Reflections from Rev. James Snyder

In Life, an “Account at the Bank” can be a Relative Thing
by Rev. James L Snyder

God does not make grandmothers like He once did. At least not like MY grandmother. Grandmother never trusted such things as banks with her money. Someone once told my grandmother, “If you would put your money in the bank, they would pay you interest.”

With a confused look on her face she responded, “I have enough interest in my money, nobody else needs to bother about it.” That was that!

After my grandfather died, my wife and I had the opportunity to take grandma out for supper. It was a delightful restaurant and we thought it would be a real treat for her. More than once, I had to keep her from getting up and serving coffee to the rest of the people in the restaurant. After all, she did that at the church suppers. Why not here. “I’ve got two good legs,” she protested.

Then came time to pay the check and the waiter brought the check and laid it in front of me. I immediately took a credit card out of my wallet and laid it on the check.

I could tell grandma had never seen a credit card before.

“Put that away,” she said. “I believe that man wants you to pay for our supper. Don’t you have any money?”

“I’m paying for our supper with my credit card,” I explained.

“Oh, dear,” she moaned. “You know I don’t believe in cards. Cards are of the devil, and I have never had a deck of cards in my house. I’m a little surprised that you, a minister, would be fooling around with such things of the devil.”

She insisted we tip the waiter in “good ole American cash.” I am not sure if grandma ever really understood the credit card. She bought nothing on credit and did not accept credit. Everything had to be done in cash. She often quoted the scripture verse that says, “Owe no man anything . . .” (Romans 13:8 KJV), which she took quite literally.

As grandma got older, she began to rethink the business of opening a bank account. Without telling anyone, she decided to go to the bank and open an account. She had saved up $50 for this purpose. Grandma nervously entered the bank and walked up to the man sitting at the desk marked “New Accounts.”

“Good morning, Ma’am. I’m Gary Goodman. How can I help you today?”

The man seemed pleasant enough, and grandma thought entrusting him with the delicate job at hand was probably safe.

“I wanna open an account,” she mumbled.

“Fine. I’ll get you all set up. It won’t take but a few minutes.” With that, he took out some papers and laid them on his desk in front of grandma.

“Now,” he said, “let’s begin. What is your name?”

She told him.

“O.K. What is your address?”

“What?”

“What is your address?”

“Why do you need to know that?”

“I’m just filling out the form, Ma’am.”

The young man a little confused with her hesitancy said, “We can come back to that. What is your date of birth?”

Grandma’s face turned a little red. “What do you want to know that for,” she gasped?

“I’m just filling out the forms. Can you give me your telephone number?”

That did it for grandma. She got up from her seat and looked him right in the face and said, “Young man, I don’t know who you think you are, but I am not interested in your advances. I’m old enough to be your mother. You ought to be ashamed.”

Just then the manager of the bank walked by.

“Mary, what are you doing here?”

The manager quickly assessed the situation and told the young man he would take care of this customer and tried to console my grandmother.

“I don’t know what’s gotten into young folk these days,” she whispered.

Barely concealing his manager his smile he said, “I’ll take care of you, Mary,” he assured her. He knew all the information about her and quickly filled in the paper work and walked grandma to the teller for her first deposit.

Grandma handed the teller a crumpled $50 bill. The teller took it and gave her a deposit receipt.

“Where’s my money?” grandma demanded.

“It’s safe in the bank, Ma’am.”

“How do you know my money from everyone else’s?”

“The money is all deposited in the bank, and if you need any, all you do is write a check.”

She showed grandma how to write out a check. By now grandma was confused and more than a little exasperated. Quickly grandma wrote out a check for $50 and handed it back to the teller.

“You’re withdrawing all your money?”

“Yes.”

The teller counted out $50 and handed it to her. Grandma looked at the teller and said, “No. I want MY money.” The teller retrieved the crumpled $50 bill and handed it to grandma.

As she walked out, the teller heard her mumble, “What a crazy way to run business. No wonder banks fail.”

There is only one sure account I can bank on. Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:” (Matthew 6:19-20 KJV).

The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.

Black Conservatives Discuss MLK Jr.

Shelby Emmet

Shelby Emmet

Stacy Swimp

Stacy Swimp

This month, as the nation observes the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in conjunction with the national holiday in his honor, black conservatives affiliated with the Project 21 leadership network are speaking out about how Dr. King’s words and actions relate to today.

