Friday, October 03, 2008

Fill Us Up

SEPTEMBER WINNER: Maria J., has been notified that she is the winner of the September drawing and will be mailed a copy of A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts ~ Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday

October Drawing: Send an email or leave a comment to win your choice of my devotional book or Christmas book.

Check out our Christmas blog at for upcoming give-aways.
My apologies for the newspaper column not being sent last week. My server was down. And Internet problems still linger after Hurricane Ike’s disastrous visit. We were without power for 9 days, but all is returning to near normal now. Thank you for all your prayers and offers of help.
I have three of them. One is floral with tiny colored buttons on an outside pocket, a gift from a Tennessean woman. Another is lime green and advertises a local dress shop. The last is royal blue, a token gift form a writer’s workshop. What are they? They are re-usable shopping bags.

Sounds noble, but I have a problem. I can’t remember to take them along to have them filled up. Centuries ago, shoppers who purchased goods knew to take along baskets, jugs, or bowls to hold their purchases. By the 16th Century, smaller items such as grains, beans, and buttons were being hawked and shopkeepers started wrapping purchases.

I learned that bookstores sold for scrap paper manuscripts that failed to be published. Merchants bought these and used them as “wrapping paper.” Picture a want-to-be writer watching a clerk tie up a few needles in page 42 of their rejected manuscript. Ouch.

Today, many countries have set a time limit and ban on plastic shopping bags, which can take a lifetime-plus to deteriorate. The amount of plastic dumped into landfills is staggering, besides the amount of oil used in the manufacturing of plastic.

On a trip through New Mexico, my husband Dave and I began to notice plastic bags littering the road side. In a short stretch, we counted over 100 clinging to barbed wire fences, low mesquite bushes, and desert plants.

Although I own at least three permanent shopping bags, here’s my problem. So far, I haven’t remembered to take one into a store with me. And, I’ve yet to see any of you carrying them into the store either. Of course, I know a hand full of you do, and I probably haven’t seen you efficient folk because I don’t do much shopping. I want to be like you and take the bags in and fill them up.

Right now, my shopping bags have made it to the passenger seat of my car, and today, I hope to carry groceries out of the store in them. But why am I telling you all of this, because it relates to a scripture that has been on my mind. God reminded the Israelites that he was the one who brought them out of Egypt, out of slavery. Then he reminded them if they’d show up, desiring to know him better that he’d take care of the filling. He said it this way: “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it” (Psalm 81:10 NKJV).

Hungry baby birds stretch open their beaks and clamor for nourishment, and great growth is the result. Like my earth friendly shopping bags, it is good to be ready and available and watching to be filled up, but we can be filled with something better -- the wisdom of God.

Modern plastic bags are decorated with store logos which are artful mini-billboards. The Christian, who is filled up is also a billboard of hope, peace, clarity and calm. Not a perfect advertisement, but an enticing one that may just cause hunger in others, cause them to open wide their mouths so God can fill them.

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