Sharing and Caring

Stamp Collecting Is Fun! - by Laura Pillers (LAMP©)

Stamp collecting is a hobby that is enjoyed by many people from all around the world. Every country issues its own stamps and many collectors have world wide collections.

If you arenít a stamp collector or you donít pay much attention to the stamps that come on all the envelopes you get everyday, then you might wonder how anyone could possibly get interested in stamps. Did you know that every stamp has a number? Did you realize that almost every issue is different in some way or another?

While recently sorting a box of used stamps we ran into a country that uses a lot of stamps that look alike, but really they are different. A first look at these stamps and all you notice is the same person on the stamp, same color, same size and no noticeable variation. But looking closer you notice that there really is a difference! In fact, if you get out your magnifying glass you see a lot of difference. Where? Perhaps the value is different or maybe the shape or thickness of the numbers is not the same.

Weíve even seen some stamps that have a dot in them, or the perforations makes them different from their look-likes. In the stamps of Switzerland, as an example, a horse is shown where one 20 centimes issue has 9 dots on the tugs and another issue has 10 dots. In the same series the 10 centimes of the series, one issue has a dot under the tip of the spear whereas the other issue does not. In the 5 centimesof the series one issue has 4 bands on the spear and the other only three bands. In the 50 centimes issue of the same series is a picture of the Spalen Gate at Basel in which one issue has two and the other three lines above the arches.

Other differences on some stamps are the size of the perforations, such as 9, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5 or whatever holes per two centimeters of the stamp. these can vary from as low as seven to as many as 15 and they can be one horizontal and a different measuring vertically, such as 10 perf. at top and bottom and 12 perf. on each of the two sides.

Sometimes when sorting a grab bag of stamps there are a lot that look alike and they get kind of boring. It's more fun and more exciting to get the ones that really look different.

Sometimes as Christians I am sure we find portions of the Scriptures to be like those stamps. They becomes so familiar that we set them aside without taking time to examine them to see what they really contain. Or maybe we find some portions of the Bible less interesting than we like, so we donít look it over very closely, certainly not with a magnifying glass!

If we would take time to study the Bible like a collector studies stamps, weíd learn a lot. The collector learns a lot from his stamp guides and we could learn a lot from our guide, the Bible. While parts of the Bible seem to be the same they really are not. Each portion has a special lesson to be learned if we examine it closely. God can show us something different each time we study a verse, just as a collector finds a stamp different when he studies it closely.

When you study the Bible, look and see how the portions are different and how each one teaches you something different each time you study that particular verse, or series of verses. You maybe surprised at what you can learn!

I have had the privilege of attending several stamp shows in Spokane. It is very interesting to see the many displays of stamps from all over the world. Like many others, I have seen pictures of "valuable" old stamps and they are fascinating. It is one thing to see a picture of a stamp that costs $28,000 (yes, one stamp, just twenty-eight thousand dollars) and it is something else to see the actual stamp itself. There have been other stamps on display with similar values and some with price tags well over that amount.

Something else that impressed me was the "FirstDay of Issue" ceremony. The one we attended was for the 16 United Nations Flag Stamps. Those attending received a souvenir card and stamp that was being issued for the very first time. There is only one "FirstDay of Issue". After that the stamp is on the open market and can be purchased at the Post Office. The left over First Day cards or Covers are destroyed.

Our lives are like a stamp collection. We get so busy working with our "every day things" that we donít stop to think that there is more to life. Occasionally we read about some one who accomplished something great and for a time we are spurred on. But we never get close to the real thing.

Many stamp companies that sell approvals, have some that sell for two cents to those costing many dollars. In life we can invest in "two-cent approvals" (which are the everyday things of life, or we can aim higher and set our goal for the "real thing".

In the Bible Jesus said, "I am come that ye might have life, and have it more abundantly"; We donít have to settle for just the ordinary things of life. We can have a full life, one that is Christ-centered and stamped with His approval. We can receive what we need from Christ, then go on and live a life that is pleasing to Him and one that is helpful to others.

Christ gives us a life that is more than just the ordinary routine of day by day living. When we have Christ in our lives we have the most valuable possession that one can have. We donít have to settle for just a picture, or a copy, but we have the real Living Christ dwelling in our hearts, if we will only invite Him in. Only then will ourlives be valuable to others.

Original true writings by LAMP© - Feel free to copy and distribute these stories as written.

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