If The Root Is Holy

If The Root Is Holy

Romans 11:16

If the dough offered as first fruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

I took some time to read commentaries by biblical scholars and theologians in regards to this verse.  All of them seemed to deal with civilizations, tribes, congregations, etc..  They were all saying this verse could refer to the church, meaning Christ was the first fruit, the root, thus making the early Christian church holy.  Some of them also referred to the Jews, going back to Abraham as being the first fruit.  And some referred to the Gentiles, who through their acceptance of Christ were the first fruit and were made holy.

I took this on a more personal level, which is how I tend to treat the whole Bible. Continue reading

Protests Accomplish Nothing

Protests Accomplish Nothing

It appears that protesting has become a career choice in this country so I thought I would rerun this one from late last year.

This is a follow up post to all you millennials who decided to throw a tantrum over not getting your way in this year’s election.

Here is another tidbit of information you may learn someday after you leave your “safe space” and experience the harsh realities of earning a living.

Protests don’t work!

Plain and simple they accomplish nothing other than boosting media ratings, which increases advertising revenues, which makes more money for big business. Continue reading

Do Not Be Deceived – Peer Pressure

Do Not Be Deceived – Peer Pressure

1 Corinthians 15:33

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

I have written about Paul as a team builder.  I guess you could say Paul spent his time going around putting together a team of believers.  In this verse Paul is addressing something we all experience throughout our life, peer pressure.

Peer pressure is tremendous when we are young and in school.

We develop our social circles and want to be accepted.  We want to be a part of something.

Maybe we conform to fit in with the “normal” kids, or maybe we rebel or gravitate to the “weird” and “strange”.

But no matter which way we go we end up accepting the moral standards of the crowd we choose. Continue reading

First Share Of The Crops

First Share Of The Crops

2 Timothy 2:6-7

It is the hardworking farmer who ought to have first share of the crops.  Think over what I say for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

I have written about why government is so adamant about separation of church and state and how they have perverted the original intentions of this concept.

I fully agree with the edict of our founding fathers that there should not be an established official religion of the state.  No one belief should be the law of the land.

But the ruling political class has seen the danger that religion, especially the Judeo-Christian values, pose to their power. Continue reading

The Fall – A Loss Of Innocence

The Fall – A Loss Of Innocence

Genesis 3 deals with what is simply known as “The Fall”.

I am sure most everyone knows this story.  The story of how God gave man the Garden of Eden. A paradise which contained everything man would need to fulfill his spiritual and physical needs.

Genesis 2:15-17

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.

God had given man all that he needed, just as Solomon realized thousands of years later, God had given man everything from the moment of creation.  In the Garden of Eden man had all he needed to eat and drink and be happy in his toil.

But vanity took its toll on Eve as the serpent enticed her with covetousness, enticed her to seek and want that which she did not have, that which she did not need. Continue reading

Lessons From Another Hurricane

Lessons From Another Hurricane

Less than one year ago I posted a piece titled “Lessons From A Hurricane”.  That post was written right after Hurricane Matthew passed by my area in Florida.

Now today 50 weeks later I am writing another piece about lessons I’ve learned from another hurricane, Hurricane Irma.

After being told numerous times by numerous residents that my location will rarely take a direct hit from a hurricane, here I was again looking at the possibility of staring down the eye of a major storm.

This time we were much better prepared. The previous hurricane, Matthew in 2016, arrived less than a month after moving into our new home in Florida.  But for Irma we had plans in place and were ready to go well before the storm was projected to hit.  This storm had the whole state in its possible path so we had to really search for a hotel room for evacuation.  After two days of searching and calling we found one ten hours away in Shelbyville, Tennessee.

We decided to leave two days prior to the storm.  We got up at 2:00 AM to be packed and out the door by 3:00 AM.  Once again we left our house not knowing what we would return to.  At the time of our departure the eye was still being forecast to come up the east coast of Florida, right over our house, again.  We departed at 3:00 AM on what was supposed to be a ten hour trip under normal circumstance.

About one hour into our trip we realized it was going to take a lot longer than the normal ten hours to reach our destination.  The major route out of Florida was bumper to bumper at 4:00 AM with an average speed of 20 miles per hour.

Ten hours turned into sixteen hours, but we were prepared.  The car had a full tank of gas and we packed a cooler full of water and sandwiches.  We brought along plenty of snacks.

As we sat in the car stopped or inching along I learned my first lesson from this hurricane.

In the event of a nuclear attack on Florida, I might as well just go to the beach and hang out with my wife.  I’d much rather go that way then be stuck in a car surrounded by a bunch of impatient fools risking their life and mine in order to get one car length ahead, cutting off cars as they weave in and out of lanes.  Some of them were even driving up the shoulder and the median strip and what certainly wasn’t a safe rate of speed.  And they were doing all this with fifteen gallons of gasoline strapped to the roof of their vehicle.

The interstate highways can barely handle the normal day to day volume of traffic.  They certainly can’t handle a partial evacuation of the population, so a mass evacuation would be pure chaos and mayhem.

If they ever give the warning that a warhead is on the way, I’m going to sit back with the one I love and prepare to meet my maker, because trying to escape in that mess would be hell before you even get there.

The next lesson, or maybe it’s more of an observation, happened as we spent our evacuation time in Shelbyville, Tennessee.

The first full day we were there, my wife and I decided to check out the town.  Shelbyville is a small town with a total population of around 21,000.

The night before, when we arrived in the town after our sixteen hour journey, we were too tired to do much more than find a place close to the hotel to get a hot meal and then go to bed.  On our short trip to the restaurant we saw a couple of thrift stores and consignment shops.  We decided to get up the next day and check them out and visit the historic downtown area of town with its shops and cafes.

On our way to the thrift shops we saw signs for yard sales, so we checked them out.

In the beach community where we live they have yard sales just like anywhere else, but ninety nine percent of the time the household is comprised of someone who lived in the area for a while and now they are moving elsewhere or it is an estate sale of someone who retired to the area and has passed on.

In Shelbyville, the yard sale household had mom, dad, the kids, grandma or grandpa or uncles or cousins, etc., participating or helping out.  They weren’t passing on or moving they were just making room for more stuff.

What I realized is how different the roots where in Shelbyville when compared to the where we live.

The roots ran big and deep in Shelbyville, much like and big oak tree.  There are many runners branching off but the tree has some big, thick, deep roots.OakTreeRoots

In a beach community like ours, the roots are like a palm tree.  There are a large number of root branches, but they are all thin and spread out.rootspalm

You don’t come across many multi-generational households where we live.  Most households are one generation coming here to retire.  The kids and the rest of the family, the big thick deep roots are somewhere else.

I’m not saying if that is good or bad, it’s just how it is.  Going to a small town in Tennessee put it right in front of my face.

Well I hope these are some of the last lessons I learn from a hurricane, at least for a couple of years.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Remember the Good Guys – Forget the Jerks

Remember the Good Guys – Forget the Jerks

The other day I was working with a supplier who I have been dealing with for about 20 years.

I was writing a follow-up email to our current rep at this supplier and I tried to remember the last few reps I had dealt with at this supplier.

There was a lady before the current rep and I remembered her name rather easily.  Her last name was the same as a flower so that helped me even though I had only dealt with her for less than one year.

Then I tried to remember the gentleman’s name who I had dealt with before her and I drew a blank. Continue reading