Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wealth And Wisdom

There was another one of those lottery stories in the news this week. One hundred workers in a Wisconsin cheese factory claimed a $208 million payoff after pooling their money and purchasing tickets for several years. Taking a lump sum payout, each ticket holder will receive, after taxes are collected, close to $700,000. These kind of human interest pieces invariably ask the winners how they plan to spend their new wealth. Predictably, in several years, we hear the 'rest of the story' stories in which many of these instant millionaires find themselves broke and broken. The cash they thought would make their dreams come true transformed their previously anonymous existences into nightmares.

There was an envelope in my mailbox this afternoon. It was from Cindy, a friend from high school in Nebraska. Her picture is in the scrapbook my mom put together years ago. At graduation, we marched in with a member of the opposite gender and since our names were close alphabetically, we were linked. Dad snapped the photo and it sits under crinkled, yellowing plastic. Cindy married Scott, one of my basketball teammates from eighth grade through our senior year. In early August, I restored one of our high school basketball games to DVD and mailed copies to my seven senior teammates. Along with a very nice note from Cindy, there was a $10 bill enclosed in the envelope. Cindy has been very successful in the business world and from her finanacial savvy, knew I would not cash a check and craftily, sent cash. So a ten spot with the serial number DF59741672A is staring at me from my desk. I learned from those lottery winners that wealth is fleeting without a plan. I've gleaned from the Scriptures that God expects me to use whatever he gives me wisely. With such unexpected wealth thrust onto me today, I have decided to turn the fate of my fortune over to you. I am asking you, my reading audience, to determine how these ten dollars will be circulated into the cash flow of our economy. The entry with the best suggestion for the use of these funds will receive an autographed copy of my should-be best seller, What Then Is This Child Going To Be? Lessons From The Classroom. Here are the contest requirements:
1. Entries must be left as A. a comment below or B. as an e-mail at
2. Relatives are eligible but remember, you probably already have a copy of the book.
3. If the winner resides outside of Houston, I will also graciously cover shipping costs.
4. Suggestions must be entered by the time I post my next devotional on Sunday night.
5. I may let my very brilliant students assist in the judging.
6. I tend to be dull so be creative!

Jesus told a parable in which a man who used ten talents wisely was rewarded with much more. No pressure, but you could turn my life around! Thank you in advance!
Applicable quote of the day:
"It is commonly observed that a sudden wealth, like a prize drawn in a lottery or a large bequest to a poor family, does not permanently enrich. They have served no apprenticeship to wealth and with the rapid wealth comes rapid claims which they do not know how to deny, and the treasure is quickly dissipated."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

God bless,
Luke 18:1


Jeannie said...

You don't know me, but I am the sister-in-law of Ron Sawtell. I believe you played basketball with him in York. I actually came across your blog when I put Ron's name in "search" and your blog about the York basketball team came up.

I'm sure Ron would love to receive a copy of that basketball game, if you would be so kind to send him one. Please e-mail me at if this is possible.

Thanks much - I enjoy your writings!

Jeannie Sawtell said...

My suggestion would be that you give the $10 to somebody who would tithe on it and that they would agree to pass it on - within a week - to somebody else who did the same.

Then list the names and the churches that the money had been tithed on for a whole year.

Something different!

sharyn krazer said...

I think that you should take that ten dollars, add nine more to it and commit to being a partner in hope for ST. Judes Children's Research Hospital. I am starting a campaign that I do yearly for St. Jude's and would love to add you to the list! If interested, email me at and include your mailing address and I will get you signed up! Believe me, it will be the best ten dollars(plus nine more) you ever spent! I don't know if you ever heard this comment before, but Danny Thomas said " In this world there are two types of people, Takers and Givers. The Takers may live better, but the Givers always sleep better." God Bless, Sharyn K.

Jon said...

I can take that $10 of your hands...haha

Steve Hawley said...


How about contributing it to the mission fund of your dear niece, Meagan Hawley, who leaves Wednesday for a two-year-plus stay in Zambia to work at a Christian children's home?

Your Dad

Laurie said...

I will match that $10 if you put it in your Honduras Children's Home $$/