I love our home. I know it's just a physical place - concrete block, stucco, glass, wood and shingles - but we've lived at this address now going on 15 years and I've spent more time here than any other house on Earth.
Let's see if that's right: 1 year at the house where I was born, then 6, 11, 2, 4, 2, 5, 9 and then 15 (and, yes, it all adds up to 55!)
I think what I like about this place the most is the work we've put into it.When we were house-hunting (two rainy days in the late summer of 1996) I simply could not see the potential here. I recognized the plus of being on the golf course, but all I could see was badly stained shag carpet, outdated appliances, cheap cabinetry, a large yard that was also a wasteland, and all the accumulated grunge of a decade as a rental.
But Rebekah - she who is always blessed with vision - could see what was possible.We did a lot in the first few months, although it was mainly limited to ripping out nasty stuff, applying gallons of paint, gardening our butts off, and cleaning till our hands turned red and wrinkled. The work of those early years was important, but it was all a kind of deep prep defined by the application of muscle rather than money.
Then, little by little, we transformed this lifeless box into a dramatic remodel that would have won Rebekah accolades and awards if she'd done it in front of an audience on Home & Garden Television.
This has been such a positive experience that it reminds me why I am so thankful that - likewise - my life has been and will continue to be a work in progress. What would be the challenge if, the moment I turned my life over to Jesus, I'd been suddenly, without any effort, the best possible version of myself? What if, rather than being redeemed I'd been instantly upgraded - essentially as good as it gets?
I'm serious, friends! I treasure this struggle, this constant working at it, this collaboration with the Holy Spirit to imagine, work, install and fine-tune my journey through life, one small renovation at a time.
One day (I hope not, but I'm sure the time will come) we will doubtless leave this amazing home we've put so much of ourselves into. But, wherever we are, God will continue to pour himself into us! I'd like to think that I will always be open to the remodeling and the restoration - I know I'll always need it.
By faith we have been made acceptable to God. And now, because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace with God. Christ has also introduced us to God's undeserved kindness on which we take our stand. So we are happy, as we look forward to sharing in the glory of God. But that's not all! We gladly suffer, because we know that suffering helps us to endure. And endurance builds character, which gives us a hope that will never disappoint us. All of this happens because God has given us the Holy Spirit, who fills our hearts with his love. - Romans 5It's Sunday - don't forget to attend worship. Peace - DEREK