Badona and I were talking about how important change, coins, used to be. Money! We would do errands for a nickel, a dime, or even a quarter. You used to be able to buy a lot of penny candy with a few coins. A nickel used to buy a Baby Ruth candy bar that was larger than they are today! And there was no tax on it then. Today if we have any change, it gets put into a piggy bank for our granddaughter. But since the credit cards give us a small percentage back on purchases, Badona plays their games. She puts post-it notes on the cards she gives me to use and lists what places I am to use them in. One is only for gas, another should be used at Walmart or for Building and Hardware stores. Last year I took a handful of change to the bait store to buy squid. I sure got a strange look.
I’m still struggling with the thought of getting a cell phone. Our home phone is $40 a month and we can call anywhere in the U.S. and talk as long as we like. I’ve been looking at a TracFone and it is cheaper. You can buy a card for $20 for 3 months, but you have to watch your minutes. It’ll get expensive if you talk too long. In the past two weeks, I spent a total of an hour on the phone with the company that handles my pension. I also spent another half hour with a friend who called and needed to talk. The TracFone doesn’t care if you make the call or if someone calls you. The airtime subtracts from your minutes. I’ve looked at other phone systems and they have extra fees and contracts. I need to be smart with God’s money. Outrageous bills will interfere with my offerings to the Lord and helping others. You also need a dependable phone. I’m still on the fence.
I agree with Ted Wilson when he said that if the church music sounds like a night club, it doesn’t belong in church. Ellen White wrote in Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 4, p. 71, “Music can be a great power for good, yet we do not make the most of this branch of worship.” You can read the rest of it yourself. She continues on the same page and says that sometimes it’s difficult to discipline singers. They want to bring in their own style. She said, “Music should have beauty, pathos, and power. Call to your aid, if practicable, instrumental music, and let the glorious harmony ascend to God, an acceptable offering.” Those three things should be in music at all times. In the same book, Vol. 9, p. 143, there is a section on formality in worship. Church people need to read it. We are not to be like the world!
It’s January and I’m suffering from fishing withdrawal. I haven’t been fishing in over a month. I missed all of December. I’ve had some other things to deal with that God gave me to do. That took my mind off of fishing. Tying shad rigs helps as well as working on Erick’s boat. But I still dream of fishing. I’d tell you about my last dream fishing on the James River, except it doesn’t make sense. But we caught fish! I don’t want to wish time away, but I’ll be glad with March gets here!
Badona broke down and got a smartphone. She said, “The world’s leaving us behind.” Allison helped her set it up and there are stills things she needs to address on it. She was really happy with the good deal she got and has already saved money using coupons on the Apps. However, the first weekend she had it we were late for church because of the phone—texting back and forth to her brother. I may get a cell phone myself this year, but I won’t be connected to the ear. People say, “What do you do in an emergency?” I do what I have always done: carry tools and walk. It has worked for sixty years. I just don’t want to get soft in my retirement years. I’m organized and plan things out. And when I’m with someone, I don’t want to be interrupted. We’ll see what I’ll do. I’m still praying about it.
1 Peter 1:18, 19 God gave His only begotten Son. And through Jesus, Heaven’s best gifts continue to flow to earth. Even when bad things happen to you. We are told ahead of time that those things will happen because of Satan’s hatred. But we have overwhelming evidence of God’s infinite love. This love, this giving, demands a response on our part. What shall we give? Our all!
A third gift that we may give to God is money. God asks us to give, not because He needs our metal, paper, or plastic, but rather because of what those things represent. Returning to Him a portion of the life He has given to us demonstrates our love and faith and our belief that He is our life giver and that we are in tune with His value of life. Thus we do lay up treasures in heaven—saving lives and adding to God’s Kingdom.