Saturday, September 20, 2008


"What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies" (1 Corinthians 15:36).
from September 20's readings.
i know of no scientific examples of this verse... except tomatoes (and phoenixes... but that's mythological, not scientific).

okay, i'm not ciscoe, but i listen to him sometimes because i really enjoy gardening. he said (with his most odd mannerisms that suggestive of a former way of life): "when you're growing tomatoes, let the first tomato die on the vine. i know it will kill you to not be able to eat that first tomato, but it will encourage way more tomatoes to grow nice and big." and then he laughed that really weird snorting laugh.

yeah, i know that we always hear that Jesus is the vine, but that first tomato is Jesus' humanity. Jesus was not only the vine on which we grew, he also became just like us, a tomato, if you will, susceptible to infection, slugs, and even death. but by his death, so many are able to flourish.

it takes a lot of humility by God, the vine-grower, to put his most prized tomato through that. it takes a lot of character for that tomato to sit there and be sacrificed. i mean, it could reach a point where it takes on an adaptation and doesn't produce the crucial chemical signals that are released when it dies to encourage the other tomatoes to grow. in other words, Jesus didn't have to send us his Holy Spirit. but because he loves us, he did all of these things.

we can learn a real lesson from all this. it applies to us too. now, we don't have to be any sort of whole-bodied sacrifice for the salvation of humanity, but our actions should mirror the humility of Jesus' sacrifice.

i think what st. paul is really driving at is that our actions should be done with the utmost humility. how often do we read of Jesus scorning certain scribes and pharisees for their lack of humility (and for being hypocritical)? if you do something, it won't matter in God's book unless you do it wholeheartedly for him. and to perform an action wholeheartedly for God means 100% for him and 0% for you or anybody else.

praise God and God alone.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

the real world

so i go on these retreats every now and then, and you start recognizing that towards the end, there's a big emotional drop-off. most commonly, it's because you know you have to go back out into the "real world." but one brother told me something really cool: when you chose to be at that retreat, you never left the real world. God is not some imaginary being that you go on a 3-day camp for. he's very prominent at those retreats, but he's so incredibly real outside of those church doors. what's different outside those doors is that WE sometimes choose not to recognize God's presence. but God's signature is on all of creation. he made the fundamental elements that make up everything we see. but it's up to us to live that up. we have to show others that God is real because we're the ones who have that privilege of already knowing that. and it's in teaching others that we also solidify our learning.

every day, every breath, and every moment of life is about God.