'For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord….'

Archive for bible

Grey hair or baldness?

Grey hair or baldness?  Funny what you think about during the Christmas holidays!  But interestingly the bible has something to say about both….

Grey hair (my happy experience)……is earned!  Click here if you don’t believe me!

Yeah baby!

Here’s the deal.  As we get older, the pigment cells in our hair follicles gradually die (boo!).  When there are fewer pigment cells in a hair follicle, that strand of hair will no longer contain as much melanin and will become a more transparent color – like grey, silver, or white – as it grows.  As we get older, fewer pigment cells will be around to produce melanin.  Eventually, the hair will look completely grey.

People get grey hair at any age. Some people go grey at a young age – as early as when they are in school, whereas others may be in their 30’s or 40’s before they see that first grey hair.  How early we get grey hair is determined by our genes.  This means that most of us will start having grey hairs around the same age that our parents or grandparents first did (check ’em out, quick!).

Some people think that a big shock or trauma can turn a person’s hair white or grey overnight, but scientists don’t really believe that this happens.  Just in case, try not to freak out your parents too much!

Baldness?  Well, it’s an idolatrous practice according to Lev 21:5.  Or a terrible judgement in Jeremiah 48:37.  And Elisha was ridiculed by kids in 2Kings 2:23!  I’m beginning to prefer the grey hair thing…….


Just checked out my Dad who has a delightful thatch aged 68, not thinning in any way.  But like my mum, he has white hair.  Ok, presumably that’s how it goes when the grey fades.  I’m cool with that!


David, a man flawed…

In 1501, 25 year old Michelangelo began working on his colossal masterpiece, the 17 foot tall marble ‘David’.  From a huge block of marble that had been abandoned decades earlier by another sculptor, Michelangelo took on the challenge of David, portrayed in the Bible as the young shepherd boy who slew the giant Goliath, and went on to become the valiant, just and God-appointed Hebrew King.

Michaelangelo's David

Michelangelo's David

Michelangelo was painter, sculptor, and architect.  In his era, all three forms of art were thought to be based on an artistic discipline built on knowledge of the male human form.  Sculpture was considered the finest of art forms, because it mimics divine creation; the sculptural image found within the block of stone, much as the human soul is found within the physical body.

The ‘David’ is considered a masterpiece, an ideal male form combining heroic strength and human uncertainty.  It was erected in 1504 in the public plaza of Florence, the Piazza della Signoria.

All a bit high brow, granted.  But the story of how Michelangelo sourced the block of marble is fascinating.  As an up and coming sculptor, renowned for remarkable skill, the quarry owners were falling over themselves to supply him with the purest marble block for the commissioned project.

But the artist was looking for something special, something that really did suggest human soul and human uncertainty.  A pure white block was not what he wanted, but he set about seeking a block that was flawed in some way, cast aside and abandoned, deemed unfit purpose.

And this is what he did.  He sourced a block that has been cut decades before but never used because of its percieved low quality.  But Michelangelo’s understanding of the bible David (his triumphs & failures) had to be represented in the sculpture.  The block was flawed.  It had numerous discolourations and was far from pure.  Just like the man David, just as Michelangelo saw him, magnificent yet flawed.  A noble ruin.

I have no idea of where Michelangelo’s understanding of the gospel or bible truth lay, but when you hear a story like that, it’s gets you chomping at the bit to include it in a preach!  It’s possible that he came to understand David (from boy to King) as he studied his character and life in preparation to sculpt him.  Seeing him in his triumphs and failures, under the hand of God’s mercy and favour, perhaps caused the artist to think.

Michaelangelo, self-portrait

Michelangelo, self-portrait

Here’s the deal.  We are image bearers of creator God (noble, and very good), yet fallen in rebellion (ruin).  David was a great leader, example and King, yet ruined by error (ie. adultery & murder).  Not much hope, eh?

But Jesus came to put right every flaw, every error, all that ever ruined us.  He was flawed for us, took them upon himself, that we might regain nobility.  Perhaps Michelangelo knew this and put real soul and uncertainty into his David for that very reason.

Mood food…

One of my favourite ways of relaxing is watching cooking programmes, and then having a go at reproducing something on the plate.  Some of the most entertaining  and inspiring TV programmes are ‘Saturday Morning Kitchen’, ‘Masterchef’ and ‘Nigel Slaters Simple Suppers’.

There have been a few successes over the years (which are oft-repeated!), and I like to think I can give most dishes a bash.  When I say success, I mean the kind of food that you can toss together pretty quickly, chuck in a few spices and hey presto!  Something like this, which is a hot favourite in the Davis household.

Jamie's chilli prawns!

Jamie's chilli prawns!

More recently I’ve been watching Nigel Slater’s offerings on the BBC.  Aside from the gorgeous photography, his slick patter and smart kitchen (ridiculously oversized & minimalist), the food combo’s are really equisite.

This time of year, with the days shortening (quickly it seems), what we need is ‘mood food’ apparently, and this pithy statement got me thinking.  Food is comforting, satisfying  and mood-changing.  There is a lot to be said for a lamb hotpot with steaming dumplings and a side of savoy cabbage on your plate on a wet and windy Sunday lunchtime!  No?  That’s just me then!  Of course, this needs to be acompanied by a large glass of claret and a 20 minute nap for it’s true effectiveness to to be fully enjoyed.

Mr Slater - 'You need mood food!'

Mr Slater - 'You need mood food!'

Am I pandering to the ‘mood’ thing?  Has the season (Autumn to Winter) got the better of me?  Is it sending me into a spiral of depression that can only be asuaged by culinary skill and adventure?  Yes, if Nigel Slater is to be believed, and his offerings aim to lift the mood.  To a certain degree, I have to concur.  A hearty dish of something tasty really helps.

Feeding the flesh is really only part of the story though.  What actually brings real radical change to my attitude to life is the genuine ‘mood food’………bible truth in all it’s variety.  Completely satisfying, meaty, sometimes spicy, in every way transforming.  It defys all seasons, times and places.  It never fails to fulfil completely.

Jesus taught that He is the bread of life.  The original ‘mood food’….  He was talking about spiritual matters of course.  ‘Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life…’ (John 6:54).  Many of His followers didn’t understand, because they were thinking too much about their physical needs.  He was actually teaching that believing and obeying His words would give them eternal life.

From that day forward, many went away from Jesus.  But Peter said, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also, we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’ (John 6:68-69).   It was pretty clear to Peter that the food Jesus had on offer was of ultimate sustenance.

Want to lift you mood in this season of shorter and cooler days?  By all means enjoy the seasonal fare (hot pot, roasts, hearty soup etc.), but dont ignore the real stuff……. the ‘mood food’ that Jesus offers, which He invites us to feast upon.