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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Family Home (05/29/08)

By Kenneth Heath


Storm Haven

`A home is a house, where Love abounds. We named our home “Storm Haven” because it is a place of refuge, a “Hebron”. It is situated on a hill, with high white walls, tall trees and a panoramic view of the beautiful African landscape below. It is a sanctuary, a small oasis of peace and quiet, in this troubled world. Within its walls, gurgling water features abound, wild birds sing in cheerful song, and a large swimming pool brings welcome relief on those hot summer days. The assorted fruit trees enable one to pluck fresh fruit as you meander down the many garden paths, and the large plate glass windows welcome in the fiery sunrise, and usher in the beautiful sunsets, that expose the starry night skies.

There is a plaque out side our front door that reads; “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Upon entering you will find a sense of tranquility or calm, a peace that transcends the hustle and bustle of the world outside. So “thick” is this presence that you can literally cut it with a knife. Some call it love, but I like to think of it as “the sweet presence of Jesus.” You see, when Jesus became Lord of our lives many years ago, “Love” entered through the front door and has never left. It is His peace that fills our home and welcomes the weary as they enter.

Friends and family know us as the “happy family”, because in spite of what the storms of life have thrown at us (and trust me when I say, we have weathered many fierce and violent “storms”), we are still able to smile and happily give God all the glory.

Silence is foreign to us. Music flows from every room, the Parrots screech at passers by and the dogs greet strangers with their warning barks. As our children grew up they played their favorite music, from the “Psalty” children’s “sing a longs”, then “Carman”, Keith Green, Michael Smith and “Hill Songs.” You name it and they listened to it, normally all at the same time, bringing forth a cacophony of sound, blasting forth from their rooms. Happy sounds, music that brought calm and joy to us all.

The kitchen has a special place in our hearts. Much experimentation in the culinary world has taken place there, from the wonderful smells of freshly baked muffins and the Sunday roast, to the horrible smells of the unexpected culinary disasters. It is a place to gather, make a cup of tea or coffee and catch up on the day’s events. One could say it is the hub of the home.

From there we spread out, doing our various chores or finding sanctuary in our rooms as we prepare for a new day. I spend many hours working in my study, a place where I expose the real me. The walls are filled with pictures, posters, photos, memories and funny sayings that I enjoy. The bookshelves are crammed to overflowing with Christian literature, motorcycle magazines and more.

We have an alcove where my wife and I have our quiet times, special moments, where we pray together or just relax with a cup of coffee. The key to any good marriage is communication and we spend hours talking there. “Love”, obviously is the cornerstone to a happy home and is something we took for granted, until one-day friends invited us to their home.

They said to us, “We want what you’ve got!” We were dumbstruck and a little embarrassed, as we did not know how to answer them. They were “born again, spirit filled Christians” and yet their home life was in conflict. In my limited human wisdom I could not see why they did not have a home like ours. In fact, I thought that every Christian home was like ours. Then their solution came to me.

You have to make Jesus Lord of every area of your life. You have to determine as we had done, that “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Your home life cannot be in conflict with your Church life. Jesus must be given full reign in all areas, so invite him into your house, and discover a peace that surpasses all understanding filling it, turning it into a home, a ”Hebron”, a refuge for you and others to enjoy. It’s Christ’s abiding presence, that make’s a house, a home!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Deborah Engle 06/05/08
I want what you have.
Norma-Anne Hough06/06/08
How often my friends have I not sought out peace in your "Storm Haven". Bless you for sharing not only your home but your hearts.
Love Norms
Beth LaBuff 06/06/08
I like your names "Storm Haven" and "Hebron". My kids listened to the "Psalty" tapes too… the songs were great. I liked that you included the "Parrots screech" and "dogs greet stranger" in your "music flows from every room". What a fun, welcoming home. Excellent advice and wisdom for a godly home in this.
Jan Ackerson 06/07/08
Your home sounds wonderful! I'm an empty-nester now, but your home sounds like ours when the children were younger. Very nice.

Take a look at the number of times you use quotation marks. Almost all of them can be eliminated without changing the meaning of your sentences, and it'll give your piece a less cluttered look. Quite frequently, quotation marks indicate that you're using irony or sarcasm, and it undermines what you're trying to say.

Very nice descriptions in this entry.