Skip to content

Are You Worth Your Salt?

January 7, 2010

Salt and Light

Have you ever heard the saying, “He’s not worth his salt”?  Obviously it is an insult, and in ancient Roman times, it was a profound insult.  How would this phrase come to be used in ancient Rome as an insult?  During years of teaching Latin language and history to my children, I learned much of the classical language and history myself. 

What I learned is that while Roman soldiers were paid in money (Roman coins), some portion of their pay was in the form of salt.  It is unclear and there is not concensus as to whether this was in the form of physical substance of salt or an extra allowance for salt.  The amount of salt (or salt allowance) was dependent upon rank and performance in war.  The word soldier is derived from the Latin, sal dere, meaning ‘to give salt’.  The English word salary is derived from the Latin word, salarium, meaning ‘salt money’.

Salt was a matter of life and death in these ancient times.  Salt was  the only known perservative at the time and was used to preserve both food, primarily meats, and the dead.  Without the ability to perserve meats, a society would perish.  Additionally, preserving the dead was essential to prevent decay and disease while awaiting time for the required burial rites and ceremonies.  The Roman rite of contarreatio, or marriage, included a practice wherein the groom and bride ate a cake of flour and salt.  The flour and salt symbolized flesh and blood and indicated that they were now one, or flesh and blood kin — unable to allow harm to come to one another. 

The power to control a society’s supply of salt was indeed to have the power of life and death over that society.  We are called to be the ‘salt and light’ of the Earth.  See Matthew 5:13-16 wherein Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth”…”You are the light of  the world”.  In the ancient Greek the ‘you’ used in this passage is the emphatic ‘you’, meaning YOU and only YOU.  Even though Jesus was talking to a group, he was addressing each person individually.  We are commanded to go out to be salt and light of the earth.  We are called not only to be ‘worth our salt’ in this battle for souls, but to be the salt that is life.  We are called to be that light that shines through the darkest of dark.  Light wants to shine and be seen, to light the path in the black night.  Go out and be salt and light.  We are called to war and battle as any ancient Roman soldier was called to do, only our sword in the word of G-d and our battle is against the lies of the enemy.  We will be worth our salt, we will be light to this earth only if we are willing to bleed and die for the spiritual battle being waged even as a Roman soldier was willing to bleed and die for his fleshly battles.

Advertisements

Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, January 6

January 7, 2010

1 Peter 5:7  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
“It is a happy way of soothing sorrow when we can feel—“HE careth for me.” Christian! do not dishonour religion by always wearing a brow of care; come, cast your burden upon your Lord. You are staggering beneath a weight which your Father would not feel. What seems to you a crushing burden, would be to him but as the small dust of the balance. Nothing is so sweet as to
“Lie passive in God’s hands,
And know no will but his.”
O child of suffering, be thou patient; God has not passed thee over in his providence. He who is the feeder of sparrows, will also furnish you with what you need. Sit not down in despair; hope on, hope ever. Take up the arms of faith against a sea of trouble, and your opposition shall yet end your distresses. There is One who careth for you. His eye is fixed on you, his heart beats with pity for your woe, and his hand omnipotent shall yet bring you the needed help. The darkest cloud shall scatter itself in showers of mercy. The blackest gloom shall give place to the morning. He, if thou art one of his family, will bind up thy wounds, and heal thy broken heart. Doubt not his grace because of thy tribulation, but believe that he loveth thee as much in seasons of trouble as in times of happiness. What a serene and quiet life might you lead if you would leave providing to the God of providence! With a little oil in the cruse, and a handful of meal in the barrel, Elijah outlived the famine, and you will do the same. If God cares for you, why need you care too? Can you trust him for your soul, and not for your body? He has never refused to bear your burdens, he has never fainted under their weight. Come, then, soul! have done with fretful care, and leave all thy concerns in the hand of a gracious God.”

