Friday, April 28, 2017

New Scientific Theory

The sense of smell is much more enjoyable than the sense of taste.

This is a well-researched scientific theory I just made up.

I love to eat. Foods taste great. Yummy.

But smelling is better.

The other day, I made a cup of apple cinnamon tea. When it was heating, I thought, “Wow. That smells like apple pie.” When I drank it, did I have the sensation of a luscious slice of pie? No, it was just tea, with a slight hint of apple.

Have you met people who say, “I love the smell of coffee cooking, but I can’t teach myself to like the taste?” I have.

And I almost understand.

I love coffee, to drink it. Hot and strong, and black, no sugar. Love it.

But I have to admit, when Murray is making a pot of coffee, and I smell the fresh grounds percolating, that grabs my attention much more than drinking it.

Murray sometimes has toast for breakfast. I don’t usually eat breakfast, and I don’t want to. But when I smell the toasting, I think, “Mmm, warm toast with butter. Yummy.”

What about the smell of baking bread? Frying onions? Awww. Wow.

Now I love to eat homemade bread. And I love eating a hamburger with onions, or chili, or fried potatoes with onions. But none of it beats the smell.

My friend Linda pointed out that some things which smell so delicious certainly do not taste that way. Flowers. Expensive French perfume. I love the citric smell of my disinfectant spray in the bathroom, but I sure don’t want to taste it.

I’ve thanked God for years for giving us food to meet our nutritional needs. After all, he could just have chosen to give it all to us in the water we drink. But he chose to grant us the gift of food to meet our body’s needs for growth and continued strength.

I’m starting to think that the gift of smell, while certainly useful for warning us of danger and other practical things—like when a baby’s diaper needs changed—is mainly just a gift of pleasure.

Thank you, Lord.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Grace and Truth 3

John 1:40-51

I’d like to be like Andrew, but I know I’m more like Nathanael.

Andrew had been a follower of John the Baptist, but he believed John’s teaching that Jesus was the Messiah, and he left John to follow Jesus.

The first thing Andrew did was go get his brother Peter and tell him about Jesus. That’s so great. I want that to be the first thing I do.

Peter ended up being the more famous of the two brothers, but I don’t get the feeling from the Bible that Andrew let that bother him.

He believed in Jesus, and the first thing he did was go tell his brother and bring him to Jesus. That’s the example I want to follow.

Philip did the same thing. As soon as Jesus called him, he went and told Nathanael they’d found the one God promised, Jesus of Nazareth.

And what did Nathanael say?

From verse 46: “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

That’s who I am. Like doubting Thomas, we have doubting Nathanael. Doubting Kathy.

But Jesus took the time to teach Nathanael. He proved to Nathanael who he was. And when Nathanael accepted him as the Son of God, Jesus promised him that he would see so much more.

Verses 50-51: Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very truly I tell you you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”

Yes, I have so many doubts. I ask so many questions. But God is okay with that.

He takes the time to answer our questions and show us who he is. Then we can become like Andrew, and Philip.

Verse 46: “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Joy of Good Friday

Isaiah 53:5: But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

I have always been depressed by Good Friday, and Isaiah 53 holds so much sorrow.

I never want to stop learning of Jesus’ suffering, or value it less. However, I am choosing to look at the joy of Good Friday today.

Hebrews 12:2: fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

My husband Murray often prays, “Jesus, thank you that when you knew there was no other way to save us, thank you that you jumped up on the cross for us.”

I’ve argued with Murray about this. I say I’m not sure we should say that Jesus jumped up on the cross. It’s not like he was happy about it.

And yet, isn’t that what Hebrews 12 is saying?

Because of the joy set before him, Jesus endured the cross and scorned the shame of it. The joy set before him. That’s us, the joy of our salvation.

Yes, he was punished, but that’s what brought us peace. He was wounded, but that is how we were healed.

Jesus saw the joy in that, so I will too.

Thank you, Jesus, for being willing to jump up on the cross for me.