Thursday, March 04, 2010


Last night, I got to teach the youth... & I had just a simple message... a message of GARBAGE! 

I had someone put on some gloves & root through the garbage to see what was in there... a lot of chewed up old birthday cake that had icing all taken off.... old plates that had cake crumbs on them... old water bottles that were half full...

So I asked the kids if anyone wanted anything out of there - want to chomp on some of that gum?  (Hey, Buddy the Elf would've chewed it!)  Want to lick the crumbs off that plate?  Want to drink some of that water out?.... yeah, no one was a taker of any of these things...

Why?  Because its garbage! 

So I closed the lid & said, "What if I wanted to change this to a bunch of roses?... if I wish really hard & even make myself believe there are roses in here, does it work?" - of course not!  I even brought out some rose air freshner & sprayed in & around it SMELLED like roses... but was it roses yet, or still just garbage?

Yep - still just garbage.... & why?  Because garbage is garbage!!!

And the thing I wanted to stress to these kids is that we take in soooo much garbage every day with the things we see & the things we listen too... after all, in Matthew 15:18 it says:

But what comes out of the mouth gets its start in the heart.  Its from the heart that we vomit up evil arguments, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, lies & cussing.  That's what pollutes.

Pollutes?  Yep - we talk about going green all the time for the environment, but what about what we're polluting our hearts & minds with?

Then the perfect example!  I had the kids write down any song that they know that has may have impure thoughts or lyrics.  Impure - as being something that is not pure - which is something that is tainted.... Oh mercy, those pens were rolling!  A song could not be repeated but believe me, we didnt run out!  I actually had to stop because time was cutting short....

Now, TAKE 2 - I asked the kids to write down Scripture they knew by heart.  And I wasnt Miss Picky with a ruler to slap their hands if they didnt have the Book & Chapter - just give me SOMETHING from the Bible that you know....

Yeah - not so much writing this time around.  One kid even got up & just walked around - didnt even try to think of any... when 10 minutes ago, he was all about thinking of the song titles he knew...

I hope & prayed these kids saw the example that they just showed themselves... they live in a world where its easy, very easy, to put garbage in them...but how much of God's word do they carry within them too?

I had to be quick to say too - its not just kids... adults arent immune to garbage at all, are we?

But as I told the kids - Jesus didnt avoid garbage or the worst of situations... he went into it with a different attitude - of helping those stuck in it... we need to put on our "Jesus-goggles" & start seeing things through His eyes.  Helping our friends & maybe even ourselves when we see or hear things we know isnt what we should put into ourselves.

The cool thing though.... if our garbage bags are overflowing with junk & stinky, smelly stuff... God will give us a brand new bag to start again.  Throw out that trash - get a new bag  - fill it more with the roses this time....


  1. You are so right about this, Rebecca.

    Music is a great example. I love it when Isabel asks me to change the station from Q102 to 93.3 The Star. My kids love them some good Christian music, and what a simple way to get them to think about Jesus.

    I'm sure your lesson hit home!

  2. So So true! I think I needed that for myself...So easy to fill my mind with garbage called the TV! Thanks for sharing! Have a great Thursday!


  3. What a great message and lesson you taught them. We try to only listen the to Christian music stations in the car and this is part of the reason why.

  4. What a great message RJ! Time to empty my garbage and start a fresh bag :) Thanks for sharing your lessons with us! MUCH needed.

  5. Carma took the words right out of my mouth! You are a wonderful teacher!

  6. RJ,
    What a GREAT example!! Garbage -- my pastor uses GIGO -- Garbage in, Garbage out!!

    Great lesson friend ~~ love you,

  7. Now I would never have thought of such analogy with trash! I wouldn't think anything good could come from talking about trash, but you always find a way! I love these reminders.

    I need a new bag.

  8. Thanks for your sweet words today on my blog.. I really like this post and think it is so true..

  9. Rebecca I'm so glad you worth with youth, you definitely have a talent for analogies they can understand (but can convict adults at the same time!). I love it.

  10. Garbage in, garbage out!

    What a great, visible illustration!

    I've always been one of "those" moms who won't let my kids see certain movies or buy certain songs from iTunes. We have a rule in the house...look up reviews on Christian movies sites before buying tickets, and look up the lyrics to songs before buying them.

    I even walked out of a movie last summer because the content, while geared for the teenage crowd, was crude and totally disgusting.

    People (kids and adults) sometimes don't realize that you can't remove images from your mind. As adults, we need to model good decision-making...hence my decision not to watch certain television shows anymore.

    Anyhoo, as someone else said, it IS a good thing you work with children! You DO have such a gift!!

  11. What a thought-provoking analogy and a wonderful message you were able to bring to those kids and to us.

    It's worth repeating... to my 13 year old tonight!

  12. What an awesome object lesson! I am going to try to find a way to use that in my primary sharing time if you don't mind!

    And it's so true. I am not really much of a swearer, though I find myself doing it more often lately. I do not want my heart to be garbage so I am going to make more of an effort to clean up my act!

  13. I was sighing and hmming through this entire devotional girl. AWESOME...

    God will give us a brand new bag to start again. Throw out that trash - get a new bag - fill it more with the roses this time....

    amen amen amen

    Congrats on being nominated top 100


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