Stop Clicking!

Here’s a fun tip. If you are on a website reading a news article or something, they almost always have little blurbs at the bottom saying things like “YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HE LOOKS LIKE NOW” OR “SHE CHANGED ONE DETAIL IN HER WEDDING AND IT WAS CRAZY!” You know the ones.

If you see one of those do yourself and us all a favor. Don’t click it. I know the temptation is strong and now you are super curious about what caused that weight loss or who she is dating now, but just don’t. There’s two reasons for this.

First of all, and this is the reason for you, it takes way too long to find out the info. You click, and it takes you to a page that teases the reason you clicked and it has the dreaded button at the bottom (usually surrounded by ads placed so you will click on them accidentally) that says “NEXT PAGE. So you click, thinking, “This shouldn’t take too long.” But it does. It really does. So instead of clicking, just do yourself a solid and do an internet search for it instead.

I tested this out tonight. I was reading an article on a local tv station website, and there was a clickbait ad at the bottom that read “After Celine Dion’s Major Weight Loss, She Confirms What We Suspected All Along” So I clicked it as a test. Y’all, it took me TWENTY NINE clicks and page loads to get to where the website informed me that Ms. Dion’s weight loss is a direct result of her newfound love of ballet dancing. That’s a two followed by a nine. It should not take 29 clicks with each page giving a little detail and then NEXT PAGE to get the information.

And then I googled “Celine Dion weight” and with ONE click (using Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button), it brought up the first web result, which was the page for the Today Show, which told me right at the top, “Celine Dion discusses her recent weight loss: ‘Everything’s fine’ The secret to her new look? Dancing!” And with one brief scroll down the page the article informed me that it was ballet dancing. One click and ten seconds compared to 29 clicks and about 5 minutes. I did it for you.

Just as a side note, remember what the clickbait title claimed? “….She Confirms What We Suspected All Along.” Really? You suspected “all along” she was practicing ballet dancing? If that’s true, you should get your own hotline because you have information people need.

And that brings me to point number two, which is the reason you AND I shouldn’t click these. They won’t quit making these annoying things unless people stop clicking them. Every time you click “Next page” more ads pop up on the page, and they get paid money every time you “view” an ad (determined by if it loaded on your screen). So you’re actually insuring that these people get paid by advertisers for annoying you. This is like asking the neighbor kid to come over to your front porch and hit you with a stick repeatedly, and then giving him money to do it.

So please……don’t click. Search instead. Make the world a better place.

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Bagless Shopping

For years I have shopped at grocery stores and have carried home the groceries in plastic bags. I know it’s not good for the environment, and we have tried to recycle or reuse these as much as we can. Some have suggested using paper bags, but those are so hard to find now, and they require killing a tree anyway, so they’re not much better.

Last week I saw a video that literally changed my mind about my shopping. This guy said we don’t need shopping bags. And yesterday I tried out his system. It worked great.

I went to Wal Mart. I got the groceries that I wanted and put them in my cart. I went to the checkout, and instead of putting stuff in bags, I got a second cart, scanned something, then put it in the new cart. The cashier came over when she saw me throwing stuff into the cart without bags, and said, “Do you need help bagging your groceries?” I said, “No thank you,” and went about my business. She backed away, confused. I scanned everything, and then paid, leaving an empty cart behind me, and a full one in front.

When I was done the cashier said she would take care of the empty cart (she was probably being nice to the crazy person, in her mind), and I pushed my cart to the exit. The lady at the door who was checking people’s receipts burst out laughing when she saw my cart. As she told me, she is supposed to check receipts for everything people buy but don’t put in a bag. She just laughed and waved me on. I explained about the system, and she said that sounded great.

So I pushed my cart full of groceries out to my car. And then I opened the trunk, and put all the groceries into the two laundry baskets in the trunk. Well, I left the water bottles, milk, and cat food out, but everything else went in the baskets. Then I drove home, and instead of grabbing six bags for each hand, I just picked up a laundry basket and carried it in. Total plastic bags used: ZERO. The guy in the video suggested using these collapsible crates from Amazon.com but they cost $64 for three crates and the laundry baskets cost $3 each at Wal Mart.

Oh, and by the way, my cousin who works at WM told me: when they stop you at the door and ask to see your receipt, you aren’t obligated to show them. Just say “no thank you” and keep going. They won’t stop you.

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Why, Kraft? Why?

I don’t understand why companies operate the way they do today.  When I was in school we learned about supply and demand.  If the seller has 10 units of product at $1 each, and 20 people want the product, he increases the price, while at the same time (if possible) increasing production so that everybody gets what they need even if they have to pay more.  I have never heard of the business model where the seller has 10 units of product, and 100 people want the product, so the seller says, “You know what?  I’m going to lower production.”

