All You Can Take With You


In February 1974, Frank and Jerri were serving as missionaries in Colombia, South America. On a previous furlough, they began collecting things to take back to their rather isolated living situation.  When offered a useful item, they accepted it, even if they had a duplicate, knowing someone could use it.

Upon returning, they soon became known for having “two or three of everything” -- gadgets, materials, small appliances.  If you came to Colombia without an item, the word was, “Go see if the Morgans might have one for you.” Frank and Jerri gave away scores of items over the years.

One day a prairie fire was swept into the center of operations by winds up to 40 mph. Frank, along with the other men, rushed to help keep the flames away from the homes and other buildings.  The raging fire seemed to sweep safely past the Morgan’s home, burning only the surrounding dry grass. Then, a burning ember blew into the attic.  Flames suddenly burst through the roof.  The Morgans had been enjoying a Sunday picnic, so the family was safe, yet they could do nothing but watch their home burn.  

Then, something astounding happened.  Before the fire even quit smoldering, people began bringing over home goods.  A toaster, a hand mixer, a pressure cooker, a food grinder, Tupperware, other gadgets, boots, rain gear, tools, a shortwave radio, hair clippers, even a small artificial Christmas tree.  Not everything came back, but lots did.  People would say, “You gave me this when you had more than one and I had none.  Now you have none and I’m bringing it back.”  Frank and Jerri expressed it this way, “Everything we kept for ourselves was lost.  All that was saved was what we had given away.”


Scripture: Luke 12:13-21

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Further Exploration:

Watch It’s a Wonderful Life

Read the book “7” by Jen Hatmaker 

Matthew 6:19-24 

Matthew 19: 16-30

What can you give away?  Where are you storing up things for yourself? Where can you be rich toward God?