Here’s a picture of the new foundation of our own personal “restoration project!” We're so excited to see our house begin to take shape. Seeing how carefully the builders laid the foundation reminded me of how the Bible uses the image of foundations. If our lives are “built” to be used to give God glory—to “make Him famous—then the topic of foundations is an important one.

Over the past few months, as Pam and I have driven the roads toward our burned neighborhood, we continue to be taken by the starkness of the devastation of the Waldo Canyon Fire. A scar still remains: matchstick blackened trees; rubble of homes left behind; burned out, flood-vulnerable canyons. And the scars go deeper as there are still 350 families in various stages of chaos in their efforts to rebuild. A similar picture could be taken of the East Coast in the wake of superstorm Sandy.

After a June Colorado wildfire destroyed our home, my wife, Pam, and I settled into a rental. We are grateful for the place God has provided. One of the first mornings there, as I spent time reading and praying, I lifted my head and found that the house backed into a full view of the burned out mountainside. “Ugh! Really, God? I have to stare at that for the next year?” My heart sank, my soul was weary, and I wondered “why” on so many fronts.

The first car I drove after getting my license was a 1970 Ford Pinto Hatchback. You may have heard of them; they were recalled because of the gas tank exploding! When I went to college I took a well-used 1968 Ford station wagon. A few years later, I bought my first new car, a Ford Fiesta! I think you are getting the picture—my pocket book didn’t allow me to pick from the “top of the line” row at the dealership (the cars with all the extras). I don’t have a big problem with auto lust, but I wouldn’t mind taking a drive in a BMW or Audi sedan every once in a while!

 
When God made man, He didn’t hold back any of the options or extras.

A number of years ago, I spent some time in Indonesia. I loved my time there and grew to deeply love the Indonesian people. 

 
Part of the excitement of traveling internationally is the new experiences. While driving around various cities in Indonesia, it wasn’t long before I noticed very alert and still-standing police giving oversight to busy intersections. I was interested in how many there were and, curiously, that they didn’t move an inch. They were similar to what I imagine the guards at Buckingham palace are like. When I questioned my Indonesian host, he laughed out loud.

Pam and I recently became grandparents for the first time. I had been told by more experienced grandparents about what would happen in my soul, but I don’t think I really believed them. Well, it’s begun. I get so excited to see little Arie. Even seeing his picture can make me feel, “this little guy has part of me in him!” And surely, we see characteristics of his mom (our daughter) and his dad in Arie.

Beginnings tell you a lot about any story. Try missing the first 15 minutes of a good drama, and you’ll spend the rest of the movie trying to catch up! The beginnings of our own lives tell us a lot about our own journeys.
 

As a young man I remember being told things like:

 
Jesus didn’t come to set up a religion, He came to establish a relationship with us and start a community of friends who would follow Him together.
 
or
 
Religion is man’s attempt to reach and find God; Jesus represents God’s attempt to reach men and women that they would find Him.
 
Yet, we have a world filled with people attempting to reach God, please God, or serve God through religious behavior, performance, and rule-keeping.