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

People who can afford to act poor??? Please!!!

Although I could say more, all I will say is that it’s pathetic and wrong on so many levels. I don’t like to rant too much on the arrogance of the rich and wealthy but when someone has so much money that they have to spend it on “a vacation experience” to see what it’s like to be poor then I’d say they have a lot more bucks than brains and a bigger wallet than a heart.

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.” (James 5:1-3)

#disgust, #poverty, #rich

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(#85) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:20-21- With Friends Like These…

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 14:20-21: “The poor man is hated even by his own neighbor, But the rich has many friends. 21 He who despises his neighbor sins; But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.”

Verse 20: The “poor” have less to offer than the “rich,” and neighbors “hate” (detest, are impatient with) them! The “rich” may have “many friends” who have been attracted by the wealth, like flies to garbage. How sad for both! Such “fair-weather friends” should never be considered when evaluating a person’s worth! Human value should not be based on either what a person has or doesn’t have (“rich” or “poor”).

Verse 21: Those who “despise” (think lightly of, disregard) a “neighbor” (nearest, closest), especially a “poor” one, will not show “mercy,” and this lack of mercy will come back to them: “Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be heard” (Proverbs 21:13). Jesus thought of the poor when He said, “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil” (Luke 6:35); “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:12-14). God invests good in the “unthankful and evil,” and so should His children (Christians), but it is up to the “unthankful and evil” to pay it forward! Dinners or suppers, usually require a social obligation in return, but Jesus insists that the poor and downtrodden should be served “because they cannot repay you.” Good, done for good’s sake, does not have a price tag! And Jesus’ prophecy of the Day of Judgment will be a reckoning of deeds done, “for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me” (Matthew 25:35-36). No good deed will go unrewarded because only “do-gooders” will be saved!

Other proverbs which speak on this subject include: “The poor man uses entreaties, But the rich answers roughly” (Proverbs 18:23); “Wealth makes many friends, But the poor is separated from his friend” (Proverbs 19:4); “All the brothers of the poor hate him; How much more do his friends go far from him! He may pursue them with words, yet they abandon him” (Proverbs 19:7); “The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: The LORD gives light to the eyes of both” (Proverbs 29:13).

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

#bible-study, #do-gooders, #fair-weather-friends, #poor, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #rich

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(#66) The Proverbs of Solomon 13:8-Too Rich To Be Saved?

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 13:8: “The ransom of a man’s life is his riches, But the poor does not hear rebuke.”

Riches may have their advantages, but they also present many problems. A rich person becomes a target for the stealth of thieves, strength of thugs, and socialism of tyrants. The rich are singled out by suspicion as racists, covetous, cold-hearted, or idle. The rich must, therefore, use their riches for added security, insurance, fees, staff, taxes, and assorted extortioners, just to keep the “hounds at bay” as it were! Truly, the rich often must use their wealth as a “ransom” to buy back their freedom and independence. Elihu asked a penetrating question: “Will your riches, Or all the mighty forces, Keep you from distress?” (Job 36:14). Riches cannot buy: 1) a soul’s redemption or prevent death (Psalm 49:6-9); 2)A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1); 3) Permanence. “Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven” (Proverbs 23:5); 4) “For riches are not forever, Nor does a crown endure to all generations” (Proverbs 27:24). David had said: “If riches increase, Do not set your heart on them” (Psalm 62:10). Truly Jesus warned that it was possible for riches to kill faith before it can begin, for one “who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22).

An advantage of being “poor” is not to have these cares or concerns. The “poor” may think only of the advantages of being rich, and thereby become covetous, which is a sin (Colossians 3:5). “A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, And does not consider that poverty will come upon him” (Proverbs 28:22). Without wealth, it seems that: “All the brothers of the poor hate him; How much more do his friends go far from him! He may pursue them with words, yet they abandon him” (Proverbs 19:7). But remember that: “The rich and the poor have this in common, The LORD is the maker of them all” (Proverbs 22:2). Jesus’ statement proves true: “”Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:24). Hard, but not impossible. Riches are oftentimes a stumbling-block to both the rich and poor!

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

#bible-study, #extortioners, #poor, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #ransom, #rich, #riches, #sin, #wisdom

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(#35) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:3-6-What Levels “Haves” with “Have-nots”

Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Judgments Solomon made about individual cases brought to him for Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10), or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 11:3-6: “The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the  perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. 4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death. 5 The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright, But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness. 6 The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But the unfaithful will be caught by their lust.”

“Integrity” is associated with “blamelessness” and “uprightness,” all of which are combined in terms like “honesty,” “consistency,” “purity,” “devoutness.” God described David, “a man after My own heart, who will do all My will” (Acts 13:22), to Solomon: “Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man on the throne of Israel’” (1 Kings 9:4-5). In fact, David asked God to judge him on the basis of his “integrity” (Psalm 7:8); although Job had lost everything, he kept his “integrity” (Job 2:9); and Christian “young men” should show “integrity” in doctrine (Titus 2:6-8). Other proverbs stress that a poor person who walks with “integrity” is better than a “fool” (Proverbs 19:1) or the “rich” (Proverbs 28:6), and, “The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him” (Proverbs 20:7). Those who are “poor” and spend their time feeling sorry for themselves because others are “rich,” need to learn that having “integrity” makes them far more acceptable to God than any other quality! To King David, walking “in integrity” gave him confidence (Psalm 26:1).

