Gambling a lose-lose situation

Yesterday, some sap in the greater Los Angeles area won Powerball’s 1.5 billion dollar prize. He’ll now become the gambling industry’s poster boy for the poor man’s tax, impoverishing more still those who can least afford to let go of their money. The money he pockets came directly from millions of others who cherished his hopes. Does he consider that his winning meant their loss? Probably not. Gambling is truly a lose-lose situation. Even the winner is a loser. But isn’t that the way the world works?

A billionaire gave some advice to the winner of the lottery. Say no to friends and family. Apparently, he’s telling the newest member of his exclusive club to refuse all requests to share the wealth.

Suddenly, the winner will have the most loving extended family and will gain many new friends. “Wealth attracts many friends, but a poor man is separated from his friend” Prov 19.4 HCSB. Money moves the world. Continue reading

#corollaries, #gambling, #god, #money, #preaching, #put-on-christ

Are we gambling with God?

Funerals always make us think about life and dying more seriously. As we traveled to Andalusia Friday to attend a funeral, I thought about how people gamble with different aspects of their lives. Oh, I’m not talking about going to the casinos and doing whatever they do there, but rather about the ways we gamble with ourselves and God. So I pose the question here, Are we gambling with God?

About our soul? About our becoming a Christian? Procrastination, waiting until the last hours. “Let no man despise your youth, but be an example in faith, purity, etc. (1 Tim.5:22). Saturday a lady brought me up to date on the spiritual status of her family. “But my husband still hasn’t become a Christian. He says he is going to wait longer before becoming a Christian.” I remember it was his daddy who made basically the same comment. He died of a massive heart attack and NEVER made things right with God. Don’t gamble with God. He will win every time!

About our dedication to God? “Seek ye first the kingdom of God…” (Matthew 6:33) We are gambling with God if we don’t put him first. He will not have any other place. Not attending the services of the church, but being able to visit friends or family, or doing something else, shows we are gambling with God.

About our marriage status. One man and one woman for life. No one who dies in an adulterous relationship will enter heaven (Gal. 5:19-21). Widows are to marry only in the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:39). Adulterous relationships are gambling with God.

About our church. Are we gambling with God with the church in which we pledge our allegiance? Jesus built one church. It was not a denomination, nor is it now. Holding on to family traditions and failing to obey the truth of the gospel will cause one to lose their soul. Gambling with God. He will win every time

If the Bible is the book we are going to be judged by, and we know it is, “The words I have spoken will judge you in the last day,” (John 12:48); If the Bible is true, and we know it is for the Bible says, “all scripture is given by the inspiration of God” (2 Tim. 3:16); If the Bible sets forth a marked pattern of salvation, and we know it does by hearing the Word (Romans 10:17), Believing (John 8:24), Repenting of our sins (Luke 13:3), Confessing that Jesus is the Son of God (Matthew 10:32) and being baptized for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16), then we are gambling with God if we don’t take His words seriously, and we will lose our souls in Hell.

Don’t gamble with God. He will win every time!

#bible-study, #gambling, #obedience

Lottery commercial tells player to thank the wrong person

I’ve got to be honest about my feelings toward the Tennessee State Lottery, as well as any other lottery program (as if you haven’t figured this out with my other posts on the topic), – it gets on my nerves!

The lottery program preys on the poor. It helps to keep the poor right where they are in life, financially speaking. In fact, the state of Tennessee’s lottery program has made so much money off losers…I mean players, the state has decided to begin a program that will pay for the first two years of a student’s higher-education at any state community or technical college…something that I’m sure the college boards were ecstatic about.

Now, am I against people getting a chance to get an education that could help to prepare them for a good, and hopefully honest, job? Not at all! What I’m against is the veracious appetite of the lottery program and who it targets. Let me explain to you what I mean in case you don’t already get it.

The latest State Lottery commercial that’s been hitting the radio airwaves features a man thanking all of the people standing in line in front of him who didn’t buy the “winning ticket” for a particular lottery game. In other words the commercial is trying to tempt people who don’t play at all, or at least who don’t play often enough in the lottery’s eyes, to start buying a ticket more often by making them think that they would’ve won if they would’ve only bought that ticket…because “the next ticket” is always going to be the winner in the mind of the player, right? The commercial goes on to end by reminding people that it only takes a dollar or two to win thousands.

