Sunday, May 28

Home ownership...or a reasonable facsimile

It was a long time coming but it finally came about on Thursday, May 25th. That's the day when my hand went cramped from signing my name so many times I almost forgot who I was. The 24hrs leading up to closing seemed like a dream, as if I were living in an alternate reality. It was almost surreal. We received congratulations graciously, but I hardly understood what had happened.

We bought a house. Our closing on our first home in Slidell, LA was a distant memory but the foreclosure was as indelible in our minds as the ink on the papers. Buying another house seemed out of the realm of possibilities. Doubts had lingered in those intervening years. Then, due to circumstances beyond our control, it became necessary to move. Renting elsewhere seemed not a choice but an only possibility.

Then along comes a Century 21 agent who pre-qualifies us for a special loan program. Unbelievable, we think. And despite all the closing paperwork, the sellers, the agents and closing attorney, until we took the door key given to us by the former owners today and placed it in the front door lock, it seemed but an illusion. Reality took hold and the trite phrase of "living the American dream" didn't seem so silly a thought or so quickly dismissed from our minds. Somehow, God made a way. And for that we're grateful.

I think of this as but a small thing in the scheme of God's planning. Something to encourage us on this earth, surely, but a foretaste of the home that awaits, when we'll turn the key of David in the lock of the door of heaven and find what we own in that kingdom to be more precious than any dwelling on earth.

Wednesday, May 17

Skype challenges the PSTN

Skype just announced that Skype users can now place free SkypeOut calls to traditional landline and mobile phones in the US and Canada. Previously, Skype users were required to pay for calls from their PCs to the PSTN. The offer will run until the end of the year.

I've been using Skype for peer to peer PC communications. When Skype announced this offer I jumped on it, and the service is fantastic. Calling my son in Florida and talking for an hour was great. The quality of their VoIP is clear, much clearer than POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service). It sounded as if he were in the next room, which is generally how we've communicated when he was here anyway. Throw in the video feature and you'll soon forget all about your phone LEC (Local Exchange Carrier) and their exhorbitant bills.

Try Skype. Dare I say it? The best things in life ARE free.

Tuesday, May 9

Buying a house... a tortuous affair. Offers, counter offers, proposals, counter proposals, addendums and amendments, all leading somewhere, but then, maybe, nowhere. Little things that become significant and the insignificance that are big things. Numbers once crunched reappear like popup windows on a computer screen. And it goes on and on.

I don't know if this will ever happen. I can't say that the deal will go through...but I'm praying.

Praying...why? Aren't there more important things to pray about? Sickness, death, destruction, the effects of sin and degradation are all around, and yet I pray for a house? Is it just a place to live or more?

Why does a compassionate God so care for His creation? "But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! "Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. "Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." (Luke 12:5-7) Our value is not in who we are but in whose we are.