As James looked out over the congregations of his day, did he perceive the need to address a particular problem? Commentators generally regard his original readers as being largely poor Jewish Christians. However, might there be more? Continue reading “A background for James?”
“Look at that gorgeous Geranium!” I exclaimed this morning, as my beloved Yard Boy and I walked through the garden.
“It’s a daffodil, sweetheart. Why are you calling a geranium?” he asked. Good question. He knows I am a stickler about calling plants by their correct names. I’ll even use the Latin name for it if I know it, so there won’t be any confusion.
“Because that’s the name of this particular cultivar — Geranium,” I answered. “It’s a silly name, but I didn’t name it. It’s really an old heirloom variety, but that really is the actual name.” Continue reading “Nomenclature Matters”
The quote appears now and again, and each time I read it I appreciate it less and less. It is sometimes attributed to Francis of Assisi, but one never sees attribution, so it’s doubtful that the Catholic figure ever wrote it. It appears in several forms, sometimes one compound sentence; at other times, as two separate sentences.
I fail to appreciate it because it sets up a conflict of sorts between words and life. It expresses an unbiblical dichotomy. Continue reading “Let there be life”
Gargoyles and other statuary can add a whimsical touch to the garden if you know how to place your garden art. I’m just learning how to use art in the flower beds, and I’m really drawn to “ugly” art such as gargoyles and trolls.
Historically, gargoyles were meant to ward off evil spirits. Their imposing, frightening visages graced many prominent buildings, including notable Catholic churches such as Notre Dame. The use of these strange, scary images for this mystical purpose was not without its critics, however. Continue reading “Gargoyles and gaffes”
Yes, I talk to my flowers. It is almost always in the most gentle of tones; not because researchers have indicated that this helps them thrive, but because I love them. It’s also very nice that they don’t talk back! It’s better on some days to hear nothing at all than to hear discouraging words.
Some say that music also helps plants, but I’m not going to torture the neighbors by singing to my flowers. Continue reading “If you don’t have anything nice to say…”
Roman citizens had the absolute assurance of safe travel to any part of the known world. All a Roman had to say when traveling was, “civis romanus sum,” and free passage was guaranteed.
The ability for people to go anywhere has been prized for centuries. In Israel, the leader was the man honored with the responsibility of leading the people out and bringing them in (Numbers 27:17).
A shepherd was charged with the responsibility of leading sheep safely to food and water. He made certain the flock could “go in and out” without fail. Continue reading “The Good Shepherd”
I need help. You do, too. There is no one who doesn’t need help to get to God and continue in the good way. Every moment we are influenced by someone. Christ chose his followers to be people who greatly influence others, with eternal effect. Continue reading “The power of your influence is great”
Words radiate power. Divine words emanate limitless power. God spoke creation into existence. Scripture transforms, motivates, and equips. His words are words of human comprehension that engage the human mind and soul. Jesus has “the words of eternal life” John 6.68.
The popular notion that words mean nothing is bunk. Human words also effect great consequences. The reason words multiply today is not only because more means are available, but because, down deep, people know the power of words and want to exercise that power. Continue reading “Careful! Human words radiate power”
Make your words have grace rather than venom Continue reading Little snakes
Amazing how people’s words don’t match reality! Continue reading Are you sure?