True Faith: What are our treasures?

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By David Binkley, Sr.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV)

On-line auction sites continue to outdo and dazzle the expectations of most financial experts in the way they conduct business with so many small operators whose storefront is their presence on the Internet.Many people are selling items on these popular sites by taking advantage of the old adage, "One man's junk is another man's treasure."

One hot recent Saturday, I volunteered to help Galina work in a huge Yard Sale that smartly benefited Galina's employer - the Cedar Key Historical Society in their continuing efforts to raise money to rehabilitate the historical old building that serves as their primary home. The two of us also volunteered Zhenya to help strong arm some heavier items that needed to be set-up, unloaded and delivered. It was a long day, but very fruitful for the museum and once again we learned from observation that you can never predict what kind of items will sell under those conditions.

One generous family donated many items to the yard sale. Among these were many things that belonged to their teenage son. He carefully explained what the items were and how they could be used. Unless you have a young person in your home, you most likely do not know the purpose or value of all the wires, connectors, chargers, remotes, game disks and other paraphernalia. For a long while, most of these items just sat there unnoticed by the eyes of treasure hunters snooping for something that might accidentally be an antique. Then all of a sudden, along comes someone who wants to buy almost all the items that were donated by this family. And, we had almost given up thinking that it would just have to be thrown away.

What are the things that we consider treasures anyway? In most families, there are suspicions that the oldest sibling is holding onto some very valuable items that were entrusted to them by the parents. This might be something that would be of absolutely no value to a person from another family. Maybe it is an old picture album that belonged to the favorite grandparents. Or perhaps some family treasure may be a tattered and torn family Bible that contains information that is only important to the family members.

Granddaddy Binkley sold Ford automobiles for over 50 years. He and the man he worked for went to Michigan and brought the first Ford back to a doctor in North Wilkesboro. Back then, when they were selling cars, tractors and later trucks, you had to teach the person how to drive and how to make their own repairs. What happened to that beautiful diamond pendant that Ford presented Mr. Sam for his 50 years of service?

I'm sure I was not the only grandchild who pondered over that, along with the old 8 day clock that ticked away in the mantel in the hall as Mamaw worked in the kitchen preparing delicious surprises for many young'ns. And there was the old rocking chair that they said great-granddaddy rocked in after walking back home barefoot from Appomattox. One thing that would surely be a treasure only to myself and a few other grandchildren is the old f-sharp tuning fork that brother Sam used in order to get the right pitch before leading the congregation in singing for the old Jericho church or over at the Corinth church. After watching how people enthusiastically scoured through all that old stuff that had no meaning to most people, I can picture my family's stuff being traded around the flea markets of North Carolina.

When I reflect on the treasures that are truly important from my parents or grandparents, it is the constant smile from my mother's father - Calvin Luther. Mr. Frazier was known to most people in Winston as the man who puttered around making and selling his flavorings in his later years. It was always pleasant to visit them and be overcome by the smell of vanilla. Most important was his winning smile and genuine concern for all their grandchildren. We all still have a taste in our mouths for Krispy-Kreme donuts that used to always carry his flavorings. Do I want his recipes? Not a fat chance! They are no comparison for his boundless love and enthusiasm he and grandmother "Bitty" always showed to us kids.

Once when Granddaddy Binkley was staying with Uncle Marvin in Nashville, he wrote me a very nice letter that I consider a treasure. It wouldn't mean a single thing to anyone in a yard sale. It is kept in the Tampa Nugget box that he sent along with the letter. He had been saving up those wrappers for me and hoped that there would be enough for me to order a fishing rod. I will never forget what that meant to me as a teenager to have a Granddaddy who thought of me in that way.

Beyond all doubt, the greatest treasure that I received is the heritage of faith that was passed down to me from both sides of the family. The Frazier family was very active members of the Ardmore Methodist Church for many years and there was never a doubt that Jesus Christ was important to mother's family.My Dad's family were part of the glue that helped keep several small country Churches of Christ together. From both sides of the family there are many people who serve and have served as ministers and missionaries. What greater treasure can we give to our children than a love for the permanent things of God.

Instead of hanging onto a bunch of junk that will eventually wind up in someone else's yard sale, let us focus instead on insisting that we be remembered for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We know that to live by the fruit of the Spirit means that we put to death our sinful nature along with evil desires. What does your heart desire?

You are invited to attend the services of the Church of Christ which meets at the corner of 3rd and E Streets. Please write to me with any questions or comments at P.O. Box 186, Cedar Key, FL 32625 or dgbinkley@aol.com. Or you may also request to receive the daily WORD OF THE DAY by e-mail. Please visit our web site at www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com.