For a number of years, my suit pockets often revealed something rather bizarre about me. My social life, to be exact! Somehow, you just know your “social life” is limited when you find nothing but funeral home obituaries tucked away inside your suit coat pockets. That was me!
But, later on, I also discovered other things stored in my jeans or slacks pockets.When making any kind of purchase and reaching for change, I had to empty my pockets of such things as my bulky key ring (with MANY keys on the ring I have no idea what they open), my pocket knife, comb (and no wisecracks, please, from friends that would ask “WHY” ).
In unloading my pockets to reach for change, I would also find a large wide-tip felt marker, a ballpoint pen or two, cash register receipts, fingernail clippers –– and a few individually-wrapped Atomic Fireball candies. The reason for these items found in my pockets? I might needthem, of course!
Then when I was much younger, I often carried toothpicks in my shirt pocket, just “in case I needed one.”But have you ever had the sharp end of a toothpick go completely underneath your fingernail? (Severe pain, I’m a tellin’ you!) It took six months for my fingernail to heal.
Needless to say, I never make fun of the size or contents of a woman’s purse. But I must not be the only one who used to stow unusual items. Back in the 1950’s, TV host Art Linkletter enjoyed rummaging through women’s purses right on his daytime TV show.
In that fun-filled ‘House Party’ audience participation, Art would find inside women’s purses such things as balls of string, linty gumballs and used canning lids, among many other things.
Twenty years later, Monty Hall – of ‘Let’s Make A Deal’ fame – did much the same, but only in a little different way. In that game show, Monty offered large sums of money in exchange for a particular item hopefully found in a woman’s purse or a man’s pocket.
Then, how about the woman who removed a TV remote from her handbag when she was making a purchase at a department store? The sales clerk laughed and asked how the customer could possibly forget and accidentally place the remote inside her purse.
But the customer answered that it was no accident. She confessed, “I put the remote in my purse on purpose, because if my husband wasn’t going shopping–with me, neither was he watching TV!”
Yet, pockets and purses are far from the worst places to be cluttered. Some “clutter” is often found in one’s heart or may be in the eyes of people viewing questionable things on TV. For others, it may be listening to something told of another individual, or any number of things that occupy a person’s mind apart from Christ.
In one of his popular Gospel songs, longtime preacher and songwriter, Bennie S. Triplett, asks this important question: “How about your heart? Is it right with God? That’s the thing that counts today. Is it black by sin? Is it pure within? Could YOU ask Christ in to stay?”
Medically speaking, there are conditions of the heart where only a bypass surgery will alleviate the blockage. Spiritually speaking, there is no “bypass” around Jesus. Doing good works alone is not sufficient.
Titus 3:5 reads, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
satan (small “s”) may have never watched the TV game show, but he has said to many a Christian: “Let’s make a deal!” In the past, he may have even tempted youwith: “I’ll trade you what you have in your heart right now for all those things you can possess at your bank, in your home, inside your garage, at the marina” –– and so on.
That being said, Monty Hall was not the only one to claim “better” things were ‘possibly’ behind one of three doors or three curtains.
satan (small “s”) also tried making deals with Jesus in the wilderness long ago. And if he tempted Jesus, you can be assured he will tempt you. Just remember what Jesus said to the devil: “It is written…” And with a daily study of God’s Word, you can knowwhat “is written.“
Jesus asked this question: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). Many TV game show contestants have learned that one rarely wins when they trade away something valuable, in hopes of gaining something ‘better’ materially.
Use your DVR sometime torecord and then read some of the normally quick, small-print disclaimers for things such as weight-loss programs or health-related products. You’ll be amazed at reading things like: “These results are not typical,” or my favorite, “Do not expect these results.”
After reading some of thesedisclaimers, just imagine satan’s delight in the deceiving of mankind. But in the words of Jesus, “No man can serve two masters…” (Matthew 6:24).
Found in the CHURCH HYMNAL is a grand old Gospel song titled, “Fill My Way With Love.” Songwriter George W. Sebren, no doubt, penned this song as a prayer to God, for in the first verse he wrote: “Let me walk blessed Lord, in the way Thou hast gone, Leading straight to the land above; Giving cheer ev’rywhere, to the sad and the lone, Fill my way ev’ry day with love.”
Sebren continued this ‘prayer in song’ with, “Keep me close to the side of my Savior and Guide, Let me never in darkness rove; Keep my path free from wrath, and my soul satisfied, Fill my way ev’ry day with love.”
It’s terrible when Christians carry around in their hearts so much animosity and anger, all the while claiming nothing but love for God and for others. When other ‘things’ take root in the heart, it’s all too obvious their heart isn’t ‘filled’ with love.
Oh, that we all may have our lives filled with nothing but love for God and love for others! If we can somehow empty our hearts of the questionable and non-essential things of life –– and keep only the things of God!
Just like my pockets were once filled with many “things” under the Sun, which made it difficult to find what was actually important, so it is with many Christians today. Genuine love for God and for mankind is difficult to find in some today.
The songwriter closed out the verses of this song by adding, “Soon the race will be o’er, and I’ll travel no more, But abide in my Home above; Let me sing, blessed King, all the way to the shore, Fill my way ev’ry day with love!”
After years of filling my jeans or slacks pockets with so much unnecessary weight, I finally decided to get rid of the excess “stuff.” Then too, whenever I’d accidentally bump into something, one or more of the objects in my pocket would poke my leg. “Ouch!”
But I tell you the truth! If you attempt to store sinful or questionable things in your life, in addition to claiming Jesus, you may eventually suffer greater pain than you could ever imagine.
And I’m talking about pain far worse than jamming a toothpick completely underneath your fingernail. I’m talking about spending eternity without God!
“Fill my way ev’ry day with love, As I walk with the Heav’nly Dove; Let me go all the while, with a song and a smile, Fill my way ev’ry day with love.”
P. S. Let’s empty those pockets and purses of unnecessary things, but let us also empty our hearts of the uncalled for, so we can let God and LOVE rule. “…Lord, FILL my way ev’ry day with love!”
Formed over 19 years ago by Deon & Susan Unthank originally as SoGospelNews.com, the site was birthed from an email discussion group by the same name. The SoGospelNews email discussion list was created by the Unthanks after the Singing News shut down its extremely popular discussion list. SoGospelNews started as a simple webpage listing artists, fans, individuals, etc. that were avid supporters of the newly formed SoGospelNews talk list. The site eventually took on printing news for Southern Gospel artists, and eventually took on reviewing the latest recordings from both signed and independent artists within the small genre. SoGospelNews became the most viewed Southern Gospel website on the Internet with over 4,000,000 hits per month.
The Unthank family are now involved in the site, as well as the addition of over two dozen staff writers. The website is based out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In April 2010, SoGospelNews changed its name to AbsolutelyGospel.com. The name change allows them to cover news items of not only Southern Gospel, but also Country Gospel, Inspirational, and Black Gospel.
On January 5, 2011, Susan Unthank passed away, leaving the website in control of Deon, their son, Chris, and their daughter Amy.