March 5, 2012
Would you allow me a little bit of confession? I’ve heard it’s good for the soul.
You can tell a professional fisherman by the brief time it takes him to clean his catch. For the casual recreational fisherman, it’s like a high school biology exercise to perform the task. I’m like the pro with a local newspaper: I can gut a city rag in about 10 seconds, with the color ads, Sports Section and classified advertisements all in the can before the remaining 60% (by weight) is readable.
Not the Wall Street Journal. Every page, for me, is likely to have some treasure that can be carried away for unintended use. Even the Classifieds grab my attention with WSJ…
That happened on Friday, with a large-spread color photo covered with the headline: A French Chateau in Texas(if that isn’t enough irony to get you to linger, you need more caffeine!).
Shirley and Alan Goldfield spent a year to design and five years to build their dream house on 39 acres. In 2000, they moved in. With only 48,000-square-feet, the two of them have squeaked-by with her two-story closet, their two elevators, and the two-lane bowling alley. Just 32 miles from downtown Dallas, it is a little bit of Louis XIV in the land of Louis L’Amour. It was their “dream home,” but they put it on the market two years after they occupied it.
Built for $46 million, it was listed in 2002 for $69.9 million, a year after Mr. Goldfield retired as the CEO of CellStar Corporation, a cell phone distributor. They’ve played caretaker as they’ve tried to sell it for 10 years; it’s now set for auction on March 30th with a reserve of $10.3 million.
Why sell? “I want a quiet lifestyle,” explains Mrs. Goldfield. Built for entertaining – the third floor ballroom, with catering kitchen attached, is comfortable for 150, while 450 can mingle on the veranda – they now prefer to spend their time at their Colorado condo.
“I won’t miss the responsibility of taking care of it,” she explained to the WSJ reporter. “The more you have in life, the more you have to take care of it.” (If you want to bid, contact Sotheby’s.)
All that space, for just two folks. This week, my wife Cheri is in Johannesburg, South Africa (with six women) visiting her “second homes.” She was introduced to Ryan and Gerda Audagnotti through their time in The Master’s Program in Southern California; they are ex-pat South African business people who saw the problem of children orphaned by the HIV/AIDs crisis in their homeland as a Kingdom opportunity, and launched Acres of Love as a group home solution to the need. “Forever families” place committed house parents – some with kids of their own – in a house then filled with abandoned kids with no other place to receive the care God intended for them.
I’m proud of my wife: she’s the living example of what I challenge in TMP. Over the last seven years, she has found her ‘Calling’ in helping Ryan and Gerda grow Acres from four homes to 23, serving hundreds of kids on behalf of the God who loves them. Cheri takes women – usually one group each year, mostly wives of TMPers – to experience Africa with a group of mission-minded gals who have a mother’s heart and a Kingdom vision. They return home, ready to help in supporting an initiative that spans the global distance and connects American capacity with Kingdom engagement.
What a world: a French Chateau in Texas, with no one to live in it. And, modest but comfortable single family homes in South Africa filled with parentless kids, making a house a household of faith.
We have family members and younger friends who have made adoption part of their mission. For us – as “oldies” – we’ve adopted a couple housefuls, and help to provide their support from nine time zones away…
So, a shout-out to my hero-of-the-week, my longsuffering bride. I love you, Cheri; see you next week!