Tuesday, September 15, 2009

3 in 1 and 1 in 3

Tourmalines are precious stones displaying a unique splendor of colors. According to an ancient Egyptian legend this is the result of the fact that on the long way from the earth’s heart up towards the sun, tourmaline traveled along a rainbow. And on its way it collected all the colors of the rainbow. This is why nowadays it is called the "Rainbow gemstone”. However, the name "Tourmaline” has been derived from the Singhalese expression "tura mali”, which translates as "stone of mixed colors.” The very name already refers to the unique spectrum of colors displayed by this gemstone, which is second to none in the realm of precious stones. Often they show two or more colors and are cherished for this party- or multi-colored appearance. For example, such slices taken from tourmalines with a red heart, white and then green border are called a "Watermelon-Tourmaline” or Tri-Color Tourmaline. It is in fact 3 stones in 1, and all 3 are 1 tourmaline.

Whenever I see this stone it reminds me of our God; The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, each their own entity yet all 3 are 1 God.

Even the three colors of watermelon tourmaline each have specific names when apart from one another. Green tourmaline is known as 'Elbaite'. Red tourmaline is known as 'Rubellite'. White tourmaline is known as 'Achroite'.

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, it's like getting a fine piece of watermelon tourmaline.....it's a 3 for 1 deal. As we accept The Son, we have access to The Father, and until that day when The Son returns, we have The Holy Spirit. The Creator, (Genesis 1:1) The Savior (John 3:16), and The Counselor (John 14:26) are all wrapped up in one wonderful God, who loves us and cares for us and provides for our every need. I'm a very firm believer that God reveals Himself through nature (Romans 1:20) and gives us glimpses of His qualities, His power, and His Divinity.

Although the processes that create watermelon tourmaline are incredibly complicated and should make it extremely rare, it is actually quite abundant. I believe it's because God doesn't want us to miss this picture of Him...a natural, beautiful example of The Great 3 in 1 and 1 in 3.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Secure Settings

I work with stone settings almost daily at The Karat Patch in Big Spring, Texas. Stone settings come in an array of different metals, sizes, shapes, heights, and weights and are made to fit stones of all types and of every value. In my 27 year career I have set some very expensive stones, some valued at over $100,000.00 that went into the same type of setting in which stones costing $10.00 could go. But no matter what the value of the stone, the setting must hold that stone securely so that it will not be lost. Folks who have spent a lot of money for their stone can be especially particular about the setting in which it will be placed. Security is not the only criteria about which they are concerned but it is certainly the most important. Every setting has some kind of finger-like posts (called prongs) that are prepared and then bent over the top edge of the stone to hold that stone in place once it is in the setting. Generally speaking, once the stone is in the setting and secured, there's not much to worry about.

Often times the experience I have is that of a customer who comes in having lost a precious gem from a setting, and then having found it. Their thrill and exuberance in finding that which was lost is apparent as soon as they walk in the door. With the precious stone found, they can purchase a new setting, one that is safe and secure.

Sometimes when I am setting stones and making sure that they're secure, I think about how much the hand of Jesus Christ is like that stone setting and how we are like that precious stone. In
Luke 19:10 Jesus says "the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost".

The 'what was lost' is me and you.

We've been lost out of our original setting. Our original setting was with God, in complete communion, in a beautiful garden. Then sin caused us to fall away from that relationship. We are precious gems that need a new setting. Jesus came to seek and to save what was lost. He chose to look for us because we are precious and valuable to Him. And once found, He chose to save us, and secure us precious gems by purchasing a new setting for us with His blood...a very high price indeed. And then Jesus puts us in the palm of His nail-scarred hand, bends His fingers in over us and holds us there securely (
John 6:39) until He raises us up on the last day. The security of this new setting will know no end for those who put their trust and faith in Jesus Christ.

Secure settings are good for precious gems of all kinds. And there's no setting more secure than the hand of Jesus.

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