While living outside of Tampa, FL, we learned to appreciate shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico. One of the members of the Valrico Church was captain of a shrimp boat for many years. Wild shrimp from the gulf look and taste better than the farm-raised products. Most stores up north here only carry the farm-raised product, usually from Thailand. Last night we had shrimp stir-fry on rice noodles. If it weren't for the sauce the meal might have been completely tasteless.
I have no idea how far the crude oil contamination from the lost rig will reach nor how much the shrimpers will be affected. Time will tell. But the shrimpers weren't faring too well before. This might put a bunch of them out of business. And we might not have any more real shrimp for a while.
Alas, Gulf shrimp. Thou shalt be missed.
As I look at life under the sun I am often reminded that...
I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. That which is crooked cannot be made straight; and that which is wanting cannot be numbered. (Ecclesiastes 1:14-15)
But then I remember...
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
The latter puts the former in perspective, and keeps me from going crazy. So far, anyway ;-)
I keep hoping and looking for signs of economic recovery. In the extreme micro-perspective I'm seeing signs of things still getting worse. I live in a very small town in upstate New York called Port Gibson. How small? The post office doesn't provide local delivery. We have to go to the post office to get our mail. And 250 boxes are more than enough for the town. How small? We don't even have a traffic light. In the center of town, right next to the post office, is a little store called "Emmy's". It is extremely difficult to make a profit as a small business in New York State. Taxes are super-high. In these tough economic times businesses are closing all over. But now it's hit home. The one business in our little town closed. And yesterday when we went to get our mail we saw new signs on Emmy's door proclaiming, "Store Closed" and "For Sale by Owner." Those are the signs I'm seeing.
I hope that title is grammatically correct. "Who" and "whom" have always confused me.
Back on track. God the Father, and God the Son, have purposed that humans voluntarily conform to Their image. We can't see the Father, but Jesus and the Father are one (John 10:30). So we try to become like Jesus, as much as we can (Ephesians 4:13). Perhaps it's obvious but we can transform ourselves in very few respects. We can't change our height, frame, skin or hair color (with deference to Michael Jackson and Clairol). We aren't literally to be cutting any parts off (Matthew 5:29). But we can and must transform our thoughts and actions. His mind is to become our mind (Philippians 2:5). Our actions are to be His actions, as far as we are able to perform like He (Philippians 1:20-21).
How amazing that the Godhead does not compel men to this. It must be that conforming to the Son is only valuable and commendable in God's sight if we choose it of our own volition. If He compelled us to it, it wouldn't mean much to Him.
By my personal observations lead me to conclude that few volunteer to be so transformed. And of those who begin the process many give up along the way. And, in far too many cases, we find it much easier to conform God to our image than visa versa. So we change the image of the creator into the image of the created thing (Romans 1:23-25)
. This exchange, though tempting and easy to effect, brings wretched consequences both here and hereafter (Romans 1:26-32)
I guess we're all transformers. But which way?
Rejoice with us and the angels of heaven! Two precious souls were baptized
into Christ for the remission of sins tonight. Each recognized that their previous baptisms did not conform to the New Testament pattern. After a brief survey of conversions in the book of Acts they were immersed this evening. I am thankful for their willingness to comply readily with the Lord's will. A man I studied with Sunday, seeing the same scriptures, decided not to obey the New Testament pattern. It's so simple to do things God's way. Why do it man's way and hope God will approve?