PO Box 3425
March/April Issue 2011 - Volume 30 Number 2
Hearth and Home
Smith hit the news on October 1. She
realized a dream that thousands of people have shared: She found the
ultimate bargain. Some might
even call it a "steal", but everything Joanne did was legal.
propelled Ms. Smith into the national spotlight was her winning bid on a
house in Saginaw, Michigan. She
is herself a resident of Chicago, and has no thought of moving to Saginaw.
But when you can pick up a house for a mere $1.75, why not do it?
read that last statement right: Joanne Smith was the winning bidder on
Ebay for the house. What makes
it even more incredible is that hers was one of eight bids, meaning that
some offered even less. How many today are kicking themselves for not
doubling her bid so they could own some real estate in Michigan?
that I didn't say "prime" real estate.
From the few pictures I've seen of the house, it's nothing to get
excited about. It appears to
be a simple frame house, perhaps fifty or sixty years old, and it might
have three bedrooms. There
doesn't appear to have been any maintenance performed on this house in
awhile, which helps to explain the low value Ebay viewers placed on the
be completely accurate, the house is going to cost Ms. Smith more than
$1.75. She also had to agree
to pay back taxes of $850, and the cost of mowing the yard and hauling off
the trash (probably another $500, in my estimation).
Even if she has the house razed and sells nothing but the lot,
she's bound to make a tidy little profit on her transaction.
become a bit jaded with Ebay. In
past experiences I went to the site, like everyone else, looking for
amazing bargains. Most of the
time the items listed don't turn out to be bargains.
For awhile one thinks, "This will be a great deal!"
But as more bidders enter the action, the higher the price goes.
At some point, pride enters the picture and some bidders are more
motivated (it seems) by the prospect of winning than of getting a bargain.
When all is said and done, they may actually have paid more than if
they had gone straight to a retail outlet.
one can say this house in Saginaw was anything less than a bargain,
though. At $1.75, even with
$850 tacked on for back taxes, the house was seriously under-valued.
are the former occupants (if they're still around) thinking? "This is
where our children were raised. Values
were instilled, laughter was heard and tears were shed under that
roof." What value can be
placed on experiences like those? But
that points more to the home than to the house.
A home is what gives any house its real value.
that's where my protest is focused. The
Associated Press, in reporting this story, referred to Joanne Smith as
purchasing a "home". I disagree.
True, Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition, gives this as
the first definition of "home": "one's place of
residence". In my mind,
though, "house" refers to the building, while "home"
points to the people who live inside.
doubt, this house in Saginaw, Michigan was vastly under-valued. But the
same can be said of many homes throughout our land.
word "home" is used in God's word in both senses: A building, as
well as the family that resides inside.
The real emphasis in the Bible, however, is on the latter idea.
God wants us to place the proper value on "home", on
right family relationships.
all started with the first person on earth.
After creating Adam, God made this observation: "... It is not
good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to
him" (Genesis 2:18). Eve was the solution to that problem, and God
brought her to Adam to become his wife.
Adam spoke prophetically upon meeting this new creation: "This
is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh ... Therefore a man shall
leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall
become one flesh" (Genesis 2:23,24).
scoff at the idea of Adam and Eve being historical figures. Jesus didn't
laugh; he pointed to them and quoted Adam's words as He stated the ideal
of marriage: "So then they are no longer two but one flesh.
Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate"
will is for more than just remaining married.
He calls upon the wedded couple to rise to this lofty standard:
"Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife
as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband"
(Ephesians 5:33). The proper
value of marriage within the home is one that sees the relationship as
loving, devoted, intimate and caring.
such sacred unions come children, and God has instructions for those
relationships as well. Children
are taught to honor their parents and to obey them "in the Lord"
(Ephesians 6:1-3), while fathers are instructed to not "provoke your
children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the
Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). Homes
patterned after God's will produce stable, loving relationships.
What price can be placed on blessings like that?
don't have to document, though, how homes are being under-valued. Because
we don't realize the precious nature of what we have, we "sell"
our families for trinkets. Let
me suggest two or three examples.
there are many who neglect their family relationships because they are in
hot pursuit of career ambitions and a secure financial future.
I've told many that "Mary Poppins" ranks as one of my
favorite movies because it highlights this very lesson.
The father was climbing the ladder of success at his bank, but was
losing his wife and children at the same time.
He under-valued his family.
others forfeit their family relationships because they imagine an affair
will bring excitement and pleasure that can't (they think) be found at
home. When their
unfaithfulness is uncovered, all trust is destroyed and family
relationships are pounded. If
only they had used more reason before allowing physical passions to lead
them down that path! They
under-value their families.
some feel that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence and
willingly walk away from established relationships.
