Peanut Genius

I don’t think I can adequately describe for you how much I truly love peanut butter. For health reasons, I cut back from two pounds per week to about a pound per week. I eat it for breakfast on a banana or in a smoothie. I eat it by the spoonful for a snack. In fact, I’ve become a bit of a peanut butter snob, and I now craft my own peanut butter at home. And it’s all thanks to good ol’ George Washington Carver.

I’m thankful for a lot of things in life, but I am grateful for a guy named George who was willing to walk out into the woods, get alone with God, and ask for the wisdom and creativity to be able to solve the problem farmers in the South were facing. Carver knew farmers had to rotate crops, and he knew peanuts were a good option. But convincing farmers to switch was proving challenging. He needed to be able to prove to them that there would be a market for peanuts if they grew them. So he asked the Ultimate Creator to infuse him with some of that creativity in order to come up with the ideas he needed. And God did! He gave Carver more than 200 ways the peanut could be used. That helped get the farmers past their protests and into prosperity. And one of the amazing byproducts all these years later is that I get to enjoy my favorite food… peanut butter!

Now, each of us face challenges in our lives that may seem difficult- if not impossible- to overcome. Yet we have access to the mind which created everything there is in this universe. All we have to do is ask. God has not stopped creating or sharing His creativity. When He breathed His life into our lungs, He infused a bit of Himself into our being. And so, since He is creative, then we are creative. When we ask Him to get involved in our challenges, He sparks that creativity in us & helps us overcome our obstacles.

What are you facing today? What challenge do you need to overcome? What problem in life could you use a creative injection to solve?

God stands ready to pour His creativity into you and through you. And if you’re tempted to doubt it could happen for you, just pull out a jar of yummy peanut butter, grab a spoon, take a bite (or three), and remember ol’ George Washington Carver. Who knows? You might come up with an idea better than peanut butter! Well, you can at least try.

What To Do When You’re Sad

Each night, we sit on the floor next to the boys’ beds and read a Bible story from each of their Bibles, and then we pray together as a family before they go to sleep. Earlier this week, it just so happened that Angela was reading in Austin’s Bible about the Passion week. That night, she read what the Scriptures say about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane from Mark 14:32-42. Along the way in his study Bible, there are little one-line commentary thoughts and activities that go along with the story.

Angela read these words aloud…

“Jesus was sad, so He prayed.”

When she said it, I was struck. I have times when I’m sad. I mean, normally, I’m pretty upbeat. But I have my own moments of melancholy. In fact, I had an afternoon and evening just recently when sadness hit me out of nowhere. I couldn’t pin-point its cause. I was just sad.

Ever been there? What do you do when you are sad? Do you mope? Do you cry? Do you call someone… a family member or close friend?

When Jesus was at what was probably the saddest moment of His life on this planet, He chose to pray… to talk with His Heavenly Father about what was going on in His life and how it was making Him feel. He took His overwhelming sadness to the only One who could actually do anything about it. In the end, God didn’t change the situation. But He did strengthen Jesus to be able to endure it. In fact, what Jesus faced over the next 24 hours seems almost incomprehensible to me when it comes to emotional, physical and spiritual suffering. Yet, in His sadness, He kept the conversation going with His Father.

And He made it. He made it through the difficult times to the victorious times. (I’ll share more about those Monday.)

Here’s the thing… When you’re sad… especially really sad… like depressed… or when you’re grieving a loss… it can feel like nothing will help. When you don’t know what else to do… when you don’t think anything or anyone can help… do what Jesus did… Pray! Have a conversation with God and invite Him to get involved in your life. Even if He doesn’t change the situation… although sometimes He does… you will at least gain the strength you need to make it through the dark Fridays of despair to the bright Sundays of hope!

If you’re sad today… Pray.

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