Does anyone else still have Christmas gifts that have never been used--gifts from Christmas 1983? It's a little guilt inflicting, isn't it? Would any of us admit to Chia heads that remain fuzzless? How about salad shooters that have yet to launch a single veggie?

Not to add more guilt or anything, but who among us would dare admit how many of our furless pottery heads and dead vegetable bazookas we've slyly slipped into the garage sale bag? If you're a Chia lover or you have a need for a salad bomber, try making the rounds to a few garage sales as soon as summer hits. If nothing else, you could snatch up Chia-shooters galore to give away next Christmas. Some people skip the garage sale middle man and recycle their own unused gifts the next year.

Keep in mind that gift recycling can get a little tricky. I have a friend who this year received from her mother-in-law the same Clapper she bought for her recycler-in-law the year before. Imagine a Clapper that's been mailed across the country. Twice. That we know of! I think the thing may have more frequent flyer miles than I do! It's the Clapper heard round the world.

Still, there really are gifts that are at their absolute best when they're recycled. Each one of us has received a gift of ministry. First Peter 4:10 doesn't leave a single one of us out when it says, "As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (NKJV). Each one of us! When we're not recycling those gifts the Father has given us, using them to minister to others, we're not being good stewards of his grace. It's eternally more wasteful than any hairless Chia.

Let's finish out the year in service to him. What a great ending. Even better than "clap off"!

(adapted from I'm Dreaming of Some White Chocolate by Rhonda Rhea (Fleming H. Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, MI), 2006.

Rhonda Rhea

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