Godly Father Tries to Hinder Wayward Son from Running a Bar but Gets Slapped in the Face

This sad story of a godly father who tries to hinder his wayward son from running a bar was narrated by the late RA Torrey in his book, Heaven or Hell.

God has put one other obstacle in the road as blockade in the path to hell: the cross of Christ. No man can get very far down the path of sin and ruin before he sees the cross looming before him. On that cross hangs a Man, the Son of Man, the Son of God. You see Him hanging with nails in His hands and feet, and a voice says, “It was for you. I bore this for you. I died for you.” In the pathway of every man and woman stands the cross with Christ upon it. If you choose to continue in sin, you will have to step over the cross and over the crucified form of the Son of God.

I heard of a godly old man who had a worthless son. That son was more anxious to make money than he was for honor or anything else. He decided to go into the liquor business.

Anyone who is willing to make money out of selling alcoholic beverages will profit from the tears of brokenhearted wives and the groans and sighs of an alcoholic’s sons and daughters.

The abuse of liquor is sending thousands of people every year to premature graves. It causes more sorrow, more ruined homes, more wretchedness than perhaps anything else on earth.

Every tavern owner, bartender, barmaid, and professed Christian who holds stocks in breweries or distilleries is a part of the crime.

Once I knew of a man who was going to open a tavern. His father was deeply grieved and tried to reason with his son. He said, “My boy, you bear an honorable name that has never been disgraced before. Don’t disgrace it by putting it up over a bar.”

But the son was so determined to get rich that he would not listen to his father.

The day came to open the bar. The father was one of the first on hand. He stepped up to every man who approached the door and told him of the miseries that come from alcohol. One after another, they turned away. The son looked out of the window to see why he was getting no customers. He saw his father outside, turning his customers away. He came outside and said, “Father, go home. You are ruining my business.”

He said, “I can’t help it, my boy. I won’t have my name dishonored by this business. If you are determined to go on with it, I will stand here and warn every man that comes to enter your door.

Finally, the son lost his temper. He struck his old father in the face. The father turned to him without any anger. He said, “My son, you can strike me if you will. You can kill me if you will, but no man will enter your bar unless he goes over my dead body.”

No man or woman will ever enter hell unless they go over the dead body of Jesus Christ. No man or woman can refuse Christ and persist in sin without trampling underfoot the One who was crucified on the cross of Calvary for us.

God has piled the obstacles high in His patient love. Don’t try to surmount them. Turn back. Turn away from the path of sin; turn toward the path of faith in .Jesus Christ. Turn now!

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Why Does God Allow Financial Difficulties in Christians (Watchman Nee)

God promises to take care of our needs, yet why does He allow believers to experience financial loss or difficulties? Watchman Nee, the late Chinese church leader and Christian leader, addressed this question in his book, God’s Plan and the Overcomers.

This is due either to their inability to continue on with whatever improper occupations they had engaged in before or to some spiritual reasons for which God is dealing with them specifically. God sometimes takes our wealth away so as to induce us to seek after Christ that He might have the pre-eminence in all things. It is not impossible for the rich to enter the kingdom of God, it is just difficult for them to do so. Not that they cannot serve the Lord, only that they find it difficult to serve the Lord. “Lay though thy treasure in the dust… and the Almighty will be thy treasure” (Job 22:24,25). God dealt with the children of Israel in the wilderness by depriving them of earthly supplies of food and clothing so that they might recognise the abundance of God. As the supplies on earth ceased, the supplies from heaven came. Material difficulties drive us to seek after the Lord, to learn the lesson of faith, and to know Christ as the first in all things. Whenever difficulty arrives let us believe that it comes from God, and rejoice. Yet never expect difficulty, because Satan is well able to add such to us.

EVEN THE RICH CRAVE FOR MORE: 19-Year Old Sets Own Ferrari on Fire Because He Wanted A New One

This is an enlightening story that appeared in Zero Hedge, illustrating that even those who seem to have it all can become dissatisfied, and crave for more:

On October 24, 2014, the 19-year old son of a wealthy Swiss businessman walked into a brothel in the Bavarian town of Augsburg.

Although by almost any standard he led a rather splendid existence, on this particular night he had reached his breaking point. The problem: he drove a 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia.

2011 Ferrari 458 Italia

That may look nice enough, but the issue is that there’s a 2014 Ferrari Italia, and let’s face it, no one – and we mean no one – would want to be caught dead in the vehicle shown above when the one shown below is just waiting to be driven off the lot.

