When most of us think of a house, we take a conventional structure for granted. However, as you will see, this is not always the case. Let’s take a look at two kinds of material with which people have built actual houses, and then look at their reasons for doing so.
First of all, Elis Stenman built a house out of newspapers in 1922. They say he was an engineer, but I don’t think I’d like him to design anything for me.
Aside from the wooden frame, the entire house was built out of discarded newspaper–except for the roof and floor, which he glied together with a flour-and-water paste. He apparently rolled and varnished these areas to keep them from turning to mush.
From the outside, people say this oddly-built structure looks like an ordinary log cabin. Despite its appearance, though, some of the paper is peeling off, and I wonder what will happen if a strong wind comes up.
As if that wasn’t enough, Elis also made most of his furnishings out of discarded newspaper. That makes me wonder what he wore when he sat down, and how his weight was supported.
One theory for his building this house was to highlight the waste in our society. While that sounds noble, others among his family and friends admit that they have no clue why he did this. Was it a hobby, as some propose? I really don’t know. I’ve certainly been scratching my head. But I do know that if he ever got bored, he would have had plenty of reading material.
So if you’re looking for a good vacation spot, I might have just the answer for you. Why settle for something routine when you can actually visit the paper house? It’s located in Rockport, MA. Best of all, there are daily self-guided tours. So make your travel plans between April and October, and don’t forget to tell them Tim sent you.
Next, here’s something new for you to consider. I’m talking about the snappable wonder of the world. If you haven’t heard about it, I’d like to know where you’ve been. It’s BBC presenter James May’s full-size LEGO house.
Two stories and 20 feet tall, it was constructed from 3.3 million LEGO bricks, with the help of about 1,000 volunteers. It boasted working plumbing and a hot shower.
James actually lived in the house for a while, and slept on the uncomfortable LEGO bed. There was even a pet cat made of LEGOs. The article went on to say that ever since childhood, Mr. May’s dream had always been to build a LEGO house.
In this case, you might not want to change your vacation plans just yet. The house, once located in the UK, has been torn down, and the blocks will be given to charity. (Strangely, however, the cat has gone missing.)
As I write this last sentence, the wise old owl outside my open window perks up. “Okay,” he says. “Now it’s my turn!”
“I guess so,” I smirk, “but what can you add?”
After a moment’s silence, he asks me this question: “Who built your House?”
Not prepared for this, I ask him to explain. He slowly answers, “Read 1 Peter 2:5.”
And with that, he flies away.
Disgusted, I try to think about something else, but I can’t shake the spirit of unrest and agitation. Finally, I throw up my hands in despair, and open my Bible.
1 Peter 2:5 reads, “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
While pondering this verse, I wonder what it means to be a living stone, and I decide to read the full chapter. I notice that Jesus was also referred to as a living stone in the preceeding verse, so I begin at–you guessed it–the beginning.
The first verse of Chapter 1 reminds me of a dump truck, and I envision the filth departing from my life as God searches my heart. The next verse tells me to desire or crave His Word, because it will help me to grow.
Then I move on to verse 3, which uses the metaphor of taste. I reason that although they might taste good, you can’t live on burgers alone. Just as a child needs proper nutrition for healthy growth to take place, I realize that I’ve been building with newspapers and LEGOs of my own. The house I build with them may look cool and draw people’s attention, but it will soon fall apart.
Considering this still further, I resolve to take action, and verse 4 tells me how to do this. I need to come to Jesus–the living stone–who was treasured by God. Peter is telling me that my life should be all about pleasing God, and in order to do this, I have to dig for eternal treasure. After all, verse 5 says that I am also a living stone.
Having worked in construction, it isn’t hard for me to imagine this. I can also imagine the spiritual house that God wants to build out of my life. But I realize that I have been busy doing the building, instead of giving God the honor and the glory.
So, asking for forgiveness, I read the rest of the verse. It talks about being holy, or complete before God. As I reflect more on the context of this verse, I find that the spiritual sacrifice Peter spoke about means ordering my life by His Word.
I now offer you the same question which the owl posed to me, because it has changed my life. But along with this, I also ask a question of my own. If God isn’t building your house, are you? If so, newspapers and LEGOs will be your result. God wants to give you spiritual riches, but in order to obtain them you, too, have to dig for them.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 6:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 313-209-8800. Our PIN is 8699032. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.