March 2014: Frugal or Cheap?

Frugal or Cheap?

That is the question . . .

* Careful or Stingy?

* Thrifty or Tight?

* Prudent or Parsimonious?

A couple of months ago, I decided to find out what it is to be frugal, but not cheap.

When we’re home, Donna & I take time to sit down and share breakfast and prayer together. A bit of fruit, a slice or two of toasted, healthy, homemade bread and a mug of coffee; for Donna, served on a normal dish, for me lately, on a paper plate.

Why paper? Well, I had decided to conduct a sort of recycling experiment. This was no ordinary thin paper plate. It was sturdy, colorfully decorated with flowers, and had a protective coating all over its surface. I used that same plate, every single day, for two months. I carefully wiped it with a damp cloth after use, and it only showed minor wear and tear on its surface.

Was I being crazy-cheap? Or frugal? Donna just shook her head and raised her eyebrows as she observed this little morning ritual. (The experiment is officially over, the plate is gone. I had proven my frugality, plus my care for the environment.)

You should know that Donna’s upbringing was not quite like mine. My early days were as a Missionary Kid in China. You may have heard that old cliché, sermonized to children who left food on their supper plates, “Think of the starving children in China!”

I was one of those starving kids. Not because I was an MK. For almost four years, until I was 11, our family of five, lived in a small (15‘x12’) room in a Concentration Camp in Shanghai during WW2. So I understand, even amidst the plenty of today, what it means to be undernourished and hungry. Really, really hungry. Just about all the time. And also to not have things. And with the little that I had in the way of food, clothing and toys, I ate it all, wore it out and cherished the set of marbles that I played with.

As a kid, “Waste not, want not!” was pounded into my head. Today, there is almost nothing I will turn down when it turns up at a meal. My plate is always clean after eating, and in order for that to happen, here’s another little jingle I learned later, “Take what you want, but eat what you take.”

My kids often tease me about Sunday night supper, back when—for almost 12 years—we lived in a two-room apartment on the YWAM Kona campus. Sunday was ‘clean-out-the-fridge-night,’ so we dined on left-overs. To this day, guess what we feast on each Sunday night that we’re home?

Graham Kerr, the former Galloping Gourmet of TV fame (and notoriety!), became our good friend when he and Treena joined YWAM in Kona. Once he gave us the North American statistics on wasted food—not just any wasted food; but the food that had already been bought and then had found its way into the fridge, ready to be eaten, as is; or cooked and dished up.

I don’t remember the amount of perfectly good food, that Graham explained, never made it that short distance from fridge to dining table. Meats, veggies, fruits, desserts, too often took a detour straight into the garbage can. They had simply gone bad, as they gradually got pushed to the back of the fridge, where they stank, wilted, grew hair or crawled and dripped onto the bottom shelf. They were way past their ‘use-by’ date. Literally billions of dollars-worth of edible stuff, wasted.

If it had been fed to pigs, some good would have come of it.

If you think my frugality readies me for sainthood, think again. One area of life may be OK, while other parts stink. There’s an epilogue to my little sermon on wasting food and saving the environment; by now, you would think I’d know better than to preach and expect not to be tested. Preaching can bring out the worst in a person. There’s a tendency to puff up a bit.

So, I step down off my soapbox.

Just last week, Donna and I, after praying and agreeing together, gave a car away to a friend who needed one. It was a magical moment. The car was 15 years old, but was a real beauty. We had bought it for one of our grandkids who had needed wheels for a few months, and had then gone back into YWAM. Right after handing over the gift, Donna and I went shopping for groceries and some other things.

Donna spotted an item she needed, it fit nicely and it looked good—but when I saw the price tag, my eyes screamed, “Too expensive!” She graciously chose something else, but our magical moment of generosity burst like a balloon. From being frugal with a paper plate and generous with a car, I went to being cheap with a pair of sunglasses.

We made up. But you’d think that after all these years, I’d have learned a few things. If you want to preach something—whether by words or by actions—be consistent, and live your sermon. This is especially true for parents. Kids watch you all the time; they don’t pay attention to your words unless your actions line up.

So from now on, a preacher I’ll not be.

Unless my own hands—and heart—are clean.



