S & H Greenback Store Redemption

Sharon JaynesExpectant Living, Forgiveness, General Inspiration, Living Free, Living Fully 93 Comments


 (Beginning August 1, the content of my blog will be completely different from the Girlfriends in God devotions. So if you are not signed up for my blog at www.localhost/sjold, please do it today…and invite all your friends. We’re going to have more give-a-ways, more personal interaction, and more inspiration than ever before! Now, on to today’s post!)

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’ He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit,” (Galatians 3:13, 14 NIV). 

If I think about it long enough, I can almost taste the sickly sweet glue on the tip of my tongue. Yes, the childhood ritual of licking and sticking S & H Greenback Stamps into books is forever glued in my memory’s scrapbook.

When I was a little girl, my mother did her grocery shopping at White’s Supermarket on the corner of Tarboro Street and Pearl.

Oh sure, there were other grocery stores around, but White’s gave out S & H Greenback Stamps with every purchase. On shopping days, I watched as the cashier rang up my momma’s purchases, pulling a lever with each entry.

My mom’s eyes lit up every time she heard the cha-ching, knowing that meant more stamps. When the total was tallied, the cash register spit out a stream of stamps, both large and small. We never put the stamps in books right away. Mom stuffed them in a brown paper bag and waited until we could make a whole day of it.

About every six months, mom pulled a brown bag swollen with S & H Greenback Stamps down from a shelf. She spilled its contents on a table and announced, “OK Sharon, it’s time to paste the stamps.”

For hours it was lick, stick, lick, stick, lick, stick. Large stamps represented dollars spent and only three filled a page. Small stamps represented cents spent and 30 filled a page. I liked doing the dollars.

After six months of collecting stamps and six hours of pasting them in the books, my mom and I excitedly drove down to the S & H Greenback Stamp Redemption Center. With arms heavy laden, we plopped our day’s work on the clerk’s desk.

“Whatcha goina get?” I’d ask as we strolled up and down the aisles of house wares.

“I don’t know, honey,” my mom would reply. “But it’ll be something good.”

After much consternation, mom would decide on a treasure such as an electric can opener, or a steam iron, or a shiny set of stainless steel mixing bowls. Oh, it was an exciting day to make a trip to the S & H Greenback Redemption Center and trade in our stamps for a special prize.

Have you ever noticed there are some Christianese words we repeat often, but have difficulty explaining? I think redemption is one of those words. But as a child, because of my visits to the S & H Greenback Redemption Center, I understood “redemption.”  It meant to trade something in for something else, to take my stamps and trade them in (redeem them) for a prize – for something valuable. And that’s exactly what it means.

Jesus Christ traded in His life to redeem mine. Listen to what these two passages have to say:

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written:

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect,  (I Peter 1:18,19 NIV).

Jesus traded in His life so that you and I could receive ours. To Him, you and I were the prize – the treasure. But that’s not all. He’s made it possible for me to do a little bit of trading as well.

I’ve traded in my pain for purpose, my hurt for hope, my mess for my message, my worry for trust, my soul sickness for spiritual health, my shame for forgiveness, my captivity for freedom, and the list goes on.

What an abundance of treasures – much more valuable than an electric can opener or set of mixing bowls.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, thank You for redeeming me! I have traded in my mourning for laughter, my weeping for rejoicing, my sickness for healing, my guilt for freedom, my sin for righteousness, my fear for faith, my weakness for Your strength, my insecurity for Your boldness, my inadequacies for Your supply. What a deal!

In Jesus’ Name…the One Who made it all possible, Amen!

What Do You Think?

Do you need to do a little trading of your own? Do you need to make a trip to God’s redemption center?

What would you like to trade in today? Leave a comment and tell me at least one negative thing you are trading in today. Feel free to list as many as you like.

Want More?

You ready to do a little trading? My book, Your Scars are Beautiful to God: Finding Peace and Purpose in the Hurts of Your Past, will show you how to use what you’ve gone through for good. Friend, don’t waste your sorrows. God has a perfect plan for you to turn the ashes of past hurts and mistakes into a thing of beauty.



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Comments 93

  1. I want to leave my selfish nature in exchange for redemption. So many times I move forward for SELF and forget to check with The Lord to see if it’s in his agenda and to think if it’s for ME or his glory.

