Friday, April 08, 2016

Cash Only

You know what's easy? Being generous when you have gift cards! This is from December 20, 2011.
Yesterday, Dave and I went to a number of places in Wichita as he ran errands and I tagged along. Most trips with my older brother end up at Barnes And Noble where he could happily browse the aisles for hours. Toward the end of our stay, Dave asked if I wanted something from the Starbucks that is built into the store. I'm not one to pass up good coffee. Since I had several Starbucks gift cards in my billfold, I magnanimously offered to pay and Dave readily accepted my offer. However, when I got up to the front of the line to order my coffee and his caramel hot chocolate, the nice young lady at the register told me they don't accept STARBUCKS gift cards for payment, even though it's a STARBUCKS. She did tell me I was eligible for a 10% discount if I had a Barnes And Noble card which I don't. With a tiny bit heavier heart and slightly thinner wallet, I paid for the two drinks and brought them to where Dave was sitting. Funny, my coffee left sort of a funny taste in my mouth.

Over the past several weeks, I've listened to the complete CD series of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University graciously loaned to me by my beautiful niece, Karis. One point Ramsey makes is that it's much easier  to be generous with our money when we see ourselves as only a steward of our wealth and not as the owner. I think he is absolutely correct. And to me, the gift card is a perfect example. I did nothing to earn those gift cards; they were, well, gifts. As a result, it was easy for me to volunteer to cover our bill when I thought it would simply come off the pieces of plastic to which I have no attachment. But when I had to pull the cash out of my pocket, it wasn't so easy. I don't think I'm very materialistic but if I'd known about the policy in advance, I might not have been so generous to my brother, who along with his lovely wife, Sally, has taken care of all my needs graciously since my arrival over the weekend. King David wrote in Psalm 24 that,
'The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it...'
I take it that everything would cover the cash in my Dockers as well. And all the Starbucks coffee in a bookstore. And all the books in all the Barnes And Nobles. So, I think I'll survive my five dollar outlay and thank the Lord for what He has done for me, praying I'm a little more generous tomorrow. And do you know what I was reading right before the coffee incident? A Dave Ramsey book. Somehow, it just seems appropriate.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege."

John D. Rockefeller Jr.

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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