First UMC Gonzales

Pastor's Note
From the desk of Rev. Steve Berger, Senior Pastor

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Clearing the Clutter

"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17

"The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" is a best-selling book and video series is about finding ways toorganize your stuff and make your home more "peaceful". Japanese creator Marie Kondo brings the lessonsfrom her background in the Shinto religion as well as practical how-to suggestions to American homes andfamilies. We spent some time this past fall, during our stewardship campaign talking about some of thesame issues and pointing out that as a society we spend some thirty million dollars a year on storage unitsalone, much less all the things we store and keep in our closets, garages and attics. One thing that Mrs.Kondo and the Biblical writers have in common is the essential idea of gratitude for what we have and thefreedom to let go of things we really don't need. The spiritual implications are that we need to declutter ourtime and energy each day to find more time in God's presence and in healthy relationships with our familiesand friends. So, what do we need to "thank and discard" in our daily lives? Where are the places in our dailyschedules where we could find more time for prayer and meditation on God's word and to focus our lives onthe presence of God? Are we willing to explore the gifts and skills that God has given us to "follow our bliss"and use those abilities in serving God? We may have to make some hard choices between those things thatare old habits and ways that seem to define us and new paths to ministry and purpose. The result of the"Tidying Up" process is that our surroundings will be well ordered and peaceful places to live. The result ofclearing the clutter in our schedules and daily lives will be that God can bring us his peace and joy in servingand transforming our lives and our world. I hope and pray that as we move into the promise of the new year,God's peace will be with you and you will find his joy and fulfillment in his presence!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Steve