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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Guest Writer Ray Vigna-Dandelion Christian-Flower Or Weed

NOTE: This is a very, very different and excellent message I found it amazing I hope you do as well.

                                                                    



 
As children, we collected weeds of all kinds to bring home to mom to show our love. We did not know that they were not flowers and nor did we care. They were pretty to us and we had not yet learned to despise these undesirable members of the plant world. It is curious how things find their way onto the unwanted list for no reason other than they do not fit into someone’s definition of acceptable. 
 
Let us focus on a particular weed, the dandelion that makes its way almost everywhere, including into poems and other inspirational writings. When I was 8 years old, my parents moved from Bronx, New York to Dover, Pennsylvania. In New York City, I do not remember ever seeing a dandelion and then all of a sudden there they were all over the fields and meadows and as a child, I quickly learned to enjoy them. Now that we are in the spring season, they are everywhere right now. 

Dandelions are troublesome weeds to most individuals and during my career as a Facilities Director; I developed a hatred toward these persistent yellow intruders with a passion. Not only did they ruin our well-manicured landscape but grew through the blacktop in the parking lot and walks, all over the daycare play yard and concrete sidewalks. They required too much labor material and chemical treatment. It was a war or so it seemed. It only took missing one treatment or slight loss of labor and the dandelion took the high ground again. 
 
Around 300 years ago, dandelions were an essential part of life and still hold a strong favoritism among those involved in natural and holistic arts. The word dandelion comes from French for “dent-de-lion” teeth of a lion. The flower was a native to Europe and Asia. European immigrants brought them to this country in the 1700s for its many uses as a food, a medicinal herb, as dandelion wine or tea. In Belgium, they actually grow dandelions as a crop on farms. 
 
So are we Christian weeds or are we Christian flowers? At first, I think we would all elect to be flowers, I mean they are beautiful, colorful, and fragrant. Who would not want to be a flower, right? As I contemplated this very question, my first thought was to be like a flower and for all the reasons listed above. My beauty would attract attention and that would provide opportunities for witnessing, colorful again would attract others to me so I could share my testimony and fragrant so as not to repel anyone with my unpleasant odors that is unpleasant habits or mannerisms. 
 
Even with our past relationship, I have a respect for the dandelion’s tenacity, strength, and desire to survive and propagate. Let me share a post that a friend forwarded to me a little while back and some wonderful insight from Ms. Donna Doyon.
A bright little yellow dandelion in a sea of green grass.
  1. To some just a weed
  2. To some a source of food
  3. To children a toy that spreads seeds
I saw it as I walked across the sidewalk to enter the church. Later much later as happens to me a lot lately, suddenly I remembered the dandelion and it hit me, this had been me during my many years of work and all other areas of my life as a Christian in my day-to-day activities. Was I as the dandelion? To the world, we are as weeds but if allowed to flourish this yellow weed will turn the green grass yellow. The young dandelion grows roots 10 times faster than grass and instead of inches, their roots grow several feet. Dandelions are difficult to remove once they take root. The little yellow flower may be unappreciated by many yet it is still beautiful and if you cut them down they seed all the faster and they remain a favorite of children.
-Unknown
530th -- Lessons From A Dandelion
Imagine having the staying power of a dandelion. Imagine stretching your roots so deep and straight that no amount of tugging on your stem would tear you completely from the source that gives you life. Imagine if you came back to face the world with a bright, sunshiny face even after someone had run you over with a lawnmower, or snapped your head off while singing a silly song. Imagine if your foliage, the things you have accomplished in this world, were a nutritious source of vitamins that helped others grow strong. Imagine if you could spread love, encouragement, and compassion as freely and fully as this flower spreads seeds of itself. But I hope that we can be different. I hope that we can stretch our roots deep enough so that the strongest poisons of anger, fear, hate, envy, and criticism can't reach our souls. I hope that the next time you see a dandelion, you'll stop and think about the lessons it can teach you. I hope you'll see a flower in a world that sees weeds.
By Donna Doyon
I believe we can learn a great deal from this so-called weed. The early Christian’s were very much dandelions. They appeared unsightly to the mainstream world both because they were Jews and were followers of the Way. The Romans despised the Jews and they both despised the followers of Christ. 
 
Be Evangelistic: They put themselves in a sea of green (the accepted type and color, refused conformity) and before anyone even noticed there were smiley-faced Christian’s everywhere. Persecution began with torcher and death following yet their seeds traveled the world to produce untold multitudes of ever propagating you guessed it smiley-faced Christians. 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matt 28:18-20 (NKJV)

Know who you are in Christ: These Christian’s were deeply rooted in Christ and in God’s word. They were united in love and home churches. Love and fellowship were the normal and expected way of living and everything was about Christ. Know who you are in Christ Jesus 19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself. Eph 1:19-23 (NLT) The deeper the roots the less chance of being uprooted or poisons of this world destroying the life within. 
 
Have broad deep roots: We have no strength in ourselves; our strength comes from realizing who we are in Christ and taking on all the protection, he has provided. 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.11  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, Eph 6:10-18 (ESV)
57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, are strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. 1 Cor 15:57-58 (NLT)

As I look around at Christian’s today, I grow increasingly concerned by what I am seeing. Mega churches where everyone is a stranger, the worship service is emotional, and the sermons taste like Pablum with grand entertainment. I think we have traded root building for labels. Today Christian does not mean separated unto God but to come one and all to the show of shows, we bag and tag our children off to babysitters so we can be entertained without disruption, families do not worship together, God’s accepted laws are replaced by cultural accepted norms and the rules of headship and covering have left the stadium. I did not forget that all are welcome to come to Christ are loved and valued to him and by his followers but all are not welcome at his table nor will all enter his kingdom as Jesus told us 13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. Matt 7:13-14 (NLT)

Be a “Dandelion Christian”, have a strong root, called a taproot, which can grow down through even the driest ground to find water. Bible uses the word “steadfast”. It means to not give up...to stand fast, to keep right on even when it is hard. It means that Christians must depend on God just as the dandelion depends on its strong root to find food and water. And it also means that Christians should be sending out seeds everywhere, the seed is the good news (Gospel) that Jesus has died for our sins and that by having faith in him and a relationship with him, he makes us God’s children, then we will live forever with Him in heaven. We develop a strong taproot by trusting God to help us do what is right, having a consistent prayer life that includes intercession for others, by reading God’s word daily, going to church to feed on God’s word and be strengthened by Christian fellowship. So next time you see a dandelion in a lawn or some strange place remember its lessons and picture what would happen if dandelions were left free to propagate. The world might just become filled with yellow smiley faced Christian’s.

Today I choose to be a “Dandelion Christian”. The world may see me as a weed but my Lord sees me as his child. I will rely on him to be my taproot, be steadfast in obedience, prayer, fellowship, and seed spreading until he comes or calls me home. How about you?

Blessings, Ray Vigna

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