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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sliding and Checking In

Greetings Scholars and Warriors.

Before we go on to our weekly thought, have you read about the COSPLAY CONTEST?

Posted on www.phillipsandifer.com

Lately I have been watching Sliders on Netflix. It has been interesting seeing what quirky situations they get into each episode. Right now I am in the last season; the season when we only have one remaining member of the original team. This is quite annoying. I miss Wade, Collin, Professor and Quin.

I recently watched an episode where Maggie got herself kidnapped by an organization that controlled all transactions, retail and business. She is expected to just sign up for the deal. When the company finds details on her duplicate for that world and realizes she is not, it expects her to go through a re-education program to spend more money. Basically, it wants to get her further into debt.

This was not the only time that Sliders did an episode to discuss American consumerism and use satire to show the dangers we face. One season they actually did a Christmas episode on a world where thousands of people were being held as workers in debt beyond their heads, but that time it was a giant mall in the sky that did it.

I think our society was in a bit of a haze about the debt issue but it does seem to be getting better. Budgeting classes and shows are certainly available (almost to available). As nerds, we face this issue regularly. We recently coined the word "Shelfie" to describe photos of board game shelves. We also have shelves filled with blue rays and comics and lots of other stuff. I have many times had to pull myself away from spending to much. And, yes, you are correct. Sometimes I did spend to much money on games or movies or snacks.

So what can we do to deal with this issue?

1. Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount (which may have been a collection of messages he would reuse but at least one time were shared on a mountain) that we should not worry about physical things. I don't think His point was to spend, spend, spend. I think His point was that God will meet our needs.

2. I do agree with setting budgets or goals. I am often best when I have a goal, normally a mission trip, to look toward. I tend to be more aware of over-spending in such cases.

3. I think we need to learn to enjoy what we do have. I know I am guilty of dreaming about this game or that game I want to get. I even did that today. Sometimes we need to recognize that God has given us a lot already.

4. One other principal of Jesus: if you have extra, share. Generosity is key to life with Jesus. This may come in the form of buying your friend a gift, but I think Jesus was more concerned with serious needs than fun stuff.

My church has been doing this great check in thing lately. You check in on Facebook on Sunday morning for service and for each check in money is donated or something is given for a particular cause. Lately the cause is building schools in developing areas. This is a way of giving without spending money. Generosity is based in certain heart yearnings, not in handing stuff to someone. Handing out money/stuff is just a way to motivate your heart.

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