…and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil.
Luke 8:29 KJV (Public Domain)

I’ve longed for this type of deliverance. The demoniac was cut loose and fancy free. Sort of. When his possession ceased, his hope for a brighter future must have blossomed.

Not demon possessed myself; there are still many burdens and obsessions that afflict my mind. Sometimes I can get so sick of myself I want to pack up and leave me behind.

Why do I keep repeating the same mistakes? Why do I allow myself to be beset by plaguing thoughts? Why do I focus on my worst characteristics and never rejoice in my gifts? Why can’t I trust completely? Why do I…? Anybody identify with this?

It happens every year. As soon as the warm breezes blow, I rush into my closet and fold up the down vest and heavy sweaters and switch to the cotton pastel tops and breezy skirts. Spring, I tell myself, is just around the corner. Then, it snows.

Each year during closet re-organization I am faced with the reality that I plainly have too much stuff. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I create my own prisons by burdening my life with too many possessions and commitments? Why?

I Googled how many clothes one person should own, hoping there would actually be a guideline. That’s how I found Debbie Roes from the Recovering Shopaholic (www.recoveringshopalic.com). I can’t testify to her spiritual condition because she blogs mainly about how to shop and organize your wardrobe. However, her theme of trading a full closet for a full life definitely could preach a spiritual message.

Not only does she offer helpful tips and insights on wardrobe management, her guests delve into concepts revealing underlying maladaptive behaviors and thinking. She advises to own clothing for a life actually lived versus a fantasy life that may never happen.

By facing reality, I can not only save myself a lot of money and time but I can take those saved funds and time and invest them in something meaningful. My latest mantra is not to fear failure but to fear success at something meaningless. (Tweet this! I have…)

Fetters rarely find their way into most of our lives. A few old hymns mention these chains that bind and modern prisons have replaced shackles with GPS embedded bracelets or anklets. But after some time of meditation on the idea of being shackled to non-productive actions and thoughts, I realized I am bound by wrong perceptions, ignorance, fears, and painful memories that keep me confined to my own personal dungeon. Cleaning out my closet proved to be tangible evidence of what anxiety, false impressions, and insecurities can do my otherwise all-together appearing life. As Debbie says, a full closet does not equate a full life.

It is easy for many of us to replace deep, intimate connections in life with the frivolous. Social media keeps us at keyboard’s length from real communication. The pressure to appear successful is intense for many women as they diligently work to be everything to everyone and end up with not much more than a trunk load of cast-offs bound for the local charity.

And the snow came. I adopted an eight-week-old puppy in the midst of this last breath of winter. Potty training became a hellish endeavor. One below-zero trip to Pottyland found me chasing my precious pup after she wrestled off her leash. In order to catch her, I had to free myself from the clunky clogs on my feet. Bare feet in icy snow at two a.m. can jolt amazing realities.

The free demoniac. Debbie’s version of the perfect wardrobe. The distant singing of Jesus Glorious Emancipator filled my mind as I struggled to replace the fetters/clogs that nearly cost me a puppy in the dark. Puppy in arms, I returned to the warmth of my home and realized in order to reach the prize of great worth, I must sometimes be quick to shed the things that bind.

Try it. Give Debbie’s site a read through and sift through those things you haven’t used in a very long time. Face the reality your body will never be like it was at eighteen. Analyze where your life is today and pray for wisdom to do the meaningful things the Lord has designed you to do for such a time as this. Identify your fetters and under the Lord’s watchful eye send them into the swine that deserve them.


Photo credit: Image by artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



Romans 13:8-10 King James Version (KJV)
8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.


I love my cash back reward card. I hate debt. So, I use this card like a debit card, only purchasing what I can afford. There is never any balance to pay at the end of the month. I pay it all.

There is already a nice chunk of cash accrued for Christmas purchases and it will seem like found money when I redeem it. The convenience has to be weighed against the threat of electronic gremlins I’ve encountered. Trade-offs are inevitable.

Life recently thrust me into additional spending due to several convergent emergencies. Since I had the funds to cover these expenses, I made a transfer to pay this month’s balance. Once cleared, I would have available credit to continue to purchase as events unfolded; sometimes carrying cash is not desirable.

I was told I would have to wait twenty-four hours to confirm the transfer. Of course, the transaction occurred on a holiday weekend. I experienced slight anxiety, checking with the bank and the credit card company, over the next day to confirm my zero balance.

I confess. I worried, contrary to scriptural admonition.

As I worried, I saw the parallel many people experience concerning the payment of their sin debt. Just like the teller who assured me the transaction would be viable, Jesus demonstrated by His ultimate transfer through His shed blood on the cross. Even though Paul told us we can know, many still wring their hands in anxiety unsure that the payment actually has been made. Never knowing if your sins are forgiven is much worse than worrying that the electronic bank gods have done their job.

When I finally confirmed that I had a zero balance, I felt rather joyful. Relieved that the electronic gremlins had not rallied; I rejoiced that the transaction went through without a glitch. It’s a great feeling to know there is nothing owed. It’s a freedom I value by never extending myself into debt. Once debt has been experienced with all of its consequences and pervasive nagging, a rationale mind develops a strong aversion to return.

Sin is debt. It is something owed we can never repay. To clear our balance, we need to have a guaranteed transfer to wipe us clean. Only the blood of Jesus can do that for us, and when it happens, the joy experienced far outweighs paying off our monthly balance. And, the accrued rewards will last way beyond Christmas into eternity.


Phot0 credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net, By Stuart Miles, published on 11 March 2013
Stock Image – image ID: 100146108