8/30/17 – Pastor Brian’s Blog
As I had mentioned in a previous blog Judy and I celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary on August 10th. Little did I know how wonderful marriage would be even after 44 years! But I digress…
Due to scheduling conflicts we were unable to get away to celebrate this grand occasion of being married 44 years until recently. One of the things Judy has always wanted to do was to go to Newport, RI and look at their mansions. So this past Monday we left Barnstead, went to Little Compton, RI to spend the night, and then headed out to Newport on Tuesday to look at 2 mansions before we headed home that evening.
Time only allows me to talk about one of the mansion we looked it. It was amazing!! It is called “The Breakers” built as a “summer home” by Cornelius Vanderbilt II. Did I mention that it is just amazing!?! It was built in an architectural style based on the Italian Renaissance. Amazingly, it was built in just 2 years, 1893-1895. It was designed by a renowned architect (although an unknown to me) and was decorated by someone that obviously was given a pretty big budget to work with.
If you have ever watched the series Downton Abbey you will better understand the setting for the home as well as how it was run. Did I tell you that this house is pretty amazing!?! It is a 70-room mansion with a total area of 125,339 square feet, which included 62,482 square feet for their living area on five floors. As you entered the property you look at huge sculpted iron gates with a 30-foot-high walkway gate. I was told (I did not actually measure it to check their accuracy) that the footprint of the house covers approximately 1 acre of the 14 acre estate on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Did I tell you that this place is pretty amazing!?! So amazing that in 2016 this one house alone had 472,700 visitors.
As Judy and I did the self-guided tour we kept comparing the Vanderbilt home and its builders with the eternal home we are promised in the Bible and our Builder. Although the list could be endless let me share with you some of the comparisons Judy and I came up with.
Cornelius Vanderbilt II was wealthy and respected, while Jesus was not thought highly of and He had no place to lay his head – John 1:46: Matthew 8:20
Cornelius Vanderbilt II died and his DNA tells us that he is in the grave, while Jesus died and the lack of His DNA tells us that his grave is empty – Matthew 28:6
The Vanderbilt family, although rich, influential, and powerful, their life was not without sorrow and pain, while when we reach our final home, all pain and suffering is gone – Revelation 21:4
Although Cornelius Vanderbilt II had millions of dollars available to build this “summer home” he still was limited, while our resources are unlimited – 1 Timothy 6:17
One of the Vanderbilt girls hated the family money because she felt that she would only be loved for her money, while we are loved not because of anything we have to offer God – Isaiah 64:6, Romans 5:8
Judy and I needed our GPS to find the Vanderbilt home, while Jesus is our GPS home – John 14:6
Cornelius Vanderbilt II had the greatest minds and greatest talents of his time to build and decorate his home, while have the greatest mind and greatest talent of all time building ours – John 14:2-3
The Breakers although an amazing work and home, it is consistently needing repair and upkeep, while our home in heaven will never need repairs or an upgrade – Revelation 21
Compared to my earthly home this mansion looks unattainable, while this mansion does not even compare to what God has in store for me – 1 Corinthians 2:9
There is a foundation trying to raise funds to continue funding this mansion and others like it, while, those that know Christ as their personal savior, our home is paid in full forever – 1 Corinthians 7:23, 1 Peter 1:18-21
Enjoy what God has given you here on earth but make sure you don’t live for it. What we have now will one day be gone but if we live for God, what we will have in the future will last forever! Jesus probably did not have Vanderbilt’s “Breaker” Mansion in mind when He said this, but He did have you and me in mind…. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:20-21
And Paul says it is a great idea to follow Jesus’ advice because it will payoff for all eternity…. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:25
If you envy what the world has, it you are motivated to get more, then just remember; our day is coming…. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18