Beliefnet
Everyday Spirituality

readingkidsThe luxury of easy access to a variety of God-oriented books in the 21st century sometimes draws my attention away from reading the Bible.

The Bible can be a rather hairy read, all the drama, killing, adultery, incest, torture, and triumph over evil. Modern-day books point to spiritual insight in a more civilized context. But, I have to hunt to find them.

Over a period of centuries, smaller books were accumulated and grouped together to form the Bible. They were just books at first, canonized later as people thought about it more and decided to canonize them.

Maybe society will accumulate a series of modern day good reads and canonize them over the next millennium, but until then I return to the Bible.

The Bible stories are more universally familiar. As a child, I remember learning Bible stories and would find later in life, those stories coming back to mind when I needed them.

For example, after an accident involving heavy equipment, in which I was caught in a blast of fire, the doctors said I had second degree burns on half of my face.

Laying in the emergency room, I prayed, but at one point felt very despondent. Then the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came to mind.

These three men were thrown into a burning fiery furnace by the King, because they did not bow down to a golden image, but prayed to God.

The king looked inside the furnace and saw four figures, one like the son of God.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire unharmed.

At the hospital, I thought, “If Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego can show fire has no effect greater than God, then I can too.”

Within three weeks, my face healed without a scar.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “The Christian Scientist, understanding that all is Mind, commences with mental causation, the truth of being, to destroy the error. This remedy has the power to correct positively, reaching to every part of the human system. According to Scripture, it searches the “joints and marrow,”[1] and restores the healthy functions of the body.”


[1] Heb. 4:12

We try to guard against…

Power surges.

Volcanic eruptions.

Malicious outbreaks.

Angry explosions.

Love frenzies.

Emotional outbursts.

But, let’s not guard against sudden forgiveness, quick healing, or an up-surging of love.

holy-spirit1

courtesy of gospelcoalition.org

Homosexuality throws society out of the rut of conformity. In the 21st century, not many people can escape dealing with homosexuality or gender change.

Heartache, courage, freedom, and perplexity surround the topic, forcing society to judge one’s self and others, not by gender, but by content of character.

Because we live in a human society, and because law is better than lawlessness, the issue of sexuality has to be dealt with. When making decisions, it helps to get outside the mores of human culture and think on a God-centered view.

I believe God is Love, Spirit, emboldening the characteristics habitually attached to the masculine and feminine.

Gender, as defined by physiology, doesn’t relate to God.

God is referred to as creator. If God is Father-Mother, embodying and manifesting the good in both masculine and feminine characteristics, then we are entitled to reflect the wholeness of God, regardless of our body shape or sexual preference.

To insist God’s children are male, or female, or androgynous, or the wrong sex, is to assume God is divided or incomplete.

God is Spirit. We manifest all the spiritual qualities of a complete God.

Let laws be made with the wisdom and insight that those laws may or will change again, and again, until completeness rules. And, we can remind ourselves that we are more complete than incomplete.

lavendar

courtesy of finegardening.com

Tis the season to dry herbs…

It is best to harvest the herbs and flowers early in the morning, after the dew dries. Try to avoid harvesting during the heat of the day.

You can hang stems of herbs (e.g. thyme, oregano) upside down and let them dry naturally. If you will use them within a few months, you can leave them on the stem and peel off how many leaves you want when cooking. Or, you can peel all the leaves off and store them in a jar, in a cool, dry place away from sunlight, moisture, and heat for up to a year.

You can harvest annual herbs (basil) up until frost, however stop harvesting the perennials lavender upside down(lavender) in late August so as not to promote new plant growth too late in the season.

If you are harvesting flowers, they will have natural oils, so you may want to let them dry on a piece of paper. The paper will absorb some of the oils. It’s best to harvest herb flower in their bud stage, when they have their most intense oil concentration and flavor.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “God is the life or intelligence which forms and preserves the individuality, consciousness, and identity of the universe, of people, and of animals.”

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