On Blooming

Matthew 6:27-29 (NIVUK)

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.”

Bloom

The History of the Candy Cane

The candy cane is something most of us (at least those in western Europe and the Americas) know and associate with Christmas; but do you know how it got started?

According to folklore and Wikipedia, in Cologne, Germany, 1670, the choir master at the cathedral commissioned a confectioner to make these candies to calm the children during the Christmas pageant service. The white represents the sinless life of Jesus; the original canes were pure white, and a recipe for straight canes with coloured stripes was published in 1844.  The red stripe has come to represent the blood of Jesus shed for us (his purpose in coming in the first place – Hebrews 2:14-18), in keeping with the symbolism of the white.  The crook is to remind us of the shepherds who visited Jesus in the manger.  Only as late as 1882 the candies began to be hung on Christmas trees as decoration, and while most candy canes are peppermint flavoured, there are many varieties (on our own Christmas tree we have peppermint, strawberry and apple).

The next time you see a candy cane, take a minute and think about the history behind it; for 345 years, they’ve been inspiring people to remember the reason Christ came to earth as a baby:  To die for our sins (John 3:16-17) so that we could be reunited with God the Father in relationship, in friendship with him.

 

Candy Cane Poem

On Building Strong Character

The training and instruction of a child takes the investment of time, energy, love, patience and clarity of priorities (being the individual needs of each child, coupled with the principles you want to instil).  Without that investment, the child grows into an adult unable to function to their full potential.  Whether or not you have children, you can be the one person who might change a child’s life forever; make it a positive change!

Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
Build Strong Children

(Image Credit: Unknown)

On Moving the World

Romans 12:2 (NIV)

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
1 Corinthians 3:19 (NIV)
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness’.”

Church Moving the World - GK Chesterton

On Being Between the Now and the Not Yet

1 Corinthians 13:4-13

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Deception 1

On Being Kind

Ephesians 4:29-32 (NIV)

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.   And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Kindness-Aesop

On the Poison of Bitterness

Ephesians 4:29-32 (NIV)

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Bitterness