Extinct Cash

published Jun 04, 2008

It was impossible 20 years ago, and certainly improbable as little as 10 years ago. But since the rise of micro-technology, many have dreamed of a day when cumbersome currency would be eliminated and replaced by electronic funds- a cashless society. As exemplified by the formation of the EU and the struggles to establish the Euro as the universal currency, technology isn’t what hinders that dream.

In order for a cashless economy to work, it must be universal, exclusive, and equitable. Cultural idea-shaping takes time and concerted effort. A global mentality must flourish, creating the unity that permits acceptance of a universal equilibrium (Some individual nations have a stronger currency than others. They need to be willing to compromise). The electronic fund (let’s call it “EF”) must become the only means to do commerce anywhere in the world. The EF must have a stable value, and enable the impoverished population to increase their standard of living. In the USA, we are deep into the process of cultural acceptance of the extinction of cash. It began in the 80’s with the credit card push, which bolstered spending of hypothetical money. Many people embraced it. About the same time was the first time I recall hearing of businesses converting their payroll to direct deposit, something commonplace now. Then came debit cards. The idea was to keep cash out of the consumer’s pockets and in banks. Most Americans have at least one debit card now.

The social pressure has subtly directed consumers to leave their money in the bank, and pay for everything with a card. Its being sold as convenient, safer, and quicker. Most businesses have POS systems where a swipe and a signature makes the purchase, as long as the funds are available. Even some debit cards double as credit cards for those embarrassing times when the purchase is unapproved because you don’t have the money.

What Will They Say Next?

******** This article was originally written in 2001. I have made a few updates. Please read and review (comment) for me. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. *********************************************************************************************

“Frankly Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.”

My father-in-law remembered being one of the theater patrons who were shocked to hear Clark Gable say that to Vivian Leigh in 1939’s “Gone With the Wind”. Many demanded their ticket price refunded over that profanity. That may seem comical now, since “damn” has made it’s way into even Saturday morning cartoons years ago. The word has lost it’s impact on us.

Some say: “Art imitates life”. Or is it the other way around? We live in an entertainment-oriented culture, where we even have sub-cultures who base their identities on their preferences of music, art, movies, and television. TV brings a barrage of images and influences into our homes; often unsupervised into the hearts and minds of our youth. We identify with characters or ideas and make them a part of our lives. Unfortunately, the bad examples far out-number and overwhelm the good. With alarming comfort in their success, the entertainment business aggressively presents some of the most negative human characteristics as healthy and normal, even glorified. And it’s getting worse.

In the early 1970’s, “The Bad News Bears” made comedy of foul-mouthed children. I laughed too. A few years ago, I saw a live-action rendition of a Dr. Seuss classic children’s story. The theater was packed, mostly with children under twelve. When the title character used the word “bitchin'”, nobody seemed alarmed, or even to notice, except me.

For years, movies had the ratings system to caution prospective viewers. Profanity used to merit an “R” rating, supposedly prohibiting anyone under seventeen to see it. And any nudity earned the now defunct “rated X”, requiring ID to prove being at least eighteen years old. Enforcement of these ratings restrictions has always been as effective as prohibiting minors from buying cigarettes. I was ten when I saw my first “X rated” movie, and twelve when I bought my first pack of cigarettes. In early 2015, my grandsons, ages 10 and 12, saw an R rated very popular movie. The film had received that “restricted” rating due to adult language and graphic violence. They both liked that movie.

However, television used to uphold certain standards. Nudity was completely unacceptable, and profanity was censored. Of course, this was only a concern when television would air a movie. Because regular programming simply didn’t contain any objectionable material. The makers of TV shows were successfully producing popular and profitable programs without it. Networks were terrified of offending audiences, resulting in loss of viewers, and loss of sponsors.

TV networks considered the time block of 7 to 9 p.m. as “prime-time”. Programming and advertising reflected the fact that this was when families, parents and children, watched television together. If a program or commercial wasn’t family-oriented, it would air later at night, when the children were supposedly in bed. This standard worked very well for many years.

