Matthew 6:19-21


19) Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:


20) But lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:


21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.


Wow! What a cold winter we?ve had here at the foothills of The Blue Ridge Mountains. Plummeting temperatures outside aren?t so bad as long as you have a warm place to take shelter. That shelter for me exists in the basement of my house next to the old wood heater. There?s no better feeling than to gather around a wood stove. You can feel the warmth seep right through your skin to your soul, embracing you with sunlit wisps of peace and comfort. The feeling is indescribable.


When I was a little girl it was my, and my sister?s job to gather wood every day from the wood shed out back of the house. More times than one the rickety wheelbarrow would tumble over and dump out the wood we?d loaded before we could unload it on the back porch.? At six or seven years old I hated that job. Those sticks of wood were plenty heavy for a little tyke like me. I also had a fear of waking up a hibernating snake in that wood shed. I knew they were there because I?d seen their shed skins. It?s also a miracle that I didn?t get spider bitten too. For some reason spiders just love to hang out in dried wood. It was a happy day when daddy bought, and installed an oil circulator. I felt rich.


Other memories of using a wood stove take me to the base of the Brushy Mountains. My Grandpa T.O. not only heated his house with wood, he also cooked his food on the old cast iron stove in the kitchen. It was a fancy little number. I remember it had a warming compartment where a girl could always find a tasty biscuit. And there is no doubt in my mind that stewed potatoes cooked on that stove tasted better than any I?ve ever sampled since.


My Grandma Verlie also had a wood cook stove in the kitchen where my daddy grew up. When it was really cold she would build up the fire and open the oven door for us grandchildren to warm by. That oven also roasted many a peanut that she had grown in her garden, and baked more than it?s share of sweet potatoes.


As the years passed I watched each one of those old wood heaters get hoisted out of their lifetime resting place and discarded into an old shed or hauled to the junk yard. Left all alone, no longer needed or loved. Forgotten, no good for anything except a place for dust and rust to gather. I thought that was progress. But it was a precious way of life thrown away like an old shoe. Gone were the days you went out into the woods and cut down a tree to use for heat in the winter, or to warm up your food. A time when we didn?t have to worry about a long cold spell and whether or not we?d be able to pay the increasing power bill, or buy enough fuel oil or propane to keep our feet and children warm.


Is cutting wood hard work? Of course it is, but what a feeling of accomplishment when you watch that woodpile grow and that power meter slow down. Cutting wood is also a time of companionship, a couple working together using their backs to make ends meet and not just sliding the temperature up on the thermostat and working overtime to pay for it.


Something to ponder: While climbing the ladder to success and accumulating all of life?s riches, take into consideration just what rich is. Is it a mansion on the hill, with lofty ceilings and Persian rugs, a place where the power bill is five hundred dollars a month? While trying to lay up treasures here on earth have we forgotten how to live a simple life? To me the definition of rich is being at peace, comfortable in knowing that laying up treasures on earth is a waste of time. Only those treasures that we lay up in heaven count for anything. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Thank goodness my treasure is that woodpile, and what happened on the Old Rugged Cross all those many years ago.



The less you have? The more precious what you have is.

Author Unknown



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