Stewardship

My grandfather found religion (for the second time) relatively late in life. After having spent nearly a full lifetime toiling, he came to realize that he had neglected the spiritual aspect of life. He became a true believer and avid Bible scholar, and while never evangelical about it, he often wove biblical references into our conversations. One of his favorites was the following passage from Matthew 25:

For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[c] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[d] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.

16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money.

19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[e] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”

This was his way of telling me that he intends to be a good steward of the (meager) wealth passed onto him very late in life from his parents, so that I and my children would have more than what he received. The reason that he worked 50-60 hours a week well into his eighties was because he refused to be the servant that merely buried the coin, without adding to it. The image he always evoked was one of a living tree. The role of older generations was to support and feed the upcoming youth, both physically, intellectually and spiritually, so that when they grow, they will be able to take on their role in supporting the structure of society as well as their own young.

He was also the epitome of the anti-fiat man, never having more than loose change in any bank account for very long. He prided himself on his (sometimes, to an external observe, extreme) frugality, and spent many a walk showing me what types of plants, fruits, berries where edible, and when. The idea being, that one should be able to survive on forage, at least temporarily, if needed. He would think nothing of walking several miles to save a few cents of busfare. All of this was justified by a very strong drive never to waste anything. In his own way, he succeeded, though mostly through the wisdom of his teachings, and the lessons of his life, rather than in a material sense.

By its very definition, precious metals are a STORE of wealth. They represent money at rest, especially in today’s world when they are not part of the ‘mainstream’ monetary system. Especially since so many of us have unfortunately, involuntarily become former owners of now underwater metal deposits, this all represents a lot of value taken out of circulation in the economy.

Given that today’s economy consist to an alarming degree of Potemkin industries with holographic valuations and in many cases ‘products as well, this is not at all a bad thing. With the distortions and misallocations of capital induced by the past decades of CBs (both ‘national’ and transnational) and government policies, let alone our good friends the banksters themselves, it is becoming increasingly difficult to gauge the true value of material things. Not only have once-stable yardsticks of 'hard currencies' been corrupted, government overbearance (both due to insolvency, as well as a general trend toward exercising more power over the populace) makes it increasingly inefficient to try to work to better one’s lot. It makes perfect sense to store whatever savings one has into things that retain their value indefinitely. For my grandfather, it was arable land and the tools to work on it. For us here, it’s generally heavier metals from the 11th, and to an extent the 14th columns of the periodic table – and a large variety of other durable things.

But I am not Smaug, sitting atop his vast hoard of gold and jewels. If the stack I now have is all I can pass on to my children when the time comes, I shall be sorely disappointed in myself. There is a large and long task ahead – not only to pass on values, knowledge, curiosity and love to the next generation; but to hold onto, and if possible expand, the means of their continued survival.

So no matter how jaded and frustrated I feel with the markets, how depressed I feel reading the daily news (both due to events and the determined effort of media owners to control and mislead the populace), no matter how futile my wage slave existence seems sometimes, there is always a beacon of light reminding me to stop whining and start doing things better, smarter, faster. It is prudent to safeguard existing value by storing it in permanent forms. But it also behooves us to take advantage of the (now visibly) closing window of opportunity while the Great Keynesian Experiment is still running, before the experimental setup shakes its way off the lab table and smashes on the stone tiles. And we have to keep remembering that the sun will most likely come up tomorrow, bringing with it another day of responsibilities to be met.

The parable at the front of the passage was always told to me in paraphrase, not until I just looked it up did I know how exactly the whole thing went. My grandfather only said the man taking account of his servants was angry with the one who buried the gold coin he had received, and cast him off his land. The actual text of the book is a bit more detailed:

He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’

26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents.

29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”

I’m not sure I fully understand what the latter part of the parable exactly means, other than that the man was obviously enraged by the last servant’s answer – and that burying a coin is not considered prudent stewardship. (I’m sure there are exceptions for passing Mongol hordes and global financial meltdowns). But the parts that seem unclear are:

  • whether the man indeed considered himself deserving of unearned profits?
  • could this be an oblique (actually, pretty plain) critique of bankers?
  • but if the second point is true, why then a perfect quote to encapsulate bankster mentality?

What I DO know is that there will indeed in the end be weeping and gnashing of teeth. No way to be fully prepared (even if the ‘date’ is still considerably in the future), but making some hay now while the last rays of sunlight are still peeking through under the stormclouds may not be a bad idea. Taking a class, learning a skill, befriending a neighbor, spending more time with one’s family is easier when not beset by more immediate existential concerns.

