Paying it Forward with Pancakes

It was the winter of 1991, and everything I owned was packed into my little car for the drive to Fort Worth, Texas. My seminary tuition was covered and I had a place to live, but that was it.

I soon found a part time job that paid $425 per month. However, my car payment was $144, my share of the rent was $118, and the cost of mandatory health insurance was $80 per month. That left $83 for everything else.

I lived on campus, so gassing up the car wasn’t a burden. But finding enough money for food was a challenge! I quickly learned to get creative with the meal budget. A bread store up the street sold off-date pastries for a steep discount. Breakfast covered. My mom agreed to put $50 a month into my account at the seminary cafeteria. Lunch covered. But what about supper?

A guy from the dormitory told me about this hole-in-the-wall barbeque place a few streets over. “Go to Carl’s,” he said. “Ask for the all-you-can-eat pancakes for $1.50.”

One Friday afternoon, near the end of the month, my rumbling stomach made me take my friend’s advice. I walked into the little restaurant with my head down. The air was thick with the smell of slow-smoked meat. “Pancakes at a barbeque joint? It’s gotta be a joke.”

But Carl’s son, who manned the grill, could spot a poor graduate student a mile away. “Hey preacher boy, want some pancakes?” I’m smiling now, head up, “Yes sir!”.

Kind reader, I had to stop typing for a moment–to wipe away the tears. I thank God for Carl Wilson, who served many a hungry seminarian all the pancakes they could eat– for $1.50.

I’ve tried to “pay it forward” ever since.

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.

Photo by Desativado on






36 responses to “Paying it Forward with Pancakes”

  1. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Making the English teacher misty-eyed is an honor. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Crystal Byers Avatar

    I’m a little misty-eyed, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Don't Lose Hope Avatar

    ❤️ Wise words indeed. Thanks for all the encouragement you share through your blog too. You are making a difference in so many people’s lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Me too. My father, a math teacher, used to tell me: “Son, people either multiply, add, subtract, or divide in life. Try to stay away from the last two.”
    Thank you for sharing. I am grateful for your blog ministry!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Don't Lose Hope Avatar

    I’m so grateful for all those who have “paid it forward” in my life, and not only financially!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thanks, Bruce. You sound like my older brother.😊 Well, I suppose you are.🇨🇦😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bruce Cooper Avatar

    Not to worry, David. NO PRESSURE! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Blessings to you, as well, Bruce. I’m a little behind in my reading but have noticed your latest posts. I will catch up, brother! God Bless.


  9. Bruce Cooper Avatar

    Beautiful story and a great reminder to pay it forward, like you say. Thank you, David! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you! That’s the beauty of doing something beyond ourselves—especially in Jesus’ name. I appreciate your kind words.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. An Audience of One Avatar
    An Audience of One

    Beautiful! And I’m sure someone, somewhere, now tells a similar story about kindnesses you’ve shown, as you’ve paid it forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you, Mandy! I hope you and Nathan have a wonderful Thanksgiving. God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Blue Collar Theologian Avatar

    I love this post, David!!!!!! Thank you for sharing!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you for your encouraging words, Manette Kay. My goal is to post every day this week—except Sunday. I need to practice being more thankful. God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. musingsofmanettekay Avatar

    David, you’re paying it forward through your lessons shared here. You touch many hearts. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. jesusluvsall Avatar

    no discount only free lol

    Liked by 1 person

  17. davidsdailydose Avatar

    I love it. That would a good deal, even in Oklahoma. Did they give you money back if it was below zero? 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  18. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thanks, Gary. It made a big impact on me. Carl was a Godsend to so many of us preacher boys. I sometimes wonder where he and his son are today.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Gary Fultz Avatar

    That so fits with who you are today David. Wonderful fun story with a profound effect for life.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. jesusluvsall Avatar

    This reminded me of when I was a student living in Minneapolis the winter of 93/94/ The McDonalds there had a special for the month of December buy one quarter pounder or quarter pounder with cheese and get the second one for the price of what the temperature was the day before. It did not get above zero even during the day the whole month, so it was buy one get one free. As students, we went there every day. After that, I never wanted to eat burgers from McDonalds again lol

    Liked by 1 person

  21. davidsdailydose Avatar

    It truly was comfort food—in the purest sense. Thank you for reading and commenting. Happy Thanksgiving, and God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thanks, Tammy! God Bless.


  23. Tammy Williams Avatar
    Tammy Williams

    I love your stories and your advice 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  24. God Still Speaks Avatar

    You had me at all you can eat pancakes and then the rest of this beautiful post really got me!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Yes, indeed, brother! God’s “angel agents” are everywhere. And sometimes He lets us join their ranks.
    God Bless you, too, my brother!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Bridget A. Thomas Avatar

    I am enjoying the posts! Haha! You can absolutely use hash tags if you want to! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Alan Kearns Avatar

    What a lovely story David, it reminded me of a lovely old lady from Falkirk Salvation Army who looked after me and another brother in her home when we were visiting the town for outreach. Such service is precious indeed. God bless you today brother 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  28. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Yes sir. Thanks, BG!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. BG Avatar

    Always paying it forward!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. davidsdailydose Avatar

    You’re welcome, Bridget. I’m stretching my “thankful muscles” by posting everyday this week. I think I’ll call it #fivedaysofthanksgiving.
    Do middle-aged guys even use hashtags?☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Bridget A. Thomas Avatar

    What a heartfelt story. God bless those who seek to help others as Carl did. And may we do the same, and pay it forward. Thank you for sharing this story with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Sorry, Ken. I was just a kid when The Beach Boys were big. I knew about Bryan, but not Carl Wilson.


  33. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thanks, Betty. I don’t cry easily, but recalling this story brought on the tears. It’s been 30 years. I wonderful if the restaurant is still there? I’d like to stop by and put some $ in the tip jar. Have a blessed day!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. davidsdailydose Avatar

    As I recall, Carl was retired U.S. Force, but I bet he likes The Beach Boys. Thanks, Ken.


  35. Betty Avatar

    David, this is a beautiful story. There are so many “Carl Wilson’s” out there, we just don’t hear about them. Paying it forward is a wonderful way to honor him. Situations like yours in 1991 teach us compassion, and seeing the generosity of others inspires it in ourselves. Now, I’m hungry for pancakes!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. ken riddles Avatar

    Nice story. Love pancakes esp. from my wife’s land of birth (Netherlands). But I guess the Beach boys weren’t making enough $ so Carl turned to serving in the restaurant yes? 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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