members, click to sign in..

4,174 active users!!Bandwidth
AUG 28, 2015
Events & Blogs
New Audio & Video
Local Church Finder
Live Webcasts
Sermons by Bible
Sermons by Topic
Sermons by Speaker
Sermons by Date
Staff Picks
CommentsALL -1 hrs
Top Sermons
Daily Log
PhotosNew Stuff!
Online Bible
Daily Reading
Our Services
Submit Sermon
Members Only

Mobile Apps | Info
Enjoy sermons from this broadcaster
on a variety of mobile devices.
MyChurch: pinelands
Church Apps | Info
Creating your own Church App is
as simple as turning ON the option.
 | Cutler Bay, Florida
Podcast + Codes
Sermon Browser Info | Demo
Newest Widget | Demo
Our Picks | Info | Demo
Latest Blog | Info | Demo
Single Sermon | Info
To embed a single sermon,
use the "Email & Share" button.
Our Blog
Filter By

Elephant in the Room
Posted by: Pinelands Presbyterian Church | more..
2,350+ views | 290+ clicks | 3 user comments
About a year and a half ago, I began to search for a new apartment. I was about to get married so I needed a bit more space and money was tight. So I began poking around on Craig’s list. I stumbled upon a listing that looked perfect: Small house with a yard, right around the corner from my sister….600 bucks a month! The pictures looked nice, the price looked even better. So I sent an e-mail inquiring about the place.

The response was quick, and encouraging. The owner said his name was Matthew. Logistics were difficult for him because he was a “missionary” with an organization called “Christian Followers Crusade.” Apparently he had just been relocated to London for the next 2 years. The real-estate market in South Florida was not good, and he thought it would be better to rent his place out for the next 2 years to someone respectful and responsible.

That’s me…sign me up, and my future landlord sounds like such a wholesome, Christian man!

So Matthew requests a deposit, which could be sent immediately through Western Union, after which point he would ship me a key.

Woah nelly. I would really like to talk to a realtor first, do a walk through, check out the paper work, you know…normal procedural stuff. Seemed a bit fishy. So I began doing some detective work.

It took a quick Google search to discover that Matthew’s posting looked remarkably similar to a scam that was circulating on Craig’s list, probably originating from a network of scam artists in Nairobi, Kenya.

But I wanted to make sure, so I came up with a ridiculous plan. If Matthew agreed to what I was about to offer, I would know without a doubt that he was trying to rip me off. So I sent him the following e-mail and waited to see how he would respond:

Hey Matthew,

Sorry for the late response, something has come up and I will be traveling for the next week and a half. I have an opportunity that I really need to take, but I don't know if you will agree to it. There will be a little extra money involved, however. I have extensive experience rehabilitating animals, especially pachyderms. Zoo Miami has a two day old new-born Asian Elephant named Ru-Ru that was born with Fetal Separation Anxiety Syndrome. I'm the only person in S. Florida with experience with this disease, and it requires 24/7 care. I know that this would be a great inconvenience, but would there be any possibility of me caring for Ru-Ru in your house for the next 2 1/2 months? I will confine him to one room to minimize any damage. There will be a fair amount of digested waste, which is normal for baby elephants, but we will protect the floors with sturdy plastic sheeting, and the Zoo has offered to cover any carpet cleaning expenses. I know this is a real inconvenience, but my options are really limited at this point. Zoo Miami will be giving me a $475 per month housing stipend, which I will give to you on top of the $600 per month rent. The total will be $1075 per month for the next 2 1/2- 3 Months. Like I said, I have very few options at this point. If you would agree to it I can wire you the first month rent in addition to the $400 deposit. I will be traveling with Ru-Ru to Johns-Hopkins University for medical treatment. I will be gone for about 10 days and may be unable to talk much, but I'll look forward to hearing from you after that and we can discuss details. Thanks for your patience!

All the best,

Richard Kern

It was just a test. I would come clean and admit that Ru-Ru was a fabrication as soon as he expressed serious concern, set me up with his realtor and made sure I went through the proper screening.

