Monthly Archives: July 2016

The Bible Is Still The Best Spiritual Superfood

cockroach-milkWhen I was growing up, it was “eat your veggies.” But these days, everyone wants “superfoods.” What’s that, you ask? The Oxford Dictionary defines “superfood” as a ‘nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.’

So, you’ve probably seen marketing for foods such as: kale, salmon, blueberries, hempseed, chia seeds, and wheatgrass. But the newest superfood takes the cake. What is this rage of tomorrow? Cockroach milk! Mmm…yum.

“Gag,” “Yuck,” “Ugh,” “No, thank you.” All these reactions seem appropriate. But, according to a team of scientists at India’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, you might want to put that bug spray down for a moment.

It turns out that the Pacific beetle cockroach feeds it’s babies by lactating protein-dense crystals that are more than four times the nutrition of cow’s milk! Researcher Subramanian Ramaswamy calls this roach milk a “fantastic protein supplement.” So, while it doesn’t sound attractive, cockroach milk might be hitting a grocery near you!

Of course, “drink your milk and get your protein” isn’t a new message.

In fact, the Bible has always maintained that God’s milk is the only way to get our spiritual nutrients. In 1 Peter 2:1-3, Peter reminds Christians, “Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.”

Now, I’m pretty sure that Peter didn’t have roach milk in mind. But he used the universal idea of the purity of mother’s milk to remind us that we need nutrients in our spiritual diets. If we fail to do so, we will grow weak in our faith and in our spiritual life.

I have no idea what roach milk tastes like. But I know that the kindness of the Lord is the sweetest thing ever. As we grow in our salvation, we must continue to dine on the protein packed meal of the good news of Jesus.

#pokelivesmatter?

p-goPokemon is popular; a Clinton is running for president; Tarzan is in theaters. Wait, did we time warp to the 90’s? There is, truly, nothing new under the sun.

If you haven’t been following any of the recent Pokemon news, then you probably think people around you are going crazy. Maybe you thought that anyway. But when strangers in the parking lot stare at their phones trying to capture small creatures…things are #pokecrazy!

Pokemon Go is an app that has exploded world-wide. It recently hit the United States with over 8 million downloads, causing it to be one of the most popular apps of all time. It is based on the Nintendo game that grew into an empire of video games, trading cards, animated television shows, movies, comic books, and toys.

And just when you thought that 18-35 year old had grown out of their #pokeobsession? Nintendo drags them back in!

Now, I don’t particularly care about Pokemon. I don’t have anything against it; I just never got into it. But a lot of people do care…millions of them.

And, for all the faults of the game, here’s a fact: more people from our community than ever are driving into our church parking lot! Of course, they are looking for critters to lasso, but they did drive into the parking lot…and maybe that is a start.

I’m not into entertaining people for the value of entertainment. There are plenty of places to be entertained in this world. The church is called to be something different. And while we can, and should, have fun in the church…our primary role is to bring people to know Christ and live eternally in heaven.

But rather than simply dismissing the #pokemadness, we want to do what we can to reach souls. After all, #pokelivesmatter. That is, to say, the souls of the players matter.

So…come on to the church of Christ at Clover, 6278 Hwy 55E, Clover, SC 29710, and lasso what you can. And we hope you stick around for class and worship as well.

My Eyes Are Dry…But There’s A Cure!

Dry-Eye_0I have dry eyes. They were always dry, but after laser eye surgery sixteen years ago, they got even drier. I use drops each morning and when my eyes can get really irritated. So I recently read, with great interest, about work being done to treat dry eyes.

In fact, this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a lifitegrast ophthalmic solution (drug name, Xiidra) for the treatment of dry eye syndrome. These new treatments promise to help with dry eyes…and that is good news!

At least 20% of the population has dry eye syndrome. And, maybe drugs like Xiidra will help people like me. But, do you know that there is a dry eye problem that no drug can fix? It is called, spiritually dry eyes.

There’s a hymn I enjoy, called My Eyes Are Dry (Listen Here):

My eyes are dry; My faith is old; My heart is hard; My prayers are cold

And I know how I ought to be – Alive to you and dead to me.

But what can be done – for an old heart like mine?

Soften it up, with oil and wine. The oil is you, your spirit of love.

Please wash me anew, with the wine of your blood.

You see, just as an eye can stop producing tears, the spiritual eye can dry as well. And when our spiritual eyes begin to dry, we forget to weep and mourn over the state of sin in our lives. But those who weep now will be blessed (Luke 6:21).

Jeremiah’s eyes ran like streams of water because of the destruction of his people (Lamentations 3:48). The psalms are packed with laments and weeping over hearts that long for God. Even Jesus wept at the state of God’s people (John 11:35).

Doctors tell us that, “Normal tear production is needed for clear vision and eye health.” What about us friends? Are our eyes dry? A few moist eyes might just help us have a clearer spiritual vision and health too. Being washed over by the Spirit and the healing blood of Christ can cure any dry eyes!

Is Your Relationship A Publicity Stunt?

swift-hiddHas Taylor Swift finally found love? Is Tom Hiddleston off the market? The inquiring minds of the Internet want to know…and they aren’t happy! Why? Internet fans think the whole relationship is just a publicity stunt!

Now, I can’t imagine that Taylor Swift or Tom Hiddleston need more press. But, I suppose that even famous people can be dissatisfied when fan numbers aren’t peaking. So, is it possible that the love interest between these mega-stars is staged? Possibly. But Hiddleston’s producer and Swift’s friends have taken to social media to reject that idea. They say it is for real.

To be frank, this is a problem most of us will never face. Most people will never be asked, “Are you just going out with that person to increase your brand or marketing efforts?” Yet, I suppose, that in smaller ways, many people do go out with each other as an outward show rather than as an inward feeling.

The same is true of our relationship with God. In fact, dating God as a publicity stunt is probably one of the oldest versions of the Swift-Hiddleston conundrum. Is your union with God real? Or is it just for show?

In 2 Corinthians 13:5, Paul said, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you– unless indeed you fail the test?” Many people fail the relationship test. They just want to “be seen” with God. They think it is good for their business or friendships. They think that pretending to be with God is a great publicity stunt.

On the contrary, feigning affection for God isn’t appropriate, in any form. There is no faking it with God. Otherwise, our faith is just a publicity stunt for earthly fans.

God knows our hearts. He wants us to be a spiritual bride, giving ourselves completely and for the right reasons (Rev 19:7, Ephesians 5:22-33). When we are His, we are His completely, for real…and for the right reason – as an expression of our true love.