Nov 23, 2008

My two cents worth

"Did you know that a penny is worth more than a penny?"    Someone once shared this tidbit of information with me and I was a bit skeptical.   So I looked it up on the internet.   Sure enough, a penny can be worth more than a penny.   In fact, because the copper can be worth more than the face value of the coin, the US Government stopped making copper pennies in 1982.   Today, they are 97.5% zinc with a copper plating.


Because of its amazing properties, Copper is used in almost every industry. I recently went to a science expo with my son John and we saw a presentation by the Freeport-McMoran Mine.   According to these experts, copper "... is one of the earth's most important natural resources.   It is found in many of the things that we use everyday telephones, TV's, computers, electrical wire, video games, cars, airplanes and even the food we eat"


Over the last few years, the price of copper has soared.   This has caused thieves to steal copper wire from light poles and sell it for cash.   Old Vail Road is one such location that was hit.     In fact, in 2007 thieves caused $1.2 million in damages to street lights throughout Pima County.   But it does have risks.   In Dallas this summer, a man was severely burned when he tried to steal the wire out of the lighting system.


So how much is a penny worth?   Well, according to 2007 copper prices, a pure copper penny would be worth about two cents.   But in the last few months, copper prices have plummeted, so today a penny is worth about a penny.


But the value of a penny could be much more.   Earlier this week, Eileen Wilbur received a notice from the City of Attleboro, Massachusetts. It appears that she was short on her utility bill and so the city notified her that they were going to put a lien on her house.   Actually, it was her daughter who read the notice because Eileen Wilbur is blind.   And what was the massive amount of money that Eileen had held back from the City?   One cent.


When people around the country heard about this, they started sending money to the City to cover Mrs. Wilbur's utility bill.   Some of the checks were written for exactly $.01 and it probably cost more for the city to cash the check than the value written on it.   But to Mrs. Wilbur, the value of good will by her fellow citizens is worth much more than one cent.


But Christians have something of even more infinite value and the cost is even less than one cent!   It is the free gift of God's grace bought not with copper or gold, but with the precious blood of Jesus.




Pastor David Hook

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