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Pastor’s Letter January 29, 2021
When Good Buildings
Ouch ! Who passed this Two more payments and ..but oh didn’t we save a lot
building inspection ? …its all ours cutting corners ?
Loose and shallow foundations, insufficient integral support, inferior cement mixtures, bribed inspections, inadequate soil sampling, building on flood plains, building on sand, building with lack of sufficient rebar, inadequate maintenance…etc. These are the factors that induce some buildings to severely twist, lean …and ultimately fall.
As Christ identified through the book of Luke, well-intentioned people generally count the cost of discipleship and commitment to God, as stated in Luke 14. They generally take the time to build their spiritual foundations on solid bedrock.
Yes, it is a pitiful sight to see a half-completed home or foundation in which the owner has spent considerable money but failed to complete the project. This belittles the foolish effort to build an edifice on a foundation of sand instead of on rock. In Matthew 7, Christ, who was most likely a highly skilled carpenter, discussed the fallacy of building on sand. In a short amount of time, without bedrock, even a new construction can get twisted in shifting sand and ultimately collapse in a noisy fall.
Years ago I attended a church beach party where we set up a volleyball net next to the ocean with steel posts deeply driven into the sand. It seemed so solid and secure that we went ahead and strung up the volleyball net. But in 2 hours, the posts were listing in different directions and we had to reset the posts or stand back to watch the set up totally collapse. In the same way some people don’t fully count the cost of their commitment to God and unfortunately build their commitment on “sand” instead of “bedrock”. As we all probably know at this late date, the spiritual foundation that we build on is vitally important in helping us weather the storms of life.
Two weeks ago I sent out the Pastor’s Letter with an initial photo of Pasadena’s Ambassador College with the Ambassador Auditorium in the middle of that picture. Construction experts have claimed that this beautiful edifice is also the safest building to be inside of in southern California, if an earthquake were to strike the L.A. basin. That is because the 27 pillars shouldering the weight of the building run very deeply into the ground and were tied into solid ledge instead of loose sand and dirt. In other words, the pillars were powerful anchors of rock.
Horrible Planning ?
Here you see 9 of the 27 pillars
That deeply anchor the building
Destined to FALL ? Leaning
Tower of Pisa, the Ultimate Nightmare,
Built on sand and marsh – not bedrock
Matthew 7:24-27 Matthew 7:24-27  Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, which built his house on a rock:
 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell not: for it was founded on a rock.
 And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened to a foolish man, which built his house on the sand:
 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
American King James Version×(NLT) Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, is like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rains come in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against the house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teachings and ignores it is foolish, like the person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against the house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.
Luke 14:28-30 Luke 14:28-30  For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and counts the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
 Lest haply, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
American King James Version×(NLT) “…count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There is the person who started that building and could not afford to finish it!’
Let us have no devastating surprises …when we can anchor on to rock
Our Rock is Jesus Christ,
I Corinthians 10: 4
Note to the Astute
Perhaps some of you figured out that the picture below is of the in-tact building and is an optical illusion. If you look to see how the building vertically parallels the nearby trees, you realize that the building is vertical even as the parking lot is very much inclined. Therefore it looks like the building is out of sync even though the environment (parking area) is off angle.
Sometimes life is this way. Once we lock into God’s standards, we see that we are out of sync with so much of society. In that sense we are the building that seems so off balance when in fact we are “vertical” whereas so much of society is out of sync with God. Therefore, we adopt God’s way of life as our standard and we must follow the words of the Apostle Paul:
(KJV)“Be you not conformed to this world but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and the perfect, will of God” Romans 12: 2
Much enthusiasm flowed this past Sabbath for the Ocala brethren. Last week Court Greenfield spoke and the church there welcomed relocated member Charlene Bratnick and hosted several other visitors as well. This coming Sabbath Stan Braumuller will give the sermon. Services start at 1:30 p.m.
Last Sabbath Jeff Lockhart was in Ft. Myers with his family for which we are very grateful. Mr. Hammel, from the Miami area, will speak this weekend. Having the Kochers here has been a nice addition before they head back home. We were glad to get both him and Fred Kellers, a legendary speaker, to speak in Ft. Myers this month. Services this Sabbath begin at 1:30 p.m.
My family will be in Tallahassee this weekend. Services will be at the Loo’s cottage or “farm” as we call it, at 1:30 p.m. We were happy last week to have a long -ime couple, Al Hicks and his wife, join us for services and they indicated that they will return.
Last week in Vero Beach was especially poignant since it marked the last official time we would be with everybody there. The brethren provided a pot luck meal and brethren fellowshipped for hours afterward.
All the best for tomorrow, bv
"Crazy hills of San Francisco" by Håkan Dahlström is licensed under CC BY 2.0 "The leaning building of Tartu" by decade_null is licensed under CC BY 2.0"Leaning Building" by cindy47452 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 "20060304-snowman" by plentyofants is licensed under CC BY 2.0"Leaning Tower of Pisa" by irene. is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 "Christchurch earthquake damage - 22 Feb 2011" by Shazster is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0"Ambassador Auditorium" by saltandpaprika is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0