They forget the Lord's teachings regarding marriage and
responsibility toward spouses and children.
One family is exchanged for another. The old "home" is
esteemed as not being of much worth. They
actually pay (alimony, court and lawyer fees) to be rid of the old.
are bound to fall into conditions of disrepair without proper maintenance.
It's startling to see how quickly a vacant house deteriorates.
The same principle applies to homes, too.
When we don't apply the needed maintenance, and when we fail to
heed the instructions of God regarding homes, things will soon fall apart.
It doesn't have to be that way.
With God's help, we can realize the right value of homes.
And home will be where our hearts are.
The word famine brings to mind pictures of people starving to death for want of food, or places in the world where water is a very precious thing.
In Amos 8:11, “Behold the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.”
We who live in the United States live in a land of religious plenty. The latest poll claims 84% of our population is connected in some way to a religion. There are buildings that house religious groups in almost every section of every town. I live in a town of 1,000 people and there are eight different buildings that act as a meeting place for religious activities. Not only that but when you leave the city limits in any direction you find more places of religious activities. Religious plenty, but ‘what if’ in the midst of all this religion there really is a famine of hearing what God “really said”?
When Amos came down from the barren Tekoan Plateau and saw the affluence of Israel he must have been alarmed at the sinful ways of this people. In spite of their religion, and their tithes, they were not really concerned about God and His people. Their religion was important to them, but when the offering was finished, business was business and politics was politics and these had no relation to their religion.
Although we might not approve of their activities, we may be running ahead of them. In Amos 6:1 he pronounces woe to them that are at ease in Zion; v.4, “…that lie on beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock and the calves out of the midst of the stall; that chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick like David that drink wine in bowls and anoint themselves with the chief ointments; but they ware not grieved for the affliction of Joseph”. We are not strangers to any of these things, and while we may not be condemned for using deodorant and eating steak and listening to the music on our CD’s or DVD’s, we certainly come under fire for doing these things and not caring what happens to God’s Church. How many of us think more of vacations, time away from home, recreation, etc. than we do about God’s plea for our time and effort?
At the same time what will happen if we don’t hear what God really said? Concern about false teaching or false doctrine is at an all time low –( I have watched it for 60 years). We have been sold an idea that it really doesn’t matter what you believe, what you practice or what you teach. Just do things that give you a good warm fuzzy feeling. It’s time we turn back to the Word of God and study it carefully so that we can tell someone who asks us what God really said and what he is really going to use to judge us.
Protect the things God has given you and use them in a manner pleasing to God. Use his word properly, worship Him sincerely, use the temporal blessings He has given us to lead your most loved friend or family to eternity in heaven.
Foundation Forum March 2008
We Losing a Generation?
you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving
you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them
when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed
and when you are getting up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7(NLT)
months ago I received an email that cited a USA
Today article regarding some of the current thinking among young
Americans. When people turn away from the word of God, they find themselves
adrift in a world of confusion. Here is some of what the survey reported:
In a survey of 1,200
18- to 29-year-olds, 72% say they're "really more spiritual than
Among the 65% who
call themselves Christian, "many are either mushy Christians or
Christians in name only," Thom Rainer says. "Most are just
indifferent. The more precisely you try to measure their Christianity, the
fewer you find committed to the faith."
Key findings in the
phone survey, conducted in August of 2009:
•65% rarely or
never pray with others, and 38% almost never pray by themselves either.
•65% rarely or
never attend worship services.
•67% don't read the
Bible or sacred texts.
Many are unsure Jesus
is the only path to heaven: Half say yes, half no.
"We have dumbed
down what it means to be part of the church so much that it means almost
nothing, even to people who already say they are part of the church,"
See the full article
parents we need to be reminding our children of the heritage of God’s
word. We need to lead by example. Are you attending church? Do you pray with
your children? Do you read the word of God with them?
do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather,
bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the
Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 (NLT)
Vitamin E(ncouragement) 11/29/2010
I A Builder
watched them tearing a building down,
gang of men in a bustling town.
a ho-heave-ho and a lusty yell
swung a beam and a side wall fell.
asked the foreman: Are these men skilled—
kind of men you’d hire if you had to build?
gave a laugh and said, “No, indeed,
common labor is all I need.
can easily wreck in a day or two
builders have taken a year to do.”
I thought to myself as I went my way,
of these roles have I to play?
I a builder who works with care,
my life by the rule and square?
I shaping my deeds to a well-made plan,
doing the best I can?
am I a wrecker who walks the town,
with the labor of tearing down?
- Number 2 -
Mar/Apr 2011 BC
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