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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jim Baldwin

Hunkered Down Homilies – Tapes

Cassette tapes on a black background

One morning last week, The Today Show featured a headline, “Vintage Tech Selling for Big Bucks.”  The story reported that old televisions, point-and-shoot cameras, GameBoys and Walkmans are going for thousands of dollars on Ebay and other websites.  ENan sent the news story to our two children and said, “First one to clean out the barn gets the ‘Vintage’ stuff!!!!$$$$”

We never have felt the need to have the latest technology.  Our poor deprived children had to go to a friend’s house to play on their Atari set.  (Remember Atari?)  While our friends were showing off their new flip-phones, we still had to rely on the bag phone that sat between the seats of our mini-van for a phone call away from home. 

Although we were not the first on the block to have the latest electronic equipment, we did have a Walkman (that is probably still in the barn, kids!) and several cassette players.  We also have a collection of cassette tapes we have kept even though the boom boxes are long gone.  These tapes have been played over and over in the car and in the house until we know the lyrics by heart.  All I have to do is see the cassette box and the songs start echoing in my brain.

Most of us have other tapes playing in our minds as well.  Some of these are negative messages we heard as children – or even as adults – that shape how we see ourselves.  “You are too slow.”  “You are too fat.”  “You are too sinful.”  After hearing these messages again and again, we begin to believe them.  They shape our image of ourselves and our place in God’s Kingdom and can prevent us from becoming all that God wants us to be. 

The Bible is full of people whose minds were filled with crippling messages.  Moses, Gideon, Jeremiah and more all struggled with a negative self-image shaped by their past.  The Prodigal Son almost didn’t come home because his mind told him, “I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” (Luke 15:19)

God, however, has a different message for us.  “You are loved.”  “You are valuable.”  “You are made in my image.”  The songs of God’s love that echo throughout the Bible are the tapes we need to hear every day.

The negative tapes need to go in the garbage.

Dr. Jim Baldwin

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