I’ve been known to purchase an occasional lottery ticket when the jackpot has reached exorbitant levels. I’ve said an extra prayer here and there when I’ve fallen short and perhaps needed a bit more forgiveness from the Almighty. I’ve even clamped down and made sure extra money went into our savings account in case an emergency arose and we needed the financial cushion.

But all that has changed. No more lottery tickets, no more extra prayers and no more additional savings.

You see, I have Facebook and if I believe what I read in some of the posts I get from others, it will be the answer to any problems I have.

As you may recall, I was never a Facebook guy until I started working full-time with my newspaper family. Facebook has proven to be a great way to contact people who are no longer in the phone book.

I would have thought that in itself would have been reason enough to get Facebook. But a look through my account shows me there is so much more.

For example, last Friday I had a post from someone who was forwarding what they said was an Oriental good luck charm. The post said that if I read it and then forwarded it to others within 24 hours, I would have good luck. It also said if I didn’t forward the message, I would be besieged with bad fortune.

The person who sent me the post was someone I had not been in touch with for several years. I had lost track of their whereabouts and didn’t realize they were an expert in the Far Eastern art of good luck. Who knows? Perhaps they earned a Master’s degree in some ancient art of luck.

Later that day I was asked to pass along some information that said if I did so God would bless me. The post said that if I didn’t do so, I was denying the existence of the Almighty and you know, bad things would happen to me in the afterlife.

Still later that day a post said that I would receive financial riches if I simply passed along a photo and that failure to do so would again make me rue my decision not to obey the request.

I didn’t pass on any of the posts.

I survived my poor Facebook decisions. I wasn’t smoked by a passing vehicle when I stepped into the crosswalk leaving work. A 16-ton weight did not crash down upon me when I left the office.

As a matter of fact, I had rather good luck. My daughter-in-law and I met for supper that evening. Spending time with any of my kids or their spouses is great the way it is, but on this night, someone paid for our supper.

The next day, I received an unexpected check in the mail. Sure, it was a mistake and I had to send it back to the place that sent it to me, but it still arrived despite my brazen disregard for Facebook.

I went to church over the weekend. The building didn’t collapse onto itself when I entered. Father John greeted me as I left the service and thanked me for coming. I’m pretty sure I was welcomed and can return.

I’ve made up my mind about how to handle the Facebook stuff. Next time I get anything that tells me how rich, lucky or blessed I can be by forwarding something, I’m unfriending whoever sent it to me.

Trust me, I have more things to worry about than that kind of stuff.

Like explaining to my bosses at WCI what I was doing on Facebook three times during work last Friday.

Mike Putz, a reporter for the Dyersville Commercial, can be reached at mike.putz@wcinet.com