Pop Xulture Newsletter # 11 – Welcome to Wrexham and Managing Finances. 2/1/23
Hi everyone, I hope the start of 2023 has been as magical as you expected. I had an oxymoronic restful yet incredibly productive beginning to the year. Below are some items I’m working on as well as an exclusive written just for you.
My annual year summary and ’80s comparison came out the first week of January. Published on Christ and Pop Culture (CAPC), the article “1983 vs. 2023: Greed vs. Giving” is a retrospective on the year prior, while comparing and contrasting forty years ago. It took a lot of research but was fun to write and I hope you enjoy it immensely!
Also on CAPC, my concisely titled, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin’s Guiding Voices and the Search for Peace” published today. Using themes from the incredible graphic novel, I wrote both a love letter to post-apocalyptic media, and an encouragement on finding peace and listening to good advice when we’ve lost a mentor. You can watch my unquestionably hilarious promo video here.
For my co-hosted podcast “Thoughts Beyond Thought,” we released a bonus episode in December. Titled “Episode 9: 2022 Happy Holidays & Bonus Bloopers,” we discussed true gift giving and shared some bloopers from Season 1. We’re editing Episode 1 of Season 2 now and you should have it in a week or so.
I am working on an article exclusively for you based off of the documentary Good Night Oppy, which should be out in the next few weeks. I’m also working on some articles about the incredible slate of films from 1993. This series will be published on CAPC over the course of this year as a celebration of films like Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, and So I married an Axe Murderer (to name a few) from thirty years ago.
The idea of this exclusive permeated my mind as I watched Pastor Chip Ingram’s lessons on parenting and streamed the new show Welcome to Wrexham (uh…not at the same time). As I ruminated on this theory of money management (something I never really cared about) I ended up making some changes in my personal life. So the topic has already impacted me. This piece didn’t seem quite long enough to be a standalone article but fit here perfectly.
Welcome to Wrexham and Managing Finances
Mythic Quest star Rob McElhenney approached movie star Ryan Reynolds about buying a soccer team. A notoriously good investor, Reynolds vetted McElhenney’s proposal for the Welsh football club Wrexham AFC. The two stars made the purchase and documented their attempt at improving the team on the show Welcome to Wrexham.
One of the first orders of business for the busy owners was to appoint someone with their best interests in mind to manage the venture. Enter McElhenney’s Mythic Quest writing partner, Humphrey Ker. The documentary is clear that Ker had no experience for his new title of Executive Director, Wrexham AFC. But Ker’s value was in hiring those with experience, being honest with his bosses, and most importantly, an unwavering loyalty to act prudently for his employers.
This real-world example struck a chord as I watched Pastor Chip Ingram’s lesson in a parenting series on preparing for life’s battles. Speaking on Mathew 25’s parable of the talents, Ingram says that Jesus gave according to the person’s ability. “And the way He evaluated them wasn’t on the end result, it was, ‘What did you do with what I gave you?’” That idea of responsibility leads to his next point from Luke 16:10, which says, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
The context is finances so the “little thing” in this passage is money. This may shock most of us. Really Jesus? Managing money is just a little thing? Ingram confirms, saying Jesus meant, “If you can’t learn to manage money well, I’m not going to entrust true riches [to you].”
I’m not of the caliber of Humphrey Ker, but I am a writer, and managing a soccer team for sirs McElhenney and Reynolds terrifies me. Imagine your friends, I mean true friends you’ve been through some serious stuff with, asking you to manage something for them. In some ways it would be easier – you trust each other, but also harder – there is a weight and desire to not mess up.
In the same way soccer fanatic Ker has earned trust and values his responsibilities, Jesus asks us to be his stewards. And if we say, “no”? What do we expect will happen if we disagree? We’ll somehow magically be rich and content?
It seems wise to me to follow Jesus’ instructions. But if we’re nervous about obeying, there is stress relief when we consider that Jesus isn’t asking us to do more than we’re capable of. Just to be diligent in managing the money He’s given us. I found that just as Ker feels the pressure but enjoys the job, when I do what God has made me to do, I also enjoy the job.
[END EXCLUSIVE ARTICLE CONTENT]
Pretty interesting, right? I’ve read Jesus’ words and heard sermons preached on Luke 16 but it never hit me like this time. Welcome to Wrexham is a good documentary-ish show and other than some strong language, I think most viewers will enjoy it. I highly recommend it!
And after I wrote this piece, I thought about the other responsibilities that would follow once financial management is squared away. I’ll be working on a continuation as an article on Severance (great show!). Stay tuned for that.
Well, that’s it for now, thanks for reading this far! If you have any suggestions on making the newsletter better or any media, you’d like me to write about, please leave a comment.
Thanks, in Him,
-Chris (the Bearded Wonder) Fogle