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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The [fill in the blank] Sale

What do you call it when you finally take stock of very thing in your living space and notice you aren't using at least 50% of it? Oh, you could call it the breaking point, an AH-HA! moment, a flash of benificent generousity to local charities, a division of treasures during your lifetime to your loved ones, or......... an open sale to the public.

But what do you CALL this sale: I'm sure you have heard lots of modifiers- - tag sale, garage sale, yard sale, estate sale, rummage sale, moving sale, liquidation sale. Chances are, you are NOT selling your yard or your garage. You are selling things you don't really need. Chances are, Johnny Mathis, SOMEONE would enjoy having some of those objects that you consider cast-offs.

I've had these sales before and have always tried to price things fairly..... knowing the original price, considering its condition, then cutting it down. My shock came duing my first foray into this experience when certain people would come and: 1) try to steal things, 2) antique dealers would come and try to negotiate a price 50% below my asking price (and I knew they would re-sell it at a significant mark-up); and 3) people- particularly immigrants - for whom haggling and negotiating was a cultural necessity will refuse to pay the price you quote. One never pays full price - you HAVE to get the seller to lower the price.... it's a matter of pride and understood as common practise in the country they originate from.

Any of you who have worked on church rummage sales have seen most or all of these behaviors. They could even be put into categories: the lookers, the ponderers, the label-switchers, the hagglers, the bargain hunters, the treasure hunters, the slight-of-handers, the buyers..... and those who need things they could never buy at full price.

This sale comes up upon my retirement and my inner urge to simplify things (and make some mad money to set aside). C will be moving her worldly goods from Chelsea to Holland, MI and would like my help doing the same there.... and, what the heck, I can do that. So there will be 2 sales and (hopefully) two successes. This will take some planning and either some stickers with prices or color coding. The clothing will not sell at one of these fetes, so it is best to donate these items to a charity before anything begins.

As much as I want to simplify my life, it is part of my baptismal and ordination vows to help others. So now I just have to narrow down - from the vast number of legitimate, honest, honorable charities that exists - my options to one charity. Although ERD is close to the heart of everyone here at the Farm, I donate part of the money I make from massages to them.... so I will either choose the local Safe House for abused women and children or the local Animal Shelter. While I love animals tremendously, I think it will be the Safe House for this sale...... and it will be a Retirement sale! I don't need all these Easter baskets or tree decorations or fans or office supplies. I don't need the weight-lifting bench that was in the house when I moved in. I don't need the extra luggage or all the Christmas mugs. I have toys that the kids would love and costume jewelry that I don't use often. There are a few odds and ends golf clubs, gardening tools, even a desk. I might even knock on the doors of my neighbors to see if they would donate some of their unused treasures to the mix.

Good stewardship comes in many guises. One of them is mentioned several times in the Bible - keeping life simple, not hoarding. If I can both simplify my life and make some money needed by a charity whose Federal funding has been diminished or cut off, it serves two purposes..... and you can believe God is pleased with both!

So, to each an every one of you considering doing the clean sweep, putting up (and taking down) the signs, pricing, and putting your accumulated assortment out there on the driveway, blessings and good fortune be upon you and the charity you have chosen to benefit from the [fill in the blank] sale. You go out there, girl and as the old wartime song put it, 'git some cash for your trash'!


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