Archive | August, 2010

Remember

31 Aug
My Grandfather (†); photo from January 17.JPG

Image via Wikipedia

It seems that as many people reach old age their minds aren’t as quick and their memories not so easily retrievable as when they were young.  I think of the people I know who have Alzheimer’s disease and how they live in a world that doesn’t make sense to them anymore.  Where the present is not the present that others are experiencing; it is a wandering moment from the past being replayed amongst memories that have gotten out of chronological order.  The person they once were becomes very different than the person they are as their Alzheimers progresses.

It reminds me that we need to take advantage of every moment of our lives.  Take the time to appreciate the present because no one knows what the future holds.

‘Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.” Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky. Remember him before your legs—the guards of your house—start to tremble; and before your shoulders—the strong men—stoop. Remember him before your teeth—your few remaining servants—stop grinding; and before your eyes—the women looking through the windows—see dimly.

Remember him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Now you rise at the first chirping of the birds, but then all their sounds will grow faint.

Remember him before you become fearful of falling and worry about danger in the streets; before your hair turns white like an almond tree in bloom, and you drag along without energy like a dying grasshopper, and the caperberry no longer inspires sexual desire. Remember him before you near the grave, your everlasting home, when the mourners will weep at your funeral.

Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don’t wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well. For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.  Ecclesiastes 12:1-7

Harvesting

30 Aug

After living on an organic farm for a year, I learned a lot about the science of plants. I say science because there is a lot more that goes into growing/farming than just putting the seeds in the ground.  You have to understand different types of soil, fertilization, animals/ insects, filtration/ watering systems, plant life cycles, plant health and diseases, etc.  I had never realized how much truly goes into growing the food that we all can simply go to the grocery store, buy, and then eat.

A couple of years ago I started a garden in our back yard for the satisfaction of growing our own organic food and to save money.  Even after my year on the farm I still had new things to learn, such as how to organically keep slugs from eating all of our eggplant!  Well, after our 6 month trip to Brazil, our garden is in a sad state.  The peppermint and eggplant were casualties of too little water.  The basil and parsley survived, but are in need of TLC to get back to their healthy state.  It takes time to keep your garden healthy and when you don’t give the plants that time, you will see a difference.

Before the days of grocery stores and suburbs, most people understood all of the aspects of growing that I had to learn on the farm.  Here is a story about farming:

“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed.  As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it.  Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow.  But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots, it died.  Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain.  Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”  Then he said, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

Later, when Jesus was alone with the twelve disciples and with the others who were gathered around, they asked him what the parables meant.

He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secret of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables for everything I say to outsiders,  so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled:

‘When they see what I do,
they will learn nothing.
When they hear what I say,
they will not understand.
Otherwise, they will turn to me
and be forgiven.”

Then Jesus said to them, “If you can’t understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables?  The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others.  The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away.  The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy.  But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word.  The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word,  but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.  And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” Mark 4:3-20

What can we learn from this today?  That it is our job to be out there planting seeds for the kingdom of God, watering those seeds, and helping them grow.

Jesus said to his disciples, “the harvest is great, but the workers are few.” Matthew 9:37

So why not help with the harvest?

Thursday makes me happy

26 Aug

I love Thursday because it is my Friday.

I know that tomorrow I don’t have to wake up at 6:45 and then sit in traffic for an hour.

I can lie in bed and enjoy the morning.

I can drink my tea in my big ceramic cup and not my to-go cup.

I can cuddle with my hubby longer and not feel rushed.

I can walk on the beach if I want to or I can do nothing at all.

A week would be eternal if it weren’t for weekends!

A break for my mind.

Rejuvenation of my soul.

