Summary: Not all losses are losses.

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INTRO.- Here is the kind of profit that most of us think of.

ILL.- A millionaire was asked how he got rich. He said, “Well, I began by buying peanuts for five cents a bag and selling them for ten cents. I worked long hours and all holidays. However, I didn’t become a millionaire for another five years.”

“What happened?” the man asked. “Well, then my father died and left me a chain of hotels.”

Most of us think about profit in terms of money and material possessions.

Here’s a good way to think about money, however.

ILL.- “Shoe Company Says Ho Ho Ho.” PITTSFIELD, Maine, Dec. 15, 2003. Workers at a shoe plant were feeling more than a little tickled when they got their Christmas bonuses that, for some, totaled nearly $20,000.

Instead of receiving typical end-of-year frozen turkeys, the 200 employees of the SAS Shoemakers plant here were handed envelopes when they were called together Friday afternoon.

When Lawrence Wyman opened his, he found a check for $19,000. His wife, Charlene, got a check for the same amount.

The company this year awarded its employees with bonuses of $1,000 for every year worked at the company. Even those who had worked less than a year got $500 each.

The bonuses were particularly uplifting given that most news in the manufacturing sector this year has been about plants closing and employees being laid off.

"They called us all together and said we would each get $1,000," Lawrence Wyman said. "Everyone started clapping and then they said it would be $1,000 for each year worked."

And that’s when the tears flowed. Some estimated that the bonuses totaled $200,000 or more.

SAS Pittsfield is a division of SAS Shoemakers in San Antonio.

WHAT DO WE SAY TO SOMETHING LIKE THIS? Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord for some generous, giving people!

ILL.- And here’s another. Iowa corn company employees get big bonuses. 12/20/2003. ADEL, Iowa -- Christmas came early for 270 employees at an Iowa corn company.

Harry Stine, founder of Stine Seed Co., told his workers they would get $1,000 for each year they have worked for him. That adds up to a $20,000 bonus for some loyal employees who have worked there for 20 years.

The workers sat in stunned silence after he announced the bonuses following the company’s annual post-harvest luncheon last month.

"He said that we’re a can-do kind of people, that we work in the rain and the mud, and that he just appreciated our hard work," said seven-year employee Kelley Muir, 30.

"All of these people help me every day," Stine said. "So it’s not a be-nice thing. It’s just what should be done."

The average bonus check was $4,000. Again, we say, “Praise the Lord” for some generous people.

Often we think in terms of what we can get out of life rather than what we can give. Some people are thinking about giving. It’s refreshing to see people in the giving mode. And truthfully, this is one of the greatest profits in life.

We know that John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved that He gave…” This is why I say it’s refreshing to see people giving.

And here’s the kind of profit that we should appreciate very much, in fact, more than any.

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