Thursday, March 24, 2011

Promises Promises

Thanks to Mr. Brown Thumb for the pic. Check out his great blog about urban gardening.

A single seed in the palm of my hand holds so much promise. This tiny seed will grow into a basil plant, from which I will cut to enhance summer meals. My mind wanders to caprese sandwiches; balsamic on crusty bread, topped with fresh mozzarella, basil and juicy tomato slices. Yum! But for now the seed remains intact. It's potential will not be realized until I plant it.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain . . .falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." ~John 12:24.

The snow shouts from outside my window that winter remains, but I as I ponder my seed, I'm assured that spring is here and soon I can plant this tiny promise into the ground. And when this seed dies, it's life will be realized.

My thoughts shift to inward seeds. Birthed from our imagination, these seeds become dreams from which we make plans for life. But so often we discover that we must allow our dreams to die in the ground of circumstances and discouragement. With time and attention, prayer and faith these seeds may yet sprout new life.

If God has planted a dream in your heart and it seems like the dream is dead, be patient. Watch and pray. In faith, sprinkle some water on it every now and then. See what faith will do with that seed.

Don't give up. The promise of the seed awaits.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Healthy Diligence

"Taking a holistic approach to health includes the principle of “prevention being better than cure”. While most of us may wait until we are in the grip of a cold or battling with emotional pain before we seek treatment to address symptoms, the holistic approach to health urges us to ‘start off how we intend to finish’. In other words, we need to maintain health and well-being in all aspects of our life.
The emphasis in holistic health is on building health, not only on fighting illness. This is achieved by creating a healthy lifestyle and healthy relationships." ~taken from the article, "The Healing Power of Nature," The Native Remedies Blog

I recommend reading the whole article. While I disagree that Nature itself has provided all we need (I believe our Creator made these things in nature for our healing), their point is well taken. We need to have a mind to maintain our health and work at it consistently. This kind of diligence prevents many severe illnesses. 

It's like keeping a house clean, if we pick up each time we see something out of place and quickly wash out the sink when we see a spot, our house remains clean and we don't have to panic trying to find an entire day to spend on cleaning. 

This daily-diligence principle holds true in every area of life. And what's more important than our health (spiritual, physical, mental, etc.)?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

When Nature Groans

We're horrified by the multiple, natural disasters that hit Japan yesterday. We can't yet comprehend the devastation, death and long-term effects on that nation and many others as a result. Our minds reel to come up with a reason.

For this and so many natural eruptions in our world recently we want an answer. We want to assure ourselves that we are safe. Often, as Christians, we'd like to say that it's God's judgment on an ungodly nation. But can we say the United States is godly? Hardly.

It reminds me of something Jesus said when asked why certain people died in a tragic accident. They were really asking Jesus what those people did to deserve such a death. Jesus explained that they were asking the wrong question. They should've been asking why the tower hadn't fallen on them.

Today I'm thinking of the natural disasters that have been in the news in the last few years. Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes. These have happened all over the globe not missing our own nation.

Today I read a verse written by Daniel centuries ago describing his people and circumstances. See if it doesn't ring true with us today.

". . .all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth."
Daniel 9:13

We are all sinners. We all deserve God's wrath. But God loves all people and is not willing that any perish, according to the Bible (2 Peter 3:9). He is patient toward us, waiting for us to turn to Him in repentance. If we do, He has already made the way to give us forgiveness--Jesus, the One who took our death-sentence and then rose victoriously to life again.

Natural disasters can bring our attention to God. What better time to seek Him in prayer and evaluate our own lives. But it is for all of us. It is not for us to judge another nation or group of people. And it is not for us to expect that we will not suffer similar disasters.

We're told in the Bible that nature (creation) groans. That's what I keep thinking about when I hear the news. The earth is groaning. Here in Romans 8 we see the weight of sin causing man and nature to groan under its curse. But here we also see the hope waiting for us just ahead.

Let us pray for those suffering from the earth's groaning and let us examine ourselves, looking forward to the hope we have in Christ.

Romans 8:18-25:
   18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
   19For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
   20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope
   21that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
   22For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
   23And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
   24For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?
   25But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.