Christmas Lessons

With fires and family situations, something is becoming even more true to me.   Money means so little…..

A friend just emailed me that our mutual friend who lives in Paris (in the old Hemingway apartment and one she bought next to it so she could make a larger one$$) and has already lost her two daughters to a car accident years ago and illness recently is now facing losing her home in Santa Barbara.  She was born very wealthy.  Her family just sold the family estate in Montecito because the Matriarch died this year and it’s now in the immediate path of the Thomas Fire…also, four homes owned by various of her family members are in truly imminent danger of burning.

Relatives of mine are extremely wealthy, they have adult children and they can’t be together for Christmas because the kids aren’t speaking.  They weren’t together for Thanksgiving and won’t be all together at Christmas.  All of us are so very sad.

As I was thinking about how all the money in these two situations doesn’t make them happy, I saw this, just posted on FaceBook, by a friend:   It’s long but worth the read;

Take my Son…..

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art..When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands..

He said, ‘Sir, you don’t know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly… He often talked about you, and your love for art.’ The young man held out this package. ‘I know this isn’t much. I’m not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.’

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture.. ‘Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It’s a gift.’

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.

On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. ‘We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?’   There was silence…

Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, ‘We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.’  But the auctioneer persisted. ‘Will somebody bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?’

Another voice angrily. ‘We didn’t come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Gogh’s, the Rembrandts. Get on with the Real bids!’  But still the auctioneer continued. ‘The son! The son! Who’ll take the son?’

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. ‘I’ll give $10 for the painting…’ Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.

‘We have $10, who will bid $20?’ ‘Give it to him for $10. Let’s see the masters.’
The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the picture of the son.
They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.

The auctioneer pounded the gavel.. ‘Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!’

A man sitting on the second row shouted, ‘Now let’s get on with the collection!’  The auctioneer laid down his gavel. ‘I’m sorry, the auction is over.’

What about the paintings?’‘ I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will… I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings.

The man who took the son gets everything!’

God gave His son over 2,000 years ago to die on the Cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: ‘The Son, the Son, who’ll take the Son?’

Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything!


Money means little………Love means everything.

*Thanks for posting this, Patti….

This entry was posted in Christianity, holiday, Z family. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Christmas Lessons

  1. Great story.
    I’ll take the Son.
    I’m glad He’ll have me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mustang says:

    The story is thought-provoking and I thank you for posting it. I often wonder: shall we follow the teachings of the Son of God because of His promise of everlasting life, or shall we set aside our selfishness and follow Him because of His goodness and the rightness of His message?


  3. bocopro says:

    In the original STAR TREK series, Kirk encounters a planet on which the people apparently worship a “sun” god, but in the denouement it’s revealed that the “sun” is actually “Son,” a clear implication of the universality of a creator whose son is offered as salvation to those who believe.

    The great irony in it was that both Spock and Kirk were Jewish (not sure if they were fully observant), and Roddenberry was known to be pretty much agnostic. Of course Jesus was a rabbi, and Paul was a non-believer, so there’s that.

    Star Trek was light years ahead of its time, exploring themes and issues others tended to avoid as too controversial, anathematic to sponsors and ratings. It basically introduced the idea of voice-activated computers, PDAs, cellfones, teleportation, and anti-matter to the general public.

    It also featured a multi-racial cast, including a black WOMAN OFFICER (of all things!), an alien second-in-command (cleverly introduced as half human to lessen the culture shock), a Japanese, and a Russian.

    Some credit it with the first on-screen bi-racial kiss (Shatner and Nichols), though that’s disputed, and explored numerous delicate civil-rights issues. The episode with the characters black on one side and white on the other was very timely, IMO, and brutally clear in its condemnation of ingrained prejudice.

    Preposterous in many ways, and basically nothing more than updated plots from old western shoot-em-ups set in futuristic space, it was groundbreaking in just as many ways and spawned several industries as well as some pretty good full-length movies and very stirring music.


  4. bunkerville says:

    Perfect story for this time of year…. 🙂


  5. Baysider says:

    That’s it! I’ll take the Son. I’ve been through the “family feuds” but thankfully it only lasted about 5 years. Money serves a wonderful purpose, and I don’t want to lose my little ‘estate’ any more than anyone, but let it be servant, not master.


  6. geeez2014 says:

    Mustang, I follow Him for who He is. I literally shudder when people tell they’re ‘saved’ and, therefore, they’re ‘done now.’ it’s all covered! No….

    bunkerville, thanks, I thought so, too.

    bocopro…people have worshipped the wrong thing for years.
    I’m no Trekkie fan, that’s for SURE.


