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“A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” ~ Lk. 12:15. In fact, too many belongings rob a person of their life! People tend to seek significance through things – sometimes to show status, sometimes to hold on to precious memories of the past. But these things are deceptive. They do not offer life or sweetness. Instead, they may bring unforeseen dangers, loss, stress, captivity, and failure. But isn’t it wasteful to just throw things out? Isn’t that a misuse of the abundance of blessing we’ve been provided?

 

Clutter isn’t only unsightly, it’s dangerous to life and limb! Keeping sentimental collections of letters, loose photographs and newspaper articles could be a fire hazard. Random piles can grow to be avalanches causing painful falls or even broken bones! Physical harm isn’t the only danger that the mountain of stuff may present. Disorder may be a deterrent to having others visit, causing isolation and loneliness. It can also bring on hopelessness and depression due to the lack of relationships, and distraction from what is really important. Precious items may be lost indefinitely; they may be ruined or broken. What was meant to bring comfort and sweet memories can actually steal a person’s life.  New ideas become buried as changing plans or direction become an insurmountable task. Frequently, the packrat will just give up. Clutter is not only unpleasant, but it is also devastating.

On the other hand, simplicity and order bring freedom. Simple is sustainable. There is no need to be concerned about children becoming injured because of hazards. Stress is relieved. Generally speaking, the person whose home is organized can think more clearly, and they have less anxiety. Friends and visitors may stop by without bringing embarrassment or shame. There is no room for guilt, only joy! Doors open in many ways. If someone in the family suddenly loses their job and the family must move, it is much less daunting. If an elderly parent becomes sick and needs a place to stay, there is both room, and opportunity to step in and meet that need. Simplicity offers the freedom that makes life enjoyable in every aspect.

While orderliness seems to be a minor issue, in fact, the believer’s Christian testimony is at stake. Paul said of the church, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” (1 Cor. 14:40) The fruit of the Spirit is self-control. (Gal.5) Jesus instructed His followers to trust the LORD for their daily bread (Matt. 6:11), and not lay up treasures for themselves here on earth where they can be easily destroyed, ruined, or stolen. (Matt.6:19-20) The author of Hebrews exhorts believers to “cast aside every weight,” implying that anything that hinders fulfilling God’s work is destructive clutter, spiritually. Instead of hoarding, believers are to be generous and share with those in need. As stewards and ministers of God – it is vital to not be distracted or overcome by the things of this world, but rather use them for the benefit of the Kingdom of God. By being diligent with the stewardship God has given, the faithful have an expectation of great reward. As King Solomon once penned, “Diligent hands will rule!” (Prov. 12:24) The testimony of the believer depends on being faithful with what God has given. “It is required of a steward that one be found faithful.” (1 Cor. 4:2)

There is no life-enhancing benefit to clutter. The desire to have and have more, the collecting of stuff – steals joy, opportunity, and testimony. It creates dangers emotionally, spiritually, and physically for ourselves and those we care about. Eliminating unnecessary junk frees us to think, invent, fellowship, and serve without the burden of a heavy load. It is not the man with the most stuff that wins in the end, but the one who has invested the most in the Kingdom of Heaven. Surely, he will be rewarded richly! In all things, it is most important to place our trust and our treasure in God instead of material possessions. He is faithful. He has provided all we need for life and godliness. An overabundance of things actually robs us of our lives, but He came to give us life, and that abundantly!

Be careful what you say
to those who run the show.
Better wait another day
if they really need to know.

To be open with your thoughts,
secrets tucked within your heart,
may cause you to be caught
as the wolves tear you apart.

It used to be so easy
to trust them, one and all.
My way was light and breezy
till they saw me slip and fall.

Then my hope was held for ransom
by the ones I called my friends.
If I’d only held my tongue,
I would not need a defense.

So today, I prescribe caution
in the “friends” you choose to trust.
Do not open your heart often.
And then, only if you must.

You’re searching for the truth in life
you think you’ll never find.
Bits and pieces of philosophy
are messing with your mind.
 
Do you need Someone to trust in –
to believe in something true?
If you seek the LORD with all your heart
He’ll reveal Himself to you.
 
There are no 10-quick steps to Heaven,
no magic recipe
no way to work your way up
to earn eternity
no pat or easy answers
to make it *on your own*
but place your trust in Jesus
And you’ll never walk alone.
 
