27 September 2013

This 'n' That

Few things can frustrate me like a trip to the Post Office. Usually it is because I am forced to stand in line far too long behind someone who is fasting from soap and water. On Monday, though, the parking lot was nice and empty, so I stepped up to the window rather quickly. Simply wanting to mail two envelopes and purchase some stamps, I was told that my credit card, which reads "See ID" on the back, could not be accepted without an accompanying signature. That way, said the clerk, she could match my signature against the one on my driver's license.

"But," I argued, "anyone can forge a signature. That's why I want you to verify my identity from the picture, not a signature." Her response? A blank stare followed by, "Everyone just had to take a class learning how to read the back of a credit card."

Really? "Everyone" did this? Who is everyone? I wasn't invited. And do you really need a class to figure this out? I worked in retail when I was a teenager and reading the back of the credit card was not exactly something that was highlighted with its own day of special training. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was never mentioned beyond, "Make sure the customer's card is signed or check their I.D." A far cry from rocket science if you ask me.

She refused to let me pay with my card unless I signed it right there in front of her, to which I replied, "I could have someone else's card, but if I signed it right now you'd go ahead and let me charge on it just because it has a signature?"


Are you kidding me? By now a line was forming and the other two clerks were just looking on in wonder. I only had $2 in cash so I had to forgo the purchase of the stamps and just pay to send my envelopes. After that little debacle, I hope they get to where they're going. I do not trust the Post Office lady. If nothing else, I suppose now we know why the U.S. Postal Service may be in financial trouble.

What I learned from this little incident (aside from the fact that I should always buy my stamps at the grocery store) is that I am far too impatient with people. My frustration meter rises extremely quickly and easily. Oftentimes I stop myself immediately and think, "Really? As if I'm so much better than this person? As if I've never annoyed another individual?" After this episode, though, it took a couple of hours for my arrogant pride to wear off and for me to be willing to acknowledge my sin. Okay, so it was frustrating and the clerk's argument didn't make any sense. Was it really worth challenging her, especially once it became evident that she was not understanding my reasoning? No, it wasn't.

The moral of the story? I am not perfect. It's true; I am still being sanctified. And because of that reality, I need to strive to extend grace to others even in the midst of the ridiculous. After all, God has extended grace to me for far greater and graver sins.

So, after you recover from the news about my still-existent sin nature, take some time to enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • If you are na├»ve enough to believe that an updated operating system will magically make your iPhone waterproof, then you pretty much deserve to suffer the consequences of your gullibility.
  • The first transgender homecoming queen (no pun intended, I'm sure) was crowned in Los Angeles.
  • Well, now I feel better knowing that those NFL quarterbacks really are just rattling off gibberish.
  • Oh yeah, now here's a guy you'd really love to call 'pastor'. 
  • Heaven's view of the cross.
  • This is your weekly dose of adorable.
  • Well, I suppose it is a little difficult to have a tent revival without the tent.
  • To God alone be the glory!
  • Why am I not surprised by this headline about our former president?
  • "An ill life will effectually drown the voice of the most eloquent ministry."
  • Archaeology has always fascinated me and this is an interesting discovery.
  • Phil Johnson on the history of Calvinism:


  1. Arguing with a postal worker.... playing with fire. Does the expression, "He went postal" mean anything to you?

    PS Love your blog. Keep up the good work. How about an update on Escalator Church?

  2. Nice to know you're not perfect EB. Was beginning to wonder (only kidding you). I sure am not. This confession put a smile on my face because I too am so quick to get annoyed. I know that I annoy people all the time, LOL. Not intentional however. It's tough being in the process of sanctification huh? Some days I feel like a hypocrite at times with my impatient behavior. Then I feel the sting of conviction. OUCH! Praying for you dear sister in Christ.

    Cherie c.

  3. Just talked about this pride/ frustration attitude with a friend tonight, so true! Tylenol post scared me!! I also agreed with much of the post about not segregating youth. But I don't think teens should be per se " serving" In the church just because of Acts and the discription of the men who should be chosen to just serve tables. But kids in the whole service, yes, Most certainly. Died laughing at the guy who said church s__ks umm too much talk about sin in churches?? Please, TELL me where!! Ahh the entertainers of goats .. what can ya say? Have a great weekend! Barbara ( on the lake)

  4. What does the back of your card say? Mine says, "Authorized Signature. Not valid unless signed." It is the rule that the credit card company has set -- you can choose to follow the set rule by the credit card company or choose not to use the card. And there are consequences for both choices. If you do not sign and someone else gets your card, even if you wrote "See Picture ID", they can still sign your name and it will be the authorized signature. I realize you are trying to protect your card, but these are the rules the company has set forth.
    Now consider John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. Jesus Christ sets the commandments, believers then have the choice to keep them or not -- and there are consequences for both choices.

  5. I don't get your point on the problem. The signature has to match.

  6. Just saw that you were quoted on a commercial for "Preachers of LA"

  7. If you leave the signature space blank on the back of the credit card and somebody takes your card, they can sign your name in the blank. Now the signatures will match. The same is true with "See picture ID." They could still sign what space is left and, again, the signatures will match.

    The bigger issue is obedience to the rules set forth by the credit card company -- their card, their rules. You can choose to obey the rule and use their card or use a different credit card -- maybe one with you picture on it.

  8. Well, I can see this post was one big adventure in missing the point (with comments ironically left by folks who prefer to remain anonymous). It's okay, I've since concocted a super-effective way of filling up that space on the back of the credit card. It will just be so much easier when all of our information is on a handy little microchip embedded in our skin.


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