Antique Hymn Book Page – {The Lord Will Provide}

Some of you may be turned off by what I have to say today, and to tell the truth – it turns me off too.  I don’t want to give you the impression that I’m preaching to you, because I’m not.  I’m preaching to myself, and just sharing it with you – because I am not “there” – or even close to “there” (“there” being where I want to be).  
I love my “stuff” as much as most people do.   One of the things that stresses me out the most in life (like many of you), is going through what I would call a financial hardship, but while painting walls in my guest room/photo studio, I was listening to a sermon by Francis Chan.  The message was about being on fire for Jesus, and part of that message focused on how much of our life is spent working for “stuff” and clinging to it, as if “stuff”, personal comfort and financial security really had anything to truly worthwhile to offer us, at the end of the day (or life).
I won’t tell you the whole message, because you can listen to it for yourself, but the message made me acknowledge that I cling to my “stuff” because it makes me feel secure.  If I thought I was going to lose my house tomorrow – I’d flip out.  If my family was truly starving for food, I’d feel desperate (and he pointed out that a person would have to work very hard to truly starve to death in America, with the abundance of government, social and church services available, and I believe that’s true.)
While there have been many times in my life that I’ve been “broke” (mainly of my own doing) – I’ve never truly been destitute – without food, shelter or clothing – not for one single day in my life.
There are days when I didn’t know how we would pay our bills, and you can bet I prayed for God to help us, but his sermon really made me think about how much I have, and would I willingly give any or all of it up, for the benefit of others, and to truly focus on living by faith.  If God wanted me to get rid of my “stuff” – would I?
As I said, I’m not “there”.  If he asked me today to give up my house, and live in a run-down apartment, so that I could give my money to someone starving, I’m not sure I would do it.  It pains me to admit that I’d rather keep my stuff than feed a starving person, but when it comes down to it – I know it’s the truth.  I like my security and I like my stuff…a lot.
I love my house, and I love decorating it, and I love sharing my house projects and decor with you, but should God want me to give it all up, I hope I will get to the point that I would do it – because it’s just “stuff”.  I believe that God has gifted me (and many of you) with decorating and crafting talents, and I don’t think he wants me to stop doing what I love and what he’s enabled me to do, but I do think he wants me to enjoy using the gifts he’s given me, not only pay bills and get more “stuff, but to share my blessings with those who are in need, and be able to give anything up that I’m clinging to more tightly than I’m clinging to him, and quite honestly, there’s a lot that I know I’m clinging to.  So my desire is that I would have the desire to change…and do it.
Those are my thoughts today…and I just thought I’d share them.  I’m hitting the publish button, before I change my mind and delete it all.
{The high resolution, full size image is available here}
Antique Hymn Book Page - The Lord Will Provide - Francis Chan Sermon via  http://knickoftimeinteriors.blogspot.com/

Blessings,

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Comments

  1. Hi Angie. Listening to Frances Chan is always convicting to me, but the man speaks truth. I have been thinking a lot lately about things that I have to ask myself – are they more important to me than God? I hate even saying that, and I don’t want to think it’s true. But when I look at the amount of time I put into watching art videos, TV shows, etc. compared to the time I spend with God, it pretty much speaks for itself. We should pray for each other that nothing will come before God in our lives. Thank you for having the courage to share this difficult message – it’s one that makes you take a good hard look at yourself, for sure. ~Lori

  2. Thanks Lori. Like you, I wish I was living up to what I *know* God wants for me, but when I look honestly at my life, I know I’m not. My prayer is that he won’t give up on me! I appreciate your prayers and will pray for you as well.

  3. Oh Angie, you have put into words what has been swirling around in my mind for a long time. I too have a lot of stuff and a house I don’t want to give up. Thank you so much for humbling yourself and putting it all out there because I am sure there are more than just you and I who thinks about such things. Something to ponder for the day. Have a wonderful Sunday!

  4. I think there are many of us in America that have “too much stuff”. The last 6 months I have been volunteering for an organization: Takeheartafrica.org This is a group of ladies from Lakeland, Florida that help widows and aged out orphans in Kenya,Africa. They have been taking trips and returning to the same village and the results are amazing! It’s time to wake up, America….and use our resources to help others! Thanks, Angie, for the reminder to follow in the LORD’s footsteps! We are called to be more Christ-like. Our stuff gets in the way…..

  5. Anonymous says:

    Angie, I think we all go through a could I or would I, but very few people act on it – think Mother Teresa, but those people are far and few. It doesn’t make you any less a Christian, just the fact that you are conscious about it makes you a caring person, and I think if the time came and someone needed your help, you would be there. Your message today was a reminder to us all that it is after all “stuff”, thank you.
    Heather C, Mississippi

  6. So true. Even when my husband and I were at the lowest part of our life after my husband lost his job and me with only a part time job we were never without food and the things we needed to live on. Thank you for the reminder that these things we just have to buy are just stuff. Its God we need to cling to.

  7. So much AGREE!! We just moved from a big farm house that was home for 28 years…. into a nice, but ‘no outbuildings’ place.
    Talk about parting with STUFF! I still moved too much…. and am now selling things on e-bay that i know i don’t need. It’s a gradual transition… getting down to basics. I have a long way to go. And I fret OFTEN about not living up to what HE created me to do. First and foremost… we were created to worship HIM. Not stuff. I find myself ‘blaming’ my husband sometimes, since he is not on the same page. But that is no excuse for not living my own heart. He just retired…. and we bought a nice boat …. talk about guilt!! I need to enjoy it for him, and I hope we can share this new stage of life with grandkids. It’s hard… this thing called life. But I think guilt is not a healthy brain wave either. (I harbor too much of that.) We should do what we can… and be aware of waste. Still learning…. after all these years. :-/
    THANKS for your comments. Appreciate honesty.

  8. You might not “be there” yet but you’re on the way for sure! 🙂

  9. So glad you hit publish….I needed to hear this today.
    Thanks for the Francis Chan link!

  10. So glad you went ahead wrote about this subject. We just finished having an estate garage sale of all my Mom’s things and let me tell you she had a lot. She would buy things and then put them in boxes which would never see the light of day again until we unpacked them for the sale. My point being is I have quite a bit of my Mom’s “stuff” which is mainly the old “stuff” that had been passed down to her from family members. While I was resting one day for some reason the thought came up in my mind “could I give it all my stuff away if God asked me to do so or would I cling to it simply because of the memories and my love of old things”. Like you I want to be willing and obedient if He tells me to let go of some of it or even all of it but right now my heart wants to cling to it and not let go. I know God is not adverse to having things its if “things have us”. To be honest right now my Mom’s “old things have me”. That’ day I asked God to please let me not let things have a hold of me but for me to let go if He asked me to do so. I completely understand where you are coming from and will pray that God help you and me both to learn to let go when He asks it of us!! By the way I love reading your blog and seeing all your wonderful creations.

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