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If I Die

Autumn in the Mountains

This is a sourwood tree. Amazingly, colored leaves seem to be only on one side.

When I look at this photograph, I see God’s glory in nature. Importantly, we are not to worship nature, but worship the creator-God of nature. Honestly, I do not believe that the beauty we see in nature or in each other are products of evolution. Do you?

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Leaves Fall, So Do I

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Leaves drop  from trees in the autumn season. We used to call them “fall leaves” because trees dropped them mid-to-late autumn or fall. At one time, children raked leaves; however, now leaves are blown onto a pile and vacuumed into a truck to be dumped in the land fill!

If leaves didn’t fall, then trees would have no space for new leaf buds  in the spring. Perhaps our lives are the same way, i.e, if parts of us don’t die and fall off,  there is no room for new growth.

I want my life to mature and grow. As Paul wrote — I want to move beyond consuming only milk, I want to be a meat-eater. I want to be able to ponder the weightier teachings of the Bible, not be stuck in basic teachings of Sunday School.

Reflection: Do you want new growth in your life? If so, what are you willing to let fall or give up?

Copyright December 01, 2018; Carolyn A. Roth

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November Newsletter, God as a Gardener

https://www.carolynrothministry.com/uploads/8/1/1/7/81173938/nov_18_newsletter.pdf

Etch Pumpkin with Christian Symbols

 

Photograph by Jim Forney, Roanoke, VA

When pumpkins are carved, often a jack-o-lantern face is made in the pumpkin. Jack-o-lanterns are associated with Halloween, ghosts, and goblins. An alternative to carving a pumpkin is etching in which a Christian theme, fish, cross, or butterfly, is used. Etching or scraping removes the tough (usually orange) skin layer of the pumpkin and allows the lighter yellow “meat” of the pumpkin to show through. Pumpkin meat is boiled to make pumpkin pies.

Preparation

  • Purchase as many pumpkins as you have children. Buy 1-2 extra pumpkins in case of a major mishap with a pumpkin.
  • Clean the insides out of the pumpkin. .
  • On a piece of construction paper, draw the cross and fish; you need only their outlines. Both should be large enough so that when you cut them out of the paper they cover the side of the Make several size crosses and several size fish and try each size on your pumpkin. You want it large enough to be seen from about 12 feet. You can overlay a cross on the fish for more interest.
  • Using straight pins affix the cross and/or fish to the pumpkin.
  • Outline the fish and/or cross with a marker with a pointed nub. Remove the pins and paper. See the outline of the cross or fish on the side of the pumpkin.

Etching

  • Use a paring knife (with parental guidance) or the tip of a metal nail file to scribe (cut) along the marker lines. Use a tiny screw driver or metal manicure cuticle instruments to remove rind in the inside of the cross or fish.
  • Remember you are etching: you need only to remove the pumpkin skin, i.e. ¼ inch so that the lighter yellow pumpkin meat is seen below the rind.

Preserving your pumpkin

  • Coat all outside surfaces with vegetable oil or a mixture of water with lemon juice.
  • To keep squirrels away from your pumpkin mix 2 tablespoons of tobasco (hot) sauce in the water/lemon juice mixture.
  • If temperature drops to freezing, move your pumpkin indoors.
  • Inside you can cover with a damp paper towel and put pumpkin in grocery bag inside refrigerator.

Reflection: Etching a pumpkin creates an association in children’s minds between autumn and Christianity. Begin your etching activity with Bible verses on harvest, i.e., Exodus 23:19, Exodus 34:21; Matthew 9:37-38; Galations 6:9 and others. Taking time to discuss harvest including the meaning of these  verses and in the Harvest season.

Copyright: 10/30/2018; Carolyn Adams Roth

Pumpkins, Uniquely American

The beautiful orange pumpkin of autumn in the United States is the  Cucurbita pepo (L.). Pumpkins are native to North America, where they have been growing for about 5,000 years. Can you imagine the early settlers surprise when they saw this beautiful orange vegetable and learned that it was edible? As an aside: last weekend I went to my cousin’s home in Pennsylvania and had the best pumpkin pie I ever ate. When I compliment my cousin’s wife, she responded that the recipe was her Grandmothers.  Pumpkins remind American’s of traditions, pumpkin pie being one of them.

Although pumpkins did not grow in the Holy Lands, pumpkins are in the Cucurbitaceae family of plants which includes gourds and squashes. These two plant types grew in the Holy Lands. From my last post you know that gourds were present in Israel.

Pumpkins

If you want to grow pumpkins, all you need is pumpkin seeds and space. Pumpkins grow best from seeds. Pumpkin vines can grow up to 20 feet and grow optimally in a field or large space. Recently, I have seen articles on growing plants in containers using a trellis. Because I have not tried this technique, I can’t recommend.

It takes about 100 frost-free days for a pumpkin to reach maturity. When I plant pumpkins (or watermelons), I place it on a plant pedestal so that the pumpkin doesn’t flatten out or turn brown from laying on the ground.

Symbolism: Unique

Pumpkins are native to the United States (my country). I love that pumpkins are uniquely mine (as an American). One definition of unique is “distinct characteristic.” Christians, especially, Christians in the 21st century are unique. Most certainly they should have distinct characteristics the foremost of which is believing that Christ, the son of God, is the Savior of the world. At the same time that I believe in this unique aspect of Christ, I know that many individuals identify themselves as Christians but have not accepted Christ as their Savior.

What in the world am I to do about the dichotomy between people naming themselves “Christian;” yet not experience the real presence of Christ in their lives, of not accepting that they are broken and need a Savior? Every Christian (real Christian) has to answer that question for him/herself. I try to live a life that shows forth my love of Jesus and gratitude for what He did for me. I write about Christianity in my books and blogs. Most days, I don’t think I do enough to really thank Christ for being the unique son of God, coming to earth, and providing a way for my salvation for me.

Reflection: Does your life show any Christian uniqueness; that is, any distinctive characteristic of being in a personal relationship with Christ?   

Copyright 10/09/18; Carolyn Adams Roth

 

Carolyn Roth Ministry October 2018 Newsletter

Please read the October Newsletter for Carolyn Roth Ministry.

https://www.carolynrothministry.com/uploads/8/1/1/7/81173938/volume_2_issue_10_oct18.pdf