“In 1967, Dr. King declared that we must ‘undergo a radical revolution of values.’ Today, as America collapses under great division and debt, we need to embrace that call to national action,” said Project 21 spokesman Jerome Hudson. “Dr. King fought for a moral identity to parallel the promise of equal opportunity declared in our founding documents. I’m sure he would be heartbroken to see the erosion of the family and faith in our nation today. He would declare that we must repair our shattered values system, that men be fathers to their children and husbands to their wives. Indeed, Dr. King’s way forward would be that we stop bankrupting our children’s future and return to the values of family and faith that made America great.”

“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of the greatest Americans in our history. Instead of complaining, he acted. Instead of asking someone else to hand him something, he mobilized the spirit of a nation and made society respond,” said Project 21 spokeswoman Shelby Emmett. “Dr. King reflected the power of ‘We the People’ to ensure a more perfect union for all Americans. The concept of judging one by their character rather than the color of their skin is as near and dear to our hearts as the slogan ‘Give me liberty or give me death.’”
Emmett added: “While we observe Dr. King’s special day on Monday, let’s also take a moment to reflect on ourselves, our future and our nation. What do ‘We the People’ demand? What can ‘We the People’ do as a community to improve ourselves instead of just pointing fingers and demand that someone give it to us? Are our policies based on the content of one’s character or are they still based in the pigment of one’s skin? Today’s civil rights ‘leaders’ love quoting Dr. King, but it seem that — at least for politics sake — they really don’t want them to come to fruition.”
“I think that promoting equality of opportunity would make Dr. King the most proud of us as a people right now. Unfortunately, there are too many of us — and so many of them being the ones claiming King’s mantle — who cling to a victim mentality and dwell upon what they don’t have instead of what opportunities that are available to them,” said Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli. “In particular, former Obama advisor Van Jones is rallying militant elements such as the Occupy Wall Street protesters with claims that Dr. King was the ‘original Occupier’ and that we need to prepare to engage in a ‘turbulent’ 2012. But the divisiveness and lawlessness of Zuccotti Park and Occupy campsites across the nation seem to be about as far away from Dr. King’s promised land as one can get.”
Project 21 spokesman Stacy Swimp said: “I’m worried about the commercialization of Dr. King’s day, and of turning the man into a myth. He was real, and he was not complacent. Dr. King was a man who implored us to resist. Today, that sort of resistance is squandered in the hunt for the last vestiges of discriminatory policies of the past. I believe that Dr. King would instead want us to work against self-imposed limitations that we now put on ourselves, force upon others and teach to our children. We have to resist the excuses, the blame games and anything that keeps us from being responsible and accountable for our daily choices.”
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives since 1992, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).

Christ Church to host MLK Jr. Tribute

A service honoring the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. will be held at Christ the King Lutheran Church on Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 5:30pm, the public is invited.  The Tribute program will in the Sanctuary.  Wayne Dixon of Hartford, Connecticut will be presenting spirituals, gospel music and songs in honor of Dr. King.  A short service will precede the musical homily.  The public is invited to attend.  There will be a free-will offering accepted to help defray the cost of the visiting artist. Refreshments and desserts will be served after the concert.  An exhibit portraying Dr. King’s works and Black History will be presented in the church hall.

Loaves and Fishes Holiday Dinner

Over 130 adults got into the holiday spirit at Loaves and Fishes annual Christmas Dinner, which was held for clients on December 23 at the Immanuel Congregational Church at 10 Woodland Street in Hartford.

Everyone was entertained by the Simsbury High School’s Holiday Cabaret singers who performed a variety of Christmas Carols throughout the lunchtime event.  The students also donated over $2,000 that they raised through musical performances at local businesses and private parties.  The Holiday Cabaret singers have been helping Loaves and Fishes for over 20 years.

Loaves & Fishes Ministries Inc. is a non-profit that began 30 years ago as a soup kitchen in Hartford’s Asylum Hill neighborhood. Currently, the soup kitchen serves an average of 130 meals daily Monday through Friday.  But over the years, the non-profit has evolved into an organization that helps its clients reach personal responsibility and financial independence through education, counseling, and economic development programs.

For more information on ways to donate or volunteer, go to www.loavesfishesministries.org.