The best drink on earth.

My favorite thing to drink is something I discovered several years ago.  It’s called Peach Mango Green Tea, and it’s made by Crystal Light, a subsidiary of Kraft Foods.  In the past I have usually bought the “pitcher packs” where each container comes with five envelopes, each with enough drink mix to make 2 quarts of tea.  So one pitcher pack can make 2.5 gallons of tea.  Anytime I went to the store, there was my tea, and I would buy one or two.  It was never out of stock. 

And then the pandemic happened.  All of a sudden the Crystal Light shelf at ALL of my area grocery stores resembled the toilet paper aisles from those early days.  You all remember what that looked like.  It was like the bread aisle or the milk case right before a big blizzard:  empty and barren.   I don’t know why Kraft couldn’t keep this particular item stocked, but I just figured it was related to the pandemic.  I thought, “When things calm down, and people go back to work this will be fixed.” 

Well here we are.  It’s a year now, people are back to work, and the Crystal Light shelves are still bare.  The stores have plenty of the little version that has envelopes to put in 20 oz bottles, but for some reason they can’t figure out that people want the big ones.   I bought a flat of 12 back in November for $30 from Amazon, which was the same price as in my local store, but now that same flat is going for $80. 

I was just emailed by Wal Mart who said, “Great news! The product you’re interested in is now back in stock!”  So I logged into Wal Mart’s website and there was only one “two pack” left (enough to make 5 gallons) and I tried to buy it.  But by the time I got to the end of the purchase, it said, “Sorry this item is no longer available.”  I don’t want a PS5, I just want my tea!   Get it together, Kraft! Start cranking out the tea!!! I don’t know how much money you are losing by refusing to increase production, but it has to be substantial.

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Life is Short

Every day I wake up I know that I am one day closer to heaven.  I was thinking the other day about how much time I have left on earth.  Obviously none of us knows how much time we really have, because we could die five minutes from now.  A coworker of mine for the past two years clocked out about six weeks ago and went home.  They found her the next morning. She had had a stroke, and nothing they did to help her worked. She died on February 21st.  She was my age.

But if I live a “normal lifespan” I have about 20-30 years left at the most.  And as I think about how brief that is, I examine my life and can only feel sadness at the enormity of the sin that I have committed in my life. I have served God, but not enough.  Not nearly enough. I feel like Oskar Schindler at the end of Schindler’s List and I know that I will always feel that way. 

Because I am a sinner. 

I choose to do what is wrong.  Every day I sin.  Every day I confess my sins to God, knowing that the next day I will be in the same position, confessing more sins to God, because I have a sin nature. 

Every person sins.  Every. Single. Person.  And it’s not just one sin that we do over and over, it’s a multitude of sins: gluttony, lust, greed, pride, hatred, anger, homosexuality, ignoring God, selfishness, laziness, dishonesty, etc…etc…etc…

My only consolation is that I am born again.  My sin weighs down on me like a thing that is very heavy, but I know with every fiber of my being that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth 2000 years ago and died on the cross to pay the penalty for ALL my sin and the sins of the whole world. 

Are you an angry person? Jesus died for you.  Are you a thief?  Jesus died for you.  Some people think that certain sinners (or should I just say humans) are lost forever and cannot be saved, but there is only one sin that you can commit that God cannot forgive:  rejecting Christ.  If you reject God and the forgiveness that He offers for ALL of your sins, then you cannot be saved from God’s wrath, and you will suffer for eternity in the lake of fire. 

I Corinthians 6:9-10 says, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” 

That’s a pretty hefty list.  And some people look at that list and say, “See?  There’s certain people who can’t be saved! They are lost forever! There’s no hope for them!”  But these people stopped reading too soon.  Because verse 11 says “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” 

See, Paul knew that there were people in the Corinthian church who were former drunks, former homosexuals, former adulterers, former idolaters, former thieves, etc.  But they were washed, they were sanctified. They repented of their sin and turned to God, and they were FORGIVEN! 

As long as you are breathing, it is never too late to repent of your rebellion against God and trust in Christ, no matter what sins you have committed. And once you trust in His sacrifice for you, then everything you say and do should start to come into alignment with what He wants for you. I have said it over and over:  Christians are not sinless, but we should sin less.

And now I start another day, praying to God that I will sin less today, and that He will use me to lead souls to Christ and to glorify Him.  What about you?  Do you know Christ? If so, are you living for Him or for your own selfish desires?  Trust in Christ for salvation, and then trust Him that He knows what is best for you, which includes reading the Bible and examining your life to see what doesn’t match up with what He wants for you. 

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