You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold… but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
~I Peter 1:18-19, NASB 1995
When you run in debt, you give another power over your liberty.
The children, especially the oldest, enjoy talking about the vehicles they had to ride in when they were growing up. According to Hannah, I made them ride in extremely dangerous cars: ones with such holds in the pan that a child could slip out into the road. I had one VW with a crack in the pan and you could see the pavement beneath but there was no danger of them falling through that tiny crack. The problem is: the crack keeps getting bigger. There is a reason for my driving old cars for years: I bought a brand new car out of Seminary and I assumed the church where I served would keep their word. The pulpit committee told me, “As we prosper, you will prosper.” The receipts doubled in two years and my salary didn’t. To quote one of my son-in-laws, “Long story short,” I could not afford the car and I had become car poor. Hannah had not turned two at the time and she loved McDonald’s and the golden arches. She could spot them a mile away. I had a brand new car but didn’t have enough money to buy her French fries which she loved. I decided I did not want to live that way. I see these young people building these huge houses and I know what is going to happen–they will become house poor. If you can afford a huge house is one thing, a $3,700 mortgage payment is another. If you make less than a quarter of a million per year, a $3,700 mortgage is out of your range.
Danny Lotz was a forward on the 1957 NCAA basketball nation champion team, the North Carolina Tar Heels. However, his claim to fame is that he married Billy Graham’s daughter Anne. Danny’s dad was a bi-vocational preacher on Long Island. The house that Danny was raised in cost his dad $4,800 but when Danny’s dad was promoted, he owed over $100,000 on the house. What happened? As the equity increased, Danny’s dad would take out additional mortgages. A little advice, if you can’t afford the first mortgage, don’t take out a second or third. In all fairness, Danny’s dad borrowed most of that money to keep his ministry afloat. The good news is: when his dad arrived in heaven, he was debt free.
Understand these are merely images but they carry a message. John says that heaven’s walls are over 200 feet thick and there are twelve gates of pearl. How large would a pearl have to be to fit into a wall that is over 200 feet thick? The pearl is a symbol of glory from suffering. The pearl is created by the irritation of a grain of sand getting into the oyster. The more the oyster suffers, the bigger the pearl; the bigger the pearl, the greater the value. We get to enter heaven because of Jesus suffering and we will never know how much it cost in terms of what He suffered in our behalf. Just as Jesus suffering was turned to glory, so our suffering will eventually be transformed into glory but the only reason we will walk through those pearly gates is Jesus. Jesus paid it all, and all to Him we owe. He literally paid our sin debt making us debt free. In heaven, we will walk in perfect grace–no debt in heaven.
We have been bombarded with sickness, most of the covid nature. Our hospitals are full. I would try to list them but not sure I can. My sister Holly is still at Madison and June says she will be there a few more days. Ralph Glenn is still in DMH but I am not sure about Sarah. Jean Smith is in HH. My friend in Cleveland is doing better. It is still hard to believe that Johnny Burnett has been promoted. We need to remember Betty in our prayers. Big Mike spent more than a week in the hospital but has still not recovered.
About to attempt something in a few minutes that I have never done before: do a virtual Bible Study via ZOOM. They will see me but I’m not sure I will see them. Joe David has left me instructions but as a senior, I am challenged. Hey, it turned cold after the rain and we have cold weather next week. I didn’t wear a coat to drive in church two weeks ago and I like to have froze. I may wear my overcoat this Sunday. Have a great weekend.