X Marks the Spot

Materialism is hard to break free from, especially in our affluent culture. Even those of us who have very little are wealthy compared to a great deal of the world’s population. Wealth isn’t bad. It has the potential to do great good! If we would but use it … to help someone in need, to spread the gospel, to demonstrate the depths of our love. (And yes, I am very much speaking to myself!)

Today Valerie Comer, contributor to Rainbow’s End, reminds us to focus on true and lasting treasures.

X Marks the Spot

Who among us doesn’t get a little thrill at seeing a treasure map? We may not know what’s buried there, but it must be valuable, right? And so we set out, following the clues, hoping the treasure is worth it when we get there.

When my kids were little, we’d set up little hunts for their birthdays and Easter. Sometimes even for Christmas if they were receiving a large gift that wouldn’t fit under the tree. For a pre-reader, I’d draw two or three simple clues, like a basic potted plant with an x at the base. Beside the (real) plant, I’d set another piece of paper, this one with a different drawing, like a spoon, fork, and knife in a row. When they got to the silverware drawer, there’d be yet another clue, this time leading them to the treasure.

Clues for early readers are simple words for them to sound out. Then actual riddles they had to think about. When our kids got smarter than their parents, we gave up.

With each clue discovered and solved, excitement mounted. That treasure had better be worth all the hype!

These days adults get in on the action with geocaching, which is the practice of using a GPS (global positioning system) machine to zero in on a cache whose coordinates are found online. The true reward is spending time hiking outdoors and practicing our wilderness skills.

But these fortunes are only temporary. Will it matter in eternity what we valued here on earth? We spend so much of our time and energy wrapped up in the day-to-day we sometimes lose sight of the eternal. The only treasures we can take with us into heaven are souls. We know this. But do we act like it?

Matthew 6:19-21: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Valerie Comer‘s wealth can be found in her husband, kids and granddaughters. Her debut novella, “Topaz Treasure,” part of Rainbow’s End (May 2012, Barbour Publishing), is a contemporary romance in which the characters take part in a fictional church geocaching event. . .and learn what true treasure is all about.

Rainbow’s End (4-in-1 collection published by Barbour, May 1, 2012):

Join a geocaching adventure in the spectacular Lake of the Ozarks wilderness, with Lyssa, the reluctant volunteer whose former nemesis is now her chief sponsor; Madison, a city girl paired with an outdoorsy guy who gets on her very last nerve; cautious Reagan, who meets an equally cautious guy; and Hadley, who doesn’t know enough about guys to realize she’s met a womanizer. Will they find the treasure they’re looking for … or something else entirely?

“Topaz Treasure” (first novella in Rainbow’s End) by Valerie Comer

Closet believer Lyssa Quinn steps out of her comfort zone to help coordinate the Rainbow’s End geocaching hunt her church is using as an outreach event. She’s not expecting her former humanities prof–young, handsome, anti-Christian Kirk Kennedy–to be at the Lake of the Ozarks at all, let along in a position to provide sponsorship to the treasure hunt. How can she trust someone who once shredded her best friend’s faith?

Kirk’s treasure hunt takes him down a path he hadn’t intended as he searches for opportunities to connect with Lyssa and her intriguing sparkle. How can he convince Lyssa there is more than one kind of treasure? And can she remind him of the greatest prize of all?

Buy Rainbow’s End: (various links)
http://valeriecomer.com/bookshelf/fiction/rainbows-end/

Read my review here.

Valerie Comer‘s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie grows much of her own food and is active in the local food movement as well as her church. She only hopes her imaginary friends enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, gardening and geocaching with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters. Check out her website and blog at http://valeriecomer.com.

Connect at:
• Website: http://valeriecomer.com
• Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/valeriecomer.author
• Twitter: http://twitter.com/valeriecomer
• Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/valeriecomer
• Blog: http://valeriecomer.com/blog
• Blog: http://romancingamerica.com

Let’s talk about this!

We’ve all heard the story of the widow who gave all she had, and oh, how we admire her! But then, we skim off our plenty, pat ourselves on the back, and go about our privileged lives. Or we see a video on hurricane victims and war refugees, offer a quick prayer, then pass by the refugees in our own neighborhood … so we can make it to our hair appointment or to catch that next sale.

And I’m speaking to myself. God continually shows me the needs of His children–many in my own backyard. Each day He offers me a choice. I can stop and be a conduit of His love and an instrument of His grace, or I can make a thousand excuses as to why I really don’t have the time/money/resources to help.

How about you? When was the last time you gave enough that it hurt? (Not just of your money, but of your time.) If it’s been a while, how can you take steps to change that?

Join us at Living by Grace as we talk about radical obedience and living our faith out loud.

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11 thoughts on “X Marks the Spot

  1. This is a hard one Jennifer and it makes me feel uncomfortable…and when I feel that way, I know something has “hit home”! When will I ever truely live like I say I believe? Thank you for giving me something very important to think about. It really was the X that hit the spot!

    • Audrey, me, too! God’s really driving this home to me today–and showing me how much I fall short of His perfect love. I am tempted to say, “Praise God for grace”, but as true as grace may be, God still expects more from me.

      Have a blessed, be-a-blessing day, sweet sister!

  2. I’m going to write down your comment…”but as true as grace may be, God still expects more from me.” It is very powerful and speaks to my loudly! I really appreciate the time and thought that you put into your blog. God bless you.

  3. Pingback: Where Am I? | Valerie Comer

    • Valerie, thank you for sharing your message. I loved your phrase “the only treasures we can take with us into heaven are souls”. Why do I forget my soul and worry about everything else? This whole blog post today really has me thinking, and I thank both of you for that.
      God bless you,
      Audrey

      • Audrey, being a writer is very interesting. We take all kinds of bits from the backs of our brains and use them to create characters and themes, etc. It isn’t until afterward that we realize the real message behind our stories. I knew Rainbow’s End was about treasure hunting–it features a geocache hunt, after all. But I had to dig so much more into those ideas when writing guest posts and interviews. God has been teaching me a lot through it all, too.

      • I agree Valerie, I have discovered things about myself through my writing that I never realized before. I’m 63, and I’m finally starting to put it all together. The process of writing has become a gift to myself and my spiritual development. Again, thanks to you and Jennifer!

  4. What a beautiful post! It reminds me of the Bible verse in 2 Corinthians 4:18 “For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

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