Brit Hume and Tiger Woods

January 6, 2010

Brit Hume has a political opinion show similar to Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, and others.  Therefore, he is not required to give unbiased reporting.  His is a show wherein his job is to provide commentary based on his opinion of the subject at hand.  He had every right to state that Tiger Woods should convert to Christianity.  If Brit were Jewish, Hindu, or any other religion, I would expect he would tout that religion as the one from which Tiger would benefit.

Furthermore, as a Christian it would not have offended me at all if Brit were a practicing Jew and had implored Tiger to convert to Judaism.  After all, truly following a religion means it is a way of life.  I would expect any true believer of any religion to wish to convert people to what they believe is the best way to live one’s life.

All the hand wringing and belly aching about it would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.

Where is the Common Sense Regarding Food Safety?

January 5, 2010

The government has become increasingly involved in food safety issues ever since 9/11 due to the threat of bio-terrorism.  Some attention to this is warranted and a necessary intrusion on the food industry.  The problem arises when the power hungry, regulation making, hysteria creating government continues to meddle, overstate threats to food supply, and nit-pick.  I invite readers to view the article quoted in it’s entirety below.  I think the poverty of logic apparent in this company’s decision to recall product would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic.  The article, although quoted totally here, can be located at www.progressivegrocer.com.

The following article is an example of what too much government involvement and hysteria over food safety can do to normally rational people.

Publix Recalls Pumpkin Pecan Streusel Pie on Allergy Risk

Jan 4, 2010

Publix Super Markets has issued a voluntary recall for Publix Pumpkin Pecan Streusel Pie, which was mislabeled and could contain undeclared pecans. People with an allergy or severe sensitivity to pecans may suffer an allergic reaction if they eat the product.

Baked in-store for sale between November and December 2009, the pies have a UPC number of 002-95118-20399-7 and come in 30-ounce plastic containers. Pies affected by the recall were distributed in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina.

“As part of our commitment to food safety and in cooperation with the FDA, we are issuing this voluntarily recall,” noted Publix director of media and community relations Maria Brous. “Since customers may still have these pies in their homes, we wanted to take every precaution to make them aware of the pecan as an ingredient. To date, there have been no reported cases of illness. Consumers who have purchased the product in question may return the product to their local store for a full refund. Publix customers with additional questions may call our Consumer Relations department at 1-800-242-1227 or by visiting our Web site at http://www.publix.com.”

Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix is privately owned and operated by its 140,500 employees, and has 1,014 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.

Modesty in a Culture of Immodesty: Does it have a place?

January 4, 2010

If you are interested in what other guys and gals (of all ages) think about modest clothing and its place in American culture, click here to read about it, post your opinions and comments and get generally fired up about this important subject.  A couple of ‘rebelutionaries’ created a Modesty Survey that is causing quite a stir.  The initial results were published Valentine’s Day 2009, but the survey is still active!  Let me know what you think about modesty in this culture of skin.  I’d like to know what people of all ages and walks of life think about the survey, its premise, and the way it is being presented.

The New Year: A New Christian’s Perspective

January 4, 2010

2010!

I am a naturally happy and optimistic person.  Things that get me down, don’t get me down for long.  Like almost everyone else, my family sits down together to discuss New Year hopes and dreams, things we want to change, things we want to keep the same.  2009 was what I like to call a beautiful nightmare — parts of it were crushing and my family and I encountered some of the most difficult challenges that we have ever endured.  That was the nightmare part of it.  I like to think of most of 2009, however, as a beautiful success and opportunity for growth.  Amidst the crushing personal and familial hardships were all the little sparkly blessings strewn throughout.  Without these little blessings and beautiful scatters, we would have never made it through.  We had big blessings as well:  we bought a new home (our first together), I found Silpada Jewelry and became an independent jewelry representative for them which has boosted my spirits and helped with some of the bills, our children gave us countless precious hugs, kisses, and self-made creations, but most of all it was G-d that held us up and kept us mentally, spiritually, and physically afloat.  We definitely stopped and smelled the roses — that sweet scent wafting through the fabric of our lives — the little things.

