Find God via George Washington Carver and Andy Andrews

By Dianne Neal Matthews:

Inspired by George Washington Carver and Andy Andrews, we ponder God-given creativity and the impact of one life on many. Who will you impact today?

 

peanuts image by chodra at morguefile org

God knew the amazing potential of the humble peanut. He also knows what impact YOUR humble life will have on the lives of others.

George Washington Carver was born into slavery in Diamond, Missouri in about 1865. As an infant, he was kidnapped with his family by raiders, but rescued back by former owners Moses and Susan Carver, who decided to raise him as their own and give him a start in his education. (Hear this amazing story as told by Andy Andrews, in the video below.)

Through perseverance and hard work, coupled with an intense hunger for learning, he became a renowned scientist. He was internationally recognized for his agricultural research and honored with numerous awards in his lifetime. Carver spent much of his career at what is now Tuskegee University in Alabama, where he focused on helping farmers improve crop production and taught more efficient agricultural practices through conferences, demonstrations, lectures, and traveling exhibits.

Carver is especially noted for creating more than three hundred products from peanuts, such as a milk substitute, printer’s ink, and soap. He also developed over seventy-five products from pecans and more than a hundred products from sweet potatoes, including flour, shoe polish, and candy. Carver’s work convinced many southern farmers to grow these crops instead of cotton, providing them with new sources of income.

It’s amazing to think that someone could create three hundred useful products from a peanut! It’s also impossible for our finite minds to grasp the fact that God created ­every­thing we see from nothing. The book of Genesis tells us how he started from scratch and created the infinite variety in our world and beyond simply with spoken commands. Revelation gives us a glimpse of heavenly creatures praising God:

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.” Revelation 4:11

George Washington Carver knew this. As noted in Wikipedia, sourced from Man of science–and of God via TheFreeLibrary.com:

” George Washington Carver believed he could have faith both in God and science and integrated them into his life. He testified on many occasions that his faith in Jesus was the only mechanism by which he could effectively pursue and perform the art of science. “

Since we are created in God’s image, we have an inherent creative drive. We find fulfillment in expressing our creativity, whether it’s in our job, our hobbies, the arts, or creative solutions to problems. Any creative act we perform is an act of worship for the One who placed that spark in us. We can be sure that such a Creator can, and will, create something amazing out of our life if we follow His leading.

Also know that you never know who your life will touch. See this video from Andy Andrews, where he talks about how the life of George Washington Carver was one link in an amazing chain of events that impacted one man, then another, and another–eventually saving the lives of two billion people.

Enjoy also the story of George’s adult life in the video George Washington Carver – Mini Bio from the Biography Channel.

© Dianne Neal Matthews (www.DianneNealMatthews.com). Dianne is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books. This article is adapted from her book, The One Year on This Day (Tyndale House).

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Finding God in the Number 9

By Carol Barnier:

Finding God in the number 9 is about seeing order and beauty in a surprising place.

 

Image Courtesy of Keerati / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of Keerati / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There’s a secret place where God plays, a place where He quietly hides some of His most amazing stuff. While others claim to find God in the unexpected $10 bill on the sidewalk, or in an eerie face-like image that emerges in the wood grain of a door, I see Him in a place I bet you have never looked. I’m  finding God in the number 9.

Let me explain.

There’s this thing I often see here in New England that I’ve never seen in all the other places I’ve lived (of which there have been 21).

Stacked rocks.

People regularly stack a series of rocks in the middle of the woods, almost as an artistic statement of placing some order, a clean sort of beauty, notably juxtaposed against the wildness around it. If you’re walking along a wooded path and suddenly find a tower of nicely stacked rocks, there’s no doubt that someone’s been there before you; some mind or intelligence was behind that stack.  This is exactly how I felt when I discovered all the wonderful patterns in the number 9.

It started in elementary school, when I was practicing my times tables and discovered that all the answers in the nines’ problems had a beautiful pattern. Take a look.

The answers in the one’s column descend– 9,8,7,6. . .and so on. The numbers in the ten’s column show the reverse: 1,2,3,4. . .etc.

