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Posts tagged ‘season’

Salt of the Earth (Sugar & Spice part 3)

Read the first part of this post here and the second part here.

Secondly, we preserve.

Words of truth grant life. Not just long life, eternal life. In Proverbs 11:30 we see that “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” In other words, the harvest we reap, the natural outworking of being righteous, is life. Not just our own, but that of every soul we touch. We have the gospel: “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;” according to Paul in Romans 1:16.

Here’s an illustration the girls gave me in school a few weeks ago. Heaven is a beach. The ocean is the world. It’s beautiful and terrible: wild and majestic, appealing and terrifying all at once. The Bible is the two little flags on either side of the Narrow Way: the bit of ocean where it’s safe to swim until it’s time to get out on the beach. The problem is, for some reason, we can’t resist the appeal of the rocky, dangerous waves all around the outside of the narrow, safe swimming space.

Sometimes we get ourselves into deep water. We’re being pulled out to sea and it seems like nothing can save us. Certainly our own efforts are worthless. We need help! The gospel is one of those funky red-and-white life preservers thrown out to rescue us from peril beyond our ability to solve. The lifeguard who throws it is Jesus, and our job? Tell the blighters to grab the ring! We can’t save the drowning, but we know Who can, and it’s our job and our joy to tell them, before they drown and it’s too late – they never see that beautiful beach, or bask in that glorious Son.

Just an aside: today is my anniversary. As you read this, Papa Bear, Goldilocks, Red and I are headed up country to reconnect with some folks (and do some work), and we’re going to show our offspring where we were married, and where they were born. 16 amazing years of Life with a capital L, shared with my BFF.


Salticrax (Sugar & Spice part 2)

Read the first part of this post here.

Matthew 5:13

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”

The Bible tells us that we are the salt of the earth. What does that mean? How do we “season” our lives and the lives of those around us?

We are SALT.

For starters, we add flavour. Our key verse this morning is Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” In other words, the things we say make a difference. We need to be gentle, gracious. Kind and sweet. Research indicates that a pregnant woman’s attitudes and emotions affect her unborn baby. A grumpy mom means a grumpy home, and it sometimes seems like everyone we meet is affected by our mood – for better or for worse.

The good news is that we have control of what we say. Proverbs 15:1 tells us that “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” The implication is that we can choose whether to answer softly, or in a way that stirs up anger.

Verse 7 of chapter 15 says “The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.” In other words, a symptom of wisdom is that when we speak, what we say educates and exhorts others.

How do we make sure that what we say is in fact seasoned with salt? Proverbs 15:28 gives us the answer: “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.” Don’t rush to speak! Think about it. Look it up. Ask for help! Or just say nothing at all. Not saying a good thing when it’s needed can be hurtful, but saying a bad thing when it’s not needed can do so much more damage: you can’t take it back.

In Ephesians 4:29, Paul tells us “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Bear in mind that he was under house arrest when he wrote this. If he’d been like me, he’d have been inciting a rebellion, demanding his rights, campaigning for release. He’d have had a blog and Facebook page with hourly updates, telling the world about the injustice of it all! What does he say? Let NO corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth. The only things we should say, according to Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, are things that are good to the use of edifying. And why? So that we can minister grace unto the hearers. Minister means serve, attend to needs. Grace means unmerited favour. It means good things you don’t deserve. So we need to serve others with good things they don’t even deserve. Words of life.

Sugar and Spice

I love spicy food. I really do – hot curries, flavourful puddings, the more taste it has, the better. My sister accuses me of being an “auto-condimentiser”, because I almost always automatically add salt to my meal before I’ve even taken a bite.

Colossians 4:6

“Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

In our highly processed, instant world, the word “seasoned” often conjures images in our minds of MSG-laden foods, or bright red concoctions that’ll have our kids bouncing off the walls in twenty minutes flat!

But seasonings can be a good thing. In fact, studies show that capsaicin, the active ingredients in chillis, can be very beneficial for asthma sufferers. It also helps with migraines and certain types of headaches. Ginger is known to relieve nausea and indigestion. It is also useful for blocked sinuses, assists in the absorption of nutrients, and has healing properties. Cinnamon reduces cholesterol and blood sugar levels over time, and reminds us of the holidays!

And then there’s salt. No kitchen is without salt, and it has many essential functions.

Functions of salt:

  • Add flavour
  • Preserve
  • Clean and disinfect
  • Dry

Bland food is magically transformed into gourmet cuisine with a sprinkle of salt. It adds flavour to any dish – even chocolate! More importantly, it enhances the flavour already there. A little salt brings out the best in each element of a meal. Even sweet foods get a touch of pizzazz with a pinch of salt.

Do you like biltong? In our house, it’s practically a staple food, and by far the number one reason so few South Africans choose to be vegetarians. What makes biltong awesome? Salt. Salt preserves food, making it last for longer, while still being safe for human consumption. In ancient times, before the invention of useful devices like refrigerators, salt was a valuable commodity in keeping food fresh and healthy.

Salt cleans. It disinfects. If you’ve ever had toothache, a mouth ulcer, or a sore throat, a teaspoon or two of salt in a little lukewarm water is the perfect gargle to sort it out – and so economical, too!

In fact, salt was so valuable that part of a Roman soldier’s annual salary was paid in salt.

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