Sunday, December 15, 2013

FRAGRANCE

     Anyone who has wakened Christmas morning to the heavy aroma of turkey roasting cannot forget it. How early would our moms be downstairs stuffing that bird and getting it into the oven to be ready for dinner at noon while the rest of the family slept in warm beds?

     We associate fragrances with foods, special occasions, people, growing things. The scent of candles burning and evergreen boughs on Christmas Eve stir memories of worshipping together on that special night when the love of God and family was tangible.

     A fragrance is an unseen something around us that we become aware of. We detect it. It affects us. We choose to be attracted or repelled. 2 Corinthians 2:14 says believers in Christ diffuse the fragrance of His knowledge. Verses 15 and 16 explain that to one desiring Truth, a Christian is "the aroma of life leading to life." (NKJV)

     Negative words concerning the environment, politics, health concerns, finances, relationships - all of these abound. Ones who absorb the positive influence of God's Word can release a positive fragrance, the fragrance of hope. God is not perplexed over any condition that troubles mankind. He speaks, "Shalom", a term with a wealth of meaning and a delightful fragrance. It speaks of well-being in every sense - physical, emotional, spiritual.

     The turkey at Christmas, the rose in summer - some fragrances are tied to a season. Our words have power to entice and encourage at any time of year. We can bless and be blessed by their fragrance.

 Photo courtesy of Eleanor Joy McDonald

Sunday, December 1, 2013

MORE THAN THE SPARROWS

     A detour because of bridge repair took me into a valley where Herefords were feeding by the river. The farmer had delivered hay to the snow-covered pasture. I'm fairly sure the cattle took for granted he would show up with food. Can't imagine them stewing. That's not a favourite word in the vocabulary of beef cattle, but you know what I mean - in a dither - about what to do if dinner did not arrive.

     We can learn from those Herefords. David said, "You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. (Psalm 145:16 NIV) You and I are living so that every must include us. More than the most loving parent on earth, Father God cares, provides and desires to see His children succeed.

     Friends gave me a lovely azalea just beginning to bloom and loaded with buds. When I realized it needed more water than the other plants on the window sills, its healthy green buds had turned brown. With a little water each morning, life inside them prevailed. One by one the flowers are pushing aside the dry brown outer layer and opening.

     In Luke 12 Jesus reminds us growing things and birds have everything they need. He asks, "Of how much more value are you than the birds?" (Luke 12:24 NKJV) Believers are strengthened by the Holy Spirit within us and all His presence affords, the Lord Jesus interceding for us, and Father God longing to see us victorious.

     Remember the chorus we sang as children? "God sees the little sparrow fall. It meets His tender view. If God so loves the little birds, I know He loves me too!" At seven or seventy we can know we are in His loving care.