Here’s my problem with that commercial, and ultimately the lottery program: one, the “winner” is thanking the wrong person – he should be thanking all the losers who gave up their money to stand in line to play a “game” with odds stacked against them; and two, the average lottery player doesn’t spend a dollar or two – they end up spending ten or twelve every other day, or whenever they get their check from their employee or from the government…after all, the lottery’s huge surplus of money is coming from somewhere and I doubt it’s coming from the employees of the lottery program.

So if you’re a lottery player in the state of Tennessee and you win your scratch-off game, don’t thank me because a single dollar of your winnings didn’t come from my pocket – thank the player standing in line in front of you who bought losing ticket after losing ticket after loosing ticket….for every one or two players to win it takes thousands of players who lose.

#confusion, #gambling, #tennessee-state-lottery

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(#153) The Proverbs of Solomon 21:5-Hurry Up And Lose

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 21:5: “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.”

Work, hard work, and plenty of it is the only way to true wealth. Though God could have Created “the heavens and the earth” instantaneously, He used 6 days to establish a work ethic for humankind (Genesis 1:1-2:3). His example established the principle of daily work, which He commanded in the Law of Moses: “”Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed” (Exodus 23:12); and in the Law of Christ: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). “Steadfast” and “immovable” are the characteristics of “steady” and “sure.” The Apostle Paul obeyed God’s work ethic to support his preaching of the Gospel: “For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:9). Other proverbs emphasize this principle: “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men” (Proverbs 22:29); “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, And attend to your herds; For riches are not forever, Nor does a crown endure to all generations. When the hay is removed, and the tender grass shows itself, And the herbs of the mountains are gathered in, The lambs will provide your clothing, And the goats the price of a field; You shall have enough goats’ milk for your food, For the food of your household, And the nourishment of your maidservants” (Proverbs 27:23-27).

The other side of this is found in the common phrase, “haste makes waste.” ALL shortcuts, fast tracks, or quick remedies will fail. There is no gambling game, lottery, raffle, pool, sweepstake, betting, or bookmaking that substitutes for diligent, daily, hard work, either in personal satisfaction or security. “An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning Will not be blessed at the end” (Proverbs 20:21). Second generation fortunes seldom survive; most lottery winners squander their monies; those on an unearned government dole can lose it on a whim; gamblers are generally just contributing their bets to someone else’s jackpot! No one has ever thought of a scheme that betters God’s principle of satisfying work! Solomon will later say: “The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, Whether he eats little or much; But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep” (Ecclesiastes 5:12). He then explains: “Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor-this is the gift of God. For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart” (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20).

Keeping busy is the work of God which He rewards, but hastening to be rich will fail. Do you want to hurry up and lose?

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#betting, #bible-study, #daily, #diligent, #gambling, #god, #hard-work, #haste, #hasty-poverty, #labor, #lottery, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #raffle, #sweepstake, #toil, #unearned-government-dole, #wealth, #work

You’re Nothing but a Number to the Lottery

I listened to a story on the radio the other day about the “strength” of the Tennessee State Lottery, which, by the way, actually has a “Duck Dynasty” scratch off game. But anyways, according to the story the Tennessee State Lottery is “enjoying” the strongest growth among all state lotteries in the ole’ US of A. Truth be told, the state lottery made $1.37 billion in a downturned, struggling 2013 Tennessee economy. Yup! Pretty interesting; or should I say pretty sad?

The interview eventually included a few audio quotes given by the lottery’s commissioner/president/CEO/boss, who actually has an award named after her by the Public Gaming Research Institute, giving her point of view of the financially booming lottery system in Tennessee. In one of the quotes she bragged about how every state lottery, three in total, that she began and maintained with her “leadership” experienced growth – all 28 years in a row. You could hear the joy and excitement and pride in her voice.

But to me there should be no joy or no excitement or no pride about the “achievements” of any state lottery. It’s nothing but a predatory system that preys off of the poor. Study after study has revealed that the neighborhoods and communities with the lowest median income have the highest rates of sales for the lottery systems. But yet the system shows no shame, only reminding people to “play responsibly” and to call the toll-free number listed on the back if they think they have a problem.

