A Four-Letter Word

Are you guilty of saying this four-letter word?  We have all said it.  The next question is have you acted it out?  I will admit that I have, but thankfully over the years, as I’ve grown in Christ, He has begun a work in me that allows me to walk in love, His love.  I don’t succeed all the time; however, He is constantly and meticulously working on me just as an artist works on his masterpiece.  So, what is this four-letter word?  It is HATE.

Considering the upcoming events this weekend in Murfreesboro, this four-letter word has been heavy on my heart.  On Saturday, hate is going to try and take over our town.  I am praying along with countless others that in hate’s place another four-letter word prevails…LOVE!  Not just any love but the love of Christ.  No one life matters more than another.  No skin color is more important than another.  Jesus died on the cross to pay the wages of sin and death for every life, every nationality, and every skin color.  He rose again on the third day because He conquered death and hell for each one of us, no matter where we come from and no matter what we look like.    

At our church this past Sunday, our Pastor spoke on relationships.  He discussed the world’s view compared to God’s view.  One of the things he said and had us repeat after each reference of God’s commitment to us was, “HE did, so I can!”  I want to remind myself and everyone else of this fact.  The following are just a few of His wonderful attributes that come to mind:

He loves everyone, so I can love everyone.

He forgives, so I can forgive others and myself.

He is merciful, so I can show mercy to others.

He is full of grace, so I can give grace to others.

He is full of compassion, so I can be compassionate to others.

He is generous, so I can be generous.

He is good, so I can show goodness to others.

He is just, so I can be fair and just to others.

He is wise, so I can draw from His wisdom.

He is strong, so I can find strength through Him.

lightThe list could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.  Since we are each created in His image, then each one of us is capable of being like Him if we allow Him to work through us.  My prayer is to be the light that cast out darkness, destroys hate, and instead brings glory to God.  I hope you will make this your prayer as well.  Much love!

 

Be a Sunflower

There is a family farm in town called Batey Farms (BateyFarms.com).  They also offer a beautiful venue nearby called The Grove (@Williamsongrove), where there are two fields of sunflowers.  Last week, those sunflowers were in full bloom and the fields were open to the public.  Everyone was invited to come and admire them, take pictures, and even pick a bouquet. 

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My family along with some good friends of ours decided to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.  We walked through the fields enjoying all the beautiful sunflowers and took lots of great pictures.  The boys and I also picked three gorgeous sunflowers to take home and enjoy.  Once we got them home, we trimmed the ends and placed them in a vase of water on the kitchen table.  They lasted for a few days but then began to lose their petals and droop.

I so enjoyed having them on our table and really hated to see them fade away.  Not knowing much about sunflowers, except for their beauty, I decided to do a little research on them.  I found out some very interesting facts that I’d like to share with you:

  • When the sunflowers are growing, the flower buds and young blossoms will face east in the morning and follow the sun as the earth moves during the day. This is a behavior called heliotropism.  Essentially, they turn their face to the sun in order to grow to their full potential.
  • A sunflower head is made up of 1000 to 2000 individual flowers which are joined at the base. A single sunflower can have up to 2000 seeds.
  • Sunflowers can remove toxins such as lead, arsenic and uranium from contaminated soil. They are a natural decontaminator of soils, and have been used to clean up soil at some of the world’s biggest environmental disasters including Chernobyl and Fukushima.

This really got me to thinking, and I realized as Christians we can be a lot like sunflowers.  To grow strong, we must look to the Son, Jesus Christ.  To mature and reach our full potential, we must follow Him wherever He moves.  Even one person can have multiple seeds of greatness inside them.  As we grow and mature, we can plant those seeds  producing an exceptional harvest for the Kingdom of God.  Through Christ, we have the potential to bring life and healing to others who have been contaminated by the sin of this world.

So, go out and be a sunflower!  Seek the Son and keep your eyes on Jesus.  Allow the seeds of greatness God has placed inside you to grow and spread to countless others who need His touch.  Show love, mercy, and grace to those who have been poisoned by the lies of the enemy.  And finally, let us teach our children to do the same.