Monthly Archives: June 2017

Before you toss a coin in, read the label.

“Three coins in the fountain, each one seeking happiness, thrown by three hopeful lovers, which one will the fountain bless?” These lyrics from Frank Sinatra’s, “Three coins in the fountain,” came to mind recently as a woman tested the “luck” of coins in an almost catastrophic way.

An 80-year-old woman, identified only by the name, Qiu, was preparing to board a China Southern Airlines flight from Shanghai to Guangzhou. As she walked toward the plane, she tossed 9 coins in the engine turbine for “good luck.” Qiu, a Buddhist, believed that the coins would bring luck and safety to the flight.

Of course, 150 passengers were evacuated due to concerns that a coin would be sucked into the turbine. The flight was delayed 5 hours. Qiu was detained and investigated.

Still believe in luck? Many do. Horoscopes, fortune cookies, and trips to Las Vegas are proof of that! But luck doesn’t exist. Not knowing the future can seem scary. So people look for “good luck” as a way to hedge against “bad luck.”

The Bible teaches us that God is in charge, but He allows for the freewill of man and the temptations of Satan. The apparent randomness of life in a fallen world will cause us pain. There will be days when Satan seems to be winning. Yet God’s victory is assured!

God knows and declares the beginning from the end (Isaiah 46:10). Ultimately, things are worked out for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). God provides (Matthew 10:29-31), even in matters appearing to be chance (Proverbs 16:33), and in events that seem bad but are for our good (Genesis 50:20). All His gifts are good (James 1:17).

God hasn’t left us to grope blindly through time. He has revealed the only future that truly matters – an eternity with or without His presence. We can know our future (1 John 5:13)!

Coins in a fountain? No. And definitely don’t throw coins in a turbine! Put those coins to better use as a steward of His blessings. And check the coin…it says, “In God we trust.”

Unlimited Grace Available…And Not Just For Existing Customers!

Free? That’s a great deal! At least that is what CNET said about Sprint’s “Free Year of Unlimited Data!” CNET reassured their readers, “it’s not a joke;” and “there is no catch!” There is an exception though…you cannot be an existing customer.

According to CNET, the plan is to try to get new customers from Verizon. It isn’t being advertised, it isn’t available in stores, and the only way to get it is if you go online and bring your own phone to the deal.

So, assuming Sprint’s network works for you, and you have a phone you want to keep, this may just be good news for you. But existing customers get nothing more than the contract they already have. And they aren’t happy with that arrangement.

I’m reminded of a parable Jesus spoke in Matthew 20 about workers who had been hired to work in a vineyard. They agreed upon a price, and worked all day. Others, hired later in the day, worked fewer hours; some worked one hour. When it came time to pay though, everyone got the same – an entire day’s wage!

As you can imagine, the ones who worked all day weren’t happy. They thought they deserved more. The master reminded them that he had paid them their wage. He continued, “I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things?”

Now, I admit, there are significant differences between the parable and Sprint deal. In a free-market economy, customers may negotiate, and even choose other vendors. But perhaps there is a good reminder for us, nevertheless.

God’s grace is immeasurable. Angels rejoice when one comes to the knowledge of the truth. The reward of the gospel is for all, whether faithful for 5 decades or 5 minutes. There is no better deal than eternal salvation!

But human nature gets in the way. Some think, “I’ve been faithful longer; I should get more reward,” Let’s check our hearts to ensure that we rejoice equally with all who receive God’s grace – no matter when. And, unlike the Sprint deal, don’t keep it quiet. Let’s shout the good news from the hilltops!

Careless Speech, Harvard Lessons, and Wisdom from the Word

In light of everything else going on in the world today, it is barely a story. Ten kids who had been accepted into Harvard made some really dumb choices about what to post and say in a Facebook chat room. Then Harvard rescinded their offers.

But if you read the headlines, you would think that their lives were “ruined.” Please. To suggest that their lives are ruined is… a stretch. Ten really smart kids with great grade point averages and high SAT scores are going to be ok. In fact, they will probably be better off…if they gain wisdom from their mistake.

It is best to learn this universal truth when you are young – actions have consequences!

Careless words on social media are not just harmless speech in an alternate reality. They will be used against you. The comments and pictures they shared were racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, and promoted pedophilia and suicide. And Harvard held them accountable.

Good advice for kids hasn’t changed in 3,000 years. In Proverbs 4, the wise teacher gives advice to his son. Here are a few excerpts, but the chapter is worth a read:

  • My child, listen closely to my teachings and learn common sense.
  • Be wise and learn good sense…
  • Don’t follow the bad example of cruel and evil people… Stay away from them.
  • Carefully guard your thoughts…

Wisdom is not easily learned. It involves a few hard knocks.

While these kids are, no doubt, exceptionally bright, this week they earned a little wisdom…if they learn from their mistakes. We hope the wisdom gained today will stick with them as future elected officials, doctors, lawyers, bankers, etc. Careless words have consequences.

The Bible is clear that we will all be called into account for our careless words (Matthew 12:36). Specifically, we will be judged by whether we confessed Jesus as the Son of God or not. Does your speech foolishly mock God and His grace?

Christ is the only true forgiveness for all our sins. Be wise and learn that lesson while there is still time. With wise speech, confess Jesus as Lord and Savior today!