Misguided Passion

25 Aug

Coming out of a sushi restaurant the other day, there was a car stopped behind mine in the parking lot.  I couldn’t leave, so I just sat in the driver’s seat and looked in my rear view mirror.  There was a young, good looking couple in the SUV.  I was thinking that any second the girl was going to move her car out of the way. But that is not what happened.  They appeared to be having an intense conversation and the girl was moving her hands around in the air as she talked. Then all of a sudden they were hitting each other in the face. It happened so fast I really couldn’t tell who hit who first.

The guy quickly got out of the car and stormed of across the parking lot.  The girl then put her car in reverse and sped back wards and around quickly.  I thought she was going to hit my car, but she didn’t and pulled into the spot beside mine.  I turned to look at her as she did and her eye was already swelling and purple/blue.   She jumped out of her car and ran off across the parking lot after the guy.  I sat there for a moment and took in what had just happened.

It is one of those moments where you don’t know what to do. You want to help in some way, but at the same time you don’t want to get in the middle of a fist fight.  I choose to pray for them as I drove home.  I still can see her face in my mind; a mix of anger, desperation, and passion.

What happens to us when our passion is for the world?  We let ourselves go down paths of self-destruction. We let ourselves be abused.

It is natural for us to feel passion.  We are driven by emotions and feelings.  But when our passion is misguided we can get ourselves into all kinds of trouble.

I am praying for all those that are in trouble, lost in misguided passion.  For all the victims of domestic violence.

‘Down to Earth Talk about Heaven’

24 Aug

‘Don’t focus on what God has called someone else to do, focus on what he has called you to do.’ Pastor Greg Laurie

This morning I listened to a talk by Greg Laurie that I found really enlightening.  I wanted to share it with you.  It is a half hour talk, so when you have a little time I recommend listening.

Down to Earth Talk about Heaven by Pastor Greg Laurie

Full of Grace

23 Aug

In Saudi Arabia there is a court case currently unfolding that I think most Americans would find shocking.  A man who got in a fight, which led to the other man becoming paralyzed, could face paralysis as his punishment.  If the court rules so, then he will undergo surgery to sever his spinal cord and be left a cripple like the man he fought.

Seem a bit crazy? It goes along with the expression “an eye for an eye.”  This is seen as an acceptable punishment in Saudi Arabia who largely follow the Koran.  The Koran and the old testament of the Bible both state that an “eye for an eye” can be lawful punishment (see Exodus 21:23).

The teachings of the new testament, however, state that this is no longer law.

“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’  But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.  If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.  If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Matthew 5:38-41

So the new testament urges us to show grace to others.  What is grace? It is receiving what you don’t deserve. It is showing others mercy or favor when they don’t deserve it.  It is what I am thankful for every day because God showed me grace even though I was completely undeserving.

Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Ephesians 2:9

It is something that can’t be worked for or earned.  We receive salvation through God’s grace and love.  You can do every good deed imaginable, but without God’s grace it means nothing.  God’s grace is given by belief in his son.  Simple as that.

I wonder if the Saudi Arabian man is hoping for grace. Probably. The question is will he receive it.  We will have to wait and see.

Here is a link to a news article about the Saudi Arabia case:

http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Amnesty+says+Saudi+paralyze+punishment/3429297/story.html

Drifting to Rooted

20 Aug

Do you ever feel like you are under qualified, unprepared, and misplaced?

Like you don’t know what to say?

Like you’re not sure how you got here, but somehow you made it.

I felt like that yesterday.

Surrounded by a room of academics, introducing themselves and their professional/academic interests.

Not knowing what to say.

Feeling out of place.

A little lost and under qualified.

But then I realized that I couldn’t be there for no reason.

In others eyes I am qualified enough for this.

My inner dialogues can really be quite self-defeating.

Thank God, that I have him to reassure me.

To be my anchor and my rock.

I turn to the Lord for confidence.

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord

and have made the Lord their hope and their confidence.

They are like trees planted along a riverbank,

with roots that reach deep into the water.

Such trees are not bothered by the heat

or worried about long months of drought.

Their leaves stay green,

and they never stop producing fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8