I Bought A Car

by | Jan 7, 2014 | 13 comments

Yesterday I bought a car, a brand new one right off the lot. You would have had to have known me for the past 22 years of my driving career to get the full, supernatural weight of this act. When I turned 16 my dear grandfather generously gave me his ocean blue Dodge Omni. (Just Google Dodge Omni to get a feel for my junior and senior years of high school.) I drove it into the ground, or rather as long as I could before I came home to find that my mom had sold it because she could get $300 for the tape player – this is a true story. She added that money to a savings account I’d been building while working for two years during college so I could buy my first ever used Jeep Cherokee…. for a grand total of $4,200. I drove it for 8 years until it caught on fire to its death. It literally caught on fire. I bought a lemon of a used Trooper for $8,000, drove it two years while it leaked oil onto every free road in Nashville, sold it for $3,500 and then bought another used Cherokee for $8,500 that I’ve driven for the past 8 years.

This brings me to Saturday: A day off, a day of happiness, a day of pure bliss wherein I had a junk car with no payment and money in the bank. Until, that is, my friends coaxed me out the door for the “blowout” sales that, of course, were ending in the next five minutes; there would never be another sale of its kind, not in the history of humankind, nor ever to come. The 2013’s on the lot HAD TO GO or else people might die at their desks. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity I would be a fool not to seize. And so, I waited because this is what I do. I took the weekend to consider my options, pull the consumer reports, get advice from friends, and apologize to my Jeep for my pending disloyalty. On Monday morning, lo and behold, the deals were still there – the sales had been extended, oh my word. And so yesterday, after much thought and prayer (yes, I pray over my cars) I drove a brand new car off the lot. As night fell and the streetlights gleamed in the wintery steam of January’s air, and as I drove out into the world in my charming new vehicle, I lost approximately $5,000 in value. At least this is how my mind works.

It’s that thing about cars not being investments that just kills me. Every time someone says that the first thing a car does is lose value, a little piece of me shrivels. I think this is why I’ve never spent much on them because I so prefer the idea of sustainability, increase, one seed that grows into a plant that in turn gives you many seeds. (As opposed to paying a bunch of money for something that will eventually end up in a heap of metal parts.) So when I woke up this morning and looked out the window at my super smart, blizzard pearl exterior, brand new car, it was with mixed emotions, partly because I can be a downer, but also because all this is just true. I was happy for the car, but I couldn’t help but think of how many things in life I dump my time or money into, stuff that decreases in worth as fast as cotton candy disintegrates in your mouth – stuff I try to actually protect. Right, did I mention I also paid for a warranty on this car? Because when buying a new car the first thing you want to do is start thinking about all the things that are about to break. I could just die right now.

On the other hand, when I hear the term ‘compounding interest’ my heart flutters. I’m getting a little, tiny bit older, and more than even I find myself pondering the beauty of eternal investments. I am genuinely grateful for the work I get to be a part of here and in the Amazon, the relationships I get to pour into and who pour into me, dear readers I have the privilege of writing for, the teaching of the Word that never returns void. I am thankful for the opportunity to sow into churches and ministries who change the course of people’s lives. Today, as we live and breathe, we have the opportunity to do what counts for eternity! We have the opportunity to grab joy right out of the air when we give our money, our time, our resources – a lasting joy that doesn’t disintegrate when you drive off the lot. When a dear friend of mine recently left her job to take over a Christian non-profit for half her salary, another friend said to her, “This is your new inheritance. Go get it!” I’m so grateful that God has ordained a sacred economy where our heavenly treasures can’t be bothered by moths or rust or thieves, where our investment is secure and our joy safe. God is good to give us this reality, but it’s a reality we have to choose. Jesus told us to store up heavenly treasures, suggesting there are other types of treasures we can live for. Let’s get after our God-given inheritance this year. It’s more sustainable and profitable than we could ever imagine. I’m excited. And, please, keep me in your prayers as I head to the Amazon in mid-February for the Third Annual Jungle Pastors’ Conference put on by Justice and Mercy Amazon.

Looking forward to 2014 with you.








  1. Cindy Kelly

    Well said my friend! That’s why I teach and coach, and speak truth into the lives of these teenagers, what’s left in my pockets at the end of the day/month is nothing to compare what awaits in eternity! We live for eternity and run the race grabbing as many as we can to come with us along the way!! Thankful for you and your ministry and praying for God to have His way in your life on this trip and that you would bring words that speak life! I pray for His Holy Spirit to move!! Go get em!!