So spend some time taking a walk, hugging a friend, showering together ‘to save water’ if so inclined. Smell the flowers, have a meal with a neglected acquaintance or rarely-seen relative. And of course keep preparing accordingly.

55 Comments

08Gold-Wing's picture

ONE

holy crap !!!! I'm not the only one up at this hour. Its 3:30 in the morning ??   

ok, went back and read your post, Well said, well said, you can not forget to live,your life.  While preparing for the future.

Wing

sengfarmer's picture

duck?

ouch ouch ouch     I just burned my index finger, typing without it sucks.

argentus maximus's picture

A man can not succeed without

A man can not succeed without taking risks because risk properly managed is opportunity.

oneagleswings's picture

deep thinking

we have all been given various talents and they are to be used.  We may have been put on this earth to do no more than give one person a cold glass of water.  To be at the right place at the right time to do what I was put here for is my quest.  While doing so I have been blessed to enjoy raising three children,  found the only woman on earth that will put up with me and love me,  and hear the voices of four and soon to be five grandchildren laugh and play when they come to visit.  I enjoy your ponderings and deep thinking JY and I take great comfort and solace from the same book your grandfather quoted in helping you on your journey.  Fear not is often found in the same book along with many others things such as seeking wisdom and understanding.  I would like to have met your grandfather. 

TF Metals fan's picture

Devils dillema

Yes, I am familiar with the story, And I believe it has a second purpose: It is good to have money circulating. This will benefit the economy and all will prosper through work and income. We can not all sit idle on our buried talents.

But: buying gold and silver to stack this looks very similar to buried talents. Yes, of course: we believe that gold and silver is not judged to their fair values. So time will add to its perceived value. But it is not part of the moneysupply. So the increase in value was not the result of an economic activity.  Or should I just think: it is not yet part of the moneysupply? And when this becomes judged against fair value it may ignite a small part of the economy? Is it really that simple?

Just my thougths.....

Excalibur's picture

Parable set up

One take on the parable of the talents is that the one with the money and power, the Master, is cruel, vindictive and unforgiving to the servant who acted out of fear.

And the Master is focused on the monetary return and not on how that return was made. The Master is basically a banker, and the banker will always want to be the Master.

And how the story would have been different if one of the servants had been robbed and the other one lost in it in bad deals/gambling/drinking. The one who had buried his talent would have been the one praised.

Of course the set up is such to get the desired outcome.

Marchas45's picture

I'm Sharing

It Feels Better To Give, Rather Than To Steal. Keep Stacking

Check The Description In The Video.

TomMack's picture

tks jy

now to read.............done

Yes,  I have always had trouble with that parable, burying our talents (gold).  Are we too fearful?  Are we squandering day after day looking out for TEOTGKE.  Or are we like the the 3 pig who builds his house of brick not know when something will come?  I used to end my posts (however few) with "BTFD" of later "STACK STACK STACK"  but now I usually type "stack within reason or protect your stack" because you want to be the one who decides when to sell and not be a 'weak hand' .

I am confident more enlightened interpretations of this will be forthcoming.

stack within reason!

edit again   9th!

Mr. Fix's picture

Managing risk is a way of life:

I do it everyday, hopefully the odds will always remain in my favor. 

top 10!smiley

silver66's picture

Feb Govenor quitting

Found this link over on another site I was on this AM

http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/other/other20140403a1.pdf

No reason to believe it is not true

Just went over to the Fed site and it is legit

http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/other/20140403a.htm

Rats leaving the ship??

Silver66

Safety Dan's picture

JY Great post- What If The Bill Of Rights Was Revoked?

Would you say it was our stewardship to do something? Please read this linked article.. 

THE BILL OF RIGHTS HAS BEEN REVOKED

While you were focused on the missing Airliner, there was a little case being heard in front of the Supreme Court called U.S. v. Castleman.  The case was a landmark win for the gun control left wing, but what no one realized, is that our Constitution no longer affords us “rights.”

No longer rights that are inviolate

The case was decided Supreme Court and justicesMarch 28, 2014.  The US Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Bill of Rights is no longer made up of “Declaratory and Restrictive Clauses.” They are judicially now perceived as “privileges.” A “privilege” can be revoked for the slightest of legislative causes, but a “Right” is “Forever Inviolate” … We the People no longer have that.

