Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What I've Been Pondering

 At our Wednesday night meeting last week, Mr. F was talking about the infallibility of the scriptures, and he had several good points that I was glad to hear, because it helps me to better defend my position, but as I've never doubted the infallibility of the Bible, I didn't need to be convinced on that point. I was struck in a different way by one point he made though, and I'll try to rephrase what he said here. 

He used Yahtzee as an example of God's omniscience. If you had infinite knowledge about physics, gravity, the exact weight of the dice, inertia and the exact force and direction you were putting into the throw, the friction of the surface and any other things affecting the dice, you would KNOW exactly what numbers you were going to throw. There would be no way for you to throw the dice and NOT know what numbers were going to come up. And he related it back to the infallibility of the scriptures, but it brought clarity to a different thought for me.

I've always gotten a little stuck in the very beginning of the Bible, with the Genesis account of Adam and Eve, the serpent and the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. I always read it thinking, "oh, WHY couldn't they just obey?!?" And I still don't really understand all the "why's" exactly, although it's become clearer. The thought that struck me, was with God's omniscience, just like the Yahtzee example and rolling the dice, he KNEW every single event that would happen BEFORE he created Adam and Eve. He wasn't sitting up in heaven after He created them, watching anxiously to see if they would obey or not, and then when they disobeyed, put Plan B into action. No, He knew from the very beginning that these creatures He was creating would disobey. He gave us free will, but He knew what Adam and Eve would choose. He saw the whole thing, and before He created us, He knew He would have to die to redeem us. And yet we were worth it to Him. 

I don't know why He couldn't have created Adam and Eve with a free will and yet somehow made them wise enough to obey His command. I don't know what made Him want to create humans, although I only know the fallen kind and I'm sure the originals were much superior. But I do know that He, in His infinite knowledge, with full knowledge of everything that would happen, chose to go through all of this for eternity with us. Everything that has happened so far in earthly history, and everything that will happen until the return of Jesus is what had to be for Him to have His Bride, and He chose it, willingly.

That makes His love seem even greater than it has to me before. He didn't just "fall in love" with us, and then die a horrible death to save us because of a sudden "involuntary" love; He created us and loved us, even while knowing He would have to die for us. 

7Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be
the propitiation for our sins. 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. - I John 4:7-11

That leads me to John 13:34: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." And John 15:12: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."

I know this probably seems like nothing new, but it's just that these thoughts had been vague and fuzzy to me, no matter how much I pondered them, until now, when suddenly it all became so startlingly clear to me. It's easy to love others when they are "lovable" and kind, and show you love in return. But if we're to love as He has loved us, that means loving the "unlovable," sinners and enemies just as much as the kind people in our lives. And thank goodness that love isn't to come from our own strength! Because we live through Him, we have His love to draw on; that selfless, unfathomable, amazing, wonderful love is ours! And we are commanded to lavish it on others.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Would you eat your lotion?

 Would you eat your lotion? Your immediate response was probably "ew, gross, of course not!" Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body? It does many important jobs, besides just covering up and protecting your sensitive inner tissues. And that lotion that you're smearing all over your skin is supposed to be absorbed into your skin to make it smooth and soft... and even pleasantly scented! Maybe you aren't actually eating it, but it is going into your body, and it your lotion has toxic ingredients, they're going into your body too. A bottle of lotion from Bath and Body Works may contain some healthy-sounding ingredients like Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, and Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, but it will also very likely contain Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Propylene Glycol and Tetrasodium EDTA, just to mention a few. Now, if that doesn't sound appetizing, why would you want to rub it into your body's largest organ? Your skin's many important jobs do not need to hampered by toxic substances.

Well, I would eat my lotion, and do. I regularly use my lotion to cook and in my food... scrambled eggs, muffins, pancakes, salad dressing and fudge. That's because my lotion is coconut oil. Besides being a wonderful cooking oil, coconut oil is also a light, refreshing lotion. It doesn't take much of it to moisturize and soften your skin. If you try it and get a greasy film on your skin, that's because you applied so much that your skin became saturated and couldn't absorb all of the oil. Coconut oil helps prevent fungal and bacterial infections (including acne), and it's also good for a tanning oil because it protects your skin from sun damage and free-radicals. I switched from my healthy lotion (with ingredients significantly more healthy than B&B lotions) to coconut oil, and it's been great! I always put it on after swimming, and it's completely relieved the itchy skin that I used to get from the chlorine... my old lotion didn't help that much! 

I keep my coconut oil in a little pimento jar with a seal-able lid for travel and in an extremely small little dish at home. I don't bother to cover it at home because it doesn't spoil easily and I use it so quickly that it doesn't have time to collect dust. There is no need to refrigerate it unless you want it to be solid (coconut oil is solid until around 76 degrees). As an added bonus, it even comes with a natural, refreshing coconut scent, which I really like. And while you're trying it as a lotion, try it as a deep moisture conditioner for your hair (massage it in dry hair, and soak for 30 min to an hour, then shower and shampoo as normal). It really is amazing stuff!