As I’ve mentioned before, I’m expected to provide deviled eggs for many family get-togethers. That means a lot of boiled eggs to peel, which makes me think about how perfect the egg is designed. The hard shell, so hard it stays in your compost forever, yet is easily cracked. (And, it only totally hardens after it is laid. I’m sure the hens appreciate that!) Under the shell is the thin membrane that makes it easier to peel. The white of the egg is next and then the colorful, golden yellow in the center. The hens lay many more eggs than they need, so there’s plenty of these protein-laden wonders for them and for us. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give eggs a 10.
Before you go to bed tonight, are you going to take inventory to see if you’ve done enough for God today? Did you pray enough or read enough in your Bible or give enough at church? How long has it been since you fasted? God must smile at us sometimes or feel sad we misunderstand him so completely. If we constantly feel we are letting God down as Christians, we are the ones in need, not God. What we need is faith that Christ has paid and is paying all that we owe to God. And the faith to believe that truth comes from him as well. When we put more of our focus on our relationship with our Savior and not so much on ourselves, he takes care of the rest.
“Are you racist?” Who, me? No. I have friends of all races. My parents taught me racism was wrong. This was how I self-identified until I attended a racial reconciliation workshop. As I listened to stories of discrimination, I had a twinge of conscience, and then another. I began to realize I wasn’t as innocent of racial prejudice as I thought. I came to more fully understand how the privileges I enjoyed and took for granted were not shared by all. Their examples were some of the more benign racial insults my friends suffer almost daily. We’re all aware of the more deadly examples of racial injustice reported regularly in our news media. Isn’t it about time to put aside our assumptions about one another, often based on false premises, and just listen to one another.
Do you like to watch romantic movies? Rom-coms are fun because you know the couples will always end up passionately in love. Wow, heady stuff! Unfortunately, as most couples know, rom-coms are make-believe, not real life. First-love passions fade and the practical aspects of making a living, raising children and being committed to one another, through thick and thin, emerge. Abusive marriages need to end, but more marriages end not because of abuse, but because couples say they’ve “fallen out of love.” What they really mean by love is that first passionate romance of new love. How many morals, principles, families and marriages are sacrificed on the altar of unrealistic romantic love. Let’s hope all marriages keep some romance in them, as long as we remember romantic feelings are not enough to carry you through the hard times.
In the flower- and flag-draped casket, crowned with the British symbols of state and church, lay a queen who shared the gospel to more on the day of her funeral than she did all the days of her long life. If you watched the funeral service, you heard scripture after scripture recited pointing to Christ and his promise of eternal life. And, not only did you and I hear those words, so also did multiple millions of people worldwide in numerous languages. This service’s focus on God’s promise of the resurrection was not without her participation. According to various British ecclesiasticals, she was closely involved in planning her service. Whether Jesus returns tomorrow or thousands of years hence, God’s Word cannot be hindered. In one way or the other the gospel will be taken to the world.
Have you ever had to be rushed to ER? It happened to me. As my daughter drove me to the emergency room, acute pain piercing through my side, thoughts of Jesus being stabbed on the cross came. How much worse it had been for him. At the hospital big guys in scrubs wheeled me into a room, inserted an IV and started pain meds into my system. When they didn’t work they gave me stronger meds. Unlike Jesus’ experience, my painful kidney stone episode was taken care of by tender hands working hard to relieve my suffering. I hate pain. I hate it for myself and I hate it for others. While I do everything I can to avoid pain, our Savior faced it head on, just for the love of us.
As the world watched, an exceptional woman was carried from one destination to another, with all the trappings of royalty. And, she deserved every accolade, military band, gun salute and royal guard that accompanied her along the route from Balmoral Castle to Westminster Hall. She is The Queen. We don’t have a queen or king in America, so we idolize sports figures, movie stars and even politicians. They continually disappoint us, but The Queen did not fail her people. Queen Elizabeth II didn’t choose her role in life, but she vowed to fulfill it until the end. May we take our God-given responsibilities, whether chosen or not, as seriously as she.
One of English author A.A. Milne’s famous quotes is “Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.” In the spring when the grass begins to grow in my yard, tiny flowers appear everywhere. When I examine them closely, they’re perfect little works of art. Out in the pastures and fields glorious color spreads across the countryside, reds, yellows and blues! Weeds—we walk on them and we mow them away. Somehow I feel Milne’s words are not just about weeds.
“You want an ice-cream?” he asked. I said no to the ice cream. Another friend and I were with this friend who had lost his wife a couple of weeks ago. We had invited him to eat with us at a small Texas market known for its good hamburgers. We reminisced about his wife and in a small way, shared some of his grief. “Ok, if you’re not having one, I won’t either.” I saw the disappointed look on our friend’s face. Though I seldom have dessert after a meal, we all had ice cream that day. Some days you order the ice cream.
When I mentioned to my daughter I would like to be a philanthropist, she asked, “But don’t you have to have money to do that?” Well, there is that! Okay, I’m not a Melinda Gates or a MacKenzie (formerly Bezos) who give away money in the billions, but I still believe any of us can be a philanthropist. Because Jesus said there’s one philanthropist who outdid even those wealthy women, the widow at the temple in Jerusalem. Though she was poor, he pointed to her as an example of the ultimate giver. (Mark 12:41-44).