August 1, 2016
money, value, worth
Yard sales, garage sales, tag sales … the ritual goes by many names but all yield the same result – pure joy! On any given Saturday morning this summer, cheerful folks can be found searching for treasure on a neighbor’s front lawn. Toting a cup of coffee in one hand and a wad of dollar bills in the other, the quest in the brisk cool air is as much fun as finally buying the coveted find.
Here is a lesson we learned about measuring the true value of a yard sale find …
When our daughter was accumulating furniture for her first apartment, we bought an old oak rocking chair at a yard sale for eight dollars. When moving day arrived, she decided that the rocker would not fit her décor so we placed it in a spare bedroom. For years it sat there, ignored.
A few weeks ago at our own yard sale, we decided to let it go. I sold it to a shocked gentleman for three dollars. After it was gone, I missed it terribly and wondered, “Why had I sold it … and for only three dollars?” The answer came quickly as one of those light-bulb-over-the-head revelations.
Because we had paid so little for it, I never appreciated it’s real worth. I never considered the craftsman’s hands that had turned the spindles, the skilled furniture maker who had fastened the joints in place, or the babies who were rocked to sleep in it. I always saw it as just a yard sale bargain.
And I sold it for what I considered to be its worth. What a lesson.
Our lives – and the lives of our children – are filled with blessings that cost us little:
- a starlit evening
- silly giggles in the night
- a snow day
- birds chirping at dawn
- a peach tree laden with ripe fruit
- a yard sale rocking chair
Let us teach our children to never measure the true worth of a blessing by the yardstick of its cash value. Instead, let us give them wisdom, demonstrating how to appreciate each blessing as a gift, like an old friend who has come by to visit, and rock for a while.
– The End –
May 31, 2016
It’s the beginning of summer. Plans have been made. Visions and dreams have been identified. New faith ventures have been added to the bucket list.
But have you ever noticed that during times when you are about to bravely launch out in faith, circumstances become difficult? Obstacles appear out of nowhere? Or someone says something that takes the air right out of your balloon?
These are “living distractions,” and it is important that we recognize these hindrances for what they are: opportunities to put down our swords of faith and walk away from the power of God’s promises.
For example, years ago, the night before we were leaving to take our 3-year old for open heart surgery, someone close to us called to insist that our optimism in God was ill-founded. From the other end of the phone these words rang out: “Don’t you know that she could DIE?” We were not moved. We chose to maintain our confidence in God’s Word. The surgery went well and our daughter recovered quickly.
I am sure that you, too, can point to times in your own life when you stood on a precipice, ready to leap, and came face to face with opposition. Maybe it was a career change. Maybe your heart was beating fast at the prospect of opening your own business. Or maybe, just maybe, you wanted to move far away and begin again.
Now let’s think about our children for a moment. How many hopes and dreams are they going to see come to fruition? How will they scale mountains and achieve great things? As we hold their hands and guide them through childhood, shouldn’t we be teaching them these same truths?
Let us remember as we launch out into the deep this summer that distractions will come. But we will see them for what they are, keep our eyes on God, and march forth with conviction and purpose. Stalwart. Confident. And immovable.
- For none of these things move me …
- For with God, all things are possible …
- For He who has begun a good work in us will continue …
- For we are fully persuaded that what He has promised He is also able to perform …
Acts, Chapter 20: Verse 24
Mark, Chapter 9: Verse 23
Philippians, Chapter 1: Verse 6
Romans, Chapter 4: Verse 21
– The End –