Where is Your Treasure?

Nana singing to twins

The idea of finding hidden treasure is something that has always captivated the imagination of people. Think of finding a Honus Wagner baseball card in perfect condition in an old cigar box in the attic!

Treasure hunts are exciting. Find a map with an “X” and all you have to do is follow the clues and dig up the treasure. Unless of course the map is a fake or someone else found the treasure before you. Phil and I like yard sales and flea markets. I like to think of these excursions we take as “treasure hunts” although our sons-in-law have discovered the truth – we are Christmas shopping.

Soon after moving into our current home, Phil was repairing a floor in the barn and came across a cardboard box. I got all excited thinking it might be something buried that belonged to someone from the Great Depression Era when they didn’t want to put money or valuables in a bank. It turned out that the box had glass coffee mugs in it. We washed that “treasure” up and use those mugs each time we have company. They probably originally cost about $1.00 each.

At the beach this summer, I drew a map and buried some treasure in the sand on the beach. Our grandsons followed the map and dug up the treasure – packs of gummy bears!

Treasure holds fascination for us no matter what age we are. Jesus used the idea of treasure in several of the parables He taught.

Matthew 13:44-45

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
What is of such great value that these men sold ALL THEY HAD to purchase the treasure or the pearl?

The Kingdom of Heaven.

Knowing Jesus as Savior and Lord, allowing Him to reign in our lives is of immeasurable worth. The Kingdom of Heaven is that place where Jesus rules. That place needs to be our lives.

Our children and grandchildren are fascinated with finding treasure. Are we doing all we can to help them see what REAL treasure is?

Matthew 6:20-22 (NIV)

20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Whatever we value most is our treasure. As parents and grandparents we should examine our hearts – ask ourselves – what DO we value most? If we see that we value a house, a career, education, or material things the most, that is our treasure. If so, our treasure is not of eternal value.

We only have to look at where we invest our time and resources – that is the true test of what we value, what we treasure.

I am blessed by the fact that the parts of the Church our daughters fellowship with puts a high priority on ministering to children. Their pastor recently preached “…”imagine the difference we can make in the next genreation if this one class of Confirmands (one of which is our eldest grandaughter) is taught the Bible, the ways of Jesus, and the lessons of faith learned by those who have preceded us.” (Pastor, Bob Thompson)

Another daughter has helped begin a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group where they fellowship. The previous location closed it’s doors to this group of young mothers and children so our daughter’s part of the Church has taken them in. I was so blessed to hear that.

Jesus taught that children are precious in God’s eyes. In fact, we must become like children to enter His kingdom!

So – where is our treasure? Is it our children and grandchildren? Do we value them enough to invest our lives and our resources in their growth as followers of Jesus?

That has eternal value.

Time for a Tune-Up

The old Echo

The old Echo

We bought a new car and recently took it in for its 5000 mile check up. That may be no big deal to most folks, but I am married to a “do it yourself” kind of guy. It was a momentous occasion!

We bought our first new car after being married over 25 years and never took it in for check-ups. Phil did all the oil changes himself and we drove it until it had 187,000 miles. I would probably still be driving that little car, but I was hit in the school parking lot (by one of my students) and the insurance company determined it was a total loss.

So, why did Phil take this new car in to the dealership for a tune-up? It was FREE! When we bought our new car one selling point was free oil change and service including tune-ups. So, when the light comes on saying “Maintenance Required” – we drive to the dealership!

Our daughters’ Sunday School class is beginning a study on the Holy Spirit and it started me thinking about my spiritual well-being. As a Christian, how do I know when it is time for a tune-up? Am I heeding the “warning light” of the Holy Spirit?
Am I the kind of person who waits until something goes terribly wrong before I do anything about it? Or am I the kind of person who notices a change and checks it out right away before something worse breaks down? Am I the person who does scheduled preventative maintenance BEFORE something goes wrong?