  2. Sharon, thank you for the memory of S&H Greenback Stamps! Thank you for showing me God’s redemption in the settings.

    I will trade in:
    Shopping with studying Gods word.
    Complaining with Contentment

    Please pray for me.

  3. Trading my fear today! Worry about my son not getting a needed internship and future job.
    Worry about money. Guess it is anxiety in general and how it is NOT going to paralyze us!
    We won’t be shaken any more.

  4. I’m trading in anger and uncertainty and God’s redemption center. The doctor I worked with was let go because he was not profitable. His kids and their parents love him and are at a loss of what to do. Even myself, there is no position for me other than to drift from dept to dept. so I am angry that this happened and that my administrators have no regard for the human life they have devastated for the dollar. And I am unsure of where to go from here forward. I know this is an open door from God to move forward in his plan for me but I feel stuck with just taking what they give me.

  5. Please note my auto correct changed “in God’s redemption” to “and”. I thank Him daily for redeeming me. I am unworthy, but Jesus is a friend of mine and has given me the greatest gift! May God bless you all!

  6. I have traded in a lot negatives over the years, anger, shame, sin….and I still have more trading to do. But today, I want to trade in my husband………………

  7. Today I am trading in my negativity and asking for stronger faith in a part of my family that there seems to be issues at God’s redembtion center.

  8. Wow! I never thought of myself as the prize. Very humbling. We also redeemed our green stamps. I will trade in my uncertainty for God’s plan.

  9. I would like to trade in my anxiety and fear – but don’t quite know exactly how to do it.
    Any suggestions would be welcomed.

  10. I sooooo needed this message today!

    For years,I have been worrying about my brothers.Fear cripples me whenever I imagine one of them being taken away from us in their youth.Yesterday, one of them turned 21 and I promised God that I will no longer let that fear cripple me anymore.From now henceforth,I exchange that fear for the peace that God has redeemed us.
    I also leave my anxiety about the future at the throne of grace and take Jer 29:11 with me.I am redeemed…

    Thank you Jesus;in whose name all this is possible.

  11. Sharon, thank you so much for your encouraging and timely message today thro’ Girlfriends in Christ. Am always eagerly waiting for these articles for they make me strong and build my spiritual being. God bless you as you continue in this ministry of enriching women through the word of God. Today am trading in fear, worry and lack of not getting enough money to sustain my child who is in university and who wants a Laptop for her research projects, money for private hostels, monthly allowances and fees. Am praying for redemption into boldness in facing the challenge and also for provision of riches from our Lord for he alone understands what I go through in this life especially as a single parent. Am also in fear of want for resources to bring up my grandchild and her mother who are staying with me. In God all things are possible and I want to trust in his faithfulness in all these. Kindly pray for me and if by chance there is a person who can donate a used or reconditioned Laptop, i will be able to receive it with thanksgiving in my heart and it will go a long way in helping my daughter go through her researches with ease.

  12. Thank you for the memories! I have also licked a lot of S&H Green stamps! I am trading fear for freedom! I have been paralyzed by fear all my life, and want to feel passionate about something new and exciting! I need a new song!!!!!!!

  13. I am suddenly a single mother . I am afraid I wont find a job or be able to support myself and my son. I am trading in fear.

  14. I am trading in my judgmental and critical spirit and everything that has caused me to get off track in my relationship with HIM and others!

  15. Today I am trading in my worry for trust and fear for faith. The Lord is asking me to trust Him with my future marriage. I don’t understand this rough patch but when I seek God in all things, He will provide exactly what we both need at the right time.

  16. I want to trade in my worry and doubt for trust and assurance. I trust in the Lord. I have an issue with me and my decisions. Did I do right? Should I have done this or said that? Lord, help me this day. I lay it all at Yoir feet. Amen

  17. I am trading my fear for faith, my weakness
    for Your strength, my insecurity for Your boldness, my inadequacies for Your
    supply. In Jesus name amen.

  18. I am trading in my mess and allowing God to use it as my message…. allowing my self to trust him rather than trusting in myself… to have more faith in him. lastly,but not the least of them all the wrong company for his friendship and companionship.

  19. Good morning Sharon! Yes I absolutely have something to be redeemed from. I need redeemed from an upper lung infection. I’m on medication right now and I know that the Great Doctor Jesus can and does heal through meds as well as not. So with that said I’m putting my faith and trust in Him of course for my complete and total healing. Also my sinus are messed up too. But He’ll take care of that as well. So please keep me in your prayers as I will you. I thank you in advance and may God bless. Always remember that Jesus loves you and me too.

