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Lilies and Worry

    Back in 1968 when we moved into our house, my father went to the nearby woods in Wayne, NJ, and dug up two or maybe three day lilies.  We planted them by the side of the driveway, and now there are hundreds of them.   A couple of years ago, my wife and I dug up maybe five of them from the driveway and brought them here to Norfolk.  And now this morning, there were 28 in full bloom.  The color in them is beautiful.  In the deep center of the flower it is a  bright yellow and then it becomes an orange with a little reddish tint at the base.  There are six petals - three of them with a white streak, and the other three with no streak.  The stamen at the center of the flower is yellow, but as it comes out of the flower it is orange, but then the very tips are as bright yellow.  Such beauty - yet their name tells their story - as a day lily, it is for one day only.  In Matthew 6, Christ Jesus said:
     28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do
     not labor  or  spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was
     dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is
     here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you,
     O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall
     we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and
     your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first His kingdom and
     His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do
     not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough
     trouble of its own."
So indeed, why worry?  Why worry when we have been given such beauty and "Each day has enough trouble of its own.  The other day I needed some shorts and my good wife was able to procure four of them at the thrift store for about six dollars a piece. 
     But, the above paragraph misses the point.  Most readers jump to the conclusion of God providing for us.  However, the real point of Jesus's saying is "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  Thus, my challenge to you is "Are you seeking God's kingdom and God's righteousness?"

P.S.  31 May:  Each day there have been more and more lilies.  On Tuesday there were 48 lilies, and today, 31 May, there were 75 lilies.  On 02 June there were 76 lilies.

Prayer, Fly, and Creation

This past Thursday I was a chaperone for my son's 8th grade class.  We went to a retreat center in Richmond, and the leader asked us to go and pray by ourselves, with no others around.  So I headed up a hill, and sat down and began to pray.  After a minute or two a fly came and visited me.  So instead of praying, a fly broke my chain of thought, my prayers.  Then, instead of praying, I began to look at the fly and I was amazed at God's creativity.  This little fly had translucent wings, swept back like a fighter.  However, it could lift off my knee like a helicopter, and zoom around.  How is it that something so small could fly so quickly? with so much agility?.  Evolutionists have a tough time explaining flight of flies.  For a partial wing serves no purpose.  One wing on one side of the body servers no purpose.  Both wings have to be equally balanced and both have to be fully functional to work.  So I was amazed at God's creativity.  Then I went back to praying, and praised God the Father, the Creator, who made such a marvelous little insect, the fly. 

Mother's Day - Spiritual Mothers

Paul, in writing to Timothy, wrote "I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also."  What a blessing it is to have the spiritual heritage go from one generation to the next.  Lois the grandmother trains Eunice.  Eunice then passes her faith to her son Timothy.  While on Mother's Day we often concentrate on mothers raising us physically, we must not forget about them raising us spiritually as well.  I remember as a young boy in 5th and 6th grade going over my Bible verses with my mother.  Even though my dad was the pastor, I still went over the Bible verses with my mother.  Now decades later, I can still recite some of these verses.  So I thank my mother for being my physical mother, but even more importantly was her being a spiritual mother.

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Philippians 1;21:  "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."  Paul wrote this verse, but I fear that most Christians don't really believe it.  This could be perhaps because Christians are afraid of death.  I don't think that is the case.  I think it is more likely that we are so often enticed with this world that we don't look forward to heaven.  We could be enticed by this world because we live in America where life is not hard.  We live good.  We are not persecuted.  We have our ipads and ipods.  But are we being seduced by the world?  We should be looking towards heaven where we will be with God.  We should be desiring heaven.  But we don't.
The challenge:  What is more important - earth or heaven?