I collect mugs of all the states that I have visited. I have not yet visited Wyoming, Oregon, Ohio, Maine, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Route Island, Montana, New Hampshire, Vermont, Delaware, New York, Michigan, Alaska, Minnesota, South and North Dakota. When the set is complete, I plan to put them in a special showcase.

During the Y2K madness where people were being told to stock up on foods--powdered, dehydrated, etc., and even have a generator on hand, I decided to buy some silver and gold coins just in case the paper currency would turn out to be of no value. I have a few silver dollars, half dollars, quarters, dimes, Indian head pennies, and a couple of $20 gold coins. I like to start on the statehood quarters.

Years ago, I collected coins--St. Gauden and Liberty $20 gold coins, silver coins, silver certificates, etc. I started collecting when I got out of high school. I collected a bunch of Morgan, Peace, and Eisenhower silver dollars, Walking Liberty, Franklin and Kennedy half dollars, Barber quarters, Liberty Standing quarters, Mercury dimes, Buffalo/Indian Head nickels and Indian Head pennies. Later on, I had a slew of pre-1965 quarters and dimes.

When I left Guam, I turned my collection over to my parents for them to use in the event they run short of money. They never had to use the coins, and when they came to the United States, they brought the coins with them.

It took several years to come up with the number of coins I had. What happened to my collection? When I married Gary, I took my coin collection out of the safe deposit box in San Diego and took it to Pine Valley and left it with my parents-in-law, a mistake I later regretted. When we moved to Yuma, Arizona, the coins remained in Pine Valley. After Gary and I divorced, I wrote letters to my in-laws emphasizing the sentimental values of the coins and to please return them, they never responded to my letters.

I was heartbroken over losing my coin collection and took it really hard. One day, my son Michael came up to me and said: "Mom, never mind those coins; they're only earthly possessions." I think Mike got me back on track for I took the loss of my coin collection harder than I should.

Here are Biblical texts and counsels to help us keep our priorities in perspective regarding money.

Biblical counsels provide for us to save for a rainy day. Proverbs 21:20 - "There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up." The Living Bible renders it this way: "The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets."

In the book, Christ's Object Lessons, Page 351, we read: "Money has great value, because it can do great good...But money is of no more value than sand, only as it is put to use in providing for the necessities of life, in blessing others, and advancing the cause of Christ...Hoarded wealth is not merely useless, it is a curse. In this life it is a snare to the soul, drawing the affections away from the heavenly treasure."

When we advance the cause of Christ here on earth, we are laying up treasures in Heaven. This is a worry-free investment. There are no risks involved, no disappointments to be met, and in the end we would have received immense profits--souls saved in the Kingdom.

This reminds me of the time when I tried to invest in gold. At the Paradise Valley Hospital in National City where I worked, everyone, including my boss, was investing in silver and gold and were making money big time. One girl had over $40,000 dollars profit just in gold alone. This was the time when the price of gold went up as high as $900 dollars an ounce and seemed to be rising still. All were excited about the huge profits they were making, except me. I didn't have any money to invest. It didn't take long, however, for me to come up with a bright idea. Why hadn't I thought of it before? I would convince my mother to let me invest her money. The interest she was getting at the bank was peanuts compared to if she had invested it in gold and/or silver. Imagine, $40,000 in no time!

I convinced my poor mother to have me invest all $6,000 of her life's savings in gold. She trusted my judgment; we were going for the gold. I got on the phone booth outside the hospital to call the broker at a firm in Chicago. Almost immediately the coins I entered got returned. I reinserted the coins and, again, they were returned. I tried calling several times, but I couldn't get through to save my life. I was getting impatient now because the Chicago firm would be closing shortly. But, no matter what I did, the phone would not cooperate with me. I didn't get the information I needed to wire the money to the broker; hence, the gold investment was thwarted. I returned Mom's money to the bank.

This was on a Friday, early afternoon. Monday morning came, and guess what? The price of gold plummeted from over $900 an ounce to an all time low (I forgot how low it fell, possibly between $200-$300 dollars an ounce). I would have lost all of my mother's savings, and I would have to do a lot of explaining to my mother what had happened. I was so glad the phone did not work for me that Friday. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord was looking after my mother and her money.

When we invest in the things of God, there are no risks whatsoever and no worries involved and immense profit would be realized in the Kingdom. Matt 6:19-21 say: "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. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."


Stars and Stripes Forever Midi