  20. Thk you for reminding me of God’s redemption!!! Today I trade in resentments for love. Trade in distractions and worries for spending time with God.

  21. I want to trade in the mess that I have made and I thank Jesus for fixing the entire situation. I thank You, Lord, for your forgiveness…and thank you for showing me that I have no right to keep beating up on someone whom You have forgiven- me.

  22. I want to trade the past life of mistakes, the fear of not having a future because of the mistakes. I thank you Father for forgiving me of my sins. I vow to give my life to helping others with the same mistakes and situation.

  23. I have very fond memories of licking stamps for the S & H store. Thank you for that reminder.. It brought a huge smile to my face.
    I must admit.. I am struggling both in my relationship with God and with letting go and trusting God with an addicted child. I feel as though my prayers are not enough and her life will result in death. I have tried for years to let go.. I pray daily and even say to God, “ok God she is in your hands”. Then my mind continues to be constantly consumed with the thought of losing a child. Please recommend some reading if you could that might help me. Thank you for your devotionals. I read them daily.

  24. Trading in my bitterness for Jesus’ humility, my fear of the future with His promises, and my anxiety with His perfect peace.

  25. I am full of fear today. I have chronic pelvic nerve pain.Today I feel a great deal of pain, and I am reminded of my sin, why I have the increased pain. I trade in self inflicted guilt for Christ’s freedom and love.

  26. I really needed this devotion. It really encouraged me.

    Today, I am going to trade in fear of sickness, trade in my shame and guilt for freedom. I need to tell myself always that I have been forgiven. I constantly battle with feeling like I’m unworthy because of shame. Please pray for me.

  27. Thank you Sharon for that picture of redemption. I, too, have licked my share of Green Stamps. Today I want to trade in my mourning for laughter! I lost both of my parents and my father-in-law in the last 2+ years. Even tho I know my parents are happier together in heaven, grief sneaks up on me before I even notice or know what it is. I feel so lethargic that I don’t want to do anything. So I also trade in my weeping for rejoicing! That should make me easier to live with as well; a blessing for my husband.

  28. Thank you for today’s devotion.
    Today i’m trading my insecurity for His security.
    In Jesus name, the One name that makes all things are possible, Amen

  29. I am trading in anxiety and fear for the security of knowing God has great plans for me. I trade in pain and disappointment in my earthly parents for the unending love of the Father. I trade in worrying over what others think of me for knowing my true identity in Christ.

  30. I am trading in my complaints about doing for others and always feeling like I am being taken advantage of by them. I know that I am canceling out my blessing when I do this. Lord I give you my complaints andask you to forgive me.

  31. I am trading in my complaints about doing for others and always feeling like I am being taken advantage of by them. I know that I am canceling out my blessing when I do this. Lord I give you my complaints andask you to forgive me.

  32. I am trading my fear in keeping my relationship with my husband and raising up my childeren for faith. In Jesus name.

  33. Sharon, This devotional was just beautiful – What truth! Thank you for reminding me the meaning of redemption & for rekindling a similar S&HG memory being with my dear grandmother. The last time we went together, she let me pick out a jewelry/treasure chest I still use today. Please pray that I can let guilt and shame go as I have not been able to forgive some of my past actions/sins – those seen and unseen, done and left undone, etc. I find it terribly difficult to forgive myself even though I know God has forgiven me, Jesus took my punishment. I can forgive those whom God forgives, but unbearable to forgive myself!

  34. Glory to God – what an awesome message, Thanks Sharon!
    I’m trading in fear, insecurity, and inadequacies for faith, boldness and God’s limitless supply! Hallelujah!

  35. I am trading in my worry and negative thinking for boldness in the lord and positive outcomes in all areas in my life

  36. I was “redeemed” for a second time this week. My husband and I went out for dinner. When it came time to pay, he had forgotten his wallet and I didn’t have my purse. So I sat in the restaurant as collateral until he returned to pay our bill. I told some people around us that was a perfect picture of Jesus’s redemption of us. He paid my ” bill “! I am trading in my wondering how much my husband really loves me.

  37. I’m trading anxiety, fear & the need to be in control for the peace & assurance of knowing that God loves me, has a plan for my family, and will provide WHAT we need, WHEN we need it.