As a result of this past year, I did not make the usual “cliche” resolutions — not that one shouldn’t make these — I just thought I would try something different.  My one and only stated resolution is to become closer to G-d through learning, serving, prayer, meditation, and action.  If I succeed in this endeavor, all those ‘little things’ will come floating around, making life so beautiful indeed amidst the storms just as happened last year.  It is one year that I have become what I call a true Christian.  Before that, I truly thought I was a Christian:  going to church every Sunday, saying prayer before meals, praying to our Lord when I thought about it or had time.  I rationalized that I was a good person, loving wife, loving mother….  Oh, how far from being a true Christian was I?  In my opinion, thinking one is a Christian and NOT actually being one, is worse than not being one at all.  At least atheists KNOW they are atheists and the KNOW everything about what they do not believe in and are not living with a false view of themselves.  Christ changed me — and my husband — and through that we were brought literally and figuratively to our knees. 

Being a Christian means seeking G-d daily, praying daily (even when it’s inconvenient), attending church, becoming involved in a ministry, and much more.  I wasn’t even faking it well.  My hard and fast resolution is to seek Him daily and watch for the blessing to flow.  For this reason, I know that 2010 will be the best yet for me and my family!

Hope Bags – Hope for the Homeless

January 2, 2010

Give Hope.

My husband and I had a wonderful and blessed Christmas with our kids.  We had gifts, went to church, had wonderful food, and lots of laughter.  It dawned on me, as it has on many occasions before (but I was too slothful to do anything about it), that our children may be under the false impression that most people live the way we do.  We live paycheck to paycheck, but somehow there is always food, somehow there are presents under the tree come Christmastime.  Somehow my husband is able to buy me fresh flowers every week.  Occasionally, our electricity or water gets cut off (more often our cell phones) and like so many other Americans right now, we are in the process of trying to save our home from foreclosure.  We are in negotiations with the lender.  I don’t know if it’s going to work out, but all we can do is pray hard and work hard.  Even though we have the aforementioned financial woes, we live a blessed life that most people would love to have.  We do (eventually) get the bills paid and the water turned back on — there is so much love, laughter, and spirituality in our home and I am so thankful everyday — even in the storms, I praise the Lord.

So I was thinking about our kids and how to get them involved in some sort of ‘service’ project that would not only enrich them, but cause them to pause and think about others instead of living in their perfect little bubble of peace, love, and family.    We live in a large metropolitan area and it seems on nearly every street corner there is a beggar — dirty, worn clothes, cold, hungry, ignored, and alone.  I know that many of these poor folks have brought their plight on themselves, but I don’t care about that.  I used to pass them up with disdain for this very reason (excuse?).  I want our kids to have a heart for humanity, a love for the less fortunate.  We teach them that it is not government that should (or even can) cure the woes of the poor, the addicted, the lost — but US!  Yet as we taught them these truths, we weren’t doing our part to be an example.

I came up with “Hope Bags – Hope for the Homeless”.  We went to the local grocery store, bought travel sized toothpastes and toothbrushes, plastic cutlery, many pop-top cans of food and soups, sweets, and small bottles of water.  We placed the items in plain brown paper grocery bags.  In addition to that, we made cards about the hope of the Lord with some Bible verses.  The kids drew some nice pictures on the cards as well.  We now carry these bags of hope in our car and whenever we see someone begging on the street corner, we give them a bag of ‘hope’.  It has been well received and the kids have become so mentally involved, they are forever coming up with ways to improve our project and to involve others.

We just began this endeavor, but hope to continue it well into the future.  It is my wish that we will one day be able to afford small throw blankets to include in the Hope Bags.  Our children (the teen ones that can write) are going to soon be writing essays about their experiences with the project, how it has affected them, and what they want to do next.