Instead, Matthew called me the next day from an unlisted number and told me he was fine with letting Ru-Ru the Asian elephant stay in his house…and then asked me to wire him money. I decided to explore different options.

Which brings me to our work on the search committee. I’m not trying to sound flippant, but it has been a painstaking process and I think a little levity is a good thing once in a while. We have been blessed with the opportunity to explore many wonderful candidates, all of which seem to be loving, Godly men. We’re going about it the right way. The process has been efficient and conscientious. All of our prospects have been vetted by the PCA, with no room for “Craig’s List” candidates. There has been lots of prayer. And reference checks, followed by more prayer. Followed by a second round of reference checks….bookended by prayer. We are confident that God has chosen our man and equipped him with unique gifts to lead this body.

Just a quick update on the housing situation: Soon after the Ru-Ru debacle I got in touch with an actual realtor. She found us a great place with trustworthy landlords. Yeah, it’s a bit more than 600 bucks a month, but it is still a great deal. We’re much happier not having to clean up after a baby elephant every day!


Category:  Search Committee

post new | clone this | rss feed | blog top »
Text feature this blog entry
Our Blog
USER COMMENTS | add new  

· Page 1 ·  Found: 3 user comment(s)

Blog Item12/10/12 11:59 AM
Vanessa  Contact via emailFind all comments by Vanessa
• Add new comment
• Report abuse
• More comments...
Uhmmm what no one seems to be asking here
is how you came up with the name Ru-Ru?!

Blog Item12/10/12 11:14 AM
Julie Neil  Find all comments by Julie Neil
• Add new comment
• Report abuse
• More comments...
Awesome blog Richard!
Its such an honor for me to be a part of this body of such devoted saints (Pastoral Search Committee) who have given selflessly of their time and effort.
May God bless the body with this new Pastor. Thank you for all the hard work. May He be glorified.

Your sister in Christ,

Blog Item12/10/12 9:48 AM
Mark Stedman | Miami, FL  Find all comments by Mark Stedman
• Add new comment
• Report abuse
• More comments...
Richard, great way to end the year. Thanks for all you do on behalf of Pinelands.


There are a total of 3 user comments found, add new comment...

Kent Clark
Single Minded Towards Christ

Sunday, May 24, 2015
Sunday Service
Grace Gospel Fellowship
Play! | MP3 | RSS

Messiah Baptized
Pastor Joseph LoSardo

Travis Alltop
Music In Our Church

Bluegrass Pike Baptist Church
Sunday School
Transcript!Play! | MP3

Ken Wimer
Immanuel, God With Us

Radio Broadcast
Shreveport Grace Church
Transcript!Play! | MP3

Sean E. Harris
Conduct, Gospel & Citizenship

Berean Baptist Church
Midweek Service
Transcript!Play! | MP3

Ken Wimer
A Charge To The Rich

Message From CD Archive
Shreveport Grace Church
Play! | MP3

Sermon: Necessity of the Spirit 2
Mark S. Case

SPONSOR | 2,200+


Prayer requires more of the heart than of the tongue. ... Adam Clarke

Gospel of John
Cities | Local | Personal
iPhone + iPad
Church App
Church App
Kindle + Nook
Chromecast TV
Windows Mobile
Apple Watch
Pebble Smartwatch
Kindle Reader

Uploading Sermons
Uploading Videos
Tips & Tricks
YouTube Screencasts

Weekly Newsletter
Staff Picks Feed
Site Notices New!
RSS | Twitter | Facebook
Local Church Finder | Info
MP3 Play & Download
Mobile Apps
Video Support
Live Webcasting
Transcription Service
Business Cards
Domain Redirect
Favorites | QR Codes
Online Donations
24x7 Radio Stream
Sermon Browser
HTML Codes
Logos | e-Sword

Transfer Agent
Protected Podcasts
Upload via Email
Auto-Upload Sermons
Auto-Blog Import
Picasa | FTP | Dropbox
The largest and most trusted library of audio sermons from conservative churches and ministries worldwide.

Our Services | Articles of Faith
Broadcast With Us!
Advertising | Local Ads
Support Us | Testimonials