  38. I’ trading my sadness for his joy, my weakness for his strength and my negative thinkings for his mind, my guilt for his mercy. In Jesus name. Amen

  39. Thank you Sharon: I too was just remembering how my Mom and Aunt would save trading stamps…we always had a trip before school started in the fall and one near Christmas!
    One Christmas they had stuffed animals that talked. Mom had lots of stamps and got me one…A red & white striped “Peppermint” skunk! It was beautiful…a child’s dream..cute, smelled good and talked when you pulled the string. My cousins all got animals too!

    It was a highlight of childhood in the south!

    What a lesson of redemption…I’ve never thought of it that way, but it is so apt. Trading my sin for forgiveness. My sorrow for joy. My failure for his victory. My red stained garments for his new robe of righteousness that is white as snow.

    Who ever knew that there was more of a lesson in my Peppermint Skunk from the S&H Green Stamp Store than I ever knew!!

    Thanks Sis!
    Rebecca Ensley in Dalton, GA

  40. I’m trading in my negative thoughts about someone I love, which also lead to fear and insecurity, so I’m trading those in, as well.

  41. Sharon Thank you for bringing back memories of the green stamps that is what my mom used to call them I am trading in anger for happiness

  42. Wow…I am doing a bible study and these are the verses I read this morning. The question was asked what will you do to draw closer to God. I said all the “churchy” things, but then prayed that God will continue to grow me, and remove my fear so my faith in Him can grow stronger. He is awesome to continue my study through your blog.
    Thank you for reminding me.

  43. I am trading in my doubts for faith, my constant feelings of insecurity for confidence, my failures for success ,my feelings of despair for hope. I to remember vividly licking the stamps along with my mom. I remember how excited I would be for her to be able to trade the books in for something special.

  44. Trading in my guilt, my shame, and my sickness, for freedom, forgiveness, and healing 🙂 And oh how I need this redemption………… I can’t stop thinking about everything! I guess I should add worry for trust to the list, huh? Thank you Sharon for this devotional.. Truly a blessing!

  45. I am trading in my total lack of respect for my life and everything in it for the joy that Jesus gives. All my life I have felt that God owes me, because of the evils that were done to me in my childhood. I have felt so much of a lack of all things I consider normal; a loving home and family instead I never got to live with my parents. I was always off to some place to be a burden on others who had their own children. I never had a Christmas or a birthday celebration. Enough of my whining I am trading it in for joy, with God’s help. Today I resolve to live, to love, to take care of my physical self, and be thankful, so help me God. Please pray for me.

  46. Trading in worry and depression for trust and belief. I have been separated from my husband for over two years now and I have been waiting for him to come back home. I have committed to stop waiting and start believing in GOD to make a change. I know it is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that a positive change will come.

  47. I am trading in my unhappiness for God’s joy fullness, I am trading in my hate and anger that I feel each day at work for God’s peace and unbiased serenity to handle each day with my head held high and God’s amor shielding me from the devil’s attempts to make my work day miserable and non-productive. I need to remember that my faith in God will help me through these attacks and to let go and let God take care of me for once in my life, since I have asked him to do that with everyone in my life for the last 45 years. In the end taking 15 minutes a day before and after my work day to celebrate and do devotions such as this have helped me as well to put my mind at peace and trade the glum for joy in my heart…Thank you God being by my side for all the battles you have helped me conquer so far and the ones yet to be fought, Amen…

  48. I would like to trade in my bad eating habits for taking care of Gods temple. Eating only when I am hungry and be very careful how much I put into this perious temple God gave me.

  49. Today I am trading in resentment for the thankfulness that I can afford that which I resent, due to Gods graces.

  50. Thank you Sharon for your daily love through Christ ..
    I would trade~ wasted time for prayer, self benifiting tasks
    To helping those in need and any short comings, fears and doubts
    of myself and those around me I trade for LOVE.. As Jesus loves
    Us and fills our hearts we are full, let this overflow onto
    One another …. Amen

  51. I’m trading in ignorance for knowledge, and give up my impatience and frustration to Him that I may receive his wisdom and peace to shine his Love that he has shown me to so many others. All this in Christ, through the Cross, I am THANKFUL!

  52. I want to trade an unforgiving heart for a forgiving one and I also want to trade my worries and fear for faith hope and trust in the Lord

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