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Battling commercialism this holiday season

Karen Stevens

I saw something on Facebook the other day that got me to thinking.  I won’t retype the whole thing, but it went something like this.  “I haven’t found out who let the dogs out…where’s the beef…how to get to Sesame Street…why do all flavors of fruit loops taste exactly the same, or how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop.

Why do you have to put your two cents in but it’s only a penny for your thoughts – where’s that extra penny going anyway?  Why does the Alphabet Song and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star have the same tune…why did you just try to sing those two previous songs?  Why eggs are packaged in a flimsy carton, but batteries are secured in plastic that’s tough as nails…why “abbreviated” is such a long word; or why there is a D in “fridge” but not in refrigerator.  And my favorite – why lemon juice is made with artificial flavor yet dish-washing liquid is made with real lemons.  Our world and what we hear and what we are taught, has a huge impact on our lives.  I’m sure all of you could relate to everything above because we have heard of these things most of our lives.  And we have heard them over and over, and over again.  Why is this not the case with God’s Word.

Psalms 119:11 states “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

We should be able to relate and recall God’s Word just as we did with all of the above items.  In Jesus time and before, they started at school age, in memorizing the Torah.  (Was separation from church and state such a good thing for our school kids?)

Jesus grew up and spent His ministry among people who knew Scripture by memory, who debated its application with enthusiasm, and who loved God with all their hearts, minds and soul.  What happened to our generation?  Why are we so lax in the way we think, and the things we do?  I know everyone suffers from burn out.  I know I do.  That’s why it’s good to change up your habits, but not the habit itself.  If you can’t seem to focus on reading the Bible, buy a Bible study.  If you have a hobby like painting, say a scripture over and over while you paint.  If you’re at the park enjoying the beautiful sunshine, then whisper to God “Thank You for the beauty of this earth” over and over.  We have so much to be thankful for.  You will be amazed how much closer you are to God by just doing a few simple things.

I bet every one of us can recite at lease 20 commercials.  Let’s make it our goal to learn at least 20 scriptures from memory.  If you were raised in church, then I’m sure you can do this already but challenge yourself to learn 20 new ones.  You can adapt the scriptures to a commercial jingle or a favorite tune to help you out.  Those commercial jingles are so easy to remember like “Nationwide is on your side”.  You can make that “For we live by faith, not by sight.”  (2 Corinthians 5:7).

And remember, the reference was added later by man to help us find the scripture in the Bible.  It’s not as important as knowing God’s words.

Remember Psalms 119:11 – hide the Word in your heart.  It doesn’t say anything about the reference.

The Word is for you.

Not so you can impress your friends that you know where to find it.  How many times have you quoted a scripture and someone ask you, “Oh, where is that in the Bible?”  Exactly!  So, try putting God’s word to the jingles, or songs you already know.  That’s how elementary kids learn.  If they can do it, you can too.  Be thankful in all you do!

Karen Y. Stevens is Executive Director on Meals on Wheels

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