What's in a Seed, Part 2

In part two of this discussion of What is in a seed, I decided to research a little about the effects of a seed's environment. Here are some things I learned.

1. When a seed grows in an alternate environment and survives, it is said it has adapted. How many times have you adapted? Whether we like it or not, adapting is a part of life. Our attitude about it is something we can control.

2. Some seeds planted in harsher environments, and live, can have its DNA restructured to become a hardier plant for that environment in the future. This is simply fascinating! It reminds of what James tells us in those first few verses in his opening chapter about counting it all joy because of those trials and what they produce!

3. The seed within the fruit of a plant gains information from its “mother” about what she experienced in her environment to better suit it for the next generation (this is called maternal environment effects). Experiences modify the DNA and impact which genes are expressed in…

What's in a Seed, Part 1

Several years ago I partnered with a pastor in Kokomo, Indiana and will never forget something he said in one of our staff meetings. He talked about topics, and sermons series, and what he had been meditating on. Then he said, "Like, what's in a seed? I can't get my head around that."

Apparently such statements hit me at my core and challenge me to try and figure it out too. Almost ten years I have been trying to get my head around that subject too: What's in a seed?

The Bible has many things to say about seeds, harvesting, reaping, and leaving behind.

Genesis 1:29 “every seed is for you” --God created every kind of seed and their purpose; Genesis 3:15“between your seed and her seed”--the fruit of the womb, children, are referred as seeds; Genesis 8:22 “seedtime and harvest … will never cease”--as long as there is an Earth.

So, I wondered about the intended environment for a seed--about the soil or a womb. I believe there are some things we assist with in making t…

I just want to be a Christian. I don't want to be a disciple.

"I just want to be a Christian I don't want to be a disciple. I like my life the way it is."

I have been putting together an annotated bibliography of books for evangelism and I have really enjoyed the books I have reviewed for this (it is a part of my own personal study and research to make a course I am teaching in Evangelism and Discipleship hopefully more effective). I came across the above quote from Greg Ogden's book which quotes a Scot McKnight's book. The full quote is below. [For a good review on King Jesus Gospel.]

"Dallas Willard shares a story from a pastor who challenged his congregation to become disciples. In response to this challenge, a woman said to her pastor after worship, "I just want to be a Christian. I don't want to be a disciple. I like my life the way it is..."

I have been struggling for some time to put into words the feels of angst and frustration over the gospel meaning salvation from hell and not entrance into the…

On the Mental Processes of (Popular?) Thinking

Most of us believe critically thinking about things is good. Most of the people I hang with know they don't just do what they feel like doing.

Education and learning happen by levels and degrees--first grade, then second, Algebra I, then II, etc. Your thinking skills can graduate to a more critical thinking level as you add different knowledge bases to it--an understanding of Science can add to your ability in being an Accountant or Pastor.

A video entitled "Ed Schultz Yells at guest Ryan Anderson, then cuts his mic" made me think of the following comparison when it comes to how some people think.

Let me use gears as a metaphor for thinking. Getting our gears turning is like using the energy necessary for thinking. Some people think egg beaters and others like watches.

Both ways of thinking are viable forms for accomplishing what they were created for. Keeping time is much more of an intricate process than beating eggs. An egg beater has two gears intertwined to spin wi…

I Wouldn't Want to Go through THAT Again ... but

If you have ever looked back on something you have gone through that was horrible and said, "I wouldn't EVER want to go through that again, but I am glad for what came out of it," I think you are on to what both Paul and James wrote about.
James penned those words I am not certain how to apply. "Count it all joy." I'd love to! Then come the words, "when you meet trials of various kinds." Okay, sure. What?!
Somehow the knowing is supposed to help: "Knowing that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness." I like being steadfast. It is like that picture of the lighthouse being bashed over and over again by the waves, and yet it remains still beaming for all those who are looking toward it.
Paul writes about that knowing too. Interesting to note that you cannot know something unless you have been through it. Some of us "know" things very well. Some of us live those things on a daily basis. Some of those things include suffering…

Glorification In Your Life Today

Have you ever been commended for anything recently? Perhaps you’ve needed a recommendation for a job and had to seek out your previous employers.
Commendations are commendable, and recommendations are nice when they are favorable, but are commendations and recommendations still needed today?
Should they be sought out?
What if they didn’t need to be?
What would THAT look like?
Paul opens a paragraph to his letter to a group of believers living in Corinth about this. They apparently lived by commendations and recommendations.
We read in 2 Corinthians 3:1-11, Paul’s opening question for the Corinthians is about commendation and if he and his co-traveling friends needed recommendations from others for them to gain a level of respect in their eyes. Paul is telling those believers that they themselves are Paul’s testimony, but of what?The work Paul and friends have done in their community. Paul reaches beyond the temporary world we live in to the eternal world that is brought into this one by…

The Way in the Manger

This time of year seems to come faster each year. I think that is the definition of aging. I love symbolism and the messages they communicate and this time of year is full of them.
Take the manger. Whether it was a feeding trough of wood, or a hewn rock to hold feed, or whatever you imagine, the couple made due with what they had.
Do you think couples are still doing this today?
Joseph and Mary were supposed to be met by family who were to house them because … they were family. Something always seemed strange to me about this story—no room in the inn. What? Did they think because Joseph took an “adulterous’ woman as his wife they couldn’t suspend judgment to help them? WTC! The expecting couple were coming from Nazareth because of the stupid governmentally imposed census and you can’t house them? Some family you are …
Do you think couples are still dealing with this today?
Angels are the spoilers of this judgmental attitude. They give the message of the Messiah’s birth to stinking shepher…