Pleasing Daily Aroma

“Is there a more pleasing daily aroma that wafts up to the throne than the daily coming to Jesus of men and women around the globe, incense from every nation and every people? How pleasant that aroma must be when it ascends from a resistant people… Rare aromas can be especially delightful. We no longer offer lambs and grains upon physical altars, we now offer sacrifices of praise. How pleasant those praises when they spring forth in the tongues of unreached peoples.” – Dick Brogden

HT: Matt Pilgrim

Roots over Reach to Eventually Reach

The reach of a tree depends on its roots. Choose roots over reach.” Karen Swallow Prior


A few weeks ago my wife was cleaning or just moseying about when she bumped into one of our house plants. I love house plants. My desk is a miniature jungle and while we are not the best at keeping things thriving we give it the old college try.

When she made contact with the plant she noticed that it strangely moved. On closer inspection, the plant seemed to be rootless and not tied to the soil. It was without an anchor in a ravaging world of dogs, active Children, and a woman who dusts. It was befuddling because without roots surely a thing which is a plant must be dead. This plant, however, had the green appearance of life while actually producing no flower or other sign of life.

Thinking likewise of the church or even one’s faith, it must have roots to absorb nutrients, to sustain life and to grow.

As a small church pastor, I can get so wrapped up in a “blooming” church or the desire for a significant reach that I neglect the roots. The long process of being settled dug deep into the rich soil of the Biblical gospel and grace drenched community. It is the roots that determine the reach. And even if something seems to have broad leaves, without broad roots, it may be dead.

The stronger the roots are, the more sunk down into Jesus we are, the more likely we will go further.

We hate it though because we want results now, line items to prove and donors to appease. But life is in the roots. It is from them that fruit eventually comes.

May we sink the roots deeper that we would be truly alive and not just in appearance only.

Honor God in the Voting Booth(?) (Psalm 51:17)

My friend “Matt Pilgrim” is at it again with a poignant poem for today.

 

The sacrifice of praise seems small

Though nothing else is needed.

Another simple call of God’s

Our hearts have not yet heeded.

 

One of the old hymnals declares

“Nothing in my hand I bring”

But some mix of pride and fear in us

Insists on adding something.

 

In many forms throughout the years

We’ve brought our sacrifices.

Sometimes blood, sometimes good works,

All just thinly veiled vices.

 

These days we leave our votes at the altar

“Look, God, I’ve stood for truth!”

How quaint to think we’ll build Christ’s kingdom

From the voting booth.

 

The sacrifices of God, my friend,

Aren’t elephants or mules

It’s broken and contrite hearts we bring

Carrying crosses carved for fools.

 

Or maybe we’ve been blinded by pride

Unaware of the contrast

Between the earthly kingdoms we build

And the one in which first shall be last.

 

Oddly, our King thought better of us

Than to insist we win elections.

He left us with the much harder task

Of making disciples of all nations.