All the good works ever done
will not pay for one sin.
Perfection is expected!
So who then, can get in?
 
Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ
who paid sin’s price for me!
As I abide in Him
I’m promised life abundantly,
and that, eternally! ❤
 
 
 
Jane E Clark (c) 1978

Enough

If all you have is water
then I won’t ask for tea.
If all you have is a penny,
I will not long for three.

If all you can offer is friendship,
then it’s enough for me –
for I love you, and your pleasure
brings happiness to me.

(c)  1975 by Jane Lawther Clark  (age 15)

Give me a dream to hold on to,
a reason to rise each morning.
How often feelings of desolation
come upon me without warning.

Help me to know the difference
between what’s false and true.
Help me to know which voice is man’s
and which voice is from You.

Alone I cannot make it.
I need You every day.
There is no hope when I fake it.
I want a peace that will stay.

Give me a hope to cling to
and help me understand
the things I find so hard to take
are something that You planned

To take me ever deeper
into the knowledge of
Your unsearchable mercy
and Your precious gift of love.

Help me know You, Jesus.
Hear me when I cry!
Incline Your ear unto me,
and answer my heart’s “Why?”

Why have I been all alone
when searching so, for You?
There’s nothing more that I can find,
nothing more that I can do.

Alone I cannot make it.
I don’t think You want me to.
So help me Lord, to see You.
Help me Lord, to see.

(c) 1982  Jane Lawther Clark
Written during July 12th – 18th, 1982
At the beginning of my new life in Christ, I went through “Hell Week.” The LORD brought me through the other side. 

Sara, lovely Sara,
what are you looking for?
You won’t find it on the streets
or walking through your door.

You’re chasing after love
that always walks away.
It takes your very breath,
and then it makes you pay –
forever.

Johnny, silly Johnny,
what are you searching for?
You can’t buy it on the streets
and not have to come for more.

It’s an endless, vicious cycle
that will take you to your grave.
There’s an answer for you, Johnny.
There’s a man whose life He gave,
for you.

You won’t find what you’re searching for
in the fast pace of the night.
You won’t forget the pain you feel
getting high as a kite.

The answer’s in the Sonshine,
you will find it in the Light.
The blood of Jesus Christ
that will turn your stained heart white.

Just believe in Him.

(c) 1978 Jane Lawther Clark

I wrote this one back in the days of desperately seeking Jesus. I was preaching to myself as much as anyone else.

Silent Serenade

I sang a serenade to you –
you couldn’t hear the words.
I only saw you once today
and waited till you turned away
to sing for you these words…

How can you know if I don’t speak?
I never will deny
I think you’re beautiful, you know,
I wish that I could tell you so
but I’m afraid to try.

by Jane (Lawther) Clark
(c) 1976.  I was 16 when I wrote this.

Teacher is Her Name

She carries us to worlds unknown
of wonder and delight,
unveils the mystery of the code
and transforms dull to bright.

What would have been a grudging chore
has now become a song
of letter sounds and verbs and nouns
and learning right from wrong.

As she pours out her life for us
we’ll never be the same.
I thank my God for such a gift,
and Teacher is her name.

by Jane E. Clark  (I wrote this for Anita Mills in 1996. She was my daughter Sharon’s 1st grade teacher at Christian Life Learning Center in Corinth, MS. She deserved great praise for her creativity, love and hard work.)

On Tuesday, you will find him on his chair,
disdainfully regarding passers by.
Though he at times, will signal with a wink,
as someone sweet and soft would catch his eye.

Agreeable as life with him would seem,
with servants tending to his every whim –
they serve him seafood platters, milk and cream,
with never nod, or word of thanks from him!

But life for him was meant to be this way.
He can afford to sit all day and feast!
He’ll never need to work to earn his pay.
His motives aren’t questioned in the least.

Today I am a servant in his house.
I keep his things picked up and fix his meals.
He looks at me sometimes now, from his chair,
I’m not sure if from pity, or appeal.

It’s getting late, and time for dinner now.
He’ll dine on turkey in a gourmet feast.
And all the thanks I get, is a meow.
But I guess that’s the nature of the beast.

Jane E Clark (c) 1983

Isn’t Up To Me

 

If it were up to me
to steer this ship
I’d sure be sunk!

If it were up to me
to pass this test
I know I’d flunk.

If I had to open my own door
I’d lose the key.

I’m so glad that my salvation
isn’t up to me.

by Jane E. Clark