THE BILL OF RIGHTS HAS BEEN REVOKED

Mr. Fix's picture

Actually, all rights have been revoked:

BARACK OBAMA: The Last American President

April 6, 2014 - ConspiracyFeaturedMain - Tagged: constitutional conventiondave hodgesdepopulationfalse flag,FEMAgovernmentmartial lawnew world orderobamapolice statethe common sense showno comments

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot
stamping on a human face-forever.”
 George Orwell

I have reported on various aspects of Executive Order (EO) 13603 in the past. However, I have not reported on the EO in a global sense. When one considers the ramifications of the interconnected sections of this EO, it becomes clear that Obama never intends of vacating the White House. This document also gives a clear look into what America will look like under the coming martial law.

The Ever-Enduring Presidency

Obama has provided a strong set of clues as to how his presidency will continue beyond his scheduled exit date of 2016. If Americans wonder how far this lunatic President will go towards fulfilling the dreams of his real father, and his original political handlers, Weathermen Underground and communist agitators, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dorne, one should read this EO and thoughtfully consider the ramifications.  This Obamnistic portend of the future is summarized in the following paragraphs.

The Legalization of Peacetime Martial Law

The descent into total and abject tyranny is almost complete. With President Obama’s draconian executive order, THE NATIONAL DEFENSE RESOURCES PREPAREDNESS ACT, he has granted himself the authority to declare peacetime martial law. This Executive Order was posted on the WhiteHouse.gov web site.

http://thecommonsenseshow.com/2014/04/06/barack-obama-the-last-american-president/

Colonel Angus's picture

Ann Barnhardt's take...

I don't know if you have seen the two hour lecture she gives on Youtube, but her take is that this is a passage that says that usury is expected. Since Jesus would not have used an evil point to make a moral argument, he is tacitly accepting interest. I think she wants to get across the point that delayed gratification will lead to more gratification in the long run, but it doesn't appear that she actually reaches that in her lecture. 

Of course we know the only way to delay gratification is to save in gold or silver or something tangible. We've been out working on planting a slew of berries....there was a deal with a local getting out of the nursery business, so...and putting up an expanded run for the chicken coop. The payoff will be much later, maybe years off. But that investment is better than holding some little green coupons that now have Monopoly colors in them also.

Safety Dan's picture

FM-3-39-40. Manual For The

FM-3-39-40. Manual For The Enslavement Of American Citizens. I apologize for this upsetting post.. However we must be informed of what our government continues to do.. 

Those of you who served in the Military will know what the FM (Field Manual) is, and this 2012 update with linked video explanation, as a big clue to why you will need to be self sustaining and off the grid as Dr J and others have indicated in past posts. 

POLICE STATE USA: FM 3-39-40 INTERNMENT AND RESETTLEMENT OPERATIONS 

Madison Ruppert from End the Lie, appears to have gone over the document with a fine tooth comb.  Ruppert writes:

In the Army Regulation 190-8 document also called “Enemy Prisoners of War, Retained Personnel, Civilian Internees and Other Detainees,” which is available on the Air Force’s website, some details are given on what exactly Civilian Internees are and how they are treated. 

A CI is an American Citizen detained on American soil..

In case you think I've overstated or misstated, watch this 5min video explaining the FM update.

DeaconBenjamin's picture

A view of voting from India

image-680010-galleryV9-plfe.jpg

Patrancus's picture

this Parable

teaches mortal men and woman how they should be living their mortal lives in preparation for entering the Father's eternal kingdom. 

" Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven"

"To every one who has, more shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him who has not, even that which he has shall be taken away. You cannot stand still in the affairs of the eternal kingdom. My Father requires all his children to grow in grace and in a knowledge of the truth. You who know these truths must yield the increase of the fruits of the spirit and manifest a growing devotion to the unselfish service of your fellow servants. And remember that, inasmuch as you minister to one of the least of my brethren, you have done this service to me.

"And so should you go about the work of the Father's business, now and henceforth, even forevermore. Carry on until I come. In faithfulness do that which is intrusted to you, and thereby shall you be ready for the reckoning call of death. And having thus lived for the glory of the Father and the satisfaction of the Son, you shall enter with joy and exceedingly great pleasure into the eternal service of the everlasting kingdom."

I Run Bartertown's picture

Safety Dan / Mr. Fix

SD - "our Constitution no longer affords us “rights.”

It never did.

Mr. Fix - "he has granted himself the authority to declare peacetime martial law"

I just granted myself authority to ignore or resist said orders.

I didn't even need a black dress.cool.

Their words on paper are not magic. Not the old ones (BoR) and not the new ones (EO's). Neither mean much.

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Are we burying our talents

as in the parable, wasting what we have been given?  Are we storing up treasures like Smaug?

