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Michelle Strall: Let Jesus and vinegar be your secret weapons
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I recently discovered the wonders of vinegar. That’s right, household vinegar.

It is an incredible chemical, and it can do wonders around your house.

While inquiring of friends on social media about their best practices for cleaning soap scum from the shower, I was referred to a homemade solution of vinegar and Dawn. So I decided to give it a try, but I used only vinegar because I didn’t have any Dawn on hand.

Well, the vinegar worked quite well by itself. I sprayed on the vinegar and let it stand for 30 to 45 minutes, and voilà, it was like magic! I was able to scrub away the soap scum much more easily than before.

I have also since learned vinegar can be useful for deodorizing, cleaning and much more. Adding 2 cups of vinegar to your laundry will kill bacteria and cleanse it in much the same fashion as bleach, yet it will not harm your clothing.

It kills bathroom germs but is not nearly as toxic as other chemicals we use to clean about the house. Incredible!

I am in love with vinegar! I am amazed at what it can do. It’s my new secret weapon and I’m excited about it, if you hadn’t noticed.

“So what does vinegar have to do with Jesus?” you might be asking. (Romans 8:37-39).

Interestingly, the wonders of vinegar got me to thinking about how Christians should behave about the good news of Easter.

By no means am I trying to say vinegar equates to the awesomeness of Christ. Clearly Jesus is superior ... but follow my comparison.

Like vinegar, Jesus helps us to be successful in areas where we might have otherwise experienced great difficulty. Jesus enables us to be victorious in all things.

Trouble with a co-worker? Learn to love them and work through the trouble with Jesus.

Issues with unforgiveness? Learn to forgive and heal with Jesus.

Struggling with anxiety and depression? Find joy and peace with Jesus. 

God has come that we might have life and help. Jesus gives us eternal life through his death and resurrection, but that is not the end of his gifts to us. He empowers us to live victoriously and to conquer all things!

Paul says it well when he says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). 

We try to do things the hard way, when God has made a way for us to utilize him and his power for daily living. It’s like spraying your shower wall with vinegar. You could try to scrub it with a regular brush or maybe a Magic Eraser, but it’s going to be a lot more work that way. Or you could use your secret weapon (vinegar) and be more successful at it.

Christ is our secret weapon (or not-so-secret weapon)!

Dear one, you and I need to utilize the power that is given to us from our resurrected Lord every day. Instead, we try to go through our days and just do it in our own ability. That’s a pretty foolish thing to do.  Instead, use the secret weapon; call out to the Lord for help, for power, for the ability to overcome. You are an overcomer in Christ, so live like it!

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we cry out to you ... save us. Save us from our sins. Save us from ourselves. Save us from the temptations of this world. Save us from the things that seek to defeat us. Give us the help we need so desperately, and help us to be wise enough to accept it. Amen.

Michelle Strall is pastor of Antioch United Methodist Church in Gainesville. She can be reached at