Can I Get By On Two Pence?

I keep a two pence (or tuppence if you prefer to run it together like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins) coin in my pocket.  I actually carry a few of them as I give them to little kids who (here in the US) are amazed to see the “giant penny.”  Even as I am giving them away I always am sure to keep one back.  It is my “reminder coin.”  It reminds me that being faithful pays big rewards (and I am not talking about “get rich prosperity gospel” junk – I mean real rewards in the service to God).

A few weeks ago the Lectionary reading called for a sermon to be preached from Luke 10:1-20 where Jesus tells his followers to go out without money, supplies, or even shoes and spread the Gospel.

I do not know about you, but for me it is really difficult for me to comprehend going out anywhere without any money.  The disciples did it though.  They left with nothing and spread the Gospel.  The results were amazing and I recommend you click the link above and read the story in Luke or click the link for the sermon and listen to my version of it – OR, you can be really radical and do both – your choice.

The bottom-line of the passage and the message is that when we remain faithful God will reward our efforts.

Now with that background in place – My wife and I just finished teaching “Financial Peace University” (the Dave Ramsey program) to a bunch of Soldiers and their spouses.  FPU has a proven track record of providing people the skills and tools to establish financial stability and even significant wealth accumulation if you start early enough.  I believe in the program.  I believe that a person should only spend what they have and not go into debt – especially Credit Card debt.  If you want to become financially stable and set up your retirement plan the FPU program is a terrific resource.  Having hit the point in our lives where retirement is within view – still on the horizon but within view – we talk about our finances, how we will proceed after the Army, and how will we make ends meet.  Will we be financially secure?

On the days I get particularly involved in my thinking about it (also called stressing about it), I pull out my tuppence.  Two Pence – a little more than three cents but not quite four in the United States.  Therefore it is of little value anyway and of no usable value here – effectively the coin is financially worthless to me.  That is why it is my reminder coin – I can not spend it.  Once it is my pocket it is not going anywhere.  The coin bears the inscription ELIZABETH II D.G.REG.F.D. (ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FIDEI DEFENSOR) or Elizabeth the Second by God’s Grace the Queen and Defender of the Faith.  A “hat tip” if you will to the notion of the ‘Divine Right” of royalty.  Of course even in the UK the two pence coin that bears her image is of very little to the Queen.  It is, however, with that inscription a reminder of so much more – it is a reminder that the entirety of the Kingdom is hers.  A very big message on a very little coin.

Here in the United States it is the worthless coin that provides me a priceless reminder.  We live by God’s grace.  God has promised that the faithful will have their needs met because “God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

What will I do to earn an income when I leave the Army – I do not know.  How will we make up the lost income – I do not know.  Will we need to make big adjustments to the way we do things and how we deal with expenses – probably but I do not know.  Just how will our long-term retirement look – other than the portion that is coming from the Army, I do not know.

Can I get by on just two pence?  When remaining faithful, by the grace of God – absolutely!  Can you?

God Guard You and Keep You,


the Rev’d Dr SG Rindahl

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