On Wings Of Eagles

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Open Arms or Clenched Fists?

Judges 19:20 (NIV)
“You are welcome at my house,” the old man said. “Let me supply whatever you need. Only don’t spend the night in the square.”

Whitehorse, Yukon has a pair of unique skyscrapers made out of logs. Basically, they are stacked log cabins! These three-story skyscrapers consist of 5 apartments and one store. They are 58 logs high, with each log weighing a minimum of 300 pounds. It makes for a quite unique heavy building! The original foundation in 1947 was in the ground; to support the weight however, concrete footings have been added in recent years.

While the Alaskan Highway was under construction during World War II, the Northwest Staging Route airports and the Canol Pipeline were also being built. To say that housing was at a premium in Whitehorse would have been an understatement. Every hotel and home was overflowing with Air Force and Army personnel and construction crews. Even the riverboats were employed to accommodate the excess workers! And things didn't settle down after the war, either. Whitehorse then became the hub of the Yukon transportation system, and housing remained at a premium. Talk about a great time for real estate investments!

Martin Berrigan, a 70 year old builder, suggested meeting the needs by building the first (and last) Log Skycrapers. They were the first privately-owned, multiple-dwelling rental accommodation in the Yukon, and they still house people today. In fact, they have become quite a landmark in Whitehorse! (It seems that construction methods were a bit sturdier in the past!)

Some of you may frown and wonder who would want to live in such accommodations; but if you could visit them today you will immediately see that they are loaded with character and charm. Add to this the fact that the apartments have now been insulated, dry-walled and equipped with plumbing, electricity and the latest technologies, and you have one very desirable dwelling!

The purpose for housing has changed dramatically over the centuries. Imagine for example, living in Jerusalem in first century A.D. Unless you were rich, you house was used solely as a place to sleep and store provisions. You lived in the courtyard, and that's where you invited the neighbors to come and share in your meals and conversations. Even as late as the early twentieth century, housing was still people friendly. Doors were left unlocked and neighbors were welcome, even if you were away!

But things have changed however. Houses are now used to keep people . . . OUT! Ah those noisy bothering neighbors! Our houses have turned into mansions of doom. "It's my house, not yours! Get out!"

I wonder if this might be a sign of the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy: "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold." (Matt 24:12 NIV)

As Christians however, we are urged to be different: "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35 NIV) But how can we truly love one another with a closed door policy?

I have to ask myself: Do I always welcome visitors into my home with open arms? Or is my attitude something like this? "What do you want? Money again! What do you take me for?" Or "Jehovah witnesses again! I slammed the door on one of you just a month ago!" Or "Who gave you the permission to tell me who to vote for? Go back where you came from!"

Sometimes our attitudes do improve: "What! I just won the contest and you have a check for me? Come on in! You are more than welcome in my home!"

Wealth is not measured by what we have but by who we know, and it is demonstrated by how well we respond to others.

Who's at your door, now? Will you welcome them with open arms or with clenched fists?

Dear Lord, Thanks first of all for our homes that You have allowed us to have.  We pray that we would open our doors to those around us so they can see Your love though us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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