We went on a plant-buying spree a while back and among our purchases were two Habanero pepper plants. I don't consider my fingers to be a particularly deep shade of green, so I was surprised and delighted when this plant bore a little pepper. It gradually ripened to a pretty orange colour, and we decided the moment had come to try out its heat qualities. Despite its minute size, it flavoured a batch of chilli pretty well. Both plants are currently sporting a pretty array of little white flowers, so I'm holding out high hopes for another crop in the future. It's not quite living off the land, but hey, it's a start!
Sometimes it's good when people say things we disagree with. Not always; it can be irritating, frustrating, or wounding. But sometimes it arouses our curiosity, causes us to examine our assumptions, and sets us off on a trail of new discoveries. So it was when somebody posted this image on Facebook. It says, in emphatic block capitals: We need preachers who preach that hell is still hot, that heaven is still real, that sin is still wrong, that the Bible is God's word, and that Jesus is the only way of salvation. After my initial reaction of, "We certainly do not! " the curiosity kicked in. What was it about this particular formulation of the Christian faith that I didn't like? If I wouldn't preach that, what would I preach? Given that hell is not a major topic of the Bible, how on earth did we get Christians who think it merits headline billing in the gospel? What's wrong with it? Picking something apart is always the easy bit. I partly object to what