Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble . . ."


Philippians 3:7
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.

The "Dot Com Bubble", on which millions of investors are riding high, bursts in early 2000. The stock market takes a nosedive. And, so do many individual's retirement nest eggs.

Pastor Wallace learns that Ed, one of his church members, has suffered a particularly severe blow. It can't be easy to lose $400,000 almost overnight. Wallace decides to pay Ed a visit. See how he's holding up.

"Welcome, Preacher!" Ed hollers cheerfully from his front porch when he sees Wallace get out of his car. "What brings you out this way?"

"Just checking in with you, Ed," Wallace answers as he approaches the house.

"Jane!" Ed calls to his wife through the screen door. "Preacher's here. Can you put on some coffee?"

The men shake hands and settle into the wooden rockers on the porch.

"Now, Preacher," Ed begins with a twinkle in his eye, "if this is about the missus and me missing church last Sunday, we were both down with a stomach bug. Don't think you'd have wanted us there."

"No, no, that's not why I'm here," Wallace assures him. "I just got wind of some pretty bad news today. Wanted to see how you are coping with the loss."

Ed looks perplexed for a moment. Then, a slow smile spreads across his face.

"Well, now, news sure has a way of traveling mighty fast in these parts. Should have known better than to say anything to Miss Louise. She's the one who told you, right?"

Miss Louise, the church secretary, had, indeed, been the one to spill the beans.

"Doesn't matter how I heard about it, Ed," Wallace insists. "What matters is how you are dealing with it. I mean, $400,000? That's one whopping amount of money!"

"Yes, it is," Ed confesses, "but, it doesn't matter."

"How can it not matter?" Wallace is incredulous.

"Look around here, Preacher," Ed says with a sweeping gesture. "I got 30 acres. A comfortable home. A car and a truck. They're all paid for. I don't owe anyone a dime. I got my health, the best wife in the world, and the love of Jesus in my heart. What more could I possibly want?"

At that moment, Jane steps onto the porch carrying a tray full of coffee and cookies.

"On second thought," Ed says with a grin, "there is something else I want."

"And, what's that?" Asks Wallace.

"A good, hot cup of coffee!"
~
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
~Mark 8:36

Will you pray with me?
Create in us an attitude of gratitude, Father. May we always be thankful for the blessings you have given us. Remind us that earthly treasures are fleeting, but our treasure in heaven is eternal. Amen.

Readings
Psalms 26, 28 or 36, 39
Proverbs 30:1-4, 24-33
Philippians 3:1-11
John 18:28-38

24 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Joseph, for stopping by! Much appreciated!
      Blessings to you!

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  2. Wow! Wonderful story....gratefulness.

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    1. I know . . . I was floored when Pastor Wallace told this story in one of his sermons. Just had to borrow!
      Thanks, Janaki, for stopping by today!
      Blessings!

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  3. That was an amazing story indeed - loved reading it!

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    Replies
    1. So glad you enjoyed this, Kriti! I so appreciate you stopping by.
      Blessings!

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  4. Hi Martha:
    Seems that Ed and I are on the same page.
    --I have my health.
    --I have the single BEST friend I've EVER had.
    --I own my condo.
    --I have a jib that I adore.
    --I can drive and I own my car.

    All blessings. And the money? I have what I need to live by. And much more will come my way.

    I ALWAYS felt having friends, and having a job I wouldn't trade for the world is more important than being financially wealth.
    --I'd rather be emotionally wealthy.
    --I'd rather be wealthy w/friends. And I am.

    Blessings, Martha!
    --
    Chris

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  5. Thank you, Chris, for stopping by today!
    Yes, it sounds like you are truly blessed and you definitely are appreciative of everything you have. That's the only way to truly live!
    Blessings to you!

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  6. It always amazes me how well you craft a story that includes a devotion and leave us readers thinking larger than ourselves.

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Brenda, and for stopping by today.
      I can't always come up with a story, but so enjoy it when I do. I feel so blessed!
      Blessings to you!

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  7. Gratitude can definitely help us keep perspective and make situations a lot easier to get through. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by today, Jessica!
      I like to call it the "gratitude attitude". When we count the blessings we already have, most of the time, there isn't much we could add to the list. :)
      Blessings to you!

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  8. Oh my gosh! That was a super post! I loved it! You can't bring it with you when you go. Simple things in life brings richness, I think. In my area where I live you are defined by what you live in, what you drive and how you are dressed. I don't go along with that. Unfortunately, that is how my children are being raised by their father and I struggle with that.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by today, Cathy! I so appreciate your comment!
      Oh, that must be tough for you dealing with differing value systems in raising your children. I wish you all the best in teaching them the difference between needs and wants; I know this wasn't easy with my two!
      Blessings to you!

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  9. Ed truly understood what really mattered. I loved this post, Martha. Isn't it often true we seldom realize how blessed we are until everything we took for granted is gone.

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    1. Oh, amen, Kathy! So often, we miss out on what's truly valuable because we are so busy chasing after shadows.
      Thanks so much for your lovely comment and for taking time to stop by!
      Blessings!

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  10. Martha, Ed had his eyes on eternal values, and was mindful of his blessings. That's the key to living the abundant life.
    Amen!

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    1. Debra, it is absolutely the key to abundant life. I fell in love with this story the moment Wallace told it as part of his sermon. Fell in love with Ed, too!
      Blessings always and thanks so much for stopping by!

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  11. I wish the whole world could know that kind of contentment. :) Thanks for sharing that story.

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    1. Wouldn't that be wonderful, Rachel? I wonder how many wars would cease . . .
      I'm so glad you liked the story. Thanks so much for dropping by today!
      Blessings to you!

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  12. How fantastic this is, Martha. If only we can all keep our focus on the things that really matter.
    PS: As usual, I'm amazed at your skill :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Corinne, and for taking time out of your day to leave a comment here. :)
      Yes, keeping ourselves focused on the true treasure in life rewards us with peace and a sense of contentment. Such a feeling of calm when the striving ceases . . .
      Blessings to you always!

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  13. I remember my dad asking us why we do overtime and earn hard then end up sick and irritable in the process. What are we saving up to? A future nobody holds?

    Well, the truth Martha, I'd cry over the loss of money,then perhaps when I've regained my senses, I'll be able to focus more on the blessings I still have.

    I like that passage you used at the beginning ~ it is very profound and yet very simple. It also reminds me of Ecclesiastes 1,2 (Vanity of vanities, everything is vanity)...

    I pray with you...thank You Lord for everything... for all Your wonderful blessings.Open our hearts and hands so that we may receive them in joy.

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    1. Melissa, it is so true that, while we want to earn enough to make our way in this world, we can get obsessed with having more than we need and, as your dad said, making us miserable in the process.
      Truthfully, I know I could not have been as gracious as Ed was before Wallace shared his story. It definitely put things in perspective for me!
      Together, we thank Him for meeting our needs and blessing us richly! Amen, my friend!
      Blessings always!

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