  Author Unknown

He had no servants, yet they called Him Master
No degree, yet they called Him Teacher
No medicines, yet they called Him Healer
No army, yet kings feared Him
He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world
He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him
He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

Feel honored to have such a Leader?
Who is He? Jesus.

God has a time for everything, a perfect schedule. He is never too soon, never too late. The ‘when’ of His will is as important as the ‘what’ and the ‘how.’ Richard C. Halverson 

We’re LetterGetters & Lovin’ It! 

“I feel loved, encouraged and propelled forward by your words of encouragement. Thank you.”                                 Chris Rochester, Australia
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Christopher Cole, USA
“February’s eTouch has been especially meaningful to me. It was like you were reading my mind but I know that’s the Holy Spirit at work, and it spoke straight to my heart. Thank you for allowing us to share/pass on what you write as well. So much today has copyright on it.” Margy Fox, New Zealand
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Donna’s Corner

I Looked For A Man . . .

Dear Friend,

A few years ago, while at a prayer gathering in Switzerland, I sensed the Lord say, “Donna, YWAM wasn’t Loren Cunningham’s vision—all those waves of young people; that was My vision; I looked for a man who would fulfill that vision, and I found Loren.”

”For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him . . .” [2 Chron 16:9] And, “The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him . . .” [Psalm 33:18]

Loren now has a vision of a HUGE wave of people coming into YWAM and University of the Nations, for discipleship, and in preparation to disciple the nations through every sphere of society. [Mt 11:28]

While I was in Maui in January, teaching in the DTS, I went with a few of the Surfers with a Mission to see Jaws (not the movie!), but the waves called Jaws. I asked, “What do you have to do to ride one of these waves?” (Jaws is every surfers dream.) My friend replied, “Get prepared physically, know your place on the wave, and know that when you get to the top, there’s no turning back!”

One motorized Sea-Doo pulls them out to the top of the wave and lets them go, and then two Sea-Doos are waiting to pick them up and tow them out of danger.

It’s the same with each one of us. We must get prepared spiritually, we need to know our place, and when we reach the top, there’s no turning back. We need help to get us there, and others to rescue us.

I believe thousands of this generation are being called by God to get ready. He wants those who have a heart after Him, and who are walking in the fear of the Lord, to get a vision of where He wants them and what He wants them to do.

In order for this to happen, we must quieten ourselves, listen to Him, have faith that He will do what He says, and walk in obedience day by day. In the last days young men will see visions [Acts 2:17-21]

There have been prophecies that we are on the leading edge of the greatest awakening the world will have ever seen, a supernatural harvest of all the seed that has been sown. [Matt 13:24-43] We are entering into a reaping season, with millions coming to know Jesus personally. But they will need to be discipled.

Hollywood is even calling this the year of the Bible. They have released four movies relating to the Bible in just the first four months of this year. You may not agree with the way Hollywood does things, and you may see inaccuracies. But remember, these movies are to make people hungry for the truth about God. People are seeking truth, the Truth, that will set them free.

Love and Blessings,


Summertime Camps in Europe

July 06-12: Sweden, YWAM Restenäs, with Mariette Louw

July 20-26: Romania, Prod near Sighisoara, with Donna Jordan

July 21-26: Norway, YWAM Skjærgårdsheimen, with Al & Carolyn Akimoff

Aug 03-09: France, YWAM Champagne, speaker Edwin Fillies

Aug 17-23: Switzerland, YWAM Châtel, speaker Dan Baumann

Aug 24-30: Italian Alps, Piemonte, near Turin, with Donna Jordan

Registration for all the 2014 European Camps now open at

and Finally . . .              

The Enemy was Defeated at the Cross . . .

. . . but he’s still fighting a rearguard battle, pestering us in our own territory; call it guerrilla warfare, call it terrorism, but he’s gone underground and he’s not fighting by the rules of the Geneva Convention; he just simply doesn’t play fair and will grab any ground you give him in your life—and in mine. And speaking of ‘mine,’ he’s laid out a cunning minefield to catch us.

But every follower of Jesus has the means to skirt around the mines by crying out to God, and praying such scriptures as Matthew 6:13, from The Message: “Keep me safe from myself and the Devil . . . You’re in charge!”

Till next time,



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