It is pitiful to see and hear the plethora of false prophets and deceitful speakers who fan the fires of victimization, emphasizing the difference between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” when if they taught God’s Wisdom, “integrity” would strengthen the hearts, confidence, and goodness of all who would walk in it. The contrast drawn in Proverbs 11:3-6 shows that the “wicked” will fail and fall because of their own “perversity” (twistedness), “unfaithfulness” (failure to obey God), trust in the purchasing power of “riches” (1 Timothy 6:17), “wickedness” (lack of Wisdom or goodness), “lust” (narrow-minded concerns about their own desires above others). All preachers, politicians, parents, and professors should be about educating and overseeing everyone with “integrity,” and forget all about their quest for power and influence in any other way!

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

#bible-study, #devoutness, #have-nots, #haves, #honesty, #integrity, #lust, #poor, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #rich, #unfaithful, #victimization, #wicked, #wisdom

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(#26) The Proverbs of Solomon Proverbs 10:13-15-Rich or Poor?

Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Judgments Solomon made about individual cases brought to him for Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10), or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

10:13-14: A word to the wise: Words of the wise always show understanding. A word to the unwise: Talk your head off, and you’ll only show your lack of wisdom, and probably lose your argument and be given “a rod” (punishment). To “store up knowledge” (verse 14) means the wise will have a repository of wisdom to use whenever it is needed, while “near destruction” means the “foolish” always throw away wisdom in their words. This is a recurring contrast between the “lips” of the wise and unwise (foolish): 10:20-“choice silver” versus “worth little;” 10:21-“feeds many” versus “die for lack of wisdom;” 10:31-“brings forth wisdom” versus “tongue cut out;” 10:32-“know what is acceptable” versus “perverse mouth.” The words of a fool cannot provide for anyone, while words of wisdom work!

10:15: The tendency for “rich people” is to think they are protected from problems as if they were in a “strong city,” Solomon adds “like a high wall” (Proverbs 18:11). Paul warns Timothy to: “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). No one is rich without blessing from God! And no one is rich without relying on many workers to produce and protect those riches! The arrogance of the rich, like the depression of the poor, says more about their mistaken attitudes than about their station in life! Likewise, the “poor” seem to think they live in “destruction” because they are “in poverty” (have not) as though it is a life’s sentence. The “poor” should not become covetous of the rich, nor overlook the fact that the rich have to hire the poor, nor ignore the principle that the difference between the blessings of the rich and the poverty of the poor, oftentimes, is simply a matter of work! “The rich and the poor have this in common, The LORD is the maker of them all” (Proverbs 22:2). As far as God is concerned, wealth cannot buy salvation. “The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). The people with debt don’t own their possessions, those who loaned them their money do! All creditors have title to the possession until it is paid back. THE NATION WITH THE GREATEST DEBT HAS BEEN SOLD OUT TO THOSE WILLING TO PUT UP THE MONEY FOR IT! Economic slavery is slavery! “He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches, And he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty” (Proverbs 22:16). Becoming rich by oppressing the poor will surely fail. Whether the oppressing is done by cheap wages, excessive taxation, extortion, or inflated interest on loans, the system will fail. Giving to the rich is not for good motive, but involves bribery, social influence, political power, extravagance, or personal honor, and it is a false system of confidence in men, not God. “The rich man is wise in his own eyes, But the poor who has understanding searches him out” (Proverbs 28:11). A poor person with God’s Wisdom “has understanding” to know more than a “rich man” who is “wise in his own eyes,” but not in God’s eyes!

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

#depression, #poor, #poverty-arrogance, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #rich, #slavery, #wisdom

What would it take for you to live…

What would it take for you to live comfortably in America? That was the question Gallup asked and found that only 31% thought they could make it on less than $50,000 a year. A full 25% believed it would take $100,000 or more. This illustrates the fact that there are a lot of Americans who have no idea how other Americans struggle. Dipping crackers into caviar and drinking champaign from long-stemmed glasses while sun-bathing on their private yacht, they give no thought or care to the average citizen. Last year the average large corporate CEO made 531 times what an average worker made. Jesus said, “woe to those who are rich, for they have already received their comfort.” This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess

#just-a-minute, #rich, #wealth

Wearer Of Many Hats

My best talent? I’m a jack-of-all-trades, master of absolutely none! Wearer of many hats. My high school speech teacher once gave us students some good advice. She told us, “know something about everything, and everything about something.” Well, I took her advice. It hasn’t made me rich, but it has made me a well-rounded individual. I can intelligently converse with people on almost any subject.

#advice, #conversation, #hats, #master, #rich, #teacher