It’s Only Stuff

Today is Thursday, February 2, 2017.

Quote of the Day

“Be obscure clearly.” – E.B. White

Word of the Day

Imprecate – to invoke evil on; curse.

Today is, of course, Groundhog Day. You know . . . that day when Punxsutawney Phil peeks out of his hole in the ground. If he sees his umbra (a different choice for word of the day), it is said that it frightens him and we will have six more weeks of “winter.” Let me tell you . . . if what we have been having is “winter,” I’m all for six more weeks of it!

Well, 2017 is not turning out to be any better than 2016, so far. Death continues to plague us, only it seems to be affecting us more on a personal level. Just this week, I attended the funeral of the father of a close friend from my school days. That same day, we got notification that one of our graduating class (1976) passed away on Tuesday, after a battle with cancer. Yesterday, we received another notification that another one of our graduating class passed away after a battle with cancer. It’s almost like death, knowing that its time is short, is putting up a fight. I take great comfort in those verses in 1 Corinthians 15.

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
(1 Corinthians 15:54-58)

We have our “Missional Gathering” tonight. We’ll all grab something to eat, then head over to Alex’s house, where we will eat together, hang out, and talk about Night of Worship. Perhaps some planning might even happen. Good times, and developing relationships.

The actual Night of Worship is Saturday evening, and it will be an acoustic set. We originally thought that our drummer would be out of town, so we set this up as acoustic. Brandon, Terry, and I will be playing acoustic guitars and singing. It should be fun. My fingers might be bleeding afterward, but it will still be fun. I haven’t played any kind of guitar in a while, as I have been focusing on keyboards and trombone for a while.

23/60

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name! Psalm 97:12

Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. 
Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.
Psalm 86:1-2

Blessed be the LORD! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. Psalm 26:6

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

(From Daily Guideposts 2017)

In today’s reading, Sam Adriance writes of a time when he was preparing to graduate from law school. He and his wife, in preparation to move, began going through all of their stuff and “downsizing.” The idea, presented by his wife, was that they would look at each thing and ask if it gave them a “spark of joy.” If it did not, they would give it away.

As Sam began going through his things, though, his question became, “Is this thing right for me? Does it serve a valuable purpose in my life, or does it tether me more to material things?”

These are good questions to ask. I still have a lot of stuff in our house. It is overrun with books, records, cds, and games. In truth, I do not feel as tied to these material things as I used to. I just haven’t worked up the energy to go through them and give them away. I’ll never read all of these books. All of my cds have been digitized, as well as a number of the records. I have a lot of t-shirts that don’t fit any more. “I’ll lose weight and wear them again, someday!” Uhuh. Sure I will.

Anyway, the point of all of this is that we are told not to store up treasures on earth, where moths and rust corrupt. I don’t see these things as “treasure” so much, any more. There are just “stuff” that is taking up space in our house. My treasure is in heaven, where my heart is. Perhaps someday, soon, I will get the energy to get rid of some of the material things.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:19-20

Father, I thank you that you have reduced my dependence and desire for earthly “treasures.” Now, I pray for the willingness and motivation to actually reduce the amount of “stuff” in my life. Let my space be dedicated to you, as well as my heart.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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