Pastor's Corner

8 Jun
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Mid-Week Challenge

Summer fundraising has begun for sport teams and youth travel clubs.  We all have had to sale our fair share of candies, home goods and knickknacks over the years.  One of the most well-known from my childhood is World’s Finest Chocolate bars.  They came ready to sell with the cardboard box that punched out into handles.  It looked like you were carrying a candy bar briefcase to the door.  Always one dollar and broken down into four sections, the bars came in original and almond.  When I ventured out on my first run the bars were much larger than what you found in the store, and for a dollar, you bought yourself a good-sized bar.  Most also came with a coupon worth a dollar, so in the end you supported a good cause and made your money back on the savings at the grocery store.  Fast-forward more than 30 years and the World’s Finest Chocolate is still being used for fundraising, the price is still one dollar, but the size of the bar is now about the size of two fun sized KitKats.  And there is no coupon on the wrapper.  Just a sign of the times? 

Shopping at your local market you might have noticed the prices have increased and the portions decreased. One article reports a small box of Kleenex now has 60 tissues; a few months ago, it had 65. Chobani Flips yogurts have shrunk from 5.3 ounces to 4.5 ounces. Bags of Fritos Scoops marked “Party Size” used to be 18 ounces now they are 15.5 ounces — and more expensive.  Gatorade began phasing out 32-ounce bottles in favor of 28-ounce ones.

Economists call it “Shrinkflation,” and it isn’t new. When times of high inflation hits, companies deal with rising costs for ingredients, packaging, labor and transportation by passing it on to the consumer.  Shrinkflation appeals to manufacturers, said Edgar Dworsky, a consumer advocate and former assistant attorney general in Massachusetts, because they know customers will notice price increases but won’t keep track of net weights or small details, like the number of sheets on a roll of toilet paper. Companies can also employ tricks to draw attention away from downsizing, like marking smaller packages with bright new labels that draw shoppers’ eyes.

Little tricks, little reductions, brighter colors to keep us interested and distract our attention from what we all think is going on. It’s surprising how many people are fooled by these changes and only realize they have been tricked after it’s too late.  

We might not always be on our guard, but thankfully God is.  God is not fooled by subtle changes in the market or our behavior. God knows our hearts and protects us in challenging times and in difficult situations, He protects us from ourselves.  During the hard times we are in don’t give into temptations and try to “go it alone.” God knows what is going on in our world and He still has us in the palm of His hand.  Yes, life is getting harder and the challenges ahead show no signs of changing.  But the good news is that our God does not change with the times. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.     

He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber.  Behold, the Protector of Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  Psalm 121:3-4

Serving the Savior,

Bro. Jonathan

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