Friday, 9 July 2010

St. Elijah Returns

I have always enjoy the story of Elijah having to go and hide in the wilderness after God had him tell the evil king that because of his evil doings, there would be no rain in the land for three years.  The drought would only end if Elijah told it to end! 

Obviously, then, Elijah needed to get out of town fast.  The Lord God directed him to the Wadi Cherith, east of the Jordan River.  There he would have water to drink, a cave for his home and, promised God, ravens would come each day to bring him bread and meat (they don't seem to have been too big on veggies at that time).  So, this is exactly what happened.  I won't tell you how the story ends -- if you are interested, you can go and read it for yourselves in I Kings 17 : 1 and following.

Elijah remains one of my favourite Old Testament prophets so when I came across a picture of an ancient icon of Elijah being fed by ravens, I knew right away that I wanted to try depicting the same thing myself.  The result is above.  As always, I welcome any opinions.

Next I want to show you a recent drawing of another Passion flower.  There are so many varieties of these flowers and they are all so unique.

As you may recall from my post on September 2nd, 2009, I said, when speaking about another variety of Passion Flower:  The drawing shows the magenta "petals" and the "crown of thorns" in the centre. The symbolism of Christ's Passion found in the flower gave rise to the name. Supposedly, this connection was made by a Jesuit priest in the 1600's in South America. 

The Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) was used historically in South America and later in Europe as a "calming" herb for anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and hysteria. It is still used today to treat anxiety and insomnia. "Although scientists aren't sure, it is believed that the passion flower works by increasing levels of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA lowers the activity of some brain cells, resulting in relaxation.

Native to southeastern parts of the Western Hemisphere, passion flowers are now grown throughout Europe. It is a perennial climbing vine with herbaceous shoots and a sturdy woody stem that grows to a length of nearly 10 meters (about 32 feet). Each flower has 5 petals and 5 sepals that vary in colour from magenta to blue. According to folklore, the passion flower was given its name because its corona resembles the crown of thorns worn by Jesus during the crucifixion.

Here is a drawing I did recently of one of my little girls. 

Xandra Ann is 10 years old, almost 11, and she lives in the Philippines, south of Manila.  Her biggest issue at the moment is studying -- she would much rather play with her friends.  Recently we talked about what she wants to do when she grows up and I was able to use this conversation to show her that if she wants a career, then she must get some good grades -- C's and D's just will not do! 

Finally, tonight, I want to show you one of the most outrageous advertisements I have ever seen.  This was an actual advertisement from the early part of the 1900's. 

If you look carefully, you will see that the advertiser is selling "sanitized tape worms" for feminine weight loss.  The ad promises "no danger" and "no ill effects".  Evidently, all you do is swallow the recommended number of sanitized tape worms and just sit back and watch the pounds melt away!

No mention is made of what is supposed to be done when you have reached your desired weight!  What if you can't get rid of the blasted tape worms and you just keep getting thinner and thinner?  Yikes.  Can you believe that this ad was actually allowed to be printed and posted in magazines, billboards, etc.  We seem to have a bit more control today over what can be advertised, but there are still some commercials out there for weight loss that are just little less of a scam than "sanitized tape worms"!

May peace be with you all.

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