1 x 9 =   9

2 x 9 = 18

3 x 9 = 27

4 x 9 = 36

5 x 9 = 45

Then I noticed that the digits of all answers added up to nine. 1+8, 2+7, 3+6.

But there’s more. Multiply any number times nine, and the digits in THAT answer will also add up to nine. And as any accountant will tell you, if you accidentally mix-up the digits in a number, that new number will be off from the correct number by an amount. . .you guessed it. . .divisible by nine.

Here’s the thing. While there are many even more impressive patterns found in the number nine, what got me was that all those amazing patterns were there long before any human ever knew about them. Back when mankind was still counting on his fingers to keep track of the sheep, nines were secretly hiding a show of amazing. There, in the midst of all that jumble, there emerged this beauty, this order, juxtaposed against wildness.

Finding God in the number 9 in the end, is about seeing order and beauty in a surprising place. I am convinced that mathematics is the playground of God. When we explore it and find a pattern that existed eons before it was discovered, I believe it’s a hello from the greatest mind of the universe, a mind that even more amazingly, choose to love us.

© Carol Barnier. Carol is the author of Engaging Today’s ProdigalThe Big WHAT NOW Book of Learning Styles and other parenting and educational titles. You can find out more about her at   carolbarnier.com , or join her on Twitter or Facebook.

Here’s a fun video from YouTube that shows yet another way to play with the number 9! It’s called The Magic of number 9–shall we call it the Magnificent Number 9 instead?

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Find God in Spring Flowers in Winter (Forcing Bulbs)

By Dianne E. Butts:

The best time to plant spring flowers outside is in fall or early winter, but by ‘forcing bulbs’  you can make them bloom when you want, even indoors.

 

Spring Flowers by mconnors

In fall or early winter you may not be thinking of spring flowers. But that is the best time (if you ground is not yet frozen) to plant bulbs outside: tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, grape hyacinth, Dutch iris, Striped Squills, and more.

As I planted some bulbs recently, I tried to imagine how they will look next spring. I found out there is a way make them bloom even earlier, indoors.

In order for a spring bulb to make a flower, it must first be chilled (but not frozen) for “eight to 15 weeks” for most varieties of bulbs according to the “Forcing Spring Bulbs” article from Better Homes and Gardens. If the bulb freezes, it will kill the flower and the bulb. But if it is not chilled long enough, it will not flower either.

You can artificially chill bulbs by putting them in a refrigerator, cold shed or garage. Then you can make them bloom when you want them to and enjoy them in a pot in your home, or enjoy them even if you live in a place that does not get cold enough to chill them. This is called “forcing” the bulbs. If you want to try this, here are some instructions:

  • Pack the bulb in moist peat moss in a plastic bag,
  • Put them inside a black plastic trash bag to block the light so they won’t try to grow prematurely,
  • Put then in your refrigerator, but do not store them in the same compartment as fruit. The fruit gives off a gas that will kill the flower.
  • Don’t put them in the freezer! Again, if the bulb freezes it will die.
  • After 12 – 14 weeks, plant them in a pot of potting mix, water, and set them in your home out of direct sunlight. They will soon grow and bloom for you.

You can find more information in the “Flower Bulbs FAQs” section of this article by the International Bulb Society.

How did I find God in spring flower bulbs? To me, burying them is like death. Yet in the spring, they come back to life!

Jesus died.  He was buried in a tomb. Three days later He rose from the dead.

Jesus came back to life. In him there is eternal life for everyone who believes in Him. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

In Revelation 1:18 Jesus said “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Wow!

Next spring when you see tulips and daffodils and hyacinth and other spring flowers that came from bulbs planted this fall or early winter, I hope you’ll contemplate how they, like Jesus, have been “in the grave” over the winter and were “dead” but now are alive again! If you think about this, you’ll be finding God in spring flower bulbs.

You can also plant bulbs in a pot first and then chill them. Learn how to force hyacinth bulbs from this greenhouse in Fort Collins, Colorado:

 © Dianne E. Butts. Dianne’s new book, Prophecies Fulfilled in the Birth of Jesus, just released for the Christmas season. Her last book is Grandparenting through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ (Pix-N-Pens, August 2012). Visit her blog at  www.DeliverMeBook.blogspot.comwww.DianneEButts.com

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