A light doesn’t illuminate my forehead with a warning of an impending breakdown – although my face may show it. Are there warning signs that should be heeded to prevent a complete spiritual breakdown? The following may be possible hints that a spiritual tune-up is needed.

Warning Signs of Potential Spiritual Breakdown
• Do you feel that things are a bit slow spiritually?
• Do you feel that you aren’t finely tuned to hear the Holy Spirit speak like you once were?
• Do you sense a lack of joy?
• Are you lacking patience with your children?
• Are you and your spouse arguing about little things?
• Do you feel run down, like you aren’t fully connected to the Power Source?

These can all be signs that things are out of line. Just as cars don’t run optimally when something is out of whack, we as Christians don’t function well when our thoughts and actions don’t line up with Scripture. In Amos 7: 7-8 God gives a vision to His prophet Amos.

7 Then He showed him another vision. I saw the Lord standing beside a wall that had been built using a plumb line. He was using a plumb line to see if it was still straight. 8 And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?”
I answered, “A plumb line.”

And the Lord replied, “I will test my people with this plumb line. I will no longer ignore all their sins.”

God uses His Word as a plumb line – a mark by which we can determine if we are living our lives in line with God’s purposes. Just as builders use a plumb line to see if the building is constructed according to specifications, we can use the Bible to ensure that our attitudes and actions line up with Scripture.

So – when it is time for a tune-up spiritually, what should we do?

Go back to the Source of our spiritual strength – the Holy Spirit. Just as cars need oil changes, we need the oil of the Holy Spirit to refresh us. The more we die to our selves, the more the Holy Spirit comes in to fill our lives with Himself.

Let’s not forget to get those spiritual tune-ups. It will not only bless us but our children and families as well!

Be Alert!

Super hero 1

“You be the bad guy and I’ll be the good guy.”

Have you heard your children say this or something similar? It doesn’t take long for very young children to begin to distinguish between good and bad behavior.

This is not a current phenomena. In fact, in the very the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, mankind made a choice that determined that every human since faces a choice. Each of us must choose to behave in a way that pleases our Heavenly Father, or make the choice to go our own way.

Every era and culture in recorded history has it’s heroes. As one who teaches art, I’ve taught about many of these heroes from the past immortalized in great works of art. The Sphinx, the Greek sculpture called the Discus Thrower, Michelangelo’s David, and the sculpture of President Abraham Lincoln inside the Lincoln Memorial are just a few of countless heroes depicted.

Children love to hear stories of heroes triumphing over evil. All of our grandsons have been taken with Robin Hood at one time or another, even though it is challenging as parents to celebrate Robin’s stealing, even if he did give to the poor. In fact, most all heroes have “feet of clay”, even those in the Bible.

Our granddaughters played princess and there was an evil stepmother or mean fairy princess. Yet, do not despair! There was always a knight or prince to rescue the damsel in distress, even if he was burned by a dragon.

Children love the story of David and Goliath, yet David and Bathsheba is a difficult story for adults to process, much less children.

There are fallen heroes brought to light regularly in our current culture. Sometimes these fallen heroes are individuals our children have looked up to and they may be deeply wounded by their transgressions, even to the point of feeling betrayed.

It is important that we start early teaching our children that the only person to ever live on this earth who was perfect is Jesus. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Jesus did not sin because He is God. We want our children to look up to worthy individuals as role models. At the same time, we must help them keep their “heroes” in perspective.

1 Peter 5:8-10 (NLT)

8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.

10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.

The BAD GUY is the devil. These verses say he is like a roaring lion. Lions roar to proclaim their territory. The analogy may then be drawn that the devil is prowing around, seeking those who he may claim and then devour.

It is a battle. There is a real enemy and he is the bad guy.

Verse 9 is our battle plan:
* Stand firm
* Be strong in the faith
* Remember you are not in this battle alone


We can be heroes of the faith and we must encourage our children to be heroes of the faith as well.

Super Heroes of the Kingdom! Won’t that bless God?