  7. Baysider says:

    Yeah, ‘saving’ is the beginning! You will love Chris Yuan’s perspective on that. He really connects with young people, btw. He speaks at Greg Koukl’s student apologetic reTHINK conferences.

    I’m going to Carlsbad tomorrow. Will stop by bakery and hopefully see you if the croissants aren’t gone when I get there. 🙂


  8. Kid says:

    Great Story Z.

    bocopro, I was 2 sentences or so into your comment and immediately thought of the two black and white characters.


  9. Mal says:

    Good story, Z. But how come we always hear about unhappy wealthy folks and happy poor people? How about the happy wealthy and unhappy poor? Lots of them, also, but never hear about them, do we? Somehow, money helps being miserable a little bit easier to take!


  10. geeez2014 says:

    Mal, I think we hear about the happy wealthy and unhappy poor CONSTANTLY. Just watch the news. Don’t forget, it’s those ‘awful happy wealthy’ people keeping the ‘unhappy poor’ poor…just see the coverage of the new tax bill 🙂

    Baysider..YIPPEE!! I’m glad Yuan connects with young people; I grieve that his lifestyle becomes more and more normal for they who are on the fence and used to choose heterosexuality if nothing else because it was more accepted. It isn’t anymore.


  11. geeez2014 says:

    bAYSIDER…by the way, the “yippee” is about the croissants 🙂 Not Yuan!! I read it again and felt it might be construed as “yippee” sarcasm!!!


  12. Kid says:

    MAL, I’d be much happier with more money. Then I was born poor so maybe that is the difference. This story talks about people born into wealthy families.


  13. geeez2014 says:

    All I’m saying is that money is never everything…………that’s all 🙂


  14. Kid says:

    Z, yes, I’d say health comes 1st on the list.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Mal says:

    I don’t covet what others have. In fact, I still believe a TRUE democracy would tax everyone at the same rate, regardless of the amount. The wealthy automatically will pay more. Say 10% for everyone. (If 10% is good enough for God (tithing), it should be good enough for the government). But I guess I’m simply an idealist ’cause I know it’ll never happen.


  16. Kid says:

    MAL, or a federal sales tax. The big cats would also pay more by the math. Regardless, the government is an internal combustion engine, it is going to take in whatever amount of fuel and air it can get away with.


  17. geeez2014 says:

    Kid, HEALTH, hands down the first, most important thing.

    Kid and Mal…Has federal sales tax ever been seriously considered in Congress? I like that…talk about huge intake to bring the deficit down..?
    I don’t mind an internal combustion engine of government as long as that engine keeps its people happy and prosperous; infrastructure good, wars fought quick and hard, etc!!


  18. Baysider says:

    Federal sales tax in … 16th amendment out!


  19. Kid says:

    Z, Bay, As indicated I believe the gov is going to take what it wants. I do however favor a federal sales tax. At least we can then decide how much we want to pay versus what we want to buy. And in full disclosure, there isn’t much I/we want to buy at this point, so that would be in our favor.


  20. Brig says:

    Good story Z. I’m not wealthy but have friends that are and they are just as troubled by family matters as those of us who aren’t wealthy.


  21. Mal says:

    “Meanwhile, back at the ranch,” the stock market continues to reach new highs, something that has to be aggravating the crap out of the left. There is nothing they can say to counter the confidence of the American people. Then there is the low unemployment figures.
    So rave on, supercilious twits, Trump prevails!


  22. Mal says:

    We don’t need another tax (federal sales tax) as suggested because even put in place on a temporary basis would eventually become permanent so they could spend even more. What we need is to cut all unnecessary spending which means immediately balancing the budget FOR THE CURRENT YEAR. if we did that, it would force Congress to cut everything until it balanced. THEN, they could start addressing the long road to repaying the 20 trillion dollars which I can’t even imagine ever being possible. Or even 20 billion. Heck. Make that 20 million for that matter!
    We simply are not self disciplined.


  23. Kid says:

    MAL, My federal sales tax would replace the entire current tax system, and again, the gov is going to take what it wants so big whup on any new ideas really.

    Yes Exactly, this country has a Spending Problem. WIll government do anything about it? Will your local podunk school district reduce spending? Hell no, if you vote down their tax increase they’ll add it to property taxes. It is time for pitchforks if anything is to be done.


  24. Mal says:

    AMEN, KID!


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