Tag Archives: trust

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.”

The Danger Of A Little Damage

 As I write this article, about 200,000 people have been evacuated from below the Oroville Dam in California. The citizens of California, the evacuees, and all the families whose lives are being impacted are in our prayers.

Oroville Dam is the tallest dam in the United States, and it sits about 150 miles northeast of San Francisco. Built in 1968, it holds back Lake Oroville. The lake is crucial to California’s “State Water Project,” a system of retaining water for use in the dry spring and summer seasons.

Because of heavy rains and snowmelts, the water levels are extremely high…almost at capacity. And with more storms on the way, state officials and engineers have been frantically releasing as much water as possible. This effort has been hampered by damage to the main spillway and erosion on an emergency spillway. 

If the dam fails, at any spot, there could be a massive, uncontrolled release of water…a 30-foot high wall of water entering the valley below. It could cause significant damage. It would certainly be devastating financially for citizens and the state. And it would cause a significant depletion to reserve water needed in the year ahead.

As I read about the challenges facing these workers and the decisions being made to shore up the weak spots, I remembered something my friend David Pharr once said. A paraphrase would be: “you don’t have to destroy the whole fence in order to render it useless; a break in a small section will let all the cows out.”

Of course, the same principle is true of our adherence to God’s Word. It is easy to be tempted by phrases such as: “it is such a small thing,” or “that isn’t really an essential command,” or “we’ll fix that some other time.” If small cracks aren’t identified and shored up, they can lead to catastrophic failure of faith.

The song, My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less says the words better than I have (see below). It is a song that reminds us that there is no foundation, no rock, no trust as great as the one we have in Jesus. If we build on that firm ground, we will remain secure.

We pray for the workers and all those who are trying to secure safety for the citizens of California. As we do so, let us also remember to remain vigilant in our faith and secure eternal safety for others and ourselves in Christ, our solid rock.

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace;
in every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil. [Refrain]

His oath, his covenant, his blood
support me in the whelming flood;
when all around my soul gives way,
he then is all my hope and stay. [Refrain]

When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in him be found,
dressed in his righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne. [Refrain]