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Pomegranate: The Sweet And Bitter Seeds of Life

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I never knew what a pomegranate was until my eyes kept noticing it in the grocery store. One day my curiosity got the best of me, so I decided to purchase two. Once I got home, I went to Google to find out more information about this strange fruit and to find out how to eat it.

What is a Pomegranate ?

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  • It is a shrub or tree that produces a red fruit
  • It looks like an apple with a weird stem…but when you cut it open it has anywhere between 200 – over 1,000 edible seeds that are different variations of red.
  • Pomegranate fruit is a native to Iran and primarily cultivated in Mediterranean counties, parts of the United States, Afghanistan, Russia, India, China, and Japan.
  • Pomegranate has been used for thousands of years and described in records dating from around 1500 BC as a treatment for tapeworms and parasites
  • It is in Greek, Hebrew, Buddhist, Islamic, and Christian mythology and writings
  • Various medical claims of the juice used such as lowering blood pressure, fighting various cancer (prostate and breast) but no scientific evidence to prove that
[source: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-392/pomegranate%5D

I followed the instructions in a random YouTube video that I picked and began to cut the pomegranate down the middle. When I opened it up, I was shock to see so many seeds! A lot more than what’s in an apple! LOL…I stood there staring at the beautiful hues of red that the seeds displayed along with the juice that was oozing out of the fruit. While watching the video, I noticed that they placed the pomegranate in water after cutting it, which made it easier to extract the seeds. I couldn’t wait until I pulled all of the seeds out of the shell of the fruit so I scooped a few seeds in my hand and tossed them in my mouth. Oh My Goodness! I could not stop eating them! They were so good! They started off with a sweet taste but the more I ate, the more I notice the bitter aftertaste. Wow, that’s different, I thought to myself, while I continued to eat more seeds.

While eating, it was in that moment, that my mind went deeper.

God began to show me, through this fruit, how the seeds are like LIFE and they come in different variations of red, which are like experiences.

I’ve eaten some seeds that were SWEET moments that I revisit frequently. When they come, I’m never too busy to entertain. They bring memories that show up as smiles, laughs and tears of joy.

I’ve eaten some seeds that were BITTER moments that I revisit frequently as well. When they come, it’s difficult to replay but I still entertain them. The lessons still feel real and the blessing have either been revealed or still in disguise.

But then there are moments that are not either one or the other but they encompasses both a sweet and bitterness. One of those moments for me was the passing of my mother on April 26, 2011. As I recap my life being raised by my parents, I think about those sweet and bitter moments with my mom that have both played a part in me becoming the woman that I am today. While our relationship was very close we also had some ‘bitter’ times as well. Both experiences have produced ‘fruit’ in me that I have been able to share with others and embrace along the journey of life. Every time I think of my mom’s death and her no longer being here with me, it makes me sad. There are so many moments in my life right now that I long for her advice or even just to hear her tell me something funny while I am sad so that I can laugh through the pain. She had a way of making some of the hardest times in my life feel less heavy with her love and support. I carry in my heart beautiful memories of her life with me.

I know that there’s a plan for my life that involves these sweet and bitter seeds and when I think about this plan, I think about how I can approach life and that is the same approach I took when I consumed a pomegranate seed for the first time:

  • Scoop the seeds and chew them whole: Don’t approach anything without giving it your all. Bring your whole self
  • Eat the seeds: When you make a decision about anything, move towards that decision with effort and intention.
  • Embrace the taste: Whether an experience is not going well or is, learn from it.
  • Don’t spit them out: There are experiences that may not feel good at the time but they will work out for your good.

Trust and believe, God has prepared your palate for a unique experience to come!!

Xoxo Charlene Evans

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Are You Coming In Or Are You Staying Out?

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6876E33D-053D-41C8-BD70-BD2F957F9AF4Are You Coming In Or Are You Staying Out?

I can remember on those hot summer days playing outside with my friends, we will make frequent stops at my house to either use the bathroom, get something cool to drink or going in and out “just because”. I can still hear my mom screaming from the inside of the house saying, “Are you coming in or are you staying out, because you are letting mosquitos inside the house!” My friends and I would quickly run out and shut the door behind us. My mom was very adamant about a decision being made and if we didn’t make it she was definitely going to make it for us. Having the door swinging open and close was never an ideal situation because not only were mosquitos a problem, so was her central air! Running your air conditioning unit in the summer was expensive and my hard working parents didn’t play that!

