Constant Amazement

Just as fitting, this particular post could well have been named Continuing Lessons in God’s Economy.

It certainly is no secret that our economy is, at the least, a bit troubled right now. Banks in trouble, government bailouts, record unemployment levels and a stock market behaving like Chicken Little.

And the whole mess triggered by massive failures in the mortgage industry.

So – we bought a house.

In the middle of the housing crisis, right in the middle of one of the country’s hotspots for foreclosure.

Since moving to Indianapolis several years ago, we had rented a house on the west side of the city in one of the outskirt communities. When we first moved here, we noticed that there was an alarming number of houses for sale in the Indy area.

And that sure seemed to smack of an unstable market to us. So we made the decision to rent.

About a year ago, our landlord defaulted on his mortgage and the bank began the foreclosure process. We managed to contact the attorneys handling the foreclosure and they agreed that our continued presence in the house would help to protect the bank’s property. The initial filing for the foreclosure process started in March of this year.

As the process was winding down, we knew we would have to move.

Talking with our next-door neighbor, we asked if their landlord had any other rental homes. That’s how we met Barry.

Barry came by and told us that he didn’t have any other rentals available, but that he would be happy to help us find a house to buy. Aside from a few rentals, Barry made his living as a realtor. More importantly, he was a Christian and sincerely dedicated to serving his clients. ( Was this a chance encounter? No. Remember – nothing “just” happens.)

We weren’t particularly interested in buying. If you’ve followed this blog at all, then you know about a couple of the incidents that have occurred (you can read about it here, and here).

Aside from the enormous spiritual growth brought about from these incidents, there were some pretty dire financial consequences as well. Huge medical bills for stuff not covered by our insurance (thank you, Hillary – but that’s a topic for another time).

Paying off those expenses had been a strain and several accounts had gone into collection. While we had always paid our obligations, we also knew that these collections had probably not been good for our credit rating.

So, we didn’t pursue the purchase option. After all, if you watched the news, it was almost impossible to get a mortgage today. Instead, we just concentrated on trying to find another rental.

And we did. Finally finding a place that would suit us, we agreed to sign a lease and get the move over with.

As we were literally walking out the front door to go sign the lease, Barry pulled into our driveway. Explaining our credit concerns to him, coupled with the fact that getting a mortgage was all but impossible, he nevertheless convinced us to take a few minutes and go meet with the mortgage company he used.

We sat across from the loan officer as she entered our information into her computer system and then submitted it.

Instant approval. Time to go house shopping.

Barry sold us on the idea of looking for a HUD house. It seems that Indianapolis (and the state of Indiana in general) was loaded with HUD foreclosed houses. As a result, HUD had some pretty interesting programs designed to move these properties.

We were “first-time buyers” under their program. That just meant that we hadn’t owned a home in the last 3 years. As a result, HUD had a real promotion available. Buy a house for $100.00 down – and HUD will pay you a $1,000.00 bonus at the closing. Pretty hard to beat.

After looking at 20 or so houses, we finally found one that we liked. Situated in a neighborhood about a mile from where we lived, the house was in a subdivision of houses that sold from $120 – 170,000. (You can still buy a lot of house in Indy for under $200K.)

The house was 6 years old, 2 stories with about 2300 sq ft (+ garage) and HUD’s asking price was $99K – it was priced to sell.

As we sat down with Barry to prepare our bid for the house, we had a lot of discussion as to what would be the best way to approach the bid process. As Barry and my wife were discussing possible bids to enter, I blurted out –

$96,210.00. (Now where did that come from?)

And that was our bid. We entered it on the last day of the bid process. The following morning we got word from Barry that we were the successful bidders.

(About 2 weeks later, I checked the HUD website – just out of curiosity. We were the successful bidder by $160.00.)

We moved in the first week of October.

Shortly after moving in, my wife and I were discussing the amazing twists and turns we had just gone through in winding up in the new house.

It was then that I mentioned to her that I had this really strong urge to host a Bible study in our new house. Her jaw dropped and she looked at me and said, “You too?”


It’s so easy sometimes for us to forget that God wants to bless His children, even in the small things. I’m the first to admit that it wasn’t until the last few weeks of this experience that we really began to seek the Lord’s guidance in directing our course.

Even though we didn’t think we were “hearing” His response, the incredible timing and the subtle, yet amazing, twists and turns that we wound up taking were clear evidence that He was involved in even the smallest details.

Throughout this process there were timetables that seemed impossible to meet, schedules and concerns that simply couldn’t be handled.

Once we  recognized that we in the midst of experiencing God’s favor, we just stepped back and watched in amazement as every timetable, every schedule, every deadline and concern just melted away. The incredible timing of every event left us shaking our heads in wonder. The timing was never early – it was always just in time.

We really need to get better at getting out of the way.


  1. Congratulations!

    HUD homes are an awesome way to go – doing it in God’s direction is even better! 🙂

    I’m excited to hear what God has planned for you in your new home!

  2. Peter, thanks for stopping in. We were a bit skeptical at first – let’s just say that some of the places we saw were “interesting.”

    And we’re excited as well to see God’s plan unfold. It seems like He’s always up to something.

    God Bless.

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