Are tomatoes fruits or vegetables?
I might have opened up a can of worms just by asking, because disagreement has surrounded this issue for generations.
In fact, the US Supreme Court has even weighed in on this burning question.
This issue was brought to a head in 1893 in Nix v. Hedden. The Court held that, even though tomatoes are fruits botanically, they would be classified as vegetables for the purposes of tariffs, imports and customs.
Did this settle the matter? Hardly.
Some US states have since named the tomato their state fruit; others call it their state vegetable.
It’s the sort of issue that produces arguments to this day.
Let me ask you another question:
Was Jesus simply a good man and teacher, or was He Lord?
The answer to this question has eternal consequences for each of us. It’s not simply a matter of “You say tomayto, I say tomahto.”
Sometimes there can be something very powerful right above you, and you’re not even aware of it.
I’ve found this out a few times while on a walk in a nature area.
I’ll think I’m totally alone: I don’t see or hear any other creature.
But then suddenly a large shadow will zoom across the path in front of my feet.
I look up to see what the shadow belongs to, and spot a majestic red-tailed hawk. He’d probably been circling above me the whole time, but he was so silent that I didn’t know he was there.
Recently, I came across two large, striped feathers on the ground. Their tell-tale markings told me they belonged to a bird of prey. Looking up into a nearby tree, I was surprised to see a hawk perched by its nest. I’d walked underneath the same tree many times before without realizing the nest was even there.
In each case, the bird had been right there with me, but I initially hadn’t been aware of its presence.
Similarly, sometimes we feel that God isn’t near us.
We can’t see or hear Him. We can’t seem to feel His presence in our lives. It feels like we’re alone in our struggles.
But there is something (or rather, Someone) powerful right above us, who promises to never leave us or forsake us. God’s children are never truly alone.
“Go suck a lemon!”
Have you ever heard anyone say that?
It means they’re annoyed with you and want you to experience something unpleasant. Lemon juice is so sour that it makes your mouth pucker.
But if lemon juice is so bitter, why are lemon desserts so yummy?
It’s thanks to the addition of a sweetener.
I like lemon-based desserts much better than orange-flavoured ones. It seems to me that the combination of sour and sweet is what makes lemon desserts so satisfying (see below for Lemon Poppyseed Cake recipe).
They say when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.
No, when life hands you lemons, turn it over to God.
He can transform your unwelcome experiences into something good, and make the bitter waters of your life sweeter than any lemonade.
They say elephants never forget; I think the same may be true of cats.
A friend of mine recently downsized by moving into the lower level of her own home and renting out the upstairs.
She’s perfectly happy with the arrangement. One of her cats, however, is not.
This cat remembers that he once had the run of the entire house. He still recalls that there was a wonderful place called Upstairs.
Despite having lots of room to roam downstairs, including access to a big backyard, this cat keeps trying to break into the upper level of the house. I’m told he meows plaintively at the connecting door between the two units, and tries to pry it open with his paw.
This cat knows that there’s something missing in his life. Even though Downstairs is perfectly nice, he still feels the ache to be Upstairs once again.
I think many of us know the feeling.
We have an innate sense that this world is not as it should be.
It’s broken in some way: there’s something missing.
Humans seem to have a mysterious longing for a world set right. We ache for it, even though we haven’t experienced it.
Whenever I did something wrong as a little girl, I thought I had a surefire way of escaping my parents.
I would hide behind a large potted plant we had and close my eyes.
Somehow, I thought that my parents wouldn’t be able to see me if I did this. Unfortunately for me, their eyesight was a bit better than I’d bargained on.
If you look at the natural world, you’ll find that I’m not the only one who often thinks they can’t be seen.
Take the blue tang fish, made famous by its cartoon equivalent in the Pixar movies “Finding Nemo” and “Finding Dory.”
Like a few other reef fish, this aquatic animal is blue and yellow. To other fish and to its predators, the blue tang is perfectly camouflaged. To them, its yellow markings seem to disappear against similarly coloured corals, and its blue body blends in with the shade of the water.
There’s only one problem:
To snorkelling humans, the blue tang sticks out like a sore thumb. Far from being camouflaged, this fish’s dramatic colours are incredibly conspicuous to our eyes. Why is that?
It’s because our eyesight is very different from that of undersea creatures. The particular trio of cones in human vision is especially good at discriminating blues and yellows.
So what is hidden to other fish is glaringly obvious to us.
I think God’s “eyesight” works in a similar fashion.