Friday, November 21, 2008

Gold Rush!

Okay, it's been a while since I last posted but for some of you, this post will have been worth waiting for.

Do you need some extra Christmas money? Are you glad gas prices are going down but still you seem to be in a budget crunch? Did you grow up in the 80's? Then, like me, you probably have lots of old gold jewelry that you never wear. I dug around in my jewelry box a while back and put all the gold jewelry together in one little bag. Broken rope chains, a kinked herringbone chain, several cheesy gold charms and a few little rings were just gathering dust and taking up space. They weren't anything that had true sentimental value. Most of them were broken, had one earring missing, or were something an old boyfriend gave me.

Well, I've been hearing that people are paying the best price for gold in years so I decided to find out. I grabbed my little bag of trinkets and went to Berry's Pawn in Madison. Berry's is a very reputable pawn shop owned by Herb Berry. Herb went to our church for a long time and is a friend of my dad's. Jeff bought my engagement ring from him. You might be familiar with the shop as Dave Ramsay often mentions it on his show. So anyway, Herb wasn't in but I was helped by a friendly young man. He examined and weighed each piece and made notes on a piece of paper. In about 15 minutes he made his offer. Now, their motto is, "Give the customer more than they expect." But are you ready for this?

$415.00!!!That's right! Four hundred and fifteen dollars! He counted out the cash and the security guard walked me to my car. I thought that was kinda funny but there are some characters in that area and everyone in the store did just see him count out a load of cash. No worries though, the shop is very nice and I had Little Sister with me. It's not really scary and dark like you might imagine a pawn shop would be.

So look out Black Friday and thank you Lord for providing some Christmas shopping money to buy gifts for those we love. If you decide to go down there, please comment and let me know how you do.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Jesus on Politics

I was listening to a Bible study my dad taught last week to a group of men at his church. He taught on Matthew 25:15-22

Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius, and he asked them,"Whose portrait is this?" "Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them,"Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

The Pharisees opposed the Roman government while the Herodians were Jews who supported it. The only reason these two groups would come together to question Jesus was to set a trap. Both sides, much like we see today, believed that God was on their side. Basically what they wanted to know was, whose side are you on Jesus? Jesus gives a lot of "yes" and "no" answers in the Bible, but not here. It's not really a "yes" or "no" question. But His answer amazes them. He looks at the denarius, a coin representing a day's wages, and says, "Whose portrait is this?" Caesar's image was on the coin. When he says, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's," He's essentially saying, "Give Caesar that which bears his image and give to God that which bears His image." The coin bore Caesar's image...what is that which bears God's image? and me...that's what we are to give him...ourselves.

We may not agree with our leaders, but our hope is not in our government. We need not despair if our candidate loses, nor become too proud if he wins. "...for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." Romans 13:1. His will, whatever it is, will be accomplished. And we should pay close attention. Exercise your right and privilege to participate in government, but understand that our God is sovereign. We are made in His image. We belong to Him. The ultimate authority. The King of Kings. And we already know that in the end...He wins.