When Jennifer moved in three weeks ago, she brought me a gerber daisy plant. I've seen gerber daisies at flower shops, but I've never tried growing them in my own yard. I put it in the ground in front of my house and the two flowers wilted and fell off. I figured that was it.
But after three weeks it has begun blooming again! This morning I cut off a pretty pink flower. Now that I know these plants do well in Tennessee (if they are well watered) I think next spring I will buy several more plants.
Gerber daisies are my favorite. They are the fifth most used cut flower in the world (after rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, and tulip). It has approximately 30 species in the wild, extending to South America, Africa and tropical Asia. They won't survive a winter outdoors, but you can dig them up, pot them, and bring them inside until the spring. Just so you know. I'm not sure flowers would survive very long inside with Miles around, but hopefully he'll mature enough to get along with other living things.
Last summer Andrea got me walking the stairs at work. We would ride the elevator down to the bottom (they say walking down stairs is hard on your knees … and you'll miss them when they're gone) and then walk back up to the eighth floor (now seventh; we moved).
I've been trying to stay in the habit and have been keeping track of my stair-walking endeavors since last August. I've walked the stairs 127 times. I did great in February but have been slacking since (only 5-7 times a month) but it's a new month and I decided I would walk them every day. So to get me going, I've been using motivational stickers. Little round Great Job! Nice work! and Way to Go! stickers that I put on my calendar. And I've learned that despite being 22, I am still highly motivated by stickers.
I was supposed to donate blood after work yesterday, but Andrea texted me around lunchtime and suggested we go to the zoo. So I rescheduled my blood donation appt. at the Red Cross for Thursday during my lunch break. I think I will go after work today because I'm free until 7 p.m. and I want to get it over with. I'm a big supporter of donating blood. But I'm not going to lie, the needle really hurts when they put it in. But the pain is brief and you can save up to three lives with one donation. And they give you free snacks when you're done. I'll trade a pint of blood for a package of Nutter Butters any day.
I've begun reading Paul Tripp's book, Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands. Jenn once mentioned that she was reading it, so I picked it up the last time I ordered books. I'm only eight pages in, but I can tell you already that this is one I will recommend.
From page 7:
Our news must be the good news. When Jesus commissioned his disciples to minister in his name, this is the message he told them to proclaim. As we face our own struggles with sin and minister to people who seem trapped by things they cannot overcome, this must be our message too. We must faithfully proclaim, "Hope is only to be found in Jesus Christ, the King of Kings. In him, lasting, personal heart change is possible." Any other message encourages false hope."
The subtitle for this book is People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change. I like this because in the past I've been frustrated by Christians who aren't willing or who are afraid to minister to other Christians. They think helping people requires a degree in counseling. But let me tell you, quality Bible-based counselors are few and far between and it really is our job to help our friends. The reflection in the Redeemer Fellowship bulletin this Sunday put it well (emphasis mine):
It is basic to the Christian faith that Jesus is, in actual fact, God among us. As hard as it is to believe and as impossible as it is to imagine, Christians do believe it. The entire and elaborate work of salvation from "before the foundation of the world" (Eph. 1:4) is gathered up and made complete in this birth, life, death and resurrection—a miracle of unprecedented and staggering proportions. We acknowledge all this when we, following the example of St. Peter, add the title "Christ" to the name Jesus: Jesus Christ. Christ: God’s anointed, God among us to save us from our sins, God speaking to us in the same language we learned at our mother’s knee, God raising us from the dead to real, eternal life.
You would think that believing that Jesus is God among us would be the hardest thing. But it is not. It turns out that the hardest thing is to believe that God’s work -- this dazzling creation, this astonishing salvation, this cascade of blessings -- is all being worked out in and under the conditions of our humanity: at picnics and around dinner tables, in conversations and while walking along roads, in puzzled questions and homely stories, with blind beggars and suppurating lepers, at weddings and funerals. Everything that Jesus does and says takes place within the limits and conditions of our humanity. No fireworks. No special effects. Yes, there are miracles. But because they are so munch a part of the fabric of everyday life, very few notice. The miracle is obscured by the familiarity of the setting, the ordinariness of the people involved.
There you have it. God uses normal people. I think a lot of times people in desperate situations are looking, waiting for miracles … waiting for a superhero to rush in and change things around. It's like that joke of the man waiting for help in a flood. God wants to use us to help others and that's really cool. You don't need to leave it to the "professionals."
Nothing special here,