Sunday, December 9, 2007

Souvenirs from the fringe

In the spirit of making a fresh start, I decided to spend this afternoon doing a little cleaning.

It started with my books -- I still had a bunch of books from my "fringe" days. I don't even know why I held on to them this long. I think somewhere in the back of my mind I figured I'd give them to one of my Pentecostal friends rather than just toss them...

Books are one thing. But my collection of souvenirs from the fringe gets even better. I didn't even know I still had this stuff until I opened a storage box that probably hadn't see daylight since I my last interstate move.

Among the more interesting items:

  • Assorted "Prayer cloths" (little pieces of fabric that had been prayed over in some revival service somewhere)
  • A couple of vials of annointing oil (one would even clip on your keychain, in case you needed that extra annointing on the go!)
  • A little plastic tube of what appears to be water -- "holy water"? I don't even remember.
  • A small white landscaping stone (it was part of an object lesson from a meeting I attended in the mid 90s)
  • A gazillion program booklets and cassette tapes from conferences I've attended
  • An impressive collection of handwritten "prophetic words" that were given to me
  • The new members' orientation handbook from a church I left years ago.
  • A little baggie with some "gold dust" (looks exactly like glitter, and that's probably exactly what it is) from another "revival" meeting back in the mid 90s
At some point in the past, all of these things were significant to me -- significant enough that I held on to some of it for more than ten years! There is one common thread that unites all of these items: they are all physical things that were supposed to help me feel connected to God... and re-enforce the validity of the ministries that produced them.

It felt good to get rid of that stuff. I don't need a trinket or a ministry to connect me to God anymore. I don't need to see signs and wonders. I'll always remember those times (although now I'm more likely to cringe than to smile when I do), but I'm never going back.


fayecorkern said...

Please don't group all Pentecostal's (upc) with the ones that has turned you so bitter. I am 65 and realize there is no perfect person,only Jesus Christ, who became our blood sacrifice for our sin. yes so many tv peachers are out to sell you on unrealist and untruth they are a mockery of God and are out to decieve and take money from the undercast.I say shame on them. But the word of God is the authority. So be very careful.We may throw the baby away with the dirty diaper.

Jenni said...

I appreciate your comments. I'm not nearly as bitter as I sound sometimes, although I will admit to "venting" in this blog on occasion.

I agree that the Word of God is the final authority. Until I began to understand grace, I could never truly begin understand God's Word.