Were Cows Just Here?

Did a herd of cows visit my yard last night?

My olfactory senses were awakened as I walked outside my door.  The smell of manure was intense.  I had previously gone on an errand to drop off a form at the town office.  It appeared that the herd had visited the town office yard as well.  In fact, we learned that all town-owned properties had received a generous dump of manure based fertilizer.  Since our house is surrounded by a town park, we were recipients of this very special aroma.  Even now if I go outside and take a whiff….the smell  of cow dung fills my nostrils.  It’s not pleasant.

There are many things I love to smell.  I love the smell of bread baking, or of cookies in the oven.  My mouth waters when I come inside my house to the smell of a roast, especially when it is cooking with onions and garlic.  I enjoy the smell of coffee brewing in the morning.  I will soon enjoy the fragrance of the lilacs out my back door.  I don’t enjoy the smell of this concoction on the field by my house.

It is interesting to me to learn that God has a keen sense of smell.  Thirty nine times the Old Testament speaks of aromas that are pleasing to God.  These aromas are most often from roasted lamb; however at times it’s beef or  even bread being baked over a fire that brings pleasure to his sense of smell.

Actually, these verses aren’t written so we can know what kind of food God prefers.  Upon further study, the pleasing aroma is not so much from the smell of the food cooking, but from the hearts who laid these sacrifices on the altar. Yes, God can smell our hearts.   Those who were eager to sacrifice and to obey the will of God brought Him great joy.  He also knew when someone’s “sacrifice” was obligatory or from leftovers.  He was, and always has been, looking to see what is in our hearts as we approach Him.  God has shown us His love in a way no other ever has.  We didn’t and don’t deserve that kind of love yet he willingly gave his own son, his own self…for us.  In response, he desires our hearts, completely.

Romans 12:1

    Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.

In the New Testament, the new and superior plan God gave us after Jesus died we find out His sense of smell has not changed.

2 Cor. 2:14-17

    But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. [15] For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. [16] To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? [17] Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.

This tells me that when I walk with Jesus and spread the news of Him it smells wonderful to God.  And  that as I follow Christ I leave the fragrance of “eu de knowledge of Christ” that is more precious than any other fragrance imaginable. Those whose hearts desire to know God love this fragrance and gravitate to it.  To others, who don’t want to change their lives to please God  – it stinks.

I pray that the best fragrance known to God can exuded from me today.  Hopefully it can overcome the stench outside.






Connection Correction!

I’ve learned anew, in a very personal way, just how important it is to have correct connections.  Earlier this week I found out that I had an “extra” connector inside of my heart called a bypass tract. Two days later I was in the hospital getting this situation corrected, as it was deemed dangerous.   It was successful, though a very unpleasant experience.

There is a very specific, God designed way, with which the human heart is meant to pump blood throughout our bodies.  When an extra connector (other than the intended one) gets involved in the process it confuses the way the heart is intended to work.  The electricity can quickly jump from the correct connector to the errant connector.  In my case, the electricity kept wanting to jump the track, finding my available and yet wayward  connector.   This resulted in a “short circuit”, which is not good in an electric toaster, or a human heart.   

All too often in life we deviate from the way things were meant to be.  We see before us many choices of pathways to follow.   When we wander down a different path from the one God intended for us numerous  aspects of our lives get “short circuited”.  Whether it be the standard we use for sin and righteousness, the way we approach marriage or even the choices we make concerning the focus of our time and attention – we can tend to stray from the path of God’s intended track for our lives.  We may tend to make up our own instructions, or search a different road – rather than seeking out the will of God.   The result can be debilitating, or even fatal – now and eternally.  We end up short –circuited!  Though short circuits can produce fireworks for a moment and a “flash in the pan” they will not last. After the sparks die down there is no more power, life or energy.

To keep my electrical charges from further straying, the doctors  got rid of the errant path, or connection.  I suffered “true heartburn”.  They literally burned the deviant connection, in order to prevent it from being accessed and traveled again.   This was a radical, but necessary approach.

Spiritually, we can be tempted to travel superfluous or meaningless paths, different from the clear ones given by God.   How much more important to “burn these bridges behind us”, allowing us to function whole-heartedly – in the ways our God intended.

Deut. 4:39

Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.

Deut. 5:7

“You shall have no other gods before me.

Deut. 5:32
So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left.

John 12:47-50
“As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. [48] There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. [49] For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. [50] I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

John 14:3-6

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. [4] You know the way to the place where I am going.”

[5] Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

[6] Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Acts 4:12

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”