We've recently been in the Joseph stories from the end of Genesis. Joseph "tested" his brothers. I never quite understood what that meant. What did he want from them -- to prove they were finally being honest? Or what?
Pastor pointed out something in chapel that I'd never considered. Joseph did not know what had happened to the family in his absence. We know the story because we've read the end of the book. But Joseph didn't know. Last he knew, his brothers wanted him dead and consented to "merely" sell him into slavery.
When they show up in Egypt and bow before the prince, Joseph asks them about their father and if they have any more brothers. They told him. They told him the truth. But he didn't know whether it was true. He didn't know whether they'd killed Benjamin. (After all, killing Benjamin would be a reasonable next step for them as they eliminated Dad's favorites.)
And so Joseph learns eventually that, yes, they are telling the truth, and yes, they show no jealousy when Benjamin gets treated better than the rest of them, and YES, they do what they can (Judah even offering himself in Benjamin's place) so ensure that Benjamin might be free and go back to his father.
Pastor also pointed out that, as the story progressed, the brothers came to realize that they were very exposed. It was like they had no secrets from this prince. It was like God had found them out and was showing them their sin. When they realized they could not hide anything, they were broken and contrite. And that's what Joseph desired, so that he might shower love and mercy on them and not have it be rejected.
Back when I was young, you had to lick the postage stamps.
Remember when they first came out with the peel-n-press stamps, and you had to pay extra for them? Maggie doesn't remember. She was reading a comic book today and wanted to know why anybody would lick a stamp.
Maybe this explains why stickers were such a big deal with I was little. It was always a treat to be the one who took possession of the Chiquita sticker off the bunch of bananas. When else did you see a sticker???
With grandparents living long distances from their grandkids, grandmas often mail checks for birthday presents and Valentine presents and Christmas presents, made out to the child. I can't remember what we used to do with those; I do remember having little kids scratch out their name to endorse checks. But what happens to kids who can't even begin to write their name?
It's hard to be the teller when someone comes in with a check made out to Someone Else. "But it's my kid's check. He's too little to sign his name." That may be, but when you come into the bank without the kid, and have no evidence for me that this isn't a check that belongs to your adult neighbor (think what happens when Mom kept her maiden name and Kid's name has no relation to Mom's), please be patient when the teller is hesitant to hand over cash to you.
Most banks offer great deals for kids to have savings accounts. They often waive the fees and the minimum balance. It's not that hard to get the kid his own bank account, with one of the parents as custodian or co-owner. That gives you a place to deposit those gift checks without putting the bank in a precarious situation, and you can even withdraw the funds after the check clears.