Posts Tagged ‘home’

Artificial Sweeteners - Splenda & Equal

Image by Bukowsky18 via Flickr

Sitting outside at what passes for a sidewalk cafe setting in my little neck of the woods the other day having iced tea with a friend, I was struck by the amount of sweeteners there are in the world now.

My friend takes sugar in her iced tea and when the young women who served us brought out the container full of sweetener packets, I was reminded of just how many choices we all have when it comes to making what could be bitter just that much sweeter.

In the little white rectangle sugar packet holder there were the typical white packets filled with honest-to-goodness real sugar, along with the packets of artificial sweeteners that not too long ago in the grand scheme of things didn’t even exist. Those packets weren’t plain white, no, they were the color of Easter eggs, light blue, pink and yellow. They carried with them the promise that if you used them, you wouldn’t have to deal with pesky calories because they were calorie free, adding sweetness without the worry.

The little yellow packet’s really caught my eye, because it reminded me of a conversation I had with one of my son’s friends about, believe it or not, Splenda. And, lest you think it was a conversation about the evils of artificial sweetener, it wasn’t, it was about always being prepared.

He was telling me a story about his grandmother, and how his entire family had gone out to eat but the restaurant didn’t have his grandmother’s preferred sweetener of Splenda so she just took a little yellow packet out of her purse to use in her iced tea.

Slightly amused by his retelling of the story, I asked him if his grandmother always carried Splenda in her purse.

‘Yeah,’ he said. ‘And, she’s not the only one. All her friends carry it too, just in case. So, they know they have it when they need it.’

Then he smiled and shook his head, saying, ‘Yeah, when someone at the table asks for Splenda all of them dig in their purses and out comes all these packets of Splenda.’

It’s quite a picture isn’t it? The thought of a group of grandmothers all pulling out their Easter egg yellow Splenda packets at the same time, just because someone wants to sweeten their iced tea or coffee.

It’s the very picture of being prepared, which is just how we should be with the LORD and His word. We should always have it somewhere on our person, just in case we, or someone else, needs it.

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, ….”

1 Peter 3:15

Read Full Post »

A day-old chick

Image via Wikipedia

Although there a lot of people around the area where I live who raise chickens, usually for their eggs, I’m not really a chicken fan. I’m not sure why, but the birds have never appealed to me, but all the changed for about an hour when I was younger.

My parents were looking into buying a chicken farm, and moving us all out to start a new life in a different state. Although their plans ultimately didn’t come to much, we did visit a farm that mass produced chickens so they, and by extension I, could see how the farms were actually run.

It was a far cry from the picture most of us have of chickens running around a farmyard, scratching away for their food and sleeping outside or in their chicken coup. This farm was amazing in its organization, its knowledge of chickens and just the overall way it was run, raising chickens from the time they were hatched in the hatching buildings to the time they were loaded onto the trucks to be taken away.

What I remember most about this farm was one of the buildings we went into which was where newly hatched chickens lived. Now, there were several of these buildings for this age of chick, and when we stepped inside and the door closed behind us – because not one chicken could be allowed to get out – there in the dim light with its close, warm and humid air was a sea of little yellow balls all chirping away.

The sound rose up from the thousands of chicks – I couldn’t even see the end of the building it was so large – in what could only be called a symphony of peeps. They all blended together and wove themselves into one great big sound that filled the place.

Yet, after a moment, I heard a little cheep that didn’t fit in with the rest. It came from the far end of the building and its quality was more piercing than the rest. It rose lightly above the concert of peeps and floated towards me. I was a teenager at the time, and I looked at the adults who were busily engaged in conversation about the technical details of the building and realized they didn’t even notice it.

As I stood waiting for my parents to finish their conversation, the little cheep started to move towards me. First, it was on my far left, then as its little owner doggedly made its way through the crowd it veered right, all the while getting a little louder and a little louder as it zigzagged this way and that through the throng of cottony yellow.

Then I couldn’t hear it for a moment or two and strained my ears wondered where it went, when all of sudden that distinctive cheep came from my foot. I looked down and there was its owner, all three inches of baby chick perched on the strap of my sandal cheeping away excitedly and looking up at me as if he belonged to me.

“He sure likes you,” the manager of the farm said as he looked at the little chick before going on to comment that he’d never seen anything quite like it.

Until recently I’d forgotten that experience of mine, but as I thought about it, I began to think about prayer and the sheer numbers of prayers that go to the LORD everyday in a cloud of praise, worship and request. Yet, just like I knew the cheep of that chick through the cloud of peeps, the LORD knows our voice among the multitude when we make our way towards Him and perch on His sandal cheeping away to Him because we are His and He is ours and no crowd of others will ever get in the way of that.

“Because He has turned His ear to me, I will cry out to Him as long as I live.”

Psalm 116:2

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »