Dude, I Got A Dud

crowdfundingA parody by Stephen Colbert reminded me of a project that projected great benefits to potential investors.  On a recent show, Colbert mocked the Vessyl smart cup. The designers of the cup claim that it can distinguish between a cappuccino or a black coffee with the added benefit of tracking your caloric intake and how much sugar and caffeine you are ingesting.

This full-of-potential-cup has hit the market half empty of promise:  It only tracks how much water you are drinking and sells for $99.

This hoopla and hype reminds me of a crowd funding project that cost me somewhere around a $100 to get 3 or 4 tracking devices.   It sounded like an inexpensive way to track an expensive or important item.  After syncing the device to a smartphone, you attach it to whatever you want to track and then monitor the location on the screen of your phone.

Since Hank, my dog, is a prized companion, I attached a chip to his collar and said, “Alright,” which Hank interprets as, and “I’m free to run.”   I watched the blip on my phone for about 10 seconds and then it disappeared.

After I whistled Hank in, I contacted the company.  I was informed that the device was for finding things like a lost set of car keys in your house, and could only track items within a short distance—10 to 15 feet not a block or two.

Projects like these offer the hope of riches, wealth, and an easier way of life, but they can be empty promises.  When I read the story about the Vessyl, it reminded me of the wise words of Solomon:

  • A greedy person is in a hurry to get rich, but he is ignorant of the loss that is about to overtake him. Proverbs 28:22
  • One man pretends to be rich but has nothing; another pretends to be poor but has great wealth. Proverbs 13:7

The safest investment you will ever make is not going to found on Wall Street or in in a crowd funding project, it will always be Jesus:

“I assure you,” Jesus said, “there is no one who has left house, brothers or sisters, mother or father, children, or fields because of Me and the gospel,  who will not receive 100 times more, now at this time—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and eternal life in the age to come.  But many who are first will be last, and the last first (Mark 10:29-31).”

Are You Among the 21%?

21percent_in_red_and_3d_NLI doubt there are many of us that number ourselves among the elite 1% of the world’s wealthiest people.  You may, however, find yourself among those who will be changed by the 21%.

What is the significance of 21%?  If you add it to your situation, it can make a big difference:

  • If you are concerned with your IQ, you probably already know that 50% of IQ scores fall between 90 and 110. If you add 21% to a score of 100 you become a person with very superior intelligence.  If you subtract 21% from 100, you will find yourself among the ranks of those who are classified as having a “borderline deficiency in intelligence.”
  • The average life expectancy is 71. If you add 21%, you would live to be 86.  If you subtracted 21%, you would only live to be 56.
  • If you are 71 inches tall you might be able to play basketball by adding 21% to your height. At 86 inches tall, you would be taller than LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers  If you subtract 21% from 71, you would be about 4 ½ foot tall, but still taller than Eddie Gaedel.  At 3 foot 7 inches, Gaedel was the shortest player to ever play in an MLB game; and, he did it in 1951 when he played for the St. Louis Browns.
  • If you weigh 171 pounds, 21% would be the difference between tipping the scales at 207 pounds and weighing only 135 pounds.

If you are a person who likes to travel on an airplane, 21% means you may have to buy new luggage. The International Air Transport Association has set some new guidelines for carry-on bags.  The IATA is recommending that bags should be 21.5 inches tall by 13.5 inches wide and 7.5 inches deep which is 21% smaller than current standards.

What would happen if you made a 21% change in your life?  How would your life be different if you followed these old guidelines?

Let us drop every extra weight, every sin that clings to us and slackens our pace, and let us run with endurance the long race set before us, and stay focused on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).

More of the All and the Always

bicycle-thievesI can remember my dear old dad telling me:  “Son, if there is any job worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”  I didn’t get the job done yesterday, so I’m going to finish it today.

In my post to this blog yesterday, you might remember that I focused on 2 Corinthians 9:8:

God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. ~NKJV

Because my post was starting to get a bit lengthy, I found a stopping place and concluded it with the thought that I would finish it today.

I want to finish by going back to where we started.  Notice again, the first three words of our verse:  “God is able.”  These three words are the key to understanding the verses below:

  • Daniel is proof that God is able to deliver you (Daniel 3:17).
  • Jude wrote to say that God is able to keep you from falling (Jude 24).
  • Paul wrote to the church of Ephesus and said God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think (3:20).
  • Timothy heard Paul say that God is able to keep what we’ve committed to Him (2 Timothy 2:12).

Yes, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8).”  You are not limited and restrained by your resources:  You are sustained and re-sourced daily because your God is able!

More Than a Paul-Principle

The_Giving_Hands_by_therealzackDo you ever feel like you just can’t get it done?  You are too tired, too lost, too depressed, too sick, or whatever to get it done?  Whenever I get in one of these down-in-the-dumps moods, I know God’s resources are unlimited, and I ask Him to re-source or re-supply me.

One of the great verses that reveals the resources of God is 2 Corinthians 9:8, and you can read it in three different versions below:

  • God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. ~NKJV
  • God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. ~The Message
  • God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation]. ~Amplified Bible

Notice the “all” and the “always” in the NKJV:

  • All grace” will abound toward you
  • God will “always” have “all” sufficiency in “all” things

I encourage you to embrace this principle and claim it as a promise just like Paul did.   Paul knew he could do “all” things in and through the strength of Jesus (Philippians 4:13).

God has an “abundance” of resources for every good work, and they are not reserved for just people named Paul.  They are available to all of His children for we are “heirs of God and coheirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).”

Do Dollars and Cents Equal Good Sense?

moneyThe year was 1976, the band was ABBA, and the song was Money Money Money. The song perpetuated the myth that all you have to do to be happy is to have a lot of money and accumulate many possessions.
The first stanza of the song says:

I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay
Ain’t it sad
And still there never seems to be a single penny left for me
That’s too bad
In my dreams I have a plan
If I got me a wealthy man
I wouldn’t have to work at all, I’d fool around and have a ball…

I’m not criticizing wealth, but I do not believe a hefty bank account guarantees happiness. Let me give you a contrast:

• If you are looking for a home, I hope you realize you cannot buy one. You can buy a house, but your family makes the home.
• If you get sick, you can buy the most expensive medicine in the world, but you still can’t buy health.
• You can buy the best seats at a sporting arena, but that does not mean you can purchase friendship.
• People invest a small fortune in a good bed, but the newly purchased mattress can’t guarantee a good night’s sleep.

Things or possessions will never replace relationships and wanting more will never be as satisfying as a fulfilling relationship with God.

I’ll wrap this up with three quotes that address the issue of wisdom, wealth, and good sense:

• Will Rogers: “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people that they don’t like.”
• Solomon: “How much better it is to acquire wisdom than gold, and to acquire understanding is more desirable than silver (Proverbs 16:16).”
• Epictetus: “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”

Buyer’s Remorse

???????????????????????????????????????? Have yoou ever bought something and then regretted the purchase or made a decision and later wished you had chosen a different path or direction? Instances such as these are called buyer’s remorse.

You have probably heard of the Borden Dairy company and may have drank milk from their dairy farms. You may not, however, be familiar with the story of this famous families son, William Borden.

Like most kids who graduate from high school, William was given a present–his was a cruise around the world. While on his trip, William wrote home and told his parents that he thought God was calling him to be a missionary. After his return home, William enrolled in Yale and graduated four years later.

Before he left Yale, William gave away his personal wealth, and he wrote two words in the flyleaf of his bible: “No Reserves.”

Later, when decided to go to China as a missionary, William wrote two more words in the flyleaf of his Bible: “No Retreat.”

While en route to China, his ship stopped in Egypt, and William was stricken with cerebral meningitis and died within 3 weeks. A short time later his family was looking at his precious Bible and found two more words had been written in the flyleaf: “No regrets.”

Like the Apostle Paul, William had stepped away from worldly acclaim and wealth to walk the missionary path of life. Paul spoke of his own decision when he wrote to the church at Philippi: What things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ (Philippians 3:4-14).

No reserves, no retreat, no regrets, are, I believe, six words that should be considered when we think of the decisions and actions of Jesus. There was no buyers remorse when He purchased us by His death on the cross.