Spring Cleaning in January

I have been spring cleaning in my office all morning. The dust bunnies were getting aggressive and threatening to form a Union. Not wanting them to unite, I had to take preemptive action or face severe allergic consequences. Some of the dust mites already had name tags and one was bigger than my big toe. Their buffet included beetle shells of all shapes and sizes. Even the spiders took off because it was just getting too crowded. So, I got one corner of my office cleaned and hope to have the other three done by the end of the week.

 

I have also been working on the laptop computer we have at the Church. Unfortunately someone inadvertently installed a virus on the computer and it has taken over. I have done everything I know how to do to get around it long enough to remove it, but I can’t. That virus is clever and will not let me get to the programs I need to get rid of it. I am going to have to get the hard drive scrubbed or replaced. That’s a bummer. I guess the laptop will have to sit around unused a bit longer until getting it repaired becomes a priority. The laptop is a convenience and it’s a nice luxury, but it’s not a necessity as we have several fully functioning computers at our disposal.

 

That idea sort of reminds me of life. That is the mantra of life for many of us. As I have heard it said more than once, we rarely change until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change. Though the terminology isn’t the best, many areas of our lives we simply see as “luxuries” and not “necessities.” We rarely make changes until we are forced to do so. We have a lot of standards and beliefs, but we don’t often uphold them unless we have to do so. 75% of Americans identify themselves as Christians, but fewer than 20% attend Church on a regular basis. Only 14% of self identified Christians have ever read the Bible from cover to cover and only about 20% read it on a regular basis. Practicing our faith is often a luxury and not a necessity.

 

Our lives are crowded and Church has become just another activity to attend. As more activities are added to our lives, our time and energy for our faith slims down thus relegating our faith to a belief system (i.e., religion) and not a relationship (way of life). I assure you that Christ did not come to earth to create a religion. He beckons you for a relationship. The very word religion comes from a Latin word which literally means to bind or tie. Christ came to set us free. I rarely feel free in the midst of a crowd. If I do not remove some of the clutter in my life, the clutter will take over. We do not typically do it on purpose, but it does happen unless we intentionally clean and straighten and prioritize. Life is full of things that invade our space whether we invite them or not. Our job is to clean up and straighten out.

 

Isaiah 1:16-18 (ish)

Go home and wash up. Clean up your act. Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings so I don’t have to look at them any longer. Say no to wrong. Learn to do good. Work for justice. Help the down-and-out. Stand up for the homeless. Go to bat for the defenseless. This is God’s Message: “If your sins are blood-red, they’ll be snow-white. If they’re red like crimson, they’ll be like wool.

About admin

I am currently serving as the Associate Minister at a Church in Earlham, Iowa, population about 1300. There are probably another 1300 folks who live outside the “city limits.” I am married to my lovely wife Heather. We moved from Mesa, AZ in January 2006. We have a dog (Sammy) and a cat (Daphne). We also have a 92 year old house the sucks the life out of me (Rex), and costs a whole lot of money to upgrade, and is generally a pain in my butt…but I am not bitter. So far I have set my arm on fire, broken my wrist, broken my toe, got tendonitis in my foot, fell out of the bucket of skid loader, captured and “removed” 13 bats from my attic, been to the chiropractor dozens of times and have more doctors on my payroll than I care to admit. I am not very handy! Iowa has been so life-changing for me, but I love the pace of life, pace of ministry and the quality of people. I went to college at Atlanta Christian College near Atlanta, GA where I recieved a Bachelors Degree in Christian Ministry/Preaching. I went to Seminary at Emmanuel School of Religion in Johnson City, TN., where I recieved a Master of Divinity degree with a specialization in Christian Care and Counseling. In addition, I have 2800 hours of post-graduate training as a Chaplain specializing in Crisis Care. I have served Churches in GA, KY, NC, AZ and now Iowa. I have also served as a Chaplain at hospitals in AL and AZ in addition to serving as a Corporate Chaplain with several companies in the metro Phoenix area for a short time. I was also blessed with the opportunity to serve as a Chaplain at the in-field hospital at a NASCAR race in Talladega, AL (once) and as a Chaplain to the Mesa Miners professional baseball team (six weeks). Rex L. Stancil Associate Minister Earlham Church of Christ www.earlhamchurch.org pastorex@gmail.com 515.867.8559 mobile 515.758.2020 home 515.758.2787 office
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