Nevertheless, from what I’ve observed in recent years, the prime-time standard has been canned. Perhaps its no coincidence that the onset of cable and satellite TV, paralleled by the disintegrating traditional family unit, has instigated some disturbing changes in regular network programming. Maybe it’s all related. Family sitcoms today are generally based on dysfunctional families, where the parents are selfish and the children are disrespectful.
Continue reading What Will They Say Next?

First Excerpt From ‘MORE THAN SONGS’

****** This excerpt from my first book, MORE THAN SONGS by Mike Mattice copyright © 2001. It’s unpublished as of now, but I hope it will be in the near future ********************************************************************************

Acknowledgments

 

First and foremost, I want to thank and praise my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for giving me a heart of worship.  I sure didn’t have it on my own!

 

Secondly, my eternal love and gratitude goes to my wife, Kathy, who has spent twenty years trying to teach me “simplicity”.  Again, I sure don’t have it on my own.

 

For my inquisitive daughter, Mindy, who keeps me searching for the answers; and my grandchildren, who restore the child in me…  words can’t express it!  Out of the mouths of babes, His praise is perfected.

 

Also, I give many thanks to the authors, editors, publishers, and teachers for providing the many resource materials.  

 

Preface “Is This The Right Book?”

 

This is not a book of worship techniques.  Although I may interject some personal observations, make suggestions, and offer opinions, this is not a “how to…” manual. I hope to awaken, encourage, and inspire readers who, like me, seek a deeper and fuller worship experience.

All seekers can come to know God.  Although many of His ways are mysterious to our limited minds, God is not a mystery! You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to know God. He wants to be known!  He loves each of us so much that God chose to allow His Son’s death for our sakes. Worship is a perfectly natural and normal response when you know our loving Lord.

If you’re not sure these words are true, your curiosity may have led you to this book because you’re searching for something or someone.  Your Heavenly Father desires your company, and has used your curiosity to call you.  He knows all that you’ve ever done, said, or thought, and yet He wants to forgive you completely, cleanse you entirely, and hold you forever close to His heart.  Right now… wherever you are…you can bow your heart and agree with God that you know you’ve sinned, but you want to change.  Accept God’s forgiveness and cleansing for you… personally.  He extends it through the centuries, from the cross at Calvary where Jesus bled and died for you, directly to you, wherever you are right now.  Trust that Jesus of Nazareth is the only, uniquely begotten Son of the Living God, Who did not sin; but in a way that we can’t fully understand, He became all of our sins, and died to pay the penalty for everything we ever did wrong.  Acknowledge Him as your personal Savior.

But if Christ is not raised from the dead, then our faith is in vain.  You may be thinking: “When you’re dead, you’re dead.  How could he rise from the dead?”  This is an excellent question!  Research for yourself.  You will find that the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth in first century Jerusalem is the single most-documented event in the entire history of the world.  There are secular accounts as well as those of believers, all eyewitnesses to these events.

So, if you’ve just accepted God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ, put down this book.  Pick up a Bible, and start to get to know your loving Savior.  I suggest starting in the New Testament with the Gospel of John.  Then, you must talk with someone regularly in order to establish a relationship with them, so talk to your Heavenly Father in Jesus’ Name, as He commanded.  Then listen as well.  You’d be surprised what God has to say to you.

Then (and this is very important!) get involved with a local Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  God’s not afraid of your honest questions and neither will a pastor that’s any good!  God bless you, and maybe someday you’ll pick up this book, and it will minister to you; but this is not the right book for you right now.

I believe that the Holy Bible is the infallible, God-breathed Word of the Living God.  This book won’t attempt to prove this tenet. In fact, I’m going to assume that you share this conviction.  If you don’t accept that all Scripture is given by inspiration (breath) of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, [and] for instruction in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16), then you are reading the wrong book!  Put this one down, open the Bible, and let God reveal His truth to you.

This book will offend some.  That’s okay.  If it does, then hopefully you’ll be challenged to carefully study and examine the offense.  If you search the Scriptures, and find that I’ve written something unbiblical, then you should not read this book any further.  But, please take the time to write to me!  I don’t claim to have all-inclusive knowledge of Scripture, nor infallibility.  However, to the best of my ability, I have studied and prayerfully written this book. I believe that God has revealed these truths to me and inspired me to share them.  The only worthwhile things I have to say are what God has shown me.  Please forgive my occasional lapses into opinion, and just let God’s truth speak to you. Some of you may have better understanding of the Bible, and find mistakes.  Please don’t let me continue in error.  In the back of this book will be an address where you are welcomed to write to me.

