In 1970 I began to prepare for the construction of my first speculation house. On January 1, 1971 I laid out for the foundation.
My spiritual foundation had been laid in 1954 at the age of 9. A Sunday school teacher told me that if I could keep the 10 Commandments for one week I would earn my ticket to heaven. So I tried for several weeks. I was told that all I needed was one week so I got a fresh start each week. I never made it past Monday. Finally I came to the conclusion that God would accept my effort and let me in when I died.
That is the very essence of an idol. You see I had created a god of my making. Not according to His standard which is perfection but my own standard of a good works. So when I built the house I used the best materials. I did the best workmanship I knew how. I built a good reputation in the community. I had people lined up for me to build a house for when it was completed.
Towards the end of the construction I began going to a church where the gospel was preached. For five months I prayed every Sunday to receive Jesus. Finally the blinders came off when He revealed that it is not a prayer that saves but faith. So I trusted Jesus as my only hope for Heaven in November of 1971.
Now I was free and wanted to tell everyone about the free gift of salvation. So I began telling my subcontractors. The next house a man asked if he could watch me build a house for him on 5 acres on the Atlantic Ocean. He meant that literally. He had a lawn chair under a palm tree and watched everything we did from beginning to the end nothing like pressure on a brand new contractor but it paid off as he spread the word.
Now I had more work than the one fellow could handle so I hired more men. Now I had more motivation to build to an even higher standard. The foundation was laid for a new lesson illustrated by the first two kings of Israel.
- Saul: it is all about me. Remorse when caught doing wrong
- David: it is all about the Lord. Repentance when caught doing wrong.
When the prophet Samuel pointed out Saul’s sin allow me to paraphrase his response: Okay, okay I did wrong now make me look good in front of the people. Can you see his thinking; it is all about me.
When the prophet Nathan pointed out David’s sin David’s response was Psalm 51. David took the credit for all of the wrong doing. God’s ways were exalted. David suffered the consequences. God’s truth was made obvious.