Introduction
Bringing God's WORD to the World
What is Life Changers Bible Fellowship?

    Rev. Melvin Springfield wants to share his 50 years of ministry experience with YOU, and one of the ways to accomplish this is through this website, and the many Self-Study courses available to you and others worldwide.

Through these 50 years of ministry, Dr. Springfield has served as pastor of four churches (three of which he and his wife founded and established), serving these congregations for a period of more than 38 years.  He has ministered as an evangelist, a Bible College teacher, author of several books and articles, and guest speaker at International Pastor's Training Seminars in Canada, Brazil, as well as across the United States. 

Through all this, he has seen the amazing Life Changes that have come to those who have surrendered themselves to the awesome saving power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  From this, of course, has come the name Life Changers Bible Fellowship.

Here's what "Life Changers" is all about...
1.  We exalt Jesus Christ and His Word,
2.  We provide easy access to solid Biblical teaching for all who are hungry for more of the Word of God,
3.  We provide access to ministry and study tools , and
4.  We strengthen those who are beginning their ministry journey with Godly mentoring and direction.
    ______________________________
   

Our Email address is: Springfield99@aol.com

Our mailing address is:
Life Changers Bible Fellowship
411 W. Main Street
Henderson, Tennessee 38340 USA

Please tell your friends about this website!  What they find here could change their lives too!
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths"
Prov. 3:5-6
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This Internet website is sponsored entirely by those whose lives have been changed by the Awesome Gospel of Jesus Christ, and are living treasures of His Amazing Grace.  If your life has also been changed by the Grace of God we invite you to help with the support of this Internet ministry.
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     Pastor Melvin &
      Kay Springfield


The 
       AUCTION
      
A fiction short story
by Melvin Springfield

They all called him “Old Joe”.  I never knew his family name – just “Old Joe”, and he always seemed fine with that.  He’d been around forever, it seems, living in the tiny whitewashed house, with the peeling paint and broken front steps.

Once a week Old Joe would slowly walk, with the help of his cane, to the small corner store to buy bread and a few other items, and if I’d happen to see him, I’d wave and shout “Hello!”  The old man would pause, smile beneath that old grey shaggy mustache and scruffy beard, and then continue his slow shuffle along the edge of the narrow street.

Then, we didn’t see the old man for a couple of days.  “Has anybody seen Old Joe?”   When nobody had said they had seen him, a couple of us thought we’d better check on him. Along with a local policeman, we hurried to the old man’s house.  We found Old Joe – forever asleep on the old iron frame bed.  He died there, probably simply went to sleep and slipped into that “other world” of the unknown. 

He had no living family, so the county buried the old man.  There were only six of us at the simple grave-side service, and it seemed that something special broke inside me.  I would miss Old Joe. I really would.

To pay for his funeral, the county auctioned off the old house and the few worn-out pieces of furniture the old man had.  I didn’t want any of the stuff, but I kind of felt obligated to buy something – so I bid $1 on an old wooden box of rusty tools, broken dishes, and junk. 

“SOLD!” the auctioneer quickly shouted, and pointed in my direction.   The handful of people standing around laughed lightly.  I walked over, paid my dollar, and carried the dusty box to the trunk of my car.  I knew I could always just throw the stuff in a dumpster somewhere and be done with it, but I drove away with my little piece of the memory of Old Joe – rusty, broken and covered with dust.


I got busy with other more important things, and didn’t remember the box of junk for several days. With nothing special to do one Saturday, I remembered Old Joe’s box, and retrieved it out of the car’s trunk. I pulled up a folding chair in the middle of my back yard, dragged the trash can close, and slowly went about the task of examining my One Dollar treasure box.

It was easy to pick up a rusty or broken item from the box and just toss it into the trash can, and in just a few minutes, I had removed all the worthless bits of Old Joe’s junk – and then I saw it.

“It” happened to be a dirty, mud-encrusted little blue bottle, covered by an old piece of yellowed newspaper, and hidden, almost as if on purpose, in the corner of the old wooden box.  I pushed back the newspaper and carefully lifted the old blue bottle, sealed with a crumbling cork stopper, and held it up to the light.  As I flaked away some of the dried mud that was on the bottle, I became aware of something inside the bottle – and my pulse rate suddenly began to rise. 

