Reflect on this

As soon as I saw this picture it immediately had an impact on me. Not only is the mountain in the background beautiful, but its reflection in the lake is magnificent. The sereneness of the whole scene just makes you think its time for a vacation. Why? Because it seems as if the whole world is just as it is supposed to be and isn't that what we all want and want to be a part of. It made me think of this Bible passage and how wonderful it would be if we (and I do mean myself here) just listened to the Apostle Paul.

Philippians 4:1-9
Php 4:1 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
Php 4:2 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord.
Php 4:3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Php 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
Php 4:5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
Php 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Php 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Php 4:9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
English Standard Version

Christians are supposed to be like Christ. It really begins by putting aside Earthly problems and focusing in on the fundamentals of Christianity and of course that means Christ. It involves our thinking and our practical application (verses 8 and 9) and is motivated by love (verse 1). Just like the reflection in the water really shows what the mountain is like, so we need to reveal our spiritual father. This is Paul's point and he could make it well because he lived it; Do we? Reflect on this and grow in grace and truth.

A little disgusting

I remember Dr. Wey taking our lab to an authentic Chinese restaurant. There were many things there that I could recognize as "normal" food such as chicken feet and marinated eye balls, but some things were beyond my description. When I asked what they were, I was told that I didn't really want to know and truthfully I am glad no one told me; I don't think I could have handled it. Needless to say, some of the foods were disgusting to me, just like this "meal" in the video. The Jews had a lot of regulations about food and the following passage will show how Jesus handled the problem.

Mark 7:14-23
14 He called all the multitude to himself, and said to them, "Hear me, all of you, and understand.
15 There is nothing from outside of the man, that going into him can defile him; but the things which proceed out of the man are those that defile the man.
16 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!"
17 When he had entered into a house away from the multitude, his disciples asked him about the parable.
18 He said to them, "Are you thus without understanding also? Don't you perceive that whatever goes into the man from outside can't defile him,
19 because it doesn't go into his heart, but into his stomach, then into the latrine, thus making all foods clean?"
20 He said, "That which proceeds out of the man, that defiles the man.
21 For from within, out of the hearts of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, sexual sins, murders, thefts,
22 covetings, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness.
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."WEB

He went beyond the problem of the food; right to the very nature of man's being; the human heart. If I was desperate enough, I suppose I would eat this spider, but its the inside of me that is really the important thing. So, the next time you eat something that seems a little disgusting remember that God wants everything to be clean, including YOU!