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Ba-na-na-na, Hey Hey, Good Buy

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Got bananas?

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These particular ones aren’t exactly the prettiest (bruises are hard to prevent with this sensitive fruit). But trust me, they tasted as good as usual!

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Besides being a handy snack, packaged and peel-able, bananas are also said to have teeth-whitening properties in their peel, amongst other DIY remedies (such as curing warts). They are high in potassium, which is apparently great for your heart! They also taste great with peanut butter. (Try it!)

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Growing in bunches and sporting a bright yellow color, they didn’t become popular in America until after the Civil War. They also have long been some of the most reasonably-priced fruit options available.

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From banana bread, to banana pudding, peanut butter and banana sandwiches, dried banana chips, banana-flavored candy, banana costumes, banana shoes, banana and strawberrie yogurt and smoothies, banana cream pie and bananas foster, banana art, banana knit-hats, banana cartoons… The list of banana possibilities, ideas, snacks, costumes, fads and uses spans beyond the imagination. And you know what?

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It’s still just a banana.

Just a yummy fruit. Convenient, cheap, baby-safe fruit. Delicious? Yes. Amazing? I think that’s a little much.

But you know Who IS amazing? The Creator of the Banana.

God didn’t just create the banana, but the apple, orange, pear, watermelon, peach, pomegranate, kiwi, lemon,… Oh, and people. He created you. And He cares way way way more about you than some silly banana. The Bible says in Psalm 139:13-18, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.”

The Bible actually talks about this, when Jesus explains why we shouldn’t worry about things: “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!” -Luke 12:24

This verse uses birds as an example, but you’re just as important as bananas too (score!). The point is, the birds don’t worry and God provides, and yet, God cares so much more for people and yet we worry like He won’t take care of us. He created everything, and holds the world and all it contains in the palm of His hands– He won’t turn away those who come to Him.

Something to ponder next time you’re peeling a banana… Or making banana art… Or wearing a banana hat… Or watching a banana cartoon on T.V.,….

-Abigail


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A Rose By Any Other Name?

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I absolutely love roses! The bigger and brighter the better.

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This one’s a little on the dinky size, but I still love the color, the fresh smell, the soft petals. I’m a sucker for pretty flowers, what can I say?

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But there’s a Rose much sweeter…

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Far greater…

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And about an infinite amount of times brighter to be seen.

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What Rose is this?

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This Rose is Jesus.

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Only He’s not just a Rose. That’s such a weak word to describe Him.

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He’s also the Lion…

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And the Lamb.

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The Good Shepherd…

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And the Door.

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He Himself said that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

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He is the Prince of Peace.

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The King of kings, and Lord of lords.

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He’s the Conquering Seed, the Promised One, the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior.

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The very Son of God, given up to suffer and die for sinful man, that they may live and enjoy Him forever.

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Wonderful Counselor, the Risen One, Heaven’s Champion, the Resurrection and the Life, the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the Gate, the True Vine, the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, and even the name of God: the Great “I AM”.

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“Crucified, laid behind a stone. Lived to die; rejected and alone. Like a Rose, trampled on the ground. He took the fall. And thought of me, above all” -Above All by Paul Baloche

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“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” -John 3:16

Jesus is the name above all other names. But to describe Him– there are not enough names to even begin to say. More beautiful than a rose, stronger than a lion, spotless as a lamb,…He is my Lord.

Abigail


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We See In Obscurity

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Did you know that in this world, we will never fully see as we were meant to see?

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The Bible even refers to this as us trying to look through a dirty glass or mirror– and in turn, are left with an obscure, somewhat warped idea of it all.

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1 Corinthians 15:12 says, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.”

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To fully understand this verse, listen to Matthew Henry explain all the excitement it foretells: “Things are all dark and confused now, in comparison of what they will be hereafter: Now we see through a glass darkly (ev ainigmati, in a riddle ), then face to face; now we know in part, but then we shall know as we are known. Now we can only discern things at a great distance, as through a telescope, and that involved in clouds and obscurity; but hereafter the things to be known will be near and obvious, open to our eyes; and our knowledge will be free from all obscurity and error. God is to be seen face to face; and we are to know Him as we are known by Him; not indeed as perfectly, but in some sense in the same manner. We are known to Him by mere inspection; He turns His eye towards us, and sees and searches us throughout. We shall then fix our eye on Him, and see Him as He is, 1 Jn. 3:2 . We shall know how we are known, enter into all the mysteries of divine love and grace. O glorious change! To pass from darkness to light, from clouds to the clear sunshine of our Saviour’s face, and in God’s own light to see light! Ps. 36:9″

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I’m looking forward to finally seeing things clearly, for what they are, for all they are! More importantly, for the day when I’ll finally meet my Savior face-to-face, knowing that He is the One who died to forgive me. Nothing will be better.

Abigail


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Salt, Light and Burnt Popcorn Part 2

Yesterday, we looked at some burnt-popcorn looking blooms, and talked a bit about salt.

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Today, I’d like to discuss light. ^^^

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Salt and Light, but mostly light.

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As as we learned yesterday about salt, a little goes a long way to give flavor and savor to bland, tasteless things. But tasteless salt is good for nothing.

Regarding light, let’s look first at that verse I promised you: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

If part of that sounded familer, it’s probably due to the popular Sunday School song “This Little Light of Mine”. If you grew up in church, you probably heard that one (a LOT. Right up there with the B-I-B-L-E, am I right?) but there’s a reason they taught you the song! We’re meant to live that. Matthew Henry put it this way, “As the lights of the world, they are intended to illuminate and give light to others”, “the gospel is so strong a light, and carries with it so much of its own evidence, that, like a city on a hill, it cannot be hid, it cannot but appear to be from God, to all those who do not wilfully shut their eyes against it.”