However, if your study shows I’ve been accurate, but the “picture of biblical worship” in this book doesn’t agree with your traditions, beliefs, personal convictions, and/or experiences… THEN YOU ARE READING THE RIGHT BOOK!!!   In fact, you are the person for whom this book was primarily written.  Take your Bible, this book, any “Statement of Faith (or Beliefs)” to which you adhere, roll up your sleeves, and prepare to receive from the Living Lord!

MAY THE LORD JESUS REVEAL HIMSELF TO YOU!

In His Service,


Mike Mattice

************** Please read, and more importantly, review this excerpt for me. Your feedback is very important to me. **************************************

 

Believing Is Seeing

****** This is a reprint of an article I wrote in 2005********

Believing Is Seeing

By Mike Mattice

1415 words

 

“I’ll believe it when I see it!” The young man emphasized. Our topic was the existence of God. As He so often does, my God taught me several things through this casual conversation with an unbelieving teenager. As I frequently do, I am endeavoring to share what I’ve learned, through writing.

 

In just sixteen years of experience, this young man had settled into his ideas. I’m not so naïve as to not see that some of his comments were intended to invoke a shocked reaction from me; however, he addressed some issues that deserve investigation. Once again, some of the most unshakable logic and profound truth came to me after the conversation ended.

 

Early in the discussion, he revealed his belief, based on some unusual experiences, in ghosts. Yet, he admitted to not believing in God. My first query is: “Why is it easier to believe in the spirits of dead people wandering, haunting, and causing general havoc, than to believe in an all-powerful loving God?

 

Perhaps I should expound on each question individually. My young friend said he had witnessed proof of “ghosts”. I accept that his experiences could have been supernatural in origin, but suggested that things may not be what they seem, and the spooky answer might not be the true explanation. Moreover, he insisted that he has never seen proof of God’s existence. Herein lies the core of this message.

Continue reading Believing Is Seeing

A Little Piece of Land and a Grand Dream

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Plot of Earth.”

Mars was fiercely cold and dry. Several probes over two decades had not found any evidence of water, nor organic life of any kind. At least for the first generation, vegetation would not survive the hostile climate. They had prepared for that, by including a collapsible greenhouse able to duplicate Earth’s most effective growing conditions. The payload also included eight tons of fertile Earth soil, as well as well as about one ton of synthetic fertilizer.

Henry Progue and his wife, Allison were the botany team on this, the first settlement mission to the red planet. Their job was to maintain an efficient and productive garden during the thirteen month voyage; not really such a large challenge here on The Nina, in a completely synthetic environment. Their real challenge would be finding a water supply, developing extraction equipment, and establish a working garden to provide fresh vegetables for the settlement crew of eighteen. The survival of this first settlement team and the two following over the next year rested primarily on the Progue’s shoulders. Without water, there would be no survival.

In the meantime, the shipboard garden had been producing a surplus, which Henry had packed away in frozen storage. This surplus could prove life-saving in the first month on Mars, until they got the surface garden up and growing.

This little piece of land, a small piece of home, carried all these millions of miles to a harsh and alien world, was crucial for the survival of the settlers. Not only would the vegetation provide food. The water extraction system would provide essential water. And most of all, the oxygen which the plants exhale, after inhaling the carbon dioxide humans exhale, would prove an unlimited oxygen supply. Truly, Henry and Allison’s work meant the difference between life and death for the early settlers on Mars. This plot of land must successfully keep them all alive.

At Least Two of Me

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Clone Wars.”

If I were to clone myself (and who’s to say I haven’t already?), I would send me off to work, clean house, do the laundry, and every menial daily task. While the other me could write full-time, spend time with my daughter and grandchildren, and friends… you know, the fun stuff. Also, the third me would become a professional pool player. He would take care of my reading obsession. I love to read but sometimes it interferes with my writing (and if it’s a really good book, it interferes with life).

Then the fourth me… wait… I’m breaking the rules, aren’t I?