Through centuries of speculation many different concepts have evolved that are called religion. These religions are a vital part of the culture that has nurtured them. In general, each religion describes the good behavior to be rewarded and the bad behavior to be punished.
When studied we discover many common values: family as the foundation of society, honesty in all relationships, care for orphans and the aged, and rules regarding punishment and war, to name a few.
Some religions have rituals to be performed to resolve problems like drought, flood, destructive storms, famine and plagues of insects and disease. Often these crises are viewed as the anger of the gods and severe rituals must be performed to placate their anger.
The Biblical story differs from these other religions with the account of how God lovingly seeks the well-being of all people. No ritual is to be performed other than personal assent to the grace of God through faith.
Of course, accidents occur and natural disasters cause great suffering, but God is present to comfort, guide and restore. At such times good people rush in to help. I have come to believe that the good people of whatever religion can be mobilized by the One True God to care for the victims of disasters and war.
The good people of the Middle East and our troops need our prayers. May we be faithful in this time of turmoil, transition and renewal.
The blooms of the bachelor's button are blue with a slight lavender hint of color in the center. When the flower is dried it turns a deep bluish-green and is a delightful addition to a dried flower bouquet.
The bright blue blooms occur at the end of grooved stems that rise 12 to 20 inches. Bachelor's button is occasionally mistaken for chicory, featured in this column two years ago. The color of both wildflowers is similar but the shape of the petals are the key difference. The ends of the chicory petals are nearly square with a very small sawtooth pattern. The bachelor's button has rounded petals with a very pronounced sawtooth pattern as in the drawing.
The leaves are very narrow and alternate up the stem, as illustrated. The favorite habitat is wet pinelands but it will thrive wherever there is ample afternoon shade. If you get some bachelors button seed, be prepared to wait two years before blooms will appear because the plant is a biennial.
The Bible is very direct in its statements regarding the sovereignty of God. In Deuteronomy 4:39 we read, "Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other."
May you find comfort in the knowledge of His power and love.
Orrin Morris is a retired Baptist minister, local artist and art teacher. Notecards are available of the wildflowers published in the Citizen. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 770-929-3697.