Chuck Terrill: Happy Hillbilly New Year
Some people have misguided ideas about Hillbillies.
I know what a Hillbilly is because I is one. I come from a family of Hillbillies. Both sets of my grandparents are from deep Southeast Oklahoma. They were the worst kinds of Hillbillies. And because the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I have some of the same philosophies on life that they had.
For example, whatever you do during the first week of the New Year will set the pattern for the year to come. You would never dream of carrying anything out of the house during the first week of the year.
Not even the trash should go out! That would set you up for a year of “outgo” instead of a year of “income.” It made perfect sense to my grandparents, and it makes perfect sense to me.
During the first week of January my grandparents would carry everything into the house that they could. Lots of firewood came in. Lots of canned goods came in. They made it a point to carry something into the house every time they came in, no matter how insignificant the item was. They wanted to make sure that provisions flowed into the house all year long. The first seven days of January were “ruling days” for what would happen during the rest of the year.
My grandparents were decidedly poor by the standards that I enjoy. Hillbillies that they were, they were richer than I am in many ways. They carried a lot of love into their house. Along with that love came faith in God. Their lives were characterized by real joy in the Lord. A great deal of fervent prayer took place in their homes. They worked hard to maintain happy homes. Countless blessings were given and received.
I have fond memories of my Grannies, Thelma and Mertie, washing dishes in their sinks while singing hymns of praise to God. Everything that they brought into the house during the first week of the New Year continued to come in all year long!
Unlimited faith during the first week of the New Year sets the stage for unlimited faith all year long.
By my calculation, Mary and I will generate three garbage bags full of household trash during the first week of January. I’ll carry them out on Tuesday, January 8. But like every good Hillbilly, during the first week of the year, I will carry in the things that matter most. I know it works. I am expecting miracles. This is going to be a really good year!
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1.3).
Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 471-847-2460.