2014 Ferrari Italia

Of course this is exactly the type of situation that insurance – or, more acurately, insurance fraud – is for.

And so this young man – allegedly with the help of the Ferrari dealer – did what anyone would do in this situation: he drove to Bavaria, went to see a prostitute (one needs an alibi), and paid two accomplices $15,000 to douse the old junker in gasoline and light it on fire.

The young man almost got away with his fraud when the authorities initially thought that the incident was in retaliation for unpaid prostitute fees. Nonetheless, investigators later concluded that this was “all a not-so-elaborate ploy to collect the insurance money on the way to buying the newer model“.

Asked by a judge why he had gone to such lengths given that his father had bought him 14 other cars (including a Lamborghini) as well as “several properties” worth in excess of $25 million, he confessed that although his monthly allowance (between CHF5,000 and CHF10,000) was generous enough, it wasn’t sufficient to cover the difference between the 2011 and the 2014 458s and he didn’t feel comfortable telling his father the truth – namely, that the 2011 458 “no longer pleased him.”

For his troubles, the young man received 30 months of probabtion and a €30,000 fine. There was no word on whether he was able to get the 2014 Speciale.

Now, this is what the bible says:

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” (1 Timothy 6:6-9; NIV)

NEWS: Many U.S. Millionaires ‘Fear Losing It All’, ‘Feel Compelled to Strive for More’, Says UBS Survey

Enough never seems to be enough. According to a survey by Swiss bank, UBS, it seems that many successful U.S. millionaires suffer from anxiety and insecurity, despite accumulating more wealth than the average person.

The survey — which involved 2,215 U.S. investors with more than $1 million in net worth — revealed that while millionaires recognise their good fortune, they feel compelled to strive for more, spurred on by their own ambition, their desire to protect their families’ lifestyle, and an ever-present fear of losing it all.

As a result, many feel stuck on a treadmill, without a real sense of how much wealth would make them satisfied enough to get off.

Said Paula Polito, Client Strategy Officer, UBS Wealth Management Americas, “The majority of millionaires say they have worked hard to earn their wealth and appreciate the lifestyle it affords them and their families. But enough never seems to be enough—even the wealthiest continue on the treadmill to achieve a better life.”

Becoming a millionaire does not come without a price:  64% of millionaires report that they have had to give up precious family time to achieve their dreams. Most millionaires (68%) admit to having regrets, most commonly around making mistakes in a relationship with their spouse or family and not spending more time with family.

Despite achieving success at a relatively young age, the UBS survey also showed that Millennial millionaires experience more stress, fear and anxiety about their wealth than older generations.

Achieving success at such a young age means that Millennials’ wealth has a longer lifespan and therefore a greater chance of being lost, so they have to be more diligent and put in more effort to maintain their fortune and lifestyle,” said Sameer Aurora, Head of Investor Insights for UBS Wealth Management Americas. “Millennials, more so than any other generation, are also very conscious of how their lives stack up against their peers’, so Millennials tend to put pressure on themselves to earn more and compete for a higher standing in the social hierarchy.

Many people aspire to be successful and to acquire great wealth, thinking that this would bring them a lifetime of happiness and peace. However, the UBS survey showed that this perception is not the reality. Instead, it is contentment that brings joy and peace.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.  Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:6-10; NIV)

What is the Widow’s Mite That Is Mentioned in The Bible? A Coin Expert Reveals

42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” (Mark 12:42-44, NKJV)

According to Michael Markowitz of the Ancient Numismatic Society of Washington, the widow’s mite is most likely to be the common prutah (plural: prutot) issued by Alexander Jannaeus. These coins were snall copper coins, weighing about two grams,  and showing a pair of entwined cornucopiae (“horns of plenty,” a universal symbol of abundance).

Widows Mite -- Prutah Issued by Alexander Jannaeus

Source: Michael Markowitz

Although these coins were struck before 76 BCE (and therefore, would have been almost a hundred years old when Jesus saw them in the Temple circa 30 CE), it should be remembered that in the ancient world, coins could remain in circulation for centuries long after the governments that issued them were only a distant memory (i.e., they remained in circulation until they were totally worn out).

According to Wikipedia, a loaf of bread at that time was worth about 10 prutot (plural of prutah).

For details on the widow’s mite, you can read this article written by Mr Markowitz, or watch his presentation in the Youtube box below:

Well-educated and Well-paid Singaporeans Mired in Debt — A Personal Story

A relative of mine was recently approached by his cousin for money.

