Apologetics: ə-pŏl'ə-jĕt'ĭks from the Greek απоλоγία Def: The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.

Thankful Thursday -- The Lesson of the Sunflower. . .

Written By Esthermay Bentley-Goossen on 23 October 2008

I am thankful today for the opportunity to use both the everyday, hum-drum routine at our house -- as well as the seasonal transformations in my own backyard -- to teach life lessons to my children.

We harvested sunflower seeds this week. *Everyone in our family loves sunflowers. There’s just something about that long, powerful stalk and the huge seed-filled disk with bright yellow petals. It clearly enchants all of us.

And – being a home-school family -- there’s both the scientific and spiritual correlation that captivates me as well:

Sunflowers demonstrate phototropism, the ability to rotate their head so that the face of the flower always faces the sun even though the angle of the sun’s rays on the flower constantly change. That means that the face of the flower faces east as the sun rises, and follows the sun across the sky so that at sunset it is facing west.

By its very existence, God is praised!

As a Christian, I can only liken this process to Christians following the Son of God and the responsibility to see my own life and the life of my family -- as well as to envision the entire Body of Christ -- as a field of beautiful, hardy sunflowers.

Spiritually speaking, our ultimate purpose in life is “His good pleasure.” Our lives as Christians are to be lived for God’s greater glory – not our own selfish desires.

Again . . . think about the giant sunflower. . .

. . . it has a long, strong stalk and when it blooms, it’s huge, it has edible seeds, it’s beautiful to look at, and basically, this flower is completely useful. Shouldn’t this be our desire as Christians? – to be useful to God wherever He puts us?

I am thankful today. . .

Thankful that God’s Gift of salvation reached me at an early age.

Thankful for the incredible godly example of my parents who continue to live their faith and influence their grandchildren.

Thankful for the nudging of the Holy Spirit that opened my heart to use my Spiritual Gifts without timidity.

Thankful for the many instructors along my path: wise pastors, spiritually grounded youth leaders, discerning Sunday School teachers, Christian college and graduate school professors who faithfully taught God’s Word right along with academic subjects. . . . because without a Creator, there’d be nothing to study or teach or learn.

Thankful – finally -- for friends who share both a delight and gratitude for God’s Great Creation! Including – of course – sunflowers!

. . . thankful too for my cookie sheet, 100% Natural PAM Olive Oil Spray®, Lawry's Seasoning Salt® and a 200° oven. Without which, the sunflowers would just be soggy little kernels suitable for little more than a winter supplement for . . . goats. We do not raise goats. Yet.

- Esthermay Bentley-Goossen
© 2008 The Heart of a Pastor's Wife
For More Thankful Thursday, visit Grace Alone at http://www.eph2810.com/
* See Shepard's inspired exposé on Sunflowers HERE.


Patricia said...

My favorite flower!!! And guess what?

Sunflower seeds are the ideal winter supplement for....hold on....goats!

And I'm thankful they "volunteer." If you're not quick with the harvest, a seed or two will fall to the ground. And next spring you get a free celebration of God without actually doing any work.

I love how you took natural facts about a favorite of mine and, even though you're too far away to share the harvest...you've given me real food to nourish me with in today's post. Thanks, Esthermay! (I love the peek into your yard, too!)

Barbara said...

I love Shepard's interpretation of the lesson. Your children are ADORABLE!
God Bless you all!

Undercover-Princess said...

I never thought of sunflowers as always praising God. That is a beautiful thought.

Debbie said...

I will never look at a sunflower in the same way again. What a wonderful lesson you teach even to us "older students". I want to be like a sunflower and never take my eyes off Jesus.

Andrea said...

Neat lesson! #3 Son and I sit at our breakfast nook everymorning and look at the neigbor's sunflowers. I'm sharing this whole scientific-spriritual application with him tomorrow. Thanks.
I'm going to e-mail you a great recipe for roasted sunflowers.

Tracey said...

Thanks for stopping by. And yes, we are soooo excited about our newest "goober" on the way!
Blessing to you and good luck in your fight for little lives!
We need people like you!

Denise said...

Gods heart smiles when He looks at you.

mom said...

As someone who loves to plant sunflowers in her garden, I have to add that when we are harvesting them in the fall I usually need my strong teen boys to pull the stalk and roots out of those giant sunflower plants because they are so solidly rooted in the ground. As we follow the Savior, let's be solidly rooted in His Word! :-)

Thanks for sharing!

Tammy ~@~

Ben said...

A wonderful application. My wife mentioned a few days ago how she misses the sunflowers in our yard back home. Your list of thankful’s shows a true heart of discernment. It does take WISE pastors and SPIRITUALLY GROUNDED youth leaders and DISCERNING teachers. If every teacher and every youth leader was wise and grounded and discerning, the work of ministering to the Church would be less burdensome. From one who shares the delight and gratitude, Ben

Eyeglasses & Endzones said...

Great Post. I love women that are surrounded by the word and bring new interpretations on things that can sometimes seem unexciting. I really appreciated this post and I LOVE sunflowers anyway! How great is that!

Thanks so much for your comments on my blog. I will be back to check out more!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

You and the goat comments crack me up. I loved this post. I did not know that the flowers "follow" the sun. Fav line: " ... because without a Creator, there’d be nothing to study or teach or learn." It's one of statements that is simple yet profound. I love to learn. I love that God made us crave learning. Your post blessed me.

Named Alicia said...

Great post! May we always be pointing toward the Son. Thanks for the reminder! Alicia

Carrie said...

Fascinating information and spiritual application.

Lori @ Front Porch Legacy said...

Such a beautiful post! I'll never look at a Sunflower the same again! Now, I'll always see Jesus in them!!

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