce a small loaf. You can increase amounts later.

Put all the ingredients but flour in a bowl and mix well. Begin stirring in flour, a little at a time, until the dough is firm enough to knead. (Note: There is not, and never will be, an exact amount of flour to use, as the right amount on any given day will depend on the humidity in the room, etc.)

Dust a cutting board or tabletop with flour; turn the dough out onto this, and knead. Sprinkle flour on the wet or sticky spots as needed. Kneading is done when the dough has become springy and elastic.

Put the dough into a greased bowl. Coat the surface with vegetable oil to keep it from drying out. Cover with a cloth, and put in a warm place to rise.

When it has doubled (about two hours), punch it down. At this point, you’ll form it into any special shapes you want, or make the jelly roll, etc. Put it in or on a greased baking pan, cover with cloth, and put up to rise for another two hours.

Bake at 325⁰ for as long as necessary, which will depend on the size and shape of what you’ve made. It’s done when it sounds hollow if you tap on it.

STRATEGIES

Using store-bought yeast, one can start a batch at noon and take it hot from the oven at supper; in which case the whole will probably be consumed that night.

Clean all surfaces and tools a.s.a.p. after use. Once the traces of dough begin to harden, they’re much harder to clean.

Be forewarned: you WILL “waste” flour; it’s inevitable. You WILL make a mess; it’s inevitable. Determine from the get-go to regard cleanup as fun rather than as a chore.

SOURDOUGH

The biggest difference between sourdough and other bread is that sourdough takes much longer to rise. If I start a batch this morning, I will anticipate baking it tomorrow night.

To make sourdough starter: half fill a small jar with flour, and stir water in until it becomes a paste. Cover loosely and put in a warm place, like the kitchen window. After 2-3 days the wild yeasts already in the flour will have become active, and it will be bublly. Now it’s ready to use.

You can keep it in the cupboard, loosely covered, indefinitely and it won’t go bad. Every day, discard 1 tbsp. of what you’ve got — our use that much to start a batch of bread — and stir in as much new flour to replace it. Thus you’ll keep the sourdough starter fresh and active.

How much water to use is up to you. The thicker the starter is, the less sour your bread will be; the thinner, the more sour.

SPIRITUAL CONSIDERATIONS

(1) All activities associated with breadmaking provide an ideal occasion for presence or mindfulness meditation: one focuses one’s attention wholly on the activity at hand, giving oneself completely to the experience.

(2) It’s a good time to maintain an attitude of gratitude. Give thanks to God for providing the materials. Thank God for, and pray for, the farmers who produced it. Thank yeast (or “Yeast”) and wheat (“Wheat”), who have been staunch friends to our species for thousands of years. Pray that your taxes, tithes and activities may so create shalom as to make bread more accessible to the hungry. Praise God that you can so pray.

(3) Love for “the least of these.” I’ve always made it my business to actually love the yeast. These tiny fun guys (fungis) are actually right to stand tall and take pride in themselves. No less than the Blues Brothers, they are “on a mission from God,” to destroy complex starches and create simple sugars (cf. Jeremiah 1:10); to consume those sugars and produce ethanol (:)) and carbon dioxide.

(4) The Parable of the Yeast —

Matthew 13:33: He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and [hid in] three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”

— illustrates what happens when one begins to establish presence. A little harmony and peace facilitates greater harmony and peace, and one’s motivations become increasingly coherent, until one’s whole being is transformed.

Why shouldn’t I dream about these things?

Previous pertinent posts:
Jesus’ outrageous parables
What a homeless man dreams of

(Reblogged 02/02/17.)
on air talent, radio talk show, talk show host, the homeless blogger