My relative runs his own business, lives in a landed property in Singapore (for the knowledge of readers living outside of Singapore, due to affordability, the majority of the population here live in flats/apartments), and drives a nice car.

I suppose that because of these visible signs of wealth, his cousin assumed that he might be a generous lender.

Judging from external appearances, this cousin might considered as an unlikely candidate for owing a great sum of money.

He has a university education, and the last we heard, was the finance director of a large MNC. Whenever we would meet him during the Chinese new year, he would act proudly, and would try to impress to others that he was holding a very important position within the company, and that his career was going places.

So, it came as a big shock that this person would ask for a loan, and my relative was also taken aback by the size of his original request ($100,000).

He then tried to negotiate for $50,000, but as the two men discussed the matter, some angry words were exchanged, before a final plea for $15,000 was made, but rejected.

My relative does not know why his cousin needed the money, but suspects that it could be due to gambling debts, although this person outwardly was not known to have gambled previously.

It is also not known whether his family is aware of the debt.

According to the Straits Times, it may not be as unusual as it seems for well-educated and well-paid Singaporeans to be mired in debt. Apparently, there are 32,000 people here who share this similar profile.

It seems that the major reason for falling into unsecured debt is overspending on lifestyle wants. Other reasons include a spouse losing a job, making stupid investments, loaning money to friends, and gambling.

The bible says that “the rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7, NIV), and consequently, I hope that there are no bible-believing Christians among the 32,000 in debt, especially for the reason of overspending on lifestyle wants, for the bible has also made it clear that we are not to “love the world or anything in the world” (1 John 2:15, NIV).

However, if there are indeed Christians who are in debt due to overspending on lifestyle wants, I pray that they learn their lesson. “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Hebrews 12:6, ESV)

Think Twice About Taking on a Bigger Property Loan — My Personal Experience

My wife and I married in year 2000, and since then, we have been living in a 5-room HDB flat in Sembawang.

We bought our flat directly from HDB, and I recall that on the HDB prospectus. the value of our flat was listed as $265,000 (before interest).

We signed up for a 3o-year HDB (government) loan, which was to be paid by monthly withdrawals from our CPF accounts.

I guess with our combined incomes, we could afford buying a condominium, but I guess my wife and I are simple people, and it never crossed our minds to buy a condominium, even though both our parents live in a landed property.

In year 2007, I got retrenched. I had been working in an MNC for about 6 years, and the operations in Singapore was like a regional headquarters, until the big bosses decided to shift this regional headquarter to Beijing.

I (as well as my other colleagues) was offered a similar position in China, but decided not to make the move, because I valued my daughter being able to study in Singapore more.

My company was doing very well, and because our local HR director fought very hard for us, those of us who decided not to move to China, received a very generous severance package.

I decided to use part of my severance package to pay off part of my housing loan. My wife, also decided to do her part, by using money she had saved up in her bank account.

In total, the amount of money we decided to set aside to offset our HDB loan was about $50,000.

So, one Saturday, we visited our HDB branch office, and when it came to our turn to sit down with the HDB officer, we told her our intentions.

I remember both of us writing our cheques, as the HDB officer re-calculated our loan balance and printed it out.

I recall vividly how my eyes widened on seeing how much interest payments we had saved by paying forward our loan, and the substantial shortening of time to pay off our entire loan.

Within a year or so later, we received a letter from HDB to inform us that we have completed the payment of our entire HDB loan. Since then, we have been debt free! (I do not own a car, and I did not have any university tuition debt to pay off, as my Dad paid all my heavily government-subsidised university education.)

I don’t think a lot of young Singapore couples realise how much interest they pay on their property loan.

Because of my personal experience, a few years ago, I tried to talk out a young Christian couple, who were getting married, from buying a million dollar condominium. I was not successful. The brother, who was working in the bank, felt that he could afford it, and I guess being a banker, there was a certain image he had to maintain.

I value being debt-free, and as I mention above, it was a great shock to me as to how much interest I was paying (and to the government, mind you; if we had taken a bank loan, we would have ended up paying a whole lot more interest).

The bible says that “the rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7, NIV).

The world’s system is designed to enslave people through debt. Interest rates have been at its lowest for years, but are slowly creeping up, causing debtors to have any even higher debt to pay. Indeed, debtors can do absolutely nothing but to cough off the money, which reflects their total slavitude to the system.