Who Do You Listen to?

We are in the process of getting estimates on repairs for our house. I think the house has grown to hate me.  Much like me, it’s starting to fall apart and we would like to stop it before it tumbles down around us. This Old House could feature us for years to come if they would just answer my letters.  The builders did not pay attention to the little song I learned in Sunday School as a kid. The wise man built his house upon the rock…. and the house on the rock stood firm.  You see, phosphate was mined in our subdivision before houses were constructed.  They just patted the dirt down when they were through mining and started building.  We have already had the exciting opportunity to firm up our foundation on one side and now the other side of our home has decided that it needs some structural as well as financial support.  On top of this, the original siding on the house, a “wonderful” product called masonite, needs to be replaced.  I’ve tried to patch it for several years to get by because this product is no longer available but now the patch spots out number the “good” spots.  We basically need to start from scratch.  If that wasn’t enough, we learned that any window work should “really be preformed’ before siding so they can be properly sealed. So… we have had an endless parade of experts inspecting, giving estimates, and advising us on the work we need to have done.  I’m rapidly approaching the point of information overload.  Hardie board or vinyl siding.  Vinyl replacement windows or new construction widows while the siding is off.  Jack up the foundation or blow the whole thing up.  Aa-a-a-h!  Maybe the aborigines people have the right idea and Sherry and I should just go on a walkabout and the answers will reveal themselves.  When you are getting all sorts of advice, some of which seems to be contradictory, who do you listen to?

The dictionary defines advice as guidance or recommendations offered with regard to prudent future action.   Prudent is the key word here.  Let me share a little story about making sure you are listening to the right people that are offering advise.   It all began on a Saturday evening when our son was attending a concert by one of his friends.  As fond as we were of his friend, we did not attend the jam because I think the genre of music was not exactly our cup of tea.  I believe the style could best be described as screamo.  This entailed lots of bodies flinging themselves around the stage while screaming at decibel levels usually reserved for natural disasters or inside jet engines.  Apparently the really “good” screamo bands can cause minor bleeding from the ears.  I have no idea how his statement was heard above the uh… music, but another of his friends realized that our son had inquired about some type of ear protection.   This is where the story begins to go all wrong.  Just like us, our son received advice.  Before proceeding in hind sight, he should have asked the question:  Who should I listen to?  Although his friend did not have a degree in sound engineering, our son followed his advise to stuff wet toilet paper in his ears.  If you’ve ever dealt with wet toilet paper,  you have probably recognized that it is not known for its tensile strength.  This fatal flaw in his friend’s advise did not become apparent until the wet toilet paper began to cause pain in our son’s ear.  His efforts to extricate the “sound muffler” proved fruitless at which point he made a call to our home.  His mother and I picked him up at church but fearing that we might damage his ear drum decided a trip to the emergency room was in order.  Since he was on my insurance I was forced to at least register him into the ER, however when he was called back to triage his complaint, I told him, “You’re on your own, Bud.”  Please don’t think me a heartless parent but he had graduated from high school at this point and there come a time when you do something stupid, you need to man up to your own stupidity.  He was released after the offending paper was finally removed and given a prescription for some ear drops to deal with the pain.  Oh, by the way, the physician gave him the advise that in the future, the proper target for toilet paper was much lower. He ought to know because he graduated from medical school.

Now back to our question about who do we listen to.  To date, none of our home improvement gurus have proposed either wet or dry toilet paper as a solution to our house dilemmas.   If they did, we would at least know who not to listen to.  We will have to do our due diligence in research, pray, and ask God to help us be the best stewards with our finances. Listening to Him is always prudent.


Wisdom and strength belong to God; counsel and understanding are His.


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