Or are we building an ark like Noah, subject to ridicule from the world at large, because "what we are building can never have any practical use, and we are just wasting our resources on a white elephant" [in their eyes], whereas we are actually building something to provide a means of protection and restoration in light of the future storms. 

Perhaps the answer to that is not found in our specific actions, but in our intentions and desires to use what we have stored up when and after the crisis has hit.  Are we setting aside tools for ministry, or cudgels for mastery?

DeaconBenjamin's picture

The retiring Fed governor who left after only 2 years

One of three governors on the Fed's financial stability committee, Stein's legacy will probably rest on his efforts to convince fellow policymakers that they should stand ready to raise interest rates to head off any dangerous asset-price bubbles that may arise.

He gave a speech more than a year ago suggesting that monetary policy, and not just regulation and supervision, should be a tool to deal with financial instabilities that threatened the economy. In what is now a famous line within Fed circles, he said policy "gets in all the cracks" that regulation might not.

http://news.yahoo.com/stein-step-down-depleted-fed-board-184104573--sector.html;_ylt=AwrBEiTOV0FT5TsAH2jQtDMD

Hammer's picture

Just what was the value of

Just what was the value of the talent' in the biblical barter system:
One talent of silver was the fine imposed on a guard for failing to keep watch over a prisoner (1 Kings 20:39).

One to five talents was what the man "traveling into a far country" gave his servants... (Matt 25:15).

One hundred talents' of silver was what the Persian treasures were ordered to give to the prophet Ezra (Ezra 7:22).

One thousand talents' of silver is the tribute King Menahem of Israel paid Assyria" (2 Kings 15:19). and so forth.
One talent' of gold was the amount needed to make a lamp-stand for the Temple (Ex. 25:39).

Six hundred and sixty-six talents' of gold is what Solomon collected annually (1 Kings 10:14).

One million talents' of silver and one hundred thousand talents of gold is what King David collected to build the temple (I Chr. 22:14; 29:4-7). And so forth...

But the lord admonished King Amaziah for hiring 1000, soldiers for 100 talents' of silver, "My lord king, do not let the Israelite army march with you.." as God only gave victory or defeat (2 Chr. 25:6-12).

http://www.humanities360.com/index.php/origin-of-the-word-talent-54278/

In New testament Times a "talent" was roughly 19kgs of weight from my own researcg based on a shekel being of 10.52grams in weight although here is another take on it

http://www.ministers-best-friend.com/Measurements-in-Bible-Days.html

Mr. Fix's picture

@ I Run Bartertown:

Most people I know do whatever they can to comply with increasingly repressive laws, I on the other hand have made a habit of choosing which laws I will comply with, and which ones should be ignored.

This has more to do with risk management than anything else I do in any given day.

I have no regard whatsoever for zoning laws, and all of the state licensing requirements regarding how I do business. In fact, there are very few days in my life where I do not intentionally break very many laws.

The key is  maintaining good relations with customers, and neighbors, I have never had anyone go to the authorities to complain about me, and I do not advertise, so they do not come looking for me. 

When they finally roll out martial law, (and yes they will try), I am betting they will have nowhere near the ability to enforce it.

At least at first, I think for me, life will just go on, by staying under the radar.

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Ugo Bardi: The Banquet of Consequences

flyinkel's picture

What makes us different?

Trouble is answered with a pack of LE for even minor incursions.  US is well armed but average Joe is no match for a military style takedown of his house.  In Germany the population stood by as family after family was marched away thankful that it wasn't their own family on that day.  This allowed the carving out of the perceived cancerous elements, while the reality was the majority in a neighborhood was perhaps perceived as a cancerous element.  What makes us different?  Why do you think the authoritarian control will not work as planned this time?  Please don't say the tyranny won't be as bad, I don't believe that for a minute.  How does fortitude, integrity, honesty prevail?

I Run Bartertown's picture

Mr. Fix

Remoteness is a definite benefit.

In a strange way, I have the opposite, for now. In the belly of the beast. Baltimore, like Detroit, is just a bit further into 'future America' than many here get to see. Heaping doses of rank incompetence spread haphazardly through the system ultimately work to our benefit, not theirs. On a very small scale for now, I can point to the Water bill system in Baltimore. The entire department is such a mess that they they have stopped all enforcement. They were doing lien sales for a while, but couldn't account for much of anything within their own system and were forced to stop. When I pulled up at 7-11 last week and parked next to a cop snorting giant line of coke off of his cruiser dashboard, we made eye contact, but I didn't have any reaction, and he didn't mention my headlight being out.

