Monday, September 19, 2011

In Sickness and in Health...?

This week on his television show Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson said a man would be morally justified to divorce his wife with Alzheimer's disease in order to marry another woman. The dementia-riddled wife is, Robertson said, "not there" anymore. This is more than an embarrassment. This is more than cruelty. This is a repudiation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Read more..

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

...rust, moths, thieves and corruption

My wife is having an extremely hard time finding a place or item or thing or product that is not effected by “rust or moth”. Remember Matthew 6:19, “lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt.” Now, she fully understands the import of this particular teaching. She is not lacking in spiritual understanding. However, she is a perfectionist. She can spot a hanging painting that is a quarter bubble off plumb from a room and a half away. She also expects things to be perfect...without blemish, spots, dings or defects. By the way, she was born in the one time “dream home” of her grandparents pictured above. (photo taken at Jenkins, Mo in 1999; home..built in the early 1900’s)

Take for instance a purchase she made of a chest for our recently finished lower level. It was gorgeous! Made from fine wood grown in the far east and built and assembled in the US. When she purchased this item one of the attractive features is the small round “shot holes” which dot the surface of the wood grain. Many faux finishers attempt to duplicate this beautiful feature by flicking the wood with a paint brush filled with black paint. She found out 3 months after the purchase that these “shot holes” are actually tunnels in the wood which are bored by insects to lay their eggs for hatching. Prior to shipping to furniture manufacturerers, supposedly, the wood is kiln dried to a temperature that will kill any existing insects. First she noticed the fine sawdust which was deposited by the powder post beetle on the carpet below and then later upon closer inspection one of these tiny critters actually stuck his head out of one of the holes. A quick perusal of the internet revealed that these little creatures are not hard to get rid of. Just burn the furniture in a bon-fire some where. Now, this little moth-beetle had corrupted this fine piece of furniture.

Then there is our recent purchase of a new Chevy Malibu, which purchase had been prompted by the succumbing of our older vehicle to the 2nd law of thermodynamics. I made mention of this phenomenon HERE. During a trip to the grocery store, as she was pulling into the parking lot, a loose cart had been placed near the stores front door. Obeying Newton’s first law of gravity it broke loose from it’s moorings and headed straight toward her drivers side door. Rust and moth doth corrupt once again. A flaw in the brand new car. Just a small ding in my opinion but a defect nonetheless on a vehicle owned for less than a month. Two weeks later in the dim light of the morning, backing out of our driveway at 6:30am, she failed to see that a black, nearly unnoticeable, car was parked on the street opposite our driveway. No damage to the black vehicle whatsoever..but now a new ding in the rear bumper of her new car. That rascal “rust and moth” doth strike yet once again.

The Preacher of Ecclesiastes summed it up in verse 2, “vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” Strong’s Concordance describes this Hebrew word (hebel) vanity with words like..emptiness, transitory, unsatisfactory and vain. Now remember this was written by King Solomon, the richest man that ever lived upon the face of the earth. He had everything. You’d think with all his wealth that something would satisfy. Remember when it was cool to smoke. Chesterfield cigarettes used to boast in their ads, “they satisfy!” Now if that were really true why did they put 20 in a pack? Our Lord tells us “...the real meaning of life is not to be found in the amount of physical possessions” (Lu 12:15)...but real meaning is whether or not one “is rich toward God” (vs 21). What is it to be rich toward God? Whatever it is it cannot be defective, dinged, dented, spotted, stolen or blemished. I think to be rich toward God can be summed up in one quality...a “giver”. Now with all her own foibles, dings and dents and her desires for perfection in herself and in the things around her my wife is a selfless giver of herself to others. She is truly “rich toward God” as all those that know her will readily attest. Overheard at a funeral: “how much did he leave?” reply,...”all of it every dime!” Jesus says, “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

                                           “What will it profit, when life here is o’re
                                           Though earth’s fleeting love has been mine
                                           If seeking its gifts---I fail to procure
                                           The riches of God’s love divine."
                                                                                 Grace E. Troy