Real Help for Real Living: My bank’s stock price is about to go up

Anthony MarcianoI know that sharing insider trading information is illegal, but I am about to do that.  My bank’s stock is about to go through the ceiling.  Their profit is about to soar.  What happened you ask?

You need to know I hate change.  I am a very old fashioned, very traditional person.  I would still be using a corded rotary phone if the phone company would allow me to use it.  But those days are over.

Don’t laugh too hard but I still write checks.  I have co-workers who haven’t written a check in years.  Not only do I write checks, but I also balance my checkbook each month.

Most recently, I broke down and decided I had to do online banking.  I made an appointment with my branch manager so he could help me navigate this very difficult process.  I sat down, palms were sweaty, heart beat was raised, the medic truck was sitting in the bank parking lot for the moment I coded with either a heart attack or stroke.  We opened my account.  He was pleased to see my credit card and mortgage was with the bank.  He showed me how easy it was to pay the bills.  But what about my other creditors?  None of them were in my bank’s list of payees.  He showed me how to add a new vendor.  What about transferring money from one account to another.  Again, a few clicks of the mouse and it was done.  Then there was that scary thing about taking a photo of my check and depositing it with my phone.  He showed me how to download the app.

A few days later, I paid my mortgage and cable bill on line.  Other bills came in and I set up accounts for them and paid them online.  I deposited a check using my phone.  I will confess to you I wrote the confirmation code on the invoice.

It wasn’t hard.  It was very easy.  For years, I resisted the change, hoping the world would go back to paying bills by check and sending them in the mail.  But just like the steam locomotives of the 1800’s are not going to run again, so too are paying by checks going the way of online bill payment.

Understand that I make things harder than they need to be.  I tell everyone that I have the spiritual gift of taking the simple and confusing everyone.  My staff and wife will “Amen” that.  It’s also easy to make the message of Christianity so complicated when it is so very simple.  In my mind, I can still see a 70-year-old Billy Graham standing at a podium in a crusade, speaking to thousands and thousands of people.  He looks out upon the crowd and says to everyone in attendance, “God Loves You.”

The simple message of the Gospel is God loves you.  God took care of our mess, our mistakes, our sin by paying for it on the cross.  As we receive that gift of His love into our hearts, it is transformational.

A week after I paid my mortgage online, I received an e mail from my bank.  They wanted me to manage my mortgage on my smart phone.  The email included all the steps I needed to do so paper would never enter my mailbox.  I shrieked and said, “One step at a time.  Be grateful I paid my mortgage online.”  I’m sure in a few months I’ll receive another encouraging note from them to take the plunge.