 

When I think about the importance of understanding the changes in relationships (platonic and personal), I feel like my mommy and her feelings on letting the air out. A decision has to be made. Either you are in or you are out. Managing and dealing with relationships changing is tough and sometimes down right difficult. Whether you have been friends over several years or made an acquaintance with someone fairly new that you are interested in, feeling like a relationship is starting to feel or become lukewarm has to be acknowledged but not necessarily addressed. This depends on the nature of the connection and the reason you may feel that it has reached an ‘in-between’ state.

Guess what? This is also the same way we deal with our personal relationship with God. We are in and out..just fickle… Sometimes we go to church and sometimes we don’t. We don’t pray and sometimes we do. We don’t read our bibles to gave knowledge and wisdom and sometimes we do. We don’t cultivate the relationship and build on desiring a deeper relationship with God for various reasons and then claim to not understand why we are not experiencing the fullness of God. The bible calls this behavior being ‘lukewarm.’

“So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” ~ Revelation 3:16

This is by no means a personal attack, so please don’t take it as such. Rather, think about the areas in your life where you know you could give God more because we ALL have them. Let me raise my hand FIRST! Just like you don’t care for someone who seems to be ‘in and out’ of your life, God feels the SAME way! As a matter of fact, He is so disgusted by this behavior that He says that he is about to spit you out of his mouth! What an analogy. Picture THAT!

Make a decision about who you desire to be in God. When you think about your relationship with God, does it represent growth? If it was a chart will it have multiple spikes of high and low points or will it be a curve (not a perfect curve), but one that shows an increase that shows that you are not the same person you was 20, 15, 10, 5 years or even a month ago?!? Don’t spend your life running ‘in and out’ of your ‘Daddy’s (The Lord) house. No, once you make a choice you then form conscious, intentional decisions to walk with God every step of the way. Life is short and at some point that door to life is no longer going to swing in and out….so where will you be? IN or OUT.

Xoxo Charlene Evans

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“Hurry Up And Wait…”

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Hurry Up And Wait

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I took myself to brunch after church this past Sunday and once I arrived at the restaurant, I was told there was a 45min wait. I know that normally if you are by yourself, you could just walk up to the bar and eat but the hostess quickly informed me that even the bar area had a ‘wait.’ Standing there for about 2 seconds longer than I needed to, I wanted to leave. Yes, I was hungry but not starving, the motivation was more towards the fact that the wait seemed unbearable. So without thinking any further, I decided to take a seat and wait it out. After only 15mins of waiting, my name was called and I jumped up! I quickly grabbed my purse and put an extra ‘pep in my step’ just in case he changed his mind! Hahahha! I placed my order and my food came quick, not to mention, it was also very good and tasty. I took my time eating and thinking to myself how I’m growing in the area of patience. I almost made an emotional decision that would have made the wait longer. I have been doing this a lot lately and that is, waiting beyond my comfort and praying to God to help me while I wait. Exercising my faith in waiting has been a great challenge for me as I watch areas of my life unfold totally opposite of “my” timeline. In the mist of waiting, God has the ability to change every situation as quickly as he wants to because the laws of man do not define HIM. Your life can change in a blink of an eye and I can testify to that. But I thought about the result of me waiting and how much I will enjoy the reward after I have waited. This wait was a test of obedience and patience. My willingness to wait resulted in me not waiting as long as I thought and my food was worth that 15mins. God made the 30 min difference and expedited my request…not because I asked, but because I waited.

My Prayer: God, you KNOW our beginning, our end and everything in between. Anxiety is never worth the stress of worrying about situations we cannot control. Help us to desire letting you LEAD and relinquish control. Build areas of weakness into strength. Build our trust and faith in your PLAN. Help us to not grow WEARY in well doing while we WAIT. Let the PEACE of Christ rule in our hearts and keep us! God I will trust in you and your timing, not my own! AMEN!

xoxo Chiccy Baritone

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