Yes, I’m sure of it now!  There was some kind of paper tightly rolled up inside the small blue bottle.  With my pocket knife I dug out the cork stopper, and using needle-nose pliers, I carefully pulled out the tightly rolled paper from its hiding place inside the small blue glass bottle.

With my heart pounding in my throat, I quickly carried the bottle and the rolled up paper into my house, and sat down at the table.  Very slowly I began to unroll the contents of the blue bottle.

It was a letter of some kind.  I quickly looked at the name scrawled at the bottom of the paper.  It said, Old Joe.  The hair at the back of my neck began to rise, and I realized that “Old Joe,” dead now for several weeks, still had something to say – and he was going to say it TO ME!

“I know that if someone is reading this – well, then I am dead.  I expect whatever I have left, after I’m gone, will likely be sold or given away. On purpose I have hidden this message so that whoever gets the old box of junk also gets this little blue bottle. The only ones who would ever want this old box of stuff certainly would be someone who had cared about me while I was alive.  I want, by this means, to say thank you for caring for an old, lonely man.
I have a special “gift” I want you to have.  It has been hidden for some time and when you follow my directions – well, it will be yours.  There’s another old wooden box – much like this old box of junk – hidden in an old prospector’s mine shaft I dug up in the hills outside of town.  I have not been to check on it for years, but I hid it well.  You go get it.”
Old Joe

There, inscribed below the letter, were the careful directions to the old prospector’s mine shaft.


With trembling hands I carefully folded Old Joe’s letter.  The “GIFT” – whatever that might be – sounded so exciting I could hardly contain myself.  “Okay, Joe.  Here I go, looking for whatever you’ve left for me.”   I don’t know whether I spoke the words out loud or not, but it didn’t matter.  I pulled on some heavy boots, grabbed a small shovel and flashlight from the garage, and quickly backed my car out of the driveway, heading towards the county road and the hiding place Joe described.

It was getting towards evening when I carefully stepped-off the precisely measured directions, and, sure enough, there it was – a small cave-like hole among the rocks.  I pulled away some weeds and vines, and crawled through the small opening, and into the mine shaft. 

That’s when I saw the old wooden crate, and under the glow of my flashlight, I looked inside the old dusty box.   I saw two items, and the sight caused my heart to sink.  I couldn’t believe it!  There was a metal money box and an old dust-covered book of some kind, with a strip of dirty red bandana tied around the book.  Someone had already been there, because the metal box had been pried open, and whatever had once been in the metal box was long gone.  There were a couple of old coins that had spilled into the crate – but they left nothing but the remains of the battered metal box, and the dust covered book tied with the red bandana.

I just felt sick!  I picked up the couple of old coins, and almost as an afterthought, I lifted the book from the old crate and crawled my way back into the fading light of the rapidly descending darkness.  It was with a broken heart that I slowly drove back home, and in the darkness I carried the old book from the car into the garage, tossed it onto a cluttered workbench, then went into the house to wash up, and throw together a bite to eat.

Through my mind the following thought formed: “I’m sorry, Joe, but I guess I was too late.  Whatever you had hidden there was stolen by someone else who happened upon your hiding place.”

A sandwich and a cup of hot tea began to wash away some of the frustration and disappointment from my mind, and I decided to at least take a look at the old book.

Retrieving the book from where I had tossed it, and blowing away some of the layers of dust, I placed it on the kitchen table and untied the dirty red bandana.  To my surprise, under all that dust, I read the words “THE HOLY BIBLE.”   Whoever it was that ripped open the metal money box apparently didn’t want anything to do with an old Bible.  I carefully opened the cover of the old Holy book, and found another note from Old Joe. 

“Here’s my gift to you.  There was only about twenty dollars in the metal money box, but the real treasure is within the pages of this precious Book, which has been my constant companion for most of my life.  Enjoy!”

I slowly began to flip through the pages of the old family Bible.  To my complete and utter surprise, at the beginning of Genesis, tucked tightly into the binding of the pages, I found a crisp but very old $100 dollar bill.  Again, at the beginning of Exodus there was another one.  With trembling hands I made my way through the Books of that old Bible of Joe’s – and a stack of 66 crisp hundred dollar bills soon lay before me on the table.

Greed for the money in the old metal box caused the Bible to be overlooked and discarded.  But Old Joe knew where the real treasure was, and I will forever cherish his “old friend and companion” and, of course, always be so very glad I went to the auction that sad day to buy a box of memories from my friend Old Joe.



© Melvin Springfield

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