The same process will scale up. A bunch of old-style Elliot Ness type true believer agents would pose a problem, but they'll have less and less of those as time goes on. The ATF agent of the future is just as likely to trade you .gov weapons for drugs as he is to raid your house. Government incompetence and recruiting of the unemployable used to aggravate me. Now I see it as our best hope. Look at what they cobble together for a workforce. Would you want to rely on that?

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Long term unemployed.

In January, an emergency program that pushed the maximum duration of jobless benefits up to as many as 73 weeks expired. Now, in most states, the maximum duration of payments is 26 weeks. Once those payments run out – along with the government requirement that a worker be looking for a job while receiving them – many among the long-term jobless accept a crummy job or simply give up.

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/04/its-still-bad-for-the-long-term-unemployed/

Who hasn't been forced to accept a crummy job at some time in their life?

Hrunner's picture

Beautiful post, JY

I like to collect great phrases, and you gave us one today-

"Potemkin industries with holographic valuations"

Keeper.

We must shout down and fight the leftists in our world who demonize hard work and stewardship.  In our schools, media, churches, representatives.

I would underscore your points with a warning that as times get more desperate, the propaganda and evil doers on the left will increase the shrillness of their cries- "Hoarders"  "Rich" "Social Justice" (understand their version of social justice means use the force of government to take from the creators and hand out to the lazy, unproductive voters to buy votes), "Fair" (see previous description).

God has never been against using your creative gifts to create wealth for your family, your community, and to use your hard-earned wealth and talents to give back to the poor to alleviate suffering.  The gift of benevolence is also part of God's nature in us.  See the Bible and the parable of the talents.

In contrast to the wrong view that we all will get the same results regardless of our choices, God created us with the most mysterious, 'God-like' characteristic that exists- free will.

Free choice means freedom to make good choices and freedom to make bad choices.  The Bible is crystal clear about the benefits and consequences of each.  The Bible (and life) teaches by revealing choice and consequence.  That is the true definition of fairness.

The only "unfair" quality about God is that he loves us and redeems us even though we make bad choices.

In grace,

H

Hrunner's picture

Blue Phone, April 4th, 1700 EST

JK:  John Kerry, here.

Mahmoud Abbas:  Yes, this is MA.  We would like you to leave.  As soon as possible.

JK:  Where is this coming from?  Don't you understand we have an important peace process to complete?

MA:  YOU have an important peace process to complete.  All you have done since you have been here is try to bully us into a "peace agreement".  You don't give a camel's turd about our future prosperity.

JK:  Of course we care, we are committed to peace in the Middle East.

MA:  You are committed to your political skin.  Your president only cares about one thing- his political image.  He surrounds himself with screaming idiot college students for photo ops.  He calculates what eggs to have for breakfast for a political angle.  You expect us to take this fool seriously?

JK:  Totally untrue.  You should know that the IMF has created models that suggest a peace agreement will increase your GDP by 22%.

MA:  Let me be clear.  We see the truth.  The United States has impoverished it's own people to create a monstrosity of spying and military to fight "terrorist".  Then it creates more taxation and citizen poverty to arm and fund the exact same terrorist groups that it shouts about using the monstrous complex to fight against.   You involve yourself around the world creating chaos using paid mercenaries, twitter wars, your covert operations, monetary threats and sanctions, leaving in your wake governments poorer and worse than before you inserted yourself to "control" things.  Have you ever considered trying to spread your message using education, medical technology, agricultural technology?   Actions speak louder than words, Secretary Swiftboat.

JK:  I think you will regret this action, we are very influential.

MA:  To quote your own ambassador, "F#*k you".  (Click).

opticsguy's picture

PMs are not "money taken from the system"

Those checks I write to Provident end up in some bank account, which is used as collateral for another loan, sent to a miner as payment for Ag, but that money remains in the system.  What is different is that I now own something durable, scarce, and low maintenance.  One could have bought an Escalade but then you would have to insure it, watch it depreciate, register and pay taxes on it, and generally watch it decline to zero value.  Residential RE is an even worse sinkhole for capital.

You are actually doing society a favor by exchanging fiat for SOMETHING THAT WILL STILL BE WORTH SOMETHING IN THE FUTURE.  Farmland and land with mineral rights would be in that category, also, but these can be taken from you by either taxation or good old-fashioned expropriation (e.g., executive order).

Bugzy's picture

Perhaps,,,,

One should not hide his light under a bushel.

Be grateful for what is given, do not tremble in the dark in fear for what you have will be lost. Life is to be lived with an attitude of abundance and more joy will come.

Some folk call it the secret these days.

All about PMA: Positive mental attitude.

Bugzy

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