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Please Fence Me In

Good morning. It is Monday, May 17, 2021.

When my husband Wendell and I met in 1984 he did not have a lot of trade skills. He had spent most of his young life in trouble. I might share his story with you someday, but for now I want to talk about his "drive."

He moved to a new town to be with me and within 2 weeks he had a job as a fence builder. Fence building is very hard work, and it turns out he was a very hard worker. He ended up being in the fencing trade for over 30 years.

He would eventually own and operate his own company, and along with his best friends Russ, Paul, and Bobby, built some of the valley's most beautiful, straight, sturdy fences.

Wendell did not take short cuts. He bought the best wood he could find. He would use three crossbars where most other fence companies would only use two. If he was doing chain link, he bought the high gauge wire, not the cheaper stuff. He did not cut corners. But the thing that really stands out to me, is the way he bid each job.

He did not have a work sheet or a standard per foot etc. He bid each job individually. He would call around to all the fence supply stores in the area, Field's. Farmer's. Diamond. City Plywood. He would even call other fence companies. It would take hours for him to price every little detail of the job from fence ties to cement. He had pricing lists on white paper, yellow legal pads, envelopes, paper plates and napkins. Whatever he had close at hand would do just fine for jotting down those prices.

I would encourage him to start using a standard for bidding, but he would tell me he wanted, not only to be fair with each customer, but he truly wanted to give them the best price possible.

Wendell cared more about his customers than he did making money off them. I'll be honest, it used to bother me. I used to think "he cares more about those people than putting money in our bank account." And you know what?...he did. He truly did.

I think in his own way, he knew God would take care of us; that we did not need to get rich off other people's money. Some would say that is the way the world goes round, but that was not Wendell's way. He wanted to treat people fairly, honestly and he wanted a clear conscience at the end of the day. Wendell had integrity.

Proverbs 28:6 ESV "Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways."

Fencing was not cheap, and he would say "I want to treat people the way I would want to be treated." He was a good man.

Titus 2:7 ESV "Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,"

Wendell passed away in January of this year. He fought cancer and cancer won, but his legacy lives on. If you cross the 7th Street bridge in Grants Pass, there on your right, after you pass the motel, you will see a wood fence with his fencing plaque nailed to it. It's white with black lettering and reads "Boundaries Unlimited Fencing" Those little metal signs are scattered around our valley, a simple reminder that Wendell was there, and he did good.

You know, Jesus was nailed to the wooden cross and with the red letters of His blood he wrote "Believe in me and be saved"

1 Peter 2:24 ESV "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed."

A few weeks before Wendell passed away there was a knock at my door. We had accidently brought back our neighbor's garbage can from the road. He returned ours and took his. We chatted for a few minutes on the front porch. I told him about Wendell's fight with cancer, how I had lost my job and was now home taking care of him. He offered to start taking my garbage and recycle cans to and from the road. It's about .2 miles from my driveway to the road, not far, but still a bit of a trek on gravel. I thanked him and he said "That's alright. I have always believed in treating people the way I would want to be treated."

There it was! Wendell's creed. I exclaimed "Wendell use to say that when he was building fences!" He said "Well, I'm not much of a religious man, but I believe when you do good to others it comes back to you." Indeed.

I am reminded of the song that is actually found in Micah 6:8:

"He hath shown thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God"

May God richly bless you today. And remember, Jesus is coming soon!

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