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FREE!!! IT'S FREE!

Just because it's free....


So, I'm sitting here, trying to simplify my digital organization scheme. Why? Well, let's inventory what I have had, and some of it I still have:


3 Separate Google accounts: 1 straight-up, 2 domain/Google Apps.


Between them, these are connected to: 6 email addresses (not counting that I'm the domain admin for the 2 Apps accounts, and so I get any non-addressed email to those domains); 13 blogs; 7 Google calendars; 1 Google Voice account; 3 Google Docs accounts; and a Google gears app on my computer that I don't know what it does.


I also have Facebook account that is the admin on both a fan page and an organization page for the church plus a group page for ministers in Drew county.


I am the only one that does anything with the church website, which is free, and has a blog, calendar, and all sorts of other stuff, and it's great, but it doesn't link to anything else.


Plus I need all of this to sync back to my laptop, my Blackberry, the desk computer at home, some of it to the church desktop, and all the websites really need to communicate.


And it's not working. So I'm deleting 60% of it. Why do I even have it in the first place? Simple: it was free! Well, the domain registrations were $20 a piece for 2 years, but the rest is free!!!! And shouldn't we take advantage of free? I mean, really, what's it going to hurt?


Oh, I also review books so I can get them free. I've done them for Zondervan, Thomas Nelson (I still owe you guys on David Jeremiah's Living with Confidence! It's a great book! My chaotic world has kept me from reviewing. I'll get it, Mr. Hyatt, I promise!!), WaterBrook/Multnomah, and somebody else (I'm not even sure who!!). Point taken.


I'm a bit of an abuser of free, apparently. There's so much free available that I'll use it all, whether I need it or not. And that's not exactly a good thing. It shows a selfishness that we don't need any more of in our nation and culture. We certainly don't need it in our churches. We've become increasingly hooked on free.


We treat the free as if, since it's free to us, the price doesn't have to be paid somewhere. Guess what? Someone's buying the bandwidth at Google and Facebook. The paper and ink aren't free for review copies. That potluck you get to eat Sunday, someone cooked it, prepped it, planned it, and made it happen. The freedom we have to be thankful for this November? That forgiveness of sins, guess what, that grace? Yeah, it's free. For you.


Let's stop abusing free. Take what you need, but do your best to need less. It's not that Google's going to run out of bits or that God will exhaust His graciousness, but really, just because it's free to you doesn't mean you need to take all you can.


And yes, I just put those two together, because how we handle trivial things like billion dollar companies impacts how we handle stuff that matters, like our relationship with the Almighty God of the universe.


Doug


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