Well I have a problem! I have a problem with people making hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars by taking 2 and 3 dollars at a time out of the pockets of the impoverished and impressionable people who are constantly pounded with the importunities of the lottery’s TV and radio commercials! They incessantly present wining as easy and as a dream come true. And they’re right to one extent – people are dreaming if they think they’re going to get rich off of playing the lottery.

Some may say, “But Eugene, the lottery awards money to its winners and in the grand scheme of things it’s all for the children and their education.” To that I say, “Garbage!” The lottery worries about nothing other than itself. People are nothing but a number in the system. Numbers that must be maintained so salaries can be filled; and I’m talking about salaries that the average lottery player wishes they could win! And education? If the state was so concerned about education then they could do more with the money that they tax the people with already!

The average person who plays the lottery isn’t thinking about the education of others. They aren’t interested in going to school – they’re getting schooled every time they buy a ticket. And it’s a lesson in economics that the system is willing to teach over and over and over to people who won’t learn.

Lotteries are all about the numbers, and the numbers don’t lie – the lotteries are in it for the money, not for you!

He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches, And he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.” (Proverbs 22:16)

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#gambling, #gaming, #lottery, #love-of-money, #oppressing-the-poor, #poor, #rich

Should A Christian Gamble?

Gambling is a topic that should be taken more seriously than the way some Christians take it. Some look at it as an optional activity that is left up to the individual, but the Bible teaches otherwise.

Yes, I know that you can’t find any scripture that condemns gambling specifically, but you better believe that the scriptures condemn the principles that surround it as well as the ones that it produces.

A person is right when they say, “Thou shalt not gamble” isn’t found in the Old Testament but God taught His people in Leviticus 19:36 to “…have honest scales, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin (measuring devices).” Gambling is inherently deceptive. It makes you think that you have a better chance at winning than what you really do. The only thing honest about gambling is that it is honestly meant to take your money.

Not even when you read through the New Testament letters will you find one time that any writer specifically tells you not to gamble, but you will read scriptures that warn against greed, covetousness and other fleshly desires to gain material wealth and their reward (1st Corinthians 6:10; Ephesians 4:19 and 1st Timothy 6:9).

Gambling is a not so harmless “game” and vacuum that millions get sucked into every year. Have you ever noticed that the gambling industry rarely uses the word “gambling”??? They call it gaming. That sounds harmless doesn’t it?  Pick the right horse or play the game of chance they say. Hmmm. It is amazing what some people will leave up to luck. By the way, how well did that “luck” work out for the rabbit?

Untold numbers of people end up at the end of their rope seeking help from the 1-800 numbers found around every gambling based city and on the back of lottery tickets. When you must have the Alcoholic’s Anonymous equivalent organization called Gambler’s Anonymous around to help people who are suffering and damaging themselves, not to mention the untold damage to their families, how can anyone call gambling harmless?

State based lotteries have gambling down to thier own art form. I wish these lotteries would show the pictures of all the people who bought tickets and lost as much as they do the winners. But everybody likes a winner, right? Imagine how much money the lottery organization actually took in to be able to give that winner’s amount much away. After all, they have bills to pay too!

At the end of the day, is it any wonder that the “gambling capital” of America is also known as “sin-city?” Now do I really have to answer the above title or do you get the point?  EA

#christian-living, #desire-riches, #gambling, #gaming, #lottery, #temperance

Study gambling: Lawmakers Should Start Work Now

The above title was one of the headlines on the El Paso Times opinion page this morning: http://www.elpasotimes.com/opinion/ci_15444201

It’s sad that a newspaper wants to promote another avenue towards immorality (we’ve already got the Texas Lottery).

It makes one wonder if these folks actually think about what they are promoting. Do they actually believe that it’s a good means towards public education?:

Quote: “Summer is a good time for Texas lawmakers to review legalized gambling options for the better funding of public education.”

#avenue, #education, #gambling, #headline, #immorality, #newspaper, #opinion, #page, #promote, #title