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This week’s note from Rev. Bill

What do you do when you have too much “stuff”? 


               As Kim and I are boxing things up for our move in just a few weeks, we have discovered that there are still boxes that we never unpacked to begin with! And it’s not necessarily things that we want to throw away – it’s just stuff we haven’t used for a while!


               Beach chairs, shrimp nets, old cookbooks, craft supplies – I have a hard time getting rid of something that is still useful. But the reality of “When am I ever going to use this?” sets in, and we have to make choices. Yes, those shrimp nets are still in pristine condition, but we haven’t used them in 10 years. And those craft supplies may come in handy someday – but they’ve been sitting in boxes for quite a while. 


               When I was growing up, we were taught never to throw anything away. My parents did not believe in the “disposable” culture. Everything could either be fixed or reused somehow. But the reality was that my sisters and I joked that all of our broken stuff went up on top of Daddy’s dresser to die. There was the intention on his part to fix everything, but life got in the way so many of those things never got fixed! So they would sit up there, gathering dust, until the next move where they would either be thrown away (or maybe put into another box?)


               Let’s take this to the spiritual realm – are you still carrying a lot of “stuff”? 


               I find that, when I start really studying the scriptures, I have a lot of old ideas that might be worth getting rid of! For instance, the idea that “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” – that is found NOWHERE in the scriptures! But somehow I have believed that a clean person is a “good” person, and a dirty, smelly person must be a “bad” person. 


               What about “Waste not, want not”? As a child I was taught that it was a sin to waste anything – food, money, time, etc. And while that may be a good maxim by which to live, it is not scriptural! 


               How about “God helps those who help themselves”? This was taught to me as a prod to do my own work, and not to just wait for God to take care of everything. And again, that may be a good intention, but that’s not the Gospel! The Gospel is that God helps those who CANNOT help themselves – all of us! God has a special place in God’s heart for the weak, the poor, and the needy. Those whom everyone else judge and say that they should just “help themselves out of their own messes”, Jesus says, “I will get into your mess and help you.”


               There may be things that you have been carrying for years that need re-evaluation – you are not the same person you were 40 or 50 years ago; what new things does God want for you to have now? Many times Kim and I have found that we can’t bring any NEW stuff into the house until we get some of the OLD stuff out! 


               So what old stuff are you still carrying around that needs to go? Bitterness? Grudges? Old ideas about yourself? 


               What new life does Jesus want for you to receive? 


  • Rev. Bill
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