  2. Kathleen Fey

    Praying for you. Hope to get a new Kelly study soon!

  3. Carly

    i so needed to hear this today!

  4. Nancy Davis

    I cannot thank you enough for the investment your deposits have made in my life, particularly through No Other Gods and Nehemiah. My relationship with Jesus is better because of it. And just so you know, I am exactly the same way about cars. Very little else in this life that I despise more than buying a car. I drove the same 1988 Toyota Corolla for almost 20 years and it wasn't new when I bought it. Sold it in a yard sale for $1500, of which I was very proud. Bought my first "new" car just a couple of years ago. I consider it like medicine — it's good for me to have a fresh-from-the-factory-band-new-working-condition car with a warranty because it helps keep me alive and well and safe, but every now and then I still get a bad taste in my mouth when I think about how much it costs.
    Press on, my dear. Praying for you.

  5. Debbie

    I bought my first new car in October, a 2013 Honda Fit, (bright red!) after driving a Ford Taurus for 12 years that was used when I bought it. Loving my Honda. Thankful that I could afford it. God is good. I, too, thought about how much money I lost when I drove it off the lot, but I am thankful to have a dependable car that gets great gas mileage.

  6. Kate Becker

    love this story .I lust about old used cars. 3 years ago I scared my friends and family by buying a car off of the florida craigslist.I had only seen pictures of it. It was a 1989 Dodge Raider. I convinced MB to fly down to meet me in Jacksonville. forgot to mention it didn't have AC we drove it to NY via stopping at my father's house to surprise him. He couldn't even fathom looking under the hood.it is still running well. Hope all is well.Say Hi to Brazil for me .

  7. Karen Katcavage

    Kelly Minter I cannot thank you enough for this! Yes, I said "thank you." Your blog post made me laugh – laughing a rarity of late for me. It also reinforced a prayerful thought I had today! …You see, you just never know how the Good Lord is gonna use you! He certainly lead me to your blog post tonight. And so, I thank Him. And you. Hope I get to ride in that new – now worth $5000 less car of yours soon!

  8. Alli

    In a bit of a prayerful money decision time myself. Needing a word from Him
    about what to do. Thank you for the reminder to consider the eternal value instead of just the bottom line.
    And congrats girl! Anew car is fun and a blessing from Him to you- no guilt! That is Satan trying to steal the joy!

  9. wanda

    Invest on, sister!! And enjoy the new car, darnit! You deserve it!

  10. Tara G.

    When child # 3 was on her way, I convinced my husband I wanted a mini van. We got one off the "lemon lot" on base (just a fun name for the used car lot on military bases). I love the sliding doors and that I can separate my kids in different rows. We even took it to Ukraine on our last assignment. Our apartment that we were provided with came with an underground parking spot, too…just imagine our red Honda Odyssey sandwiched in between a Bentley that you didn't want to breathe on and some other high end SUV owned by an oligarch/probably mafia guy. 🙂 Congratulations on your new wheels and your insight is much appreciated!

  11. dkelling

    Nah, people think of this all wrong (says someone that likes to buy new cars). Think of it this way. Buy a new car for $20,000. Poof, it disappears. How much does it cost to replace it? $20,000. See? It hasn't lost one cent of value. And the idea is bosh that it has lost $5,000 in value when you drive it off the lot. You simply can't buy a $20,000 car with 20 miles on it for $15,000. You'll simply never find one. Furthermore, You'll never sell your car with 20 miles on it for $5,000 less than you paid for it so you'll never, ever lose $5,000 when you drive it off the lot. Put a positive spin on that reliable vehicle and enjoy it that peace of mind that comes with it 😉

  12. Julia Cristina Morata

    Praise God for His provision of a brand new! car

  13. Cindy Burgin

    Wow, Kelly. Carol Jo told me to look you up on internet. I last saw you in New Smyrna. What wonderful things you are doing for the Lord. I remember your song about the sea shore that got me through a very difficult time when my son was ill. Herbert and I will put you on our prayer list. Please pray for us (Herbert, Cindy and Aaron). Herbert needs a miracle healing for his heart and Aaron (graduated from law school, passed bar in Virginia) needs a job. God bless you. If you are ever near Jacksonville, FL, please let us know. Enjoy your car.