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Hope you’re both salt and light to all those around you today! Be SHARP and do the BRIGHT thing!

Abigail


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Salt, Light and Burnt Popcorn Part 1

These pictures are taken of a plant that blossoms in the warmer weather. I call it the popcorn plant. So just pretend it’s popcorn during today’s topic of discussion.

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Who loves burnt popcorn? All in favor, say aye.

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Yeah, me either.

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If you’re going to have it, you’d like it perfectly popped– not too done, but not a bag full of kernels either. And probably doused in some caramel.

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So what’s the use in burnt popcorn? Most of us would just throw it away. (I was going to say burn it, but well… We’ve already done that)

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The point is that burnt popcorn is basically good for nothing. It defeats it’s purpose.

That is a lot like what Jesus said in Matthew 5:13 about the tasteless salt, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.”

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What’s a person to do? How do we interpret this salt-sprinkled verse?

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In Matthew Henry’s Commentary, the passage is explained like this: “Christ had lately called His disciples, and told them that they should be fishers of men; here He tells them further what He designed them to be— the salt of the earth, and lights of the world, that they might be indeed what it was expected they should be. ‘Ye are the salt of the earth.’ This would encourage and support them under their sufferings, that, though they should be treated with contempt, yet they should really be blessings to the world, and the more so for their suffering thus. The prophets, who went before them, were the salt of the land of Canaan; but the apostles were the salt of the whole earth, for they must go into all the world to preach the gospel. It was a discouragement to them that they were so few and so weak. What could they do in so large a province as the whole earth? Nothing, if they were to work by force of arms and dint of sword; but, being to work silent as salt, one handful of that salt would diffuse its savour far and wide; would go a great way, and work insensibly and irresistibly as leaven, ch. 13:33 . The doctrine of the gospel is as salt; it is penetrating, quick, and powerful (Heb. 4:12 )”

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Henry further says, “If you, who should season others, are yourselves unsavoury, void of spiritual life, relish, and vigour; if a Christian be so, especially if a minister be so, his condition is very sad; for, (1.) He is irrecoverable: Wherewith shall it be salted? Salt is a remedy for unsavoury meat, but there is no remedy for unsavoury salt. Christianity will give a man a relish; but if a man can take up and continue the profession of it, and yet remain flat and foolish, and graceless and insipid, no other doctrine, no other means, can be applied, to make him savoury. If Christianity (does) not do it, nothing will.”

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We are also told to be a light, as expressed in the following verses, which we will look at tomorrow.
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Thanks for reading!

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Enjoy the popcorn– er… I mean pictures!

Abigail


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Fruit for Thought

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Funny story.

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One time my sister and I were casually discussing the fall of man, and got to the point of the forbidden fruit. When my sister said it made her not want to eat apples, I said it probably wasn’t an apple (although it is often depicted in cartoons and pictures as one)

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I further offered that perhaps it was a peach or a nectarine.

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Favoring these over the apple, she responded in horror.

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Honestly, I don’t know what KIND of fruit it was, and I should guess it doesn’t much matter, because if it was important, God would have told us.

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And I feel confident saying that we shouldn’t worry about the type of fruit we’re eating. Not that anybody does, but hey, you never know what people are doing out there…

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Acts 10:15 says, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.”. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

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The point isn’t about forbidden fruit or good fruit– there is no forbidden fruit anymore. All fruit is just your regular old fruit.

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What I’m getting at is, our reasons to eat matters most. Adam and Eve didn’t have good reasons to eat the forbidden fruit, and in turn, they died. Sound harsh?

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Not so much. Rewind the story a little bit and hear how God told them they could eat of ANY tree in the garden, EXCEPT one. That’s a lot of freedom.

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I, along with many others, have struggled with an addiction to food. Sometimes it’s stronger than others. One minute I’m justifying it, and the next I’m regretting it yet again. I want to eat for the glory of God. Hence, I look before I leap (or try to, I’m not perfect). Doing it to be skinny isn’t a good enough reason for me– I need a greater purpose to drop my shackels. I need to do it for God. Not myself, not man. Because I can never throw my hands up and say ‘not worth it!’ if it’s for Him. Because He’s everything to me.

Matthew 4:2-4, “And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'”

I love the details of the nectarine– from the specks, to the sunset shades washing over it. The patterns it has are unique to any other nectarine, and God designed it personally. Doesn’t it look like a work of art?

Abigail


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Matches

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Youve probably used one of these to light a candle before.

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Maybe it was a Birthday candle, or a scented candle from one of those little shops (my mom loves those). These matches definitely come in handy in those scenarios. Although fire can be dangerous if mistreated, it can also be extremely useful, helpful, and enjoyable (think, warming by the fireplace after a freezing day out shoveling snow).

Much in the same way, God can be an amazing help, comfort, and joy to us. But if wrongly treated, can become a consuming fire. How can a God be good, who executes punishment on those who don’t believe? Because He is so holy, so just, so pure, that he cannot KEEP from executing justice– if He were to do so,  He wouldn’t be God, because He would have to go against His nature. How can He save anyone then? The debt must be paid. Jesus paid it. God accepted the suffering of His perfect, spotless beloved Son to pay the price owed  by all who have sinned. Accept His sacrifice, given personally for you, today.

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Unlike fire and matches, however, children may come to God without fear, “Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” -Matthew 19:13-14

Glad you stopped by today!

Abigail