Notes from Jan

Redemption Centers

May 15, 2020

Remember S&H Green Stamps?  Well, some of you may recall this wide-spread system for rewarding customer loyalty.  When Jud and I were first married, money was tighter than my sweat pants are becoming. As the shopper with serious limitations (I’m referring to finances) stores offering green stamps kept me returning.  That was before we started making decisions based on how many miles we’d earn.  Flying was not an option but stamps to buy gas or get TV trays, that mattered. I could hardly wait to fill up one of those books to exchange for goods at the S&H redemption center.

During this pandemic, many businesses send email updates on their cleaning regimens, and remind me how much I’m missed. Some I hardly know, like the jewelry store where I got my watch fixed a year ago.    The other day they sent something to do while being quarantined.  Their idea included instructions on how to clean one’s diamonds. While I appreciate their willingness to share  trade secrets I thought, “this won’t take long.”

But back to the green stamps.  I googled and learned, they’re still redeemable. Who’d have thought!   Then I had another thought,  what if we, the Church, became known as redemption centers?  What if folks out there, scared spit-less during this pandemic,  knew there was a place where they could take their empty pockets and emptier hearts and exchange their S&H lives for something priceless? No stamp past redemption.

God’s idea, not mine.


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  • Reply Laura G May 16, 2020 at 7:37 am

    We put all the stamps in a drawer until we had a rainy day, empty books to fill and a good sponge. You never cease to entertain us with your words and bless with your redemption reminders <3 <3 <3

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 16, 2020 at 11:24 am

      Well, I’m stunned you remember, Laura. You’re young! Goggle informed me lS&H was in business from the 1930s into the 1980s. To learn they still redeemed stamps after almost fifty years of not being a reward system surprised me. If they ever return, I’ll be sure to get a small sponge, save a drawer and start dreaming.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 16, 2020 at 11:26 am

      Did I just write goggle? Must be I need new glasses.

  • Reply Linda Coonrod May 16, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Now I have to go back and look. I found several books in my mom’s desk. She was the ultimate saver. But they probably went into the compost bin!!!

  • Reply Dale May 17, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    Thanks Jan,
    You are talking to my generation as I sat with my Mom licking green stamps and sticking them in the paper folders provided. I never was sure about the business model, but I do remember how my Mom smiled when we had a full book. Of course, I am still not clear how my own redemption works, but I am thankful my “book” is full and will bring a smile to God’s face.

    Thanks for making God’s love so real. Blessings, Dale

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 19, 2020 at 4:56 pm

      Good to have memories. Job and Handel help us remember, “I know my Redeemer liveth.” Even in the language of King James, it still infuses courage to book it to the finish line.

  • Reply Peggy O'Neill Clarke May 20, 2020 at 9:43 am

    Hello again, Jan! We met briefly in the spring of 1991 at a Women Today (think that was the name) Retreat near Sault Ste. Marie Michigan, when I purchased your book. You signed it, “Trust Jesus for the “write” stuff—and He will fill your empty bowls and pages.” I no longer have your book, but I have this signed frontispiece framed and hanging in my office. You will be disappointed (as I am) that I have not been writing. But during this pandemic, I have been thinking perhaps it may be a good time to begin again. I have been praying that I may do so, and I have been reminded by your words that I need to TRUST JESUS! Not myself. I keep asking: how am I going to do this? Do I have the time at my now 71 years? What will I say? How will I order it? Where do I begin? Again I hear, “Trust Jesus”. So I am taking this step of faith in writing to you. I am pondering taking up blogging again. I took a stab at it a few years ago. I ponder it every so often. I think I could probably do it. I have written a couple of blogs before. Would it be too much to ask you to pray for me? I so need help. I am so weak but have so much the Lord wants me to say.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 20, 2020 at 10:21 am

      Thank you, Peggy. Quite a lovely surprise to hear from someone from long ago and far away. I just sent up an S.O.S. prayer for you and will do so again, when God nudges me. To write is good, at any age . And to trust God is always a best practice. Simple’s not easy, just like writing and living with hope each day, especially during tough times. Faith it, God in you is strong.

  • Reply Peggy O'Neill Clarke May 20, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    Thank you for the encouragement, and prayer. I shall trust and do.

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