One Man's Trash...

You got it- "is another man's treasure".

Thrift stores and antique shops may be my absolute favorite places to go shopping. It's so satisfying to find low cost/high potential items that can be just as nice as what you pay full price for at a real store. Some of it needs a little TLC, but it can be fun to repurpose and reuse rather than buy new all the time. And of course there's the unique, one-of-a-kind factor that comes with finding these little treasures.

Here's a little peak at some recent thrift store finds...

I'll never pass up a little tray like this! Especially when it's a buck. It could stand a fresh coat of paint, but it's nice enough to use as-is until I get around to it. I'm thinking it's going to display the Iraqi tea set that Thane brought home from his year spent overseas.

You've seen these before. These little pink tea light holders were too fun to pass up. (See more pink things here).

I recently saw a similar bowl at Target for about $17, except that one was a little smaller. This guy's going to hold Thane's keys and wallet in the front entryway. That is, if he cooperates.

$2 (silver plated)
My neighbor has a pair of beautiful antique silver candle holders that really caught my eye the first time I saw them. These tarnished silver plated glasses reminded me of them, and for $2 you just can't go wrong! I might polish them one day, but for now they're sittin' pretty on our built-ins.

I mentioned wanting a pineapple figurine in a previous post to represent our time spent in Hawaii- just like the horse we found in Kentucky, and the white elephant I'm keeping my eyes open for here. Well, this didn't come from Hawaii. I saw it in the thrift shop here on base and couldn't resist. This picture doesn't really do it justice; it's a beautiful, lustrous gold, and apparently a symbol for hospitality in the South. The top lifts off and there's storage space on the inside. Maybe it'll be hard candy jar. It also lives on the built-ins now.

This plain wooden tray has so much potential! I'm thinking it might get a coat of red spray paint and go in our kitchen.

What good deals have you guys found lately? What do you think I should put in the pineapple?

Speaking of trash and treasures, I'm reminded of this parable;

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field {Mathew 13:44}.

Through various studies, my husband and I have been learning about the kingdom of heaven over the past couple of years. We never realized that this isn't referring to the second coming of Christ or God's final Kingdom, as we always assumed, but that this is referencing the church age... now. Christ's Kingdom is already here, although hidden, until He comes again and establishes His throne on earth. This probably sounds strange if you haven't yet studied it...but the proof of this Kingdom being present is demonstrated in other parables (all of which paint different pictures of the current age in which we now live). In one, Jesus speaks of the mustard tree and the birds that perch in it {Luke 13:19}. In this parable the mustard tree, a small bush grows into a great tree and birds perch in its branches.  Trees represent earthly kingdoms and birds are consistently used as symbols of sin in the bible. The unique unnatural growth of the mustard tree into an enormous tree that birds perch in represents those churches out there preaching a flavor of Christianity that doesn't hold true to the Word of God. Of course there is no church that is perfect, but all Christians, as the collective church of Christ, should be striving to live in obedience to Him. Something I need constant practice/repentance to do.

So, thinking about the treasure in the field again, I have to ask myself- do I live as if I found Christ and was willing to give up everything in order to possess Him? Would I give up my things, my home, even my family, if it were necessary? A few months ago I would have said yes! Of course I would! Then, when I saw how hard it was to leave our home, church, and friends here in Georgia for just a short time, I realized that I was giving myself way too much credit. If that was hard for me, I certainly couldn't give up more without a serious struggle. So that was a little wake up call. Jesus showed me that I'm not as faithful as I would have liked to think. And I'm thankful for that, because now I can at least work towards getting better. But only by the enabling of His Spirit, of course. (As if I could do it by myself, ha!) Staying in my comfort zone never yielded any spiritual growth in my life. So, though it's hard to be challenged, it's totally necessary and I'm exceedingly thankful for it in the end.

So let me say it again- praise God!

-P.S. To see a really amazing sermon series on the Kingdom, go here.

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