Posts Tagged ‘grace’

What’s in Smell

August 18, 2009

I was mowing my aunts yard the other day when I had to travel under an evergreen. As the limbs brushed over me, the smell of the evergreen made my shoulder sting. Oh it wasn’t the tree, but rather the memory of smell that took me back to the days of my youth.
When I was a young lad and playing football in the streets of Texas, a pass found its way into the neighbors evergreen. When I reached up to grab the pigskin, three hornets were on the defensive and quickly stung me. Now the memory sting only lasted as long as the whiff, but it reminded me of the powerful sense of smell.
k2220863Smell can be intoxicating like a perfume one moment and stenchly stifling the next. If I mention fried chicken, BBQ or pizza, can you sense the 179chickenomaha03_small1smell?
What’s even better, is when you sniff familiarities that take you home, to your school or even the ballpark.
So it begs the question, What does Grace smell like?
Does Grace smell like a early spring rain? Perhaps the essence of pines and spruce from the mountains. Could it be the honeysuckle or even roses? Is the garden the aroma of Grace personified?
I might tell you that my grandmothers house was the redolence of my youth, and the bouquet of dinner there is still a vivid memory.
Can we smell Grace? I wonder, because I think we all know the odor of sin. The flavor of sin can be as intoxicating as the incense of Grace, but the stench can’t be quenched.
The scent of fresh fruit is delightful, but rotten fruit is the emanation of death.
I may not know exactly what Grace smells like, but i do know what the Bible says. The incense of all the prayers of the saints was offered up on the altar. We read about this in the book of Revelation.
HoneysuckleThe prayers of the Saints are a sweet incense to our God the Creator.
What did the cross smell like, and how about the empty tomb?

I know that Faith is not something we can touch, see or even smell, but somehow I believe we can identify with the fragrance of heaven if we just pay attention. May you inhale the Word of God this day.

What’s in a Birth

December 29, 2008

My sister and her family have traveled for years and I finally had the time and means to visit. Now my sister lives in ACC Country (Atlantic Coast Conference) so I wore my Razorback apparel proudly. Yes the SEC is the overall top conference in college. I know other schools and conferences have their years, but the SEC reigns supreme.

However, this is actually about my trip with my son to a small section of the Atlantic Coast and the sites we visited.
Our first priority was D.C. and all the memorials.  Even though the weather was frigid and blustery we braved the elements to view part of our nation’s heritage.

Have we forgotten what they stood for?

Have we forgotten what they stood for?

First was the Jefferson Memorial, what a site, and the words he penned, ” awesome.” Next was the Washington Monument and all its glory. The Lincoln Memorial was next and was spectacular to say the least. Now before I tell you every little step and everything we saw, I will just share which site was the most moving for me and why. The Vietnam Memorial actually moved me to tears. As I slowly strolled alongside the wall of names silently reading the names in my head, I was overcome with emotion to a war that I don’t exactly understand. Even though I read the names silently in my head, they seemed to resonate loudly in my soul as I felt a question arise in my spirit. When we Christians stand before God, will he read aloud the names of those we didn’t share the gospel with like I read the names of those who sacrificed on foreign soil? I don’t know the exact answer, but it made me realize that no person in this world is insignificant. I don’t want to add any more names to the memorial of lost souls that I passed by without saying the name of my savior.

Downtown Annapolis

Downtown Annapolis

The next day we visited Annapolis, Md, the city and of course the Naval Academy. What a fun day that really didn’t take as much time and wasn’t nearly as cold as the day before in D.C. We walked the bricked paved streets and sidewalks of downtown with all of its charm. We also snapped a few pics of Chesapeake Bay and some of the boats in the harbor. However, the most interesting part of the tour was walking the installation grounds of the Academy. Now only cadets and military personnel are allowed on campus, but because I was with my brother-in-law who is a Army Major I too could have access. Now that is, as long as I was with him. You and I can’t access the Father in heaven unless we are with the Son. As long as we are with him, we can walk into the most Holy of Holies. My brother-in-laws position with the service covered my civilian condition. As far as the Naval Academy law read, I was in good standing. Thank God for his Grace and sacrifice. Thanks to my bro-in-law, my condition matched his position on Annapolis grounds.

The next day was Christmas itself, and we celebrated our Saviour with worship, reading of his word, a time of reflection(sharing what we are most thankful for) and the all important gift exchange. What a great day.

We went back to D.C. for the celebration of my child’s day of birth with a visit to the National Archives. Words penned here can’t express what all our founding fathers put on the line to give us all life and liberty. I wondered (even out loud) why some of the visitors were there. Much has been said about the articles that lie in the National Archives building, but I sense the documents were stained with the hearts and souls of our founding fathers. Now I can’t speak for all the visitors that day, but the six of us were astounded by the history that echoed in the “Rotunda.”

Our last day was wrapped up with a visit to downtown Baltimore for a quick visit to the birthplace of Babe Ruth and a long visit to the Aquarium. Attractions like these (aquariums) may hint at the lie of evolution (or just downright broadcast it), the fact is, you can learn a lot about the detail of God. In the Gospel of Matthew chapter six, Jesus was speaking of the lilies of the field. Even Solomon was not arrayed like these. All of the fish reminded me of God’s detail in his creation. There were times when I would smile and almost laugh out loud knowing God had fun on the fifth day. Yet this creator loves us much more. The story is in the details.

The birthplace of "The Babe"

The birthplace of "The Babe"

Babe Ruth, arguably the best baseball player to ever live, is celebrated in small part to his birthplace in Baltimore. I had an overwhelming sense to play catch with my son while I was there. Now that would have been a great twin-killing. We celebrated all kinds of birth on our trip. We celebrated the birth of our independence, the birth of Jesus, the birth of my son, the birth of “The Babe” and the fifth day of creation. However, it was the celebration of the Savior as to why we celebrated in the first place.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas as we did. Oh, have a happy new year as well.