"Lenny" always had something exciting going on. Some new business opportunity to talk of, some new prophecy to report, some new and unusual interpretation of scripture. He had, I swear, built an entire bunker for the disaster that was sure to take place on January 1, 2000. He had enough toilet paper, canned goods and other supplies to last his family almost two years. And he had guns.
You know, he said, he's not the sort of person to go off and kill people but hard times are coming. Don't think all those crazy people from the city, who aren't preparing for this upcoming disaster, won't come out looking for food and a safe place to stay in the months to come. Meaning his place in Kearney. There were several other people from our church who were speaking similarly.
But Pastor reasoned that if it says in the Bible that we oughtn't worry about what we will eat or wear, that God will clothe and feed us, then we oughtn't borrow our troubles. You'd better plan ahead and not be foolish, but don't worry too much about it, is what he was saying. And as an aside when Lenny wasn't around, he reminded us that Lenny sometimes takes things a little far. He believes in miracles like Lenny does, he said, but he's not so sure of the miraculous benefits of oregano oil and (brandname) juice.
Back then, even some folks I knew from other churches weren't too levelheaded. One of my friends had enough supplies to last perhaps a month and a half, but she also had poison. She reasoned that if the antichrist came, she'd rather her girls were dead than see what would have to go down. I have to admit to you, I felt rather unprepared in comparison.
And I really hoped no one was right. I mean, my husband was one of the ones WORKING on the Y2k bug and he advised we have maybe two weeks' groceries and money around. He figured bugs would be worked out but things might not be up and running those first couple days. That's the thing. You can test and test and test, but you just never completely know until you're up against it. We never got a bunker or any poison. And thankfully nothing ever really awful happened.
But whyyy am I telling you this very old and somewhat silly story? Oh, because I was reading up about affinity fraud and I'm thinking, "HMmm! Sounds very familiar." Telling you, I knew people in churches who sold all kinds of stupid stuff to each other. Lenny with his specially blessed oregano oil and juice. Some other lady had gummy vitamins made from vegetable extracts that were practically guaranteed to help G get his body something or other levels into balance. One lady I knew sold air purifiers and magnetic somethings that would have cured Woodjie of his autism. I've sure missed out on a lot of opportunities to cure my children. I don't love them enough to spend the money. Only a very uncaring parent like myself wouldn't TRY EVERYTHING, you know.
But here's what we have done: we have paid off our house. As in, we haven't spent for vacations for about 12 years. We haven't bought the latest gadgets. We are driving 11-year-old cars and not eating at the restaurants twice a week. We have stuff falling apart at home, and some parts of our house look pretty doggone crappy. We have cellphones, but no Ipod/Ipad/ cable tv or well... much of anything. (We do have a VCR player, and videos at the thrift store are about $1. Yay!)
But we own our house. It's ours. And maybe our kids aren't cured, but I can live knowing that *likely* I won't be dependent on any one of them. And sorry, no, we're not mortgaging our home to send anyone through college. Though we may get a bigger or differently designed house (and take on a mortgage) that is more suitable to our special needs children at a later time.
I am very thankful to God for this opportunity, and also to my husband who has been a wise and prudent person financially. And no, we're not loaning out any money. It's all tied up in the house. :)