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Clean your Room!

A phrase I heard over and over as a child. Variations of this would be, “What a pigstye”, or “What a mess!”

There’s much I heard from my parents that I swore I would never repeat to my own kids. Yeah, yeah. I’ve said most of them, including “Clean your room”. Here’s the thing though – people (kids included) like stuff. More to the point, people like NEW stuff. But then the shiny newness wears off, and then the must have item becomes one more thing that clutters up our homes; one more distraction.

There are shows completely dedicated to helping people de-clutter their homes. Professional organizers are in big demand.

Many people have a distorted image of material possessions. They attach a sentimental value to inanimate objects. Don’t even get me started about people buying stuff on sale or at a garage sale because it will be worth big money some day. Do you know what kind of people pay big money for other people’s stuff? People who have more crap than they need in the first place! I’m not completely unsentimental. I have boxes of keepsakes from my kids — from their baby teeth, to a special stuffed animal they clung to as babies, to pictures and cards they have made for me. Those things are special to me. But random Barbies, games, trading cards, video games, etc., that’s just clutter – to me, anyway. Maybe it’s just me. When my house gets cluttered, my mind gets cluttered.

So, guess what I did yesterday? In part, I began to declutter some areas in my home that sorely needed it. It’s a constant struggle. I don’t want to be wasteful. If I paid for something, I should hang on to it right? That depends. Maybe I thought I would use it, and I never did. If that’s the case, I get rid of it. By the way, if you’re a fan of useless crap, you should check back here often. I have a lot of giveaways:

Oh, where was I going with this? Oh yeah. Here’s the thing. Acquiring more stuff for the sake of acquiring more stuff is just one more way we attempt to fill that big, God shaped hole in our hearts. Let’s just stop it, okay? I’m talking to myself here, by the way…

Revelation 3:17-22

You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

I want to travel light. Lord God, help me cling to You; to always value people over things.

Well I was doubling over the load on my shoulders
Was a weight I carried with me everyday
Crossing miles of frustrations and rivers a raging
Picking up stones I found along the way
I staggered and I stumbled down
Pathways of trouble
I was hauling those souvenirs of misery
And with each step taken my back was breaking
‘Til I found the One who took it all from me

Down by the riverside
I laid my burdens down,
Now I’m traveling light
My spirit lifted high
I found my freedom now
And I’m traveling light

Leaving Holes

I know I promised an incessant ranting post, or another “Official versus Unofficial” post, but in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit undisciplined, and you’re not the boss of me. This blog is a bit like life, aka a giant box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. On one visit you might bite into a delicious bit of wisdom, on another you bite into the one filled with toothpaste. You can decide for yourself which one this is.

(The previous paragraph was brought to you in part by Forrest Gump and Jim Gaffigan.)

Last night was rehearsal for our praise band. I like to blog about stuff we talk about at rehearsal sometimes. Mostly because I like it when Jeff says stuff like, “Wow. You really do pay attention when I’m talking. Who knew?”

We are a new band made up of people who have all played together before. That’s an important distinction. I think we had a very good, solid sound when we were all apart of another band with a fairly decent worship CD to prove it. But in order to move forward, we have to remind ourselves that how we used to do it, no matter how great it might have been, can sometimes hold us back from something new God wants us to discover. Incidentally, that applies to a whole host of experiences in and out of ministry. I feel a tangent coming on, so I’ll just move forward with what this post is supposed to be about…

If you’ve ever been part of a band, specifically a bar band, you know that the goal of playing in the band is typically to get yourself into a better band. You will look for holes within a song to fill up with your own personal awesomeness. This could be anything from a screaming lead guitar solo, an extended drum solo, or an incredibly annoying, warbley Mariah Carey descant. You look out for numero uno.

When you play for the glory and honor of God, the approach is the exact opposite. You begin to leave holes and give your band mates opportunities to fill them, keeping in mind that the biggest hole left should be the one that only God can fill. Otherwise, you’re just a glorified bar band. I hope this is making as much sense here as it does in my head. Maybe if I give you an example it will make more sense:

May we always allow a God-sized hole in our lives for Him to dwell. A very blessed Resurrection Sunday to you all.